THE BLOG

23
Dec

Wedding Myth-Busters Part 1

There are so many factors that need to be taken into consideration when you begin wedding planning. You need to think carefully about your suppliers, the ceremony, your chosen venue and so on. People will often feed you all sorts of information when it comes to wedding planning, but we’re here to tell it to you exactly how it is. Here’s presenting the first part of our myth-buster series in which we put some of those common misconceptions to bed.

1. I don’t need any assistance on the day
Wrong! You are going to need someone to run your day. Whether it be your best friend, a family member or a purposely hired wedding planner, someone needs to be on hand to ensure all the suppliers are sticking to the plan and making sure timings are spot on. You could be the most organised person on in the world, however, you’re going to be far too busy to chase people while your standing at the altar or sitting in the mandap.

2. My caterer or décor company will bring along a dedicated event manager
There are some amazing companies out there who will really do a brilliant job with your event. But, please double check what it means if your caterer or décor company promise to bring along an event manager. You may think this is a substitute for a wedding planner – but it’s really not! They will most likely be managing their own staff on the day but may be too busy to deal with other suppliers, or other guests or family members. Just be sure to double check at the start and go in with your eyes open, as you don’t want any confusion on the day.

3. My guests will not complain
We are not going to lie; there will always be that uncle who will complain about the food being too spicy, or not spicy enough, or the music being too loud or the venue being too far. It’s going to happen. Trust us. You need to build up a shield to ensure you don’t let any of this get to you. It’s impossible to please everyone, and just remember; your wedding day is about you.

4. I will not burst into tears
So many brides think they’re going to make it through the day without getting tearful. While this might be the case for some, we think it’s always best to ensure you keep a handkerchief nearby. It’s not uncommon for even the strongest of brides (or grooms in some cases) to burst into tears at some point during the day.

5. I will be too stressed to enjoy the day
Who told you that? It’s your big day. You deserve to enjoy it. Some people may have had a bad experience on their wedding day, but that doesn’t mean you will too. If you do the hard work at the start and ensure you’re working with quality suppliers, you will be able to relax and party the night away like you deserve.

21
Dec

Wedding Hashtag Etiquette You Need To Follow

Warning: If you believe all mobile phones should be hidden away during wedding celebrations and turned on silent mode then this post is NOT for you.

If however, you aren’t afraid to embrace social media and technology (which let’s face it, in the digital world we live in today, is not such a bad idea) then you should definitely be thinking about personalising your wedding with a unique hashtag. Why? Because it’s totally on trend!

During Shahid Kapoor’s wedding to Mira Rajput there was a different hashtag trending on Twitter for each occasion, whereas celebrities attending Salman Khan’s sister Arpita’s celebrations were going crazy with their hashtags on Instagram.

According to a (2014) survey conducted by TheKnot.com and Mashable, more than 55 per cent of couples used a personalised hashtag for their wedding, while figures described by other high-end wedding planners happen to suggest much higher figures.

For those of you unsure of how a wedding hashtag works, here’s a quick breakdown: The idea is that whenever someone uploads a picture from your wedding (on Instagram for example), they will use your unique hashtag – let’s use #RajWedsSimran in this instance. Whenever you click on this hashtag every single picture uploaded with this hashtag will automatically load and it’s a great way for everyone to share their memories across a single platform.

However, there are a few hashtag rules you will probably need to follow:

Research
Make sure your hashtag is unique. Do a quick search before hand to see if anyone else has used the same one as you as if this is the case, their pictures will also load every time someone clicks on your hashtag and this is something you want to avoid. If #RajWedsSimran is taken then try #RajSimranKiShaadi and so on..

Don’t go overboard
However, in a bid to be original and come up with something unique, don’t go overboard. Try and avoid any puns as they tend not to go down too well and could actually end up becoming a lifetime joke.

Publicise your hashtag
To ensure there aren’t multiple hashtags floating around related to your big day, make your guests aware of your hashtag in a subtle way. The best way is to upload a picture of yourself with your chosen hashtag ahead of the day (because you’re not going to have time during the wedding of course) – hopefully the majority of your invitees should be following you and get the message.

Don’t pressure your guests
Please bear in mind that not all of your guests will be social media savvy and some may choose not to hashtag. This is ok. Don’t irritate them by plastering your hashtag all over your event on napkins and stationery and practically everywhere else.

