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Engagement Photos in London

Happy New Year everyone! 2020! A decade behind us and a new exciting decade ahead of us, woo hoo! I hope that everyone had an amazing holiday season and celebrated a lot! For some of you, you may have had a little extra something to celebrate over the holidays, an engagement? Did you know that 40% of proposals take place between Christmas and Valentine’s Day, it makes this season a little extra to celebrate for sure. If you were one of the ones that may have been admiring a new bit of sparkle by the Christmas tree, then a huge congratulations to you!!!

Julie Michaelsen Photography - London Engagement Photos - Rebecca K Events - London Wedding Planner

{Julie Michaelsen Photography}

When couples ask me what to do first when being engaged, my first piece of advice is always to enjoy it! Take this first few weeks to enjoy being engaged, share the news with family and friends, buy some fun wedding magazines and browse ideas and think of the excitement ahead. Take this time to celebrate the big occasion in the future but do not start to stress about details and dress appointments and venue site visits, everything goes by quickly and it should be a fun occasion. One thing I highly recommend to couples during their engagement is to book an engagement photo shoot with their wedding photographer. First off, it is a great trial with you as a couple and the photographer that is going to be with you along every minute of your wedding day. Your engagement shoot is a great time to get comfortable in front of the camera with the photographer. I always recommend to book your hair and makeup trial that day as well so you can test out this before your big day and have a reason to get all dressed up. The second thing is that engagement photos are a great reason to have photos together not in your big white dress and tuxedo. Visit where you first met and have a bottle of wine, walk around your neighbourhood and get photos taken at your local coffee shop, have your photographer capture memorable photos that you will cherish forever as you as a couple and not necessarily on your wedding day, they are such a lovely thing to have.

{Cecelina Photography}

Living in London and planning weddings in London has me a little biased on why getting engagement photos in London is a good idea. I mean for sure, a weekend trip to Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower is not a bad idea either, however, I think if London is a special place to you, then capture the moment here! There are SO many amazing spots to have your photos taken in London! Below I asked some talented and wonderful London wedding photographers for their ideas as well. Enjoy!

{Cecelina Photography}

{Cecelina Photography}

Where is your favorite location to shoot a couples engagement shoot in London?

I think any iconic London spots are perfect for an engagement shoot such as Big Ben (once the scaffolding is off!), Tower bridge, St. Pauls Cathedral, The Albert bridge is really pretty pastel colours…but all the parks are so lovely too! My favourites are Regents Park & Kensington Gardens, it’s actually really lovely to have a mixture of greenery and urban so when I shoot engagements I try to find a place where we can incorporate both. – Julie Michaelsen 

This is the hardest question to answer! There are so many amazing places in London for engagement photos. When I’m doing engagement shoots I like to find out about the kind of things my couples love. If you want iconic London, you can’t go wrong with the Southbank and awalk along the river. Along here you get views of London Eye, St Pauls, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern and all the way down to Tower Bridge. A hidden gem not far from the river is St. Dunstans in The East.
If you’re more of a nature couple then Kew Gardens or Regents Park are beautiful. Another favourite is The Hill Garden & Pergola near Hampstead Heath.
My last fave place is Greenwich, with the market, the park and the historic element this is a lovely part of the city.- Fiona Kelly

Anywhere that connects to their story. A place they had their first date or something to symbolise how they like to spend time together. For example, I had a couple who loved old English pubs, so we did a tour of them! I also photograph several surprise proposals and then we always aim to capture that particular London feeling. I also love historical buildings and London is not short of them! – Cecelina Photography
 

London has so many amazing backdrops to offer. I always speak to my clients first and foremost to see if they have a particular place that is meaningful to them. If they are wanting an iconic London engagement then I’d head down to the river with the London Eye, Big Ben & St Pauls. If they’re wanting to avoid the hussle then I always recommend either Hyde Park or Richmond Park (rude not to have coffee at Petersham Nurseries afterwards!). – Lucy Davenport Photography

Do you recommend a certain time of day to take photos in the city?

