Weddings

  • How to design the interior of Glass Conservatory Marquees

    Once you’ve chosen your elegant glass marquee for your wedding, the challenge is to design the interior in proportion to the large scale of the structure.

    Choices vary from tall living trees placed in the centre of each table, their foliage towering over guests as they sit at dinner; to greenery wrapped around the tent legs to give substance and soften the tent’s structural features; or large crystal chandeliers twinkling overhead to reflect off the clear ceiling to give a feeling of being under starlight; or having oversized tall flower arrangements on a selection of dinner tables, to give texture to the look of the room. Your aim should be to soften the tent’s structural features, and use lighting in a clever manner to create a warm atmosphere for the dinner.

    Choose a production company who understand good lighting, and the need to draw the eye away from speakers and overhead lighting. They need to focus the guests’ eyes on the bride’s table, the stage, or the cake positioned on a table in a spotlight.

    Have fun with outdoor lighting – whether outside is a facade of a stately home, a lake, or a fountain – light these up at night, so your guests can look from the marquee onto stunning features outside. Even more fun is to video project onto these features with a moving animated light show, including personal details and photos of the bride and groom.

    A tip to remember…the sun can turn your marquee into a greenhouse. So, if you are getting married in a hot climate, add sunshades to your tent’s ceiling, and make sure you have good ventilation, not least for the flowers and greenery which need to look their best on the night of the wedding.

    By in Weddings
  • How To Choose a Great Band and a DJ

    How often do friends recommend a band or a DJ for your party, and you wonder whether they really know their stuff?

     

    In which case, your research needs to dig deeper, taking in the band’s videos on their website, and any YouTube footage you can find. Ironically, the worse the footage like a film on an iphone, the better you can tell what the band are like as you can tell by the reaction of the crowd whether they are truly rocking the room!

     

    For weddings, we recommend choosing a brilliant band who will play a range of well-known music. This isn’t the moment to bring out a newly formed band who play music no-one has heard of. Leave that for their gig, and instead pick a band who will have your dancefloor packed as all ages dance through the night.

     

    For a party band, you can take more of a risk with your choice, as generally there is smaller age range at parties, so you can be daring and go wild. Tying in the band with your theme works well. We have previously had a 13 year old rehearse for 6 weeks before her Bat Mitzvah with a professional dance troupe, performed immaculately to guests during dinner. Quite a performance!

     

     

    For a DJ, there’s less material online to give you direction, therefore we find it’s best to speak to the DJ over the phone to discuss what kind of music you like. Highlight the music you want to avoid but don’t give them a strict playlist, as the DJ needs to be able to read the crowd and bring more people onto the dancefloor. As one of our favourite DJ’s once quoted: “All killer, no filler!”.

     

    Music is key to any party, and you should use it to its best advantage to enhance the energy, so you will have a packed dancefloor, with your guests dancing all night.

     

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  • How to Choose the Perfect Party Venue

     

    Once you’ve decided to throw a party, the best place to start by having an idea of how many people you want to invite, as that will help you choose your party venue.

     

    – In London – there are some fantastic venues in London if you want to go for a New York loft style, with open brickwork and a certain edginess to the surroundings. Look out for galleries and photographic studios, which work brilliantly as a blank canvas to create a totally unique party. We love Loft Studios and The Worx.

    – Around the UK

    – if you choose to throw a party in the country, either you’re lucky enough to have a house or a party house where you can dance the night away, in which case your main thing to book is cleaners for the next day. Alternatively you can put up a marquee, and with endless different types of marquee to choose from, you can set the tone of your party depending on whether you choose a sperry tent (popular in America right now), a stretch tent (popular across Europe), a traditional tent, or go wild and choose an LPM Bohemia grand pavilion.

     

    – Abroad

    – choosing your venue abroad is the most fun, especially if you’re heading to a warmer climate where the weather is more likely to be warm. Dancing under the stars is unbeatable, and there are a host of exciting places we highly recommend, from Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro, to Macakizi in Bodrum, to Pampelonne beach in St Tropez. We’ve worked all around the world and we’ve always noticed that guests coming abroad go even more wild for a party because they are in holiday-mode.

