Posts categorized: Advise

Advise, blog /

5 Things to consider when choosing a wedding venue. Part 1


1.What kind of venue are you after? 

Choosing a wedding venue is tough right!? A unique venue is obviously what you’re after as you are visiting this site. There are so many spectacularly unusual venues out there, and a few of my favourites are on this site, from bars, to pubs with secret gardens full of love nests.

It’s easy to get carried away with looking in wedding magazines filled with adverts for hotels and barns when you’re choosing a wedding venue but believe me, there’s so much more out there to feast your eyes on, just look at what we have to offer.


2. Do you want a religious ceremony?

If you do, great, you will probably want to get married in a religious setting followed by a reception. If not, there are many other options available these days from hand fasting ceremonies to non-religious without rituals, with rituals but no religious elements, religious in feel, but not in practice, civil ceremonies and probably a few I’ve missed. Just ask your venues when you call send your enquiry. If you have other religious beliefs and are choosing a wedding venue you might want to consider having the ceremony at a neutral location, like a church hall, glamping site or pub. Choosing a wedding venue to fit  your beliefs is important and needn’t be stressful.


3. Do you want the wedding to be a mini break with activities? 

Lots of our venues have some pretty damn fabulous activities for you and your guests to take part in of you are having a little holiday whilst throwing your nuptials. Just ask when you enquire.

4. How many guests do you want? Are all of them able bodied? Are there prams to consider? 

When you are choosing a wedding venue you might need to consider guests who can’t get around that easily. So many places these days have easy access for wheels, however, if you are wanting to get married down on the beach below a castle in Scotland and you do have very elderly relatives who you adore and wouldn’t want to upset you might want to reconsider, maybe have photos of just you two in the more remote setting, there’s a way around everything!


Barns by Night at Goffin Land Wedding Venue


5. What time do you want to stop partying?

Many of our Truly Quirky Wedding Venues have a no lights out policy which is great if you’re thinking of having an after party for friends only, yep, this is an increasingly popular option people. If you are party animals choosing a wedding venue you might want to consider a silent disco if you are partying after midnight, Katherine of The Arabian Tent Company offers this, and it’s such great fun. However, some venues do have a time that they want you and your guests to leave by, make sure your guests are aware of this if cabs and lifts need to be sorted.

To be continued…




Venue Image 1. The Hepworth Wakefield

Venue Image 2. Woodland Tipi & Yurt Weddings

Venue Image 3. Goffin Land

Advise /

5 Autumn 2016 Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas

Oaky so technically it’s Autumn, go with me here and try and get your head around the fact that it’s mid September. Don’t let this glorious weather fool you though my pretties, Autumn Weddings are just around the corner. You might be thinking that wedding season takes place smack in the middle of summer (June being the most popular month) but I beg to differ. Being a September bride myself I always encourage couples to wait, let summer pass, at this time of year there is crisp air, there is plentiful sun and there is beauty every where you turn, in the leaves, in the fields and in ourselves for it’s the change of season that fills us with visions of bonfires and cardigans.

Dressing for such an Autumnal wedding as a guest can be quite the challenge. It’s often too cold for strappy numbers and sadly sunny sandals are pretty much out of season now. What’s a quirky girl to do?

I put myself in the shoes of someone who is going to a wedding this Autumn (violins please, I am not going to one!)

My Autumn 2016 Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas ||

Etsy | Neon Yellow Embossed Scuba Fabric Two-Piece, With metallic Embroidered Flowers, Rainbow Pom Poms and Pleated Waistline.

Ok, because it’s been so mild I had to include this one. I can imagine a shawl wrapped around this beauty during the day, then whipped off for the dance floor, why wear dull colours just because the summer is over? This is by one of my favourite designers LOM of Brighton, an awesome two-piece, made with unique and unusual embossed scuba fabric in neon Yellow! The top is cropped, fastens at the back with hook and eyes, and features pink embroidered flowers with metallic detail on one shoulder. The skirt is 25 inches long, high waisted and features matching flowers and rainbow pom pom trim. Oh yeah.

Shop here | £290

autumn 2016 wedding guest outfit ideas LOM Brighton



ASOS | Dreamy Hemmed Self Portrait Maxine Dress

Who doesn’t love ASOS? This beauty comes from a new London label called Self Portrait which offers much crisp-cut androgyny as well as softy girliness. Wearing their street style influences on their sheer mesh sleeves, Self Portrait play with fabrics and textures across a cool collection of modern classic pieces, cocktail dresses and perfectly structured t-shirts. This dress with it’s gloriously detailed bodice and tailored sleeves will be a favourite in your wardrobe for years. Check out that hem. Oh my!