Timing is key, especially for the busier spots. I generally recommend early morning for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the light is gorgeous! Soft and flattering with hopefully a lovely sunrise to create even more of a backdrop to wow. Early morning also means there are less people around so you’ll get those landmarks without too many selfie sticks! – Lucy Davenport Photography

I prefer early morning or later in the day for the light. Avoiding midday is preferable from a photography point of view. London is a busy city so the earlier the better for keeping away from the crowds. I have done a number of engagement shoots that start not long after sunrise! It can be a killer getting up, but can be amazing for photos.- Fiona Kelly

The best light is just before sunset or at sunrise (and then it will be empty of people!). This of course varies depending on time of year and what locations we choose. I always make s custom plan with my couples as I know which direction the sun sets so which time of day their particular location will be bathed in the prettiest light. – Cecelina Photography
 

Julie Michaelsen Photography - London Engagement Photos - Rebecca K Events - London Wedding Planner

{Julie Michaelsen Photography}

{Lucy Davenport Photography}

Any tips regarding planning a London engagement photoshoot?

Communication is a massive top tip for planning a London engagement shoot – or any for that matter! Always communicate what is important to you and this goes for your wedding day too.Why are you having an engagement shoot? Some of my couples want practice in front of the camera. Others want to use the engagement images as part of their save the date stationery….is your stationery portrait or landscape? Although I shoot both orientations it is helpful to know what you’ll be needing. I have had a couple use the images as part of their table number decoration too, so for them it was important that I shot in a certain way. – Lucy Davenport Photography

 
I would recommend making sure you book a photographer you trust and whose work you love, let them do their thing and take their advice even if you feel a bit silly during the shoot! The results will be worth it! I would highly recommend you allocate enough time to make sure it isn’t a rushed affair! From a practical perspective I encourage my Brides-to-be to arrive at the engagement shoot after having had a hair & make-up trial (if possible!) as it means that you’ll be able to see how it looks on camera which may be helpful in making some decisions for the big day. A Bride recently decided on an ‘up do’ after a loose blow dry felt unmanageable and went everywhere during our engagement shoot! Even if its not a trial I always tell my brides to invest in hair and make up for the engagement shoot (or at least a blow dry!) its ALWAYS worth the effort and investment! 
 

London is a massive place so to make the most of the time you have you want to plan where to go beforehand. You might not be able to get everything in within a couple of hours, so it may be a case of adding more time to the shoot or being picky about the places you go to. The best thing is to work with your photographer as they can advise on timings. I often work up a few route options for my couples and they choose the one they want based on the places they would like to include.- Fiona Kelly

Dress up and feel fabulous! It’s common to be nervous but it’s not your job to look great – it’s my job as your photographer to create and atmosphere of relaxed fun and make yo move in a way that looks and feels natural. The more you play and enjoy, the more natural your photos will looks, so just go for it! – Cecelina Photography

Any tips of certain things to wear?

I have a Pinterest board I send to my couples with tips on what to wear. I would always recommend to choose clothes you feel fantastic in, that matches the mood we’re going for. To me, there’s no such thing as over dressed! Neutral, muted colours suits my style of photography the best, but we’d also be looking at complementing the time of year and the locations. Also bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes and a warm jacket in case of chilly weather. – Cecelina Photography

Planning your outfits ahead of time is a great idea, my main tip is to try and pick a colour theme which you both stick too but not to the extent that it becomes matchy matchy! Avoid contrasting patterns, and make sure you are comfortable! 
I tell my brides to be to bring a pair of flat shoes if she is wearing high heels for the shoot, so that when we walk to different locations, their feet dont ache!  – Julie Michaelsen 
 

Layers are your best friend during a London engagement shoot…and shoes you can walk in! There is normally a lot of walking during a shoot so wear the comfy footwear and bring another pair to change in to for the photos, if you want. I always advise to dress in a way you feel good but also comfy. Try to avoid too much solid black or white and highly patterned clothes. Layers are great in case you get too warm or too cool and they add a bit of interest to your outfits. – Fiona Kelly

What do I wear is one of the main questions I am asked. I have a Pinterest board which I share with couples which has some great ideas on. Try to avoid clashing colours, and red for example as this is such a strong colour it will attract the viewers eye in every photograph rather than seeing the image as a whole when wearing a softer colour. Avoid stripes! Try to compliment rather than match. I generally say avoid branding as this can look dated in a few years time! I always tell my couples to send me photos of their outfits if they would like my input. Also don’t be afraid to bring a change of outfit! Make sure you communicate that with your photographer though so they can build this into the timeline of your shoot and ensure you have somewhere suitable to change. – Lucy Davenport Photography

 

Thank you SO much ladies for all of the amazing advice! I do love a London engagement session, London elopement or London wedding! The photo opportunities are endless! Looking forward to seeing your amazing photos that will be wonderful memories for years to come!

