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 😉


THE Dress

THE Dress (another quickie)

A lot is said about finding THE Dress. I’d like to tell you I have never seen a Bride who looked anything but beautiful on her wedding day.

As well as being an wedding MC and DJ I also get involved with planning and a certain amount of “on the day” coordination. Some people tell me I’m a wedding planner but I’m not really able to helping all areas. You’ll have an idea about your dress, but there are thousands of them out there. I’m sure you look amazing in many of them.

Maybe there isn’t a “THE Dress” for everybody. My advices to go to an expert, try on lots and have fun. I recommend Fatma at Sofi Bridal in Basingstoke, it’s where my daughter found her dress (see this post for more information CLICK HERE).

What I WOULD say about THE Dress is remember you’ll be wearing it all day (maybe 12 hours). You’ll need to sit comfortably, dance and … er … go to the powder room. So how easy is it to sit and eat in, how close can you get to the table? When it comes to dancing, can you move freely? I had one couple who had been to dance classes and worked out a special routine, when it came to the day the Bride found she couldn’t move backwards in the dress! Then there are the inevitable trips to the powder room, how that going to work? I’d certainly recommend getting assistance from one of your bridesmaids and the Disabled Toilet if often a good space.

Maybe you should consider more than one dress? I’d certainly recommend more than one pair of shoes … but that’s a topic for another day.

THE Dress




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!


Merry Christmas from Paul The Party DJ

Planning your wedding? Think of it like Christmas.

Planning your wedding? Think of it like Christmas – that may sound mad but just give me a moment. It’s about people coming together to celebrate on one day. There are decorations, food, drink and entertainment. Hopefully afterwards you remember it as a wonderful time but what do you actually remember … the decorations, the food, the drink, the entertainment?

I suggest what you probably remember is the feeling. You remember if it was a lovely time, or if it wasn’t! Maybe the food was great but the rest was a bit boring. Perhaps the food wasn’t to your taste but you had a great laugh. Can you really remember the decorations?

Planning your wedding? Think of it like Christmas

Just like Christmas your wedding is a day people will be looking forward to.

Also like Christmas, it can be a long day, people will need to feel comfortable and relaxed – have you ever spent Christmas somewhere where there weren’t enough seats?

Again, just like Christmas everyone will want to feel welcomed and entertained.

Oh, and don’t get me started on crackers! What a waste of time and money … and there are plenty of things at Weddings that couples waste time and money on 😉

So I think when you are planning your wedding, think of it like Christmas – concentrate on how you want people to feel because that’s what they’ll remember. What do you think, is “Planning your wedding? Think of it like Christmas” a good idea? If you have any questions or thoughts, please let me know, email paul@thepartydj.co.uk

Planning your wedding, think of it like Christmas



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 great people ~ 3 Wedding Photographer

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. Fortunately I know some amazing people, Antony from ABC Weddings / Lightbox Studios is one of them and the perfect choice as wedding photographer.

Antony was on a short list of photographers I gave to Amy and Sean. I left the final choice to them and I know they agonised, because the standards were so high, before choosing Antony.

Antony encouraged Amy and Sean to have “an engagement shoot” to get used to being photographed, which they had earlier in the year in the snow. This really helped them relax and get used to what was in store for them on the big day.

On the Wedding day Antony, and his second shooter Bob, were on time and ready to capture the day. They were courteous and fun at all times adding to the “wedding buzz”, often just in the background catching candid moments but stepping up to take control when required for the group photos and making sure everybody was photographed.

The morning after the wedding Antony sent a few unedited pictures straight over to the happy couple including this one.

We’ve now had access to the first online gallery with hundreds of beautifully shot images, and I understand there are still more to come.

If you’re looking for a wedding photographer Antony from ABC Weddings / Lightbox Studios is well worth seeking out. You’ll find another post I wrote about Antony CLICK HERE and to find out more and go to his website CLICK HERE

Over 4,000,000 views in under 2 days

How long does it take to plan a wedding?

How long does it take to plan a wedding? This post was prompted by an article in Brides Magazine entitled How To Plan Your Wedding In 30 days (click here to read the article). 30 days seems to be the minimum notice you need to register your wedding. My research leads me to think it’s actually 28 days (Click here) for a civil marriage, but it’s also down to availability of Registrars etc.

I was also thinking about how long does it take to plan a wedding because my couples usually seem to book between a year and 18 months ahead of their wedding. This seems to be fairly normal now. When Ce and I got married a million years ago (that’s a slight exaggeration, keep an eye on this blog for a post about our Anniversary next month) we got engaged on Boxing Day and married the follow August – eight months . As you may have read, our daughter got married back in April following their engagement the July before – just under nine months.

Planning a long time ahead is good because it gives you time to save and think – but is it too long to think? Why do couples often plan so far ahead? I think it may have been down to the fact the “best venues” get booked ages in advance – but now there are lots of great venues and also weddings on any day of the week have become acceptable when it used to just be Saturdays.

So, how long does it take to plan a wedding?  I guess the answer is between 30 days and … years! It’s really up to you how long. There are so many options and things to think about, some couples will just want to be married because they want to commit to each other and start the next chapter of their lives. Others will wait while they save to have their dream wedding – what will you do? How about this Autumn?

If you’d like free advice on the various options and a free copy of my “WOW Wedding Guide” please get in touch – email paul@thepartydj.co.uk

One final thought … weddings aren’t about stuff, they are about two people in love – often couples who plan a long engagement seem to add lots of stuff to their wedding day. Beware of adopting too many things you see on Pinterest, sometimes less is more! I’ll write a post on this soon.

