Category: General

20
Jan

7 Wedding Guarantees From Carriages

For us, our brides and grooms are so important and lets face it, no matter how much fun wedding planning can be, it is also one of the most stressful and confusing times a couple (and their families) go through. With that said, we are here to make things a little easier and to take the load off your shoulders so you can truly enjoy the months to come and not wish your special day away.

Just like the 7 vows made at the mandap, we’ve put together our very own 7 promises for all of our present and future brides and grooms-to-be, as a guarantee when you book our services.

1. Unlimited contact
Whether it is via the telephone, online or face-to-face, we guarantee to be there for all of our couples, no matter the time of day or even the time zone.

2. Exclusive supplier lists
We will give all of our couples a list of our amazing, trusted and reliable suppliers, who we know will work just as hard as we do to bring your vision to life.

3. Save you money
We promise to negotiate on your behalf and get you the best price possible.

4. Create a personal and memorable day
We will always incorporate your personal style and story into your special day to make it truly memorable for years to come.

5. Attention to detail
Whether it be setting up your favours and name cards to making sure the cake stand and knife are in place, we will take care of ever little detail so there are no last minute surprises.

6. Follow the event schedule
With a detailed event schedule put together months before the day, accounting for every minute along with contingency plans, we will ensure that everything runs according to your wishes.

7. Be the go to person
To make sure you and your guests enjoy the celebrations without worrying or running around, we will be on hand for you, your families, suppliers and guests. No request is too big or too small.

If you would like to book your complimentary consultation contact a member of our team on 0116 268 8804 or email us on enquiries@carriagesevents.co.uk.

14
Jan

10 Things Your Wedding Planner Will Do On Your Wedding Day

We feel so fortunate to be able to say that we LOVE our jobs, we really do! That’s why when it comes to a client’s wedding day we are totally in our element. There are so many things that need to be done, or so many things that can go wrong or so many things that crop up out of nowhere – all of which become our responsibility. So, when people say to us – what is it that you actually do? We say the following:

1. Crisis management
When something happens that wasn’t exactly planned on the day (and trust us, this happens more often than not, even when you’ve planned right down to the very last second) we are on hand to deal with any issues while making sure the guests don’t notice.

2. Go to person
If the mother of the bride needs her saree adjusting last minute, or if the brother of the bride needs a hand moving his sister’s luggage, we are there. We make sure everything is taken care of on the day, meaning the family can sit back and relax. Okay we’ll admit Indian weddings aren’t always so relaxing, but you know what we mean!

3. Coordinate the vendors
You are going to have a lot of suppliers rock up on the day. The décor company, the caterers, the florist, the cake lady, the priest, the DJ and so on – they are all going to be around and turn up at different times with different things that need doing. They need a point of contact who can point them in the right direction and answer any questions they may have on the day.

4. Stick to timings
All of our clients and suppliers are given a detailed event schedule with every minute accounted for. With this in mind we make sure everything runs to plan. We won’t lie, there have been occasions where certain non appointed members of the family have taken it upon themselves to change some important details, but rest assured with a wedding planner around – everything will be happening according to the bride and groom’s wishes.

5. Look after the tiny details
Who lays out your guest book and lights your candles? Who makes sure the cake knife and stand are ready? Who makes sure your gifts have been collected? Who makes sure all of your items are ready in a box for you to take home after a long day? – We do! Anything you need doing that you cannot trust another supplier with, we’ll do.

6. Have an emergency kit
You probably think we’re making this up but at our last wedding we had an incident where the groom’s shoe broke! Bit of a problem when he only had one pair. But our super safety kit contained super glue, blue tac, selotape and safety pins so there was no way he was walking down the aisle with a broken shoe. Of course there are other useful items in there too – a whole suitcase worth.

7. Look after personal items
There are some things which need to be carried around on the day. Whether it be the bride’s lipstick so she can have a regular touch up in between photo shots or the groom’s phone or keys that he wants safely tucked away – we will keep these on us at all times so that they are ready to use at any moment.

8. Stay by the bride’s side
Once the hair and make up artist has worked her magic and left the bride in her suite, a member of our team will stay with her until she’s ready to walk down the aisle for the ceremony. Whether she wants to talk through those last minute nerves or have a coffee to calm her down, we’ll make sure her every need is looked after.

9. Final checks
Once the décor company have finished setting up we will do a final check and walk around every room to ensure it is laid out exactly as per the couple’s wishes. We’ll check floor plans, dispose of any rubbish and make sure everything looks nice and sparkly before the guests enter.