 

xoxo Rebecca

Rebecca K. Events is a wedding and events company that focuses on planning and designing meaningful and stylish experiences, while allowing our clients to enjoy the excitement ahead and the event themselves. We are based in London and plan events worldwide!

GATHER: A Sparkly Girlfriends Christmas Brunch

The Christmas season is busy and full of cocktail parties and evening get togethers, why not plan a little weekend brunch with your girlfriends and dress up while you are at it! How about a Christmas brunch full of lots of my favorites; pink, gold, sequins, marshmallows, cocktails and gifts for my best girlfriends. A really fun table setting with the addition of some special menu items is the perfect addition to a wonderful Christmas gathering !!!

We made a fun seasonal menu for the morning; Mini eggnog pancakes, breakfast yoghurt parfaits, a mimosa bar cart and little spiked hot chocolate goodie bags. Ask for your girlfriends to dress up and take bits you have around your house and add in some sparkle for the perfect get together for friends during the Christmas season! Cheers! Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you find some time to relax and gather with your nearest and dearest this holiday season! Thank you to the following for helping make this brunch sparkly, lovely and a magical morning! Photography Sanshine Photography | Planning, Flowers & Styling Rebecca K. Events | Sequin Linens Glimmer & Threads | Paper Pretty Jennifer’s Paper | Glassware, Bar Cart, Trays West Elm UK 

This post was originally featured on Style Me Pretty Living. See full post HERE.

Rebecca K. Events is a wedding and events company that focuses on planning and designing meaningful and stylish experiences, while allowing our clients to enjoy the excitement ahead and the event themselves. We are based in London and plan events worldwide!

GATHER : A Pinot & Pie Friendsgiving

Whether it is a 200 person wedding or an evening at home with a few friends, we love to celebrate and gather friends and family together for any occasion. Sometimes the smaller the celebration, the more memorable it may be! As an American living in London for the past seven years I do still miss celebrating Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of every November with my nearest and dearest. While I sometimes get back to the States for the big holiday, I am often here in London celebrating as well. Last year I decided to gather a group of friends for a little different Thanksgiving celebration. I hosted a reason to gather, an evening with friends to drink wine and eat pies, a Friendsgiving Pinot & Pie celebration. To GATHER, to give thanks for everything that we have and everything ahead during the Christmas season, done in style with bubbly and sweets! 

How gorgeous are these mini pumpkin pies that the pastry chef at Benugo created for us! The little pie leaves on the top are precious and they were delicious! 

To add a little personalisation to the table I had Judy Broad Calligraphy create placemats and wine glasses especially for the occasion.  I think I now want to have custom calligraphy placemats at every get together I host! 
GATHER. CELEBRATE. DRINK. EAT. BE MERRY! In this busy season it is often hard to find time to get together, so put something in the diary with your nearest and dearest and enjoy! As a London wedding planner I love the big soirees but I also love the small!

 

Thank you to the following for making this celebration come to life! { photographer Lydia Stamps | pies Benugo UK |calligraphy Judy Broad Calligraphy    | Flowers Bloomologie | Styling, planning, chairs, tables Rebecca K. Events }

 

Rebecca K. Events is a wedding and events company that focuses on planning and designing meaningful and stylish experiences, while allowing our clients to enjoy the excitement ahead and the event themselves. We are based in London and plan events worldwide!

