Does it sometimes feel like everyone else is getting engaged, buying a house or having a baby, and you’re just staring into the fridge at 3am wondering what went wrong? It’s fun, isn’t it? Well prepare for that to not-get-any-better-at-all because Engagement Season is nearly upon us.
In the UK every year more than one in four brides and grooms propose to their beloveds over Christmas and New Years – and that’s just counting those who say yes (eep).
So what’s going to be big in weddings next year? Our friends in the wedding industry gave us the low-down for what’s hot for London weddings in 2018:
We all love a good bit of stationery, but at the end of the day, invites are expensive, everyone loses them anyway, and do you even have home addresses for your friends? No. Of course you don’t. No-one does. When was the last time you bought a stamp? Exactly.
Luckily for everyone involved, 2018 is going to be the year the e-invite makes it big.
If you’re semi-nifty on photoshop, you’re already ten steps ahead of the game. Just make sure you’ve included all the pertinent information: What date is it? Where is it? What time do people have to arrive? Do they get a plus one? – and don’t forget to include your names in full at the top.
You can send your e-invites via email, or you could even create a Facebook event, but remember to keep track of who’s been invited and their response. You just need a simple spreadsheet – we’d recommend using Google Sheets or One Drive so you and your partner can both access the RSVPs remotely.
If you include a Google Form in your invite it’s also a great opportunity to do some delightfully thorough data capturing. You can get your guests’ dietary requirements, phone numbers and up-to-date home addresses all in one fell swoop. Everyone loves filling in online forms, am I right?
If photoshop isn’t in your top five skills list on your CV, here are our favourite e-invite designs:
Zazzle: Floral Grey and Gold
E-vite: Chalkboard Chic
Greenvelope: Romantic Floral Wreath
Who doesn’t want a photo of their nan wearing a chicken mask?! We asked the fabulous Tux and Tales photographer Jaye Cole why couples are booking photo booths more than ever for 2018.
“It serves as excellent entertainment during the evening, and is genuinely a great way to get photos of your guests,” says Jaye. “Not only do you get some extra fun and silly moments, but often the guests who spent most of the wedding running away from the photographer are actually more than happy to get involved with the photo booth.”
“Plus, if you’re having lots of extra evening guests, it can be a great way to make sure they aren’t left out of the photographs.”
When it comes to getting people involved, timing can be everything. “If a large percentage of your guests are older or are family members, you will definitely want to wait until Aunt Pat is on her 3rd G&T,” suggests Jaye.
“But if the crowd is younger and/or livelier you may be just fine holding your booth a bit earlier in the day. Our experience is they work best in the evening, usually just after the first dance.”
Lots of wedding photographers – including Tux and Tales – offer photo booths as part of their services, but for those who want to go DIY, here are Jaye’s top four recommendations:
Camera: Any semi-decent digital camera which uses an SD card will work fine. Don’t worry about getting an Instax or Polaroid – the prints are expensive and the quality isn’t as reliable
Printer: Jaye recommends the Canon Selphy printer. It costs about £70 for an older model and about £30 for 100 prints
Dedicated person to run it – this is MISSION CRITICAL: In Jaye’s extensive experience, she suggests that without a dedicated person who will be reasonably responsible and sober you will either end up with very few photos, and/or lots of photos your friends think are “funny” at the time but are actually pretty cringe in the cold light of day. No-one wants to see a photo down your suit trousers Dave, keep that to yourself.
If your photographers don’t offer a photo booth upgrade, you can also hire a photo booth with Showtime Photo Booth. Their box of props is a fun way to encourage your guests to start letting their hair down, and you’ll have loads of high quality images to enjoy afterwards. And yes – the photo booth comes with its own attendant, so you won’t need to worry about asking a friend to run it for you!
So warehouses and old garages have become increasingly popular over the last year, with couples excited about the opportunity to get into a blank canvas space and make their wedding truly unique. Our resident Canvas event aficionado Steve Humphreys has given us the low-down:
“The benefit is that you can have a really informal wedding,” says Steve, “but without having it outside where you can’t rely on the weather.”
“Warehouses are mostly blank spaces so you can put whatever you like in – just make sure if they’re a dry hire venue that you check whether they have tables and chairs. Some venues don’t have enough or any at all, so that can add to the cost of hire.”
Steve’s top three warehouse spaces in London: