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Wedding formalities explained


Almost all of the weddings we have been fortunate to attend have had some form of traditional formality (such as throwing confetti or cutting the cake). Some weddings follow all the traditions and other weddings have very little (and do not even have a cake or first dance). We always adapt our service to match your requirements as after all its your wedding so it is lovely to stamp your mark on the day!

Below are a list of the main wedding formalities and the reasons why they happen. Please note, this is advice from our point of view, which may not necessarily translate to you and your wedding. We have attended thousands of weddings in Hampshire so hopefully it will be of some help to you?

First Dance:

This goes back to when formal banquets were opened by the two highest standing members of the Ball (such as a Duke and Duchess). Only then can the evening’s entertainment proceed. This was most commonly a waltz and choreographed dance, which is the same for weddings today as it is your wedding and as the bride and groom you dictate the days formalities.

You will be in the spotlight but it is honestly not as nerve racking as it sounds or even on the hours leading up to it. We have seen thousands of first dances and the bride and groom always relax when they hit the dance floor as we professionally set the scene, take you out of the room (so you are not standing there like lemons) and introduce you after gathering guests to watch and take photos. Some couples prefer not to have this formality as they are very shy so we often advise that they sit at the back of the room and we invite everyone on at once for a group first dance so the last people who hit the floor are the bride and groom. This has only happened a few times however and has worked very well.

Firstly you need decide which track you want and we can help you on this matter. You need to consider if you are just going to make it up as you go along or do a formal rehearsed dance. In either case you need to think about choosing a track that you can dance to. Strict tempo tracks (such as a waltz) and slow emotional tracks work very well. If you have a set routine then you will most probably going to Dance the whole song but if not its a good idea to invite guests half way through as they may get distracted and its also nice to include them in your first dance. Wedding couples also sometimes choose a track that relates to thier personality and may perhaps be an in-joke with your friends. Either way getting everyone smiling, crying or laughing and sharing it with you is a very special moment and our job is to make that happen in style!

A good time for the first dance is often about an hour after your evening guests have been invited as they are invariably late and also need time to settle in and have a couple of drinks as they may be less willing to join in with you if shocked on to the dance floor to early. We have seen a big increase in photo booths, casinos that come into thier own during the early parts of the evening and give your guests passive entertainment at a very affordable cost. A free bar or drinks allocation is also always a winner and gets people in the party spirit!

Starting the dancing too early can have a large effect on the rest of the evening, so we recommend that you inform your photographer of a specific time when you think you may do the first dance, rather than booking them up until first dance (as they may want to go home and feel like they are hanging about). It’s best to judge this on the night as there is always a notable increase in the ‘buzz’ in the room, which is a good time to give guests a ten min warning that the first dance is about to happen. It may also include the cake cut at this time and precede the buffet. There is usually a lull after the first dance so coordinating it 15 – 20 minutes before the buffet is perfect (assuming you have a buffet).

If you want guests to join you, the best time is when your photographer has got “that shot” or you just feel like you have been there for too long on your own. Just signal to us and we will bring everyone on to the floor. This also often happens at a set point in the track, such as a lull after a verse, where it is really nice for you to do a little move perhaps. A small spin and kiss always works very effectively! Depending on your requirements and your guests we will often read out the key members of your wedding party, to encourage participation. Have a look in the gallery section for some examples of first dances.


Speeches were originally short toasts, which involved clicking glasses together and drinking from them. Often it was the master of the function who would toast the ladies or his wife and also distinguished guests present, so it is not too far from todays traditions as the Father of the bride toasts the bride and the groom toasts the bride, bridesmaids and other key member of the wedding party. This is the biggest formality of your wedding and the main part of your day guests will remember. It is also one that you can do very well or just OK, so prepare & practice and it will be easier on the day.

Public speaking is the number one phobia (closely followed by arachnophobia), but you will be pleased to know that even we get nervous during public speaking! It’s how you manage the nerves and preparing properly that makes all the difference! Almost all grooms have said that they were really nervous after the speeches, but people will not notice as it always feels worse when you are up there, but as long as you do not stutter etc. then that’s fine! The speeches can be done after the meal, before the meal or at certain intervals of the meal. After the meal is usually the most common and guests will feel more relaxed after a good meal and a chat with other members of thier table. The traditional routine for Speeches is 1: Father of the bride 2: Groom 3: Best man; although you can do it in any manner and have different guests speak if you choose. It’s always nice when the bride says a few words of thanks etc.

