How To Be A Bride With No Wedding Regrets


The Roundhouse, Derby Wedding Fair

Derby's Newly Renovated Roundhouse hosts its first Wedding Fayre

On Sunday the 12th of September we attended the very first Wedding Fayre at the wonderful, newly refurbished, Roundhouse in Derby.

Located in what was once the old turning shed next to Derby train station, the venue is a truly grand and magnificent building with bags of character: an adaptable event space which is simply perfect for large scale weddings, corporate events, product launches, awards evenings and charity gatherings.


As the recommended entertainment supplier, the Adam Thomas team have been asked to provide a bespoke entertainment package for an exclusive corporate event at The Roundhouse, performing in the diverse and extensive event space. Adam will be performing with his Swing & Soul Big Band playing a diverse mix of musical styles (from Michael Buble to The Killers, Paolo Nutini to The Blues Brothers) in a specially selected corporate entertainment set. **More details of this event will be posted shortly**

Full details of the venue itself can be found on the new Roundhouse website or you can give Helen Peden, the conference and events manager, a quick call on 01332 520135 or email her directly.


We get to meet so many great suppliers at Midlands Wedding Fairs and here are our personal favourites for this week:

John Preston Flowers - truly magnificent flowers on a huge scale! They also happen to do more subtle pieces (that are just lovely too) but, as there are enough of those kind of florists around, I thought I'd share their large scale masterpieces with you instead! If your wedding or special event is on the larger end of the scale then John Preston is the florist for you!

Bespoke Weddings - Rebecca Whitehouse and the team at Bespoke Events offer discerning couples a selection of 'high quality venues of distinction' with tailor-made wedding packages to suit all budgets. They are also very lovely people and are giving away a Wedding Venue!! Yes, you heard it right, you can win your Wedding Venue. Just go to their website for more details.



Need a WEDsite?? Try Wedding Buzz...

Not everyone has the time or facilities to create their very own wedding website: they take a lot of planning, effort and skill and, let’s face it, you’ve got quite a lot on your plate as it is at the moment! That said, it’s really nice to be able to share your progress, plans, background and pictures with other members of the wedding party, friends and family members. It’s a great way to organise your own thoughts and see your planning progress too!

For those of you that have been receiving my blog for a while now, you’ll have heard me mention the “Wedding Book” Facebook application before. In brief, it’s a way to share your wedding (and the build-up to it) with your friends on Facebook!  The app has now changed its name to Wedding Buzz and, with 65,000 fans, features include a Wedding Countdown Clock (which can either add to the excitement or worsen the nerves – whichever way you look at it!), photo albums, a Wedding Party Profile (like an album with all of your bridal party members in it), a Guest Book, links to your wedding website (if you have one), links to your gift registry (i.e Debenhams, John Lewis or whoever you have chosen) and lot’s more too! 

So whether you want to share photos of your dress, your ring, your engagement pictures or even your wedding party, you can do it all on your Facebook Wedding Buzz application. You can create an inspiration album, post your wedding and honeymoon photos afterwards and there’s also forums that you can join to chat with other users of the application.

Go and create your own wedding website now and have fun :)



// Dream Wedding Venues // Kilworth House, Leicestershire

As part of our Dream Wedding Venues feature, we have decided to begin with Kilworth House Hotel in the lovely rural surroundings of Kilworth in South Leicestershire.

They say:

With thirty-eight acres of landscaped South Leicestershire parkland, this grade II listed hotel features period furnishings, four-poster bedrooms, and muntjac deer darting across woodland trails! The bedrooms are palatial, the food is superb and you don't even need to worry about separate wedding and reception venues as the hotel has its own Civil Wedding Licence. You can enjoy an entire fairytale day, from exchange of vows through to secluded late-night romance, within the luxury and the privacy of a country-house estate.

We say:

Many friends and family members have chosen Kilworth House Hotel and have had beautiful weddings there. The staff are friendly and the atmosphere is very laid back.

3 Best Things...

We’ve pretty much covered these already but, in short: the bedrooms are out of this world, the views are fantastic and the Orangery is a beautiful place to have a lovely wedding breakfast.

3 Not So Good Things...

Our brides tell us that they can be a little bit pushy when it comes to using their recommended suppliers (as opposed to a bride being able to use her own choice of wedding entertainment, florist etc), the evening reception has to be downstairs in the cellar [unless you have a substantial budget for exclusive hire] (thus ruling out the possibility of having a Live Big Band – the Adam Thomas solo show is the largest that we can offer in there) and some of your guests may find that the bedrooms are too pricey.


