Sunday, 29 July 2012

Tips for ensuring your wedding day runs smoothly - Tip 4

Bride getting ready on her wedding day

It's always surprising how fast a wedding comes around. The last few weeks before it happens are often very hectic with lots to do. So what do you need to do in this final run up to ensure the big day itself is exactly as you planned it? Hopefully you've already been following our hints and tips to ensuring your day goes like clockwork, if not take a look at our tips on writing a timing plan for the day, managing suppliers in the final weeks and planning your wedding venue set up. This final part looks at the wedding day kit you need to take with you.

Tip 3 - your wedding day survival kit

Whenever I'm helping a bride on the day of her wedding I take a box with me that's full of items that, over the years, I've found have come in handy. I'm not sure if sharing this is like a magician explaining his tricks but here goes!!
  1. All the paperwork to make your day go with a bang - copies of your readings, your timing plan, your list of suppliers, wedding party members & their contact numbers, your venue set up plan, your seating plan, your speech list, your music list
  2. Any money needed for on the day - granted, as the bride you are unlikely to have to pay for anything yourself, but do make sure someone has the money to settle any bills such as the church or any musicians
  3. Mending kit - make sure you have a small sewing kit with needle, white, black and your bridesmaids' colour thread, buttons, safety pins (the easiest way of fastening anything back together!!). I'd also recommend you take white chalk with you - it may sound strange but it is really good at hiding any marks you get on your dress (try it on a very small patch first though), soda water can also help get any stains out
  4. Reception kit - blue tack, sellotape, string, large scissors, good spare pen, spare favours & place cards - less of an issue if you are not dressing the venue yourself but can come in handy
  5. Bad weather - I always take a number of large golf umbrellas with me to try and ward off the rain. If it's a winter wedding you may also want to take a wrap with you to keep you warm between photos and in the car
  6. Keeping you looking good - in case of tears take tissues, cotton buds, spare mascara, and eye liner. Generally also take lipstick, hair brush, spare hair pins, hairspray, spare tights / stockings (for any of the wedding party), fashion tape (to ensure no one flashes!!), nail file, clear nail varnish, deodorant and perfume. For me if it's a humid day I'd also take hairstraighteners - but not everyone needs them!!
  7. For the evening - you might want to take some flat shoes or party feet with you if you are planning to dance the night away. I'd also suggest taking some nappy pins - another odd one I know, but so often in the evening the bride's train will get stood on and the ties break, nappy pins are incredibly strong and are good for fastening it back up
  8. Medical kit - take plasters, headache tablets, antihistamines etc with you - just in case.
Finally, if you are staying away that night don't forget to ensure that you have a bag with everything you will need for that night and the following day with you - at our wedding my husband forgot to take a top for the next morning so had to borrow one from his bestman!!

If you'd like to have a truly stress free day then you might want a wedding planner there to help you -if you're having a Yorkshire wedding why not get in touch?

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Best of British - jubilee inspiration

The Queen's jubilee this weekend has inspired me to pull together a Best of British mood board.  There are lots of ways you can use this as a wedding theme.  

Taking it literally, as I have below, you can use red, white and blue as a colour scheme for you wedding.  Navy blue is a very popular colour at the moment and is great as a colour for bridesmaid dresses or your groomsmen's suits or ties.  Red also makes a fabulous accent colour - why not use it for your wedding shoes if you'd like to make a statement or as a really striking bouquet.

If you want to be a bit more subtle with your theme you can simply use Best of British as inspiration.  Maybe use only British suppliers or look for things which are quintessentially British - such as a red double decker bus for your wedding transport, have a street party theme for your reception or go for strawberries and sparkling English wine for your food and drink. I'm sure there's lots of different options - but here's some examples to get you thinking.

Image credits:
Gerbera bouquet - Taylored Images
Union Jack invitation - Dottie Creations
Red bouquet - Silesia Group
Place holder - Not on the high street
Red shoes - One wed
Navy bridesmaid dress - Nordstrom

There's even more inspiration on my Best of British pinterest board

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Tips for ensuring your wedding day runs smoothly - Tip 3

Yorkshire wedding venue

So you've spent lots of time and energy getting yourself ready for your big wedding day and now it's just around the corner.  So how do you make sure that your big day is as fabulous as you've dreamt it will be? Follow our hints and tips over the next few months to get some great advice to make sure your wedding day is all you imagined it should be.