Take the good with the bad
Understand that if you are going to have a hashtag then you have no control over what people are posting. While the majority of your pictures will be amazing and will be a mix of pictures of you and your guests, every now and again the odd image you don’t approve of will appear. You need to be prepared for this and remember that once something is on the internet – it’s there to stay!

17
Dec

Why You Need Something Old, New, Borrowed And Blue On Your Wedding Day

You can call it superstition or a wedding-day tradition, but we love this saying that comes from an Old English rhyme; Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe. Usually a friend or relative will gift these to a bride on the morning of her wedding as a special gesture or token of love – which often results in a few tears of joy.

This is largely a British custom and the items are either worn by the bride or carried with her throughout the day. Though it’s typically something that works best for the civil ceremony, there’s no reason why a South Asian bride can’t incorporate these into her Indian wedding. Here’s how:

Something Old
This typically represents continuity and can be something precious that has either been passed down through generations, or something which belongs to an older sister, aunt, mother or grandmother.

Our pick: A pair of old gold bangles, which are likely to match any outfit.

Something New
This is all about looking forward and represents optimism for the future. Your wedding outfit can technically be classed as your something new, however it doesn’t really count as a gift, so if you want to buy something new, here’s what we suggest.

Our pick: A pair of classic earrings that can even be worn post the wedding day or a pair of beautiful anklets.

Something Borrowed
This is an emotional one as it’s usually something which is cherished but given to the bride just for the day, representing borrowed happiness.

Our pick: A cherished ring or perhaps even a traditional broach to enhance the wedding outfit.

Something Blue
Out of all the above, this is perhaps the most difficult for an Indian bride, mainly because blue tends not to match well with the usual classic reds, whites, greens and even pinks. The idea of something blue represents purity, love and fidelity.

Our pick: Perhaps blue undergarments or maybe a handkerchief for the bride to keep beside her throughout the ceremony to wipe away any tears.

The Sixpence In Her Shoe
Well this might have to wait until the bride leaves the mandap as it’s a no-shoe zone. Alternatively, she could carry a sixpence with the ceremonial coconut, but whether or not this would still be valid, we’re not quite sure.

16
Dec

5 Odd Traditions That Make Indian Weddings So Much Fun!

There are so many things about weddings that we love. Whether it’s the vibrant clothes, the tasty food, traditional music or just the general all-round buzz of people, there are so many things to look forward to. But what make Indian weddings really great, are some of the rather quirky traditions that have been passed down for generations.

1. The nose grab

Nose grab

This is one of the first traditions that will probably make you burst into a fit of laughter. Prior to the groom and his baraat (brigade) entering the mandap, it is customary for the bride’s family to welcome them. The bride’s mother will welcome her soon-to-be son-in-law with an aarti and will then try to grab his nose. If she succeeds it means she will have full control over him from here on in. It’s quite funny to watch as you’ll often see the groom trying to move his head back or the best man placing his hand near the groom’s nose in order to protect him.

This is the first competition between both sides and you’ll probably get to hear plenty of banter and cheers in between.

 

2. Stealing the shoes

Stealing shoes

One of our favourite parts of an Indian wedding is the ‘Joote Do Paise Lo’ tradition. Ok, we’ll admit it’s not strictly called this but there is a famous Bollywood song (from the film Hum Aapke Hain Kaun) that made this particularly popular.

When the groom steps inside the mandap to begin the religious ceremony, he needs to take his shoes off. Traditionally the bride’s younger sisters will try to steal the shoes at this very point and then demand money for them at the end of the night, while the groom’s family look to hide them. It’s all fun and games really and a way for both sides to get to know each other. The amount of money exchanged can range between £5 per shoe to £100!

 

3. Who sits first?

Indian wedding

The phera (walking around the fire) is one of the most important parts of the religious ceremony. To make the whole process a little less intense, once the final phera has finished both the bride and groom are asked to stand still and then sit down abruptly by the priest. As the saying goes; whoever sits down first will be ‘wearing the trousers’ in the relationship.

Again, this is just something for the family to joke about and use to ease the pressure off the couple during the ceremony. If you’ve got a funny priest – he may have the guests in stitches with a few hilarious comments at the end.

