Author Archives: John

Planning Ahead From Your Pre-Anniversary

By Lauren Hayes, wedding co-ordinator at The Deckers Group  

If you’re a planner, then you will have certainly booked your wedding more than a year in advance to give you plenty of time to plan out the perfect wedding day.

And while it’s fabulous to go out and celebrate your ‘pre-anniversary’ with your fiancé there are actually lots of practical things you could be doing with this day.

wedding planningThis is the perfect opportunity to visualise your wedding day from start to finish, walking round your chosen ceremony location, and then your reception venue. Because you’re working a year in advance, this perfectly-timed opportunity means that you can visit your venues to see what they look like on the exact day of the year in terms of daylight and seasonality. This could be hugely helpful to your planning, when you could have booked your wedding in the depths of winter, or even in summer when planning a winter wonderland wedding.

As a wedding co-ordinator at Pennine Manor, near Huddersfield, I love people who plan their nuptials well in advance, and most importantly really enjoy the preparation and planning as part of the overall experience.

Here’s our best tips on what to do on your ‘pre-anniversary’ day – and yes, then you can enjoy a glass of champagne together!

  1. Go and visit where you will have your wedding ceremony
    It’s a great idea to help you visualise your day and decide what decoration or flowers will work best. It’s lovely to see where the sun hits the room at the particular time of day, as well as planning out the room layout.
  2. Speak to your photographer
    If you’re really serious about getting things just right, you could do a walk round the venue with your photographer to discuss the perfect shots, with just the right light. It’s massively useful for them to know what shots you really want, and what kind of wedding photography style appeals to you. Also ensure your wedding co-ordinator can do a walk-round with you, to discuss any changes that might be coming up with the venue, or any restrictions that might alter your photo plans. They will also be really well placed to come up with ideas for wedding photographs that you may not have thought of. They will have seen hundreds of wedding photographs being taken at the venue!
  3. Have a meal in your venue
    If it’s possible, go and have a meal at your reception venue. Not only is this a really special day, but it’s a great idea for you to get a feel of the service, the food and the overall atmosphere. It’s unlikely that you will have committed to which wines will be served at your wedding and perhaps even your menu hasn’t been chosen yet. Now is the perfect time to road test your wedding venue’s food, wine choices and service. If you have any queries and change requests, it’s a great time to get it sorted.

A year before the wedding might seem like a long time, but it really does fly by. There’s always a lot of do, a lot to buy and a lot of decisions to make, so always ensure you really take your time making this the truly perfect day.

wedding planningFind out more about BEST WESTERN Pennine Manor Hotel:

Five things to ask your Wedding Venue Manager

By Lauren Hayes, wedding co-ordinator at The Deckers Group  

Wedding venue

Finding your perfect wedding venue is one of the most important decisions to make when planning your dream wedding.

Just beginning the search can be daunting so it’s important to be thorough and ask the right questions.

It’s easy to get carried away and see yourself walking up the sweeping driveway or having photos taken on the top of the double staircase. However, it’s just as important to find out all the nitty gritty details about the wedding venue and how they will help organise your day so it’s as enjoyable as possible.

Here at Pennine Manor wedding venue, we speak with couples from all over Yorkshire and the North, and aim to answer all of their questions, as well as giving them as many practical details as possible.

So you can continue to enjoy your wedding planning as much as possible, we have put together five questions you may not have thought about asking, BUT are crucially important to the rest of your dream day.


