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

They're coming from where

They’re coming from where! (A quickie)

They’re coming from where! This is the first in a possible series of quick tips / thoughts that I’m going to share with you. Generally these will just be things that have flashed through my head, or across my radar, that I think may help you. The first one came from a post I saw on FaceBook from a recent Bride who suggested “if there are a lot of out of town guests, have an event outside of the wedding”.

This resonated with me because at my daughters wedding we welcomed people from, among other places, Panama and China. That’s quite a trip for a one day event where there are a hundred other guests all hoping to spend time with the happy couple! It’s that same at most weddings that I attend, even if the guests live in another part of England it’s a shame if you don’t get a real chance to talk.

As a Bride and Groom to be consider how you can help these guests make the most of their visit. Do you have time to see them either before or after the wedding. In America they frequently have rehearsal diner where the families get together with speeches and other formalities – maybe that would work for you. At our daughters wedding her husbands parents invited us to meet their visiting family for a lovely Chinese restaurant meal a couple of days before the ceremony. Often I hear of family barbecues the following day so that everyone gets time to relax and catch up after the wedding. What could you do?

If they’ve never visited the area before what advice can you give them so they make the most of their visit. Do you have time to show them the New Forest, Stonehenge or take them to your favourite pub or restaurant – maybe if you don’t you could get a member of your wedding party (Bridesmaid or Groomsmen) to act as tour guide and show them around.

Make no mistake, the day will fly by and everything will be a blur unless you plan, delegate and organise in advance. Please don’t leave things to the last minute – get things done well in advance wherever possible.

They’re coming from where … wouldn’t it be great if you found time for them!


 

 

 

Am I a wedding planner

Fortunately I know some amazing people ~ 1. The Dress

It’s now over two months since my daughters wedding! I did one quick post shortly after the big day CLICK HERE, now it’s time to look back and tell you about our experiences and fortunately I know some amazing people

When you work as a wedding supplier and your daughter asks you for recommendations, the pressure of being the Father of the Bride really clicks up a notch or two – especially when it comes to THE DRESS. Fortunately I know some amazing people, Fatma from Sofi Designs Bridal is one of them. 

Fortunately I know some amazing people

I’ve know Fatma and her husband Lance for a number of years, they are two of the nicest people you will ever meet, they genuinely care about their customers and love what they do.

Amy, my daughter, actually met them at a wedding fair she helped me with a few years back and so Sofi Bridal was our first choice to help with the dress.

When Amy and Ce, her mum, went to the showroom I had no doubt they were in safe hands and they had a wonderful time. Amy found THE DRESS on that first visit but Fatma insisted that Amy looked elsewhere just to make sure there wasn’t a dress she preferred at another shop. Nowhere else made her so welcome and nowhere else had a dress to top that first one she found at Sofi Designs Bridal.

The dress was ordered and when it arrived Amy went for her fitting. It was perfect, no need for any alterations and she brought it home to be kept safe in her old bedroom. Fatma also picked out and supplied Amy’s veil.

On the day of the wedding I was invited into Amy’s room where she had been getting ready with her bridesmaids to see her in the dress for the first time – there were tears. She looked stunning and I was the proudest dad on the planet as I walked her down the aisle to be married to Sean (pausing just before the ceremony as the bridesmaids entered to take this picture).

Fortunately I know some amazing people

If you’re looking for a great selection wedding dresses and expert advice with no pressure from lovely people who really know what they are doing, Fatma, Lance and their team at Sofi Designs Bridal are well worth seeking out.

Fortunately I know some amazing people ~ if you’d like to find out more about Sofi Designs Bridal PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Here’s one more snap from my phone of Amy with Ce and her Aunties,

Fortunately I know some amazing people

 

Am I a wedding planner

Did You Watch It, What Can You Learn From The Royal Wedding?

So, did you watch it, what can you learn from the Royal Wedding? Weddings like that don’t happen very often and when they do the World takes notice. I haven’t really commented much recently, we are still trying to catch up following our daughters wedding and busy with planning the move to our new home later this year, but Harry and Megan’s wedding was a must watch.