 

4. Hold the car

Stop the car moment

Once everything has been completed the bride and groom will depart and head to the groom’s house or to the temple. But, before they can get their happily ever after started, the bridesmaids will be guarding the car to ensure the bride is unable to leave until the best man pays them off.

Again the amount of money can vary largely, and the number of girls depends on how large the family is. One thing is for sure though, that car is not moving until they say so!

 

5. The ring game

Indian Wedding Photography

This is typically played at the groom’s house once the wedding is completed, however, it is now becoming a common trend for couples to play the game in the wedding mandap before the vidaai, simply because there is usually an evening reception which follows. Usually, a ring is placed into a steel dish and filled with a mixture of milk, water, kumkum (red powder) and small pebbles or shells (just to throw the couple off).

The bride and groom are then asked to compete to find the ring. The first one to find it is naturally the winner, with a best of three usually taking place. If you’re lucky, then some families will actually buy a brand new band for the game, which is kept by the winner.

 

15
Dec

Top 10 Bollywood Songs of 2015 That Must Be Played At Your Wedding Reception

Your wedding reception is a chance for you and your family to finally let your hair down and basically party the night away – you so deserve it after months of vigorous wedding planning! So, what is the key component to throwing a successful party? It’s all in the music of course. As 2015 is coming to an end, we thought we’d round up some of the year’s biggest Bollywood hits guaranteed to freshen up your playlist and ensure your guests stay glued to the dance floor.

 

Top 10 Bollywood tracks of 2015 for your wedding reception:

 

10. Dolly Ki Doli – Phatte Tak Nachna

Taken from a film all about weddings and picturised on the gorgeous Sonam Kapoor, this upbeat track in the vocals of Sunidhi Chauhan is both fun and catchy.

 

9. Welcome Back – Tutti Bole Wedding Di

Don’t focus too much on the lyrics of this song and just enjoy the music. In the vocals of Meet Bros and Shipra Goyal it’s sure to get your guests tapping their feet.

 

8. Queen – London Thumakda
This track actually released in 2014 but was still a favourite on the dance floor this year and so we just had to include it. Amit Trivedi did a fab job with this one alongside Labh Janjua, Sonu Kakkar and Neha Kakkar.

 

7. Phantom – Afgan Jalebi

Definitely the most popular track from the soundtrack and also picturised during a wedding scene, Afghan Jalebi struck a chord with the audiences as soon as it was released. Syed Asrar Shah lends his vocals to the Ya Baba version while Akhtar Channal sings on the film version.

 

6. Hero – Dance Ke Legend

This full on dance number is modern and edgy and features Meet Bros (who have had a fantastic year) and Bhoomi Trivedi. Though the film didn’t do as well as expected, this song was certainly a chartbuster.

 

5. Dil Dhadakne Do – Gallan Goodiyaan

Definitely one of the most underrated films of the year in our opinon. Exotic locations, slick styling and a string of A-listers certainly made this one appealing and this track bought all of that together. Featuring a whole host of voices including Farhan Akhtar himself, make sure you add it to your list.

 

4. Bajrangi Bhaijaan – Selfie Le Le Re

The selfie phenomenon is in full swing and Bollywood certainly used it to its advantage with this song. Of course it always helps when one of the biggest superstars on the planet is featuring in the video. Whether you like it or loathe it, it’s fair to say there was no escaping this one.

 

3. Tanu Weds Manu Returns – Banno
What a few years it’s been for Kangana Ranaut. This album was full of hits, but it’s Banno that caught everyone’s attention early on and we’re still loving it. This one features the voices of Brijesh Shandllya and Swati Sharma.

 

2. Bajrangi Bhaijaan – Aaj Ki Party

Bajrangi Bhaijaan not only dominated the box office but also the music charts. You want your wedding reception to be the party of the year, which means this track is an absolute must! And let’s face it, Mika Singh is certainly the flavor of the season.

 

1. Roy – Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan

There was no escaping this one in 2015. The film may have bombed but everyone was loving Jacqueline Fernandez looking all gorgeous and cute, but she’s not the only lady getting a lot of love. Kanika Kapoor came into her own with this one and it seems like there’s no going back for her now.

 

 

 

 

11
Dec

Your Wedding Day Survival Guide

You’ve probably been planning your wedding for at least a few months if not a few years, or let’s face it, your entire lifetime. If you’re one of the lucky few who have a dedicated wedding planner on site then essentially, you don’t need to worry about a thing (which means you probably won’t need to read the rest of this)!

