Different / Varied Services

A PaperCut Above
A PaperCut Above

How about this for a unique gift to give to your other half on your wedding day.  A personalised message that can be kept forever and cherished as a wonderful memento from your wedding day courtesy of A PaperCut Above.  You can choose one of the pre-designed cuts that can then be adapted for you or you can have a bespoke, hand created papercut made to your specifications, so whether you have a favourite shared song lyric, poem or maybe just a secret saying between you, this can be created for a truly personalised gift.  You can choose to have your papercut mounted and framed or you can have it unframed and you can also choose the backing paper for your design.

Have a look at A PaperCut Above for full details and to browse their gallery.

Rockmywedding has got to be the fastest growing wedding blog in the UK.  It was only launched in the Autumn of 2009 and is already getting over 60,000 page views a month.  Not quite as many as this site but then we have been around since early 2008. 

The reason for its popularity is that it delivers everything its target audience craves.  Brides want to be inspired with unique ideas for their wedding and Rock my Wedding hits the mark every day of every week.  Rather than churn out page after page of product write ups the writers feed off the gorgeous imagery from respected wedding photographers and add the bride’s personal insights and their own comments to accompany the snaps.   They build up real life wedding stories which serve to enlighten and inspire and never to bore.

I was itching to share some of the fantastic photography here in this post but since I have not asked for permission I will have let you look for yourself.  Be warned however.  I challenge you not to lose at least half an hour in browsing heaven.  Go and grab a coffee or glass of wine (depending on the time of day) and enjoy.

My hats off to Charlotte, Rebecca and Adam, the three talented people behind the site.  I am looking forward to seeing the new Love Lust List of recommended suppliers next week.

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Wedding Dove Balloons
Wedding Dove Balloons

A release of white doves on your wedding day is certainly a dramatic finale to your wedding day celebrations. Many say it makes a symbolic symbol representing Love, Peace, Purity, Faithfulness and Prosperity and there are several companies charging a small fortune for their services on your big day. If you are caught up by the romance and meaning of it all it might be worth pointing out at this stage of the article that it is usually white homing pigeons that are used and not doves. Pigeons do not have such a romantic attachment in my view but they are well trained in the returning to their owner routine.

Now, I would much sooner have a release of birds that safely return rather than domestic bred doves that are released to the wild and, by all accounts,  their impending doom. That said, I am not a believer in any birds being caged and having exhibiting at a number of wedding shows where a dove (or more likely a pigeon) has been on display in the tiniest of cages for ‘brides to be’ to coo over (excuse the pun) I can’t see where the entertainment in that is.

Bio Dove Helium Balloon
Bio Dove Helium Balloon

So, what is the alternative.  Well, I came across these rather impressive dove shaped balloons from the Night Sky Lantern company, who are more popularly known for their impressive range of Sky Lanterns.  Apparently, these helium filled balloons have been designs to even mimic a flapping dove in flight which sounds rather impressive.  They are of course cruelty free and better still they are 100% bidegradable when exposed to water and take only 10 days to 3 months to decompose (along with the biodegradable string used to release them).   These Bio Doves are less than £40 for 10 or even cheaper if there is a valid Sky Lanterns Promotional code available over at Wedding Voucher Codes.

Dove Balloon release at a wedding
Dove Balloon release at a wedding

Congratulations you’re engaged, but what happens next?  Of course your head is probably full of wedding dresses and wonderful reception venues and ideas, but first things first.  Sit down together and decide exactly what your budget is, there’s no point planning a Wayne & Coleen style wedding if you just don’t have the funds.  Decide what is important to you both, is it a wonderful big family & friends wedding and a stunning reception venue, or a small intimate ceremony with just your nearest and dearest.  Do you want something very formal with all the usual traditions, or do you want something relaxed and laid back with a fun element.  You may think that you both know what the other wants for the wedding, but then you find out that you were both trying to please one another because you thought the other wanted a big wedding when in fact you both want to jet off abroad for a small wedding then celebrate with a party at home later.  So talk it through, and if you don’t agree on what you want then be prepared to compromise with each other.

