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First Dance Wedding Song

How to Choose Your First Dance Wedding Song

When it comes to first dance songs, there’s a lot of pressure on the bride and groom to make it a good one. You may have attended a friends wedding and they used the song you had your heart set on, or you may just have no idea what song you’d like. Your first dance is an opportunity to show you and your other half’s personality and it’s the part of the day where everyone comes together to celebrate your love. But how do you choose the perfect first dance song? Not only has it got to have the right mood, but you’ve both got to like it and it also has to be a great song that will keep the party pumping.

 

To make things easy, it’s always advisable to choose a classic first dance song, one that will stand the test of time. You’re most likely to like it forever rather than the latest cheesy one-hit wonder. If slow dance songs aren’t really your thing, don’t be afraid to increase the tempo a little bit with a faster less traditional number. An upbeat first dance song will not only bring a smile to everyone’s faces, but it’ll also mean your friends and family will want to join you on the dance floor sooner rather than later and save you both from an awkward 3 minutes of solo dancing. If you and your significant other have the same taste in music deciding on a first dance song should be a little easier. If your favourite hits are completely different it might be a little harder and a compromise may be required. Whether you’re looking to have a romantic slow-dance moment, an immediate dance party or a first dance that doesn’t take itself too seriously, here are some ideas for wedding first dance songs.

 

1. Ed Sheeran – ‘Thinking Out Loud’

2. Etta James – ‘At Last’

3. John Legend – ‘All of Me’

4. Elvis Presley – ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’

5. Eric Clapton – ‘Wonderful Tonight’

6.  Ellie Goulding – ‘How Long Will I Love You’

7. Labi Siffre – ‘It Must Be Love’

8. Al Green – ‘Let’s Stay Together’

9. Elton John – ‘Your Song’

10. Elbow – ‘Mirrorball’

11. Tony Bennett –  ‘The Way You Look Tonight’

12. Frank Sinatra –  ‘It Had To Be You’ 

13. Frankie Valli –  ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’

14. The Beatles – ‘Something’

15. Lonestar – ‘Amazed’ 

16. Nora Jones – ‘Come Away With Me’

17. Lionel Richie & Diana Ross – ‘Endless Love’ 

18. Adele – ‘Sweetest Devotion’ 

19. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling from the La La Land Soundtrack – ‘City Of Stars’

20. Stevie Wonder’- For Once In My Life’ 

 

If you’re more self-conscious about doing your first dance ask your DJ to play your favourite tune, hold on together for 30 seconds and then ask everyone to join you on the dancefloor. The 30 seconds are for your wedding photographer to get some wedding photographers of the two of you together. And if the pressure of choosing a song gets too much, remember it’s your special day and you don’t have to have the first dance at all if you don’t want to.

 

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Wedding Trends

Wedding Trends 2019

You’ve said YES and the dust has started to settle. Now it’s time for the hard work to start. Your head is spinning with schedules, seating plans, mood boards and seating arrangements (where on earth is strange Uncle Pete going to sit?) The initial excitement about organising your special day may have started to fizzle slightly as you run out of new ideas and inspiration.

 

Do not fear. We’ve put together all the top wedding trends for 2019 to help spark up your creative juices and give you and your future groom a fresh approach to your wedding day.

 

Dried Flowers

This year sees a growing trend for dried flowers, a perfect way to bring the outdoors indoors without the worry of having to tend to live blooms and foliage throughout the day. They’re also ideal for weddings in hotter climes as extreme temperatures can cause wilting in fresh bouquets.

Easier to transport and store before the big day, think about using dyed pampas grass, strawflowers and bunny tails, in contrast with aromatics like Greek oregano and Lavender for a dramatic wild and wispy look.

Dried flowers can also be matched with buttonholes, hair circlets, table decorations and centrepieces. Amaranthus Hanging makes a stunning floral wall hanging.

 

If you’re not completely convinced try mixing dried and fresh to create striking textures.

Colourful Confetti

With creating Insta worthy images playing a huge part in informing wedding trends a pop of colour in the obligatory confetti shot will ensure you stand out. Bold, bright and beautiful (and of course biodegradable) confetti will add a touch of festival vibes to the day.

Confetti made up of rainbow colours rather than the traditional block colour palette and metallics, including coppers and rose gold will feature a lot in 2019.