  1. Can I see a copy of your bar prices?
    It is a legal requirement to display bar prices or make them available to guests, but many hotels and wedding venues do not always make this easily accessible. This could be because they see wedding guests as a captive audience to exploit. Make sure your guests don’t need a mortgage to buy a pint.
  2. Could you explain your service style?
    Service style differs dramatically from venue to venue. Some venues allocate one member of staff per table to specifically look after the needs of that table. Other venues group their employees into teams. A good venue manager will be able to describe how they organise their teams to best look after the needs of you and your guests.
  3. May I view the toilets please?
    This might seem like the most ridiculous question, but the cleanliness of the toilets will give you an idea of the standards of hygiene throughout the venue. Look for toilet check sheets on the doors, or in the communal area of the toilet. Make sure these are being filled in regularly. You are looking to make sure the venue has high standards and systems in place for managing all of their facilities.
  4. How many bar staff do you allocate per number of guests?
    We all know how frustrating it can be waiting to be served at the bar. You need to make sure the venue allocates enough staff to get your guests served quickly and efficiently. If the ratio of staff to guests is less than 1:40 then you need to think twice about the venue.
  5. Will you be here on the day?
    Establish how much time the venue manager will be spending managing your wedding on the day. It is unlikely that they will be with you from the moment you arrive, to the time when you go to bed. What times will they be available to you? Who will you contact if you need something when the manager is not on duty?

Remember, a stress-free wedding is all about the preparation! Think of as many of your own questions to ask when you go to look around a wedding venue before you make any decisions. And good luck with your planning!

Summer Cocktail Ideas For Weddings

By Joe O’Neil, events manager for The Deckers Group

Welcome drinks are so important when planning your wedding and are not a detail to be overlooked. Your guests will be thirsty after enjoying the wedding ceremony and ready to celebrate!

As bride and groom, you will also be very ready for your first drink as a married couple and to mark the official start of your wedding reception and party.

Very often reception drinks are classic tipples such as champagne or Pimm’s if it’s a summer wedding. However, here at our wedding venues near Rochdale, we have created a menu of very special wedding-themed cocktails especially for reception drinks this summer to make your wedding really stand out.

The Blushing Bride – aww, doesn’t she look pretty!The Blushing Bride cocktail


  • 25ml archers peach schnapps
  • sparkling wine or champagne
  • 1 few drops of grenadine

Pour 25ml of peach schnapps into a champagne fruit, top up with the fizz and add a few drops of grenadine to the top to make the bride blush. We recommend using a light and fruity prosecco to keep this summer cocktail easy drinking.

Forenoon Fizz – the gin trend continues!
Forenoon Fizz cocktail


  • 1tsp orange marmalade
  • 50ml Hendricks gin
  • 15ml Cointreau
  • sparkling wine or champagne

Spoon some good quality marmalade into the base of your champagne flute. Add the spirits and mix gently with the spoon. Top the glass up up with sparkling wine or champagne. We recommend using a marmalade with all the bits in, so they look unusual in the finished drink. This is rather an adult cocktail, so we would suggest a drier style of bubbly to complement the gin.

Lagerita – one for the boys!
Lagerita cocktail


  • 25ml good quality tequila (Don Julio Blanco)
  • 15ml Cointreau
  • 15ml lime juice (freshly squeezed)
  • Corona

Shake the spirits in a cocktail shaker with lots of cubed ice. Strain into a long glass and top with the lager. Garnish with a wedge of lime. Choose your glass right and the boys won’t be complaining about having to drink cocktails. The tequila and lime counteracts the bitterness of the hops making this easy drinking on a beautiful summer’s day.

Planter’s punch – sometimes you can’t beat a classic. That doesn’t mean you can’t give it a twist!
Planter’s punch


  • 200ml spiced rum, such as Sailor Jerry
  • 50ml grenadine
  • 200ml orange juice
  • 200ml pineapple juice
  • chopped fruit to garnish eg – orange slices, pineapple chunks, lime wedges

A traditional planter’s punch contains dark rum, but the more modern spiced rums give a lighter, more modern twist to the classic. You can vary the recipe to suit your taste and add more or less grenadine to change the sweetness. Maybe consider some mango or passion fruit juice, to change it up a bit! Add all the ingredients to a jug of ice and stir.

Our tips are to cater for 1.5 cocktails for each guest to ensure you don’t run out. Some cheeky guests will grab two drinks, and some guests might arrive a little later if they have to check into their hotel or wait for a taxi – so ensure they don’t miss out!