Shop here | £280

AsosDress autumn 2016 wedding guest outfit ideas




Etsy | Autumnal Orange late 50s drop waist dress with full skirt

I found this glorious piece on SartorialMatters Etsy shop. You’ll have to be super quick if this is beauty is the one for you as it’s vintage. Very vibrant late 50s or possible very early 60s dress in a bright white and orange almost abstract floral print. Still has the classic new look fit of the 50s with a beautiful fit and flare. Boned bodice with thin straps and a dropped waistline. Full skirt and back nylon zip, fully lined in white acetate or viscose. Outer fabric feels like a lightweight synthetic. Beautiful colour for an Autumn wedding no?

Shop here | £55

etsydress autumn 2016 wedding guest outfit ideas




Whistles | Marina Silk Flippy Dress

I love this dress, it reminds me of walks in the woods. Divine, earthy, vivid Autumnal floral print enlivens this minimal dress silhouette. The round neck style features long sleeves, a zip fastening and fitted waist flaring to above the knee. Would be fabulous for a wedding this time of year and you could wear it with boots and wooly tights to the pub for the rest of the winter. Cosy yet glam.

Shop here | £220




Zara | Beautiful Embroidered Jumpsuit

This jumpsuit really caught my eye, the high neck and back and the belt really appeal to me because of my wide shoulders! Check out the beautiful detail on the sleeves, not to mention the length of them. Those stunning berry flavours on the floral details, cut to drape in an effortless manner over the body this is a real treat for eye, if like me you love a jumpsuit, you love Navy Blue and you love to dress to impress yourself then this might be the ideal outfit for you if you’re attending a wedding or party in Autumn 2016.

Zara Jumpsuit



I hope you’ve enjoyed my Autumn 2016 Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas

Yours Truly



Advise, blog, Ideas /

5 Tips | Choosing music for your wedding | By Flauntino

Flautino Alternative Wedding Music | Choosing music for your wedding


Think about the last wedding you went to: how did it make you feel? Were you relaxed? Was it super-formal? Did you feel free to chat to people you didn’t know?

The atmosphere of a wedding is hugely important and will be the difference between you and your guests being relaxed and having fun rather than being worried and uptight. Of course a lot of that is down to good organisation but beyond that … the atmosphere is created by the people you have there, the food, the decoration, the venue, the staff and of course, the music!

These are all vitally important and should reflect your own style and what makes you happy. You won’t be able to make everyone happy so focus on what you love … hopefully everyone is there because they love you anyway. Choosing music for your wedding is a MASSIVE decision actually . . . but I can help!


Elmore Court | Choosing music for your wedding

(Couple at Elmore Court)

So how do you go about choosing music for your wedding?

  1. First of all, break the wedding into its constituent parts: the ceremony and then what ever you choose to do afterwards … maybe drinks reception, dinner, then evening do (being the most conventional option!)
  2. Then think about what kind of atmosphere you want to create at each of those ‘mini-events’. The ceremony is usually calm, joyful and peaceful … jot down the words you would use to describe your ideal atmosphere. 
Then you need to make the decision between live and recorded music. Of course recorded music is the cheaper option. Personally I find it adds so much to the atmosphere to have live music.
  3. So think about genres … jazz, classical, pop, folk, funk, rock …. rather than straight away choosing your favourite song maybe think outside the box a bit and listen to a wide range of music and see how it makes you feel. Again … think about the atmosphere you’re after.
  4. Once you’ve narrowed it down there are various ways of finding someone to do what you’re after. If you have a really specific idea, google specifically … you can find pretty much anything these days! My friend wants a mariachi band playing punk music! If you’re not so sure then try one of the music agencies, speak to friends for recommendations and go to gigs to try out some new music! That has to be a fun part of wedding planning …some fun dates with your other half! Planning a wedding can be stressful and you sometimes you will lose the plot a bit, so use these dates to reconnect and have fun!
  5. Once you’ve found the music that suits each part of the wedding, make sure you’re clear with the musician about what you’re after … make sure you get a contract signed in case anything goes wrong and make sure you know whether they will charge a retainer fee if you want them at different parts of the wedding. Above all, make sure you love the music you’ve chosen and enjoy!

Flautino provides beautiful, serene music for wedding ceremonies, drinks receptions and dinners. The musicians dress in quirky baroque style costumes (think Keira Knightley in the Duchess with pink hair!) and play baroque chamber music by composers such as Bach and Vivaldi.

I hope I’ve helped with choosing music for your wedding.

