Hey All!

I hope all is well with everyone?!

During our crazy but wonderfully successful July of weddings, i’m sure you all saw but we did a particularly beautiful wedding at the fantastic Trinity Buoy Wharf in London. It was a long exciting day with many elements and cultural traditions,many of which were new to me, but were all befitting of the theme of the day and designed to bring two families together. This got me thinking about wedding traditions in general and more specifically the tradition of speeches. The best man at the London wedding came out with a corker of a speech, which certainly competes as a contender as one of my all time favourites! But what made it so good? What made me howl with laughter, shed a small tear and towards the end even join!? Well that is a question! Now I’m not going to go into the details of what you should write in a speech, but rather how to choose who should give a speech and broadly delve into how the tradition of speech giving can be interpreted to suit your wedding day!

Who should give a speech at your wedding?

Photos: http://www.polkadotbride.com, http://www.breakfastwithadam.com/, http://ianmartinphotography.com/

In English Tradition there are three core members of the wedding party who have to give a speech…

The Father of the Bride – A speech full of cute stories of his little girl, talking about her life, her achievements, imparting words of wisdom and finishing up with a tear jerking statement on how he couldn’t wish for a better husband for his daughter; it’s all very emotional.

The Groom himself – His speech is full of light jokes, talking of his love for his ‘new wife’ (queue small cheer) and of course doing the long list of thanks (including the wedding planner! ;-)).

The best man – There’s pressure on the best man, as the expectations are high to tactfully make jokes (at the Groom’s expense!) and hopefully to the great amusement of the entire (usually diverse) wedding party, a tall order!

Most bases are generally covered with the above three and don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad format, but what about your mum? Or the bride? I think the people who really want to speak should and shouldn’t feel constrained by tradition. However that doesn’t mean you should let any Tom, Dick or Harry who wants to speak do so, the wedding day is only so long! Four should be the limit really, just don’t feel resigned to have to follow tradition, speak to those special people in your life you want to hear from on your wedding day and take it from there.

The above tradition only really covers a heterosexual arrangement, as most traditions tend to do, however with an increase in the number of men marrying other men and women marrying other women, new structures to the wedding speeches and the wedding day as a whole are being thought of. Gay grooms are asking their Mother’s to give them away, Lesbian couples are taking to the aisle together, new conventions are being sought and it’s wonderful! I would like to see Mother’s of the groom giving a speech or the Best Maid of Bridesman stepping up to the mic! This shouldn’t just be within the gay community where couples are inciting change, but with anyone getting married! Have who you want to have join in with the important parts of your wedding day, don’t feel shoehorned into a tradition if it isn’t what you truly want.

Now back from that small tangent and onto what makes for a good speech! Obviously the person you choose to make the speech is immediately going to set the tone, and as mentioned above make sure it is someone you want to make a speech. If you are looking forward to what someone is going to say from the off you are going to be in the frame of mind to enjoy it more! That doesn’t mean you should pick your most theatrical member of the family or that friend who has the perfect radio voice, sure they would give a good speech because they are good speakers, but it isn’t the person you want to hear from, so even if they have a stutter or lisp, speak a different language or even do it through charades! That’s fine, because it is the person you want to hear speak at your wedding! You can always get tools to help them… subtitles, translator, mime?

The other thing that makes for the setup of a good speech is timings, both length of each speech but also where they fall in the day. The length of speech is an easy one, roughly 5 minutes per speech is a great guide we work to! Timings of when to do the speeches are pretty flexible, we’ve done many different formats;

  • One speech between each course
  • A speech at the reception drinks
  • The Groom’s speech before the wedding breakfast, followed by the other’s after the main
  • All speeches just before desert
  • Or all speeches after the meal
  • One for the more extravagant is to not have any speeches on the wedding day at all, but instead to have them all at rehearsal dinner the night before, with your very nearest and dearest present

There’s no set rule here and as every wedding day is different, you will find what suits, but my suggestion… don’t have them all at once, spread them out, savour them. It will allow for a better flow of the day and if I can be so bold to say… it will stop people from getting bored!

Right, I think I have rambled on long enough! I will leave you with this though… it is your day, don’t be afraid to make the choices you want to make because of tradition, the choice is always yours!

Love Bertie x

 

HelloHello!

Here at Matthew Oliver we are gearing up for an incredibly busy month of Weddings from London to Loire (Valley) and a few places in between! But before we jump into full on planner mode I wanted to tick this off my ‘to-do’ list and write a few (hundred) words to you lovely people!