If not, then you need to be well prepared for any unexpected mishaps that may occur on the day and deal with these yourself. During our time as wedding planners we’ve had to deal with everything from bridesmaids breaking their shoes to the groom staining his shirt. To ensure your day runs as smoothly as possible, here are a few things you can do:

1. Pack all the essentials
Whenever we go to a wedding, or any event for that matter, we always have our Carriages’ Emergency Kit on hand which is filled with weird and wonderful things from torches, sticky tape and glue, to a sewing kit, air freshener and cereal bars, because you need to be prepared for every situation. In your case we’re not saying go out and buy hundreds of pounds worth of items, but at least maybe put together a shoe box filled with a few things you may need on your wedding day such as; scissors, hair grips, safety pins, sticky tape and tissues for example.

2. Make a supplier list
It’s your wedding day which means you don’t have the time to chase suppliers on the day. Make sure you’ve put together a list of all your expected suppliers, their contact details and what they will be delivering on the day. Also make a note of any key timings that need to be adhered to because it’s easy for things to get mixed up on the day. It’s essential there are multiple copies available with the master copy given to your main point of contact.

3. Choose the right go-to person
Following on from the point above, ensure your go-to person is someone who can do the job. They need to be polite yet authoritative so he or she can manage pretty much everyone on the day. It would be handy to brief this person beforehand so they’re well prepared – don’t just hand him or her a sheet on the morning of your wedding.

4. Take time out
Not all brides get ready at their chosen venue, or are in a hotel where they have access to a separate room. Make sure that no matter where you are there is a small room or area which is allocated to only you. Whether you need to take five minutes to gather your thoughts, take a break from all the smiling or simply touch up your make-up, you need somewhere to go. A word of advice; invite no more than two to three people into this room to ensure minimum disturbance.

5. Prepare for the weather
The great thing about British weather is that it is so unpredictable. You might be lucky enough to start the day with plenty of beautiful sunshine but find it may start pouring it down when you need to leave the venue. Or even worse, imagine heavy showers striking just when you need to get out of the car to enter the venue and make your way to the ceremony. Make sure you have a long raincoat in the car, a pair of appropriate footwear (so that your beautiful shoes don’t get ruined) and an over the top, huge umbrella that is big enough to keep you completely dry – oh and have someone on hand to carry it for you of course!

10
Dec

#ChairSwag: How To Make Your Wedding Chairs Stand Out

Chairs – they’re so simple really, and yet when it comes to wedding chairs it can be quite tricky to ensure they’re looking just right. Over the years we’ve been to plenty of events as guests, and sadly it seems like most people assume there’s only one way to dress their chairs, when in fact, it’s a great opportunity to unleash your creative side. Here are five different styling options:

1. Swept to the side

Wedding Chairs

This classic look is a favourite of ours and is complemented by the ghost chairs so well. This look will work for pretty much any theme and can be used for wedding chairs down the aisle, on the head table or even for seating for all the guests during an evening reception (though you may need to limit the bouquet to a single flower for budgeting purposes). While here it’s pink on pink, with peach and ivory, you can use bright contrasting colours if your theme is more exuberant.

2. Soft ruffles

Wedding Chairs

This look is so chic and glam at the same time and would be perfect for a vintage-glitz event – think Great Gadsby. The soft ruffles add a touch of warmth to the decor, and the plus point of covering the majority of the chair with material, is that you can really bring out the colours of your theme. The downside..more material equals more time and more money.

3. Mr & Mrs

Wedding Chairs

This obviously works best for the bride and groom but to make it more fun you could add ‘father of the bride’, ‘mother of the bride’ or ‘best man’ and so on at the head table. Alternatively, you can even use them as place cards and have each guests’ individual name written on.

4. Centre knot

Wedding chairs

This style works great with chiavari chairs as a large part of the actual chair is still visible. The long material ensures a splash of colour is added to the room while the bow on top keeps everything looking tidy and in place. With the material dangling at the bottom, it would work well for rooms with plenty of floor space.