Super classy | Super quirky | Super cool | Take a look at their website:

Words by Flautino!

Until next time you gorgeous lot.


Advise, blog, venue news /

Truly Helpful Wedding Ideas direct from the venues!

When you are hunting for really helpful wedding ideas it’s a minefield out there. Let’s face it there are a million and 1 sources of inspiration when you’re planning a wedding. I am actually thankful that the likes of Pinterest and Rock My Wedding weren’t around when I was wed as I think I would have been sacked from my PA position for wasting time online. BUT where would the modern day couple be without this here internet and the plethora of ideas and offerings it has for our starry eyes to take in?

Sometimes it’s great to hear helpful wedding ideas and advise from people that are in the know and who you trust.  If you are looking at this site chances are you’re looking for a unique, unusual, inspiring venue so you will be thrilled to know that some of our Truly Quirky Wedding Venues have some rather helpful blogs and boards which I thought I’d share with you, I’m nice like that, tis why venues love being on this site you know.


Pinterest Board | H-Coo Events

With a tagline like this you know you’re in the right place  . . .  ‘Offering Styling Services | Outdoor Venue for Weddings & Events’ “We have a passion for … gatherings, happenings, celebrations, light & working with spaces”, Elizabeth is a keen pinner with over 50 boards from ‘Arches & Backdrops’ to ‘Dip Dye DIY’

HCoo Events Helpful Wedding Ideas



Blog | Arabian Tents

Loads of really helpful wedding ideas, really informative, well written posts from Katherine who has years of experience in alternative weddings and how to make the most of details. A post I really enjoyed was How to Survive the Festival Season like a Pro!

ArabianTent Blog Helpful Wedding Ideas


Blog | Elmore Court

Including some heartwarmingly unique real weddings, the history of the venue, even some playlists there’s loads to discover over at Elmore’s Blog. This lot really know their stuff, you can see this from the testimonials they receive. One of my favourite posts, is this recent gem . . .   ‘The 12 week wedding challenge’.

Elmore House Blog Helpful Wedding Ideas


Instagram | Cornish Tipi Weddings

If you’re more of a visual being then you will definitely be #hastagging for some inspiration on Instagram. Find some really colourful, inspiring images on this fab Instagram feed from our Truly Quirky Cornish Tipi Weddings. #uniqueweddingvenues #cornishweddings #colourfulweddingideas #unusualweddingvenues #quirkyweddingvenues

Cornish Tipis Helpful Wedding Tips


Yours Truly



Advise, Small Business /

Starting a small business | My current view on it all

Starting a small business | Go forth and succeed

Starting a small business is scary and keeping it alive and nurturing it is tough. This time last year I was getting ready to launch this website while running Belle’s Events, I was BUSY and it was tough to convince venues to join up before I had even begun but thankfully a handful did and so TQWV’s as born unto the web on January 1st. I am in a very fortunate situation, I am married to an excellent web developer and designer, without him none of my 3 wedding businesses would have happened. So thank you Joss. I love you truly.

It’s been a busy and exciting 2015 for me, I sold Belle’s Events, my alternative wedding fair business so that I could concentrate on and tap the keyboard frantically to get this site to where it is today. 33 Truly Quirky Wedding Venues are now shining brightly and more are lined up to launch before the end of 2015.

In May I asked Joss, my aforementioned love ‘help me get out there!  What’s all this SEO stuff about?’ luckily for us his role at work has developed so much that he no longer has time to help me with ‘geeky’ stuff like that so I had to step up and book myself on to a course or two to help me get to where I wanted to be. I didn’t expect to get so in to it, but thank goodness I did, it’s become an obsession and this week I confirmed my first Social Media and SEO Support client. I figured, if I can do it for me then I would love to help other small business and do it for them. Who knows this time next year I could be writing a post on my Social Media & SEO Support site!?

I have to give a little shout out at this point because I recently I attended The Hub, part of Chosen Wedding Collective run by the gorgeously inspiring Kiki, I sat with Sue, the new owner of Belle’s Events, listening to a lady with such passion about growing small businesses that I actually got a lump in my throat at the thought of what I CAN DO. This lady was Charlie of The Female Photography Association. She made me realise that I’ve done alright, but, she made me realise that I don’t currently reach my full potential because starting a small business is one thing, growing it is another and I, yes me, I put a theoretical chain around my neck to reign myself in when I get a bit scared. ‘no I can’t do that because it might not work’ ‘what will people think if it goes wrong – oh here she goes again with another idea!’ Well screw that, I can’t think like that any more, when I was starting a small business, each time I was starting a small business I didn’t know it would work, but it did, so I must be doing something right. However, what I learnt that day was, it’s about getting to the scary bits and holding on for dear, dear life.