A good idea is to get someone who is experienced in script writing (and is funny) to edit your speech and even to go to your venue and practice in the room where your Speech will happen. That way you can gauge how loud you have to talk (although when a room is full of people its not as loud as the sound is absorbed so you may need microphones).

Speech hosting:

A host is a great way to introduce and move along the speeches. If you book us all day then you will have a professional Host to assist with speeches, rather than the venue banqueting manager (who is often your Master of Ceremonies or “toast master”). Although there is nothing wrong with that, we are professionally trained hosts and will add a bit more too the formal proceedings.

So instead of something like this:

“Ladies and gentlemen – it is now time for the speeches – welcome the father of the bride”

We would perhaps say (depending on you and your requirements):

“Ladies and gentlemen, On behalf of Claire and Adam, we hope you have all thoroughly enjoyed your meals and your day.Now, you have been wined, your have been dined and it is now the time for 3 amazing speeches! It is customary for the Father of the bride to speak first so will everybody please put your hands together and give a massive welcome to a very proud father…. Mr. Brian Smith”.

We would then finish off proceedings and inform guests of what is going to happen next (perhaps the have to leave the room for a room turnaround?). We can also assist in providing wireless microphones and projectors for audiovisual as well as pre wedding speech rehearsal advice at the venue as we have lots of tips on how to prepare and speak properly, because it is very different from speaking to a friend for example.

Cake cut:

The cake is the symbolism of most weddings worldwide now, but 9 out of 10 brides and grooms do not know why they have spent so much money (often £2-500) on a cake! The wedding cake is a symbolism of future prosperity and wealth. The first accounts were of bread cakes in ancient Rome and it was broken over the bride and grooms head. The earliest known sweet wedding cake is known as a Banbury Cake, which became popular in 1655. In the UK we traditionally used cut the cake and distributed among the guests by only the bride because consuming the cake would ensure fertility. It is also the first time as a married couple you will be doing something together as a couple.

The cake can be cut at any point in the day but the best times are just after the meal (often following speeches) as it get people to their feet and lets them stretch their legs. Often the wedding breakfast area needs to be turned around, so it also aids that as we can let everyone know they need to vacate the room and take their personal possessions following the wedding cake cut. Another popular time is in the evening, which is good if you have evening guests as it involves them in some of the day’s formalities.

The cake cut is a good photo opportunity for your guests and the photographer as it is one of the main photos of the day. It can be done inside or outside and requires quite a bit of room around the cake, so make sure your venue does not wedge it in a dark corner right next to a table, which often happens as they prefer it out of the way (so it does not get knocked over), which is not very practical during photo time! Also make sure the venue have supplied a cake knife prior to cutting the cake, as it is a common mistake for everyone to gather round the cake to realize there is nothing to cut it with! Depending on when it will happen we will often prime guests before to let them know and then get you next too the cake just before inviting the guests up. We usually play music during the cake cut and make sure the photographer gets all their shots before inviting your guests to take pictures.

We provide a cake lighting service in addition to our LED uplighting, which can really highlight your cake. We shine two powerful spots on the cake from different angles (that are located high up in the venue), which leaves a double shadow on the wall, which looks really spectacular! This is also accompanied with a colour wash on the wall behind the cake. See our extras section for more information.

Receiving Line:

The receiving line or ‘line up’ (as many clients put it) is a line of your guests prior to the drinks reception or wedding breakfast. You and your now husband/wife stand and greet each member of the wedding party. Often it will also include your parents and other key guests, but do not make it too big unless you have lots of time to spare! It is a great way (and probably the only time) to engage with every member of the wedding, however, try not to chat for too long, especially if you have lots of hungry guests! It’s also an opportunity for the photographer to take a photo with you and every guest well as a good way to seat each guest in the correct place for the wedding breakfast.

As hosts its our duty to pre arrange you in the right place and move your guests from the wedding reception and to the area of the receiving line to be then be seated where we will be assisting them with the table plan to direct them to the place that they need to sit. Occasionally we will also find out their names in advance and formally introduce each guest into the room too. We find that not everyone is keen on the idea of a receiving line as they have a small number of guests or do not want that level of formality so we often leave it to the day for you to make the decision if you are not sure.