5. The weave

Wedding Chairs 

This is perhaps the most intricate of them all and to get this right, you need to ensure you are going with a quality décor team. There’s nothing worse than having chairs all looking different to one another. This design works best with the plain coloured material and of course can only be done with chiavari chairs. If there’s not enough time to weave all your guests’ chairs then perhaps opt to do the top table, but use the same material, but different design for the remaining wedding chairs.

 

Images: Pinterest

09
Dec

Alternative Wedding Breakfast Ideas

If you’re having a traditional Indian wedding ceremony followed with an evening reception then chances are your day will be starting fairly early. If this is the case, and your guests are expected to arrive early (before 11am) then it’s nice to welcome them with a wedding breakfast. While there are always a few common choices that often prove to be popular when it comes to food, sometimes it’s nice to be a little unconventional in your approach and surprise your guests from the offset.

1. The traditional Gujarati mix

Thepla

Gathiya and jalebi served with a side of pickled chillies and fresh sambharo (spicy cabbage and carrot stir fry) is always a favourite, but often fairly common – so try and make it different with your presentation. You can also opt for other classics but give them a slight twist. You could choose mini bhakri’s with a spicy curry on top or mini rolled up theplas filled with a sweet and sour pickle, held together with a cocktail stick. Bateta poha and patra can all work equally well if presented the right way.

2. South Indian favourites

Idli

South Indian food isn’t always typically served for breakfast at weddings in the UK, which is quite surprising considering the food is so light and tasty. Mini uttapams with fillings of your choice, mini rolled up masala dhosas, or even mini medu vada would all taste delicious dipped in a spicy coconut chutney or soaked in some sweet and sour dhal. If you’re one for being healthy then go with a classic idli – and there’s no way you can go wrong.

3. North Indian delights

Chole

Parathas are loved by pretty much everyone. They can be served plain or filled with aloo, gobi or paneer and served with lashings of butter. Pair up with any sabzi of your choice or go for the much loved chole bhature. The simplicity of these dishes however means your focus must be on the presentation. Think minatures, colours and neat and tidy. 

4. Continental highlights

Waffles

Pancakes, pastries and peanut butter is what this breakfast is all about. Those with a sweet tooth will love it. Keep a selection of syrups and toppings on the side; maple, golden, toffee, nutella, chocolate and so on (you get our drift). Bear in mind not everyone wants to over indulge in sugar first thing in the morning, so opt for some classic croissants, breads or fruits to keep them satisfied.

5. British classics

Toast

Sometimes when it comes to food, it’s best to go with what you know. Though Indian weddings typically mean Indian food, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Put on a spread of different breads so your guests can enjoy some simple toast topped with butter, marmalade or jam. You could even opt for a cereal station to really stand out or pick your favourite fry up sides if you want something hot.

08
Dec

How To Enjoy Wedding Planning

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. Yes, there will be times when it can get stressful and confusing, but on the whole, it’s a beautiful time which can actually bring you closer to your loved ones. Here are 7 ways to enjoy the whole planning process:

1. Hire a wedding planner
Your wedding planner will be your best friend during your wedding planning journey. He or she will help you make important decisions, give you a reality check, make sure your money is spent wisely and do all the hard work to ensure you’re left with all the fun bits.

2. Use it to bond with your girls
If you use your planning time well, it can actually be a lot of fun. When it comes to things like dress shopping why not turn it into a girls’ day out? Finish off with a champagne afternoon tea to get the giggles and gossip really going. 

3. Get the groom involved
If you can get the groom involved then it’s a win-win all-round. You get to spend time with your loved one and it also helps take the load off. Remember to make it fun. Perhaps stop over for a round of cocktails when you’re venue hunting and turn it into a date night or date afternoon.

4. Splash out
You can use your wedding as an excuse to splash out on all the latest wedding and fashion magazines. It doesn’t just stop there. Why not dig out all your favourite wedding rom-coms and get comfy with a bowl of popcorn on the sofa? It is for research purposes after all…. 

5. Eat as much as you like
Weddings are partly all about food. So whether you’re food tasting or deciding which flavor cake to go with, you can enjoy as many delicious treats as you like without feeling guilty about it. 

6. It’s your moment
It’s your big day and it’s all about you. Wedding suppliers will be going out of their way to impress you, while friends and family will be showering you with plenty of attention. Take it all in your stride and simply enjoy being the centre of attention. 

