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

Continue reading  
 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.


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/

Continue reading  
 Dec 9th 2019

Alternative Christmas Party Ideas

Alternative Christmas Party Ideas

Not everyone wants an alcohol-fuelled office Christmas party that’s spent dancing the night away. In fact, with an increasing number of teetotallers in the workplace, at TLC we’re often asked for creative Alternative Christmas Party Ideas to the traditional dinner and dance. And in opting for something a little different, there may be opportunities for team bonding that go way beyond the communal office hangover the next morning. Here are our top alternative Christmas party ideas to help you decide:

Have a Party on the Move

First on our list of Alternative Christmas Party Ideas, is simple. There’s no rule that says your Christmas party venue has to be stationary when a traveling party is double the fun. Why not hire your very own Xmas party train and have cocktails and canapes on the go? You could even design the space as the Orient Express, and host a glamorous murder mystery evening.

For a quirky take on the obvious bar crawl provide your team with a traditional red London bus to transport them to different cocktail bars across the capital.

Make the Impossible Happen

Sometimes our clients come to us with something so specific in mind that there isn’t a venue in the world that will live up their dream. So, what do we do? We create it for them!

Perhaps you’d love to whisk your team away for a ski holiday but are constrained by budget – we’ll bring The Alps to you. Just like when we made the impossible happen for a client who’s vision of an exclusive party retreat in the middle of an enchanted forest was proving difficult to locate. We hired an entire field and constructed the forest around it – complete with a magical woodland walkway. We can make your dreams come true too.

Alternative Christmas Party Ideas

Embrace Their Inner Child

Everyone loves party games, but at TLC we do them on a grand scale. Think the world’s largest Scalextric track, giant table football (played with real people) or a real casino where all the guests gamble the night away (with fake money of course).

Alternative Christmas Party Ideas

Set Your Team a Challenge

Escape rooms, themed mysteries, even the Crystal Maze – there are challenge experiences popping up all over the country. This type of Christmas party encourages your team to connect and network, as everyone works together to achieve the end goal.

Why not get out and about with a treasure hunt incorporating a trail of clues to seek out across your city. Fancy something a little more adrenaline fuelled? Ramp up the excitement with a treasure hunt on segways.

Related Topic: Christmas Party Planning Shortcuts

Appeal to their Creative Side

Getting creative is a fantastic way to motivate a team, especially if there’s an element of competition. Why not stage your very own live ‘Bake Off’ challenge; it’s easy to recreate the format complete with a marque in a field if you desire.

If your team has their heart set on boozing, then a cocktail or gin masterclass could be the perfect activity. Why not choose something a bit more unusual like The Bletchley in Chelsea. A fully immersive experience that takes inspiration from the code-breaking operations at Bletchley Park during WWII to create a bespoke cocktail that caters to your unique taste. https://www.thebletchley.co.uk/

Alternative Christmas Party Ideas

Chase the Sun

What could be more energising for your team than jetting off for a weekend in the winter sun. There are lots of locations that enjoy year-round good weather within a 4-7-hour travel time of the UK. Depending on your budget you could take in the heady sights of Morocco, combine toasty temperatures with festive cheer in Dubai or relax and unwind in Cape Verde – where the accommodation also happens to be extremely reasonable. Another alternative would be a cruise around the Canary Islands; an easy-to-reach winter sun haven set against an extraordinary volcanic backdrop. From Paris to New York, Milan to Marrakesh – we’ve created Christmas parties all over the world.

Hire an Amazing Space

The UK has some pretty amazing party venues, many of which we’ve featured on our blog {INSERT LINK}. From Manchester’s Imperial War Museum to the Barbican Conservatory, our major cities have a rich architectural history that is second to none. But for a Christmas party like no other it’s time to get truly creative with your venue.

Seek out a unique event space such as the London Dungeons – here at TLC we love a clash of themes so why not have a frightfully festive and macabre masquerade ball as guests mingle amidst the torture chambers.

And it doesn’t stop there – from aquariums and zoos to rooftop terraces there are thousands of quirky venues. Using one of these inspiring spaces as the backdrop to your Christmas party will make it all the more memorable for your team. What’s more, if you postpone your get together until January you may even be able to take advantage of a quiet time of year and save yourself some money.

Make it a Season of Goodwill

Last on our collection of Alternative Christmas Party Ideas is the act of giving. Not everyone team wants a big party, so keep it low key by going out for a lovely lunch then arrange for your team to do something charitable instead. It is the season of goodwill after all. There are so many charities in need of help at this time of year meaning lots of options to choose from. Some ideas could include delivering parcels to food banks or arranging a get together for the elderly – using your resources to cook Christmas dinner for those who will spend the festive season alone. Warm and fuzzy feelings guaranteed for everyone involved

Continue reading