Wedding guests will always appreciate a thirst-quenching welcome drink to really kick off the celebrations in style.

Find out more about bespoke cocktails and menus from our Lancashire wedding venues: Crimble Hall and The Royal Toby.

Five Reasons Why You Have to Go on Greek Island Honeymoon

Scattered beyond the striking shores of Greece sit thousands of beautiful islands, each with their own unique personality and opportunities for culture, adventure and romance. The ultimate destination for a honeymoon in Europe.

The perception of what a honeymoon ‘should’ be has changed. Gone are the days of being satisfied with the ordinary; newlyweds want something more exciting.

While there are plenty of popular honeymoon destinations out there, many just offer the same blasé experience of romance mixed with tourist culture. An experience that you could get from any typical vacation.

A Greek Island honeymoon, however, offers something far more unique and extraordinary, promising to elevate your escape beyond anything you have experienced before.

Relish in the Adventure of Island HoppingRelish in the Adventure of Island Hopping

The Greek Islands are a collection of over two-thousands islands — of which roughly 200 are inhabited —- that surround the Greek mainland. Set like jewels in the mediterranean sea, their lush green hillsides rise above the lapping waves, inviting you ashore.

The ultimate adventure to be had while on a Greek Island honeymoon is island hopping, an experience that takes you from one island to another, soaking up everything each has to offer, before jetting off to the next. Why accept only one opportunity for island exploration when you can have several?

There are a number of ways to island hop, but none better than chartering a vessel and sailing the Med yourself. Pick and chose your islands, not bound by flight schedules or ferry routes, and travel wherever and whenever you please. Go ashore and visit the highlights of the islands or take the route less travelled and explore uninhabited, desert islands.

Wherever your paradise may be, Greek Island hopping can take you there. If you and your new spouse are looking for adventure and excitement, how can it get any better than that?

Relax in Style on the Shores of the Greek MediterraneanRelax in Style on the Shores of the Greek Mediterranean

Despite a yearning to discover and explore, sometimes we all just need a bit of R&R. Whether you need somewhere to relax after a long day of adventures, or just feel like taking some time to unwind and do nothing, the Greek Islands have all you need. With a seemingly endless amount of coastline at your disposal, spread over thousands of picturesque islands, there is a perfect spot here for every couple.

Want to sit in a beautiful harbour-side cafe? No problem. Fancy sunbathing on a beach all your own? No sweat. Want to lay in a cabana while a waiter delivers cocktails straight to your hand? You get the idea.

Immerse Yourself in a World as Old as TimeImmerse Yourself in a World as Old as Time

The history of Greece is perhaps one of the longest and most illustrious in the world, and many of the structures that stood thousands of years ago still stand today.

The atmosphere of the island’s ancient sites can bring on a sense of awe unlike any other,  with ruins varying from magnificent palaces and once flourishing towns, to small and understated village ruins hidden on rustic hillsides.

The experience of wandering these peaceful ancient sites — the ruins found on the islands are far less tourist-centric than those on the mainland — is an immersive and wondrous one, propelling you and your partner back in time.

Exploring ancient ruins is perfect for couples who enjoy days in the sun, taking in life’s most fascinating details at a slow and relaxed pace. Or simply those who have always longed to see the ancient places of the world.

Take a picnic, sit amongst the stones of some coastal ruin and forget about the world beyond this very point. Just the beauty of the islands, and the awe of your location.

Discover a Rich and Diverse CultureDiscover a Rich and Diverse Culture

Modern Greek culture is much more lively than the relics of its past. Vibrant, friendly and boisterous, the personality of the Greek Island residents shines from every corner. Soak up the atmosphere of the colourful streets. noisy markets, beautifully styled architecture and striking displays of art. While most island residents share a love of food, wine and good conversation, the rest of your Greek cultural experience will depend on which islands you visit — and which towns within those islands.