We like to ask the hard questions here at Matthew Oliver and the question of who pays for what at a wedding is undoubtedly a hard one! Being the quintessentially English folk we are! That being said, ambiguity in this area doesn’t do anyone any favours, so it is (however difficult) something that you need to ensure everyone is on the same page with. So let’s see if I can help point you in the right direction for what’s expected!

Tradition dictates parents of the bride pay for the wedding, which while lovely for grooms parents, wholly unfair for the bride’s parents, making it a pretty ridiculous tradition! These days it tends to be much more sensible, with both sets of parents wanting to help out their children and there’s nothing wrong with that, but watch out for any potential pitfalls and caveats! All to often, and I imagine mostly unintentionally, that ‘contribution’ ends up with them believing they have bought the right to a say at your wedding. This needs to be avoided at all costs, as although we all love our parents, it is your day and should be what you and your other half have dreamt up, no one else. This includes all aspects of the day, but most specifically the guest list; have who you want at your wedding, the faces you want to have smiling at you whilst you stroll down the aisle and waltz your first dance. Now I know it’s all well and good me writing this (sat in bed whilst being harassed by an Irish Setter), because money is money and weddings are expensive, but sit down with your parents and have a serious chat about what the money means and whether it is unconditional. Should the conversation not go the way you want, then you and your partner need to have a serious chat about whether you want to accept the money with the potential stress it brings, or whether you can do without it. Either way make sure you have this conversation as you could regret it later on.

Hmmm getting a bit serious here aren’t we! Rest assured this certainly isn’t the norm! But it is something to think about.

The other day I got asked the question about Groomsmen attire and who pays for it, an excellent question as to be fair it often is a grey area, but let’s see if we can shed some light! First off, simply, if you have the money within the wedding budget to buy your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen’s outfits, then do so! Makes things easier and you’ll be a hero (high fives all round!). If (and this is more likely) the budget is a bit tighter and requires further thought on whether the budget can be made to stretch that little bit further, maybe these two points can help you make the decision:

  • If you want your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen to wear one specific outfit, which you have picked for each of them because it fits with your wedding theme, then I would expect you to buy this outfit for them.
  • If you have a rough idea of what you would like them to wear, but do not mind if it is something specific, such as all Bridesmaids in a pale blue dress and Grooms in a Navy suit, but you don’t mind shades or styles, then it would be acceptable for you to ask them to provide the outfit themselves. Though do be happy with whatever they turn up in!

Whatever your choice (click here for inspiration!), make sure to have the discussion with each member of the wedding party to ensure everyone is happy with the decision and is on the same page! It’s all about the communication!

Transport? Now that’s one I prepared earlier! Read here…

Honeymoon? Look I’ve got that one sorted also! Read here…

The last one I want to talk about can often see the Groomsmen turning into Divas! It is of course Wedding hair and makeup! Aha! In all seriousness it can sometimes cause a lot of wedding morning confusion in the Bridal camp and even delay the day, which cannot happen! If you are happy to pay for a number of the wedding party to get their hair and makeup done, that is great! Usually I would say the Bridesmaids and the Mothers would have their hair and makeup done, alongside the bride, with it all being paid for. The key part here is making sure everyone knows who is and who isn’t getting their hair and makeup done. Also making sure there is the right number of staff do those people in the time available. What you really have to avoid, is anyone not down to get theirs done, popping up on the day, causing a drama and a delay. Unacceptable.

Talking to your friends and family about money can be seen as a bit taboo, which is ridiculous as it is an important element to planning your wedding. Talking to them ensures there is no confusion, everyone knows where they stand and you hopefully achieve every wedding planners goal; A flawless wedding.

Right, I think that will do as my words of wisdom for the week! I’m off to harass the dog, have a wonderful day!

Love Bertie x

 

Bonjour lovely people, how are you all doing?  Any lovely weddings happening this weekend?  Do tell us what your plans are?

I’m sure most of you can relate to my #fridayfeeling today – ‘Your Speed Doesn’t Matter, Forward is Forward!’

Matthew Oliver International Wedding Planner

Image credit – The Latest Kate

For me I have daily tasks and when I don’t complete them I get very anxious and annoyed at myself for not pushing myself further, but I’ve realised recently that whatever you complete in a day/week/year you should be happy with, as you’ve done something, even if you feel it’s a small thing.  Just think of it like this, the task you did instead of your days to-do list is now out of the way, which is one tick of your list, even if it wasn’t the tick you were expecting.  It is still something!

Distractions are my worst nightmare, but I’m going to embrace them!