 

Illustrated Wedding Invites

The wedding stationery you choose will set the tone for your special day. As soon as your invite pops through your guest’s door they’ll have an idea about the vibe of the day. Your invitations are a way to make a real statement.

This year it’s all about the personalised touch and commissioning illustrations that reflect who you are as a couple. From original illustrations of the venue to drawings of you and your groom, whimsical freehand drawings will make for a romantic touch. It’s a lovely way for guests to have a peek into what you might have planned on the day.

 

Illustrated invitations can be completely unique and reflect all the elements of what makes your relationship so unique and special. Take a look at Polly Crossman’s intricate designs bursting with botanicals.

 

Classic Wedding Dresses

After years of decorative embroidery and lace detailing it’s time for dresses to be modern chic. Meghan Markle’s sleek tailored wedding dress with no embellishment has set the trend for the timeless and classic.

Dresses that compliment natural beauty and create a silhouette that perfectly suits a brides shape will be hitting the aisles this year.

 

Coral Colours

With Pantone announcing its colour of 2019 as ‘Living Colour’, we’ve fallen in love with this vibrant hue. It’s the perfect colour to incorporate in full or to add accents and flashes of colour. From coral coloured shoes peeking out from beneath layers of silk organza to cake toppers, flowers and decorations, this warm colour will add a joyful but calming touch to your day.

 

It works well across all seasons and contrasted with turquoise and teals it will be sure to add a smile to your guest’s faces.

 

Glitter Bar

Add some shimmer to your day and an interactive fun element for your guests to get involved with. From toddlers to grannies, everyone loves a bit of glitter. We love glitter and think every wedding should have a glitter bar. Glitter bonds people together (literally if you spill the glitter adhesive). It’s a great talking point and an opportunity for your friends and family to let go and partake in something a little risque with no risk involved.

Creating your own glitter bar is easier than you think. Grab some glitter in lots of colours (the biodegradable variety of course), some dedicated glitter gel (Vaseline works perfectly), a mirror and away you go.

 

Gospel Choir

There’s no escaping the pure joy a gospel choir creates. This wedding entertainment trend is booming thanks to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle having one at their wedding. Music is a great way to entertain your guests in the evening and at the reception. A choir could welcome guests as they arrive or during the ceremony.

 

Epic Veils and Capes

Bridal capes aren’t new, but innovative and fresh designs of this classic garment will be walking down aisles this year. From sheer embroidered to a ruffled 70’s cocktail number, bridal capes are perfect for the non-traditional bride looking for a unique accompaniment to her dress.

Priyanka Chopra’s spectacular 75-foot raw tulle veiling, held by six handlers as she walked down the aisle in Jodhpur towards her now-husband, Nick Jonas, has also set a trend for epic veils. Designers are encouraging that brides see veils as not only an add-on to the gown but as a part of the overall look.

 

Sustainability

One of the key wedding trends in 2019 will be about creating weddings and ceremonies with a reduced environmental and ethical impact.

Events such as weddings typically require a lot of resources so they have the potential to create a ton of waste and pollution. According to a Pinterest study, millennials and Generation Z are more interested in sustainability than those over the age of 38. So, it comes as no surprise to note that searches for sustainable wedding ideas have increased by 181%.

 

Statement Headpieces  

It’s all about the accessories and headpieces bringing the wow factor to weddings this year. From oversized floral to celestial crowns (think Beyonce Met Ball), this year is the year to go BIG.

 

Baroque-style embellished crowns have also become increasingly popular in recent years and thanks to Meghan Markle, tiaras are making a comeback too. We predict brides will be even bolder with their choice of headpieces in 2019.

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Wedding Menu Trends 2019

Everyone loves a good wedding. The beautiful couple, the romance, the dress. But let’s face it, planning a wedding can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to choosing what food to serve your guests. When you invite friends and family to your wedding you’re asking them to come and be with you at a meal time, which means you need to feed them with something that they not only like, but is also suitable for their dietary needs. Your wedding spread doesn’t just fuel the party, it’s the perfect opportunity to infuse your personality and style into your special day and ensure your guests have a truly unforgettable experience.

 

Over the past couple of years, there’s been a  trend towards the more exotic and out of the ordinary, but 2019 is seeing a distinct shift back towards the more classic and traditional menu. From aesthetics to flavour here are some of the top food and flavour trends to watch out for this year… 

 

1. Homely Food

The recent trend towards a healthier outlook may conflict with the reported preference towards more homely comfort foods, but healthier versions of comfort foods are starting to make a regular appearance on wedding menus. The rise in demand for comfort food relates to the familiar and joyful experiences they provide, conjuring up emotive words like ‘smothered’ and ‘loaded’.