The end of a year and the beginning of a new one is a perfect time to feel the way I do at the moment, I want to grab that unicorn my the horn and ride off into the future. I will be continuing to grow this site, to promote quirky and alternative venues, there is a list of changes for the site and plans afoot for expansion, and I will go forth and help other small businesses get themselves out there. And, just to make it even more exciting I have just received this beauty, the Day Designer, I asked for it as a birthday gift because if there’s one thing I would advise any small business owner to do it’s ‘plan’ and not just at the beginning.

I often feel like I’m chasing my tail so 2016 will see a much more organised, much more thoughtful time for me and my small BIG business.






Advise, blog /

Can we get married anywhere? Your venue has no wedding license, no worries!

Love Is All You Need | Can we get married anywhere?


Can we get married anywhere? A question that floats around the wedding industry like a cloud of glitter full of hope. Naomi of Wedding Tattle talks about why you shouldn’t worry about a wedding license. Over to you Naomi . . .

What I find super-exciting at the moment is that more and more beautiful venues are opening their doors for weddings. There truly are some stunning locations in the South-East. Couples are opening their minds and hearts to quirkier, more laid back locations. Hallelujah! 

However, there can be a slight snag when it comes to booking such unique venues. For years couples have used hotels and locations all geared up for wedding ceremonies where they have a licence and everything can take place all under one roof. However now, because of the nature of some venues, they just do not have the licence and others may have their doors open to weddings but they may be currently trying to secure their licence. So, can we gat married anywhere? No. But who cares!?

As soon as you start having dreams about marrying under the canopy of trees in a secluded woodland, in a wild flower meadow, on a private beach location or on a private lawn in England and Wales, the legalities of it all become quite tricky. A legal wedding can only take place in a venue licensed for weddings and cannot take place in a tent, marquee, tipi, yurt or any other temporary structure and this of course includes in the open air. In Scotland the laws are much more lenient so if you want to legally marry on a mountain you can. Can we get married anywhere? Yes!


Wedding Barn | Can we get married anywhere?


The problem is this law is putting couples off using such stunning locations which is a huge shame. However, all is not lost, there are other options which must be considered but of course they do require flexibility. Marrying legally elsewhere a few days before with two witnesses is one way to sort the legalities of it all. Just a couple of days before the day get the paper signing done. Make yourselves look fabulous, grab two independent witnesses and make a day of it. Celebrate with a meal just the two of you. You could even get your photographer to go along for a couple of hours to capture the whole event. Otherwise, marry legally with just a few close friends and family. You are then free to marry wherever you fancy.


Velvet Storm photo | Can we get married anywhere?


This day will be your wedding day and your guests will be celebrating your marriage. There are the most fabulous celebrants around who offer to do all sorts of ceremonies. They meet up with you in advance of the day, get to know you as a couple and write the ceremony tailored to you. It can be as traditional or non-traditional as you like. There may be readings, vows and even songs. It is entirely up to you as it becomes your ceremony and it will reflect you both as a couple.
Some guests may find it tricky to get their head around the fact that it isn’t legal but believe me; they will find the ceremony so ridiculously beautiful and personal that this concern will completely disappear. They will feel honoured to have shared such a special celebration of your relationship.
I believe passionately that a wedding should reflect you as a couple. So, if you have found a fabulous location that you have both fallen head-over-heels in love with, try and consider how you can make it work for you. Using a celebrant is becoming hugely popular as they are not only allowing couples to have ceremonies in the most fantastic locations but they are on a mission to ensure every couple’s ceremony celebrates their friendship, love and those around them who have made them into who they are together. After all, isn’t this exactly what a wedding is all about?


Sarah London Photography


On a little side note, outdoor weddings in England and Wales could become legalised as part of a new ‘belief’ plan. So in the future couples could be having humanist ceremonies in the open air and this would be the only ceremony needed, with this in mind, the answer to can we get married anywhere? Will be YES…now this would be amazing!

Lots of Love
Naomi x

(Images by Velvet Storm)

Advise, blog, Ideas /

A Wedding Signature Cocktail by Jam & Tea

Kat Forsyth image for Jam & Tea


Having been not 1, not 2 but 3 amazing festivals already this year I was thrilled to see an abundance of cocktail bars and they all had fabulous signature cocktails on offer, it got me thinking about how great it would be to have a signature wedding cocktail and to offer your guests the a little instruction card as a favour. There are so many quirky drinks out there but this one made me smile, made me want to sip it in the sun.

