Am I a wedding planner

Back at The Winchester Guildhall with The Hampshire Wedding Group

This Sunday, 24th February, I’ll be back at The Winchester Guildhall with The Hampshire Wedding Group for our February Fayre and I’ve got FREE STUFF for you!

Winchester Guildhall is a fabulous venue for weddings with many rooms that can be used inside an iconic setting. This Sunday The Hampshire Wedding Group are back there again with another wedding fayre full of great ideas and examples from the best wedding suppliers in the area. Events like this are great places to find out more about what goes into creating a great wedding, remember the exhibitors at this event are all hand-picked experts.

Winchester Guildhall with The Hampshire Wedding Group

For more information about the event and to preregister for an extra chance to win in the free prize draw PLEASE CLICK HERE

I don’t get to Winchester Guildhall as often as I would like to. I’ve probably DJ’d there about ten times over the years. CLICK HERE to see one of my favourite weddings I was blessed to play at there.

I’ll be giving away copies of Wedding Day Secrets on Sunday, but if you want to read it online click the title earlier in this sentence. To pick up your FREE copy of Wedding Day Secrets (SRP £9.95) come and say hello to me this Sunday when I’ll be back at The Winchester Guildhall with The Hampshire Wedding Group.

A Quick Tip ~ Wedding Ceremony Seating

Following on from my recent post on Wedding Chair Covers CLICK HERE, I wanted to give you a quick tip about wedding ceremony seating. Most couples agonise over the seating plan for their wedding breakfast (the big main meal is called the wedding breakfast because it’s the first meal of your marriage), but today I want to talk about wedding ceremony seating.

I’m a great believer in the importance of the wedding ceremony, it sets the tone for the whole day. I actually believe the music the bride enters the ceremony to (the processional) is the most important piece of music at a wedding. Even before that, the welcome the ushers and groomsmen give to the attending family and friends can make a huge difference to the feel of the day.

Traditionally the bridegrooms family would sit behind him on the right (looking from the back of the room as you enter) with the brides family on the right. These days many couples go with the “pick a seat and not a side” and everyone to mix and mingle instead.

Either is absolutely fine with me, what I do want you to think about is wedding ceremony seating as far as making a plan in advance. This post was prompted by a couple of pictures I found today when I was looking through my huge library of photos on my desktop.

These pictures were taken at Charlotte and Sam’s wedding at Marwell a while back. They thought about their wedding ceremony seating and made sure the right number of chairs were reserved for the members of the wedding party. Now this may seem obvious but many couples don’t do this.

Make a plan, find out how many chairs are in a row either side of the aisle and allocate places. If you have people doing readings, singing, or joining you to sign the register, make sure they can get to the front easily. Think about guests in wheelchairs or with pushchairs … how can you make everything work with nobody getting embarrassed because they can’t find a suitable place. Brief your ushers on this and make sure they know what they are doing.

I can talk about this kind of stuff for hours and if you have any questions I’d be glad to answer them.

PLEASE CLICK HERE for my previous post about Charlotte and Sam’s wedding.

So make sure you think about your wedding ceremony seating.

wedding ceremony seating

September weddings

Choosing Your First Dance

Following my recent post about requests for your wedding party (click here) I promised a blog about Choosing Your First Dance.

Some couples know exactly what they want for their first dance, others haven’t a clue. Either is no problem, I’m always happy to help or just to do my best to make the first dance stress-free and memorable for all the right reasons.

What won’t happen at one of my weddings is a mumbled introduction with nobody knowing what’s going on. I’ll do my best to make sure everyone knows exactly what is happening and that all the important guests (mums etc) are in the room with a good view of what’s about to happen.

These days I often make special edits of songs to reduce the length or sometimes extend them, I’ve also made first dance “mash-up’s” combining several songs together. These are the kinds of services a professional DJ will offer their couples – I’ve also seen other local DJ’s asking if any other DJ’s can do this for them!

Some couples have amazing plans for their first dance, others just want to do a slow rotate for a verse and a chorus before their friends and family are invited to join them. I’ll make sure we make a plan and know exactly what’s going to happen and how to make the most of the opportunity so that the photographer gets some great images.