Expect to see healthy variations of classics such as Hot Pot, Macaroni and Cheese as a wedding is the perfect time to indulge in and experience those warm and nostalgic, fond feelings.

 

2. Personalisation

Offering an experience that feels tailored and personal will ensure that your special day is an unforgettable one for your guests. With diet choices like veganism and plant-based growing an impressive 360% in Great Britain over the last decade, menus need to reflect the change in eating habits. The fact that 26% of people consider themselves something as extreme as a picky eater, means your guests are likely to be looking for more choice.

 

3. Localisation

After recent food scandals and greater awareness about sustainable living, guests are looking for alternatives to the industrial food system and mass production. Guests are increasingly looking to fresh local produce and clarity about where their food came from.

Just like location and flavours, guests are looking to experience something out of the usual. Beer and wine from local microbreweries and distilleries will provide your guests with a truly local experience.  Another growing trend in restaurants is offering locally made spirits.

 

4. Grazing Tables

Grazing tables are brilliant for creating an informal vibe at a wedding and ensuring everyone gets a little of what they fancy. If there’s one thing that gets guests mingling, it’s a table piled high with delicious food choices. Whether you chose to skip the canapés and offer grazing tables as a cocktail-hour option, replace the main course with a family-style spread, or bring them out for late-night snacking, this is a fun and delicious way to look after your wedding guests. This is your opportunity to showcase local seasonal food and produce and adding personalised signage, flowers, herbs and greenery will guarantee a show-stopping spread.

 

5. Miniatures

This year no food is off limits in miniature form. What’s cuter than a massive cheeseburger? A tiny one. Instead of going for traditional canapés at your cocktail hour, consider shrinking down a few of your favourite mains. If you love ramen, do a soup shot. If you’re head-over-heels for tacos, ask your caterer to fashion bite-sized versions. Just about anything can be made miniature.

 

6. Late-night Wedding Food

Wedding receptions are now lasting longer, with 23% more couples opting to extend their festivities to run into the small hours. Looking after guests through the evening part of the celebrations is a rising requirement to keep everyone fully energised. After all the dancing and emotion of the day, typical late-night heavy snacks like pizza and bacon sarnies just won’t cut it anymore and are being replaced with unique eats that reflect a couple’s favourite comfort foods.

Adding a mix of sweet treats to balance out the savoury nibbles will also keep energy levels high and obviously a small taster of a tipple, or two.

 

7. Bowl Food

A big feature at Harry and Megan’s wedding, bowl food is here to stay in 2019. Larger than a canapé and around a quarter of the size of the main course, it’s served in miniature or hand-sized bowls and comes ready to eat with a small fork that can be eaten standing up.

The concept isn’t new, Asians have been practising it for centuries in different forms: Vietnamese Bo bun, Korean bibimbap or Japanese chirashi.

The star bowl food comes from Hawaii, The Poké bowl is healthy, pretty and tasty. Typically consisting of small dice of raw marinated fish, thin slices of fresh vegetables, and rice or quinoa. This trend is not for everyone and has been described by The Telegraph as “good news for dry cleaners.

 

8. Vegan Wedding Food

2019 heralds a shift towards more inclusive options. With more than an estimated two million people in the UK living with a diagnosed food allergy (Food Standards Agency, 2017) menus are now being considered from a reduced-allergen focus entirely. Guests will like to know that their dietary requirements will be taken care of whilst still being able to enjoy a delicious meal. The core of this trend is creating a menu that works for everyone, so the same experience can be relished regardless of dietary requirements or allergies.

 

9. Edible Flowers and microgreens

Bringing a touch of the outdoors inside will be a huge trend this year. Expect to see floral flavours incorporating into and adorning cocktails, cakes and favours. Bold flowers are set to continue to decorate the wedding plate in a big way this year. Flowers make a perfect decoration for food photos and Instagrammers.

Contributing powerful aromas and flavours to dishes, this trend will delight and surprise your guests. Some are spicy, and some herbaceous, while others are floral and very fragrant. From calendula, dandelions, hibiscus and roses, there’s sure to be floral addition that will perfectly compliment your menu choices.

