Getting Married in Wales

For the last three years we have been planning our wedding which took place in July 2015 at Bodnant Garden in Conwy. It was the perfect setting for us as we both love the welsh countryside and plan to make our home there in the next few years.

The run up to the big day was very exciting as some of our friends were flying in from Australia where we spent time travelling. We were very fortunate to find a great company in both countries to help us with travelling arrangements, the company in Australia was who collected our friends in a 32 seat bus from different locations around Melbourne and took them to the airport. The other was a coach hire company based in Wales called Select Coach Hire who collected our visitors from the airport and also arranged transport for our guests on our big day.

We held our reception at the Groes Inn, Conwy. It is a truly rustic welsh pub and Justin the boss truly deserve his 5 star AA award, the food is really superb.

Some of our friends decided to stay on for a couple of weeks as they had never visited the UK before, so we took them on a trip to Snowdon, Caenarfon Castle and finally down to London so that they could visit all of the famous sights.

Catching up with people you have met abroad in your own country is a great experience as you get to see your own country through the eyes of a visitor and how they are amazed by all of the everyday aspects that you take for granted.

It was also a great start to our married life, being able to take a tour of the UK with good friends and seeing how far we have come since we met our Australian friends during our travels.


Top UK wedding dress designers

The UK boasts of many talented and creative fashion designers, such as CocoMio Bridal. Each of these illustrious geniuses brings their own unique ideas to the world of fashion. We’ve searched high and low to name the very best in modern bridal fashion and compiled a handy list of these leading wedding dress designers for you.

Stephanie Allin
The world famous Stephanie Allin is a modern designer who pays particular attention to exquisite and contemporary bridal style. Her signature style can be seen in Marylebone boutiques and Paris stores. This award-winning wedding dress designer will make you fall instantly in love with her magical designs.

Stella McCartney
Stella had a rocky start to her career but she soon took her position and came up with sexy bridal dresses in 2001. McCartney has managed to attract numerous high-profile celebrities upon launching her grown-up and tailored label. Her wedding dresses are perfect for the red carpet. Because Stella is a strict vegetarian, none of the materials she uses is made from fur or leather.

Suzanne Neville
Suzanne is one of the leading designers of bridal wear in Europe. All of the dresses she designs are British made. Neville adheres to traditional origins and uses modern couture techniques. The beautifully designed wedding gowns with signature bodices are suitable for slim brides. This talented designer uses only the finest silks and embroideries to create romantic bridal gowns.

Kula Tsurdiu
Kula has a passion for the iconic era and you can clearly see this in her designs. Her gowns range from figure-hugging corsetry and hand-crafted lace to many other feministic styles. She also makes custom jewellery to complement her bridal gowns.

Charlotte Balbier
Charlotte is a third-generation designer who pays particular attention to contemporary fashion. Balbier is often referred to as the modern English Rose because of her exquisite lacework designs on bridal gowns. You can also find many elegant classic cuts and satins among her wedding dresses.

Charlie Brear
Charlie Brear’s wedding dresses have appeared in many famous magazines such as Vogue and worn by Kate Moss. With a blend of classic accents and Hollywood-style glamour, Charlie’s spectacular wedding dress designs ooze elegance and are the ones to watch out for in 2016.
If you are getting married this year, consider browsing through the catalogue of these top-rated UK wedding dress designers in order to choose your perfect gown.


Spring Wedding Dress Trends

Are you looking to celebrate your big day in the height of Spring? It’s a wonderful time of year, the days are becoming lighter, and everything around you is starting to wake from the dormant winter. It’s a fresh season, bringing with it blooms and butterflies, warmer air and sunshine. So, what styles of wedding gowns are on trend of Spring 2016?

A Nod Towards Spring…
An obvious choice to give a nod towards your spring wedding is to adorn yourself in a gown with a floral print; you could go in any direction with this option, bold and vibrant or subtle and delicate, it’s up to you. We all know the sweet sound of birdsong is one we hear during spring, so perhaps you could incorporate birds into your CocoMio wedding dress by adding some delicate plumage; you’ll look like a truly stunning bride with cascading soft feathers on the bodice or skirt of your gown. The warmer months of spring can bring in a more casual style of bride, feel free to try a cropped top look for your big day, you can still pull off looking elegant yet chic with this idea.