    Whether you pick your venue first, then edit your guest list, or vice versa, now more than ever you can choose from a host of ever different, new and exciting places for your party.

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  • Best Party-Abroad Destinations

    Travelling abroad with friends to celebrate big occasions is becoming increasingly popular, and at Albion Parties we have chosen 3 top party destinations abroad.

    Each destination offers a unique setting, with different options for parties once you’re there. Whether you are looking for barefoot-beach-chic, or Rivieria-style glamour, each of these places will make an impact for your party abroad.

     

    1. ST BARTH’S

    Send invitations to your guests in the form of personalised Smythson travel wallets, with travel information for their trip to St Barth’s, and matching leather luggage tags.

    To stay, take your friends to stay at Le Toiny in St Barth’s, a chic 17-bedroom hotel each with its own private pool. Have personalised beach towels in each bedroom, and a pair of coloured Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses for each guest.

    On the first day, organise a fleet of Mini Mokes to show your friends the island, stopping at Tamarin for a private lunch party set in pretty gardens with parrots swooping and chattering overhead.

    The secluded private beach at Le Toiny is perfect to transform from its daytime look into a party for your friends. Torches can line the path to the beach, where you could decorate long tables with bright flowers, interspersed with flickering candlelight. Fireworks by Foyle Fireworks and a laser show set off from a barge out at sea will have your guests chanting for more.

     

    2. CAPRI

    Take over the fabulously chic JK Place on Capri for a party your friends will certainly remember. When guests check in, have bespoke initialled beach bags ready for each couple, and panama hats and straw hats for the ladies.

    The first night when your guests arrive should be at Aurora restaurant, for relaxed pizza at long tables with a traditional Italian feel. After dinner, those who are game can go to dance at Anema e Core, as long as they promise to be up in time for a boat trip to the Blue Grotto the next morning. Those who don’t make it can go straight to lunch at Fontelina, an idyllic beach restaurant which can only be reached by boat.

    For the main party night, take over the private house Villa Lysis, which can only be accessed on foot. Give your guests the meeting point in the main town square, then lead them on the 15 min walk with walking musicians to the villa. Guests can stop on the way for Prosecco and pecorino served by the locals from their houses.

    For the day after, take everyone for lunch up the hill to the Capri Palace hotel in Anacapri, where the cool breeze will take away the worst of the hangover, and the party can re-start beside the pool.

    3. AMAN SVETI STEFAN, MONTENEGRO

    Fly off to the Adriatic sea and stay at Aman Sveti Stefan, a hotel which occupies a converted 15th century fishing village and a turn of the century royal villa.

    Start your pre-party night at the Cliff Pool, sipping cocktails and overlooking the pool covered in floating lanterns. After a beach party the following day, with butlers to wipe your sunglasses clean, head to The Loggia for the main party dinner, lit with candles and in a setting that is utterly enchanting.

    A hangover brunch the following day in the Piazza, relaxed and fun, shaded and with a pizza oven on hand to cure the excesses of the night before.

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  • Placement Cards for a London Wedding

    With summer weddings fast approaching, it’s time to focus on the finer details of wedding planning. The orders of service, buttonholes, flowers, menus have all been decided on, but it can be the smaller details that can cause the greatest indecision. Whilst country weddings lend themselves to more rustic placecards, we are frequently asked advice for London-themed placement cards that are both chic and unique.  Here is our guide to super-stylish placement cards for London wedding:

     

    Themed – You are spoilt for choice with London-themed placement cards with the rich history of the city. Avoid the kitsch by seeking a twist to your design. Tube maps for table settings and co-ordinating placement cards will add a sense of fun to table arrangements, offset with minimalist table settings and stylised floral arrangements to keep the chic touch. Alternatively add a hint of Victoriana with Penny Farthing bicycle motifs and Dickensian illustrations. Topography inspired names cards are an alternative to the bold iconic Underground signs. Use The London A-Z of memorable places to adorn placement cards. Guests will love searching for their name among familiar street names.