Our Thoughts

As always, choosing a venue is a very personal thing - plus things that are a priority for one bride might not be at all important for another. If nice bedrooms, gardens and food are at the top of your list then you may find that Kilworth House is the place for you! If a live band, free reign over your choice of suppliers and having all of your family stay overnight are important to you then you may need to look elsewhere. Remember there isn’t a one-size-fits-all venue – the ‘perfect venue’ doesn’t exist... there is, however, such a thing as a perfect venue for you!

Weighing up your priorities and the pros and cons of each of your shortlisted venues is the first step. Visiting the venues and deciding if they ‘feel’ right is next... who cares if it ticks all of the boxes but you don’t feel at ease there! Lastly, do you feel comfortable with the wedding coordinator? You’ll have to deal with them a lot throughout your planning so your relationship will become very important. Trust your instincts, ask all of the right questions and take your time – once you have chosen your wedding venue everything else will follow on from there!

The Midlands has many stunning venues to choose from so take your time and look at as many as you need to...

LE17 6JE
TEL 01858 880058
FAX 01858 880349

Whether you need a Solo Singer, Soul Band or a Swing & Jazz Big Band, Adam Thomas is your complete Wedding Entertainment solution.


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iPhone Wedding Planning, now that's cool!

 The Complete Wedding Planning app for the iPhone

iWedding Deluxe is the wedding planner app that will organize, guide and inspire you while keeping all the vital information at your fingertips. 

It is a feature packed planner with Todo lists, Budget Planning, Notes, Photos, recording of nearly every business detail imaginable, Guest lists, Seating Plans, Reception Wedding Entertainment, Wedding Guides, Inspiration, Blogs and even integration with Social Networks such as Twitter and Facebook.  

In short Bridezilla's, iWedding Deluxe the only wedding app you will ever need!!

Savvy Cinderella Reviews: iWedding Deluxe for iPhone and iPod Touch

Are you newly engaged but still running a busy life with work, friends, family, pets, and anything else piled on top of planning for your dream wedding?  We’re all busy, and planning an entire wedding can be completely daunting.  There are plenty of solutions out there to help a busy bride-to-be, but this one caught our eye.  It seems like our lives revolve around our cell phones—so what if your wedding planning could, too?


The iWedding Deluxe application for iPhone and iPod Touch promises to help you with all aspects of planning for your wedding.  At first glance, it sounds strange—why would you want, need, or be able to plan your entire wedding on your phone?  The more we looked into the application, however, the more it honestly made sense.  Do you have a long commute on the subway, train, or bus to work every day?  Odds are you’ll be checking your phone or iPod, anyway, so why not take a few extra minutes to add a few more relatives to your guest list?  Or browse for inspirational wedding dresses?  Or keep track of your budget (automatically or manually!)?  The list goes on.  And, there’s the added bonus of not having to lug around entire portfolios of your wedding planning inspiration, papers, magazine articles and photos, fabric samples, color swatches—you get the picture!  Check out some of favorite features from the iWedding Deluxe application below: 

  • Easy-to-Use Homepage: iWedding Deluxe gets straight down to business, giving you the ultimate countdown to your wedding day in months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds.  Perfect for the micro-manager!  A checklist is presented right away, with options such as “Start the Guest List” and “Reserve Photographer.”  The homepage also offers quick access to the Quickview Binder of the app, which holds all of your information in easy, organized tabs.  The To-Do list is customizable, and can also update itself with scheduled items (say, reserving a venue on a specific date, or fitting yourself into a stylist’s schedule).

  • Manual or Automatic Budget Control: iWedding Deluxe is on top of your spending, so you don’t have to be!  Your budget can be set and controlled automatically or manually.  If you choose to have it be updated automatically, the application will track the cost of every item entered in by you, and will log the prices accordingly.  Choosing to manually control your budget is just as it sounds: you have to enter every item into your budget by hand.  This may sound time consuming, but we imagine this could be quite helpful if your wedding is DIY-heavy; you will be able to distinguish between which parts of the wedding you’re doing by hand, and which parts are being done with outside assistance.  On top of all of that, iWedding Deluxe offers you budgeting assistance by giving you the approximate wedding industry percentage target of your budget and what percentage your selection actually is.  It is a quick, handy scope of the wedding market business, which can be quite the scary beast.

  • Flexibility with Invitees: The designers of iWedding Deluxe obviously understood the complexities of a long wedding guest list.  The possibilities of how to enter a person as a “guest” at your wedding seem endless.  You can easily add guests (one by one or in multiples) to your list through your Contacts on your iPhone or iTouch, complete with their contact information, significant others, etc.  Guests can also be entered manually, and all guests can be recorded as staying all day or only for the evening.  iWedding Deluxe also makes it incredibly easy to track your progress with your guests, from whether or not you sent them an invitation, if they RSVPed, to the status of their attendance for your big day.  You can record their meal choice for the reception, if they are bringing guests, and where they should sit both for the rehearsal dinner and the reception.  For after the wedding, you can record what gift they gave you, as well.  The best part?  All of this information is exportable through email!