What I’m trying to say is just give yourself credit for what you’ve achieved and don’t be let down/stressed if you didn’t do what you wanted!  I’m a complete sucker for letting myself down on this and today I’m actually feeling like this, hence why I’ve used this as my #fridayfeeling!

Forward is forward and we can do it, even if it’s going to be a long journey!

Thanks for popping by and loads of love,

Matthew Oliver

International Wedding Planner xx

 

Hello All!

I hope the week is going well for most? Me? I’m Great! This week I have one question… How do you entertain those guests with a limited attention span?! Well there are a few options out there, some of which we’ve planned as part of a Matthew Oliver Wedding and others I’ve just happened across and thought… ‘LOVE IT!’.

Welly Tossing – I came across this one last year, whilst as a guest at a friends wedding. It was a stunning day at the Bride’s family farm and plonked on wooden stakes, alongside the wonderfully befitting marquee, were a collection of wellies… Now I don’t pretend to be an overly high achiever in the sporting realm, but I won’t deny that I have a competitive streak (who doesn’t!?!), either way the game was on. Stepping up to my welly of choice, I lobbed it with all the might I could muster… and you’ll never guess what! I only bloody well threw it the furthest! Yes, there may have been a particularly strong gust at that very moment (if I’m being honest!), but it doesn’t negate the fact that this quintessentially British activity (however bizarre) served as a highlight for me, on what was a beautifully thought out day.

Matthew Oliver Weddings

Image Credit: Lola Rose Photography & Matthew Oliver Weddings

Zorbing – Last weekend Matthew Oliver Weddings took on the delightful task of a Chinese meets English Garden themed wedding, at the fantastic Ston Easton Park (photos coming your way soon!). As part of the day the couple wanted zorbing, and zorbing is what they got! Regrettably I was unable to attend the actual day and so missed out on the zorbing craziness (sad times), however I am told it went down a storm! If you want to know more on this one, you’re going to have to give Matthew a shout.

Table Icebreakers – If you’re looking for something a little more personal and low-key, table icebreakers could be the way to go. It’s also a great excuse to get some more wedding stationery into the day! The idea is simple, questions on the table for your guests to ask each other about the wedding couple, it hopefully prompts some delightful stories, allowing your guests to get to know each other and learn each other’s connection to the special couple.

Matthew Oliver Weddings

Image Credit: mattandrewsphotography.com & Finer Details

Hot Air Balloon – This is a marvellous idea and brilliant if the weather is just right and your venue has the space for it. It truly is a site to see, having a hot air balloon moored at your reception drinks, with guests having the ability to go up in the balloon, whilst tethered, seeing the wedding from above and the surrounding area. I will add a warning to this one however, we planned for this to be part of a Matthew Oliver Wedding last year, however due to high winds it wasn’t possible to have on the day (sad times all round). So if you were planning on this option (and you should definitely should!) maybe keep it as a surprise for your guests, just in case!

Bandeoke – I must confess I love this idea… and I say ‘idea’ because I have never done on been to a wedding which has had bandeoke (if you’re not sure what it is, Google it!). That is until this year, next month one of my close friends is having bandeoke at her wedding and I can-not-wait! As Matthew (and probably our neighbours) will attest… I love singing and I do it constantly (that’s me in the pic below)! So to sing in front of a live band, under the premise of karaoke (so low expectations) is ideal. Additional bonus is it’s a two for one; wedding band and guest activity/participation. I’ll let you know how I get on next month!

Matthew Oliver Weddings

Image Credit: Matthew Bates & Katelyn James Photography

Balloon Paint wall – Stumbling across this, whilst doing a tiny amount of research for this article, it immediately jumped out as a truly unique idea. The idea being you fill different balloons with different coloured paint, affix the balloons to a large canvas/board, get your guests to lob darts at the balloons, creating wonderful art! If you don’t get what I mean, see picture for a little more context! Obviously this can only really be set up in a controlled environment, where it doesn’t matter if things get a bit messy, but the statement of it will truly wow your guests and get them thinking ‘that’s a great idea!’. The bonus bit is you get a truly unique momentum of your wedding, created by the best people in your lives.

Matthew Oliver Weddings

Image Credit: Unknown :(

Bouncy Castle – We all grew up wishing for a bouncy castle birthday or at the very least an invite to your friends birthday who had promised a bouncy castle; and for good reason… they’re awesome! Though as you grow older people start to imply that the notion of an adult wanting a bouncy castle is somehow immature… those people are wrong. It is completely acceptable to want a bouncy castle and what better excuse than on your wedding day! All you need is a relatively flat area and friends/family with a willingness to let out their inner child, simple! We’ve got a French wedding next month where they are doing just that, I can’t wait to see the pictures!

