Five Reasons Why Our Wedding Entertainment Sucked (& How You Can Avoid Doing the Same)

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There’s very little I would fundamentally change about our wedding. Sure, the styling would be very different if Gareth and I were to get married now, but in terms of how the day played out, it was petty much faultless. Except for one big thing – our entertainment.

Having never booked a live band before in my life, I had no idea what we were looking for. So when a friend of my mother’s said she went to a wedding recently where the band were “great” and they came in under the budget we’d set aside for them, I was sold. “Easy”, I thought, “that’s another thing ticked off our ridiculously long to do list.”

So our band didn’t suck completely. They knew how to play their instruments and the singer was pretty decent, but we made a couple of major mistakes when booking them which meant they really weren’t the right choice for our wedding.

1. We didn’t do our research properly

As I said, when it came to booking our band, I really just saw it as another chore that needed to be done. We didn’t do our research AT ALL. Not only did we not go and hear them play beforehand, but we didn’t so much as listen to a CD of their music. Sure, they were just playing covers and by looking at their set list we could see they could perform the kind of music we were after, but it’s a very different thing to be able to play Nirvana and to actually be able to pull it off.

Warble Entertainment are the easy option for brides and grooms who want to see lots of entertainment ideas but don’t know where to begin. On their website they list thousands of musicians covering a wide range of styles including rock, pop, jazz, swing, soul and motown. The site also allows you to search very easily by wedding theme, location, price and genre. Most importantly, you can also see and hear examples of what they do to right there on the website.

2. We dictated what they played

Another major mistake we made was giving the band a strict set list. I had an idea in my head of what kind of music I wanted (and more importantly what I didn’t want) and expected them to follow it to the letter. I completely ignored the fact that I was booking trained musicians, who’ve probably done a million performances and know way better than me how to put together a set. What a diva bride I must have seemed like!

Once you find a band or artist you love, TRUST THEM. You’ve probably booked them because you like their style, so let them do what they do best.

3. We didn’t think about the timeline

For your guests, there can be a lot of waiting around at certain points of the day, like when you are getting your pictures taken, or just before the evening party commences. So instead of leaving people to their own devices, it’s always nice to throw some unexpected entertainment into the mix!

Walkabout entertainment, such as a magician, is a great way to keep guests amused and Warble Entertainment have you covered for these too! They list hundred of unique, non-musical entertainers on their site. How about a caricaturist, lookalikes, stilt walkers, crystal ball jugglers, mime artists, lookalikes or even living trees!?

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Disney Lovers’ Bruce Springsteen Inspired Wedding

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Getting engaged at Disneyland Paris was the guiding force behind Steph and Greg’s May wedding. They wanted a day that reflected their love of all things Disney, without breaking the bank. They spent less than £6000 on their special day.

“Every time I told anyone what we were having at our wedding their response was always ‘That’s just so you two!’ and I think that really summed up our day”, explained Steph. “It’s not every day that you go to a Disney/ Bruce Springsteen themed wedding! We really just wanted everyone to feel like they were at a party, rather than a formal wedding, as it was really a celebration of us as a couple, and we’re not at all serious people.”

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“The table names were all Disney World rides that we loved and our guestbook was a replica of the adventure book from Up. My bouquet was made entirely from Disney World park maps! We wore mouse ears in the evening and had Mickey and Minnie on top of our cake. We also both love Bruce Springsteen so I walked down the aisle to If I Should Fall Behind and our band for the evening were a Bruce Springsteen tribute, The East Street Band.”

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Scaring The Shit Out of Myself in Sweden

anything worth doing is always scary

There are certain things that come up in my line of work that I think “You know what, I really should do this, but I’m terrified.” It happened when I quit my full time job, when I first travelled across the world on my own and when we decided to start our own publishing company… And it happened again when I was invited to speak at Way Up North, Europe’s first wedding photography summit being held in Stockholm. Although I was scared, I found myself saying yes. I mean being asked to be in a line-up with some of the most amazing wedding photographers on the planet is kind of a big deal. I would have been a fool to turn it down.

I’ve been in a prolonged state of panic ever since I signed up (am I REALLY going to do this!?) and next week it’s finally here. It’s happening. I’m flying to Sweden next Monday to speak in front of 500 wedding photographers about why they should be blogging. AND I AM TERRIFIED.

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Retro & Kitsch Wedding at the Madonna Inn

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The iconic Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California, was the perfect setting for Jasmine and Kyle’s retro wedding in August. They wanted their wedding to reflect the 50s and 60s – an era that they both love – as well as to be colourful, pastel, kitschy and easy-going.

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“The main source of inspiration was the venue, The Madonna Inn”, said the bride. “The place is extremely colourful and playful in its design, and for the most part they’ve retained the charm that drew people to it in the 50s and 60s. My mom took us kids to the hotel a lot on our way to Disneyland and southern California, so there was a comforting feeling about being in a place that felt like from before I was born. I’m also German and there is something Bavarian and classic like a retro children’s fairytale book that I loved. I was inspired to incorporate marbled paper because of the dramatic rocks and minerals and gold rush theme of the hotel as well.”

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16 Creative and Easy Ideas for Your Halloween Wedding

16 Creative and Easy Ideas for Your Halloween Wedding

It’s finally October so you know what that means – Halloween is right around the corner! If you’re having a spooky celebration then I’d love to hear about all your ideas. Be sure to send me your pictures afterwards too, I love featuring Halloween weddings!

Halloween masks would make great favours for your guests

asos halloween masks

£8 each from ASOS

Or how about a spooky themed temporary tattoo station?

halloween tattoo bar

£6.50 from ASOS

You could always let your feet do the talking

night mare shoes

£25 from ASOS

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A Movie Themed Wedding at a Picture House with Birds of Prey as Guests

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Natasha and Chris wanted to include as many of their favourite things as possible in their wedding. They also wanted the day to be enjoyable for their guests of all ages. They were married at the Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds, in July.

“The Hyde Park Picture House does not have a wedding licence, but that didn’t put us off”, said Natasha. “We visited a registry office the week before to complete the legalities and we used the opportunity to make our wedding ceremony at the Picture House really personal. My brother, Simon Logan, is a radio presenter and has been friends with Chris for 12 years and we decided very early on we wanted him to conduct the ceremony. There were lots of different things we wanted to bring into our day. We wanted a non-religious ceremony and we wanted live music and birds of prey to be a big part of it.”

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“The birds of prey were really important to us as they were also involved with our engagement”, she continued. “Chris had booked a birds of prey experience day for me at Walworth Castle Birds of Prey at Easter 2014. He’d secretly arranged with the owners for a Harris Hawk called Frankie to fly to me with my engagement ring and then he got down on one knee and proposed. It was a really magical experience and the staff at Walworth were fantastic. Frankie and some of the owls came along to the wedding and it was quite emotional to see them again! Our friends and family enjoyed meeting them and flying Frankie.”

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