“A signature wedding cocktail is a lovely idea” Helen of Doily Day’s.

Jam & Tea were generous enough to share one of their inspiring recipes ‘Ginty’s Fizz’ with Helen of Doily Days…


x 1 bottle Prosecco or Champers if you’re feeling flash!

x 4 – 6 shots of Hendricks Gin, add more or less gin to liking.

x 6 tea spoons of rose water.

x 1 handful of fresh, seasonal berries, Jam and Tea love blueberries, strawberries and red currants.

x 1 – 2 Cups of pink lemonade

x 1 Lemon, sliced

x A few sprigs of mint.

A sprinkle of edible glitter.


You will need:

A large, tall jug or a punch bowlA long mixing spoon.

Champagne saucers/jam jars.

Cute little spoons (to dig out the Berries).


1. About a half hour before you would like to serve your cocktail place the Berries, lemon, mint, ice and A very small sprinkling of edible glitter into the jug/punch bowl.

2. Add the rose water and Gin and leave to infuse

3. When you are ready to serve your cocktail, add the Prosecco and pink lemonade – ready to go…

4. Prettiest served in Champagne saucers or jam jars wrapped in lace.




For some amazing wedding ideas and inspiration keep an eye out for the latest edition of Doily Day’s Loves Wedding’s Magazine which will be launched in September and available at both of Belle’s Events Autumn Fairs.



Belle's Events
Advise, blog, Ideas /

Wedding Balloons Yes or No?

Brighton Photo Balloons


The Great Balloon Debate

Here goes – a topic I’ve wanted to broach for a long time. Balloons. Love or hate? Wedding Balloons yes or no? I think there’s a fine line between deflated kids birthday party, and helium filled balloon happiness. Who remembers the 1990 film ‘Stella’? Where all Bette Midler wants is a room full of balloons. Crummy apartment. Room full of balloons. Classic romantic proposal as far as I’m concerned. So yup, you’ve guessed it – I’m a lover. I go all doe eyed when I see balloons at weddings.


Big bunches of pastel coloured balloons, single, oversized red balloon. In my mind they’re more effective than a bouquet, walk down the aisle with your balloons, give balloons to the bridesmaids.



Sacco & Sacco


So it seems wedding balloons are Bang. On. Trend. “I must admit I’ve always been a little snobby about wedding balloon decor, thinking them unimaginative, cheap and tacky… but wedding balloon decor has had a super-cool makeover. Yes, balloons are back and they are chic-er than ever!” Sonia,


Bride with balloon


If you’re looking to get some amazing wedding balloons for your big day here a few sites to I can recommend for buying wedding balloons;

The Giant Balloon Company 

Pop Pop Papier 

Pearl & Earl 

Bubblegum Balloons

Photo Madly bride with wedding balloons


Words by Helen of Doily Days and myself.


PS: Here are a few links to some real weddings featuring the ultimate in quirky, colourful wedding balloons!

Bo-Ho Wedding – Bonkers Barn Wedding 

RMW  – Shoreditch Soul Mates

Love My Dress – Summer Garden Party




Advise, blog, Small Business /

Planning a wedding? Madame B shares her wedding fair survival tips.

Planning a wedding? Don’t know where to start? With a plethora of awesome, unique and ‘alternative’ wedding fairs across the country it can me a mine field. Let’s face it we’re spoilt for choice.

I’m Beth, and I run a small wedding business called Madame B’s Boutique, I exhibit at wedding fairs frequently and would like to offer you lovely lot some heart felt advice.

Planning a wedding and visiting a wedding fair for the first time can seem like a daunting prospect, but armed with these 10 handy tips, you can avoid the stress and make it a fun, productive day that will assist you in planning a wedding you want. 

1) Choose the right type of fair for you.

In the past few years, the number of wedding fairs has increased dramatically, there are vintage wedding fairs, traditional wedding fairs, DIY wedding fairs, you name it! So make this work for you by choosing one that best suits your needs and personal taste. If you’re a non-traditional couple planning a wedding, avoid the traditional big wedding trade shows and look for smaller, indie and alternative events instead.


EWE Wedding Fair


2) Choose your companions carefully.

Maybe your partner wants to come maybe they don’t, let them decide. Invite one or two friends who can offer sensible advice and make you laugh will help with objective decision-making and stop you from feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It can get crowded at wedding fairs too, and it’s easier to move around with a smaller group.