So there you go, some ideas I particularly love on what activities you can add to your wedding day, to make it that extra bit more enjoyable for you and all attending. Sorry for rambling on some points there, but hey-ho! I would love to know of any unusual activities you’ve had or are having for your wedding, so feel free to send them over (bertie@matthewoliver.co.uk)! In the meantime I will wish you all a happy end of week!

Love Bertie x

 

Matthew Oliver Weddings

Source: 4lovepolkadots.com/,Jessica Haley Photography, weddingbycolor.com

So you’ve gone through the pains of dwindling your mammoth guest list down to those special people you wish to share your wonderful day with, what comes next? The waiting… the tense few months when you get to find out who can make it, to witness the coming together of you and your loved one, followed by copious amounts of food, bubbles and dancing of course! Though what can be done to make this bit of the planning a little smoother? There are always going to be those guests that just don’t RSVP, most likely due to the fact that they have seen you and said ‘yeah I’m coming’, thinking that is the same as RSVPing …it’s not. Though in all honesty I have been guilty of that thinking once or twice! Oops!

Matthew Oliver Weddings

Matthew Oliver Weddings

So what can be done?

More and more recently we have seen people moving away from the tradition of sending the RSVP via post and instead looking towards technology. Mostly this comes in the form of a website, just for your special day (with a form on it for RSVPs).

Matthew Oliver Weddings

Matthew Oliver Weddings

Though is this better?

To be honest with you I don’t know… yes it is cheaper, with there being no cost for postage (if you go down the postage route always include a return stamp, it’s just good manners!), it is also easier as the information will already be online (no paperwork!). But there’s something about wedding stationery, in all its forms, which makes me want to use it in as many elements of the wedding as possible, including RSVP’s. Logic does dictate technology is the way forward, but I can’t help sticking with the nostalgia of pen and paper. Plus we can’t be logical all the time, can we!

What are your thoughts?
Love Bertie x

Yes, it has finally happened… Matthew and I are officially working together and so far it is going great! And no it isn’t just because Matthew is in London today and so it is just myself and Winston in the studio! To be honest with you, my first day was actually yesterday (shh!), but I was so busy with the first day craziness I forgot to tell you all! Sorry about that! So here I am writing to you now about how it’s all going…

Hayley Savage Photography

Hayley Savage Photography

We have a number of weddings coming up over the next few summer months, which means Matthew is in full planning mode! (hence the trip to London). I’m here, two days a week, to learn and support Matthew in any way he needs, from contacting venues (today’s job), working on our new website (coming soon!) and the all important (but less fun) financial side of the business. Basically the Matthew Oliver Weddings handyman! But I think I’ll probably stick with my title of Business Planner, what do you think?

Anyway I shall not bore you with my complete ‘to-do’ list! And just say that if you want to get in contact or see what I’m up to email me (bertie@matthewoliver.co.uk) or have a nose at my Instagram account (matty_hew).

Right, whilst I continue to try and decipher Matthew’s handwriting, I shall bid you good day and wish you a great weekend!
Love Bertie x

Bonjour again!

I know two posts in one day, what has gotten over me!

I’ve brought back the #fridayfeeling as I saw this quote today and knew I had to post it because it’s actually how I feel right now!Marc Johns

Image credit – Marc Johns 

As you can imagine we’re entering into wedding season, for some they’re already inside and they won’t be coming up for air till later this year.

In this time it’s so important that we make sure we have time to play, even it’s it’s for a couple of hours, or if you’re lucky a weekend!

Been in this industry, is challenging and can be very emotional at times and been a planner you could be working on your own during the week, so I advise giving yourself some play time – play time could be anything like, shopping, catching up with friends, exercise, date nights, hanging out with family, or even playing with your favourite Star Wars figures (I did say play time)- or in my case my gold dinosaurs!

Having a weekly task list and adding this play time to it is vital because then you’ll know you have to make time for it, especially if you’ve made plans!  I’m a sucker for making plans and then when it comes to the day of ‘play time’ I’m always worrying I’ve not got time for this!  We should not be worried, we should be excited; but unfortunately this is the case for a lot of us, as regardless of what we do we feel we’re letting someone down, if it’s a client a boss, your partner it’s what we think!

This play time does not just go for wedding folk, it’s important you couples out there have time to play too!  If you’re planning your wedding on your own or even if you have a planner, it’s so important you find time to play/relax and do something that does not involve wedding planning – though make sure not to even bring up wedding planning because it won’t be play time!

