Jun 17th 2020

Micro Wedding Ideas

Micro Wedding Ideas

Recently, weddings of up to 10 people were given the go ahead in Northern Ireland and with UK officials currently:

“examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings”

it’s likely the rest of the UK will soon follow suit. It’s always been my view that small weddings can be just as impactful as larger ones. In fact, I’ve seen a real shift in recent years – couples shunning larger parties in favour of a more intimate ceremony or ‘micro wedding’. Our micro wedding ideas bring together stylish tips to make your big day special and memorable, whilst harnessing the best of boutique style.

Post-pandemic, even more than ever, a small wedding can be an empowering choice for couples who just can’t wait any longer to tie the knot. It’s a chance to focus on only the closest family and friends and feel more in control of the wedding budget.

Here are just some of the reasons I think that the best things come in small packages. As well as micro wedding ideas for planning and décor. Everything you need to know about planning a stylish and memorable small or micro wedding.

How many people can attend my small wedding?

Firstly, we’re yet to see the government’s definitive guidance on how many people will be allowed to attend weddings. But it’s certain to be less than the average for pre-coronavirus weddings – which stood at around 82 at the end of 2019.  Micro weddings are defined as those with 20 guests or less. In my view the number permitted will likely be around 20 – 40 guests.

What are the benefits of smaller wedding?

What a small or micro wedding really does is focus on your ideas. It’s a way of sharing your special day with the people who really love you (and visa versa). One thing lockdown has taught us all, is to focus on the important people in our lives.

Smaller weddings also tend to have an incredibly warm, relaxed atmosphere because everyone knows one another. There’s no awkward table plan or distant relatives to look after.

It also means you can go to town on the little details that will make your wedding truly unique and memorable, without trying to please too many people.

Types of venue that suit a small wedding

Importantly on our list of micro wedding ideas, is your choice of venue. A smaller ceremony opens-up more choice for your wedding. This means that you can look at quirkier spaces that just wouldn’t be able to host a wedding with 80+ guests.

With social distancing in mind, however, I’d currently opt for a room that’s much bigger than your party requires. And one that has outdoor space that’s easily accessible. Weather permitting, an outdoor wedding would be even better under current guidelines.

You can still have all the grandeur of a larger wedding in the spectacular setting of your choice. It’s just a matter of organising your space and ‘zoning’ the area so as not to split your party.

The challenge is to make it feel cosy and welcoming rather than like a large proportion of the guests just didn’t show up. I would use draping and lighting in this situation to add texture and warmth. Along with food stations and cocktails bars dispersed around the room, adding a more personal touch to the service and of course limiting the amount of contact guests will have.

Tips for Planning Your Small Wedding

Make a ‘can’t do without’ list rather than how you would normally go about inviting people to your wedding. You can be more selective than usual which is great for the more decisive couples, but if you’re struggling to whittle down your list, this a good place to start.

Similar to how you would traditionally categorise guests as day or evening, a big change now may be that you categorise them as actual and virtual. Virtual attendees can enjoy a live stream of the ceremony or you can set up iPads with a Facetime for each one.

Then try to find ways to include those guests who can’t attend because they’re shielding or because of the limit.

You could send them a home delivery of some of the menu to enjoy from the comfort of their own home, with some of the flowers to bring the décor to their table. Alternatively, something like an afternoon tea or cocktails to make at home would be brilliant to keep the budget down.

Another idea is to ask your virtual guests to do a reading via video link or read out their message at the wedding breakfast, similar to how telegrams would have been included in years gone by.

Of course, this brings a whole new level of wedding etiquette so it’s important to be very clear and communicate your criteria for ‘real’ guests – close family, no children, wedding party only etc. – because of coronavirus restrictions.

Catering Ideas for a Small Wedding

In my opinion dinner is one of the most important parts of creating the right micro wedding ideas. Just because there are less guests doesn’t mean it has to be anything less than sensational.

Micro Wedding Ideas

My advice is to swap out the traditional three course meal with an interactive dinner or dessert experience. You can personalise the experience and get your guests opening the door to a variety of creative food ideas. Whether it be a grazing table or Teppanyaki style meal with a live chef, food is no longer just about the eating, it is a culinary experience and often is the most talked about part of the day. There are so many options, from providing a conveyor belt for your appetizers (similar to a sushi restaurant) to revealing a gorgeous doughnut wall after dinner for guests to devour.

Micro Wedding Ideas

Or go completely personal. Individual ‘wedding branded’ boxes of hot fish and chips. A mini picnic hamper with individual bottles of fizz. A bento box on each place at the table. Or to celebrate Asian food, try a tiffin box for every guest filled with spicy curries and hot naan.

Décor Ideas for a Small Wedding

If anything, a smaller wedding means you can be even more flamboyant and inspirational in this area because, with less guests, there’s likely to be more budget. Huge floral canopies are one of our signature styles. Simply divine over my favourite banquet style table – which can’t be beaten as a romantic and easily customisable blank canvas.

For a small wedding a banquet table has more presence, facilitating conversation, creating intimacy and offering unique options for centrepieces. Creating one long runner down the centre of the table. Fill with clusters of roses, foliage and tea lights. Or a higher structure with eclectic bulbs and flowers hanging above the guests. Seat people 2 metres apart to conform to the social distance rules, and the table will be spectacular.