In large towns, traditional and modern Greek culture tends to come to together. 21st-century ideas of entertainment, food, and art intertwine with classical examples of the very same.  Traditional Greek theatre is performed before patrons head off for a wild night in the clubs. Age-old food recipes are given a modern twist by experimental young chefs. Art from classical painters is displayed beside examples by modern artists. These towns are exuberant and exciting, packed with many opportunities for cultural awakenings.

When you visit smaller, less frequented islands and villages, the story is very different. This is where you can truly break away from the norm and immerse yourself in a completely unique way of life. Things have changed very little here over the years, and life is simpler, slower and more relaxed. Entertainment often revolves around stories and good, comforting food. Take the time to explore a small village, meet some people and see what life on the Greek Islands is really like.

Cultural experiences are a popular choice for honeymooners these days, and with good reason. Exploring and discovering a culture is very memorable, and often unique — a shared experience personal to your relationship.

Experience the True Romance of an Authentic Honeymoon in EuropeExperience the True Romance of an Authentic Honeymoon in Europe

Whatever reasons you base your honeymoon choice around, romance is always going to be a priority. This your opportunity to spend time connecting as a couple, forming lifelong memories that can be cherished forever.

The issue with most of the popular honeymoon destinations is just that, their popularity. It’s tough to feel the romance of a location you share it with hundreds of other people, yet this is not an issue for newlyweds who decide to take a Greek Island honeymoon.  

Some Greek Island towns — Corfu, Rhodes, Oia, etc — may be popular destinations for tourists, but you don’t have to go far beyond these places to break away from the crowds, and find a place where you and your new partner can really connect.

Open your eyes to this stunning destination, take in authentic Greek life with authentic Greek adventures, and enjoy the perfect honeymoon in Europe.

Content by Cliff Blaylock, an expert in all things Greece and owner of luxury yacht holidays company, Deep Blue Yachting.

5 Budget Style Ideas for Your Wedding Reception Room

Beautiful brides and hands-on grooms in search of inspiration for your big day: look no further.

We’ve been scouring the internet in search of some adaptable style ideas; perfect for a budget wedding which will make your reception room look A-MA- ZING…


Some brides love to have a little fun with their wedding day- and why not?

Shabby-chic is all about minimalism and freshness: a great idea for those of you who’re working to a budget.

Image Courtesy of Romantic Decoration Now BlogImage Courtesy of Romantic Decoration Now Blog

To achieve a pretty chic wedding, look for softer tones and avoid colours which can be loud and brash.

We love the subtle colour scheme this couple have gone for; it’s elegant, it’s bold and with a bit of shopping around it won’t break the bank.

Vintage Whimsical

The modern day vintage style is just gorgeous and can be achieved for next to nothing.

The great thing about vintage styles is that virtually everything is mismatched and still looks fab.

2- Image Courtesy of Wedding Photographer: Brandon KiddImage Courtesy of Wedding Photographer: Brandon Kidd

The finer detail here is what makes this deco idea so special.

A fusion of clean, funky and fresh; perfect for our all of our vintage lovers in search of a bargain.

Charity shops are crowded with vintage style and genuine vintage cast offs- some in need of a polish, some perfect and ready to go.

Get your creative cap on and scour your local charity shops now: there’s always bargains to be had.

Warm Elegance

One of the most popular venue styles is a décor which boasts warmth and elegance.

Delicate fairy lights, candle lights and floral features add a lovely touch and make virtually any venue sparkle. These simple features can be bought for next to nothing; virtually anywhere!

3-Image Courtesy of Sparth House Hotel, LancashireImage Courtesy of Sparth House Hotel, Lancashire

Outdoor Magic

Outdoor weddings are a difficult thing to achieve if you live in the UK and often come in at a hefty price too.

With the weather being unable to predict here in the UK, an outdoor wedding can be a risky one but, if you’ve opted for a garden reception, achieving class and elegance at a low price isn’t too difficult.

The decoration for outdoor events is usually in your surroundings so over the top table design is just unnecessary.