Tip 3 - Plan your wedding venue set up

Every bride has an image in their heads of  how their wedding venue is going to look on their big day, however, don't just assume that it will look that way and that everybody else understands your vision!!  If you don't want to spend the morning of your wedding very stressed, directing where things should be placed, follow these tips for ensuring your wedding is set up exactly as you want it to be:
  1. Write a list of everything that needs to be taken to the venue, detailing who is taking it and when it will be there.  A typical list will include things like - flower arrangements, table plan (ensure you know what it is to be displayed on), cake, cake stand, cake knife, guest book, pen, name cards, favours, menus, table numbers / names & holders, children's presents, table confetti, presents for parents & wedding party, candles, table cameras, confetti, orders of service
  2. Ensure everyone (including suppliers) who is responsible for delivering items to the venue is clear on what they are doing, who they should hand them to and when they need to arrive by
  3. Make a plan of each room that is being used at the venue indicating where you would like everything to be (including flower arrangements, furniture moves, bands, drinks tables, sweetie stations,cake table etc)
  4. Draw a detailed plan of how you want your tables to be set up - in particular how each setting should look
  5. Outline how your venue should be set out for your evening reception - highlighting anything that needs to change
  6. Go through all these plans in details with your venue so they know exactly how each room should be set out.  If your venue is not setting up the rooms for you it can often make sense to have a wedding co-ordinator to do this for you
  7. Delegate someone you trust to check the rooms are set up as you would like them to be.
If  you're having a Yorkshire wedding and would like some help ensuring your wedding day runs smoothly you could also consider using us to help you - at Hel'sbells we can help in lots of different ways and you don't need to have a massive budget to use us, why not get in touch to find out more?

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Tips for ensuring your wedding day runs smoothly - Tip 2

Bride and Groom on bus

You've spent months planning your big day and now it's nearly here.  If you want to make sure that your big day is as fabulous as you've dreamt it will be, follow our hints and tips over the next few months to get some great advice to make sure your wedding day is all you imagined it should be.

Tip 2 - Managing your wedding suppliers in the last week

Every wedding has a vast array of different suppliers to make it happen and with all the excitement in the run up to the wedding it can be easy to neglect them in the last week - here's some tips on how to get the best out of them:
  1. Call each one of your suppliers and ensure you are both clear on what your expectations are of them on the wedding day (when they should arrive, who they should ask for, what they will be doing, how long they will be staying etc)
  2. Choose someone who can act as a contact point for any suppliers should anything happen on the day (e.g. transport problems, illness).  Ensure that person knows to leave their mobile phone on in case they are called
  3. Ensure all bills have been settled for suppliers who need to be paid in advance and that you give the money to a reliable friend or family member for any payments that need to be made on the day (there's nothing worse than a supplier who doesn't turn up or who won't provide services because they haven't been paid!)
  4. Pull together a list of all your suppliers, what they are responsible for and contact names and numbers.  Copies should then be given to key members of the wedding party and your venue in case anyone needs to contact them
  5. Send an email to each of your suppliers confirming what your expectations are, include a copy of the timing plan you've done (see tip 1) and provide them with the appropriate contact details in case of emergencies for on the wedding day
  6. Make a special friend of whoever will be managing your wedding on the day at the venue and ensure they understand what is really important to you.
If you'd like some help ensuring your day runs smoothly you could also consider using a wedding planning - at Hel'sbells we can help in lots of different ways and you don't need to have a massive budget to use us, why not get in touch to find out more?

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Tips for ensuring your wedding day runs smoothly - Tip 1

church wedding

So you've done all the planning and everything's ready.  Now how do you make sure your wedding day runs like clockwork whilst managing to enjoy it at the same time? In the run up to wedding season I thought it would be useful to share some hints and tips to making sure your wedding day is all you imagined it should be.

Tip 1 - Write a timing plan

The first step to making sure your day runs smoothly is to write out a timing plan.  This should be really detailed and should cover the following types of things:
  1. What time any suppliers are arriving and where they should be
  2. What time all the key parts of your day should start and finish
  3. Timings for all key members of the wedding parties e.g. when the groom should be at the venue, when his groomsmen are expected to meet him, what time your bridesmaids should arrive for getting ready
  4. Time allocated for any travelling to / between venues
  5. Detailed timings for the reception including how long for drinks reception, photos, speeches, time for wedding breakfast, expected timing of cutting cake and the time the venue need to turn around any rooms and when evening guests will be arriving
  6. Timings for photographer - when they are expected to be where and how long they will need for photos
  7. Timings for yourself - for hair, makeup, getting ready, photos etc
As you can tell, you should literally put down everything you can think of - it will help put your mind at rest that  you have remembered everything whilst allowing you to check you have allocated enough time for all the important part of the day.