And you can’t beat hanging wisteria amid a sea of candlelight for the most romantic of ceremony spaces – especially when outdoors.

Micro Wedding Ideas

Micro Wedding Ideas

Weddings certainly aren’t going to look the same for a good while, so rather than be disappointed, try to look for the positives in a smaller get together and be creative in how you can involve your wider circle of family and friends. Work closely with your wedding venue or planner to generate bespoke micro wedding ideas and ensure social distancing rules are managed. Measures including additional hand sanitiser, room cleaning and staggered arrival times for guests will become commonplace. But they don’t need to detract from the style and fun of your wedding day. Embrace the smaller scale by infusing with unique, personal touches. Make this small ‘big’ day, a special day.


If you are also planning a business event, check out our tips for TEAM BUILDING DURING SOCIAL DISTANCING. With a little social distance tweaking, there are also some more lovely ideas for micro weddings here.

Please note: Our photography was taken prior to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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 May 5th 2020

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

The organisation of any wedding needs a keen eye for detail. However, when the bride’s vision involves three days of celebrations, a bespoke-built nightclub, a wedding breakfast in the backdrop of a magical garden, a Game of Thrones inspired wedding feast complete with medieval village and sunken banqueting hall, AND a guest appearance by the couple’s favourite band Texas. Well, that’s when a little bit of TLC magic goes a long way. Oh, and did we mention we had just four months to pull the whole thing together?

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

This show-stopping wedding was certainly a party to remember, and a tale of two themes. It was a huge production, that involved some extreme logistical conundrums that would have challenged even the most seasoned event planner.  But luckily – if there’s one thing that as one of the country’s top wedding planners, TLC loves, it’s a challenge. Here our Operations Director, Ellie Barnes shares the unique event from her perspective:

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

The Brief

Firstly, like most TLC productions this wedding was completely bespoke. It was to take place in Autumn in the magnificent surroundings on 18th Century Country Manor in Hampshire. The bride was very creative and had some very specific and imaginative ideas which made it both challenging and immensely exciting to work on.

It was to be a two-day event.  Both days being hosted in a marquee structure that we had purpose built on the venue lawns. The wedding ceremony would take place inside the hotel, with the wedding breakfast in a marquee. This was to be dressed as an enchanted garden. A French band providing the entertainment. Then it was on to the ‘after party’, which was a “nightclub” we created in the venue’s event space.

Day two took the form of a medieval banquet. A Game of Thrones inspired wedding feast. Here the wedding party spent the whole day in the grounds dressed in medieval clothing and had to gain entry to a purpose-built medieval village. It ended with a feast to rival that of any Winterfell celebration!

And the icing on the cake. We had just four months to organise the whole event as we were brought on board when the couple realised they needed extra resources. An event management company that could really make things happen.

The Date

September 2015

The Location

The client had committed to The Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire before securing our services. Although it may not have been our recommendation for this event due to the very specific instructions from the bride, it’s an absolutely magnificent property and the staff there were brilliant to work with and couldn’t have been more helpful.

The Planning

There were 220 guests, a combination of some from overseas and those from the UK. The bride was German, and her parents didn’t speak English, so right from the off we knew we’d have to arrange practical things like translators so that all the guests would have the same wonderful experience.

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

Throughout the planning of the event we worked very closely with the groom’s PA – she was the key contact for the event, and we were in almost daily contact for around two years leading up the event.

One of the reasons for this was that the production was huge. We basically had to put together two vastly different full events, back-to-back. The construction of the sets for these events would usually take multiple days but TLC is renowned for thinking outside the box and making an event even more sensational. It was in trying to solve this problem that we actually came up with the masterstroke that made the event even more special. A sensational turnaround, exposing a medieval banqueting hall and home to our Game of Thrones inspired wedding feast, that had been built underneath the original marquee.

The Concept

The marquee-build started 10 days prior to the wedding, and it wasn’t just a simple structure.  The bride envisaged a magical garden for the wedding breakfast marquee. This included a huge central orchid tree and floral canopy, scenic stone tables and an abundance of flowing ivory drapes. It looked sensational.

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

For the day two of the celebration, the bride (an avid Games of Thrones fan) wanted us to create a huge Game of Thrones inspired wedding feast. A banquet room complete with a sunken floor and long wooden tables.

To enable us to achieve this, we came up with a two levels concept for the event.  As with all of our events, this was the intricate and unforgettable element that provided the wow factor. Firstly, the Game of Thrones inspired wedding feast marquee was built.  It was dressed and then covered with the magical garden marquee. After the wedding reception finished on the Saturday, we then ripped out the magical garden to reveal the banquet underneath.  We then worked through the night to complete the build of the medieval marquee. Top wedding planners have to be inventive all the time – finding solutions is part of what makes us a key element to wedding planning.

The Party – 1

This was one of those parties that part of me wishes I’d been a guest at, rather than being the organiser. Guests arrived on the Thursday evening/Friday morning and we arranged spa treatments, hairdressers as well as all sorts of activities within the grounds of the hotel including falconry and horse riding.

On the Friday evening there was a welcome BBQ for all the guests on the terrace of the hotel, where the London Essentials band performed.