    Landmarks and Icons – The London bus and London taxis are synonymous with the London landscape. Use miniatures vehicles as placecard holders for your seating arrangement or pick a hand-drawn image to add vibrancy to the table. For a simpler look, paper-cut silhouettes of the London skyline are a stunning way of incorporating the landmarks of London.

    Chic Urban Style –London has long been associated with fashion and culture. Play on this relationship with a sleek and sophisticated style for the place settings. We love mirrored surfaces for place names. Mirror placemats with guests’ names written on are reminiscent of grand hotel ballrooms from the 20s and 30s.

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    By in Weddings
  • Wedding gifts for Guests

     

    Wedding presents for guests are a special way of including and thanking your guests to commemorate the big day. Presents can reflect your individual style and interests and even underline who you are as a couple. Brides are increasingly coming up with original and unusual ways of surprising their guests with presents when they reach their table.Small presents are increasingly being used as place name ideas. Small gifts are also a wonderful way of breaking the ice with other guests and providing a table talking point. Decide whether the presents are intended to be keepsakes or for the moment. Anything to take away lends itself to being personalised, but practical in order for it to remain on display.  Here are our favourite ideas to help you decide on the perfect present for your guests.

    Personalised scented candles and soaps

    Add to the theme of your wedding using candles or soaps with personalised containers or lids. Add simples boxes for ease of transportation.

    Olive Oil, loose tea, honey, coffee, spices, jams, chutney

    Foodie presents are always well received and lend themselves to being particularly personal to the couple. Choose flavours evocative of the wedding, or a special memory. Spices from the couples favourite food, or tea from travels or local jam or honey to the venue are lovely ways to include guests to the event.

    Wine corks, matches, teaspoon, marble coaster, bottle opener key

    Keepsakes that are practical are a wonderful to share the memorable date in the every day life of guests.

    Mini plant pots, herbs and succulents

    An elegant solution to guest  presents are small plants. Mini pot plants are a striking enduring momento and we particularly love succulents with their stylish quality and unusual appearance which can be pared with gilded pots or for a more rustic look use terracotta pots and herbs.

    Sweet treats

    Choose from classic penny sweets in stripey bags, local fudge or sophisticated coloured macarons for guests to enjoy after or during the evening. Add a label with the contents and a message.

    Personalised ceramics

    Small personalised ceramics are a classic guest present and allow for painting of drawings and initials or even an imprint of the original wedding invitation.

     

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    By in General, Weddings
  • Bride and Groom – How to Leave in Style

    As the festivities are drawing to a close the Bride and Groom have one more milestone: the send off. Leaving the wedding is a momentous moment, and the departure is just as important as the arrival. Brides and Grooms are coming up with more and more inventive ways for their final flourish on their Big Day. Many couples chose to tie their departure into the overall theme of the wedding, whilst some prefer the unexpected.

    The leaving of the newlyweds is often marked by an announcement or a special song, but we love a theatrical moment of fireworks to signify the end of the wedding. For a more contemporary approach, video projected light shows have added drama, and they are especially effective at enhancing picturesque venues. Fireworks or video projections with specially-composed music heighten the effect. Once the guests are gathered, the bride and groom have the opportunity to leave in a way that reflects their own unique style as a couple.

    Here are our a few other favourite ideas of how to leave in style:

     

    Tuktuk – Tuktuks have a certain romantic charm, especially when dressed with garlands of flowers. Perfect for  destination weddings.

    Classic Car – super sleek or super retro work. Some bride and grooms choose a make of car that holds sentimental value. If you hire one, make sure it is distinctive and reflects the theme of the wedding. We love the retro feel of a classic fiat 500 or a Citroen 2CV for vintage charm, ideal for a hint of France.