Once it is written you should ensure that you give a copy to all your key suppliers - including the venue and ask them to confirm they are happy with it.  You should also give copies to key family and friend members who you trust to ensure the day runs as you want it to.  You need to pick friends who will stick to your plan but not run it with military precision - as at the end of the day it won't matter if timings change slightly!!  Then your ready to just sit back and be the bride for the day - knowing it will run just as you want it to.

If you'd like some help ensuring your day runs smoothly you could also consider using a wedding planning - at Hel'sbells we can help in lots of different ways and you don't need to have a massive budget to use us, why not get in touch to find out more?

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Art Deco style

The 1930s always conjures up images of style and glamour for me and having been watching the latest series of Upstairs Downstairs I thought I'd create a mood board based around this style.  You don't have to take the art deco style too literally - just add touches throughout the day to bring a touch of class. For example use glass photo frames for your table numbers, find a silver and black 1930s car, theme your tables on classic New York buildings or use art deco stationery. If you really love the style though why not go all the way and consider an art deco style venue - for example the Midland at Morecambe?

In terms of colours, you can just use silvers & blacks to bring a real strong sense of the period - but it works equally well with a touch of colour - for example blood red, hot pink or deep purple.

Image credits:
Wedding cake
Hair accessory
Wedding dress
Wedding cars
Candle holders
Bridesmaid dresses
Jewel confetti
Place baubles
Wedding cake
Bird cages
Flowers Diane Penny Flowers

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Tips for visiting wedding venues

There are so many great wedding venues in Yorkshire and it is very easy to get carried away with the excitement of it all when you are visiting them.  I like to think of it as similar to buying a house - you do need to fall in love with it, but you also need to look at it objectively.  So here are some tips on things to ask and look at when you are visiting wedding venues:

  1. Try and visit venues when they are actually set up or at least in the process of being set up for a wedding as this makes it much easier to visualise what it will look like.  If this is not possible ask to see photos of what it will look like
  2. Check very carefully what is and isn't included in the price - for example chair covers, dance floor, MC, coffee after the meal, are there any extras thrown in (such as a DJ).  Also check if there are minimum numbers for a day, if applicable is there any supplement / minimum spend for getting married in season / Saturdays and, if the venue is a hotel, must you guarantee a certain number of rooms
  3. If you really want to have candles, fireworks, a live band, Chinese lanterns or anything else a little unusual make sure to ask it this is OK
  4. If the venue is open to the public, check which areas will exclusively be yours
  5. Ensure you walk through your day and see all areas you will use - for example where will the civil service be, your drinks reception, where are photos usually take, the wedding breakfast, your evening reception and any other areas you can use (for example a separate bar)
  6. Ask what contingency there is if the weather is bad - where can you have your drinks reception, is it big enough?  This is particularly important if you have a civil ceremony and wedding breakfast happening in the same room
  7. Is their a separate area away from the the dance floor for people to sit and talk - this is particularly important if you have older guests who may want to come to your evening reception but not be in the same room as the music
  8. Look at the toilets!!  This is something my mother taught me - you can often tell a lot about the place by state of the toilets.  Just think, you're probably going to have to go in there in your beautiful dress, will you want to do that if they are unclean and unloved?!
  9. If you will be staying at your venue ask to see the hotel rooms - both ones you could use and ones your guests will use 
  10. Ask whether there are any major building works going to be done between now and when you are getting married.  If there are, this can be either a positive or a negative.  If they are going to be completed in plenty of time for your wedding then you might be getting a better venue than you were expecting.  However, if there's a risk you might be getting married on a building site or that changes you want won't be ready you'll really want to give it some careful thought.
  11. On a similar note you might also want to ask if any decor will be changed - this is particularly important if you've fallen in love with the particular colour scheme of a room
  12. Check if there will be any other weddings happening on the same day.  This doesn't have to be a problem but if there is more than one wedding it is worth asking how the venue try and keep the weddings separate (do they have to be at different times, are they quite far apart, will areas of the venues not be accessible for you)
  13. If you can, take some photos so you have something to remember your visit by - this will help you compare venues later
  14. If possible it is quite a good idea to visit your venue outside of an arranged visit - for example go for a meal, stay over or just go for drink - this way you see how it really works!!
It really is is the most important decision you will take so if you want some help finding a venue and an objective set of eyes when you visit - a wedding planner could really help and it doesn't have to cost the earth.