Wedding Venues & Services
Wedding Venues & Services

Wedding Venues & Services have a very handy budget planner on their website which will help you set your budget for individual items within your planning.  It has an estimate, actual and a difference field that allows you to see where you have gone over your budget and where you have saved making it easy to keep track of your budget.

If either sets of parents are helping with the cost of the wedding, keeping a budget planner makes it easier to show them where the money is being spent and will help them see that you are taking the budget seriously rather than just spending it all! 

Don’t think that you can’t have a big wedding with all your family and friends without spending a fortune, if you don’t have a big budget but do want all your friends and family there, then planning ahead is essential to give yourself time to find all the elements you want at the best price.  You can have a stunning reception venue at a low cost, church halls and other public venues can be transformed with a little creative flair, or choose to have your wedding on a week day which will bring down the costs substantially.  You can have that designer dress that you always wanted by waiting for special events or the end of season sale where the discounts can be amazing.  Friends and family will be more than happy to offer you their time and talents, most families will have someone who can make cakes or at least decorate shop bought ones, or someone who has a creative streak and can make invitations or decorate the reception venue.  Cheap Wedding Success is a wonderful resource for how to plan your wedding without putting yourself into major debt at the beginning of your married life.

Ice Hotel Weddings

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a Snow Queen, getting married in the North (Sweden, Finland or Iceland) in an Ice Hotel or timbered chapel amongst glistening snow and ice may be just the wedding location for you. Imagine yourself arriving by husky sledge or reindeer sleigh and spending your wedding night in a honeymoon cabin with private sauna, a real ‘wow’ overseas wedding venue!  Discover the World arrange packages tailored to your needs and will help you to arrange all the paperwork as well as arranging travel for your guests.  It’s always a bit of a worry arranging a wedding abroad and leaving the booking details to a company, but take a look at one of the forums on http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/index.php/chatroom/topic/47884  and you’ll see posts from brides who have already used Discover the World and those who are using them who have said how good the service has been.

I was very impressed with the girls on this week’s Dragon’s Den who pitched their unusual entertainments business D4M Entertainment (Dance 4 Me Entertainment). They were one of only two hopefuls to get the Dragon’s backing and rightly so. They have put together a portfolio of acts which can be hired for entertainment and with the right guidance I think their comapny will be extremely successful.  The girls pitched their company to the Dragons with an emphasis towards corporate functions but a quick look on their website and you will see they also cater for themed events and wedding entertainment.

If you missed the show then you can see in the above image two of acts that could be hired for some unusual wedding entertainment.  The girls used their ‘talking tree’ and ‘meet and greet drink table’ as examples in their pitch to the Dragons but there are many other unusual acts in theor portfolio including stilt walkers and living statues.  These types of acts are not going to replace your reception disco, live band, or string quartet but if you have the budget to spare then it is this type of novelty background entertainment that will make your wedding event one that everyone will remember. 

You have a classy marquee set up in your back garden, a field, or country house grounds and you dont want your guests wandering around like lost sheep when you arrive.  Do you a) Get a piece of cardboard and scribble an arrow with a marker pen or b) Buy a purpose made Wedding Reception sign from Garden Trading for only £7.00 ?

There is no contest really and I think kind of wedding signage must be a bit of a one off.  Garden Trading only made this item due to requests from their customers who could’nt find anything to match their requirements.  Sure, you can buy reception signs from other retailers but you will tend to find these are far more commercial or office looking because they have, of course, been designed to match a business reception.

I am not so sure about hanging the sign precariously on a loose nail as pictured above is such a good idea.  It would be far too tempting for me or any other practical joker to spin the sign around in true Loony Tunes style to send your guests off on a wild goose chase 

We developed this as a special request from several of our customers who have been organizing weddings, we then realized how perfect it would be for those with rambling rural offices, spread over outhouses and barns. 