Saturday was the day of the ceremony.  This took place in a room at the hotel, guests then enjoyed a drinks reception and canapes on the terrace while being entertained by a string quartet and magician.

Guests were then taken through to the magical garden for the wedding breakfast. They were partying and on the stage before the starters even came out thanks to the amazing Swan Band. The hotel staff looked shell-shocked – they had never seen such a high energy party. After the food, champagne and speeches we had purpose built another terrace outside where there was a huge firework display. During this time, we had transformed a conference room within the hotel into a nightclub, complete with banquet booth seating, a bespoke dancefloor and bar where a DJ, saxophonist and percussion band performed.

Nobody at the party would have guessed that during this time we were busy getting the marque ready for the big reveal the next day.

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

Related Topic: Fresh look? Want to update the traditional elements of your wedding? Here’s how!

The Party – 2

The following day, we arranged for more spa treatments and activities in the hotel grounds, where we had created a medieval village. It had a kind of festival feel to it. With a tavern bar, market stalls, pottery making, book binding, jewellery making tents, BBQs cooking food authentic to the era, as well as medieval songs/dances.  All in keeping with our game of Thrones Inspired wedding feast theme for that day.

All guests were dressed in costumes they were asked to bring with them for the weekend. We hired a roving herb seller, a keeper of the fayre and pickpocket and all fayre workers to add to the excitement.

On return to the marquee everyone was amazed by transformation. The Game of Thrones inspired wedding feast was waiting!

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

The bride and groom were sat on thrones and the banquet was laid out centrally down the long tables. The meal was purposefully interrupted by a jester who then introduced different medieval acts/entertainment.  After the meal, our piece de resistance. We dropped a surprise reveal of the bride and groom’s favourite band, Texas, who performed a 60-minute show. The party went on until the early hours and everyone, I’m sure, had the time of their lives.

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

The Challenges

All of the above! The sheer magnitude was the biggest challenge of this event.  The fact that we turned it around with such limited planning time is nothing short of a miracle. That, and the quick turn around of the different party elements, should have been impossible. Somehow, we made it work. It took the most meticulous planning to have all the different elements come together smoothly but there were relatively little hitches over the weekend. That is something we are very proud of at TLC.


The images do not even do justice to how spectacular this event was. There were so many highlights to choose from. I have to say the big reveal of the Game of Thrones inspired wedding feast marquee was a big highlight. And not forgetting the surprise of Texas performing. The bride and groom had no idea that this was going to happen. They were awestruck. It was like something out of a movie.

Game of Thrones Inspired Wedding Feast

On Reflection

Just talking about this event now still really excites me. I am so proud that not only did I do it, but it was a huge success and the bride and groom were thrilled. It felt impossible at the beginning, but everything went so well and was so well organised – we left nothing to chance. Working on this event was a dream come true and the whole TLC team pulled together to make it extraordinary. Top wedding planners don’t work in isolation.  We rely on an army of amazing suppliers. What a team we make.

Well this party was a huge success – if you had to choose two themes for your wedding….what would they be? We would love to hear from you!

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 Feb 28th 2020

Leap Year Proposal Ideas

Leap Year Proposal Ideas

With over 30 years in the wedding and party planning business, our CEO Liz Taylor has seen it all when it comes to proposals. So, with leap year at the end of February, she shares her tips for any ladies (or gents) who may be thinking of popping the question with our top Leap Year Proposal Ideas.

“The leap year tradition dates back to the 1200s in Scotland where a woman had the right to propose for one day of the year. Thankfully we’ve come a long way since then. I’m of the opinion that a woman can and should be able to propose any day of the year, but there’s also no harm in embracing tradition. A leap year does give any ladies out there thinking of ‘taking the leap’, a good excuse to go for it, so here are my best leap year proposal ideas for any ladies waiting to pop the question.”

Share the moment

The party planner in me urges you to make a day of your proposal. Get your loved ones together for a day of food, drink and laughter. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can host it at home and head to your nearest deli to get a selection of delectable cakes and pastries. It’s more fun if one or two of your guests are in on the secret and can film the big moment. If you have children together, why not get them involved by making a short film or wearing t-shirts that reveal the message.  We have filled houses with balloons, all printed with the proposal message. You could even place a note on the collar of one of your pets. Cheesy perhaps – but how could he could say no?

Leap Year Proposal Ideas

Just to two of you

At the other end of the scale of my Leap Year Proposal Ideas is something much smaller and intimate. If you’d prefer it to be a more private affair, then arrange a special day at home just the two of you. Cook his favourite meal (or cook together). If you’re not talented in the kitchen then hire in a chef or get a take away to ease the pressure of cooking. Enjoy a lovely bottle of wine or craft beers if that’s more their thing. Play music, watch films and just enjoy being in one another’s company for the day. Then, when the credits roll on the movie – seize the moment and propose.

Capture it on camera

One of the best interpretations of this idea that I’ve seen is on a rollercoaster.  The bride to be was at the front and the people behind her in the carriage held up cards saying will you marry me as they passed the on-ride camera. She had no idea until she looked at the photos at the end of the ride. You could adapt this for any location, you just need a willing bunch of volunteers ready to photo bomb the big moment. If it’s friends and family then get them to wear printed t-shirts under their coats and stand behind your betrothed-to-be, revealing them without him knowing.

