How To Organise A Black-Tie Party or Event

London Event Planner Grosvenor House Hotel

I love getting dressed up in a glamorous dress and going to a formal event, likewise I adore when my clients choose black-tie as the brief for their party or event. Although many people think it purely refers to the expected dress code it’s much more comprehensive than this. From your invitations alone, guests will instantly assume it’s going to be a more formal affair. Here are my top tips for how to organise your black-tie party or event. The Basics of Planning Be really clear about your priorities and set a budget accordingly. Considering these aspects before jumping straight into venue finding will pay dividends and ensure you’re able to stay focused on the bigger picture. Choosing Your Party Venue When choosing your venue consider how the decor and ambience will work for a black-tie event. With a generous budget transforming a venue is always a possibility, but with more limited budgets you’ll...

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Tips for planning your garden wedding

Garden Wedding Marquee

Some of my couples, or their parents, are lucky enough to own properties with large gardens where they can host their weddings. Often this provides a beautiful and meaningful location, but they can be much more challenging to arrange. 26% of UK couples now hire a wedding planner, but this number sky rockets amongst those planning a marquee or dry hire venue wedding as the logisitics involved can be much more complex. If you consider the average wedding takes 250 hours to plan, imagine how many more hours will be spent arranging all the extra elements that a garden wedding involves. To help you on your way, I’ve outlined a few aspects you might want to consider when planning your wedding. Cost Don’t expect a wedding at home to be cheaper than at a venue, this just isn't true. After all, not only do you have to build a temporary venue, usually in...

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How do wedding planners charge?

As a consumer it can be daunting enquiring with a specialist, such as a wedding planner, when you have no idea how much it might cost. In today’s blog I outline some of the key factors on how a wedding planner charges for their services. Service Levels It’s helpful to start with a brief overview of the various levels of wedding planning. Most planners, including myself, offer services ranging from “on-the-day” wedding planning (read my blog here about why this is a misleading title), through to partial and full planning. “On-the-day” tends to have a fixed fee. To calculated this we need to get a full understanding of your plans i.e. guest numbers, venues, number of suppliers, complexity of design etc. We can then estimate how much prep work will be needed in advance of your wedding and how many assistants we’ll need on the day and from there we get a price. For partial and...

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Pinterest: Wedding Planning Friend or Foe?

Pinterest, it’s an incredible tool for wedding planning, great inspiration and a source of dreamy fantasy images.  Many of my couples will come with a Pinterest board in place, or at some point one will often materialise. For a wedding planner, or a bride, at first glance, Pinterest seems great! However, it’s just one tool in your wedding planning tool box. In today’s blog post I outline some of its pros and cons. Essentially, it all comes down to understanding the difference between replication v inspiration and using it accordingly. Use Your Pinterest board as Inspiration to Create a Wedding Personal to You Your wedding day is an amazing opportunity to have a day that reflects you and share your loves with your friends and family. This will always trump producing a cookie cutter wedding that is purely based on the latest wedding trend. Trends are great for inspiration but don’t incorporate...

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How To Select Your Wedding Date

“You're engaged? Congratulations! When's the wedding?” I bet this is the first question everyone has asked you. But when it comes to selecting your wedding date there is a lot to be considered. Your instinct may say to choose your anniversary or another important date, but here's some tips on what else to consider when choosing your wedding date. Weather and the seasons Perhaps the first thing you should consider is which season you want to get married in. Do you prefer spring flowers, the summer sun, autumn leaves, or the potential for snow at a winter wedding? The time of year sets the tone, theme, and often the décor of your wedding. Do you see yourselves outdoors in a garden or indoors in a cosy, candle-lit venue? Weather is a huge factor if you would like your wedding to feature either an outdoor ceremony or reception. Statistically speaking, May is the driest...

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What is a Wedding Day Coordinator?