Sky Lanterns Wedding

Many couples often look for some entertainment during the wedding day to add splash of drama and wow factor to the proceedings.  A popular choice is a ‘release’ of some description whether it is butterflies, balloons, doves, or fireworks and these are all popular crowd pleasers.  Now there is another option to add to the list with the choice of a sky lantern release.

Sky Lanterns are traditionally used in Asian festivals where the rise of the Lantern symbolises their troubles and woes floating away to be replaced with good luck and fortune in the future.  They look a bit like those large paper lampshades that you can pick up in the Marketplace section of Ikea or your local DIY store and are made from biodegradable paper so tick all the right boxes for an eco friendly display.  The flame lit underneath provides the uplift using the same principle as a hot air balloon to float the lanterns into the sky on a calm dark evening for a dramatic display.  If you cannot visualise the effect then take a look at three  of the leading companies in the field, Night Sky Lanterns,  Light a Lantern or SkyLanterns.com to see a video of a sky lantern release.  Both of these companies offer wedding packages.

Sky Lantern Crowd Display

The Lanterns can be used both day and night and although coloured lanterns can be used for a daytime display they still do not match the dramatic effect of a night time release.  You can ask your guests to write their own good luck messages on the lanterns which can be read by the bride and groom whilst the crescendo of the release reaches its final moments.  I think it makes a more romantic alternative to a firework display but is best suited for a summer marquee wedding.  Firstly, the weather conditions can be better guaranteed in the summer and strong wind and rain will ruin the display.  Secondly, a marquee wedding where your guests are already outside makes the display seem more spontaneous and your guests will not have to be rounded up like sheep and paraded into the gardens to view the release.

Prices for a Sky Lantern release vary according to the number of Lanterns, size of lantern, whether you are releasing them yourself or getting a professional display.  As a very rough guide a diy approach can cost a few hundred pounds and a managed display can cost upwards of £800.

London Eye WeddingsIf you arelooking for an unusual venue to tie the knot then this one has got to make your short list.  It is funny to think that only a few decades ago the idea of marrying in any where other than a church or register office would have seemed outlandish and now you can get married virtually anywhere including on what is essentially just a scaled up fairground attraction.

The London Eye offers three wedding packages… Silver, Gold and Platinum.  (what ever happened to Bronze, Silver and Gold especially with the London Olympics in view).  Anyway, prices range from £1900 to £3200 and with every package your own private capsule will be decorated with flowers.  Vows are exchanged when you reach the very top of the ascent (some 135 metres) so if you suffer from vertigo you will have every excuse for fainting as the wedding nerves kick in.  London Eye Company Limited are sending us more details about their wedding packages so we will post more detailed information about this unusual wedding venue within the next couple of weeks.

Wedding Casino Hire

Bring a slice of Las Vegas or a bit of Casino Royale glamour to your evening reception by hiring a Casino for your wedding.  With a choice of blackjack table, roulette table, and a full size craps table along with professional Casino Dealers to run the preceedings you can bring a bit of glitz to the evening celebrations.  Running alongside the bar or disco a wedding casino offers a welcome retreat from the dance floor and an ideal place to mingle and chat rather than the normal table hopping that occurs at any wedding that I have been to.

Funny Casino MoneyFunny Casino MoneyGambling is not for everyone but you will be pleased to hear that there is no chance of your guests leaving with empty pockets because there is no real money involved.  Deal a Party offer some great funny money with their wedding casino hire that even features the bride and groom and the wedding date on the mock bank notes.  Whatever would the Queen say !!!  The notes are distributed equally between the guests so everyone has an equal chance to win a fake fortune.

The Casino is usually launched at the wedding in a unique cutting the cake style with the bride throwing the first roll of the dice with an audience of close family and friends around the table.  The bright colours of all the table and surrounding atmosphere make an ideal backdrop for some stunning evening photos and brighten up the wedding album.  It all adds up to a great fun evening and something your guests will remember long after the wedding night.