7. Think honeymoon
The world is your oyster. Yes, the focus will be on the wedding, but that doesn’t mean you can’t daydream about which exotic location you wish to soak off all those hours of work in. Once it’s booked you won’t be able to contain your excitement. 

To get in touch with us email enquiries@carriagesevents.co.uk

07
Dec

Top 15: How To Save Money On Your Wedding

With the average Asian wedding in the UK topping the £50,000 mark, it’s clear that weddings equal big spending. Whether you are working to a budget or have thousands at your disposal, there’s no harm in looking for ways to save money – because let’s face it, everyone loves a good bargain!

1. Go off-peak
While the wedding season is no longer limited to summertime, a lot of weddings do still take place between June to August (largely due to the sunshine factor). Therefore try and avoid these months and set your date for a slower month as your suppliers will be more willing to negotiate on price.

2. Get married on a weekday
While this doesn’t work for everyone, if you can opt for a weekday wedding then why not, you’ll save a staggering amount of money on not only your venue, but on other wedding suppliers too.

3. Opt for a cheaper venue
If your dream venue is over budget then sometimes it’s not worth scrimping and saving every penny to pay for it, because it will mean you’ll really have to compromise on other important aspects such as décor, entertainment and food. Instead, why not go for a cheaper venue and then pay a little extra to decorate it well and ensure it looks stunning.

4 .Choose a full-day hire
If you are having a wedding reception then have it at the same venue as your ceremony and preferably on the same day. A full day hire charge is always less than two separate days and it will save you costs on transportation and things like catering, as your caterers will be there from the morning, right till the dessert is served.

5. Attend wedding fayres
If you do some research beforehand and decide which suppliers you want to go for, keep a track of their social media as they’ll most likely be exhibiting their services at a wedding fayre. Most suppliers will have some sort of on-the-day offer if you book them then and there which will definitely save you some money. 

6. Double-up on items
If you’re having a seating plan and want to have both place cards and favours on the table, then a good idea would be to double up on these. You can also reuse any chairs or chair covers you may have hired for the ceremony and even reuse any personalised signage for the reception.

7. Ask family and friends
If you have a big network of people at your disposal then use them. They may be able to put you in touch with a wedding supplier who can offer you a discounted rate due to relations. Sometimes you may be able to reuse things like centerpieces or material that some people may have stored in their attic from a previous wedding. Just because it’s been used before doesn’t mean you should stay clear. Just think of a way to make it unique to your special day.

8. Get bigger tables
If you can get more people seated on the table then it means less tables in total which is fantastic news for you. This will mean forking out less money on centrepieces, tablecloths, and even menu cards and bottles of wine if you’re having any on the table.

9. Nearby location
If you go with a venue that is close to home then it will naturally mean it will take you less time to travel back and fourth and hence making you a saving on travel costs. However, it also means you don’t have to stay over the night before or on the night of the wedding if you don’t want to.

10. Plan ahead
Sometimes you need to sit back, relax and think of the bigger picture. Work out your event theme before you start buying things or putting down any deposits. You don’t want to end up regretting your decision and then end up splashing out more money on extras you could have avoided.

11. Selective drinks
You don’t have to have an open bar at your reception in order for people to enjoy themselves. Instead you can opt to have a choice of two non-alcoholic and two-to-three alcoholic drinks instead. One cocktail, a beer and bottle of wine will usually work well. Better yet – try and keep them in keeping with your theme and guests will think it’s a deliberate move to create a certain ambience. 

12. Don’t go overboard with the flowers
Flowers are a big expense. To keep costs to the minimum try and choose types that are in season and slightly cheaper. If you stick to one or two different ones instead of a whole mixed bunch that will also be less costly.

13. Clever cake
Of course you want your cutting cake to be a showstopper – but it doesn’t have to be huge! Go for something small and sophisticated and have a separate, plain, large slab in the kitchen, which can be cut up and served to your guests.

14. Everyday savings
If for example your wedding is a year away, you can make a conscious decision to perhaps stop buying a daily cup of coffee. With an average cup costing around £3.20, if you stop having a coffee Monday-Friday for one year you could save a whopping £768.

15. Hire a wedding planner
At first you may think a wedding planner means forking out more money on your wedding, but actually, a good wedding planner will have built good relationships with other industry suppliers and may be able to negotiate some great deals for you. A 10 per cent saving on a caterer and a free pre wedding photo shoot, for example, can be a huge saving, and means the wedding planner may have pretty much already paid for his or herself through the savings made.