  • What You Want is What You See: Planning a wedding is a vast array of categories, details, notes, receipts, people, and lists.  Thankfully enough, iWedding Deluxe recognized this easily, and brilliantly organized the application into modules.  These modules can be removed, moved around, and altered to fit what you want for the planning of your wedding.  Don’t feel the need to have the Inspiration module?  Then remove it from your lineup.  iWedding Deluxe flexes and changes to fit your needs and what you want or need to plan for your wedding—you aren’t locked into a set system of planning!

  • Social Media Integration: Do you enjoy sharing all of the juicy details of your wedding planning with close family and friends? iWedding Deluxe allows you to do so easily with Twitter, TweetPhoto, and Facebook integration.  Tweets can be sent out whenever you make a big decision, such as selecting a venue or dress, along with direct links to pictures—or, your Facebook can be updated instantly, photo albums can be made and uploaded quickly, and your wall is updated with all of your latest planning choices.


    iWedding Guest


    Overall, we loved what we saw in iWedding Deluxe.  It is truly the most comprehensive, easy-to-use wedding application on the market, and, as their website so boldly states, their goal is to make sure iWedding Deluxe is the only wedding planning application you will ever need!  This application truly has it all, and is even showing promise to be utilized as a tool by professional wedding planners (though their only complaint thus far is that you can only plan one wedding at a time in the application!).  With an endless list of features that makes planning your wedding stress-free (well, reduced!) and portable, an easy-to-use interface, and a savvy price of £5.99 on iTunes’ App Store, there’s not much to complain about.  Serendipity App Company has certainly hit the sweet spot with this powerful little tool!


    Like what you’ve seen so far?  Read more about iWeddingDeluxe:

    iWedding Deluxe Website

    iWedding Deluxe Blog

    iWedding Deluxe on iTunes

    iWedding Deluxe Review on APPlesauce

    iWedding Deluxe Review on appsafari


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Wedding Ceremony Tips

The choice between a civil and religious ceremony is a very personal one and, in reality, is usually very clear cut for the majority of people.  Wherever and however you choose to say your vows, the important thing is that you both want to say them isn’t it?



More and more venues are able to offer couples the opportunity to get married either in their grounds or within one or more of their rooms. This has really opened up the options available when choosing where to hold your wedding and often means that the ceremony and reception take place in the same location - making transport and travel problems a thing of the past! The main thing to watch out for with civil ceremonies is that the atmosphere can sometimes be lost if the preparation has been neglected: special care and thought needs to go into making a day-to-day room feel like a magical place. To really transform the room, think about the 5 senses and make sure that all of them are covered:

1)  Sight: using chair covers, creative lighting and a little bit of thought no-one will even recognise the room! Ensure that unsightly items (such as projectors or whiteboards if it’s a conference room) are removed or hidden.

2)  Hearing: you’ll no doubt have music played at various points so ensure that you know how this will be played and who is controlling it! This may sound pedantic but you should hear your registrar prior to booking them if possible as there are a few with dreadful accents that will ruin the feel of your ceremony!

3)  Touch: your chair covers will automatically help with this one and perhaps a pretty order of service on every other chair too.

4)  Smell: add a drop of scent to the candles to add to the room’s atmosphere. Your flowers will provide a lovely fresh smell too.

5)  Taste: OK, so you’re not going to hand out sweets but let’s use taste in its other sense! A classy, tasteful room that makes people tingle as they walk in... that’s what you’re aiming for!

With care and attention, a civil ceremony can be stunning and moving... you can even write your own vows!


Religious ceremonies are still extremely popular and couples have various reasons for choosing this option: some opt for it because of tradition, some to please a family member, some because religion and God play a real part in their lives. Whatever your reason for choosing to marry in church, you will find the organisation side less stressful than a civil ceremony in that the building itself is probably already magical and atmospheric. My top 5 tips for a religious ceremony are:

1)  Meet the priest/vicar in person and also hear him ‘in action’ – you need to like him/her if you’re going to buy into what he/she says during the ceremony.

2)  Check the church rules i.e. is confetti allowed, can the ceremony be videoed and/or photographed? If a video of the service is important to you but the church doesn’t allow it then you may want to look elsewhere.

3)  Find ways around things! Although you are supposed to marry in your parish church, there are ways around this! If you find that your priest/vicar is very awkward (or that their rules are unfair) then take your business elsewhere: it may seem harsh to call it ‘business’ but when you see the price that churches charge you’ll appreciate that it really is. I speak from experience here!

4)  Add candles, flowers, scent and floral pew ends to really create something special.

5) Choose hymns wisely: there is no point choosing something obscure that no-one knows as it will simply result in quiet mumbling throughout the song. Choose something that people will be comfortable singing aloud and, if you’re worried that your guests will chicken out, invite the church choir or even a few of the parish regulars to pump up the volume!

The best thing to do is close your eyes and picture the way that you’d like to feel when standing at the altar... that should tell you if your choices are right.


Enjoy It!

Whichever type of ceremony you opt for, be sure that you’ve chosen for yourself and that you’ve thought through the details... they’re over in a flash! Whether it’s a church, a hotel conference room, a beach or a conservatory you’ll enter as a single girl and exit as a married woman... make it special!


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// NO WEDDING REGRETS // Make A Budget

Make A Budget

It doesn’t matter how much or how little you and your partner earn (or how hard-up or rich your friends and family are!), there is always a budget of some kind to stick to. “Budget” has to be the most un-romantic word associated with a wedding and, because we all tend to ignore the things that we don’t like in life, wedding budgets often get missed out or, at best, get completed half-heartedly!


Why Do A Budget?

Although putting a budget together doesn’t seem like an exciting job, it can actually be quite fun if you approach it in the right way! There are so many small things that get overlooked: petrol for the shopping days out... and of course the lunches once you’re there; dyeing those bridesmaid shoes to match the dresses; fancy pens for people to sign the Guest Book with... and the list goes on! Try to underestimate your budget so that you have a buffer zone which allows for this added expenditure: the last thing that you want is to cause money worries and extra stress just before your big day so plan ahead, be realistic and, most importantly, be flexible...

Budget Calculator

The first step is to source a wedding budget calculator and this seems to be one of the best out there:  AOL's Wedding Budget Calculator

  1. Type in your overall budget: this is decided upon by looking at what you can realistically afford in the timeframe that you’ve allowed yourselves and also takes into account any outside donations that may have been offered too
  2. The calculator will now give you the average prices for each of the items on the planner! You can then click and drag the dials to see how spending more or less on each of the items will affect your overall funds, therefore personalising your budget to reflect your own priorities
  3. clip_image002[4]
  4. Once you’ve paid for something, you can select the 'Payments' tab to input how much you've spent on that particular item and then use the 'Save' button to keep a record or printout!


The most important thing to remember about budgets is that you can still have what you want (even with a very limited budget) so long as you are clear on your priorities: let’s face it, if the most important thing to you both is that £3,000 dress that you’ve set your heart on (but the overall budget is £7,000) this IS still possible but you’ll have to make big sacrifices elsewhere: maybe you won’t need cars because the ceremony and reception are in the same place, maybe having a Saturday wedding is not important and therefore you can qualify for weekday venue discounts, perhaps neither or you want to invite too many people... each couple has different priorities.

I used to cringe when suppliers asked me what my budget was because, in reality, most people will base their choices on their gut reaction rather than their budget. I have had brides spend around £1,000 on booking Adam Thomas for their wedding entertainment when they had originally set aside £300 for a disco – sometimes you see something that, although you hadn’t planned for, you know will just make your day... something that you feel was the missing link.

Once again, the best thing about a budget planner is that you can then foresee any problems caused by this ‘overspending’ and adjust your budget for other items accordingly... you’ll know in advance where you will need to make the sacrifices (rather than being disappointed when the money runs out half way through your planning!) Get what you want by simply knowing your priorities and planning ahead… the world is your oyster!



// NO WEDDING REGRETS // Supplier Relationships

Supplier Relationships 

You may be wondering why I would cover ‘supplier relationships’ as my 7th blog, it sounds like too broad a subject to cover! The thing is, sourcing (and securing) suppliers is all well and good; getting what you want from them is another thing entirely!

But surely I get what I pay for?

In reality, your relationship with your suppliers has got to be strong, honest and friendly. You want these people to look after you, fuss you, worry for you and ensure that they do everything in their power to make your day smooth-sailing. Put yourself in their place: do you think that bride A (the bride that simply books, ticks boxes and turns up on the day), bride B (Bridezilla that DEMANDS things and strops at them) and bride C (that they feel they have a relationship with and have almost become friends with) will receive identical treatment? That’s my point!

Naively, most people assume that suppliers offer a straightforward service with a standard price list and that you can’t go far wrong with your choices. Let’s face it, if it were that simple this would be a very short blog!

Whatever line of work you’re in, you know that when dealing with clients/customers you have a little leeway on certain things: it’s down to your discretion to refuse or accept a return or to hurry an order through when it has missed its deadline. Your suppliers are no different: treat them with respect and establish a relationship with them and it will be like having an old friend looking out for you on your big day... who wouldn’t prefer that?

