Mar 25th 2020

Event Company Launches a Positivity Initiative ‘TLC – The Life Challenge’

March 25, 2010

Event Company Launches a Positivity Initiative ‘TLC – The Life Challenge’

 

The Covid-19 pandemic is having a devastating effect on many businesses and the lives of individuals across the world.  The UK hospitality and events sector has been one of those hugely impacted. This has inspired Manchester-based event management company, the Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC), to undertake an initiative which shares daily optimism to industry colleagues during the difficult weeks ahead, but which the company also hopes will support a post-virus recovery for the industry.

TLC - The Life Challenge’

 

Collectively, the team at TLC is gathering quotes that inspire, reassure and motivate them through these challenging times, and daily the company shares one of these messages across its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram platforms.  The aim is that each post will not only help followers now, but importantly the messages are being curated into a book of amazingly motivational quotations, titled ‘TLC- The Life Challenge’.  TLC has plans to publish the book for colleagues in the hospitality, events and hotel sector in the autumn, with proceeds donated to the NHS.

 

The company is now asking clients, industry colleagues and its social media followers to send-in their own words of wisdom and the advice that is helping to keep them positive.  People wishing to contribute a quotation for the book, can comment on any of the posts on Twitter: @taylorlynncorp, Facebook: @taylorlynncorporation or Instagram: @taylorlynncorp, Taylor Lynn Corporation on LinkedIn or email taylor.lynn@tlc-ltd.co.uk

 

CEO of Taylor Lynn Corporation, Liz Taylor, said: “Events that we have been planning for many months, years in some cases, suddenly began to cancel or rebook for the autumn.  This pattern was not exclusive to TLC; all event companies, hotels and venues are in the same situation.  It was devastating.  My company marks its 25th anniversary this year, and by far this pandemic is its greatest challenge. It would be easy to become overwhelmed by the road ahead, but that’s just not what we are about.  My team is channelling its inner optimism for the future, into being creative.  When things get tough … we get busy!

 

“The hope is that in the post-virus recovery stage, our industry colleagues can use the book as a reminder of how far they have come, what has been achieved and what is possible for the future.  A motivational guide created by friends, colleagues and even business competitors, who, have come together to rebuild our industry.”

 

TLC has worked with some of the biggest names in corporate life and showbusiness, to produce events across the UK and Europe.  Founded in 1995 by event entrepreneur Liz Taylor and her industry partner Dianne Lynne, the company went from strength to strength with a successful team that was to last until 2008, when Liz managed an amicable partnership buy-out.  That same year TLC bucked the recession by topping the £4M turnover mark.  With its headquarters in Manchester, the event company works with some of the country’s most well-known brands, blue-chip giants, SMEs, private clients and celebrities to create business and celebration events.  For details about TLC, visit www.tlc-ltd.co.uk

 

-ends-

 

For further details contact:

  • Sarah Lewis – M: 0781 792 8132, E: slewiscomms@msn.com
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 Mar 20th 2020

Homeworking Power Heroes Guide

Homeworking Power Heroes Guide

These are unprecedented times for us all, and it requires businesses of all sizes to adapt quickly.  One of the incredible things about TLC has always been its team.  A group of talented and inspiring individuals, who join with me to create memorable events.  For the moment, those events are all planned for the autumn and this is where we are focussing our considerable energy and optimism.  A key part of that, is by embracing homeworking for the next few weeks. Encouraged by my team, I have brought together my Homeworking Power Heroes Guide!  Advice that I hope may help you and your colleagues:

Homeworking Power Heroes Guide

T – Tools

Ensure the team each have the right technology, software and apps to do the job and communicate. My team may use their computer for home as well as business-related work, so they may be exposed to more viruses (as we have all heard enough of viruses!!). We’ve ensured IT security is up to date so information is kept confidential.

L – Life-Work Balance

Your team is more likely to overwork than underwork; especially in the current pandemic! This can be due to the fact that they suddenly feel their days are much shorter without the time spent on a regular commute, or, a need to do as much as they can to support your company through this time. As the boss, I encourage my team to keep a close eye on their time and output to help them develop a reasonable work-life balance and avoid burn-out.