I mentioned the DJ Event Planner lists (click here) and they produced this one for First Dances based on data from their DJs …

Artist Song Title
1 Ed Sheeran Perfect
2 Kodaline The One
3 John Legend All Of Me
4 Ed Sheeran Thinking Out Loud
5 Elvis Presley Can’t Help Falling In Love
6 James Arthur Say You Won’t Let Go
7 Christina Perri A Thousand Years
8 Etta James At Last
9 Ellie Goulding How Long Will I Love You
10 Ed Sheeran Tenerife Sea
11 Ben E. King Stand By Me
12 Lonestar Amazed
13 Al Green Let’s Stay Together
14 Jason Mraz I Won’t Give Up
15 Lifehouse You And Me
16 Shania Twain From This Moment On
17 Goo Goo Dolls Iris
18 Kenny G Songbird
19 Nathan Sykes Over And Over Again
20 Snow Patrol Chasing Cars

The list is an interesting mix of tracks, many of which have become wedding staples. It may be a good place to start if you don’t already have an “our tune” that you want to use and are looking for inspiration.

Choosing Your First Dance is a very personal thing – every couple are different, I always do my best to make the most of this traditional wedding day highlight.

The first dance is just one of the big moments of the day when music is important … stay tuned for another post about wedding music soon 😉

 

What a wedding is really about?

What a wedding is really about … what is a wedding all about?

Now there’s a topic we could talk about for days but, to me, it’s a moment in time when we celebrate the fact that two people met, fell in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together.

How they choose to celebrate is surely their choice?

I think it’s fair to say that often guys just want to give the woman of their dreams the day she wants. What if they disagree and what about others like the parents, should their feelings be considered in the planning?

My daughter got married in April last year. It was a beautiful day and her mum and I, and her husbands parents, now have many fantastic memories to cherish. We all had a great day and of course we ‘re still talking about it.

THE Dress

However, I see lots of posts on social media from couples planning their weddings and dealing with all kinds of family agro! It’s often very sad. As a wedding planning expert, I like to offer advice but some of their problems just seem impossible to resolve … and then I saw this …

This is a clip from The Steve TV Show from October last year that came up on my FaceBook feed a few days ago and got me thinking. The Steve Show is an American daytime TV show, it’s been around in various shapes and forms for many years. It often has great insights into human nature.

James Sexton’s thoughts really resonated with me – what do you think?

“Do not let the first time all the people you love be in a room at the same time be your funeral”

James Sexton ~ October 2018

What a wedding is really about … well I stand by the description I gave at the start of this post. If you are planning your big day please keep in mind everybody who’s coming. This will probably be the biggest party you ever throw (unless you win the lottery), so don’t rush into it.

A great place to start is with my Your WOW Wedding Guide. Use this form to request a copy

The picture of us above and this one were both taken in the minute before I walked Amy down the aisle for the ceremony 😉

 

Are you going to a wedding in 2019?

So, are you going to a wedding in 2019? Well this post is for you, whether you are an evening-only guest or even the Bride and Bridegroom.

As I finish writing this on New Years Day, 2019 looks like being a testing year for us all with a certain amount of political uncertainty and all that brings. I’m a great believer in committing to what you can influence and affect – I believe we should all be aware of the consequences of our actions and attitudes.

Bartley Lodge Wedding DJ

The bottom line, as far as this blog post is concerned, is that if are you going to a wedding in 2019 you are very lucky. You’re going to be part of a very special day and that carries a responsibility I want you to understand and commit to.

The Wedding Guest 

Whether you are a family member or friend you have been invited to share the biggest party these two people will ever throw. You have been chosen to be part of a day they will remember for the rest of their lives. Enjoy the day but make sure you keep the best interests of the Bride and Bridegroom at heart. Be happy, mingle, make new friends and help create lasting memories for everyone.

A Member of the Wedding Party

Congratulations on being asked to play a role on this incredible occasion. Your support and love for the couple, throughout the planning stages, as well as on the big day, will be critical in the success of the event. Try and keep their best interests at the centre of your intentions and actions. Be aware that they may well be stressed or anxious about the day and be supportive at every opportunity. On the day, stay focused and do everything you can to assist the happy couple and your fellow wedding party members.

Italian Villa Wedding DJ

Parents and Siblings

This day will go down in history – two families coming together and you are a huge part of it. This is a great time to make new friends and catch up with your extended family. Come with a few good, positive stories to share about the stars of the show – be gracious and generous with your time and attention.