When you say leeway, ...?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about hidden discounts that only go to ‘nice brides’ or free champagne for the sweetest couple, it’s about showing them your true personality so that they see you as someone that they couldn’t let down: your name on a message should make them smile not sigh or cringe!

But what if I’m not happy with them?

There is a fine line between being friendly and seeming like a pushover: I’m not suggesting the latter at all! As you’ll know from my other blogs, I’m all about getting what you want and deserve! If your supplier isn’t pulling their weight then address it by all means, just make sure that, once resolved, this person is still going to care about the service that they provide for you. On your big day, when you look around at all the people that you love (and the others!!!), wouldn’t it be nice to feel that the room is full of people that have your best interests at heart?



// NO WEDDING REGRETS // Don't 'Over-Plan!'

Don’t ‘overplan’ your evening’s timings!

Clock Watching at your wedding!!

So here we are again: another top tip for you future ‘brides without regret!’

As you may remember from my blog about photography, every wedding we’ve ever attended runs late – without exception. Some only a little, but late nonetheless! I receive emails asking for timing advice all of the time and my answer is always the same: it won’t happen at the time you think it will!


Two things will remain on time even if you don’t: the buffet and last orders!

When you have lots to fit in, the temptation is to schedule a choc-a-bloc evening with no room for error. Every bride that has ever said that the room-turnaround would be 6-7 has trotted out of that room after 7pm for sure!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to a smoother evening:

*Before we continue, get a pen and paper and make some notes so that you, your partner and your entertainer/s know what’s happening!


If your evening invitations say 7pm, expect all of your guests at 7.45pm!

Nobody wants to be the first to arrive in the evening so allow at least 45 minutes in your head for those extra guests to arrive. This also allows you a buffer zone for your wedding breakfast running late too (after your wedding speeches take longer than you ever thought they could!) If you’re expecting your meal to finish at 6pm it will probably be 7pm before you leave the room, therefore 8pm until you can get back in. Provided that there is somewhere for people to relax and get a drink, this is no problem. Your evening guests can then filter in and chat to you before you all move back into the room at 8ish. If you happen to be the first wedding to ever finish on time, then great – your disco music will be playing when they arrive from 7pm for your day guests too! You’ve nothing to lose! The important thing is to not plan anything to happen before 8pm: it probably won’t and, if it does, not everyone will be there to see it!


Keep everyone together!

Our golden rule to creating a successful and enjoyable evening reception is that everyone needs a reason to be somewhere! So, if for example you have Fireworks, how do you get your guests back inside if it’s a lovely day? Your entertainer/s can only do so much: so short of using a cattle prod (and we’ve considered this!!) they will require your help and foresight into how to alleviate this issue.

I’m not talking about you becoming a dictator here (ultimately everyone should share a magical day together) I am simply trying to make you aware of the problems that you are likely to face and give some suggestions on how to alleviate them!


When is your entertainment setting up?

Whoever you chose as your entertainment provider, they will need time to set up and you must allow sufficient time for this. Depending on what entertainment you have, set up times can vary drastically. Factors like the distance from the vehicle to the performance area, possible power issues (this is quite common in temporary marquees!) and lifts/stairs are all things that come into play here. That said, Adam’s show can be fully set up in 1 hour despite these issues! Remember: if your turnaround time begins later than planned, the set up will still require the same amount of time! If it takes an hour, then it takes an hour!


If it’s sunny and hot, be prepared to ‘lose’ your guests for a bit!

The one and only down fall to having a gloriously sunny and warm wedding day is that you will inevitably ‘lose’ some of your guests to the terrace as they soak up the sun or enjoy the warm Summer evening!

Another thing to consider here is that the days are longer during the summer months: are you ok with having your first dance in broad daylight at 9pm? Once again, just think about these things over!


Let’s get the party started… well not just yet!

At this point (8.15pm) it is ideal to have your choice of entertainment perform their 1st set: this set should contain songs that will ‘warm’ your guests, getting them swaying and singing. It is important to remember that your wedding day is a very long day for most of your guests (and very tiring), so your entertainment should try not to peek too soon!

For those of you that are lucky enough to have booked Adam, he performs all the Michael Bublé style Swing in his 1st set as this caters for all tastes and especially involves your older guests from the very beginning! ‘Everything’, ‘Save The Last Dance’, ‘New York, New York’: Adam’s aim is to create a crescendo at the end of each set, and the night overall. For this reason, having everyone in the same room (including your late arrivals) is very important for the overall atmosphere.


Your First Dance as Husband and Wife!