Real London Weddings : Katie & Vey

When a couple comes to you and describes their wedding day as wanting to be fun, non traditional, pops of colour and a celebration, you know it is going to be a fun day! Katie and Vey came to me after selecting their venue at the Bingham Riverhouse but not knowing where to start with styling it and creating the playful, fun day they wanted to create. They had recently welcomed their second little one into their lives and the idea of planning their wedding day with flowers and details and decor was more then they could handle, which was a PERFECT reason to bring in a wedding planner and stylist! All I can say is, they were beyond a joy to work with. An intimate ceremony at the absolutely stunning Octagon Room in the Orleans Gallery , a boat ride along the Thames, drinks in the Garden followed by the party inside the newly refurbished Riverhouse Riverside room, oh and lets not forget an afternoon full of party activities for the little ones supplied by the wonderful  The Little Top I think the day was the perfect mix of family, friends, celebration and fun!

The couple encouraged their guests to wear sunny colourful shades on the wedding day. The lovely citrus hued bridesmaid dress was the perfect colour for their day! You know it is going to be a fun wedding when the couple asks the designer to sketch a custom Llama couple on their programs! Jennifer’s Paper you brought their brief to life!

Bubblegum Balloons and Bloomologie colloborated for the perfect photo backdrop in the garden. A bright and colourful bench that incorporated their colour scheme perfectly. 

The newly refurbished River Room had a POP of colour with the change of linens, glassware and flowers that we added. A little touch of details and it was colourful without being too bright! And how about the great new chairs at the venue, I love these! Bloomologie created gorgeous meadows that we added to the ceremony and then added throughout the dinner which were perfect summery and cheerful!

To add a bit of fun we tied the escort cards on a “bird tree”, which most guests ended up clipping to their attire for the day as a fun accessory. Because the kids were a huge part of the day, we decided to add a fun element to their escort card and gave them tambourines which they shook as the Bride and Groom entered the reception. They were a fun takeaway gift for kids at the end of the day as well! 

See, the kids activities were even enjoyed by the adults! Hello adorable pink guitar!

When a client tells you their sister will make the cake you sometimes question what will arrive, however this one was ACE! Look at the gorgeous watercolour cake that the brides sister created for big day, so sweet! And the lovely Clare with Little Bear Cakery    added on some beautiful and delicious desserts to bring the entire dessert table together. It was an abundance of treats for everyone!

Thank you to Katie and Vey for having me be a big part of your wedding day. It was such a pleasure! Oh …..and did I mention the bride wore pink. Not just a smidge, a cloud of pink tulle that was fab!

xo Rebecca

 

A huge thank you to everyone involved in making it a special day! Planning & Styling Rebecca K. Events | Photography We Heart Pictures |Paper Design Jennifer’s Paper | Florist Bloomologie | Balloons Bubblegum Balloons | Cake by Sister | Desserts Little Bear Cakery  | Hair & Makeup Kylie McMichael  | venue Bingham Riverhouse | Kids Entertainment The Little Top 

 

Rebecca K. Events is a wedding and events company that focuses on planning and designing meaningful and stylish experiences in and around London, while allowing our clients to enjoy the excitement ahead and the event themselves. We are based in London and plan events worldwide

Weddings at 116 Pall Mall

A few months ago I made the announcement on Instagram about the very exciting partnership I have at an amazing London wedding venue. I can not believ I never got around to sharing it over here. With a busy summer schedule of events, things just flew by! Below I am sharing a little bit about the wonderful partnership that I have at 116 Pall Mall, a classic and gorgeous London events and wedding venue! The location is fabulous, the venue is grand and lovely, it truly is such a gem in the city for a wedding and I am excited that Rebecca K. Events is a part of it. {Photo by Cecelina Photography}

116 Pall Mall is a beautiful London wedding venue located in the centre of the city, right near the Mall heading to Buckingham Palace. This venue offers so many options for spaces both inside and outside for a wedding and I am excited to be planning and styling lovely couples big day at this historic London gem. So you may be wondering, does Rebecca K. Events plan events in other venues now, yes yes yes we do! If you confirm your wedding at 116 Pall Mall we are the in house planning and styling team that will be able to assist you with adding the details to your big day, coordinating all of the suppliers and adding the unique touches to make it personal to you.