 

Homeworking Power Heroes Guide Homeworking Power Heroes Guide Homeworking Power Heroes Guide

LTC LTD Meet the team Ellie Barnes – Events Operations Director LTC LTD Meet the team Liz Taylor – CEO and Creative Director 

C – Communicate

Keep in touch using as many different tools as possible.  Consider what communication tools will deliver the desired results.  We love a shared WhatsApp call, but also SKYPE/Facetime or a simple telephone call.  We all check-in regularly to monitor progress, discuss work and provide feedback.  Vital that you also keep your team apprised of critical information and decisions.

P – Plan Ahead

Share a clear plan of the way ahead, which outlines everyone’s role and your expectations of them.  Ensure a clear team structure – I have let everyone know the new (albeit temporary) reporting structure and where individual responsibilities lie.

O – Open Mind

This is a new way of working for us all, so be open to diversity and recognise how everyone brings something to team effort.  It’s time to embrace difference.

W – Work Together

Despite not being physically together, it’s important that my team agrees on how they will communicate, make decisions, resolve issues and deliver results.  I recognise the importance of trust in this – it is developed differently in remote working and takes some getting used to!

E – Engage

I think you need to engage your team through consensus decision-making rather than instructing.  Encourage them to feel that they each individual person is key in contributing to the organisation’s overall strategy and success.  This motivation is key.

R – Reward

Finally, monitor achievements and reward the team through individual measurement of their performance based on results not activities. For me, this allows for some flexibility in how things are delivered and avoids micro-management by Liz!

Lastly – in these tough times.  Keep focussed and positive – we will get through this! I hope my homeworking power heroes guide has proven useful, and good luck with your homeworking!

 

-Liz Taylor, Founder and CEO

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 Mar 2nd 2020

The Dos and Don’ts of Engagement Parties

The Dos and Don’ts of Engagement Parties

Early spring is always a busy time for wedding planning. This year with Valentine’s Day and a leap year thrown in for good measure, even more couples than usual may have just become engaged. So now comes the question of whether to have an engagement party or not. It’s something we’re often asked here at TLC. Our events director, Jess Randall, has brought together, and answered, all our most frequently asked questions about the rules of engagement. It’s the Dos and Don’ts of engagement parties!

The Dos and Don’ts of Engagement Parties

Are engagement parties common?

Engagement parties were very common a few decades ago, then became less so in recent years. However, we’ve found they’re really making a comeback, especially amongst those who intend to have a long engagement. It’s a way of celebrating your relationship moving to the next level and revelling in your special moment. And, let’s face it, any excuse to have a party is a good one so my thoughts are – why not!

Who hosts an engagement party?

As with so many wedding traditions, it always fell to the bride’s family to host the engagement party. Nowadays things have changed a bit. The happy couple will often organise and host their own party, or it can be arranged by any member of the wedding party (if that’s been decided on by this stage of course). The invite list is really up to you, it doesn’t have to be as extensive as the full wedding list (unless you want it to be) but close friends and family are a must.

The Dos and Don’ts of Engagement Parties

When should you have an engagement party?

It’s nice to celebrate this moment when it’s ‘new news’ and fresh in everybody’s minds, so I’d suggest one to months after somebody pops the question is the ideal time to have an engagement party. Any longer and you may have already started to plan your wedding, so extra party planning can become a headache.

Where are engagement parties held?

This is one of the big questions on my list of the Dos and Don’ts of Engagement Parties! The simple answer is – wherever you like. There are no strict rules around where you should have your engagement party. In fact, just like any other party, it will be determined by your guest list, how many people will attend, the time of day you’d like to host it and of course budget. We’ve organised everything from engagement brunches at the home of a family member, to extravagant balls with 300+ guests and dancing till dawn!

What is engagement party gift etiquette?

