Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Choosing the Right Wedding Venue

There is so much to plan for when you make that all important decision to get married. There is the wedding dress to start with, invitations to be sent out and prior to that who to invite! The time of year you plan your wedding will have to be given a lot of thought and who will be best man and chief bridesmaid from your many friends? Before any of the decisions can be finalised there is the venue of the ceremony and the reception to consider. Will they be in different places or the same location and how far in advance will you need to book to ensure you get the perfect place?

The wedding venue is the thing you should seek to book first, all your other arrangements can then slot in around this.

As for the type of venue you decide upon, all sorts of places are licenced to perform wedding ceremonies these days. There are the conventional amongst you who go with the traditional church wedding; the adventurous plan their ceremony on an exotic beach, honeymoon included; and then there are the unconventional who like to take a risk and get wed whilst diving, skydiving, in a hot air balloon, in a museum or aboard the HMS Belfast.

You have to consider how many guests you are intending to invite when deciding upon your venue, as it would need to be large enough venue to accomodate all your friends and family. Another factor to consider is whether to choose a single or multi-room venue. The more traditional single-room approach allows you ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening reception all to be in the same room which would also encompass your bar for drinks, evening buffet and your DJ, band or wedding singer. The multi-room approach would allow you to marry in one room, eat in a second and maybe even have your evening reception in a third. There are advantages and disadvantages of both approaches. a subject I will discuss in a future article.

You will find it possible to hire all kinds of historical and beautiful venues for your wedding. Everything from the usual hotel function room, to town halls and clubhouses to parks and dramatic historical castles. What you book will depend on your budget as well as your preference and the type of atmosphere you want to create.

A wedding day is for many people one of the most memorable moments of in life and obviously you would want everything to run smoothly and be perfect. Every little detail has to be taken into account to guarantee there are no problems that might occur. If you are inviting lots of family and friends then you don’t want the location too far from your home town. Check out the accommodation nearby for the convenience of those who are travelling from further afield, and parking facilities for the guests. It is always a good idea to provide a list of suitable, local accomodation in with your wedding invites.

Entertainment for the reception should be geared towards what you like but also what your guests will appreciate. Often, a DJ is an expert at getting everyone up onto the dance floor with a choice of music to suit all ages. Live music is often appreciated, especially if they have old favourites and classics on their song-list. Many of the guests will probably want to dance so make sure the venue offers a dance floor.

The most important thing when booking your venue, as with all your wedding arrangements, is to plan as far ahead as possible and do your research before you pay your deposit. Once your venue is booked keep in regular contact with your wedding co-ordinator and make sure that the staff that will be looking after you on the day know your exact requirements.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Caverswall Castle Wedding, Gareth & Sarah - 22nd May 2009. Pictures to follow...

I was booked to be Gareth and Sarah's wedding singer & DJ back in April last year. They opted for the Standard Package giving them 3 x 30 minutes of singing and with DJ sets in between.

Their reception was at the fantastic Caverswall Castle in Stoke on Trent. It was my second time at the castle, being there only a couple of months earlier where I entertained at Stoke City captain Andy Griffin's surpise 30th celebrations! A great venue for me as it's only a 30 minute drive from The Wedding Singer HQ in Stafford.

Evening receptions at the venue take place in the castle dungeons. Far from being an oppressive place of torture, the dungeons are quite accomodating - windows, hot and cold running water, a fully fitted kitchen and a bar serving a selection of beers, fine wines and spirits!

The venue staff were accomodating and friendly, as they were back in March and we unloaded and set-up in the dungeon.

Set-up space was fairly limited, as the dancing area of the dungeon(!) is quite small. Our set-up is perfect for smaller spaces as it can be easily adapted for most areas. It is also ideal if your venue has noise restrictions of any sort, as they do at Caverswall Castle which is situated fairly close to a residential area.

Gareth & Sarah picked a fantastic and rarely known song, 'Moonlight Kiss' by Bap Kennedy as their first dance. I then got the rest of guests involved on the dance floor with a non-stop mix of my live singing and DJ sets.

Gareth & Sarah have e-mailed me some fantastic feedback today:

Hi James,

What with the rollercoaster that was the big day, I never had a chance
to say goodnight to you on Friday, nor to say a big thank you for such
a great service.

The entire evening's entertainment was flawless, and your live
performances were brilliant and memorable. Everybody we managed to
speak to was as impressed with you as we were. We're really glad that
we found you and will have no hesitation in passing your name on to
friends and family in the future.

Once again, a great big thanks for everything,

Gareth & Sarah Reynolds

P.S. We'll have our photographs in a couple of weeks. Just let me know
if you want me to email you some snaps from the evening for your own
use - no problem.

So, all the very best to Gareth & Sarah - I wish them every happiness!

I will add some pictures from the day as soon as I have them through - their photographer took a couple of shots VERY close to my face as I was singing. We'll have to see how they turn out - they may not pass my stringent vetting process!!


Wedding Singer Staffordshire


Welcome to my brand new blog!

As well as an excellent way for brides and grooms to be to find out a little bit more about their wedding singer / DJ before the big day, I will be updating with news of new products and services as well as reports from weddings where I have recently entertained.

After 10 years of entertaining professionally at weddings, I have so much knowledge to share. Not just about music, but all things wedding! I shall be sharing some of my experiences over the coming months.

I look forward to embarking on my very first blog and welcome any suggestions, comments or questions.

James Barlow

The Wedding Singer