Something More Traditional…
The timeless and elegant fabric of lace will look stunning for a spring day, why not team numerous layers of the gorgeous material with a sexy plunge of a deep-v neckline. If you’re a traditional girl, team a satin gown with the classic Bateau neckline to keep it tasteful and elegant.

What About Colour…
The colours that surrounded the wedding runways for spring this year include subtle shades of blush, pinks and rose, which encompass the season perfectly. Also, take a peek at stonewashed shades such as shimmering silvers or gentle nudes.


Bridesmaid Ideas for 2016

The ability to be a bridesmaid in a wedding is one of the most memorable honours of your life. So, visual impressions will obviously make a massive difference; let’s take a look at some stunning fashion statements that should be embraced throughout 2016.

The Luxury of Lace

Lace had made a comeback during 2015 and this trend is only expected to continue this year. These delicate patterns exude a subtle hint of sensuality while still embracing class and luxury. Although lace was at one time thought to be the sole privilege of the bride, this entrancing accent can indeed be employed to create a bespoke appearance within the ensemble of any bridesmaid.

Semi-Transparent Necklines

Another notable innovation this year is the inclusion of what are known as illusion necklines. These options are great ways to offer a hint of sexuality while never exposing too much to the audience. Such a pattern is also ideal for those who have been hoping to accentuate the nape of the neck and the shoulder. These cuts should be especially prevalent during the warmer months of the year.

The Freedom of Choice

In the past, all bridesmaids were expected to wear similar bridesmaid dresses. While this mirrored a certain sense of uniformity, such a display could also be interpreted as rather bland. Those women who are looking to punctuate their appearance will be pleased to know that mix-and-match designs appear to be here to stay. From different gown lengths and cuts to unique accents within a specific design, such a freedom should be a welcome change during 2016.

The Power of the Pattern

Plain white, off-white and pastel dresses have always been popular when used for a wedding. While there is little doubt that such styles will remain, there has been a notable shift towards prints and floral patterns. These are excellent options for those who are looking to break up a solid colour in a fashionable and subtle way. Of course, floral patterns are perfectly suited for the warmer months of the year and even during autumn or winter, such whimsical prints can add a bit of classy spice to any wedding.

These are some of the most pronounced trends which are expected to dominate 2016. By keeping ahead of this ever-evolving curve, any bridesmaid will be able to make the most stunning choices when they are required the most.


Tips for Marquee Christmas Parties – Plan Now, Love it Later

For those who just love everything about Christmas, it’s really never too early to begin planning things for next time around.  While some find themselves never wanting to see a turkey again by Boxing Day, others revel in the thought on exactly how they will outdo themselves once again next year.

Now more than ever, marquee hire in Bromley is becoming extraordinarily popular among those looking to put on the most fantastic Christmas parties imaginable.  Once something of an exclusive and inaccessible asset, competition and availability has opened up event marquee hire to the mainstream population like never before. And of course, it’s impossible to deny that the appeal of an outdoor marquee event – especially around Christmas – is both unique and irresistible

So specifically for the benefit of those already looking forward to next year’s big day, here’s a quick rundown of just a few essential considerations to ensure you get the very most out of your festive extravaganza in 2016:

1 – Book Ahead

First of all, it’s worth remembering that the sooner you make your reservation, the better.  Not only does booking ahead mean gaining access to the very best marquee hire deals available, but also the industry’s leading service providers.  It’s not uncommon for those are the very top of the table to find themselves booked up several months, even a couple of years in advance.  So if you’d prefer to do business with the best and make genuine savings in the process, booking ahead is the best way of going about things.

