Happy Valentines today! What better way to make it the perfect Valentines by proposing to your other half (Singles, obviously!) Having just seen an advertisement for a competition to propose on top of London’s Shard tower, I started thinking about these outlandish and (depending on your point of view) fantastic displays of public affection or ‘PDA’s. Some are fans, some are not.
I thought I sat on the fence about this specific subject but maybe not as I am still disappointed about my own proposal over 4 years ago…. The other half took to me to Westfield for a birthday shopping trip and we happened to stop by Tiffany’s, as you do. As I was drooling over the beautiful necklaces he grabbed by the hand brought me to the engagement rings section and told me ‘you’d better choose one’. I’m not sure if I was more shocked at the proposal or the blunt manner of it and it took a while for me to be brought to my senses. In the meantime he had started to go down on one knee before I pulled him up abruptly and asked him not to embarrass me. Suffice to say it was all rather odd and not the image I’d had of my proposal of marriage! I was so shocked that I could not concentrate on choosing an engagement ring so we had dinner before returning to the store. The one, very obvious, positive thing about it was I got to choose the perfect Tiffany’s ring and by then was ready to tell the world that we were engaged!
With no end of different ways to propose, the more romantic gentleman can really go to town. The most spectacular of proposals might the type where bi-planes are hired and spell out ‘will you marry me?’ or the same question is asked via announcement boards at big football games (think Kanye and Kim, if you must!) Think though, of the poor women involved in a high jinks prank carried out by a conniving chef in the US, Soup orders of women on romantic date’s came with a surprising ingredient, an engagement ring! As well being obvious choking hazards there were a fair few embarrassed faces as their stuttering and embarrassed companions had to explain the added extra was not in fact theirs and marriage was not their intention! Suffice to say, said chef was quickly shown the door and management were quick to apologise. I wonder how many relationships ended that night…..
So Valentines truly is supposed to the anniversary of love and all are supposed to be swept of their feet. Unfortunately real life gets in the way and if that means bad moods, dodgy presents or a lack of a date then the ‘Christmas Effect’ can take hold and it can go spectacularly wrong. If you are not a fan of this very red day then I suggest you hide under the covers, get a box of non-heart shaped chocolates and have a duvet day, I’m with you all the way.
Summer festivals have long been popular as far back as the ‘Hippy Heaven’ era of Woodstock! We’ve had the glamour of Glastonbury and the rock fest that is T in the Park, remembering those long summer days as us young things partied away without a care in the world! If, like me, you love the buzz of a festival but can’t quite bring yourself to hook up a tent and deal with the camping thing then look no further than the day festival or outdoor concert! Increasingly popular over the last few years, many organisers have jumped on the ‘Day Fest’ bandwagon and now there is no end of choice of where to see your favourite acts in positively comfortable if not luxurious surroundings! Up and down the country these events are popping up everywhere the summer calendar jam packed with one outdoor party or another!
Londoners are certainly spoilt for choice with massive day events such as Wireless and Lovebox. But, for the more discerning customer, prestigious venues such as Chiswick Park House and Kew Gardens now hold music events attracting top acts and fun loving crowds. Both venues are beautiful backdrops and easily accessible from the M25 and M4 corridors of West London. Alongside this the very posh House Festival is held each year in the grounds of beautiful Richmond Park; run by the prestigious Soho House group, by all accounts the lobster is piled high and the champagne is flowing and top acts play before mingling with the crowds, definitely one for the to do list if possible.
Looking further afield, a pretty awesome backdrop to any gig is the Eden Project in Cornwall. Eden Sessions are scheduled over the summer having previously hosted top acts such eclectic acts such as The Kaiser Chiefs, Jessie J and Noah and the whale. Ellie Golding has just been announced in the line up this year with more to be announced. With tickets including access to the grounds and biomes themselves, this is a fantastic way to visit a must see tourist attraction whilst making a weekend of it in wonderful Cornwall. Nearby Charlestown is perfect for a short stay, this gorgeous spot is popular with film crews using the tall ships, think Pirates of the Caribbean!
Another festival concert idea is that of The Forestry Commission who is 2001 launched Forest Live with the concept aimed ‘to attract major acts for a series of concerts in outstanding locations’ and they certainly succeeded. Forests up and down the country will this year hold performances by the legend that is Paul Weller, the retro kings, Suede and the Welsh mezzo soprano herself, Katherine Jenkins. Quite an impressive line-up in a picture perfect setting. A real treat!