{photo by Helen Warner Photography}{Photo by Claire Graham Photography}

There is a big difference of being an onsite wedding coordinator and an independent wedding planner and designer. Often when you book your wedding at a venue the inhouse coordinator will be selling and servicing many other events and will not have the time to focus on the special touches that makes your day special for you. This is where we come in! We will show you the venue and discuss which spaces work best for what you are looking for. Once you contract at the venue we are there to assist with suggesting suppliers that fit your budget and style, create dedicated style boards to your look and coordinate the day for you from start to finish. We will be there when you arrive until you start to dance and allow you to relax all day long while we style your day just right. We are lucky to  have such a wonderful team behind us at the venue that helps put it all together. Together we  make it all perfect while Rebecca K. Events gives it the bit more attention to detail that a wedding couple is looking for.

{Photo by Cecelina Photography}

{Photo by Claire Graham Photography}

{Photo by Claire Graham Photography}{Photo by Cecelina Photography}

{photo by Helen Warner Photography}

Cakes or macaron towers. Sparkly table linens or in house table linens. Going with the wedding package or putting together a bespoke wedding proposal for you. We can help with all of these items and be there with you to plan a memorable, stress free and detailed wedding day at 116 Pall Mall{photo by Helen Warner Photography}

Do you want to come in and look around the space? Contact us and we would love to show you around the venue and chat about your big day! I will be sharing a venue visit post really soon with details on this gem of a building! So looking forward to hearing from you soon and showing you how we could personalise your wedding day at 116 Pall Mall!

Rebecca K. Events is a wedding and events company that focuses on planning and designing meaningful and stylish experiences, while allowing our clients to enjoy the excitement ahead and the event themselves. We are based in London and plan events worldwide

Behind The Scenes RKE : End of Summer Picnic Party

With the official end of the summer last week, it made me start to reminisce about the sunny long days and all of the busy and exciting events that we got up to at Rebecca K. Events these past few months. It truly was a busy summer with weddings, birthdays and bat mitzvahs planned and executed in and around London. We helped some amazing clients celebrate unforgettable occasions and couldn’t be happier with how they turned out! Working in a business that is all about celebrating and is so very full on and non stop, we decided to take a little time out and celebrate personally and enjoy the summer time. Often I find myself wanting to plan a big extravaganza with lots of decor and details, because that is what I do, right! Well, myself, the lovely Jennifer with Jennifer’s Paper and the oh so talented Lucy Davenport decided to get together one afternoon to catch up and have a small summer picnic party that was more then just something thrown together, but also not a lavish affair. Let me tell you, celebrating every day no matter how big or small are truly memories that we will never forget. I am so glad that we decided to embrace the season, pour a G&T, gather our kids together and just enjoy celebrating!

No matter how busy work gets, take a little time to break out the picnic blanket and gather your friends, your little ones, your family and celebrate the fun in getting together! Cocktails in a bottle, biscuits in a basket, ice cream and adorable little cups, make it fun. Find a reason to party, why not, the work on your desk will always be waiting!

xoxo – Rebecca

{photos by Lucy Davenport Photography | Planning Rebecca K Events | Paper Products Jennifer’s Paper

 

Rebecca K. Events is a wedding and events company that focuses on planning and designing meaningful and stylish experiences, while allowing our clients to enjoy the excitement ahead and the event themselves. We are based in London and plan events worldwide.

 

Venue Visits : Kimpton Fitzroy London

Rebecca K Events - London Wedding Planner - Kimpton Fitzroy

London. Oh this city that we live and work in and love! We share a lot of amazing places in London over on our instagram account that we love, but we thought it might be a good idea to start sharing them with you in a little more detail over here on the blog. I feel that sometimes people forget about London as an actual destination spot for weddings and events. Clients will often start looking at English Countryside Manors   or even locations throughout Europe or farther and forget about the amazing city that they live in, grew up in or maybe even got engaged in! Now do not get me wrong, we LOVE these other areas, but being that we are located here in London, we do have a little bit of a special place in our heart for London venues and know that there are so many gems.

First up is the “new kid”on the block, the amazing Kimpton Fitzroy London. I visited this gorgeous property last week and honestly, well I can not stop thinking about so many reasons why I love it. Continue reading for so many images and some of my top favourites of why to host an event here!