2 – Vet the Vendors

One of the key benefits of booking so far ahead of time is the way in which it gives you plenty of opportunity to vet the available vendors. The simple fact of the matter is that all marquee hire companies are most certainly not of the same standard and nor are the products they have available. Quite to the contrary in fact, which means it is worth investing sufficient time and effort in the process of checking out their reputation, their track record, their specialist area, feedback, portfolio and so on.

3 – Know What You Want

It’s important to remember that when it comes to these unique kinds of outdoor Christmas events, you effectively have complete and total freedom of choice across the board. You can craft your own event write down to the finest detail and have every little thing about it tailored to your exact specification. As such, it’s worth taking a little time to think about exactly what you want ahead of time, for the simple reason that you can be as picky and selective as you wish to be along the way. The sky’s the limit, so go for it!

4 – Consider Various Locations

You’ll also have near-total freedom of choice when it comes to location as well, so it’s worth considering the kinds of places that may not be immediately obvious. These days, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a large expanse of open grassland in order for a marquee event to be suitable. From beaches to car parks to the most unusual shaped outdoor spaces imaginable, there’s almost nowhere an event marquee cannot be situated these days, so it’s worth getting creative.  If unsure, you can always ask your chosen service provider for a few tips.

5 – Before or After?

When it comes to availability and indeed getting the very best prices available, one of the most important points to ponder is that of exactly when the event should take place. Needless to say, the closer to the big day itself, the higher the demand and associated costs are likely to be. Likewise, weekends and bank holidays are always going to be more expensive than standard weekdays, so it’s more than worth considering all available options. Don’t necessarily fall into the assumption that an outstanding Christmas party simply must take place before the big day itself. After all, if it’s a party for people with an undying love for Christmas, why not give them a second dose a little later?

6 – Seek Recommendations

Last but not least, the beauty of planning ahead of time is the way in which it gives you ample opportunity to seek recommendations from others.  Even if you yourself do not personally know anyone with any relevant marquee hire experience, the web is simply bursting at the seams with reviews, testimonials, recommendations and indeed warnings with regard to the various providers the UK has to offer. So rather than taking the brand’s various promises at face value, you might as well verify they’re actually able to deliver on their word.


Marquee Event Catering – Six Simple Tips for Stacking Up the Savings

It’s often assumed that when considering marquee hire in South East London¸the biggest expense of all is the marquee itself. And in many cases this can indeed prove to be the case, though more often than not, marquee hardware has a tendency to be surprisingly affordable. By contrast however, when you are looking to put on an event for relatively large number of people and cater to their every whim, it is in fact the catering itself that can stack up the most surprising bill of all…and not in a good way.

The simple fact of the matter is that when you speak to a person who has recently attended an event, chances are the catering will be one of the first things they mention. If the catering was good, they will sing the praises of the event. If it was bad, they’ll probably find it difficult to find anything good to say whatsoever about the event in general – catering really is that influential.

So there’s really no way of getting away without catering, which means the best way of approaching things is with proactive savings in mind. So for those looking to organise and put on an event in the near future, here’s a quick look at six simple tips for making real savings on marquee event catering costs:

1 – Book Well Ahead
First and foremost, not only do the very best catering companies on the market get booked up quite a long way in advance, but all the best deals are always snared ahead of time. It’s the same with pretty much everything – the later you leave it, the less freedom of choice you’ll have and ultimately the more you’ll end up paying. It might sound somewhat risky to book many months, perhaps even years in advance, but just as long as there is a good degree of flexibility agreed, there doesn’t need to necessarily be any risk involved. And the further ahead you book, the bigger the savings you stand to make as a result.

2 – Keep it Simple

Try to remember that fantastic catering for any given event does not have to be in any way complicated or over the top.  Quite to the contrary in fact, the most successful and memorable catering usually tends to be the type that is relatively simple and therefore enjoyed by everyone. The more complicated you make things, the more it becomes inevitable that some guests simply will not ‘get’ what it is you’re trying to do. There’s a time and a place for fine dining and endless alcohol of course, but when it comes to making real savings, simplicity really is the primary item on the menu.