10. Take away the stress
If you want to enjoy your wedding day and want your guests to relax and participate in the ceremony without any of the added stress or hassle, then hiring a wedding planner may just be the best investment you make for your big day.

You can get in touch with a member of our team at enquiries@carriagesevents.co.uk

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.

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.

 

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!

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

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

17
Nov

10 Reasons Why You Need To Hire A Wedding Planner

Your wedding day is arguably one of the most important days of your life. Not only do you want the day to run as smoothly as possible, but you want to ensure that you and your guests have a good time. Trust us when we say that hiring a wedding planner may actually be the best investment you make for your big day – and here’s our top 10 reasons why:

1. Save money
A good wedding coordinator will have established links with many good suppliers and should be able to negotiate a good discount for you. Whether it’s a 10% saving on the catering or a free bouquet of flowers thrown in, you may find that by the end of your wedding, your coordinator has actually paid for his or herself through the savings you’ve made.

2. Save time
It can be stressful to find good trustworthy suppliers that you like. If you don’t have anyone you can really turn to for advice, it can mean an endless list of meetings with various different suppliers to try and find the ones that are right for you. As they say time is money, which makes this one a no brainer.

3. Keep the romance alive
Sadly for many couples, from the very moment they announce their engagement their entire relationship becomes about the wedding. While this is great to some extent as it means you are both taking an interest in your big day, it also means that you’re moving away from what really brought you together in the first place. Investing in a wedding planner means you can plan some exciting dates and enjoy a wedding-free zone.

4. Focus on the detail
You may have a venue coordinator and a caterer or décor supplier who have told you they can manage your event on the day. While this is true to some extent, just make a note that they will most likely only be handling their team. You need someone who is going to bring all of these suppliers together and make sure they work in-sync without any hitches, while ensuring all of your guests are looked after at the same time.

5. Reduce stress levels
Let’s face it, when you have a full time job to cope with, wedding planning can be a stressful time. The bride and groom need to feel relaxed ahead of their big day to ensure they look and feel their best and this is not going to happen if you are up half the night worrying if your caterer will arrive on time or not. You should be focusing on getting yourself pampered!

6. Bring your vision to life
If you’re not an overly creative person or do not have much experience of organising events it can sometimes be difficult to imagine how everything will come together. This is where your wedding coordinator will step in. He or she should be able to take your vision and bring it to life based on the budget you provide. Whether you want vintage, rustic, bling or anything else – a good wedding coordinator should be able to make this happen.

7. Location, location, location
Many couples will often choose to get married in a different city to where they live simply because they’ve either fallen in love with a venue, or their families live in the area. This however means you need to invest more time into getting to know the area so you can advise guests on travel and accommodation for example. If you hire a wedding planner then they will do all the research for you and take away the extra stress and hassle you don’t really need.

8. Ask the right questions
When meeting suppliers, sometimes many brides and grooms forget to ask some rather important questions that may seem trivial at the time. An experienced wedding planner will make sure all bases are covered and you are getting the best value for money from your suppliers, even if it means asking those awkward questions you may not want to ask yourself.

9. Let the family have a good time
If you’re going to be standing at the altar or sitting in the mandap then you obviously can’t manage the day yourself, so you will end up designating tasks to one or a whole group of family members. However, by hiring a wedding planner you are ensuring that all of your guests can relax and the job will be done. No matter how reliable a family member will be, not everyone has the experience of liaising with certain vendors.

10. Peace of mind
In addition to the family enjoying themselves, it is important that the bride and groom also have some piece of mind that everything is taken care of. All you need to focus on is looking amazing and smiling for your pictures, because after all, you’ll never get this opportunity again so make the most of it!

 

Team Carriages

xo

25
Aug

Something New

Hello and welcome to our brand new website. We are so excited to share it with you all!

We’ve been working day and night over the past few months, in between travelling overseas for a wedding abroad, so it’s great to see everything come together nicely.

If you’ve had a quick glance at the website then you’ll already have read the About Us section, but to sum things up, both Sonal and I are huge event enthusiasts and cannot wait to be part of so many forthcoming special days.

We’ll be posting regular wedding and event related blogs on the site to keep you up to date with all the latest trends and happenings, so do’t forget to visit again.

In the meantime though, feel free to have a browse through the site and get in touch if you have any questions or queries.

Until next time,

Meera

xo

p.s Big thank you going out to Kam Vaghela for our image. You can check out some of his other work at www.kamvaghela.com