Bouquet Toss:

The bouquet was originally a bag of garlic, flower blossoms and grains, which were thought to dissuade evil spirits and was also a symbolism of prosperity and love. At the same time it was also customary to tear off a part of the brides dress and take it home in which was believed to increase the chance of marriage to the guest. This was surprisingly not very popular with the bride so the modern bouquet was invented as a way to stop this.

The modern bouquet toss involves getting all unmarried couples (and now gay men) in a group. The bride then tosses the bouquet over her shoulder and whoever catches it is then due to soon be married. This can happen at any point in the day and often occurs during the evening, because lots of weddings have evening guests so it’s nice to involve them in a tradition. It is a good photo opportunity so is worth doing in an area of your venue where you can fit all the guests, so steps or a small hills work very well. If you are indoors, look out for the chandeliers and other ceiling hazards as we have seen lots of bouquets get stuck or loose lots of the foliage.

Lots of brides say that they do not want to toss their bouquet as it will get destroyed (which is understandable), so we recommend that you try to pinch you most understanding bridesmaids bouquet orhave a second bouquet made up (perhaps a faux one). Another option is to present your bouquet to a a guest of your choice at a certain point in the day (such as after the meal, or, just before the cake cut? this is often a maid of honor or close friend.

A good game we sometimes include at weddings can also involve this. We get all married couples on to the dance floor and play a nice track. We then count down from under 1 year upwards and if the couple has been married for longer then they remain. Obviously you will be first off, so we get you to stand next to us (with the bouquet). Normally it will be parents or grand parents who are last on the floor. We then ask them to give you a few tips on how to maintain a long and happy marriage (this can be very funny or even a tear jerker) and you can then present them with the bouquet.

Grand Entrance:

This is the entrance into the wedding breakfast (often following the receiving line). Rather than just opening the door and announcing you we will go into the room and welcome all the guests and introduce some of the key staff by name. We then get everyone to stand and then introduce you by your names (rather than the Bride and Groom”) and perhaps some monologue of your choice (such as how you met and what makes you tick perhaps?). Everyone will then make a huge applause for your entrance, which will most commonly be accompanied with a piece of music of your choice. We then seat both of you and then ask the guests to be seated. The breakfast starts at this point or you may perhaps have some thank you’s or the speeches?

You can also have the whole top table introduced with a monologue of who they are and what they do and a track of their choice, which goes down very well with a little bit of humour and really set the scene for the speeches – look up ‘wedding grand entrance introductions’ on Youtube and imagine a slightly less cheesy approach.

Father Daughter Dance:

The Father Daughter dance is a very sentimental point in the day as it signifies a father handing over is daughter too another man, which is always a very serious event, especially in history as it would often include a dowry, so the decision will not have been made lightly (there is a great example of this in the first scene of the Godfather). This is typically after first dance, but we have found that it can devastate a full dancefloor (if you invite people up during the first dance), as they often will sneak back to their table or the bar. It has worked better (from our experience) a bit later on in the evening (after the buffet) or perhaps even just after the after wedding breakfast, when it will be a complately seperate event and one that will remain in your guests memories. The Father of the bride also traditionally pays for most of the wedding so it is also a mark of respect to him for the investment and trust in your judgement.

Another idea is to have the father daughter dance before the first dance and get him to hand over the bride in the middle or at the end, to officially start the first dance. It’s up to you as lots of couples do not want a father daughter dance at all for various reasons. It is also perhaps a good idea to also get the groom to invite his mother to dance (especially if it is after first dance). You can choose a track that your father knows and loves (perhaps his first dance) or one that fits, such as “my girl” etc.


Visit our website if you require any more information:


How to find that perfect wedding dress


mermaidSimilar to any other distinct garment types, wedding dress styles change on a yearly basis and brides may have a hard time keeping up with current trends. However, one of the most unique things about wedding dresses is that classic styles are always accepted as a solid choice. Fashion forward brides tend to emulate the most recent trends, and lately, mermaid wedding dresses are becoming extremely popular for all kinds of wedding. It is a new age design that hugs the body and accentuates the curves of the bride but this type of dress is often confused with the ‘trumpet’ and ‘fit and flare’ wedding gowns. Additionally a mermaid wedding dress is not suited for all body types and brides should be conscious of this fact when selecting their gowns for their special day.