4 Image Courtesy of: A Good AffairImage Courtesy of: A Good Affair

Traditional British

British weddings traditionally occur in picturesque wedding venues along the countryside. Guests are dined with shiny silver cutlery and minimalistic, grandeur.

This formal, traditional table setting is typical of most hotel wedding packages which saves you the time and effort in planning the finer wedding details.

5 Image Courtesy of Sparth House HotelImage Courtesy of Sparth House Hotel

Your Wedding, Your Choice

We all know, a traditional wedding can cost tens-of-thousands of pounds: something many of us simply can’t afford.

Our advice when planning your wedding reception is to shop around and relax. After all, your wedding is yours and nobody else’s, as long as you’re happy, your guests will be happy and you’ve achieved a day to remember.

Top 5 Things You Need To Know About Having A Professional Fireworks Display At Your Wedding


(Photo credit: Fantastic Wedding Fireworks)

Planning your wedding is an exciting experience but can also prove to be very stressful with hundreds of things to consider to ensure the big day runs smoothly. Fireworks are almost synonymous with evening entertainment in a fairy tale wedding but as always there are a number of things to consider before you start planning. Fantastic Wedding Fireworks have rounded up 5 of these factors which they consider to be the most important. The award-winning company has been supplying wedding fireworks nationwide for over thirty years so they know a thing or two about the planning procedure!


First and foremost, check that your venue allows fireworks on site because otherwise you’ll end up having to choose between fireworks and your dream venue! If you’re getting married on a farm, chances are you won’t be allowed due to live stock, and residential areas will also restrict them for obvious reasons.

But of course, where there’s a will, there’s a way! Many professional fireworks companies offer their own range of silent fireworks. In plain English this means that you can have still light up the skies with an array of beautiful colours without the dramatic noise.


(Photo credit: Fantastic Wedding Fireworks)

If you’re thinking about doing your own fireworks, think again because 9/10 times the venue will insist on having the fireworks carried out by a professional company simply because they are well trained, aware of safety procedures and not to mention, they guaranteed a fabulous show!

Time restrictions

It is against the law to set off fireworks between 11pm to 7am and although the professional fireworks company will be aware of this, it means you may have to organise the display before the last dance. But as always, there are exceptions to the rule. You can go crazy with pyrotechnics until midnight on Bonfire Night and until 1am on New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali!


This is by far, the most commonly asked question. Quite simply put, the budget is all dependant on the time limit and quality of the display. It will often be recommended to have no more than 4-5 minutes and slightly longer for bigger displays.


(Photo credit: Fantastic Wedding Fireworks)

Designing your fireworks display

If you want your wedding to be unique – a magnificent event that’s spoken about for months to come – the best way is to put your own stamp on it. So take the time to ensure your display will be bespoke made down to the small details. You can choose your own music and professionals will work to choreograph the fireworks so you can watch the pyrotechnics dance to a song that’s dearest to you. Also, you can choose particular sequences to make this display a romantic one including hearts and emojis. To learn more about choosing specific sequences and everything in between in under 10 minutes, watch this video:


The risks and hazards associated with fireworks is something well-experienced companies are very familiar with. A number of procedures are put in place to prevent incidents these include venue risk assessment and public liability insurance for all displays so you can enjoy your evening without having to worry.


(Photo credit: Fantastic Wedding Fireworks)

Classic, Simple and Elegant: How to Achieve The Perfect Traditional Look on Your Wedding Day

Belle Bridal - Traditional WeddingAs social media platforms like Pinterest dominate the creative world of wedding planning, there are a hundred and one different ways to make your wedding totally unique. However, when it comes to planning something classic, simple and elegant, there are perhaps fewer places where you can source the right kind of inspiration. That is why we’re here to strip back the bells and whistles and go back to the start, looking at how to create a more traditional bridal look on your wedding day.