The Happy Couple

This is your day. As you will have been told, it will fly by. You will have spent months, possibly years planning the day so make sure you enjoy every second of it. Don’t worry about things going wrong, whatever happens you’ll have a great time. Nobody knows the finer details of what is planned, so don’t let the odd “problem” ruin your day.

Try and plan your wedding so that everyone feels included and not just spectators. I use something I call the WOW Wedding philosophy with stands for Weave yourselves into the day, get Others involved and explain Why. If you want to know more please let me know.

The day after your wedding you’ll be married and looking forward to a brand new future. If you planned well and connected with your guests you’ll have many great memories to cherish.

going to a wedding in 2019

Conclusion

If you are going to a wedding in 2019, or anywhen for that matter, make sure you play your part. Everybody has it in their power to make the day the success it deserves to be. Be kind, be gracious, have a great day!

OK, this was a bit of a rant, but I believe we all have it in our power to help make every wedding very special. CLICK HERE for more free stuff. If you have any questions, or would like my help with anything wedding related, please get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

Am I a wedding planner

Essential Plan B

The essential Plan B …

The Essential Plan B

No, not that one! 

The essential Plan B here is all about having options for your wedding to cope with things that might happen. Like bad weather, hot weather or your car breaking down.

I write this on an October Saturday morning with Radio 5 Live talking about storms and flooding. The rain is lashing against our windows.

I don’t have a wedding today. I did last Saturday, the weather was very wet and autumnal, after a beautiful, hot, sunny week. It was a real “blip” in the weather as the sun came back again the next day.

Fortunately we had talked about the possibility of bad weather and made plans for all the various conditions. My final meeting with the couple was a week before the wedding and we already knew the weather might be an issue. They were cool with it. They knew, when they planned an October wedding, that good weather couldn’t be guaranteed.

The venue team made sure everyone had what they needed to cope with the conditions. The photographer had visited the venue before, so he knew all the best places for pictures. The caterers were happy to adjust the serving times to allow for delays caused by the general disruption.

Everything went very smoothly and nobody even realised that we had moved a few things around the timeline. By the end of the reception the weather had cleared and we were able to go ahead with the planned “sparkler exit”.

I consider making the essential plan b part of my role, am I a Wedding Planner … well I’ve already written a post on that topic CLICK HERE 

If you were looking for Plan B the musician CLICK HERE for the iTunes Essential playlist 

Paul's Autumn Movements

Paul’s Autumn Movements!

Paul’s Autumn Movements … the mind boggles!

Here’s the plan …

Paul's Autumn MovementsThis Sunday, 16th September Winchester Guildhall Wedding Fayre. This is a free to enter event with a free prize draw to win money saving vouchers including £250 off my services. Doors open at 11am through to 3pm. The postcode for The Winchester Guildhall is SO23 9GH. For more information about weddings at Winchester Guildhall click here.

Sunday 7th October Ampfield Golf Club Wedding Fayre. Again, a free to enter event with a free prize draw to win money saving vouchers including £250 off my services. Doors open at 11am through to 3pm

Both of the wedding fayres are organised by The Hampshire Wedding Group (click here). The HWG is a collection of hand picked expert wedding suppliers based in Hampshire. They offer engaged couples a range of services to cater for every aspect of their wedding day.   The group is compiled by recommendation accepting only the very best, highly experienced expert suppliers.

You can get an extra entry for the prize draw by pre-registering CLICK HERE and then attending the event.

Week commencing Monday 15th October “Creating Your WOW Wedding” evening. Another free to enter event with a free prize draw to win … actually, it’s a secret at the moment. The date and venue will be announced very soon.

Paul's Autumn Movements

That’s Paul’s Autumn Movements. Get those dates in your diary and complete this form to reserve your seats at the “Creating Your WOW Wedding” evening.

Paul's Autumn Movements

What to look for in your wedding suppliers

With the Autumn wedding fair season in full flow, I wanted to remind you what to look for in your wedding suppliers.

Here are three basic steps as I pointed out in this video from back in 2015 Choosing Your Team (click here)

1 Make sure they are actually a business and can deliver what they promise

2 Make sure they have any insurances and/or legal certification required

3 Make sure you like them … in fact I want to go one step further. Look for people who LOVE what they do! Yes it’s a business and they need to fulfil the criteria above, but there are some of us who really love what we do and will always try and go above and beyond what is expected of us.