3 – Avoid Mealtimes

It’s often something you may have no direct control over, but if at all possible, it can be a good idea to ensure that your event doesn’t necessarily tie in with any mealtimes. For example, if you were to host an event between the hours of 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM, you would pretty much have no choice other than to provide everyone in attendance with plenty of food – a full meal, no doubt.  By contrast, if the event was set to take place between 7:00 PM and midnight, it’s more likely that guests will choose to eat before they attend the event and you will therefore get away with putting on snacks, rather than full dinners.

4 – Shop Around

Never forget that with such incredible competition on the market these days, it’s always worthwhile checking out a few catering companies and having them battle it out to offer you the lowest possible price.  This is especially the case for those who choose to book in advance as with so many providers available to you, chances are you’ll be able to find a fantastic deal if you try.

5 – Ask the Experts

A quick point but an important point nonetheless, never forget that to work with a fantastic catering company is to also gain access to comprehensive information on all aspects of the subject.  So rather than just worrying about how exactly you can go about making savings, you could always just ask those you intend to work with directly.

6 – Do It Yourself!

Last but not least, try to remember that one of the best things about marquee hire in the first place is the you are not necessarily tied up to any catering company, or even professional catering at all. As such, you effectively have every opportunity to take care of the catering yourself should you choose to do so, which may involve quite a lot of time and effort but will at least ensure that things are done exactly as you want them to be and within your specified budget.


Cutting Costs on Marquee Events – Simple Tips, Big Savings

It’s commonly assumed that wedding marquee hire in South London is the kind of thing that is reserved only for those with the deepest pockets and the most extensive event budgets. In reality however, things are actually quite to the contrary as availability of fantastic marquee hardware has increased to such a point where prices are plummeting. Once a rare and exclusive asset, the wedding marquee is now readily available for pretty much anyone looking to bring the joy of the great outdoors to their own wedding party.

Nevertheless, exactly how much the marquee wedding costs to organise and put on will be determined by a variety of factors – most of which you have a lot of control over.  The simple fact of the matter is that marquee weddings can be as affordable or as expensive as you choose them to be, depending on the extravagance or otherwise of the affair.

So for those interested in the idea of a marquee wedding and looking to keep costs to absolute minimums, here’s a quick look at a few simple tips for stacking up considerable savings along the way:

1 – Book Ahead

First of all, it’s the tip that gets repeated more than any other but it’s also the most important – book in advance! As is the case with so many things these days, the very best deals are always snapped up by those who book ahead, while those who wait until the last minute have a tendency to be stung with the highest prices. Even if it means forking out a deposit ahead of time, this will no doubt be augmented entirely by the kinds of savings on the cards for booking in advance.  And just as long as you ensure you enter into a deal with a decent amount of flexibility, booking ahead doesn’t necessarily have to mean taking a risk.

2 – Shop Around

Also something of an obvious point but one that bears repeating, shopping around is mandatory when it comes to cutting the costs of marquee events. The days of there only being a few select companies offering marquee hire services are over. These days, there are literally hundreds of competing companies fighting for your business up and down the United Kingdom, which inherently means the lowest ever prices and plenty of competition. As such, there’s nothing to stop you finding a fantastic price, taking this quote to the provider of your choosing and asking them to beat it…which chances are, they will.

3 – Consider Catering Options

Always remember that one of the best things about marquee event hire is the way in which you have total freedom of choice when it comes to catering. You can shop around for the most affordable catering services out there, you can choose to have the event partially-catered to keep costs down or you can choose to cater the event yourself and take total control of how much you spend. The options really are limitless, so don’t ever fall into the trap of assuming that you have to spend a fortune on catering – you don’t!

4 – DJ or No DJ?

The same also goes for the services of professional event DJs, which don’t come cheap. These days, it’s worth remembering that if you already have all the music you’d like to be played at the wedding in your personal collection, technically all you need is a laptop or iPod and a simple speaker system to take care of things yourself. Set up a playlist, plug it in and away you go – all without having to spend so much as a penny on professional DJ services.

