picture of microphone from a wedding band

All of the weddings I’ve been to in the past have had some form of live music, but I never really knew what I wanted when it came to planning my own wedding. There are so many different options out there from a band, to a string quartet or a DJ with a saxophone player – the list goes on – and it’s difficult to know what the crowd will like. Also, as music is such a huge part of my life, it would have to be something that blew me away.

A wedding band is something I wasn’t sure I particularly wanted for the big day next year and it’s something we didn’t really budget for, thinking that a DJ or an iPod playlist would do the trick, but the more people I talk to about this decision say that we HAVE to have a wedding band, so I’ve been on the hunt to find one that won’t break the bank but will also play the songs that are special to us and our guests.

As I used to work for an events company, I had an idea of how much a good band would cost, and although some people would rather spend the money elsewhere, there is something about the atmosphere that a live band bring to the table that cannot be rivalled.

There are loads of agencies out there who will do the hard work for you and put together a proposal based on your music tastes, budget and where you are in the country, and they’ll always be flexible with what they can offer. Or if you would rather do it yourself, you can search through their catalogue of acts and compare the ones that take your fancy.

One of the websites I found that was quick and easy to use was Alive Network where all you need to do is put in your event type, location and the date and you can even hear the band playing live. They make it easy for you to hire every kind of live entertainment imaginable from all over the UK, which is pretty handy when you’re planning your wedding and have no idea what you’re after. This can range from comedians in Edinburgh and amazing wedding bands in Kent to classical musicians in Dorset and circus performers in Brighton – they literally have something for everyone and every budget.

The thing with weddings as well is that everything gets booked up so far in advance, especially if you are getting married during ‘the season’ (April to September) so if you are looking for live music, I would suggest getting it sorted as soon as possible. The good thing about Alive Network is that they only show you the artists that are available for your date and the total price (excluding VAT) so you can easily see whether it will fit within your budget.

At the moment we’re trying to whittle our list down to 2 or 3 that we really like and then we’ll get the opinion of some family and friends to help us make the final decision. I definitely want someone who will let us give recommendations as our invitation will ask our guests for a song they want played – I always think this is a nice way of getting people involved, and when their song comes on, they always have a smile on their face.

If you’re looking for a wedding band or live entertainment for another type of event then I would definitely recommend giving Alive Network a go as there will definitely be something for you.

What do you think about live music at weddings?

This post was sponsored by Alive Network. All views are my own.

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to another weekly love post! I feel like I’ve not stopped this week. I’ve been in London for work, had Jordan’s birthday and spent the weekend in Cologne, so I’m about ready to fall asleep, but it’s the start of a new week, and I’m excited about quite a chilled one.

I hope you’ve all been enjoying the weather, and it seems a shame that this week it’s finally going to not be as warm, but hopefully the sunshine will make an appearance over the weekend as I haven’t spent enough of my time in beer gardens yet, that’s for sure!

And here is everything I was loving last week…

London

As I mentioned, I spent a couple of days down in London for work, which was really nice to break up the week and catch up with my colleagues. I saw my friend Louise for dinner and we went to the lovely little Kingly Court, which is now one of my favourite areas of London and ate at Pizza Pilgrims which has been on my list for a while, before heading to the shops for some late night retail therapy.

Greek Takeaway

When I got home on Wednesday, the last thing I wanted to do was make dinner as I felt so tired (I never sleep well in hotel rooms by myself, especially when they are 10000 degrees…) and Jordan was working late so I decided to get us both a takeaway from our favourite Greek restaurant which was delicious!

Mama Mia

I saw Mama Mia this week with a couple of girl friends, and it was amazing. I don’t think it’s as good as the first one (which I’ve seen 10+ times at least) but it was a really lovely story line, and I may have shed a tear towards the end. I’ve also had ABBA on repeat ever since so that’s gotta say something right?

Personal Training

On Thursday evening, I had my first personal training session with my friend Missy (from the blog Contour Allure) who owns Elevation Fitness in Warrington. I was a little bit nervous as I’m more of a workout by yourself girl, but the session was so fun. We did a mixture of different circuits, targeting the full body and although it was tough, I can’t wait to go back!

Catching Up With Old Friends

After my session on Thursday evening, my friend Noemie came round for a catch up and some nibbles. It was really lovely to see her and hear all about her new job and we chatted for hours and had some really lovely vegetarian food – always a great way to spend the evening.

Baker Days

I was really kindly gifted a cake for Jordan’s birthday from the lovely team at Bakerdays, and they even let me send them a picture for it too – so naturally I put both the cats on there. The cake was a lovely sponge with jam and buttercream and a fondant icing; so delicious – AND it fit through the letterbox!