Keep it clean and white

There are a number of different options when it comes to the colour of your wedding dress, and there have been many more modern brides who have chosen to dress in various different colours such as red, pink and even black. However, since Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert in 1840, white has been seen as the traditional choice. Before this wedding, brides were known to wear a variety of colours to their wedding.
Belle Bridal - Traditional Wedding
Say yes to the veil

If you’re looking to create a classic, simple and elegant wedding design, you should consider saying yes to the veil. Women were required, by law, to wear veils in many churches through the 19th century as a sign of modesty and submission. Some also believed that wearing a veil was a way of keeping evil spirits and bay, and it was worn during the ceremony to ensure purity. There are various different types of veil available, and the only ‘right’ choice is the one that makes you feel exceptional on your wedding day.

Recruit a few bridesmaids to accompany you down the aisle

Bridesmaids not only provide invaluable support throughout both the lead up to the wedding and on the wedding day itself, they were Belle Bridal - Traditional Weddingalso initially thought to bring protection to the bride during the ceremony. Bridesmaids traditionally dressed in the same colour as the bride, in order to confuse any evil spirits that might be trying to sabotage the ceremony and keep the couple from carrying out their wedding vows. However, in more recent years this has become less common, with bridesmaids dressed in a colour chosen by the bride and groom. However, if you’re looking to go for a more traditional design, follow in the footsteps of Kate Moss and source white gowns for both yourself and your bridesmaids.

Keep the dress modest

As Vogue publishes articles relating to the ways in which you can transform your wedding dress into a sexier, more revealing style, the traditional gown is more modest and less revealing. That is not to say that you should show absolutely no skin and dress only in the loosest of materials. Instead, we suggest looking to Kate Middleton for inspiration rather than Jodie Marsh and find a dress that flatters your figure whilst remaining classic and modest.

Add a touch of orange blossom into your bouquet

Belle Bridal - Traditional WeddingTraditionally, brides incorporated herbs into their wedding bouquets. However, as the years went by, flowers were then included as a symbol of fertility, utilising orange blossom as well as roses, hydrangeas and white tulips. During some more traditional wedding services, a young girl precedes the bride down the aisle, scattering blossoms down the aisle as a way of ensuring the bride’s path would always be ‘happy and filled with flowers’. If you’re looking to create a classic, traditional wedding service, go for a white bouquet filled with traditional flowers, and ask one of the younger members of your family or friends to scatter flowers in your path down the aisle.

Incorporate something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue into your look

Belle Bridal - Traditional WeddingSomething old, something new, something borrowed and something blue — these words are famous not simply because they rhyme, but also because each word carries a deeper meaning. Something old is said to link the bride with her past, reminding her of where she came from, whilst something new symbolises the bride’s future with her husband to be, preparing her for what’s ahead. Something borrowed is said to remind the bride that her family will always be with her, as well as ensuring she had a reason to visit her family and return the borrowed gift after the wedding. Finally, the something blue relates to the way in which the colour blue symbolise purity and therefore flashing a touch of blue gave the impression that the bride was pure and sacred before the day of the wedding. If you’re going for a more traditional look on your wedding day, adhere to this old rhyme and add a touch of old, new, borrowed and blue to your bridal fashion.
Author Bio: Jo Cowan and Claire Chapman have been running their wedding dress company in North London for over 6 years. Belle Bridal is a family run business, which aims to deliver the highest standard of service and make you feel like you’ve been welcomed into Jo and Claire’s own home. Their years of professional expertise means that brides can walk away with their dream wedding gown, without any of the usual stress. They specialise in sample dresses, so you can get a designer gown at a fraction of the price.

Top Tips For Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer

With modern technology and the amazing range of cameras and camera equipment out there nowadays, wedding photography has become more beautiful and impressive than ever. Choosing the right wedding photographer for you can help the memories remain exactly how you want to picture them, and it is a hugely important part of many people’s weddings nowadays. People are willing to spend a lot of money in order to receive the perfect wedding pictures for them, and rightly so as it will be one of the most important days of your life which you will want to remember fondly. There is a huge variety of wedding photographers out there and it is easier than ever to become successful again due to the amazing camera equipment available and also the creativity of the individual photographers who each create their own personal style for people to lust after.