Kimpton Fitzroy London - Rebecca K Events

Location: Russell Square, London. Located in Central London a few minutes walk from Russell Square underground station makes it simple for guests to find and explore the city. Located in the Bloomsbury area of London there are many museums and restaurants surrounding the hotel area. A perfect central London spot!

Maximum Guest Capacity: You can fit a maximum of 200 guests in the ballroom which is pretty lovely!

Prices: Per person rates start at £120

The Kimpton Fitzroy London  dates back to 1898. After closing the hotel and finishing an £85 million renovation, the hotel opened as a Kimpton property in 2018. There are SO many amazing options to eat and drink in throughout the hotel and lets not forget the photo opportunity, it is full of amazing design oh and did I mention, the ballroom also has windows with natural daylight, that’s a HUGE deal!

Reasons We Love It Here:

This mosaic astrology floor at the bottom of the main staircase is epic. What a gorgeous place to have photos taken!

There are four amazing options onsite for drinks and dining that are all fabulous. You and your guests can dance the night away in the ballroom and then reserve an area at the awesome bar Fitz’s for a toast to the evening!

The restaurant Neptune is such a stylish space for a modern wedding couple. Something a bit different but if you are looking for something interesting, a buy out of the space can be AMAZING in this setting!

The Ballroom is grand but also its gorgeous and white. Why does that get us excited? Well, it allows so many different themes and designs to fit well in the space. High ceilings and natural light on one wall, the ballroom rocks.

Palm Court. Ok, lets have every meeting in this space forever. How about a rehearsal dinner under the trees, or a post wedding brunch, sigh, you are inside, but you feel as if you are in a lovely garden!

With so many different options in venues, we love that the reception spaces in this property are in a hotel! Your guests can dance the night away and wander upstairs to their beautiful newly renovated room without having to arrange transportation home.

Rebecca K Events - London Wedding Planner

The Kimpton Fitzroy is a modern and grand place to host your party! We love it and would love to work with you there! Let us know if you want to sit down and talk about plans, we would love to meet you. Contact here! xoxo – Rebecca

Did you enjoy this post? Pin it on your Pinterest board to remember the details!

{Photo from  Exterior Hotel: Travel Daily Media , Ballroom Set Up: David Michael Bradford , Photos from Rebecca K. Events Instagram , Neptune Photo from Business Traveller }

 

Tabletop Tuesday : Galentines 2019

Designing event table decor is truly something I LOVE to do. Normally the table is where your guests spend the majority of the event, whether it is a London wedding, birthday dinner or any other special occasion. If you have seated your guests at tables, they will most likely be sitting down for awhile, so why not make the space beautiful and interesting. Starting this week we are going to begin a new blog feature on Tuesday Tabletops, showcasing ideas for your next event or inspiration on how we created one of ours. First up this week is Galantines 2019!

Galentines London - London Party Planner

Venue: 116 Pall Mall Wine Bar

Event Brief: Galentine’s 2019 Wine Tasting #GalentinesLDN An evening for female London wedding professionals to meet up and celebrate their accomplishments over the past year, get excited for the upcoming year, meet new connections in the London event world and catch up with old “gals”. Hosted by us at Rebecca K. Events and Jennifer’s Paper  we decided on an evening to indulge ourselves with nice food, good company and good wine with a professionally led wine tasting.

Table Design: The evening was set up in the wine cellar within the wine bar. We chose a moody and glamorous color scheme with a POP of color. Navy blue was our base colour and what we used to set the table with. We then layered on shades of berries and gold and a pop of neon pink.

Food Details: We wanted to encourage guests to mingle so we set sharing platters in the centre of the long table and then served each guests their own indiivudal cheese platter which they then were able to take home as a gift. Something small, but it was a fun gift and guests love a little personalisation!

Lighting: Luckily the lovely 116 Pall Mall allows real candles {which I always believe is SO lovely!} so we added gold votives and lots of pink shades of dinner candles in gold holders. Dim lighting, candle light, easy and always lovely.

Table Setting: Use your napkin to make the color POP. This is where we brought in the hot pink napkin and added the guests place card in navy. Berry coloured ribbons {always love ribbons and ribbons and ribbons!} added a shade on the wine tasting tags! The gold cutlery added a bit of glamour to the table and I always recommend to hire something different as it truly does transform your table!

Flowers: Working with the lovely Ali at Bloomologie  we designed a look that was glamorous and girly, sticking with the Galantines theme, but not too girly girly, more wine and women! For a statement piece and easier to make conversation with, Ali added the flowers raised and then sprinkled smaller arrangements running down the table. Mixing in sprays of gold “Greenery”was a gorgeous and easy rich touch.

Galentines - London Party Planner
Galentines – London Party Planner – Photo By Cecelina Photography
Galentines - London Party Planner
Galentines – London Party Planner – Photo By Cecelina Photography

US weddings vs. UK weddings

Being an American wedding planner living and working in London, I was obvisouly super excited around the Royal Wedding festivities this past month in the UK! I myself got married in London and when I moved here, there were certainly a few customs here that I was not familiar with back in the States. Weddings happening during breakfast, the groom facing the alter, where are all of the cocktails before dinner? A few weeks back, I was asked by Forbes magazine on some of my thoughts on differences between US weddings vs. UK weddings. You can read the entire article HERE. Below are a few of my thoughts on a few of them. I wonder what Meghan thought about this, did she see the differences. Well, I mean, hers was a royal affair, so arriving to Windsor Castle was a different event all by itself!

Are you an American bride getting married in the UK, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts if you have found some traditions different. Are you a UK bride that likes some of the American traditions? Get in touch, let me know!

The biggest surprise for me about planning English weddings?

The Evening Guests – I was really surprised at how common it was to have additional guests invited to the evening reception that were not invited to the ceremony OR the dinner. At first I thought this was only at if you were trying to stay on a strict budget but became surprised that a mix of couples have evening guests and will make that portion cash bar. I have come to learn that a lot of couple want to keep the ceremony and their main reception a bit more intimate with friends and family they have known for years and then in the evening, create more of a party feel with possibly newer friends from work or that they have met more recently, which is where the evening guests join.

 The Wedding “Package”-  I find this more common here in the UK. I would describe my planning as very not package. I customise everything for my clients from the invites, the drinks, the furniture guests sit on, the waitstaffs uniforms, etc. so often I do not believe a package from caterer or venue will work.  I found it quite common in the states that brides were looking to customise EVERYTHING. Name and personalise the drinks on arrival, create specialty table linen for the dinner, create a menu that included bespoke items from places they travelled together etc. This being said, the past six years I have been here in London, I do think that this is changing a lot  in the UK and I have seen UK brides changing a lot. Maybe this is influenced by the blogs and magazines, but people are getting more and more unique and less of just what their sister did.

No Speaking for the Ladies – The ladies often do not speak. When in the States it is quite common for both the maid of honour AND the best man to give a speech, here in the UK it is common for only the fathers and the best man to give a speech, sorry ladies. Often the speech is a bit more of a roast I have found then a sentimental speech, but it is always different really. I was so happy to hear that Meghan Markle have a short speech at their wedding. It was their day, if you want to, thank your guests for being part of the day and say a few words!

Who Is Paying – It is very common for the Bride to pay for the bridal parties dresses unlike in the US, if that happens it is QUITE nice but not usually common.

Abby Jiu Photo - Rebecca K Events - London Wedding Planner

Drinks – My experience I have found is that in the States it is common to have cocktail hour before dinner and actual cocktails are served. It is very popular and has become common over the years to serve a couple of themed drinks along with with wine and bubbly during the reception. In the UK I have found that usually it is only bubbly offered for the first hour, no wine or beer, just bubbly and non alcoholic. While it is changing I still see this to be the most common. This also goes with the post dinner reception/dancing, the bar is often wine and beer and sometimes a cash bar. In the US it is quite common for a couple to offer mixed drinks.

Where You Can Get Married – In the US you can really have your wedding anywhere! You see a pretty field and want to have your wedding ceremony there, great. In the UK I was surprised on how strict the laws are about what area you can get married in and that it must be licensed. However, there are ways around this. A lot of couples will have a smaller ceremony at the registrars office and then say their vows in front of guests on their wedding day with a celebrant, this is a great way to say I Do with your nearest and dearest around.

UK Traditions I Love!

