Mar 19th 2020

March 2020: Coronavirus Update

In the current unprecedented circumstances, and putting the health and wellbeing of our team first, we have temporarily relocated to home working.  The TLC team will be working on our events for later this year and are available on the following numbers from 9.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday:

Liz Taylor – or 07799843748

Ellie Barnes – or 07772489835

Lauren Worsley – or 0779 368 3450

Jess Randall – or 07930341660

Frankie Lyons – or 07754 790 799


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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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