Mermaid Wedding Dresses vs. Trumpet and Fit and Flare

People confuse the mermaid dress with ‘trumpet’ and ‘fit and flare’ because they are very similar in shape and design. Their differences are only easily detected if you know what to look for. Below, the style differences are discussed so that brides know what to look for when shopping for a mermaid dress.

Mermaid Wedding Dresses

Mermaid dresses are the most body hugging of the three types and is therefore considered the sexiest in some circles. A mermaid dress fits closely on the body until about the knee where it flares off extravagantly towards the hem. Brides should note that these dresses can be very constricting and may interfere with walking and dancing to some extent.

Trumpet Wedding Dresses

Trumpet wedding dresses are similar to mermaid dresses in that they hug the body most of the way, but they flare off mid-thigh as opposed to the knee. These dresses are easier to walk and dance in because the legs have a little more wiggle room.

Fit and Flare Wedding Dresses

Mermaid dresses are probably most confused with fit and flare than any other dress type. It may also be considered the second most flattering of the group. Fit and flare gowns hug the body and flare off just below the hips. They look great on women with wide hips. In essence, the major difference between the three wedding dress styles is mainly where they flare off from the body.

trumpet    fit and flare

Who Should Wear a Mermaid Wedding Dress

Many women opt for a mermaid wedding dress simply because it is the latest trend, but they must also be aware that not all women look good in a mermaid dress. These dresses look great on models and mannequins and women often assume that the dress is going to look the same on their body but difference body types produce diverse results and not all of them are favourable. Women with hourglass shapes are more recommended for mermaid dresses than any other body type. This is due to the fact that they have a balanced figure and the dress highlights their curvy body. However women who are pear shaped could also pull off the mermaid look. Always be aware that wedding dresses have been made for tall women with a view to it being altered. If you have to have 18 inches of flare removed because you are too short, you may end up with a frill on the bottom of your dress rather than a flare. It is not recommended for women with apple shapes.

Accentuate Features and Hide Flaws

Women who have a short or non-existent waistline should probably get a mermaid dress that incorporates a decorated waistband or sash. The sash can be gathered, beaded or embellished with jewels or lace. It is also best to get a sash that has a shade contrasting with the actual dress to give the illusion that she has a more pronounced waist. Women with large breasts should avoid empire waist mermaid dresses as they emphasize the bust and would desynchronise the shape. This option should be considered for women with smaller breasts who need to accentuate the bustline. Even though mermaid dresses have a distinct shape and style, women can personalise their gowns be selecting dresses with appropriate necklines, waists and skirts that suit their style and body.


Selecting the right wedding dress is often the single most important task for a bride-to-be. Because so much emphasis is placed on how she looks and feels in her gown, a lot of time is spent on this task. Mermaid gowns are gorgeous and are at the forefront of contemporary wedding dress styles, but women should consider a few factors before deciding on the right one. A bride should be sure that she knows her body type and considers how her silhouette would look in a mermaid gown. When put together correctly she will look beautiful.







To Toast or not to Toast

Having a toastmaster on your special day can do more than you think to make it go along without a hitch.  This is what you can expect from arranging this service.

  • Meet with you before at the venue to plan the day.
  • Arrive at the venue an hour before the ceremony to ensure all preparations are in place and meet and greet all guests on arrival.
  • Arrange for guests to take their seats for the ceremony.
  • Arrange meetings with registrar (remember you will need id)
  • Announce bride into ceremony.
  • Toastmaster to announce the new Mr & Mrs out of ceremony.
  • Coordinate with other suppliers i.e. photographer and venue.
  • Arrange the forming of a receiving line or grand entrance into the wedding breakfast.
  • Introduce themselves to the guests and inform all any problems are to be directed to him.
  • Introduce top table.
  • Introduce speeches and presentations.
  • Announce and perform the cutting the cake ceremony
  • Organise fun events i.e. throwing bouquet/garter.
  • Announce first dance
  • Announce departure of bride and bridegroom from the breakfast so the room can be made ready for the evening event. 
Planning The Honeymoon

untitled (6)The happiest day of your life deserves to be followed by a dream holiday that’s remembered forever.. That’s why my solemn promise is a honeymoon for you to treasure.