Woodlands Lodge Wedding DJ

Am I a wedding planner

Fortunately I know some amazing people ~ 2. Wedding Flowers

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. Fortunately I know some amazing people, Carole from The Flower Stables is one of them. Carole was our first choice to supply the wedding flowers. We were delighted, and relieved, when she was available for Amy and Sean’s date. After the initial introduction I stepped back and Carole, Amy and the mums just got on with it.

Carole really helped develop the theme/style Amy had chosen for the day and provided wonderful displays of flowers, bouquets, corsages and buttonholes.

On the day she was there bright and early to make sure everything was perfect. She helped groomsmen with their buttonholes and explained to the bridesmaids how to best hold their bouquets for the photos. We were also able to make sure many of the centrepieces and displays were given to family and friends to take home the next day.

If you’re looking for a fabulous florist who will talk you through how to make the most of your wedding flowers Carole is well worth seeking out. For more information about The Flower Stables PLEASE CLICK HERE

Here’s a snap from my phone of Amy and her bridesmaids just before the ceremony with Carole looking on.

Wedding Flowers

Am I a wedding planner

Lessons we can learn from the football

The World Cup dream is over but what lessons we can learn from the football? As you may know, I’m a big Saints fan and so I’m used to disappointment because football reflects life – the highs and the lows. I love the fact that when the referee blows his whistle at kick-off nobody knows what’s going to happen and that the underdogs can win. England didn’t make the Final but it’s not the end of the World – but how would it be if that games was played on your wedding day!

Lessons we can learn from the football 1 – As I said in a recent post CLICK HERE, even if you aren’t interested in football, there will be guests who are. You need to think about how you’ll deal with outside events impacting on your most special day. Apparently this photo appeared in The Sun …

Lessons we can learn from the football

Lessons we can learn from the football 2 ~ You only get one chance to get it right! At least the World Cup comes around every four years so we’ll get another opportunity in 2022. You don’t get the same luxury with your wedding. You, your family and friends will probably all never be in the same place again – make sure you make the most of this wonderful day, so …

Lessons we can learn from the football 3 ~ You need to have a plan to make the most of every moment. In fact you would be wise to also have a plan B … and sometimes even a plan C to cover things like the weather. Lots of people will tell you the day will fly by (it really does), understanding the day so that you know what you’ll be doing and what your guests will be doing and planning how to keep everyone engaged and entertained is vital.

This is where my Your WOW Wedding philosophy can really help – if you haven’t read it please let me know and I’ll hook you up with the link – it’s FREE. Just email paul@theartydj.co.uk


Lessons we can learn from the football

Wedding Invitations And Stationery

Wedding Invitations And Stationery For A WOW Wedding

Wedding Invitations And Stationery are a great way of putting a personal touch on your WOW Wedding! Like many wedding-related things they probably cost more than you might think – with good reason. Making Wedding Invitations And Stationery is not easy and takes a lot more time than you might think.

I read a very interesting article in Brides Magazine that inspired this post and then the next day my friend, and expert wedding stationer, Carol from Laurel Designs posted about a workshop she is running on 27th July. CLICK HERE to read the article in Brides Magazine  For details of Carol’s workshop CLICK HERE. So I decided to add my thoughts on the topic in a blog post.

Wedding Invitations And Stationery

You’ve got your ring, the wedding date is now firmly in the diary, and the venue is booked and so you need to send out invitations for your wedding day, but where should you start and how much is it going to cost?

Inspiration can come from all kinds of places, obviously Pinterest is very popular but beware items have often been created for photoshoots which would be prohibitively expensive for many couples.

At this stage I want to make two points …

  1. It’s not just invitations, it’s everything printed – invitations, order of service, table plan, place names, signs – anything that gets printed should have the same look.
  2. This is where bringing in the WOW Wedding philosophy can really help. If you don’t know what I’m talking about have a look around my website or drop me an email for some free stuff.

If you are creative and have lots of time on your hands you may be able to do it yourself. If you have a creative friend who has experience in this area then you may be able to do it yourselves but PLEASE don’t underestimate the size of the task.

Another temptation these days is to take everything, including invitations, online with a wedding website – there are many, many potential problems with this and I’d advise a wedding website should be used in addition to traditional wedding stationery and used very carefully. I could go into all kinds of stories I’ve heard but it wouldn’t be fair to share confidences here.

As for cost, I’ve heard it suggested that wedding invitations and stationery should cost around 5% of the budget. It’s easy to get carried away and spend a lot of money here, you need to work out your budget, don’t spend it all one Save The Date cards!

For my daughters recent wedding I stepped up to help – well after all I got an A level in Art a long time ago 😉

My brilliant website designer Deon of Deon Design (click here) helped me create a “Beatlesque” monogram to go along with their theme and Amy found some wording that she liked and adapted.

Wedding Invitations And Stationery

There was a lot of printing, cutting, sticking and other crafting operations involved but we managed it … just! We were rejigging table plans the night before the wedding and I actually had to print a place name card I missed on the morning of the wedding.

My advice is basically that making your own invitations is not easy and will probably take more time than you think. Talk to a professional like Carol from Laurel Design and get an idea of what she would charge, if you think you’d like to “DIY” your wedding invitations and stationery make sure you’ve got plenty of help and think about taking Carol’s workshop.

CLICK HERE for the Laurel Designs website

CLICK HERE for details of the Laurel Designs Wedding Invite Workshop

CLICK HERE to read the article in Brides Magazine

Remember,if you’d like to find out more about how you can create a WOW Wedding, or have any questions, just drop me a message at paul@thepartydj.co.uk

Wedding Invitations And Stationery