 

10. Elevated more formal food experiences

Brides.com suggests that after years of seeing the wedding industry move towards an ‘unconventional’ food experience, they’re seeing a trend towards a traditional plated experience with elevated service,” says Bill Coyne, director of business development at Cloud Catering & Events. “As the industry continues to seek exciting, innovative new ways to integrate food and beverage into weddings, there seems to be an appetite and nostalgia for formal dinner service’, much like the trend towards more traditional and homely dishes.  

 

Getting married this year? We’d love to hear what you’ll be serving on your special day.
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Your Guide to a Beautiful Spring Wedding

Kent is the Garden of England, with breathtaking countryside, stunning coastline and world-famous attractions. Now that winter’s fading away, it’s the perfect setting for a Spring wedding. You may be thinking that Summer is the traditional go-to wedding season, but there are so many reasons to have a Spring wedding. And if it’s good enough for Beyonce and Jay-Z who got married on 4th April, it’s good enough for us!

 

 

1. Delicate Palettes

We adore pastel colour schemes. Subtle greens, pinks, blues and yellows complemented by the backdrop of the natural beauty of the season. A blush theme can be so romantic. Fresher and brighter shades can be a unique change from the rich heavy jewel colours of Winter and Summer.

Spring is also the perfect opportunity for your guests to wear something a little different from the usual summer wedding attire and really let your and their personality shine.

 

2. Fresh Flavours

Spring brings with it an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, providing a fantastic choice to create a delicious seasonal wedding menu. When it comes to wedding food ideas the variety of British produce available in Spring makes for some exciting ingredient choices. Spring Lamb, gooseberries, rhubarb, radish, Jersey royals, samphire, asparagus and a plethora of seafood including lobster and crab, will bring a fresh, sophisticated element to your day.

This is your chance for you and your guests to experience something a little different when it comes to flavours and ingredient combinations.

 

3. Spring Blooms

As Spring starts to bloom so do the most beautiful flowers. In addition to gorgeous Peonies being in season, you can choose from Roses, Hydrangeas and Tulips. Pale pinks and warm yellows; you’ll be spoilt for choice when discussing options with your florist.  

Delicate blooms and sweet scents. Here at the house, our Orchard will be in full bloom and the driveway bursting with Daffodils.

 

4. New Beginnings

Spring is synonymous with rebirth and full of new energy as we leave the darker colder months of Winter behind. So, what better time to get married? Spring is a time of renewal and new life. Guests will have something to look forward to after the cold short days of winter and be in a brighter more positive mood as they look forward to the warmer months. And of course, it’s a time for new arrivals like the fluffy goslings who’ll be arriving at this time of year on our lakeside.

 

5. Less Demand

If you’ve set your heart on a venue, chances are that lots of couples have too. High demand and competition during the peak summer period may mean you miss out on the dates you want. If you’re booking at short notice missing out on your dream venue completely. Suppliers and your guests will find it easier to book accommodation at this less busy time. You may even be able to pick up some out of season discounts and packages.

The cheapest months for your wedding would be January, March, April and November. During these months, vendors are typically more available and less expensive.

 

6. Greater Availability

Got your eye on a leading local band? If you’re getting married in spring, it will be a little easier to secure your favourite suppliers. Unlike the summer months, where you’ll find some suppliers getting booked up in advance, spring wedding dates are more widely available. With more availability come potential discounts. Friends will also be thankful that weddings are spaced throughout the year as there aren’t so many other commitments as the Summer Holidays and weddings to attend every weekend until the start of October.

Believe it or not, you’re a bit more likely to get some better wedding presents when you get married in early spring. After ‘dry’ January is over, people have more money to send again, but it hasn’t yet hit summer so guests aren’t bogged down with expenses from holidays and other weddings.

 

7. Eggsquisite Decorations

In Spring wedding table settings can have a more relaxed feel, or you could go full on Easter themed. If you’re creating Wedding Favours – seed packets are a cute and different idea to include and ideal for Springtime. You could also give away small baskets full of decorated Easter Eggs. A creative touch that guests won’t forget.

 

8. Great Light

Lighting is everything when it comes to photographs on your wedding day. It may sound strange, but the fresh bright light of Spring is perfect for capturing stunning photographs. Cloud cover provides much better lighting for stunning shots than highly sunny, cloudless days.

 

9. Perfect balance of hot and cold

The milder temperatures of Spring means that getting married at this time of year is ideal as you’ll be able to benefit from the best of both worlds. The perfect temperature. A combination of indoor and outdoor wedding photography will create opportunities for a variety of memorable shots.