It’s important to remember that when you are planning your special trip, timing Is everything. My guide will help you to discover the best honeymoon destinations for each month of the year, so you can choose the perfect place to start your married life together. I’ve put together suggestions for a romantic City Break, a Beautiful Beach getaway and an action packed Adventure of a lifetime. Of course, some of these destinations can be visited year round depending on what you are planning on doing so make sure you ask me as your Travel Counsellor for more information.


Sail on the harbour or take an unforgettable scenic harbour flight in Australia’s biggest, oldest and arguably most exciting city. Enjoy a romantic stroll, shop and have a bite to eat within viewing distance of Sydney’s eye catching and iconic Opera House. Sydney is a lively, friendly destination, the perfect setting for a memorable honeymoon.

Sri Lanka
With long sandy beaches on the south coast, a lush interior, rich wildlife and a cultural treasures that include sites well over two thousand years old, Sri Lanka is an unforgettable honeymoon destination. Discover the country’s diversity; tea plantations and tropical forests, elephants, temples and mosques. Seven World Heritage sites and golden beaches.

Why not relax after your wedding with a visit to a spiritual Buddhist monastery or lie on one of Thailand’s many stunning beaches. Combine this with the vibrant bustling city of Bangkok or the rich culture of Chang Mai; there are many options for that perfect adventure together.


Cape Town
A honeymoon in Cape Town offers a fascinating texture of things to do and see; lively bistros and bars on the romantic Victoria & Albert Waterfront, a trip to the top of Table Mountain, excursions into South Africa’s winelands of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek and much more.

If relaxation is at the top of the list for your honeymoon, you will enjoy being marooned on one of these idyllic, secluded islands. You and your loved one can rest on white sands, snorkel in azure seas, watch the sunset or take a nap in a hammock. Enjoy the start of your married life together in pure bliss.

New Zealand
Make the most of this beautiful country’s great outdoors. Couples with a sense of adventure can enjoy a range of bush walks, sea kayaking or enjoy extreme activities such as bungee jumping or even take a hike up a glacier. Those with more relaxing tastes can take a stroll to the fjords or venture to the beautiful Bay of Islands for Maori history and dolphin spotting.


Las Vegas
Visit Egypt, Paris, New York and Venice, all in the same day. Watch the circus, ride a roller-coaster, eat a vast variety of gourmet meals and play the casino tables. And if you want a break from the bright lights of the city you can even explore the wealth of natural wonders beyond the city limits on a honeymoon in Las Vegas.

Beaches, rum bars, fish restaurants and a mesmerising blue sea are the main lures for honeymoons to Antigua. This stunning destination boasts 365 beaches – one for every day of the year. The island’s fascinating wildlife, intriguing history and picturesque harbours all combine to make Antigua a truly special island destination.

A Honeymoon in India will be magical and unforgettable. This country has many different regions, diverse landscapes and a fascinating history and a culture for you to explore. Experiencing the wonder of the magnificent Taj Mahal with your loved one is a must on your visit!


A honeymoon in Venice will not disappoint. A city like no other, it is outrageously beautiful with streets full of water. Be sure to ride a vaporetto (waterbus) down the Grand Canal, visit the Gallerie dell’ Accademia and take a trip across the lagoon to Burano, Murano or Torcello.

While the Seychelles offers everything you’d expect from a tropical island; swaying palm trees, emerald mountains and soft white sand that tickles your toes, it goes beyond the usual and offers a culture full of richness and diversity. You’ll also find plenty of activities to entertain yourselves throughout the day, including diving, fishing and sailing.

Boasting wild and colourful volcanic landscape and a coastline richly indented with fjords and bays. Iceland is a destination for those couples looking for natural, unspoilt beauty. Walk around the island and take in the exotic scenery of geysers, waterfalls and hot springs.


San Francisco
This city much loved for its landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, is a truly unique and awe-inspiring honeymoon destination. Taking a cable car ride to climb the city’s notorious hills and jumping on the ferry to the infamous prison island of Alcatraz are some of the best ways to see this beautiful city.