For any further advice contact our team at enquiries@carriagesevents.co.uk

 

 

04
Dec

5 Must-Have Drinks For Your Winter Wedding Reception

Many people assume weddings are all about summertime but actually, we think some of the most beautiful weddings take place in the winter. There are so many alternative ways to theme your event during the winter, which you just can’t do at any other time of the year. A great way to start is with the drinks you’ll be serving your guests as they walk through the entrance. We’ve put together a great mix of choices for you, which are likely to be a hit all-round.

1. Signature Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate
A hot, frothy cup of chocolate is sure to be a favourite with guests – especially if it’s cold and frosty outside. Decorate with sprinkles or powder and finish off with some helpings of whipped cream and marshmallows to create a true wow factor.

 

2. Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria

Apple Cider
If you’re in the mood for an all out party then this drink is definitely the way to go. It will leave your guests feeling refreshed and ready to hit the dance floor in no time. Decorate with winter fruits or serve with a fancy straw to add a bit of colour.

 

3. Masala Chai

Masala Chai
This classic Indian drink has been a favourite for generations back home before the high street café chains clicked on. To create a truly authentic feel serve in see through glasses straight from a rustic Indian kettle. Pair up with some homemade biscuits and just watch as your guests come back for seconds.

 

4. Cranberry Mojito

Cranberry Mojito
The vibrance of colours in this drink will catch the eye of anyone from across the room. The tanginess of the cranberry paired with the freshness of the mint creates a zesty concoction that will send a bolt of energy running right through your guests.

 

5. Mulled Cranberry, Apple and Pomegranate Juice

Mulled fruit juice
These warm fruity flavours are perfect for both adults and children. If you’re looking for something that’s sophisticated and tasty then this is the one. It’ll make your guests feel relaxed, comforted and right at home.

03
Dec

5 Wedding Cake Alternatives For Your Big Day

If you’re having a wedding reception then you’re probably thinking about what sort of cake you’ll be wanting as your big centerpiece for when you make your first entrance as a married couple. There’s so much to consider; from the flavours to the colour to the number of tiers. But, what if we told you that you don’t even need cake to create a focal point? Here are our top 5 wedding cake alternatives.

 

1. For those who like a bit of fun

Doughnut Cake
From children to adults, everyone loves a good doughnut. You can serve them glazed, sprinkle them with sweets, or ice them in any colour you wish to match your theme. A doughnut tower is sure to give your guests a burst of excitement.

 

2. For those looking for sophistication

Macaron Cake

These originate from Paris and will instantly ensure your event oozes style and elegance. They come in an assortment of flavours and colours and look neat and clean when stacked in a tower. Go for macarons if you want to impress your guests.

 

3. For those who dare to be different

Cheese Cake

Who would’ve thought of a cheese board instead of a wedding cake? But actually, it is sure to get your guests talking. Layer up a host of different tasting cheeses, dish out some figs. grapes and wine, and your guests will be having the time of their lives – admiring your creativity at the same time.

 

4. For those who want ultimate luxury

Profiteroles

Cream, pastry and dollops of warm, gooey chocolate – what’s not to love? You can even experiment with different fillings inside the choux pastry if you wish. This is definitely dessert heaven, guaranteed to satisfy those guests with a sweet tooth.

 

5. For those looking to create a relaxed vibe

Waffle Cake

Sometimes all you need is a bit of sweet. It doesn’t need to be complicated, over the top, crazy stuff – it can be something loved, comforting and easy to eat. This simple layering of waffles with syrup and fruits (don’t feel shy to go crazy with the toppings) is something your guests will love, if they’re looking to kickback and have a chilled out evening.

 

02
Dec

Say Hello To The Midlands’ First Wedding Hour

We’re so excited to share with you that on Wednesday 9th December we are launching the Midlands’ first ever wedding hour!

You see, we understand that weddings are supposed to be fun, but too often brides and grooms are bogged down with so many unanswered questions that they don’t know where to start, which is why we’ve come up with a brand new, innovative concept to offer couples some much needed advice – completely FREE.

On Wednesday 9th December (and every Wednesday thereafter) between 1pm and 2pm we are offering you the chance to get in touch with a professional wedding planner with any questions you may have – and get an immediate response in return.