3) Mind your budget

Don’t feel pressured into spending more than you can afford. Get quotes from a few different suppliers of the same product or service so you can do a comparison, and look online as well so you can get a good idea of the average price in your area. Planning a wedding can cause financial stress, we all know that, if your budget is tight, you can save money by sticking with local suppliers so that you’re not paying for travel costs as well. There is a lot of advice out there regarding wedding budgeting.


4) However, price isn’t everything

Chemistry is very important too, particularly when it comes to choosing people like the wedding photographer who are going to be with you for most of the day. Chat to suppliers to get a feel for their style and how they like to work. Go with your gut instinct – if their ideas and yours don’t gel, it’s probably better to try elsewhere.


5) If possible, bring images of the styles, colours you love.

This is really helpful from a supplier point of view, as the more information we have about what you want, the easier it is to make it happen.


Rock The Frock Jenny Rutterford


6) Swap contact details.

If you find a supplier you really like, it may be difficult to have an in-depth conversation about what you want in a noisy, crowded space. Most wedding suppliers will offer one-to-one consultations, so swap contact details ask if you can arrange a meeting at a later date. Add your name to the lists of suppliers you particularly like too, as they will often use these to share special offers and new products just for subscribers. Follow these suppliers on Facebook too!


7) Don’t feel pressured into making snap decisions.

Yes  you have gone to a wedding fair because you are essentially planning a wedding, which is a major project! Wedding fairs are mainly for information and idea gathering, so if you want to go away and think about it that’s perfectly OK. Most wedding suppliers know this and won’t try and push you into buying from them on the spot. If someone does make you feel uncomfortable, just smile and walk away.


8) Collect the details of all the suppliers you like and keep them in a safe place.

Trust me, you won’t be able to memorise the names of all of them and it’s really annoying if you’re trying to remember someone afterwards and can’t find their details! I kept mine in a big folder that I could go back to when it came to making bookings, and wrote notes on some of the cards if I wanted to remember certain details about the supplier. For example you might not be able to find someone again just by searching ‘camper van photo booth’ as there are a few out there.




9) Most wedding fairs will offer refreshments of some sort.

If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take advantage of this and recharge with a cake and a cuppa or glass of fizz!


10) A few days or weeks after the fair, sit down with your friends and family and go through all the cards, leaflets and notes you made.

Don’t try and do this immediately after you get home, as the chances are you’ll be pretty tired, and a bit of space will help you to be more objective.





Advise, blog, Small Business /

Sound advice for choosing a wedding reception venue to P.A.R.T.Y in!

Wedding Reception Choons from Stick It On!


I’m Rob, I run Stick It On, allowing you lot to be superstar DJ’s at your wedding reception. I get a sense that when a venue is selected for a wedding reception party (let’s call it the ‘disco’) is not high on the list of priorities. But why?

Choosing your wedding reception venue should be a priority and as you will know from checking out this awesome site there are some unique and quirky ones to choose from. Obviously, there are a lot to factors to take into consideration to ensure your wedding day is as good as it can possibly be. With this in mind, here are my #top5tips to help when asking questions about the evening disco/soirée/rave-up.


1. Does the venue have a sound limiter or have noise restrictions in-place?

When choosing your wedding reception venue ‘sound limiters’ might be the last thing on your mind, but they shouldn’t be. These beasts are commonplace at the majority of wedding venues and to be completely honest are the bane of a DJ/band’s life. Now I don’t have a problem with them in principle….no I do! They are a massive pain in the bum. The biggest problem I have with them is that some wedding reception venues have them set TOO LOW. It can be a massive anti-climax with the DJ being on the front-line and getting persistent requests to ‘turn it up’, knowing that by doing so will either set the limiter off which will automatically dampen the sound down or worst still cut the power off to the DJ equipment bringing the whole show to an awkward halt until it resets itself. Not great for dance floor or DJ!

My advice to anyone booking a wedding reception venue who is planning to have a DJ or band or both (which is the majority) is to check to see if there any sound restrictions already in-place, and if there are, what are they? Let’s face it, empty rooms are no good, as this will not give a true representation of what it will be like on the day with 100+ guests jumping about and making a noise. So maybe request to witness an event in full swing?

If the venue is perfect for all the other reasons you have on your checklist but fails on the noise issue one way to get around this is to hire in ‘silent disco headsets’ for everyone. It could add a couple of hundred pounds to your entertainment budget but will solve any noise issues (apart from the bad singing) as your guests will each be able to don a pair of headphones to wear on the dance floor and boogie away to their hearts content. A novel but extremely fun way to enjoy good music as it was intended.