St Lucia
Relax on the beach during your St Lucia honeymoon and enjoy some of the Caribbean’s most breathtaking scenery, lush green mountains, tropical forests and the island’s famous Pitons – two dramatic volcanic peaks that rise gloriously from the sea. Sip cocktails and enjoy sumptuous meals while watching the sunset on this beautiful island.

Greek Islands
Greece is a stunningly diverse country with an abundance of attractions. Embark on a jam-packed itinerary of island hopping, there is always somewhere new to explore and amazing sights that will make a lasting impression on your honeymoon memories.


One of the most romantic destinations in the world. Paris feeds the mind, pampers the body and refreshes the soul. Wander hand in hand along the champs Elysees, take a stroll along the banks of the Seine or climb up the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame for stunning views of the city.

For many newlyweds, Fiji is the ultimate tropical honeymoon destination. The stunning coral beaches set over 333 islands create the scene of a castaway fantasy. With fine white powdery sand, turquoise waves and traditional coconut thatched huts, this really is ultimate peace and tranquillity.

Marrakech is a charismatic city at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Take an excursion together, walk from one mountain village to the next, stopping en route for glasses of mint tea. And experience Jemaa El Fna, the famed central square, a theatre of North African tradition and superstition, full of snake charmers, musicians and acrobats.


Los Angeles
Los Angeles has it all. It epitomises the Amercian Dream with its fantasy worlds of Hollywood and Disneyland and the extravagant opulence of Beverley Hills, Bell Air and Malibu. Alongside these world class attractions, Los Angeles also boasts beautiful beaches, a wide range of water sports and lively nightlife.

Say Aloha to Hawaii’s great beaches and wonderful tropical seas. Honeymoons in Hawaii can offer not one but six islands – Oahu, Maui, Kauai, the Big Island, Molokai and Lanai – each island offering something different. Whichever one you set foot on, you are sure to be enchanted.

Spot an array of wildlife including the ‘big five’ at the Masai Mara or Tsavo national park on a breathtaking safari before unwinding with sun, sea and sand in Mombassa or Malindi, Kenya also has fine mountains and the stunning Rift Valley to explore, the perfect adventure awaits you for your African Honeymoon.


A honeymoon in Singapore has a lot to offer; fascinating insight into a modern Asian city; Chinese temples, gleaming skyscrapers and colonial palaces stand side by side. Hunt for bargains in the colourful markets and glittering ultra modern malls and stroll through the orchid gardens or along the bustling waterfront.

Bali is much more than just another tropical beach destination, its heart and soul is its culture. Known as the ‘island of the Gods’, Bali’s stunning beauty features varied landscape with hills and mountains, rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, and lush green rice terraces.

You won’t fail to enjoy Malaysia, one of the most diverse and culturally enhancing countries on the planet, alive with vibrant cities, pristine beaches and lush rainforests. A popular choice for the more adventurous honeymooners is a climb up Mount Kimabalu in Borneo – an experience of a lifetime.


Rome offers almost unrivalled sightseeing around ancient history, art and architecture, it buzzes with modern style, designer shops and lively nightlife – all set against this fabulously rich backdrop. Walking around the city, you will find there are many captivating sights and sounds to discover in Rome.

For a luxury island holiday, Mauritius rewards with sun, sea and sand in a package that stimulates the senses and washes away the cares of the world. With its friendly and relaxing ways, it’s clear to see why Mauritius is a popular destinations with honeymooners.

A holiday in Alaska in an adventure in a wilderness land of immense size and beauty. You’ll be spellbound by nature’s consummate light show, the Northern Lights. The variety and type of holidays in Alaska are almost as wide as the Alaskan Skyline, and you can travel around by land, sea or air.


A sleepy fishing village fifty years ago, Dubai has developed into one of the world’s hottest destinations, in more ways than one. From the timeless tranquillity of the desert to the lively bustle of the souk. Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for your honeymoon.

A Honeymoon in Jamaica offers tropical rainforests, misty peaks, undulating farmland and classically golden beaches. If you’re up for a full – on island that runs to a catchy beat, Jamaica’s the place, it’s landscape is as varied and flamboyant as its people and is sure to provide a perfect setting for your dream holiday.

The great monuments of the Nile Valley are still the country’s biggest attraction, but alongside its fabulous archaeological history; a honeymoon in Egypt holds many surprises. Here you’ll find stellar dining in the red sea, uncrowded beaches and tempting


New York
New York is the city that does it bigger, louder and faster than any other. The combination of the lush greenery of Central Park with the high rise buildings that surround it encompasses New York to a tee – no matter how frenetic and lively the city may be, you’ll be able to find your own tranquil haven in the middle of it all.