There’ll still be a chance of rain, so be prepared with umbrellas and wellies that you and your guests can pop on if needed!

 

10. Stand out from the crowd

Who doesn’t like to stand out? Your wedding is a chance to really let your style and personality shine through. Choosing a Spring wedding will offer your guests a unique and unforgettable experience. Marrying out of the usual Summer period will add a real twist to your special day.

Each season has benefits and advantages, and Bradbourne House is the perfect backdrop regardless of weather or season.

 

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Wedding Slide5.

Emma and Billy’s wedding at Bradbourne House

THE PREPARATION

Planning our wedding was the easy and fun bit – and being very decisive, it didn’t take us long. We knew we wanted one venue for the ceremony and reception, and wanted it to be in a picturesque and rural Kent location; we visited Bradbourne House within a few weeks of being engaged and were completely mesmerised by the grand exterior, stunning grounds and Great Hall. All of the other details came together very quickly – a few weeks of Pinterest research and I knew exactly what I wanted. Our venue, with its orchards, lake and walled gardens inspired our theme – The Secret Garden. Our incredible florist helped guide me with my overall vision, but very limited knowledge of flowers other than ‘I like purple and meadow flowers’ into her elaborate creations with lavender, astilbe, sweet peas and lisianthus, whilst still having the whimsical and meadow feel. My incredibly creative friend Louisa, helped make our seating plan; a gold gilted picture frame, covered in moss and hanging keys with guest names; we had piles of books with individually made table number signs, made out of wood and old mismatched doorknobs (a great Etsy find); all stationery designed by Billy, who was graphic designer before going into teaching; and my biggest (but most troublesome) centrepiece idea – candelabras with china teacups and saucers with flowers in them. This was a headache from start to finish and wouldn’t have been possible without Kevin, a dear and wonderfully gifted friend from work who tirelessly secured each piece of china to the candelabras.

 

Clothes didn’t take us long either. I knew I wanted something form fitting, beaded and with elaborate back detailing. After picking up a business card for Great Expectations Bridal from a wedding fair, it was the first and last wedding dress boutique I went to, which was especially special having my mum, who had flown over from Northern Ireland, to be with me. I had my Louboutin shoes with me (priorities – shoes before dress!), my mother was plaid with champagne and the ladies working there completely understood what I was looking for and very quickly found my perfect dress – a heavily beaded Madison James Art Deco style sheath dress with a cafe coloured underlay, sheer panelled back and with pearl buttons. One shop – done! Billy, loving his fashion even more than me, found his perfect outfit from Ted Baker, combining a stone coloured blazer, with blue waist coat and trousers with a silk scarf knotted underneath his shirt.

ON THE DAY

It’s hard to explain how incredible our day was: I was brimming with excitement when I saw the flowers and cake arriving at the venue, and loved the relaxed atmosphere of the bridal party getting our hair and makeup done exactly how I envisioned it. What I wasn’t expecting was how emotional I was all day; it was so overwhelming to be surrounded by the people you love most in the world all in one place and is something we will forever treasure. James, our photographer, felt more like a guest and friend, and caught beautiful candid shots throughout the day. We were so lucky to have a string trio as I walked down the isle and after the ceremony, and a band in the evening who were incredibly accommodating. They were so sweet and performed our first dance, Chris Isaak’s Wicked Games, despite it not being on their playlist.

Highlights of our day are:

  1. Having Jack, a past student of mine – and ridiculously talented composer and cinematographer – film the most stunning wedding video which perfectly captures the feel, and special moments of the day.
  2. My dad’s father of the bride speech – something he has been collecting material for, and threatening me with for years. From a family who all like the sound of our own voices, he didn’t disappoint. I managed to stop video footage being shown, but he had props including a dumbbell, a branch and a toilet brush!
  3. Our evening ending with a much hyped drum-off, between Billy’s best man, Mark and his dad Mickey. The stakes were high with Mickey being a member of Nine Below Zero (a band that toured with The Who in the 80s) and Mark, who gave an expert performance of ‘Wipeout’. Jaws hit the floor as the competition heated up and everyone screamed like fan girls.

 

Top tip(s) for other brides:

  • Accept help from your friends – it makes the small details even more special
  • I wish I’d known not to eat before the cake tasting – savour every morsel offered!
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