Gifts are a tricky subject, on the one hand you don’t want to seem like a gift is expected, especially as weddings can become expensive for guests. Yet on the other hand, it’s likely some guests will bring them. Many couples put a note in with the invites to say a gift is not necessary, but to save you going home with fifty bottles of champagne a gift list is also perfectly acceptable. Opt for low to mid cost gifts as there will of course be a wedding gift list still to come.

Should you serve food at an engagement party?

Food is less important at an engagement party than at the wedding where it’s an integral part of the day. However, if you’re intending to throw a boozy bash you might want to include some catering to ensure you soak up all that alcohol. Grazing tables are a fantastic idea, a trend that’s been huge within weddings and that will really set the tone for a chic and stylish wedding to come. They look sensational and can be relatively easy and affordable to create.  Or choose simple food stations. Fish and chips. Posh kebabs. Gourmet pizza.

It’s my firm belief that it’s not a party without a cake, so even if you decide to forgo a full buffet or sit-down meal, you should, at the very least invest in an engagement cake, which can feed the party goers.

Popular are also afternoon tea celebrations. They can be tailored to a fun, family affair or a more stylish cocktail version!

As a rule of thumb, I’d always let guests know whether you plan to serve food so they know what to expect.

The Dos and Don’ts of Engagement Parties

What about décor at an engagement party?

Lastly on my advice around the  Dos and Don’ts of engagement parties, is to think about your wedding day.  Use the party to give guests at taster of what’s to come but on a slightly smaller scale. Entice them!  Incorporating photographs of you as a couple into the décor is a lovely idea and can tell the story of your relationship. Table décor brings a stylish feel.  A selection of seasonal fresh flowers (bold colours are on trend) displayed in an eclectic range of glass vases, tealights and candles can transform an ordinary space into a chic party setting in no time.  It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as the wedding, but simple décor on crisp, white linens will look gorgeous.  Gain some inspiration in these WEDDING TRENDS 2020 and opt for a more simplified version.  Or check out this piece of advice from Brides Magazine.

Thinking of hosting your own engagement party? We will steer you through the Dos and Don’ts of engagement parties, giving you an event that sets the tone for the wedding to come. Why not get in touch with TLC to see how we can h

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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

Personalisation

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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 Dec 16th 2019

North West Party Venues

North West Party Venues

The North West has a lot to offer when it comes to Christmas and New Year parties. Fine dining with he first Michelin star restaurant in Manchester since the 70s.  Impressive venues that are steeped in history and a nightlife seen to rival any region across the globe. Our expert team of party planners has picked out the best and most exclusive North West Party Venues. Exclusive spaces to suit all shapes and sizes of Christmas or New Year party.

Enjoy the Finest Dining in Manchester

Firstly, if you have a smaller team then why not treat them to a dinner to remember at one of Manchester’s exclusive dining spots.  Some of which have private dining rooms to hire.

Amid a burgeoning food and drink scene in the city is Mana, the first restaurant in Manchester to be awarded a Michelin Star for over 40 years. Set amongst a light and airy dining space, Mana has an area for groups of up to six next to the open plan kitchen. It’s not private dining as such. However, you will watch on as the chefs prepare the best produce from the British Isles prepared from its original form every day. Its menu is described as ‘intriguing, original and very exciting’.

Over the other side of town at Spinningfields, The Ivy offers three private dining spaces.  The Dalton Suite, Geisha Room or Skylight Terrace. They can accommodate anything from 20 to 50 guests.  Each serving tempting selections from the three restaurant menus amongst flamboyantly beautiful interiors.

North West Party Venues North West Party Venues North West Party Venues

Set to be a new jewel in Manchester’s crown is Tom Kerridge’s new venture, The Bull and Bear at the Stock Exchange Hotel. Housed on the former trading floor of the historic grade II listed building, complete with spectacular domed ceiling, the restaurant serves up ‘refined British comfort food’. And it’s proving a real hit with customers. In addition to The Bull & Bear restaurant, Tom and his team will also be overseeing The Bank. This offers private dining experiences for up to 14 people. And The Vault.  This caters for private events for up to 120 people. We’re sure it’ll be Manchester’s hottest venue this festive season, so you’ll need to be quick!