Take your loved one to a local garden, park or an evening stroll at a favourite place – and reveal giant lit letters spelling out the magic words – will you marry me? Want to upscale this idea? Organise a flash mob to sing, dance and shimmy their way to your man’s hand in marriage.

Leap Year Proposal Ideas

Say it with food

The do say the way to a man’s heart is through his tummy and there are hundreds of ways you can hide a ‘marry me’ message in his favourite food. Bake a huge cake with and ice the words on the top. A plate of iced biscuits or cupcakes spelling out the proposal. Hide the message in a pizza box, with a heart shaped pizza of course. And remember, you can personalise everything from Nutella to Marmite, so simply add the words ‘marry me’ instead of his name.

We have had special menus created for the happy couple at a local restaurant.  All his favourite dishes served.  As the dessert menu is handed over to your loved one – a special message is printed on the inside.  Asking that all important question!

Leap Year Proposal Ideas


Make a day of it

If you know your partner well enough to propose you should have an idea of their favourite things to do. Whether they’re a high-octane adrenaline junkie, a sci-fi fanatic or sports enthusiast- including an element of this in the proposal can make it fun and exciting. Why not make his dreams come true in more ways than one? Has your hubby-to-be always wanted to jump out of a plane, drive a formula one race car or play for a premier league football team? Organise a special day out then once it’s over pop the question. How could he refuse?

Shout it loud

This is a great way to propose if you’re feeling nervous as you don’t actually have to say the words yourself. Get tickets to that gig he wants to go to or the big match and contact the organisers – many venues will help you either by an announcement over the tannoy or in the event programme if you plan ahead far enough.

If you don’t have a place to go in mind, an announcement on the radio is another great idea. Or go for a meal and hire a sensational band or barbershop quartet to serenade your spouse!

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 Feb 13th 2020

Ways to incorporate Pantone’s Colour of the Year into your wedding day

Ways to incorporate Pantone’s Colour of the Year into your wedding day

‘A timeless and enduring hue elegant in its simplicity’, darker than sky blue but lighter than midnight blue. Pantone’s 2020 colour of the year makes a heavenly colour palette for weddings. Our CEO and Creative Director, Liz Taylor, describes how to incorporate Pantone’s Colour of the Year into your wedding day.  This year, its a gorgeous Classic Blue.

“Classic Blue is a rich hue with royal connotations,” says Liz. “It’s magnificent when paired with metallic accents with a real feel of the 1920s. And I love to channel the Great Gatsby era, along with all the opulence and striking design influence that comes with it”.

Dine with it!

The first way in which you can creatively incorporate Pantone’s Colour of the Year into your wedding day is with the table design. Liz says: “For a table that’s chic and striking, line the table with a blue cloth. Use a mix of coloured vintage glassware. Add tapered candles with patterned crockery for a look that oozes vintage appeal. I love retro champagne glasses or goblets, which look effortlessly chic. Brilliant replicas can be picked up fairly reasonably online or can be hired for a one-off event. Prefer the real thing? Then scour the charity shops, car boot sales and auction sites. My top tip here. Use gold cutlery for a sophisticated colour match.

incorporate Pantone’s Colour of the Year into your wedding day

“Darker colours like this are made for luxurious fabrics such as velvet and satin where the folds and highlights are emphasised by the contrasting darkness. Add another level to your room décor when draped across a wedding arch or used as an alternative to linen table cloths.”

“Or add carefully places splashes of blue against a white backdrop give a modern vibe.  Contemporary glassware. Table napkins tied with a simple blue ribbon.  Place cards in hues of blue.  Or a table centrepiece; a tower of delectable blue macaroons or iced cupcakes. Yum!

RELATED TOPIC: Take a look at our unique wedding favour ideas

Eat it!

“Who says a wedding cake has to be white when a statement blue cake has ten times the impact! Coloured icing will give your cake a contemporary twist. For a pop of colour try decorating with coral, pink or peach coloured flowers, metallic edging or textured icing. Or opt for a naked cake.  Topped with fresh blueberries and blackberries.  Divine.”

incorporate Pantone’s Colour of the Year into your wedding day

Carry it!

“Blue may not be the obvious colour choice for bouquets and floral arrangement but there are some stunning blooms in blue hues. Hydrangea and hyacinth are classic choices. Incorporate with shades of lavender, greens, cream and deep purple. Delicate and stunning in a bouquet or on a table design. For a wilder, ‘meadowy’ feel try nestling cornflower and forget me nots amongst a display of grasses and foliage. If you don’t want to go the whole hog with an entire blue bouquet, highlights of classic blue will really stand out against a collection of orange, pink and yellow blossoms.

incorporate Pantone’s Colour of the Year into your wedding day

incorporate Pantone’s Colour of the Year into your wedding day

Wear it!

Finally, a great way to incorporate Pantone’s Colour of the Year into your wedding day is in the design and colour of the wedding attire.  “It’s true that blue makes a dapper colour for the groom and groomsmen’s ties and suits. However, it is equally suited to bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride.  A blue wedding dress would be a confident choice which I’m sure would look stunning. For more traditional brides, who want just a hint of classic blue, what could be better than a peek of classic blue shoes or a sash on bridesmaids dresses. And don’t forget the jewels.  Sapphires are having a real moment in wedding jewellery on rings, earrings, necklace, cufflinks.

incorporate Pantone’s Colour of the Year into your wedding day

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 Jan 6th 2020

2020 Wedding Trends

2020 Wedding Trends

January is an exciting time for wedding planners.  Not only is wedding season almost in full swing, but it’s a perfect time of year to reflect on the wedding trends that will be coming in for the new year. Here, our CEO and expert wedding planner, Liz Taylor outlines her predictions for the 2020 Wedding Trends we’ll see in the new decade.