5 – Package Deals

When considering the available options on the market, it’s always worth looking into (or asking about) the possibility of all-inclusive package deals, which can in their own right breed significant savings. In some instances for example, you could go with a company that offers marquee hire, catering services, catering equipment hire and so on, all provided in one comprehensive package and for one comparatively low price. Even if you don’t end up going for it, it’s still worth asking and considering the options.

6 – Seasonal Swings

Last but not least, there’s absolutely nothing in the world that affects the costs of marquee events quite like the specific time of year at which the event in question takes place. Think of it this way – if for example you wanted to arrange a marquee wedding for a sunny Saturday afternoon in the middle of the summer holidays, you would probably find yourself paying two or three times more than you would for an identical event on a rather chilly Wednesday morning in November. It’s worth remembering that it isn’t the time of year or the day of the week that determines how fantastic an event can be, so it’s always worth considering avoiding peak seasons in order to stack up real savings.


When to Walk Away from a Marquee Hire Company – Spotting Dodgy Dealers

It’s the kind of nightmare scenario nobody would choose to walk into were they given any say in the matter. Everything seems to be going just fine, when your chosen marquee company throws out the mother of all curveballs and in turn throws your entire event into jeopardy. From corporate events to wedding receptions to music performances and so on, you’d like to think that when it comes to reliability and professionalism, the marquee hire company you work with holds both in high regard.

Unfortunately however, this doesn’t always tend to be the case. According to the experts at, it is technically possible these days for anyone wishing to do so to purchase a job lot of worn, dated hardware and set up shop online as a ‘professional’ marquee hire company. Suffice to say, these are exactly the kinds of service providers that cannot be compared with those at the very top of the industry, for which flawlessness is the only acceptable standard.

So for those looking to cover all bases in advance and take priceless peace of mind as standard, here’s a quick guide to help determine when and where walking away may well be the best way to go:

1 – No Direct/Real-Time Communication

First of all, one of the most common characteristics of dodgy dealers among the industry is that of not being able to get directly in touch with them, try as you might. Every time you call, nobody is available.  Every time they promise to call you back, they don’t. And as for arranging meetings in person, forget about it.  If the only communication they seem to be able to offer comes by way of email or social media messaging, it’s pretty much guaranteed that this is not a professional service provider you are looking at. Avoiding direct/real-time communication is the oldest trick in the book for avoiding difficult questions and potential confrontations.

2 – Vague or Delayed Pricing

It’s also a similar story when it comes to pricing, as when you work with an experienced and professional service provider, there’s really no reason why they shouldn’t be able to offer accurate quotations in an instant. After all, it’s their equipment that’s available and their services that are being offered, so why on earth should it take so much time for them to put together an initial quote?  The answer…it’s usually because those in question either do not have a clue what they are doing, or are actually middlemen taking your business and passing it on to others after jacking up the price for their own personal gain.

3 – No Apparent Business Address

As already mentioned, difficulties when trying to get in contact with the business represent an obvious telltale sign of a dodgy dealer.  But even without actually trying to get in touch directly, it is often possible to spot those who are best avoiding simply by taking notes of the business’ physical address. If no address is listed, it’s likely the business doesn’t exist. If the address listed is clearly residential, it could be some back bedroom operation established by an amateur. If on the other hand it’s clearly a registered business address, it’s far more likely it’s legit.

4 – Lack of Case Studies/Event Imagery

It’s incredibly easy for website designers to use (or steal) stock imagery to create a website that paints an extremely appealing picture of the business in question, even if it happens to be a misleading picture. As such, it’s important not to read too much into this kind of studio imagery, but rather to look a little deeper into the actual event imagery/portfolio of work on offer.  Suffice to say, in the cases of those with little to no experience or credibility, there will undoubtedly be a distinct lack of the latter.

5 – Feedback Questionable or Absent

Taking into account feedback and personal recommendations should be considered mandatory, before going ahead and booking any marquee hire services. When it comes to dodgy dealers, it’s usually possible to spot them a mile away as there will either be very little feedback to go on, or perhaps the kind of feedback that is clearly fabricated or doesn’t paint the most appealing picture.