If you’re enjoying the planning of your wedding but want to a right-hand woman to ensure all your hard work comes to fruition, a day-of wedding coordinator may be the best option. Read on to find out exactly what an on-the-day coordinator does and how to find the right one for you. Why on-the-day wedding coordination is a myth You'll often see planners with packages titled 'on-the-day coordination', but really there is no such thing. You'll notice I call it 'wedding day management'. A planner can’t simply arrive on the morning of your wedding and instinctively know what is meant to happen. Instead, your planner is likely to start working with you about 4 to 6 weeks before your wedding. From this point forward, they become the main point of contact for your suppliers, fielding their questions for you rather than stressing you out. Depending on the complexity of the wedding, it takes...

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Vegan Wedding Catering: The Ultimate Guide

Veganism is now one of Britain’s fastest growing lifestyle movements - there’s been an almost 400% growth in the last 10 years - so I'm expecting the trend to become increasingly prominent for weddings. It's an opinion shared by my good friends over at Food Events, who recently released a whole set of menus especially for vegan weddings. They designed them to keep both the vegans and avid meat-eaters equally satisfied on your big day. As the experts in vegan wedding catering I've pick their brains to help you if you are one of the 500,000+ people in the UK who have adopted this plant-based diet. What was the catalyst for developing your vegan menus? We were asked to arrange a vegan wedding last year after looking at what kind of food we provide. Researching vegan food turned up interesting dishes which we felt would appeal to a wider clientele. Now all...

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Luxury Wedding Venues in Berkshire for Your Fairytale Wedding

Burnham Beeches, Berkshire wedding

From Cinderella to Snow White, Sleeping Beauty to Jasmin, we all grew up seeing the picture perfect wedding play out on the big (or small) screen. Of course, now that you’ve found your Prince Charming or Princess, there’s one key thing you have to do before you can ride off into the sunset – find the perfect luxury wedding venues in Berkshire. To make this a bit easier for you, The Wedding Secret have come up with a list of some of Berkshire’s top fairytale locations for your luxury wedding. DE VERE BEAUMONT ESTATE Elegant and refined this charming 18th century estate nestled within 40 acres of parkland offers the perfect blend of romance and grandeur. As well as a range of bright and open suites with an understated elegance that exemplifies the feeling of the traditional white wedding, the venue also boasts its own 19th century chapel on the grounds. The chapel’s interior is brightly...

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Glamorous Chic London City Wedding

Helen Andy Banking Hall London

I’m so pleased to be able to share this glamorous chic London city wedding with you, but first of all I need to say a huge thank you to the fantastic Jaye and Matt of Tux & Tales Photography for allowing me to share these photographs with you. Helen and Andy contacted me 7 months before their wedding to help them with their celebrations, the brief for which was a glamorous chic London city wedding. After meeting through work, Andy scored major points for a fab proposal, over a moon and flame torch lit dinner in the middle of the Dubai desert. Gorgeous! The big day itself started for Helen and her bride tribe at a central London hotel, with hair and makeup provided by Zoe Robinson and Krystal Dawn of I am Makeup respectively. Helen’s stunning dress was from The Boutique.     Meanwhile the boys got ready at The Clerk & Well, one of London's most charming pubs with rooms located in trendy Clerkenwell     The beautiful ceremony was held at the...

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Wedding Venues in Surrey for your Picturesque Wedding

Wotton House Surrey Wedding

It is easy to see why Surrey is such a fantastic location to find your ideal wedding venue. Steeped in a rich history, the county of Surrey has the largest woodland space in England and vast areas of outstanding natural beauty. With its close proximity to the capital, the coast, and with great transport links, it has everything you could need to find the perfect wedding venue in Surrey. If history and heritage inspires you then Surrey is the perfect place to search for your wedding venue. A generous peppering of castles, monasteries, cathedrals and manor houses – many of which are used as wedding venues – make this county an exceptional place for a romantic wedding . Enveloped in heaths, rivers, woodland and vast open spaces, wedding venues in Surrey boasts a fantastic landscape that has been unspoiled, making it one of England’s most picturesque counties. You will find yourselves spoilt...

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