Firstly in our 2020 Wedding Trends is the move towards global ‘wellness’. Princess Eugene lead the charge for environmentally friendly weddings, when she went entirely plastic free for her big day. This may have been a few years ago now, but it marked a general trend for couples being kinder to the environment as they say ‘I do’. It’s showing no signs of slowing.

Environmental responsibility

Choosing local suppliers, foraging for flowers or using potted plants rather than cut floral arrangements which then double as wedding favours are just some of the ways you can have an eco-friendlier wedding.

Many couples are shunning single use décor, confetti, even dresses for versions that have been, or can be, used again. Suit rental is nothing new within wedding planning. However, some brides are now renting bridesmaids and even wedding dresses or opting for preloved garments which are altered to suit. A knock-on effect of this is that bridesmaid and groomsmen are becoming more eclectic. They are often being viewed as a collection rather than all wearing matching with outfits and combining a range of colours and materials.

Within décor, the look is to be more stripped back and simple. Couples are moving away from white starched table linens and fine dining in favour of natural fabrics such as jute or hessian which has a real rustic appeal. At the other end of the scale and for a more luxurious look.  We’ve been asked to incorporate rich sumptuous fabrics like velvet on tables and then have these made into curtains, cushions and other soft furnishings afterwards. So, everything is reused or recycled in some way.

Five unique wedding favours ideas

Thrift stores, online auction sites and car boot sales can be a treasure trove of vintage table wear.  From retro champagne glasses to candelabras there’s a world of beautiful and affordable items to discover. Another idea is to save up gin or wine bottles (especially those that are particularly intricate) and use these for table names or even as part of a DIY ice sculpture centrepiece.

RELATED TOPIC: If you like our 2020 Wedding Trends, take a look at these Top Wedding Cake Ideas


At TLC we always look to include personal touches that tell the bride and groom’s own unique story. Far more frequently couples are looking for new and original ways to represent their relationship.

There’s a move away from mass produced, off the shelf in all elements of wedding planning.  Personalisation is becoming a huge trend. One emerging idea is the wedding canvas.  Commissioning an artist to capture the overall feel of the day within a bespoke art piece. Prints are then sent out afterwards as favours.

One interpretation of the personalisation trend that’s really taking off this year is bespoke embroidery. Seen on anything from table cloths to wedding dresses, veils or trains to handkerchiefs and place settings. It may be initials or dates that feature. More frequently we’re being asked to incorporate words from a poem or a special song, a place or a phrase used in a proposal – even lines from a TV show or film.

I really love this idea for table linens – it’s a simple and surprisingly affordable way of creating a very high-end look!

Statement veils with personalised typography are hugely popular. This is thanks to Hayley Bieber who wowed the world with her Virgil Abloh dress and dramatic veil, which had the words ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ stitched into the hem.

Sociable dining and decor

Mirroring the trend that’s emerging in many restaurants and dining experiences, we’re seeing more and more couples opt for banquet tables for their room layout. It provides a much more sociable experience, encouraging guests to mingle, as well as the opportunity for spectacular table décor. Very often with this layout we’ll create bountiful table centres abundant with fruit and seasonal produce. For food we’ll go with huge sharing platters or tapas style dishes providing another opportunity that encourages conversation.

For this trend we’ll often suggest suspended floral arrangements rather than table centres that provide a barrier to conversation. This is an emerging trend within itself.

Moving into the ceiling space is one of my favourite and most impactful ways to decorate a room. Huge floral installations can be clustered and cloudlike or an entire floral canopy.  It’s just a matter of choosing the best seasonal flowers to create stunning effects.

wedding planners based in Manchester TLC LTD

And for those lucky enough to have an outdoor space in which to dine, banquet style tables look even more fabulous especially when lit by candle light and fairy lights. Venues that form the perfect backdrop for banquet style wedding include castles, barn conversions and stately homes.

Cool Colour Trends

Lastly on our list of 2020 Wedding Trends is cool colour choices. Two colour schemes are fading in favour of an overall vibe – which again brings in that eclectic feel I mentioned previously. One of my favourite looks is choosing a single colour and then create an ombre effect. This sees planners taking the colour throughout the room from it’s very lightest to darkest form. It’s a classic look that’s effortlessly chic.

The Pantone and Dulux colours of the year are always a huge influence on wedding colour choices. This year both of the trends experts have opted for colours at the cooler end of the spectrum. Tranquil Dawn from Dulux is a cool shade of sea green. Whereas Classic Blue from Pantone is said to be ‘reminiscent of the sky at dusk’. It’s rich and inviting with royal connotations so ideal for a wedd

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 Oct 24th 2019

Destination Weddings for Gay Couples

Destination Weddings for Gay Couples

It’s a whole five years since gay marriage was legalised in most of the UK and in Northern Ireland just this month. Landmark moments that finally gave same sex couples equal rights to tie the knot in the many of the kingdom’s most stylish and varied wedding locations. The change in law certainly opened-up many more options for gay couples in terms of how and where they can celebrate their nuptials. But, what about those same sex couples who long to jet off to more exotic climes for their wedding day? Our Destination Weddings for Gay Couples is here to help explain the pitfalls and some of the world’s most exotic locations that embrace gay couples on their big day.