After 15 minutes of disco music, Adam will then announce the Bride & Groom’s very first dance! Fed, watered, warmed-up and happy, he will then gather your guests around the edge of the dance floor (with cameras in hand) as you are announced into the room and onto the dance floor as Mr & Mrs.....! Your first dance will be performed live (or played as discussed) and you can choose to have the wedding party join you half way through the song or for the 2nd song (which can be slow or fast – both work here!) You could even choose to do something completely different like Kim and Andy Newberry! Take a look here. We put this together for them and, should you wish to do the same, simply contact us and we’ll be glad to help!


Now, let’s get the party started? For sure!

As everyone is already on their feet for your first dance/s and ready to groove, Adam will launch into his second set of new and old soul and pop, keeping everyone on the dance floor and having a great time! After Adam’s encore (around 10pm), everyone will stay up on their feet as you leap straight into the disco – no gaps! This leaves the last few hours as your disco... yet more grooving!


But when shall we have the buffet?

10pm is the ideal time for buffet if you are having one. Your venue will probably suggest earlier (it’s easier for them, not you!) but, from experience, it goes down much better at 10pm!


So, in summary…

This is by far the best order – we’ve had requests for every variation and seen the pitfalls of each. In theory you could have your Adam’s 90 minutes of vocals and 3.5 hours of disco in any order but, as you’ve paid to have a professional performer, you should make the most of him and make sure that all of your guests get to see him and peek ‘together.’

Before you know it, midnight will arrive and the evening will be over... enjoy every second of it while you can because it really does finish all too quickly!


Finally: if things go slightly off schedule, don’t worry! Only you will know!



// NO WEDDING REGRETS // Live Entertainment

Live Entertainment

It goes without saying that live entertainment is something that I believe is really important (not only am I married to a singer, but I’ve been a dancer since I was 2 years old!) The reason I have chosen this as my 5th top wedding regret is that I have SOOOOO many brides come to me (sometimes in tears) when they realise that Adam’s not available for their date… simply because they didn’t realise that such an option existed until it was too late.



“Why a singer above a band?”


I think there is probably a stigma attached to the whole idea of a ‘wedding singer’ - and rightly so! If our only options were Adam Sandler-style performers or cheesy crooners (let’s face it, we’ve all seen them around!) then I honestly would prefer to just have a disco! I think the reason that Adam’s diary sells out so quickly is that people really do feel restricted to either a) a cheesy 80’s function band that sing “Celebration” all evening or b) an equally cheesy “swing” crooner who walks around the room like he’s ‘working’ the crowd at a Working Men’s Club! Once brides see that there is another option they throw themselves at me! I have had so many brides tell me that if they can’t have Adam then they’ll just have a disco because the idea of a “wedding singer” turns their stomach… yet Adam performing his show at their wedding is an entirely different concept!




As I couldn’t make Adam sing all evening at my wedding (with him being the groom!) I obviously had to look at other options. It is so hard to find a band with a decent lead singer! And even then when you call them they reveal that they can’t guarantee who the singer will be on the evening (as they have several). Do these people not understand that a bride needs to know who will be there? Do they really think that it’s unimportant if they change the singer, the set, the number of people in the band etc on the biggest day of her life?! Needless to say I really struggled to find a respectable band that fit my criteria and, although they were great on the night, they simply couldn’t do what Adam can do with his show: bridge the gap with the audience and really have them in his hands. Band singers don’t learn their trade the way that solo singers do, they hide away and feel comfortable in the knowledge that, if the show doesn’t go down too well, there’s several people to blame.  Solo performers are usually far more responsible for their act and know what has to be done to really make a connection with the people. I have never seen an empty dance floor at any of Adam’s performances, yet at our own wedding it was like pulling teeth trying to get people up to dance! 




“But entertainment is the least of my worries at the moment”


Please, please, please don’t put this off! Whichever way you decide to go with entertainment, if you are a music lover and care about the 5 hours that you will need to be entertained by whoever you choose, you MUST book early. We have confirmed bookings for late 2011 and are turning people away all of the time for late 2010! Don’t assume that because the wedding planning lists all have entertainment down at the bottom that it is a low priority: it is at the bottom because it happens late on in your day. Your entertainment is the longest individual part of your day and will always be remembered by everyone that is there: either because it is an amazing surprise or because it’s a dreadful disappointment. Research your act, choose wisely and book early!



// NO WEDDING REGRETS // Photo Copyright

Photo Copyright

Photo Copyright.jpg

OK, so for many of you, you have already agreed on a package with your photographer and paid your deposit. Luckily, this doesn’t mean that you can’t renegotiate a few of the terms! GOOD photographers (or good suppliers of any kind) are willing to go the extra mile to make you happy and give you, their customer, exactly what you want for your big day. Picture copyright can cost you more initially but will definitely save you a fortune in the long run...


“We have an album included anyway so why do we need the copyright?”