What a beautiful day, a truly WOW Wedding! What can you learn from the Royal Wedding … well, if you take just one thing, it’s all about the planning. The weather was fantastic but there will have been plans in place for all conditions.

The gathering of family and friends ~ seeing so many people make their way into the St George’s Chapel all being greeted and shown where to go, being made welcome. The provision for older guests … The Queen and Prince Phillip obviously get very very special treatment – but please consider the comfort of the elderly guests attending your big day.

The Dress ~ the first glimpse of the dress is always a huge moment at a Royal Wedding. The page boys and flower girls performing their roles so beautifully.

The Ceremony ~ and the Most Reverened Michael Curry address on the power of love “two people fell in love and we all showed up!”

The Music ~ what a great mix of solo, choral and congregational singing! The gospel choir singing “Stand By Me” and cellist  Sheku Kanneh-Mason playing 3 pieces for the signing of the register were the highlights for me. You can chose music that is right for you.

The First Kiss on the steps as they left The Chapel … a perfect spotlight moment.

What Can You Learn From The Royal Wedding

This was a Royal Wedding like no other. It had all the pomp, pageantry  and ceremony that we are used to but it was also full of personal, modern touches. They truly did Weave themselves into the day, got Others involved and explained their Why (well the commentators did).

For the BBC news page please click here

Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, mug of tea raised to Harry and Meghan ~ cheers!

 

 

 

I was let down yesterday

Steeple Court Manor Wedding Fayre

This Sunday is the Steeple Court Manor Wedding Fayre with Hampshire Wedding Group.  Steeple Court Manor is a stunning venue tucked away just off the Square in Botley and is well worth a look if you are looking for a place to get married or host your reception. Steeple Court Manor is a vineyard and we really love their medium white wine! Weddings are held in a beautiful marquee in the grounds of the house and vineyard.

Jim and Ann Firth, the owners at Steeple Court, provide an exclusive venue so you can relax in the knowledge that you and your wedding party are the only guests within the marquee and grounds on your special day.

CLICK HERE to go to the Steeple Court Manor website to find out more about this exceptional venue.

Once again there will be over £2,000 worth of discount vouchers to be won for the various suppliers in the Hampshire Wedding Group.  For more information about The Hampshire Wedding Group CLICK HERE to go our website.

Steeple Court Manor Wedding Fayre

This Sunday’s event is FREE to enter and is open between 11am and 3pm and there is plenty of parking. The postcode for Steeple Court Manor is SO30 2EQ. Please come and see me at this event and say “Hello Paul, I claim my FREE GIFT” and you will!

CLICK HERE to go to the event page for Steeple Court Manor Wedding Fayre this Sunday.

Good Friday, Walk All Over Cancer Challenge.

Onwards And Upwards

Yesterday I posted about Amy’s wedding and mentioned my Walk All Over Cancer quest.  I’ve been doing my best to move my totals onwards and upwards. The wedding was always the target but events on the day took an unexpected brilliant turn.

Obviously I got to walk my beautiful daughter down the aisle (see picture in the last blog post) but my other main responsibility, as Father of the Bride, was to make a speech and that’s where it started. Our DJ/MC for the day was my good friend Tony Winyard (more about Tony in future posts) and he suggested a sweepstake for the guests to guess the total length of the speeches. Participating guests put a £1 in the hat with the winner collecting all the money. My nephew Tom won the prize pot and very generously gave it to me for Cancer Research. Several other guests hearing about this put more money in the collection resulting in a total of £73.60.

Among the evening guests were our dear friends Sue and Steve who also slipped me an envelope with a donation for my challenge. So now my total raised has reached £573.60 +£100.00 Gift Aid.

Keeping everything moving onwards and upwards was quite a challenge in the last week as I was away at a conference on Sunday and Monday and then the wedding on Saturday and then up to Wembley on Sunday for the football but I still managed to average over 10,000 steps a day.

onwards and upwards

My numbers for April have been much better than March and, until last week, I’d managed over 10,000 steps every day. My total distance since the beginning of the Challenge is now over 225 miles.

onwards and upwards

So my walking and the funds raise go onwards and upwards – please CLICK HERE to go to my fund raising page