In which countries can Gay couples wed?

When it comes to gay marriage not all countries are as far along the journey to equality as the UK (yet some of course are much further). Currently 28 countries have opened their hearts and minds to the union of all couples no matter what their gender. These include: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay. Same-sex marriage is also due to become legal in Costa Rica.

Destination Weddings for Gay Couples

Be aware!

If you’re planning to get married abroad it’s important to do your research. This Destination Weddings for Gay Couples will help. It may not be possible to get married in a country, even if gay marriage is legal. Take the Netherlands for instance where gay weddings were first legalised back in 2001. Yet it’s only possible to marry here if at least one partner is Dutch. Similar laws apply in Spain where couples may hold a blessing following a legally binding marriage in their own country. And in France, the couple must reside there for at least 30 days before the ceremony.

So where are the best places for gay weddings?

For breath-taking natural beauty, colourful architecture, epic coastlines and with no minimum residency requirements South Africa is hard to beat. You could even stay on an epic safari for your honeymoon. Looking for somewhere a little more iconic? Then why not head to the city that never sleeps and tie the knot in NYC. Mexico is another fantastic option for anyone looking for sandy beaches followed by dancing into the night.

Destination Weddings for Gay Couples

Once you’ve found your perfect destination wedding location, remember that not all venues are LGBT friendly. Enlisting the help of a wedding planner may be the answer to ensure they do all the hard work for you. In the meantime, you could take a look through these beautiful LGBT friendly wedding venues for some inspiration.

Once you have secured the location and venue – embrace the wedding design.

Here, for us at TLC, it is simply a special wedding day for a special couple.  We plan gay weddings like any other.  A design crafted around the couple’s personalities and choices. There are a few elements that destination weddings do raise though, such as international logistics and weather.  Beach wedding; opt for late afternoon ceremonies and lighter clothing.   There’s plenty advice here to help in planning your destination wedding day

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 Aug 19th 2019

Summer Into Autumn Wedding Flowers

Summer into Autumn Wedding Flowers

In terms of floral wedding décor, the transition from summer to autumn is one of the most noticeable seasonal changes. Out go the peonies, fuchsia and gerbera and in come red roses and luxurious lilies. The bright, high energy colourways and pretty pastels make way for a richer tonal palette too. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have show-stopping flowers at an Autumn wedding. In our trends to watch out for with Summer into Autumn Wedding Flowers, we show how to update some of our most sought after summer wedding looks with an autumnal twist.

#Look 1. Summer Fruits

One of our favourite designs for Summer into Autumn Wedding Flowers is combing tables featuring a long Perspex trough running the full length. In this, we float tea lights and seasonal fruits and blooms. This look can be transformed for autumn with ruby red apples and by weaving in rustic bark and foliage. Use scents of the season as a finishing touch to make your room smell as good as it looks. Muskier scents like sandalwood and aromatic spices often take to the fore at this time of year.

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#Look 2. Gold Leaf

We’re often asked to replace traditional floral plinths with a summery avenue of trees to line the aisle. In Autumn the colours of the leaves will be even more enchanting as they turn with the change of season. Trees can also be extremely effective in wedding décor, adding both height and drama to table centres. And what better way to dine than under a canopy of crimson and amber foliage. “

#Look 3. Floral Canopy

One of the best flowers to achieve this abundant look is wisteria, which blooms from May – June, so there’s a small window for using the real deal. A way to extend a floral canopy’s life way beyond a couple of months would be to use faux flowers – and there are some brilliant imitations around. Alternatively, focus on greenery for the trailing elements of the canopy, ivy works particularly well, then weave in some seasonal blooms to match your colour palette. Rich, warming orange tones are offset beautifully with coloured table linens.

wedding planners based in Manchester TLC LTD

Related Topic: Creative Ways for Using Flowers

wedding planners based in Manchester TLC LTD

Look 4. Pressed Flowers

Fourth on our tips for Summer into Autumn Wedding Flowers, is a design that sees beautiful cut flowers and leaves pressed between a sheet of Perspex and a glass or Perspex table top. Sitting underneath the table settings, this expertly shows how using seasonal flowers creatively can be affordable and still achieve stunning effects. It would be really easy to replace these pretty pastel blooms with seasonal colours and berries. Perhaps even weaving in some fragrant herbs like rosemary and thyme to bring in all of the senses.

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 Jun 19th 2019

Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties

Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties

Warmer weather is the season for enjoying TLC’s open-air celebrations and stylish outdoor parties. But when your guests have seasonal allergies such as hayfever, the thought of spending time outside can bring visions of sneezing and wheezing rather than having fun! If you’re hosting an outdoor party this summer, our Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties can help to ensure a good time is had by everyone, even those with summer allergies:

Timing is Everything

Pollen counts are highest in the morning (5am-10am), so plan your party for later in the day or evening. Or go a step further and try to hold your celebration on a day that should have a low pollen count. Most summer weather forecasts detail this, but to plan further ahead, check out the Met Office forecast.