Choose The Right Photographer For YOU

It is crucial to choose the right wedding photographer for you, and it is definitely something you should spend a lot of time taking careful consideration over. It is likely you will know what style of photography you love the most and which will best reflect you as a couple, however there will still be a huge array of photographers available who use your preferred style. “Whether you love black and white, muted colours, fun and bright, a traditional style or more natural imagery, you will need to do plenty of research in order to find the perfect photographer for you.” Says Francesca Hill, a Cardiff based wedding photographer. Many people are able to find their wedding photographer through family and friends who have had a wedding themselves, however if you think you have found the perfect wedding photographer for you then don’t be afraid to spend money in order to get the images you will love forever. Wedding photographers aren’t cheap due to many things including the length of time spent at the wedding and also as it is a huge occasion, but you will only live this day once so spending the necessary amount will be more than worth it for a lifetime of memories.

A Whole Host Of Options

It has been known for couples to fly photographers over from other countries for their wedding images showing how important it is to many people to get them right. Many people own cameras nowadays so it is likely that you will receive a large variety of images from friends and family anyway, however you always want that perfect album to show your children and grandchildren. “The top tips for finding the perfect wedding photographer for you are research as many wedding photographers as you can, have an album of wedding imagery you love to show the photographer to give them a good idea of what you are looking for and also be open to suggestions, suggests Katy of Katy & Co wedding photographers in London.” You should always take control of choosing the wedding photographer yourself. Don’t ever let a family member or friend choose the photographer as a wedding gift if it is highly important to you as it is likely that your tastes will be very different and you won’t like the images at all. It’s ok to be picky about all the details for your wedding day to truly make it a day to remember, and the perfect wedding photographer will be there to capture every moment and all the finer details you spent so much time perfecting. A great photographer will capture every emotion throughout the day and not miss a single moment, and choosing the right photographer for you will keep the memories alive forever.

Top Tips For Choosing The Perfect Antique Engagement Ring

There is a lot of pressure on men nowadays to choose the perfect engagement ring for their partner, and if you aren’t lucky enough to have been shown the perfect ring or have a wife to be who wants to choose her own, the whole process can seen quite daunting. The perfect ring should suit her personality, compliment her other jewellery well and also be a style and design which won’t age and go out of fashion in time, and although you can choose the easy option and go for something modern and simple, why not consider an antique engagement ring?suggests Antique Rings Online ( There are many benefits to antique engagement rings which make them far more perfect and desirable than a brand new ring, and your partner will have something special to wear for a lifetime. The designs are intricate and beautiful, they are great quality and will have many more years left in them and they also hold mysterious romantic history which makes them the perfect type of ring for a proposal.

Knowing What To Choose

Knowing which ring to choose can be difficult, however finding the best place for you which sells antique engagement rings can really help. If you are someone who loves to see things in front of them and finds shopping exciting then there are many antique jewellery shops and markets which have many rings to offer. This means you can see the quality and condition of the ring in person and you will know exactly what you are investing your money on. Not only this but if the seller has a lot of experience in antique jewellery they will be able to make useful suggestions and tell you more about the pieces you are interested in. However, it is easy for a seller to overprice antique jewellery and they can successfully do so if the buyer doesn’t know much about the market. To avoid this it is necessary to do some research beforehand to have a rough idea of prices on the market and what you will get for your money. The most popular place to buy antique jewellery is now online and it is made much easier from the comfort of your own home. You are able to spend hours browsing and there will be many more rings online for you to choose from, however the drawback is that pictures aren’t always reliable and you won’t be able to see the exact quality for yourself. If this is the best option for you then find out the refund and return policies before you commit to a certain piece as it may not be what you expected when it arrives.