One of the Caribbean’s friendliest islands, a warm welcome is always guaranteed in Barbados. The island has an abundance of beautiful beaches, a lively nightlife scene and cuisine which embraces flavours from around the world. The perfect honeymoon destination.

Toronto is famously multi-cultural. Vancouver has a mellow vibe and Francophone Quebec is a city that is so vibrant it is covered with cross-country ski trails. Explore Canada’s diverse cities alongside a ride through the Canadian Rockies and take a visit to the Majestic Niagara Falls.


Vienna is the perfect romantic setting, plenty of architectural drama with stately avenues, elegant squares and a fairy-tale palaces built in the Baroque Style. From around late November the snow turns the city into a winter wonderland with festive markets so you can cosy up with a mug of mulled wine!

Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is set on one of the Caribbean’s most geographically diverse islands with virgin alpine wilderness, mangrove swamps, cultivated savannas and tropical rainforests. The all – inclusive resorts offer excellent facilities for you and your partner to enjoy.

A honeymoon with a difference, pristine white snow, cosy log cabins and snuggling up in front of roaring fireplaces. Experience a magical and festive honeymoon with a range of activities, meet Santa, go snowboarding and tobogganing or take a husky dog ride.

Advice given by our very Own Travel Counsellor Paul Herman

Choosing the right music for your wedding


Wedding music: 

wedding music

Your wedding is unique to you and we believe that any music can be played at some point in the day, depending on yours and your guest’s tastes. We have Dj’d at thousands of UK weddings, which range from Heavy Metal to Indian playlists so your in safe hands. We also professionally mix all music and keep any unnecessary chitchat over the microphone to a minimum so the whole evening flows without any gaps. Firstly though we shall focus on the start of the day – the wedding ceremony:

Ceremony music:

Wedding ceremony background music:

You will need at least 8-10 wedding ceremony background tracks. We advise that you choose something the groom likes (as he will be in the room) and select something that suits the venue, which does not include any swearing or religious connotations (such as ‘what is god was one of us’ or hymns). An good example could be Jack Johnson, Nora Jones, Vitamin String Quartet, piano tribute players, Oasis, Vivaldi, Cafe Del Mar, Bob Marley etc. etc. The choice if yours and should be personal to you as a couple.

Wedding ceremony entrance music:

The best wedding entrance tracks are relaxed but also dramatic like “Canon D” or “At Last”. If you have less than 30 metres to walk, then walk at half the pace (perhaps even stop for a few seconds on the aisle) and also send bridesmaids/flower girls in before you as you will only get about 15-20 seconds of the track before you reach your future Mr. or Mrs.! Choosing a really good entrance point and making the guests wait is also an excellent idea assuming you are out of sight from the guests. This entrance point is most effective on a crescendo high point in the track, which can be pre cued (and even rehearsed) and signaled to a member of staff so you enter at the perfect moment.

Wedding register / signing music:

This is usually background that gets taken up or down depending on when the registrar is calling witnesses or not. This is a great time to add some personality to the proceedings. Easy listening works well or even something a bit comical such as Signed, Sealed and Delivered? Also at this time the guests who will be taking photos (following the photographers official shots) and the registrar will be finishing off the paperwork. You will normally only need about 2 tracks depending on what you photographer wants to do but 3 are advised depending on the length of them.

Wedding ceremony exit music:

At this point the registrar will give you your documents and wish you well, while your guests rise. A track with lots of energy works really well. Everyone will be clapping so something that has a bang and that can be cued on a crescendo is ideal. An example is Barry White – The First The Last My Everything, which needs to be cued at 48 seconds in as it has a huge intro. If it was played from the start then you and many of the guests will have already left the room before the track actually kicks in, so make sure you listen to your music and work out the best timing as there will be no second chances on the day!

Why not hire a DJ to take care of the ceremony music?

Most people hire our services during the ceremony for piece of mind as they know that we will make sure that your tracks are cued at the right place and played at the right volume using a state of the art sound system. We will guarantee that your music does not just stop when you reach the registrar but is taken down and up to suit the mood. We can also supply mood lighting (which really transforms a ceremony room) and also condenser microphones (so no messy cables being clipped to you) for large venues and outside ceremonies.