Get out to two or three wedding fairs, meet suppliers, ask questions and listen to the advice they give you. Find out how long they’ve been doing their thing and try to get a sense of how they feel about it. Many wedding fairs have new businesses exhibiting – can they deliver on their promises?

This coming Sunday, 16th September, I’m exhibiting a The Hampshire Wedding Group event at Winchester Guildhall. This is a free event with a free prize draw for discount vouchers with various group members. There’s even one from me worth £250. The doors are open between 11am and 3pm and I can personally recommend all of the exhibitors. We’d love to see you there. You can even preregister and get an extra entry in the draw CLICK HERE

What to look for in your wedding suppliers

What to look for in your wedding suppliers?

People who love what they do!

 

September weddings

Autumn Wedding Fair Season

Autumn Wedding Fair Season or Autumn Wedding Fayre Season? … Now there’s a question 😉

Next week sees the start of the Autumn Wedding Fair Season. This year I won’t be at as many as I would have attended in previous years but I still recommend you visit a few if you’re looking for ideas and suppliers.

My advice is to try and talk to every supplier exhibiting. Listen to what they have to tell you and you’ll get a feel for what kind of person they are and if you like them. Look for people who really love what they do and who aren’t just trying to sell you stuff. Ask questions – they should have answers. Beware … wedding fairs often attract exhibitors who are new and looking to fill their diaries – look for well established, experienced, professional suppliers.

I will be at The Winchester Guildhall on Sunday 16th September and Ampfield Golf Club on Sunday 7th October. Those are two of the Hampshire Wedding Group Autumn Wedding Fairs. They also have one on Sunday 2nd September but I have a big wedding the day before at The Italian Villa in Bournemouth and so won’t be able to attend. These are FREE to attend events with FREE to enter prize draws! For more information PLEASE CLICK HERE to go to the Hampshire Wedding Group website.

Autumn Wedding Fayre Season

Previously in the Autumn Wedding Fair Season I’ve also attended a number of the excellent events run by PMN Wedding fairs. My brochure will be in the goodie bags at some of their fairs this Autumn.

Obviously if you want any help finding great suppliers to help with your big day I am happy to help – just email paul@thepartydj.co.uk

Am I a wedding planner

Hampshire Wedding Planner ~ Am I A Wedding Planner?

Am I A Wedding Planner?

Am I A Wedding Planner? is a question I get fairly often. Some people tell me I am. Actually, over the last five or six years I’ve really struggled to describe exactly WHAT I am! Let me try to explain …

I started out as a DJ, and even back 25 plus years ago I was trying to work out ways I could offer better service. Initially I was one of the first DJ’s to suggest setting up early so that there was no huge disruption bringing in equipment after the meal and before the party. Then I started offering background music for the meal and microphones for the speeches. Next, when civil ceremonies at venues became a thing, I added ceremony music. Then I decided to offer my services as a Master of Ceremonies. Finally I found I was in a unique position to help couples plan their wedding because I’d seen so many great things and heard about quite a few not so good things.

Hampshire Wedding Planner

Am I A Wedding Planner … Well I don’t really think of myself as a planner because I don’t like to plan weddings. I love to help couples create their weddings, offering them ideas and suggestions to make their big day special to them. I supply all my couples with a folder to give them a clear view of what will happen when. Hopefully this means they can make the most of every moment.

I don’t know everything, I’m still learning. When I’m  asked something I don’t know I can usually find a colleague who can help. For example, I’m not an expert on wedding gowns but I know who to recommend. If a couple are looking for a traditional Wedding Planner I have contacts in my diary too.

Conclusion ~

Am I A Wedding Planner? I do help couples plan their weddings from an entertainment perspective. I think I’m just a guy who wants every couple to have a fabulous wedding day – whether they book me to be their MC, DJ, whatever, or not. I’m very lucky to be doing something I love as I think shows in this picture taken by Charlie, a guest at Vikky and Gemma’s wedding this week.

Hampshire Wedding Planner

If you’d like a copy of my “Your WOW Wedding” guide please let me know. You’ll find a preview here CLICK