Have a Night at the Museum in Liverpool

For a Christmas or New Year event with a difference, host an altogether more cultured Christmas party in a setting steeped in history. Three iconic venues. The Museum of Liverpool. The Liverpool Maritime Museum. The World Museum in Liverpool. Each make for a unique party backdrop where guests may learn about the city’s rich cultural diversity as they dance the night away.

Opt for views of the Royal Albert Dock and Liverpool Waterfront at Merseyside Maritime Museum.  Or admire the historic surroundings of the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building. You could even dine with Blackler’s Santa at the Museum of Liverpool.

https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/venue-hire/christmas-parties.aspx

Live the High Life in Cheshire

Christmas parties don’t just have to take place in the busy city centres.  Why not head to one of Cheshire’s many stately homes, spectacular hotels or natural beauty spots for a party with a difference this year.

Magnificent National Trust properties are something that Cheshire has in abundance.  You could spend this festive season celebrating in the impressive surroundings of Quarry Bank Mill, Dunham Massey or the mansion at Tatton Park.  We have staged a magnificent ‘bierfest’ party at Tatton Park; transforming the house!

North West Party Venues North West Party Venues North West Party Venues

The county also has many grand hotels, often listed architectural gems set in acres of beautiful countryside. Choose from Rookery Hall in Nantwich. A unique country house built in 1816, complete with a French Chateau Tower and commanding views of the countryside.  Or the luxurious and award-winning Georgian Manor House at Mottram Hall.  Both of which have surprisingly affordable party packages with dinner, drinks and dining included.

Find Enchantment in the Forest at Delamere or Knowsley

Decked out in thousands of sparkling fairy lights with warming firepits and cosy furs, a magical pop up restaurant in a tipi in the midst of Delamere Forest could be the alternative Christmas party venue you’ve been searching for. You’ll enjoy five courses of fine dining cooked by the most talented of chefs. It is accompanied by live acoustic music from local artist Charlie Reader to help you get into the Christmas spirit.

Finally, Knowsley Safari Park is the location for a secret Russian Cossack encampment. This comes complete with snow-clad pine trees, ice bar, Tsar’s Palace and St Basil’s Cathedral backdrop. https://www.officechristmas.co.uk/christmas-party/liverpool-knowsley-safari-park/

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 Nov 28th 2019

4 Christmas Party Planning Shortcuts

4 Christmas Party Planning Shortcuts

As experienced event planners, the TLC team know a few tricks of the trade when it comes to creating a fabulous but stress-free Christmas party. And when it comes to organising your Christmas party at home, our team of experts is on hand to help you this year with 4 Christmas Party Planning Shortcuts that a big on style, and low on stress! You know, those little Christmas party planning secrets that will elevate your party so that it looks like it was lifted straight out of the pages of a glossy magazine, with minimal effort. All the glamour – no stress!

Limited budget? Short on time? Tired, stressed and trying to squeeze your party planning in amongst the growing list of festive tasks? No problem. Follow our 4 Christmas Party Planning Shortcuts below and we’re sure you’ll be hosting a party to remember for all the right reasons. But shhhhhh, don’t tell everybody…

Events director Jess Randall shares décor ideas to delight your guests.

“I’d always recommend sticking to one colour palette when decorating your room and the festive table. Decorations don’t have to be expensive, but if you stick to the same colour palette throughout – you’ll create a look that’s far more elegant than the price tag suggests! Introduce tones of a rich deep red and use a colour fade effect to take it through to the palest pink. Navy blue, through sky blue to lightest turquoise works brilliantly with a touch of silver for a contemporary look. Or opt for a modern white and silver scheme – perhaps adding a deep grey or natural green accent.

4 Christmas Party Planning Shortcuts

“I’m also a huge fan of DIY, especially if you’re quite artistic. You can achieve some really high end looks at a fraction of the price and with minimal effort.