Wedding Silent Disco Wedding Reception - Liz Wan Photography


2. Is the bar in the same room as the dance floor?

Ideally, when choosing your reception venue ask yourself, ‘is everything in the same room?’ Nothing splits up a party more than having a bar in another room. Please bear in mind the more areas you have open (garden, games room, bar, room for buffet, lobby etc) to your guests the more they will be dispersed. Sometimes it might be a good idea to close the space down so you can provide a more intimate, atmospheric party whereby all your guests are mingling together.

3. How big is the room where the evening reception is going to take place?

Are your guests going to rattle around in it after the dinner? Think how you can utilise the space. Are you booking other suppliers/services? A photo booth and an evening buffet for instance. Can both be set up in the main room? Another good tip to close down the space is not to remove too many tables after dinner. You can use draping and room separators too, this will limit the amount of floor space people can occupy and help push people together.



Wedding Reception Party

4. Curfews – what is the finish time for your wedding?

From my experience the majority of wedding timings get pushed back as the day progresses with photo shoots taking longer than expected, possible delays in food service and of course the best man’s speech taking forever to finish. This results in the evening reception starting later than planned, so do factor-in these possible delays into your timings as one thing that won’t shift back is the curfew time. That will be set in stone by most venues. If you’ve planned a lot for the evening (i.e. DJ, band, buffet, photo booth etc.) this can all get squeezed into a shorter space of time for you and your guests to enjoy and you may feel that you’ve not got your money’s worth with the evening flashing by in the blink of an eye.


5. Some venues insist on a DJ/band using the in-house equipment. Quite often this is absolutely fine but make sure you ask a couple of questions beforehand;

Q| Is the equipment well maintained and can you have a demonstration to hear/see it in action. Any professional DJ worth their salt will be happy to accompany you.

Q| Is the equipment linked into a sound limiter? More times than not this is the reason they’ve insisted you plug into their system. Please refer back to point 1 above and make sure it’s worthy of your wedding party and doesn’t resemble a portable stereo.

I hope the above points will help you ask the right questions when sourcing a wedding reception venue worthy of your big day to ensure that there are no hidden surprises and you get the party you ultimately want.

I’m happy to help in any way with advice and thoughts although I won’t profess to have all the answers.

However, please drop me a line and I’ll do my very best to assist you.

Over and out. Party on.




Advise, blog, Ideas /

BOOM! Shake shake shake the ROOM! Doris Loves #Top3Tips

Doris Loves  Light Up Letters BOOM


Amanda of Doris Loves is no DJ, she’s no technician, she and her divine husband Darren are the creators of the most awesome ‘LIGHT UP LETTERS‘ on the wedding hire market. Doris Loves has exhibited at each and very one of my wedding fairs and the reaction to the light up letters is always the same . . . W.O.W. These lovely pair can make a Truly Quirky Wedding Fair dance floor BOOM!

So, here we go, the lady herself offers her Top 3 Tips for making your wedding dance floor B.O.O.M

Tip1 Think about the lighting.

To guarantee an empty dance floor, turn the lights up, nobody feels like approaching a BRIGHT dance floor. When people throw those shapes they want atmosphere and they don’t want to feel like they’re under one giant spot light. Dim the lights, any good venue will be prepared for this. Just don’t forget to ask.

Tip2 Signage, spell it out to your guests.

Here’s a great example from Pinterest, it sets the scene for your guests and lets them know just what your expecting. I particularly like ‘Dance Offs should take place where appropriate, and often!’


DorisBOOM2 Sign


Want to tick off tip one and two it one easy hit? Then hire our ‘Light Up Letters!’ They are another great way to create a great lighting atmosphere, but with over 70 battery powered letters in stock, you could spell out the word M.O.V.E // D.A.N.C.E // D.A.N.C.E.F.L.O.O.R. then theres no way of missing it!

Doris Loves Light Up Letters PARTY

Tip3 The 2nd song.

The scene is set, the dance floor is looking fantastic with it’s atmospheric lighting and light up letters. You’ve spelt it out clearly to your guests, your expecting some serious shapes to be thrown.

You’ve thought long and hard about your first dance, you’ve picked the perfect song, everyone starts joining in at the end, everyone is swaying away… and this is when you hit them with the ultimate dance friendly song! This way they can’t resist staying and dancing the night away.

So there you have it ladies and gents, if you want to keep your dance floor BOOM-ing follow these tips and your sure to have an absolute blast out there (and some footage you’ll watch again and again).




Advise, blog, Ideas /

My #top10 wedding fair tips for exhibitors & visitors



“I love you because you are EXACTLY like everyone else,” is not a marriage proposal to set the heart beating faster.