Cologne For Jordan’s Birthday

As I mentioned at the top, we spent the weekend in Cologne, celebrating Jordan’s birthday. I booked it way back at the start of the year as it has been a city on our list for a while, so it felt like we’ve been looking forward to it for ages, but it’s also come round so quick. We had a really lovely trip, and although it was only two days and two nights, we crammed so much in. I’ll be writing up all my recommendations in the coming weeks so make sure you keep an eye out for them.

Hotel

I wanted to mention the hotel we stayed in on here as I won’t be doing a full review of it, but I really would recommend it if you’re heading to Cologne. We stayed in the Mauritius Hotel and Therme, which had 12 saunas, all at different temperatures, three Jacuzzis and two pools, which was absolutely the dream after being in 35 degree heat in the centre of a city!

How was your week last week? What were you loving?

Happy August everyone – can you actually believe it?

I’m really happy that it’s August actually as it’s almost the start of autumn which is my favourite season and a couple of my favourite months.

I feel as though my August is a little less hectic that July, but I still have some exciting plans that I’ve got to look forward to and thought I would share them in this wishlist post!

1. Celebrate Jordan’s Birthday

August is always an exciting month because it’s my other half’s birthday. I’ve bought him some really random presents but I hope he likes them – plus we’re celebrating it in Cologne, which I’m really looking forward to.

2. Explore A New German City

Following on, Jordan and I will be heading to Cologne next weekend, which is a city that’s been on my bucket list for a while. I really love Germany, and this will be the fourth city I’ve visited. We’re staying just outside the city centre so will get the chance to explore by walking everywhere.

3. Book An Autumn Break

Everyone knows how much I like going away, and this month I really want to book to go away in autumn as I love visiting Europe when it’s a little bit cooler in the UK.

4. Taste Some New Cocktails

Next week I’ll be heading to Turtle Bay to sample their new cocktail menu. Turtle Bay is one of my favourite places to eat and drink in Manchester, so I’m really looking forward to this event, and catching up with some of my favourite girls.

5. Dance The Night Away At Britney

This month I’ll be going to see BRITNEY and I’m so so excited! She’s doing her Vegas tour around the UK, and we managed to get tickets back in January, so it’s been something we’ve been looking forward to all year. I really want to dress up too, so if you have any ideas, let me know – but please, no bald caps!

6. Enjoy Afternoon Tea

I’ve very kindly been invited to try the new afternoon tea menu at Australasia in Manchester, which is one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to for food, so I’m sure this won’t disappoint. I haven’t been for afternoon tea for a while, but I really enjoy it every time I go.

7. Finish My Book

I started Dolly Alderton’s ‘Everything I know about love’ just over a week ago, and I’ve really been enjoying it so far and I can’t wait to finish it. Everyone that I know whose read it has only said really amazing things about it too.

8. Explore A New Area Of London

I’m going to be in London a couple of times in August, and I really want to use the time wisely and explore some new areas that I haven’t been to before. At the moment I’m thinking of Exmouth market and Hampstead Heath.

9. Share The Love At Pride

This August bank holiday, I’ll be spending the day at Manchester Pride, and I can’t wait. It’s been a big tradition in not only Manchester, but the rest of the world, and it’s my first time there. I can’t wait to see the parade and party with some of my favourite people.

10. Celebrate My Friends 30th

Also, on the bank holiday, my friend Kate turns 30, and is having a party to celebrate. It’ll be loads of the girls going who I used to work with and I can’t wait to catch up with them all since I left.

What are you looking forward to this month?

 

Picture of the sunset

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to another Weekly Love post! This week has absolutely flown by! I feel like I blink and the weekend is over, but I’m excited for a fresh new week.

I’ve had a bit of an anxious week, but I’m not sure what the trigger has been; I’m feeling a lot better after a fun-filled weekend with some of my favourite people.

Here is everything I was loving last week!

Morley’s Pizza

I was invited to try Morley’s Pizza in Hale on Tuesday night with some of the We Blog North girls and I was so excited because I’ve only heard really amazing things about it. I went for the Vegano pizza, which was lovely, but if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I had a reaction to the cheese and didn’t feel good for the whole week, which was annoying because it was really tasty!

Routine

This was my second week working from home and I feel like I have finally found my footing with my routine. I’ve really enjoyed it so far, and it’s been nice to have a proper work life balance.

Pier 8

On Friday evening, Jordan and I had a date night at Pier 8 at the Lowry. The food was very much fine dining and it was absolutely incredible. We both tried things we usually wouldn’t go for and it really paid off – I’ll definitely be going back soon – I’ll be posting my full review in the next few weeks.