“One idea is to create a stylish festive table topper by measuring your dining table and getting a piece of clear Perspex cut to fit. Arrange winter foliage, flowers and inexpensive decorations (they need to be flat) on top of your table, then simply place the Perspex over it all. Weight this down for a few hours, so that the table top is flat. It provides a gorgeous setting upon which to dine – and a real talking point! I have also done this with old newspapers, magazines and Christmas artwork created by a client’s children too, to create a unique festive table-top!”

4 Christmas Party Planning Shortcuts

“Our 4 Christmas Party Planning Shortcuts is about saving time, without losing style.  So I look for lovely shortcuts that do double duty as décor and dessert. For example, with a rustic design (popular this year) have small bowls of satsumas, apples and nuts lining a table which can be eaten with dessert or a cheese course, and add in simple candles for light.  Have iced gingerbread as place markers and a sweet treat with coffee (you can buy these of course and just ice the names on!). Or have a lazy Susan in the centre of the table – dress with mini desserts, tealights, fruits and goodies to give a stunning focal point and sharing dessert.

4 Christmas Party Planning Shortcuts

Feeling inspired by Elsa and Ana in Frozen 2 or simply looking to create a frost-covered winter wonderland for your party. Well our very own ice queen Jess, shares some of her coolest ideas in our 4 Christmas Party Planning Shortcuts; including a show-stopping centre-piece.

“A simple and easy icy tip is to buy lemons and limes in advance. Cut into slices. Lay flat on a tray and freeze. Once frozen, place into a bag and keep in the freezer. Then, simply add to drinks as you need at the party. They help to keep the G&T chilled and add little citrus hit too! Similarly, you can place cranberries, raspberries or blackberries and a little water into ice cube trays and freeze. They make for fun festive ice cubes!

“One of my all-time favourite party hacks that looks sensational is to create the most amazing seasonal table centre with a frozen vodka or tequila bottle. Here’s how you do it: cut the top off a 1 litre plastic bottle and place a 770ml bottle of vodka, tequila or whatever sprit you fancy inside. Gin is still very much having a moment, as is flavoured or premium vodka. Fill between the plastic bottle and bottle of booze with distilled water and place leaves, berries, sprigs of herbs, holly, seasonal berries and sliced oranges around the side. Stand this carefully in your freezer and leave for at least three hours or until everything freezes. When your party is in full swing and you want to serve, simply run the plastic bottle sleeve quickly under a tap. It will slide it off to reveal a festive ice-wrap around the bottle.”

Create a feast of festive fayre with these insider tips from TLC’s answer to Mary Berry, festive foodie Frankie Lyons.

Let’s face it, we don’t all have the time to be cooking and freezing endless mince pies weeks in advance of a festive get together. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying from a good local bakery and piling them high on a cake stand in the centre of your table. Sprinkle your haul with icing sugar (make a template in the shape of a star out of cereal box cardboard, and sprinkle icing sugar through this to give the pies a professional finish). Dress the plate with festive garden greenery, satsumas, nuts, chocolates and some sprayed pinecones to create a festive table decoration and dessert in one!

If you are happy to bake – the easiest trick is to simply bake dessert in festive shaped moulds. Christmas trees, Santa, Rudolph….all available as small metal baking cutters or cake tins in discount stores. Use as a mold for chocolate orange brownies or festive flavoured cheesecakes – we love rum and raisin! Simple.

And for the children, a hot chocolate station is included in our 4 Christmas Party Planning Shortcuts.  The difference – you simply make the hot chocolate in a slow cooker to save time slaving over a hob, and leave on low to keep warm.  Minimal management needed.  Have an array of toppings for kids to help themselves to; cream, marshmallows, sprinkles and perhaps Brandy for the parents!  Serve in inexpensive Christmas cups (which they can use as a take-home present) with a candy cane on the side. Delicious and fun.

Party like an A-lister and ramp up the glamour, without the big budget price tag, with these simple switches from our CEO and creative director Liz Taylor.

Forget expensive champagne. Switch it up using sparkling wines such as Cava or Prosecco or one of the ‘own brands’ that always do well in blind taste tests. Mix with Pomegranate juice and dress with a sprig of Rosemary to create a ‘Poinsettia’ cocktail – gorgeous – or satsuma juice for a pimped-up Bucks Fizz. Any good celebrity party focuses on presentation though, so look for interesting glasses to serve them in. Vintage champagne goblets are always a favourite with my clients – you can scour car boot sales for them. An uber stylish way to serve up cocktails.