    Finally for the wow factor couples might choose an elephant for a unforgettable, if slightly slower departure. Whether it is canoe, motorbike and side-car, or by helicopter, be sure to involve all the guests in the final moment and wave off the Bride and Groom with sparklers, glowsticks, confetti or bubbles!

    By in General, Weddings
  • Food Displays

    Allow your guests to feast with their eyes with impressive looking displays of miniature puddings, sweetie stations and ice cream stalls.

    The food truck revolution has brought food theatre to the fore, and it’s fun to capitalise on this at a party or a wedding by having Instagram-worthy moments. Food displays are surpassing their own identity, and are becoming an important part of the party décor as a whole. Combining original and quirky designs, with avant-garde food combinations, will create a talking point at your party, putting your food choices centre stage. Popular choices for this style of presentation range from vans with wood-fired ovens serving pizza slices, to retro American Airstream vans, or Piaggio vans offering Italian coffee to late night revellers.

    Growing on the back of the trend for unusual drinks stations, food is now fun and interesting. Guests are invited to explore and discover their food in unique displays. We love canapés served on upright forks, beautifully wrapped miniature burritos, snack stations, and pick-and-mix selections are bound to delight.

    Hosts are also now laying more emphasis on the late-night midnight feast. No longer bacon butties for those departing in the wee small hours, but goodie boxes of mini brownies, organic mini sausage rolls, or warming hot chocolate in a bespoke takeaway cup, add a witty and thoughtful edge to any event.

    Food is no longer functional but artistry; left either as a statement, or involving the guest in the creative process of its display. Quite literally food for thought…

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  • Turning a Moodboard into a Wedding

    Being creative for your wedding is fun, and a key place to begin compiling your ideas is to start a pinboard on Pinterest.

     

    When clients come to us, we like to create a moodboard for them, which is a collaborative effort pulling together the style and character of the couple, which we then weave it through the wedding design.

     

    Take this pretty wedding last summer – the stylish bride wanted a fern motif across her wedding stationery, which we developed to incorporate it into the flowers, the Order of Service, the placement cards, and the ceremony design. It was a chic touch that pulled together the look of the wedding, and was very on trend as seen in this season’s House of Hackney fabrics.

     

     

     

     

    By in Weddings
  • The Hottest Floral Trends for 2017

    Trends for 2017

    Now Spring is on the way, the abundance of buds and blooms herald new trends in the floral design trade. We have compiled our favourite top styles that are ready to blossom this year and update any party or wedding.

     

    Pantone Colour of the Year 2017

    The Pantone colour of the year ‘Greenery’ is sure to excite florists, lending itself to both the natural and the exotic for a contemporary bride. ‘Greenery’ is a colour with a zesty lemon tone and is particularly enlivening after a bleak winter. It will make a statement at Easter, reminiscent of new shoots and Spring foliage. It is also an exciting trend to link into bespoke invitations for a pulled together look. It is surprisingly versatile for summer months and brings freshness to traditional combinations.

    Romantic Flowers
    The trend for wistful and wild floral design continues this year and comes in the appearance of deconstructed bouquets with trailing foliage and large tea roses and peonies. Use seasonal flowers for a natural look. Brides are predicted to have larger than average bouquets harking back to Victorian country weddings. Tables will have large centre pieces with seeded eucalyptus. Expect to see carnations, chrysanthemums and dahlias taking centre stage.

    Bold Blooms
    The catwalk has seen the return of large floral designs and this is reflected in the floristry trend for bold flowers in jewel tones. Liven up tables for contemporary parties with clusters of rich tones of red, hot pink, emerald and sapphire.

    Dutch Old Masters
    A muted palette of golden and burnished hues is set to be popular this year and will work well for late summer Autumn parties. Style the collection of oranges, whites and browns in dramatic combinations such as those of the painter Jan van Huysum. Add moody lighting to complete the picture.

    Hanging floral design
    Albion Parties love floral installations that use striking hanging floral designs. These designs make an effective entrance to a party, and lend a whimsical nature to a room. The prominence of this stunning trend can be seen across Pinterest and Instagram.

     

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