Knowledge is Wisdom

Allergy medications are more effective when you take them before you have symptoms, Telling your guests in advance that your party is outdoors gives them the opportunity to take their allergy medication before they arrive. It also serves as a reminder for them to bring any emergency medication with them.

Location, Location

Sea breezes blow pollen inland, so choosing a more coastal location for your party can help hayfever and summer allergy sufferers. Beach front venues, or the beach itself, can provide an inspiration backdrop and enhances the ‘endless summer’ vibe of any outdoor party.

Super Shady

Third on our list of top Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties is both practical and stylish. Wearing sunglasses can help reduce, but not totally prevent, pollen from getting into your eyes and making them water and itch. Embrace this with bespoke sunglasses for your event. These can be given as a gift or used as a place marker on tables – a little tag attached does the trick.

Trim and Tidy

Remove weeds and prune borders, where triggers can lurk, well ahead of the party. Mow a day or two before, and not the day of. And use any garden blowers well before the party, as can stir up dust and mouldy leaves. Think about the placement of the event too. Are their surrounding fields with high allergens such as rape seed plants?

Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties

Inside Out

Choose a high-quality marquee, Yurts or gazebo structure (preferably air-conditioned) to provide shade from the sun, but also offer an indoor space where guests bothered by pollen can go. Going indoors will be important for anyone who develops an allergy attack despite their, and your, best efforts. Once an attack has begun, an air-conditioned environment is best, as this filters out any pollen; so have an indoor chill-out space at the ready.

Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties

Floral Fabulousness

When choosing the floral design for your party, opt for flowers that produce little to no pollen. Daffodils, lilies, pansies, petunias, roses, snapdragons, and tulips for example are all less likely to aggravate allergies. Beware of summer standbys like sunflowers, daisies and chrysanthemums that are in the ragweed family and can trigger pollen allergies.

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Related Topic: Top 5 Summer Cocktails


Foodie Fun

People with seasonal allergies can experience a tingling of the mouth or itchy throat from oral allergy syndrome. There is evidence that this happens after eating certain fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts. As a party host, it will be important to know what the guest’s specific allergy is, and ensure a meal is prepared that minimises any reactions. Not forgetting other allergies and intolerances, such as dairy, wheat and gluten. All of which, with TLC’s team of creative chefs, need not be a problem. Modern catering allows for an innovative menu to suit all guests – it just needs careful planning and some theatrical presentation. Allergy UK have some excellent advice on their website.

Private Parties Caterers in Manchester

Last, but not Least

So regardless of your summer allergies, there is no reason for you to miss out on the summer fun. A great host will have soft tissues to hand (branded for a wedding or special party of course), large sun hats and a ‘standby’ box with anti-allergy creams and something to soothe stings. It is also though that a splash of water on the face will dislodge any pollen, so offer facial spritz as a table gift. Ladies may be reluctant at first – make up considered – but we love this Vichy Thermal Mineralising Spa Water…and your guest will too. Always be prepared!


I hope our Tips to Beat Summer Allergies at Outdoor Parties has helped with your planning!

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 May 28th 2019

Five unique wedding favour ideas

Five unique wedding favour ideas

Wedding favours provide the perfect opportunity to show your guests how much you appreciate their part in your big day. With our five unique wedding favour ideas you won’t be short of inspiration.

The tradition of giving a gift (bomboniera) to guests on special occasions dates back hundreds of years. Almonds became the gift of choice, because sugar was at that time an expensive luxury.  In the Middle Ages, the European aristocracy and upper classes would give guests five sugared almonds to represent health, wealth, fertility, happiness and longevity. Today, the choice of wedding favours is much more diverse. However the sentiments are the same. And what better way to show your gratitude than with a personalised gift to recognise the contribution each guest has made to your life as a couple and will continue to do in the future.

Here are five unique wedding favours ideas to get you started:

Rustic charm

Place name settings offer the perfect opportunity to integrate personalised unique wedding favours into your day. This will help to streamline your table décor and keeping it clutter free.

Depending on the style and theme of your wedding there are lots of different handmade place-settings to choose from in a variety of materials. For a rural theme we love these hand-sanded wooden coasters from Esty. These can be individually laser-engraved with a guest’s name. Other ideas include a small potted bay tree, wrapped with a hessian bow and individual tag. Individual vintage tin cups with embossed names and filled with treats. Or miniature jars of homemade preserves or local honey.

Warm the heart

If you want your guests to remember your big day with warmth, nothing warms inside and out like a steaming mug of hot chocolate. At the end of the evening, you can either pour out a hot beverage in a personally engraved cuppa. Or else add a sachet of hot chocolate with a small pouch of marshmallows and hand-made cookies for them to enjoy when they get home. There are lots of different types of mugs to choose from. Or, for a truly elegant feel go for a tall hot-chocolate glass engraved with a special, message personalised to present a unique wedding favour to each guest.