We love each other for our uniqueness and quirks and, as such, traditional wedding receptions involving crisp white tablecloths, salmon for starters and a three-tier white cake are swiftly becoming a thing of the past. Couples are crying out for new ideas, quirky, inspirational suppliers and venues who allow them to reflect their personalities on their big day.

When I was planning my wedding this time eleven years ago (ouch!), I went to a wedding fair with my mum and we had to flee offers of tacky cars, chocolate fountains and cream chair covers and vow that we would do it all ourselves.


brighton wedding photographer


Family and friends were involved in making a day that reflected Joss and I. My mother-In-law designed and made me a beautiful 1950’s style lace dress, which I will treasure forever more. My boss drove me in his jeep (and arranged champagne and mixed a brilliant CD!) A friend arranged our photographer and another organised a Moroccan menu.


The Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair


No offence to Joss but since then my mind has often happily drifted off into thoughts of planning another wedding and if my big day was coming up in 2015 I would be thrilled at the imaginative and original companies there are out there now. On May 10th I have planned the third ‘Quirky Boutique Wedding Fair’, it’s the wedding fair of my dreams, the one I wish I could have attended. I like to think that it will play a part in helping creative, stylish couples create a wedding that they will cherish because it reflects them.

Three years ago I launched Belles Events running unique, quirky, vintage weddings fairs across Sussex & London. When I planned my own wedding I would have loved to have found any of the inspirational, talented, and friendly suppliers I now know because they are all committed to thrill couples who want something a little bit different’ As they say on Twitter #lovemyjob.




As wedding fair season has just begun I thought I would share my best wedding fair tips for exhibitors and visitors |

My top 10 tips for visiting Wedding Fairs | 

  1. Look around for fairs that suit your style, there is no point going to a fairy tale wedding fair if you want a gothic wedding. There are so many fabulous fairs out there BUT there are some terrible ones too, search on line and choose your search words wisely.
  2. Take your time, don’t rush, remember that the suppliers have paid to attend and are there to talk to you and find out what you want.
  3. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. You can often leave the fair by getting a stamp on your hand. Sometimes taking a break is a good idea, go for a walk, and come back after you have thought of what you want to find out.
  4. Take business cards of suppliers you like the look of so you can contact them after the day and tell them where you saw them. Find their Facebook Pages and link up with them on Twitter and Pinterest.
  5. Ask if the supplier is offering a discount for bookings made that day, often you will save yourself up to 15%.
  6. Take people along that want to be there. If your partner isn’t up for it, don’t drag them along; it will just annoy you, and them! Equally, if your partner does want to get involved don’t whatever you do leave them out of it.
  7. Take cash, you never know what you might find. Some suppliers take card payments on the day but wouldn’t it be awful to miss out on something special?
  8. Don’t feel pressured, but don’t miss out, if a photographer you adore has your date available, consider paying a deposit on the day.
  9. Don’t freak out! If you have always dreamt of one particular hairstyle for example and you see someone doing demonstrations, get involved, open your mind and you might be surprised about what you could achieve.
  10. Remember this. You only get married once, hopefully, enjoy this, don’t get stressed; all that matters is that you are marrying the person you love.

My top Wedding Fairs tips for exhibitors | 

  1. Look around for events that suit your style, there is no point paying to attend a wedding fair that won’t attract the couples that will love what you do. I have to turn away businesses that I know will not do well at my events, it’s a hard thing to do but I don’t feel that having a very traditional dress company exhibiting would be fair.
  2. Before you book for a fair speak to the organiser and find out how they will be advertising, how they run the fairs, for example do they have limits on services such as florists and cake makers, do they provide parking?
  3. Make sure you have business cards available with your Social Media details on them.
  4. Think about offering a discount to couples that pay a deposit or book on the day.
  5. Consider getting a card payment devise for larger fairs or allow couples to pay deposit my Paypal on your phone or iPad.
  6. Use fairs as networking opportunities, there are lots of other suppliers feeling like you, make fiends, before the fair opens walk around and exchange cards, offer to get them a cup of tea if they look nervous.
  7. Make your stall stand out, bring beautiful, ironed fabric to cover your table, adorn it with things that make a statement about your company, think of your stall as your little shop for the day.
  8. Don’t expect bookings/sales on the day, couples like to go away and discuss what they have seen on the day. If they liked what you had to offer they will contact you after the fair.
  9. Remember that couples can sometimes be nervous, make them comfortable by asking about what they have planned already and where the are getting married.
  10. Help with advertising the fair, use your social media to talk about the events and maybe you could display a poster for the organiser. After all, every little bit of advertising help you and them.

I hope you find these tips helpful, happy planning.

Yours Truly