First of all, copyright is always ‘owned’ by the photographer. What I’m talking about here is permission to print and use these pictures (for personal use) without paying the photographer again and again. If you think of all of the prints that your family will end up paying for and, more importantly, all of the pictures you’ll never see again once you’ve chosen your album shots, it’s simply heartbreaking!


“Why do you think it’s so important?”

As well as the fact that I wanted to have ALL of the good pictures that were taken on my day (not just a set amount,) another important factor for me was the internet. Whether you have a wedding website or just use Facebook regularly, it is fantastic to be able to share your pictures with your friends and family after the wedding has come and gone. If all you have included in your package is your album then the only thing you can do is show your house guests (and even then you’ll be asking them to be careful where they touch it as it’s your only copy!)


If you have the copyright then you can burn a few CDs of the best 100 or so images and give them to each side of the family: it is then THEIR choice which pictures they have (and in which sizes), whether they’re black and white or colour, what kind of album they go for, etc. They simply have to take a letter of permission from your photographer to Jessops or Asda (or wherever) and pay for what they print. Imagine the savings!


“Will my photographer really allow this though?”

As I mentioned before, a good photographer will add a surcharge on top as they will, of course, be missing out on money that they would have earned from your reprints. This amount should not be extortionate and, in my case, was only around £150. For this I had high resolution pictures to keep forever and ever and everyone around the world could see my pictures. I have even made thank you cards and a special, personalised anniversary card using the pictures since then too.


As someone that likes to be in control, I simply don’t want to be told that I have to wave goodbye to the majority of my pictures after 1 viewing and that I can’t show everyone in the world what happened on my day! If your photographer refuses point blank (regardless of you offering a fee for the service) then my advice is to look for someone else! If you haven’t booked your photographer yet, make sure that this is one of the first questions that you ask!



// NO WEDDING REGRETS // Chair Covers

Chair Covers


Chair covers? How can that be a top wedding regret? Read on and I'll try to explain myself!

Every bride gets caught up in lilies, table confetti, RSVP wordings and which tiara to buy, it's natural. Image is so important for your wedding day and everything needs to look just right. Everything.

We brides visit venue after venue looking for our dream location for our wedding reception. We have a checklist: beautiful garden(s) for photos; nice room for the reception; perhaps a nice stairway to come down; maybe a nice tall ceiling to make it feel very grand... and so on. What never ceases to amaze me is how overlooked chairs can be. I've been to weddings where the brides have put so much time, money and effort into every aspect of their day and the tables have looked stunning with elaborate flowers, pretty favours and petals sprinkled across the linen... and then bright blue conference chairs! As far as I'm concerned, the expense involved in making the tables look so beautiful is completely wiped out by the ugly chairs set around it. They're like giant pins in the picture-perfect wedding balloon!

"But covers work out to be quite expensive!"

It depends on where you go and how you look at it. For me, they are a necessity. I sacrificed my cake for chair covers in fact! I bought a cheaper cake (which you look at for all of 2 minutes when it gets cut!) and had what I wanted in terms of décor. The £350 I spent on covers was written into my budget on the first day of planning because, without them, the room couldn't be a dreamy, magical princess room! As far as I'm concerned, it should be budgeted in with your reception prices. Why would I spend thousands on my reception and then fall short of the look that I wanted because of £350? Granted, it does seem extortionate to pay that much money to 'borrow' some material but, without it the consequences are grim!


"My venue has quite nice chairs!"

There is a tiny proportion of wedding venues out there that do actually have acceptable chairs. If you have found one of those then congratulations!  For the other 99% of you, I urge you to make cuts across the rest of your budget to allow for this! Like everything else, you get what you pay for in terms of quality. I recently saw some as low as £2 per chair: although this was plain (and without a bow) it still serves the purpose of eliminating the "nasty" venue chairs and providing you with a blank canvas so that you can weave your own décor magic!




Take A Big Step Back!

Get Away From It All!


This is probably the most talked about piece of wedding advice: every bride I have ever spoken to at the end of her big day has said that the whole thing has just flown by too quickly. No matter how long you set aside for the meal, the photos, the buffet etc... it ALWAYS runs over and the day is over before you even realise that it's begun.


"It's OK, we've allowed time to chat during reception drinks"

Forget it. Whatever time you think things will happen, you'll run over. As someone whose husband is late for everything except his gigs (yes, don't worry, he's EARLY for those!) I was very aware of allowing lots of time for EVERYTHING on my wedding day and I didn't want to have to rush people from place to place: we've all been to weddings where the guests have to be herded like cattle to the photo area or into the reception area! My venue advised allowing 3 hours for the wedding breakfast - I nearly choked! What on earth could take 3 hours? I even worried that it would mean a lot of waiting around in between courses and the last thing I wanted was my guests sitting waiting. I had allowed tons of extra time for everything: even the 5 minute trip from the church I had allowed 45 minutes for! I started the day feeling confident that everything had its own time slot and that, if anything, there might be too much waiting around...