For the adults, why not choose their favourite liqueur presented in individual antique medicine bottles. They are popular!  Or offer guests a liqueur from a table side mixologist instead of a favour.  A lovely treat and not many refusals!!

wedding planners based in Manchester TLC LTD

Festive cheer

Third on our list of five unique wedding favour ideas is perfect for Christmas. Winter weddings are magical for many reasons. When it comes to unique wedding favours, use this to your advantage by giving guests gifts they can reuse year after year. For this, any kind of Christmas decoration works well. For personalisation you will need space for engraving, therefore baubles or snow-globes are perfect. These stunning wedding favours will mean that your day is remembered with fondness for years to come.

You could also choose festive spiced gingerbread, iced with names. Or bars of luxury chocolate with a bespoke wedding day wrapper. And for the bigger budgets, individual wrapped gifts that act as place marker and wedding favour.

Five unique wedding favours ideas

Related Topic: If our five unique wedding favours ideas are not enough, here’s some more: More Wedding Favour Ideas

Sweet smell of romance

Don’t forget the importance of fragrance in helping to create atmosphere. Many companies are now offering brides personalised scents for their big day. For a truly luxurious gift, you can capture those memories in a scent and share with guests as scented candles held in beautifully engraved jars.

Jo Malone offers an engraving and monogramming service to allows you to personalise your gifts. For summer the company has some wonderfully evocative fragrances as English Pear & Freesia or Orange Blossom. As well as personalised scents for unique wedding favours.

Five unique wedding favours ideas

Bee-ing kind

While many associate St Valentine with our public day of love, fewer know he is also the patron saint of beekeepers. Personalised wildflower seed-packets help spread the beauty of your love beyond your wedding day. As well as protecting our environment and benefiting future generations. These favours will encourage guests to plant seeds which help bees and other pollinating insects.

Needless to say, ideas are endless when it comes to creating wedding favours. Tie the gift into the design of your big day. Keep it simple and stylish – and you won’t go wrong.

And don’t forget the kids. Colouring packs, personalised rubber ducks, individual boxes of Lego and a jar of coloured smarties.  All make ideal wedding favours.

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 Aug 31st 2018

Top 7 autumn weddings flowers

Top 7 autumn weddings flowers

The rich, warm, vibrancy of autumn colours provide a creative influence for seasonal wedding choices. And when it comes to choosing flowers, the cooler weather opens even more possibilities with cut flowers lasting longer out of the summer heat. Here are some of our favourites. A collection of the Top 7 autumn weddings flowers, and the romantic stories and meanings behind these blooms:


A flame of red petals, the Amaryllis is a flower of romantic legend. In Greek mythology Amaryllis was a love-struck young girl who fell in love with a shepherd, Alteo, who didn’t return her affections. Desperate to win his heart, she sought advice from the oracle of Delphi on how she could win him over by giving him what he most desired – a unique and beautiful flower. Under the oracle’s instruction she walked to the door of Alteo’s cottage every night for 30 days where she pierced her heart with a golden arrow. On the final day Alteo opened the door. He saw a blossoming scarlet flower where Amaryllis’s blood had fallen and her heart was healed.

Calla Lillies

These enchanting flowers are unusual in that the outer part of the flower, the spathe, is not a large petal but in fact is a modified leaf. This design makes them incredibly hardy plants. The various colours of the leaves, which can be white, pink, purple, yellow and even black. This gives a delicate and elegant appearance. Indeed, the fine, trumpet-like structure is so attractive the flowers were named after the Greek word for beautiful – calla. Their striking form make them a wonderful choice to add structure to any autumn display.


If you are looking to inject a bright, splash of colour into your floral displays for autumn you can’t beat the fabulous leucospernum. Known sometimes as the pin-cushion because of the cluster of tiny flowers that make up each stem.  The leucospernum can look like a bright explosion of mini-fireworks. If you look closely each flower head resembles a small beating heart.  Hence adding an extra spark of passion as a wedding choice!  Aesthetically, the multiple-strands in the head of each stem also add textural interest to any display.


Hypericum Berries

The hypericum, sometimes known as St. John’s Wort, is a hardy and versatile plant with a variety of medicinal and decorative uses. For autumn floral displays its clusters of berries add a burst of colour which look fabulous in autumn bouquets. The berries come in a passionate flame red, and a variety of other colours, therefore making them an excellent choice for autumn across a wide range of tonal choices. Other colours include orange, pink, brown, purple and white. All of which work well with a warming, autumn wedding theme.


A list of the Top 7 autumn weddings flowers isn’t complete without Hydrangea. At this time of year, the thirsty hydrangea lasts longer in floral displays and its large-headed blooms are a fabulous choice for a statement piece. It’s large headed blooms also come in a variety of warming tones and on-trend colours for the season, including rich burgundy, deep purple and dusky pink.

Related Topic: Top Summer Wedding Flowers


The ultimate floral symbol of romance. The rose is a delicate, fragrant and beautiful choice for weddings at any time of year. A versatile choice because of the many varieties, although in autumn the traditional romantic rich red is a passionate favourite. And it’s not just bouquets and displays where roses are wonderful choices. Add an extra touch of romance. Sprinkle autumnal coloured rose petals alongside LED candles on tables and walkways.

Top 7 autumn weddings flowers

Sometimes known as the Chinese lantern, the bright orange physalis will brighten-up any display. The name comes from the Greek word Physalis which means, wrapper, because it looks like a delicate paper protection for the orange berry inside. Gorgeous

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