Questions can be sent to us on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #AskCarriages and can also be emailed to enquiries@carriagesevents.co.uk  with Ask Carriages in the subject line.

For those of you looking for more in depth advice, you can arrange a complimentary telephone or face-to-face consultation with us via prior appointment. The only catch – all questions and appointments must be sent or arranged with the team between the allocated hours every Wednesday.

We promise to get back to you straight away, because we feel it’s important to keep turnaround times to the absolute minimum when working in such a fast-paced industry where things are changing minute by minute.

01
Dec

How To Pick Your Wedding Venue

Choosing a venue is one of the most important wedding-related decisions you’ll ever make. On many occasions brides and grooms will fall head over heels in love with a venue and then will tend to loose all sense of practicality and just go ahead and book. While it is of course important for you to love your venue there are so many things to take into consideration when making up your mind. Here’s our top 10 list of things to look out for:

 

1.Location
Where is the venue located? Is it going to be easy for your guests to get to? If not, it might be worth looking elsewhere because there’s nothing worse than guests getting lost or turning up late. You also need to think about your suppliers – will they be able to find the place easily? Make sure there’s an area for them to off load and a lift if they need to get to a higher floor.

 

2. Parking
Is there a decent amount of parking available? If your venue is in the middle of nowhere and there is no parking, your guests are likely to be irritated if they have to walk a long distance – even more so if it ruins their favourite party shoes. Also, are taxis likely to make the journey at night to pick your guests up from the venue? If you’re serving alcohol many people may be looking to go home in a taxi so ensure you check this beforehand.

 

3. Signage
Is there good signage? This leads back to point number 1. If it’s a brand new place which people haven’t really heard of then they will be relying very heavily on signage to get them there, as we all know Sat Navs aren’t always the most reliable.

 

4. Lighting
Speaking of signage above, you need to ensure there is sufficient lighting so that your guests can read any signs – especially if your event is in the evening. The lighting outside is just as important as the lighting inside your venue. If your event is in the morning look to see if there are any large windows which will provide natural lighting. If it’s in the evening look to see if you need to hire any extra lighting on the day to ensure your photographs come out well.

 

5. Layout
Look at the layout of the room or various rooms you will be using. Is there a general flow and will it work for the type of event you will be putting on? Some venues may have restrictions in certain areas so be sure to check all the details before you sign. If you’re hiring the venue for the full day and have more than one event taking place, ensure there is somewhere your guests can relax during the turnaround time. Check to see if there is also any outdoor space you can use to get your pictures taken.

 

6. Caterer
If you’re looking to have any kind of authentic cuisine on your big day then check to see if the venue will allow outdoor caterers or if they only work with one or two preferred suppliers. While it can sometimes be in your interest to work with one of their preferred caterers, make sure they’re not charging you over the odds. Ensure there are sufficient facilities your caterers can use within the venue, as there are often many rules and regulations when it comes to onsite cooking.

 

7. Capacity
When it comes to Asian weddings numbers are fairly high. Even if it’s a small Asian wedding you’re still looking at around the 250 – 300 mark, which is a number not all hotels or independent venues can accommodate. Our advice would be to not try and squeeze as many people as you can into a room and fill it to full capacity, as it doesn’t allow for any breathing space. You want your guests to feel relaxed and fresh not flustered and chlostrophobic.

 

8. WiFi  & Phone Signal
It is not uncommon for there to be no WiFi or phone signal in venues that are further afield (and in the middle of nowhere). While this may seem as a blessing in disguise for some brides who don’t want their guests glued to their phone screens, you should understand that it may irritate some guests. It also means it will be a lot harder to stay in contact with some of your suppliers if need be.

 

9. Season
Your wedding date pretty much determines where you should be getting married. Some venues may have beautiful views in the summer, but may not be very practical to get to in the winter. For example if you need to travel through narrow uphill lanes and there is a sudden outbreak of snow, it’s going to be very difficult for everyone to get where they need to be.

 

10. Customer Service
Ultimately when it comes to making a decision, go with your gut. When meeting with your wedding sales executive, it is important that you feel a level of trust and comfort. You need to be 100% happy that they fully understand your vision and will execute it to the highest standard possible. If there are any doubts or questions, make sure you raise these before you book.