Hats – I LOVE that it is common in the UK for women to wear fascinators or hats to a wedding! The guests at the royal wedding embraced it in style and it was fabulous!

The Length of the Wedding – I think UK weddings tend to last longer and celebrate longer. It is common in the UK to have a ceremony at Noon or 1:00pm and party until 200am when in the US ceremonies sometimes do not start until 3pm or 4pm and the party will end at midnight.

Confetti – LOVE that showering the newlyweds with confetti as they exit their ceremony is common in the UK. There are HUNDREDS of stores that specialise in selling only wedding confetti, crazy. However, I love this tradition!
Abby Jiu - Rebecca K Events

 

Garden Weddings – I do love when couples mention they are having their reception in their parents garden. As an American you picture a small cute garden, intimate and nice. It usually ends up being in a LARGE marquee in their parents huge back yard of their gorgeous English manor home. We love this!

The term “Wedding Breakfast”
Wedding Breakfast. Wow, so many clients were requesting to have their reception during breakfast. A brunch reception, I thought that was the coolest idea to be so common. No. That was a new one for me. The term wedding breakfast can be used even if the meal is in the evening. The term actually comes from the meaning that the couple would be fasting before the wedding ceremony and the meal after was the first meal together and the first meal of their day, the Wedding Breakfast.

Continue reading “US weddings vs. UK weddings”

Inspiration to Celebration : A Royal Elopement

I love sharing the inspiration behind an event, a wedding, a party or a photoshoot. I love sharing the ideas that went into creating the finished product so that you can see all of the details that inspire us along the way. From fabrics, flowers, interiors, fashion, celebrities, stories, travel, there are SO many things that I see every day that inspire me to create an event. As an American wedding planner living in London, this shoot in particular was such a fun one to put together!Coming to Wedding Chicks today and with the Royal Wedding tomorrow, this is the perfect time to share.

Rebecca K Events - London Wedding Planner

It was such a wonderful story to colloborate on. I created a group of suppliers that were all very excited about the idea and could see the vision so well, which is what doing a styled shoot is all about. I wanted to create something pretty and fresh, but not to feminine and nothing to trendy. The gorgeous room at 10-11 Carlton Terrace inspired me to use robins egg blue with touches of yellow and black, white and gold. From the flowers to the details of the stationery, the above mood board I created helped guide me through my creative process when I planned.

Ali with Bloomologie UK couldn’t have created something more perfect with the flowers. For all of my events whether a birthday party or a wedding, I like to incorporate meaningful details, as well as making it pretty. I had put together a story behind everything from Meghan’s bouquet to the table arrangement. Meghan is initially from sunny California, where the state flower is a poppy, these were sprinkled throughout many areas. The daffodil is a symbol of Wales and Harry is the Prince of Wales, there are just a few in yellows and whites popping throughout, a bit of a secret. The gorgeous english roses are Englands country flower, the rose, which is ofcourse hugely important to Harry but also the two of them will call home and be such a huge part of their together.  Ali also incorporated fresh blossoms that bloom frequently around Kensington Palace, their new home together and the season of Spring, when they are getting married.

Rebecca K Events - London Wedding Planner - Cecelina Photography

{photo by Cecelina Photography

When it came to a meal together, I thought breakfast was the perfect selection. In the UK you often refer to the meal your guests have after the ceremony as the Wedding Breakfast, even if it is served in the afternoon. The meaning of this is that it is the first meal together as husband and wife and most people would fast before their wedding ceremony that would take place at church, so the first meal together would be breaking the fast. The idea that Harry & Meghan could enjoy a beautiful morning together eating a mix of American pancakes and local Windsor eggs and breads was a dreamy idea to me. All of this happening before the city was really awake. We didn’t leave out a cake or Champagne and made sure that we marked the special occasion with a petite wedding cake that Claire Owens Cakes beautifully designed with flowers that reflected all of the touches in the bouquets I mentioned above.

There were so many lovely touches that came together and Cecelina Photography captured it all beautifully! I will share all of the details with you in a few weeks. It was a gorgeous idea to create. Now, I don’t know about you, but I am so excited to see what they truly do for their big day, this was a lovely idea but I think they may have a little bigger celebration in the works.

xo Rebecca

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