These events are just a few of the fabulous things to look forward to this year so get out there to experience some of the amazing experiences we have at our fingertips! Roll on summer days; the amazing music, the flowing Pimms…if I close my eyes I can just about feel the sun on face……. Right, i’m off to book my tickets!
Kew the Music: http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/whats-on/kew-the-music/
Chiswick House: http://www.chgt.org.uk/index.asp?Pageid=45
Eden Sessions: http://www.edensessions.com/
Forest Live: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/music
House Festival: http://www.housefestival.com/
So the big day is set! Hooray and congratulations!!
Now for the all important venue! Finding the perfect wedding reception space can be hard work; does it seat enough people? Is the room too big?
Are there different spaces for socialising and can the space be made to look as stunning as you visualise? A really good solution to all of these issues is using a good sized garden and transforming it into an amazing and versatile space. Whatever the weather, a marquee can provide a magical backdrop to a perfect wedding.
For example, on a lovely summer’s day a marquee with open sides can provide sufficient shelter that is decorated perfectly, whilst granting views of the garden and allowing the glorious sunshine into your day. In effect it is the perfect solution for a summer wedding, why be stuck indoors on a glorious day?!
And marquees are not just for summer! Imagine a perfect winter wonderland with mulled wine and fake snow, all heated and snug. The transformation can be quite visually stunning and provide an awe inspiring venue that will have your guests amazed. Wedding marquees really do provide that blank canvas that will allow you to express your creativity and design the ideal theme and colour scheme for you. Whether you and your bridal party wish to decorate yourselves is completely up to you. The marquee company will quite happy to take the lead and create an amazing space with your all important input.
Rebecca Barker at Casablanca Hire says that the bride always tends to know what she wants and is ‘the most important person in the room’ during the design process. Rebecca has been helping create amazing spaces for many years and take pride in the seeing the finished space. ‘A lot of the reactions are quite overwhelming’ she says. ‘It is already an emotional day and the unveiling of the marquee can often send the tears flowing once more, it’s quite an amazing feeling to be part of that’.
Not only do marquees provide a practical and creative answer they can also be cost effective. Marquee hire tends to be quite reasonable in comparison to venue hire which can run into many thousands, purely for the venue itself, without the wedding breakfast and other hidden extras such as corkage. It is worth researching and noting how much can be saved in this area, after all, there are many other costs to think about. What better way to have that dream honeymoon?! With a marquee you can make your day as simple or as extravagant as you like and it really is your special day after all!
(Landscaping works by Garden Fencing London )
Every wedding is original’. This statement is most certainly true, but if we are honest some are more original than others! When hiring a wedding reception venue it is useful to understand straight away if they provide in-house decoration. If so, beware that there may a limited choice on offer and that your original ideas may not be catered for.
Increasingly, many wedding venues including hotels and stately homes have preferred external partners that have been sourced carefully and have provided a previously good service. As the customers / married couple to be your ideas need to take precedence. The decorators will most certainly have their own ideas and are likely to show you their previous creations. Follow your ideas and themes but it is useful to spend some time thinking about your vision for the venue. The key things to think about are:
- Colour scheme
- Table centre pieces
- Wedding favours
Colour scheme is extremely important. Many brides like to use their own dress and those of their bridesmaids as a colour palette to work from. For example, and ivory wedding dress and plum bridesmaids dresses can equate to ivory linen and chair with a plum sash or plum chair covers with an ivory sash. Obviously you must have decided upon the dresses beforehand! Hire companies tend to charge a fee per seat cover / sash which includes the dry cleaning and delivery and collection.
A recent idea that has become increasingly popular is that of a chocolate fountain or sweet cart. These are certainly Create a great focal point and will have your guests smiling. Sweet trees as centre pieces or retro sweet bags as favours make for a fun idea. There is so much choice out there that it really pays to research as much as possible.
Lighting is a really key feature of any wedding reception décor and fairy lights especially add that extra sparkle to your day. There are numerous companies which hire fairy light ‘curtains’ which can provide a feature backdrop behind the top table. These can range in price but really do add the ‘wow’ factor and can really help to transform any venue. Tea lights, lanterns or candelabras also light up the tables and there are so many ways to create the perfect wedding atmosphere. I would suggest making lighting a priority in your conversations with the decorating team.
Quite obviously there is a lot to take into consideration when considering the perfect décor for your venue, but with a lot of research one can really make the finished product really perfect and very original indeed!