Dimitris

On Saturday, I had dinner at Dimitris in Manchester with some of the girls I used to work with for a catch-up meal. Dimitris is one of my favourite places for Greek food, and it didn’t disappoint this time either – and it was lovely to see them all too!

Bongo’s Bingo

After the meal, a few of us went on to Bongo’s Bingo at Albert Hall which was one of the most fun nights out I have ever been on. If you’ve been before, you’ll know that it’s absolutely mental, but it is also such a laugh, and we had a brilliant time – I can’t wait to go back again!

Sunday At Home

I was actually feeling ok on Sunday, but we decided to have a chilled day at home – plus the weather wasn’t playing ball! We watched box sets, napped and made a pad thai for dinner before getting a froyo takeaway and bringing it home to watch Love Island – definitely a good way to finish off the week!

My Other Half

As I mentioned, I was having quite an anxious week, but my other half, Jordan, has been absolutely amazing. He is my rock and I am looking forward to marrying him so much. He really is my best friend who always puts me first, and I’m eternally grateful for how kind he is – soppiness over!

What were you loving last week?

Wedding season is here and in full swing! The time of year where sun-loving couples tie the knot and jet off in search of even more sunny weather on their honeymoons. With your wedding being one of the most important and exciting days of your life, you plan everything down to the last detail. The main factor for many brides is looking the part. Is your dress perfect? Will your hair and makeup last all day and evening? Will you feel comfortable all day long? It makes sense to consider these things and to look after yourself. After all, you’ll be the centre of attention for a whole day. 

When it comes to being on trend when walking down the aisle, there’s a lot to think about. You can’t have a perfect wedding dress without flawless hair and makeup, and you definitely need the right inspiration. Think about icons like Meghan Markle and Pippa Middleton; despite being naturally beautiful women, they’re always on trend, and even more so on their wedding days! But how do they do it? The trick is to know yourselves and your body, and what you can do to highlight all your best bits for maximum impact.  

Let’s start with the obvious. The showstopper – your wedding dress! 

This year’s trends seem to be all about the sparkle. Wedding dresses with a glittery feel are in, and when accompanied by those shimmering nails and eyelids, heads will be sure to turn. Two-piece wedding dresses have also made an appearance, ensuring the beautiful brides of the world can feel comfortable and glamorous all in one, and comfortable in their own skin. 

Now, each woman deserves to look and feel her best, but how can you ensure you keep to this year’s trends as well as bearing in mind your body shape? There is a solution! Having the right dress alterations for your dress or suit can keep you feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin, as well as being as fashionable as they come. It’s best to leave your amendments until as late as possible so you get the best possible fit, but make sure you give your chosen tailor enough time to alter your outfit before the big day. 

So, you’ve planned your outfit and any amendments to it well in advance. What else do you need to focus on? Surprisingly, wedding hairstyle trends for this Summer are in abundance and are simply beautiful. No matter your hair length or colour, you can find a simple style to complement your dress. 

A top trend this year is the ‘perfectly imperfect’ do. From loose, textured updos to chic, low buns, you can give your hair a natural yet luxurious impression. For brides with longer hair, a neat, natural look can be applied with big, plump ponytails, complete with a bit of sparkle or ribbon matched with your chosen bridal outfit.  

When planning your makeup options for your big day, some people prefer to go as natural as possible, whereas others want to make a striking impact. However, recent Royal Weddings have proved that bigger is not always better, and a natural style (freckles and all) can be just as beautiful. Highlighting facial features such as eyes and eyebrows can do all the work, so you don’t have to compromise on the quality of your makeup as the night goes on. 

A bride doesn’t just have to rely on her appearance to wow the crowd, and these days, it’s getting more and more popular to have a wedding theme. This summer’s trends range from the enchanted and magical forest wedding to the rustic and metallic theme. Creating a stunning environment is crucial to setting the scene and getting both you and your visitors in the wedding spirit. Matching your theme to your dress and overall look can be a beautiful touch. 

You’ve heard the saying ‘less is more’, and this seems to apply to beauty trends this year. With soft colours and natural hair and makeup styles, it makes us appreciate our inner beauties and force us to flaunt these confidently. 

It’s never too early to fill your brain with what’s hot in the world of weddings. If you’re planning to get married one day, or you’re recently engaged and looking for a little inspiration, it makes sense to get ahead and see what the upcoming trends are each year. Starting a Pinterest board or following your favourite wedding brands around the web and on social media can give you a plethora of ideas to play around with. Hopefully, you’ll be able to create the ultimate wedding experience for you and your significant other! 

Do you have any tips for summer brides?