Getting Someone Elses Opinion

Another great tip is to get someone else’s opinion on the type of ring your partner may like. Asking your future wife’s mum or best friend will give you another perspective and they may have a better idea than you being another female or if they have been jewellery shopping together. If jewellery isn’t something you are interested in then it is unlikely that you take much notice in the jewellery she buys and wears on a regular basis, however a female opinion and a trip to her jewellery box may give you some great ideas. With antique jewellery there are many styles and designs to choose from all from different eras and there will be one which suits her perfectly. An engagement ring is something which your partner will look at and wear every day of her life, so it is an important decision for you with little room for mistakes. If you have a specific occasion or date which you want to propose then get planning in advance and leave plenty of time to find the perfect ring to make the proposal as perfect as it can be.

Bands vs DJs: Which Is Best For Your Wedding

Among the many difficult decisions you will make when planning your wedding, one of the trickiest is deciding on music for the reception. To pick a band or a DJ is a discussion couples have been having since DJs entered the fray around 50 years ago. If you are currently struggling to make your minds up this post can help. Here are some pros and cons of each

Band pros

Unrivalled energy

No matter how charismatic a DJ is, there is only so much they can do from behind the decks. Live music can get a crowd pumped up quicker than any DJ because of the personal interaction singers bring. Having a great band front man bounding up and down the stage and interacting with the guests is exactly what you want to really start the night with a bang.

Any genre possible

If you have a passion for a certain type of music or artist and are desperate to have that music at your wedding, then a band could well be the way to go. Booking agencies like Band Hire UK some of the biggest and most diverse bands available. From Disco and Funk to Orchestras, from jazz to tribute acts, they have them all.

Makes your wedding unforgettable

The chances are your wedding isnt your guests first, and it probably wont be their last so its important you make it as unforgettable as possible. The danger you run with a DJ is that the music and occasion isnt very memorable, but that cant be said for a band. Creating a unique musical experience for your guests is important, and live music can certainly do that.

Band Cons


Generally, bands are more expensive than a typical wedding DJ. A good act will normally be £1,000 or more so bare this in mind when planning your budget, especially if you are already leaning towards getting a band.


Size can be an issue with live music on two fronts. Firstly, you need to work out whether your venue has the size to fit in all of your guests, your band a performance area and room for all their kit.


One thing that can be unpredictable can be the attitude of the band. The best bands will be largely invisible once they are off stage and when they are on youd ultimately like them to be able to judge the crowd, the last thing you need is a potty mouthed singer upsetting peoples grandparents and children.

DJ Pros

Music as intended

One thing which bugs plenty of people is hearing a live band murder one of your favourite tracks because of a tone deaf singer or a clumsy guitarist. This is well illustrated article on talking points memo argues this perfectly. This can be avoided by hiring a DJ who can play your favourite tracks as they were intended.

No Breaks

Its a big ask for bands to play all night without an interval, so the majority will have a mid set break which can potentially slow the tempo of the evening. This is never a problem for a DJ who can nip off for breaks between tracks without losing the pace of the evening.


As mentioned in the Band Cons, if you are looking for a quality band they are going to set you back around £1000, thankfully DJs are far cheaper than this. You can pick up a good DJ for half that of a band, making it a great alternative for those with a smaller budget.

DJ Cons

Lack of Performance

DJs are great for those who want to get up and dance, but dont offer much to those who dont. Bands can be enjoyed by those sitting down or uninterested in dancing because a performance is worth watching, a DJ isnt.

Cheesy Wedding DJs

A certain negative stereotype has emerged from wedding DJs, encapsulated in popular culture by characters like Ray Von in Phoenix Nights. While its not to be said that every Wedding DJ talks to much or is dreadful at audience participation, there is no smoke without fire. Its probably best to check way in advance by meeting with the to chat before hiring.  

Set list

Wedding DJs will generally have a tried and tested set that they trust, however this might not be to your liking. A set list of 70s soul classics might not be ideal for a young couple in their twenties, so its best you find out what they intend to play way in advance and if you want something in particular, request it because plenty are happy to alter it for their clients. More can be found on set list planning in this from the Huffington post.