Wrong! I arrived at the church 5 minutes late as it took a long time in a vintage car (and even longer to squeeze me and my dress in and out of it!) Later that day, despite only wanting a few formal pictures and the rest to be reportage, I found the organizer whispering in my ear that we should make a move towards the marquee for dinner ASAP.  I told her that we weren't due in there until 4pm but she politely informed me that it was gone 4.30pm and it would now be at least 5.30 before the line up was finished and we had everyone seated and ready to be served! Even the speeches that everyone promised would be short lasted a good half an hour (although I think 25 minutes were taken up by mine!)  And so you can see how the day continued - despite my careful planning!


"So should I just allow more time?"


Yes and no. My advice is threefold here:


1. Allow lots and lots of time for EVERYTHING. Your guests are not marines and won't stick to your schedule no matter how much you try to force them!


2. Accept that things WILL run over a little bit no matter how much time you allow... but that's OK!


3. This is the most important point and my main reason for writing this blog: take it all in. Don't think about what's happening next, don't worry about your speech, don't stress over how people are getting on or if they like the food, don't panic over the time... you can't rewind and do it all again at the end! If something goes wrong - it goes wrong, that's NOT the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing that can happen is the day passes you by without you enjoying a second of it because you're worrying in case something goes wrong!


Keep reminding yourself that this really is it: you have to make the most of it. During the meal, take a moment to chat to each other about your day so far and look around the room and notice who is where, what they are wearing: take a photo in your mind. Remind yourselves that they are all there for the two of you, appreciate how fantastic your flowers look after all the time it took to chose them, notice the name cards, favours, bridesmaids: see it all as a complete picture whilst you can. In the evening, circulate together: many couples complain that they hardly see each other all evening because they're busy chatting to guests and socialising separately (probably having the same conversations with each person that they see!) Make a concerted effort to do this together - you'll manage to speak to everyone in the room in half the time and will have at least been together! Again, set aside 5 minutes every hour to "zoom out" and look at what's happening together. Milk it as much as you possibly can... it'll be over in a flash.





The Importance of a Wedding Videographer

Video is key!

This may seem like a strange place to start for a blog on wedding advice: what about the planner, the venue and the other things that should come first!!? The thing is, a lot of you are getting married in the next few months so I felt it was important to get this off my chest early on: I don’t want you to miss out on this invaluable advice!

“But my budget won’t allow it and I AM having photos”

With all of the other “necessary” items on your checklist, a wedding video often gets disregarded or, at best, seen as a luxury that you just can’t afford. Let’s face it, you NEED photos, a car, a venue, a dress and so on, but a video can seem like just another expense. Photos are important – they really are – but they become one dimensional after so many views: they are just a flat, snapshot of a second in time. They don’t show body language, emotions or the atmosphere of your day. Let’s face it, you’ve spent enough money on it – why only enjoy it once?!

“Why do you think it’s so important?”

One thing I should clear up before I go any further is that I’m not promoting any video companies here! (In fact, I couldn’t even push the fantastic company that I used myself as they are based in London!) This advice is totally unbiased and coming straight from my heart: I attend so many weddings every year (have you SEEN Adam’s calendar!) and I really hate to see such special moments go by that aren’t captured for the couple to see again and again. The first dance, the speeches, the little looks that they give one another, the mother of the bride cuddling the groom, the little bridesmaid wandering around the gardens...these are all things that will have faded from memory within months without a video.

From my experience, I have watched my DVD hundreds of times (and I usually detest seeing myself on screen) and all of my friends and family have laughed and cried at it too. The Mum’s have even got copies to show off to their friends! In contrast, my Mum called the other day to say that she had found my wedding photo album in a box in her spare room. It had been there since the month we got married and none of us had noted its absence! That’s how unimportant that had become after the initial ‘wow’ of receiving it!

“Don’t friends and family always fear having to watch a wedding video?!”

It doesn’t have to be a boring 3 hour video of your entire day anymore: they can even put the best bits of the whole day in a montage to your first dance song so that your distant friends and relatives only have to sit through 4 minutes! Hardcore viewers can then opt to watch the whole thing as and when they want to!

When my Mum got her short cine film of her own wedding transferred to DVD a few years ago it was so emotional to watch: I had seen her wedding photos a million times and love them very much but it just seemed like a man and woman that I didn’t know in them. Watching her video, seeing that their mannerisms are the same now, seeing my Grandma as a young mother of the groom, seeing the way they looked at one another was just so surreal. I realised that I wanted my children to see my Dad look at me the way my Granddad looked at my Mum as he walked her down the aisle: that’s something that a photo would never give them.