“Souper Canapes. Canapes may be featured at many celebrity parties, but they can be expensive to buy and time consuming to make. Try this. Buy inexpensive vintage tea pots and china cups (e-bay, jumble sales) and then make a quick homemade veggie soup (or buy a good chilled soup if you prefer). Pour the hot soup from the tea pots and serve as ‘canape’s in the china tea cups. Very stylish.

“A huge trend at celebrity parties is to personalise the guest’s party experience. This can be done simply. Buy individual baking pots with lids from discount shops (similar in style to Le Creuset, but far less expensive). Make one homemade casserole, but decant and serve in the individual dishes. A rustic treat! Place individual gravy jugs and salt and pepper pots at every place setting. Looks so much more stylish. Buy chocolate plaques and have them iced with guest’s names (Thornton’s chocolate stores can help here!). They are great as a place marker and chocolate treats with coffee! “

If you enjoyed our 4 Christmas Party Planning Shortcuts, check this out too: Festive Brunch 

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 Oct 30th 2019

Planning the Perfect Christmas Party

Planning the Perfect Christmas Party

Liz Taylor, founder and MD of the Taylor Lynn Corporation, took time out of her events schedule to share her tips on planning the perfect Christmas Party with guests who were invited to a networking lunch at Sheffield’s stunning Whirlowbrook Hall, part of Vine Hotels. Guests had the opportunity to hear advice and anecdotes from this award-winning event organiser. Here’s what she had to say:

“It’s only 90 days away and you can’t take the Christmas out of Christmas.”

But everyone does have a different perception of Christmas and there is no right way or wrong way. What is essential is that in planning the perfect Christmas Party, you take a drop of eggnog, a bunch of mistletoe, raise the curtain and kiss goodbye to the old, as you celebrate bringing in the new. In any event, expectations are high – especially in my world, where the client has turned to a professional to create the theatre.

corporate event planners in manchester tlc limited

Festive trends

As founder and MD of the Taylor Lynn Corporation, I have been planning and producing corporate and private events for over 30 years. The 5am starts and the 2am finishes. The constant challenge to reinvent, reinterpret and re-energise an event. The bigger the challenge, the greater the sense of achievement. I am passionate about what I do. I want to share with you a little of the theatre, drama, passion and backbone; with my tips to planning the perfect Christmas party.

I often get asked early in the year what the coming trends are for this much anticipated time. This year I am in the middle of designing and delivering a Christmas dinner for 80 guests in a marquee immersed in chocolate brown velvet, pull out crackers with menu details and guests names at each place setting printed in a lush copper plate. A deconstructed Christmas tree decorated with bronze and copper foliage and baubles – all built on a square truss overhead, so it becomes the roof of the dining space. A gospel choir during reception entertaining with Christmas favourites, and a band from Paris to rock the room. So, I’ve taken some traditional and mixed it with a variety of colours and textures to give it that touch of TLC.

Planning the perfect Christmas Party inevitably attracts trends. We have provided the décor for private clients where they have spent circa £50k on dressing door frames, trees, banisters. These had to reflect the traditional New York and American movie vision of Christmas that we soak up in those old films.

Then there is the contemporary – where you select ice baubles and use them as name places, throw faux skins over the back of chairs. Then put the light-up reindeer in the front garden. Twee? Maybe. But providing it’s tucked behind a tree, it’s fun.

Be bold with colours and dare to be different. Teal, deep reds, copper, gold, orange shades – the rich hues that can be found in winter flowers and foliage.  In this vain, I’ve just bought 24 copper water glasses which are amazing for £1 each. They will sit at my table on Christmas Day amongst the wood, the bark and tiny tea lights; offering a rustic feel. My Christmas this year is natural bark – baccara roses and candles.