6 – Unrealistic Promises

Last but not least, one of the most common tactics adopted by those of the rather negative end of the spectrum is to offer the kinds of ‘too good to be true’ deals that they simply cannot follow through with. If for example the industry’s leading providers all seem to be quoting around the £3,000 mark, anyone claiming to offer you the same service package for £300 clearly isn’t telling you the whole truth.


Tips to personalize your wedding ceremony.


1. Find a wedding officiant that will work with you to create the type of ceremony that you are envisioning.

2. Find a style.
* Long, short, traditional or non-traditional.
* Religious ceremony, ceremony with religious elements, or a totally secular ceremony.
* Formal, casual, lighthearted,or themed.

3. Find a tone or theme.
Your wedding ceremony should have a tone and a theme. A theme makes the whole ceremony cohesive, and showcases your personal style. A theme will help you choose vows, find readings, and help you and your officiant write the perfect ceremony.
* Will the tone be nostalgic,relaxed, or formal?
* Is your ceremony aimed toward the community of loved ones there to celebrate and witness your
love, or it more about the two you of you?
* Do you want to incorporate elements for a blended family.
* Will the ceremony follow a theme and build around a common element such as; commitment, love,
family, children, how you met, what your partner means to you, describe your relationship, based on a
video game, book, movie, religious writing, a song or your special creation.

3. Decide which components of the ceremony you want to include.
This is the minimum for a wedding: marriage license, 2 witnesses of legal age, and licensed officiant. Then build your ceremony format from there.

4. Find things that make it feel like your ceremony.
There are a lot of ways to add touches that will make your wedding ceremony feel tailored to you:
* A special reading and who reads it.
* Choice of music for seating of guests, wedding processional, bridal processional, recessional.
* Choice of venue; outdoor, indoor, private residence, park, destination wedding, local venue, hot air balloon, garden, the choices are endless.
* A song sung by a friend, family member, or other musical interlude.
* A blessing, prayer, or family tradition. .
* Formal seating, open seating, or just a gathering of guests.
* Ushers, attendants, bridesmaids, groomsmen, maid-of-honor, best man, flower girl, ring bearer and
page boy or girl.
* Giving in marriage, or support of the couple.
* Specialty ceremonies: sand, unity candle,or your own creation.
* Write your own vows.
* Exchange rings or no ring exchange.


Tips for finding the best Wedding Officiant


Finding the right person to marry you is an important decision. The person you choose as your wedding officiant will have a huge influence on your ceremony and set the tone for your wedding day. You will want to make sure that you find a wedding officiant who is willing to perform the type of ceremony you want. A good wedding officiant will take the time to understand your personalities, style, and beliefs so that together you can create the perfect ceremony. AZ Ceremony wedding officiants understand the importance of creating a ceremony uniquely designed for you.

AZ Ceremony strongly encourages you to seek a wedding officiant that will listen and work with your ideas. We encourage you to ask questions. We have listed a few questions to ask a potential wedding officiant.

This is not an exhaustive list and not every question may be applicable to your situation.

  1. Will the officiant allow you to customize your ceremony?
  2. Will you receive a copy of the ceremony script before the wedding?
  3. Will the officiant provide information on different types of ceremonies and ceremony script examples?
  4. Can you write your own vows?
  5. What is the officiant’s fee and if there are additional charges – mileage, rehearsals, specialty ceremonies, etc?
  6. Will the officiant allow photography during the ceremony?
  7. Will the officiant allow guest speakers or a co-officiant?
  8. Does the officiant require a contract?
  9. What is the cancellation policy?
  10. How many ceremonies has the officiant performed?
  11. What style of ceremony does the officiant like to perform?
  12. What is the officiant’s attire?
  13. Will the officiant provide a copy of their license?
  14. What is the best way to contact the officiant?

AZ Ceremony Wedding Officiants