Party music:

Music planning: 

Rather than turn up on the day to your wedding and hope for the best, we like to plan the music with you and build a night of bespoke entertainment. We require a list of requests from you so 30 tracks are a good number as each track is on average about 3.5 mins long, which is a good few hours worth. We also ask that you include your top 5-10 tracks and also your partners top 5-10 tracks additionally. These can be anything at all and it lets us know who likes what, which is very handy when one of you is on the dance floor and one is at the bar etc.

Please also include any ‘do not play’ tracks. It could be that you hate Robbie Williams or that a certain track was played at a recent funeral? Party cheese tracks (such as Agadoo, Opps upside your head and even Abba) are most common. Please try to think of any tracks that will relate to you and your guests. This may include your parent’s first dance, a family party track or perhaps you have guests coming from another country etc. A popular one is the hen do, or stag do track!!

Guest requests:

Guest requests are also very important to us and we will actively encourage them on the night, as it’s often very beneficial including them in the party and it also makes the set list a bit different. If you can think of tracks that will get people dancing that would be very helful. An example may be a family anthem that is always played at parties, or perhaps two of your friends are ballroom dancers? Maybe it’s your Grandparent Golden wedding anniversary etc. A great way to find this out is to ask other relatives, or perhaps set up a Facebook group for your wedding music? Your Paren’ts are always a good port of call for this and it also makes them feel more involved in your wedding day.

The end! 

The end of the night is very important (as people will always remember an end to a party) so you will want to finish up your wedding day in style. Your DJ will coordinate this and make sure everyone knows that the night is drawing a close and are required on the dance floor. It is very helpful for us if you could include some ending tracks that really get people up and dancing in Unisom. Favourites include: New York, Hey Jude, Never Forget, Wonderwall, Sweet Caroline, Elbow etc.

Often in venues people may leave before the official end of the wedding (such as booking a taxi at 11pm for a 12am finish). If lots of people start leaving before the official end then its advisable to have a pre ending at 10.45pm which then leaves one hour of party. That way you will not finish with only a few guests left (who are most often staying at the venue) and you can perhaps enjoy some more leftfield music (Garage/dance, indie, classic rock etc.) in that period.

We also often finish the night 10 minutes before it’s supposed too end (especially with early finishes). That way we can applause you and welcome you on your honeymoon, but also squeeze a couple of your favourite tracks after, which in all essence is an encore, but we like too call it “the fake ending”.

This is all something that we go through on your planning meeting with us so on the day you can relax knowing that we have everything under control! If you would like an example of a very good (and real) playlist from 2013 then have a look at the bottom of this page. It includes some classics but also some modern tracks and also some more obscure numbers!! Your requests list is best supplied via an email one month before the wedding. This also coincides with our catch up meeting and final payment.

Background music: 

Background music can really help relax your guests and also set a very subtle tone for the whole day. Background is most commonly used during the drinks reception and also the wedding breakfast and usually consists of relaxed music of all sorts depending on what your tastes are. Often with weddings there are set themes or perhaps bride and groom (or guests) from different countries so playing music similar to that works very well. It’s often nice to theme the music to a venue if it is unique (classical/medieval music for a castle for example). We have state of the at battery speakers that can be used and linked for this purpose so if required we can play music throughout the whole venue.

Wedding Breakfast music is also great to fill the space in between the clinking of plates and chat. Most commonly this is chilled music (such as Jack Johnson) and classic jazz (such as Nina Simone etc.) but of course depends on your tastes and how you want to build the day. Some people opt for no wedding breakfast background music, but it makes a massive difference and is usually venue specific.

We can provide the background music, or you can supply it yourself on an ipod or laptop etc. You will usually only need about 2 hours for the drinks and 3 hours for the meal. As previously mentioned easy listening tracks work best (Buble fore example) rather than louder music (Oasis etc.). Please note that we legally source all of our own music so cannot accept any copied or non-original playlists from you before hand via email or on CD. Also there is a limit of 30 tracks that we purchase ourselves before charging for additional music as it gets very expensive at 80p a track. This is not such a problem with the party music as we generally have lots of the tracks already.

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