But what of corporate Christmas. For me, there are three vital ingredients that contribute to the TLC wow factor in planning the perfect Christmas Party, and are the basis for a successful event – exclusive imagination, individuality and that moment least expected. Let me explain……

Exclusive imagination

Its allowing someone to think out of the box and take a concept and create magic. Here’s an example. A 21st birthday – the girl who still had the magic of youth and wanted Narnia. And Narnia she got.

Set designers descended and built a magnificent wardrobe door. Creatively lit this was the focus as guests drove into the car park. Our Narnia queen guided them in – through a wardrobe of mink coats that touched the sides into a walkway of characters on stilts and a pathway of leaves. As they walked along the path, they turned a corner with two huskies on a sleigh guiding them into Narnia. Continuing their journey through the snow – with snowflakes falling from the ceiling, before eventually arriving in Narnia. Perspex tables with magnificent white birch trees growing out of them, and a multitude of candles against crystal glassware and opaque crockery. A combination of Narnia and a white Christmas. Anticipation, exclamation and exclusive imagination in abundance.

Exclusive imagination – of ideas, of concepts, of entertainment and of venues. Infusing your Christmas event with some exclusive touches can make all the difference. Take this venue, here at Whirlowbrook Hall, as an example. Exclusive hire means you can party here until the early hours without worrying about the DJ upsetting anyone next door. Hire the space, and you are lord and lady of the manor. Dress the space to your own taste and you’re assured of the staff’s full attention – no sharing them with other companies.

When it comes to entertainment – invest in the best. I only work with exclusive entertainers – phenomenal ensemble bands and the best DJs from the continent. Companies will often ask me to just book their Christmas party entertainment because they know that we don’t offer average. My belief is that this is an area where a little more should be invested. When we orgnaise parties and clients ask if we have a DJ for £150, we don’t. You get what you pay for and mixing music is an art in itself.

 

corporate event planners in manchester tlc limited

Related Topic: Can you Host a Christmas Party in January?

Individuality

Individual interpretation is a bit part of planning the perfect Christmas Party. As I said before, you can’t take Christmas out of Christmas, but you can interpret it in a unique style. Take every element of the party and re-imagine it. Food is a great example. We fuse food and theatre to great effect. The rise in informal catering has allowed us to be imaginative. Sushi bars. Gourmet pizza. And a traditional fish and chip van as guests depart. Food stations merging into theatrical props. For a more formal meal – take the traditional Christmas turkey and transform it into individual pies served miniature jugs of gravy on the side. Sticky toffee pudding served in shot glasses. And Christmas pudding – serve as a martini. Yes, it is a cocktail!

My most inspiring moments are honestly on my treadmill every morning. With my eclectic mix on full blast music takes me into a most creative corner where I find the impossible. For a Wizard of Oz inspired party, we offered a 10-foot witch greeting guests – and I mean greeting them. A custom-built animated statue guided them into a wicked inspired set, and then at the appropriate time, the entire wall dropped and there was the yellow brick road. The detail in the room and on the tables was insane, with Perspex tables resting on large ruby red shoes. The entertainment … Diana ross and a serious DJ! Now that’s wow.

Putting your own mark on an event is all about the details.

The moment least expected

This is the greatest wow factor moment planning the perfect Christmas Party. When a wall drops on a drum roll … when pyrotechnics burst into the room to announce employee of the year or when a ceiling drops hundreds of hidden petals when they say, ‘I do’.

Take a festive party for a financial services client. Guests ferried in private cars to a farmer’s field in Surrey [a surprise in itself for the well-dressed guests]. Walking on a purpose-built footpath carved through wintry woodland – and then – a stunning marquee nestled in the landscape and sprinkled with TLC’s winter magic. Oversized frosted trees. A spectacular lighting production bathing the rustic wooden bar and tables in light. This surprise venue created out of a challenge. We scoured the county for the right venue – no luck. When I hit a brick wall, I start digging. If we don’t have a venue – we build one. We hired a farmer’s field and erected a fabulous marquee. We cut back the woodland to create an entrance walkway – placed hundreds of candles along the way and voila! A wow moment for festive party goers that they will remember.

corporate event planners in manchester tlc limited

And let’s not forget one of the most surprising moments at any Christmas party. When the Duke of Cambridge bounds onto a stage to sing Livin’ on a Prayer with Jon Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift. A charity event that I was involved with on just two weeks’ notice. Dr Zhivago inspired. Kensington Palace the venue. The guest list a Who’s Who. The photos of the Prince and the Rock Stars went global.

Exclusive imagination, individuality and the moment least expected…. three of my top tips to planning the perfect Christmas Party.

All well and good you might say – these sound like unlimited budgets. My mantra is that it’s never how much you spend, but how you spend it. If you have £500 to throw into a reception – don’t invest it in an inexperienced and underrated musical act. Invest it in a ten-foot vase filled with an abundance of flower heads that takes the breath away. Or a bar full of festive inspired cocktails served in a milk bottle that oozes dry ice and sustainable branded straws! Paper of course!

planning the perfect Christmas Party

At home, styling can be simple but effective too. Take the festive lunch table. Here’s three different styles you could choose from:

Contemporary Chic

If you are opting for linens, a contemporary feel should use a plain, white, crisp tablecloth as your starting point. Bring your table to life with a gorgeous electric blue silk table runner. Use clear and blue ‘crackled effect’ glassware to enhance the colour scheme. Place tall candles into crystal or glass holders and put chunkier ones straight onto mirrors down the table centre. Dress with frosted ivy, twigs, pinecones and leaves. Crockery and cutlery are always best kept simple with contemporary white linens, so opt for silver or chrome cutlery. Add lots of miniature ‘snowflake’ crystals for sparkle and you’ll have an elegant, contemporary table.

corporate event planners in manchester tlc limited

Downton Inspired

Or go more traditional in planning the perfect Christmas Party – Downton Abbey is influencing styles again with its recent reincarnation at the cinema. Black Watch Tartan linens and deep purple napkins tied with a gold napkin ring. Add some traditional glamour to this look by using gold candelabra on the table, or some of the fabulous deep gold candles now available. The gold in this style should be deep, and rich, not the highly polished commercial look. You are creating a very traditional and slightly vintage feel, so a more burnished gold is better.

 

Handmade or Homemade

Let’s not forget, and TV’s Kirsty Allsopp would be proud of me here, that the ‘handmade’ family Christmas style is still popular. Choose a very simple red gingham cloth and then adorn with homemade décor items. Create a table centre out of a three miniature gingerbread houses filled with chunky candles, or hessian wrapped bowls of nuts, cinnamon sticks, dried oranges and pinecones. It’ll be wonderfully scented. Just add simple tea lights and red napkins tied with raffia to complete the look.

Glassware is something that really shows quality – don’t leave the crystal in the cupboard, get it out and enjoy it! A simple tip is to tie matching Black Watch Tartan ribbon around the stem of each glass; you could even add a delicate sleigh bell for additional tinkle! For a more earthy Christmas style, add a hessian bow to some of the chunkier wine glasses to reflect the less formal feel of the table.

Personalise your table for maximum effect. The first way to do this is with your crackers, which must be quality whether that is bought or homemade. Try using different paper or materials to craft them with personalised gifts inside.

The other key personal touch is your place settings. You could get your children to craft gingerbread name plates with iced names written on top, or simply write names in gold pen onto holly leaves or a plain glass bauble that matches your colour scheme. Simple. Inexpensive.

Christmas parties arranged by the Taylor Lynn Corporation the party planner in Manchester

To conclude

I have said this before, but it’s truer now than ever. After 30 years I get up event morning, decide what diet I am on that day, and then embrace the madness. I love it. I am lucky enough to have worked in my dream job. My team inspire me. My events challenge me still.

2020 marks TLC’s 25th anniversary – a time to reflect, celebrate and innovate. We have plans. Big plans. No sitting on our laurels. We are forging into 2020 with a healthy order book, unlimited imagination and a hunger to take the company to new levels. Bring it on!

www.whirlowbrook.co.uk

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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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