So what are you all doing this weekend or next week that let’s you put your pads down and turn your computers off?  I’m going for drinks this evening followed by a Thai with the boy – this is my play time, what is yours?

I’m sure you all can relate to this, but I feel we all need to do this for ourselves because quite rightly we deserve it!  In this day and age we work to hard and forget the play!  Remember the saying work hard, play hard?!

Love you loads,

Matthew Oliver

International Wedding Planner xx

Bonjour lovely, lovely people!

How are you?  Anyone getting married this weekend or going to a wedding?  Do share the details?

I just wanted to share some little advice with you for your menu and name cards!  Why not incorporate both the menu and name card together, so the name of your guest is on the menu?  Each guest will have a personalised menu that can fit nicely on the place setting?  This of course looks very stylish and will save money if you’re purchasing both anyway.

I know not everyone offers a menu per person, but if you’re looking for something visual then this is definitely a grand idea.

Also guests love to take home a memory of the wedding and this is perfect for guests to remember yours by.

Here is an example –

Matthew Oliver International Wedding Planner

I created this quickly in the studio with everything that I already had!  Just look at Viola the Velociraptor all happy amongst the setting!

Stationery design by the incredible – The Finer Details

Loads of love and have fun,

Matthew Oliver

International Wedding Planner xx

Bonjour beauty’s and handsome’s!

How have you all been?

Finally the sun has come back out in the UK!  It definitely causes for celebration, especially as in the last month we’ve witnessed every season!

I’ve been meaning to write to you all and say how delighted I am to be featured on my newest and most favourite blog/directory at the moment ‘A Well Travelled Bride’.

Matthew Oliver International Wedding PlannerThere style, personality and detail is exactly what I’m after in a brand who represents me!  From the moment they first contacted me I knew I wanted to be part of their journey in taking over the world – which I have no doubt they will!  I love fresh blogs/directories that give each of there associates time, attention and the chance to get to know one another even if they’re across the world in New Zealand.  I just feel exceptionally comfortable and love their approach!

Hay they have even said that they’ll try and help me reach my dream this year in getting an Austria wedding!  You know me – you always have to have a dream!

They have created a great directory called the A – B List showcasing some of the worlds freshest talents in an easy way to view and get to know!

Matthew Oliver International Wedding Planner

If you’re planning an international wedding then their blog is going to be so useful for you – especially once they’ve had a few months to get settled; already they have some wondrous articles from around the world – talk a look below.

Matthew Oliver International Wedding Planner

I also love that both owners have had their own experiences within the wedding industry either designing beautiful wedding gowns or flying all over the world arranging scrumptious floral arrangements – from this you know how that they’re here to help you instead take your money and never contact you again!

Even though I loved them from their first email, the moment I actually fell in love with them was from their interview on me where they really made me feel special and honoured to be part of there community!

Matthew Oliver International Wedding Planner

Above is the introduction, but how nice is that?  Read the rest here!

So if you’re a bride or even a wedding professional A Well Travelled Bride is going to be special to everyone soon!

Thank you so much for popping by and love you all!

Matthew Oliver

International Wedding Planner xx

Bonjour!  It’s been a while and there is so much to talk about, more than a simple blog post can capture!

In short, and what has been happening in MO for the last few months is…

  • We designed and planned a wedding for Oman royalty at the Mandarin Oriental in January
  • We opened up premises in Bradford-on-Avon – we call it the Studio
  • We created a brand new logo inspired by Winston (our lovely Red Setter)
  • Millie has joined the team as our intern
  • Bertie is joining the team as the business planner

Also a lot is happening in the next few months…

  • Brand new re-branded website is going to be released within the next couple of months
  • Weddings all over – UK, Scotland and France!
  • I know I keep saying it, but the 5 Reasons will be coming back!
  • I’m turning 30!!!!!

So as you can see it’s all happening which is very exciting, so please stay tuned for everything to unravel and please stay patient as once the new site is up and live we’ll bring back more tips, advice, design boards etc for the blog to give you the inspiration you need to plan your wedding.

Here is the studio in Bradford-on-Avon.

International Wedding Planner

International Wedding Planner
International Wedding Planner

photo credits – Hayley Savage Photography

We’re really happy with the rate everything is moving with MO and like always I really appreciate all the support you give.

Thank you so much for popping by and stay tuned!

Love,

Matthew Oliver

International Wedding Planner xx

Bonjour lovely people how are you?  I hope you’re having a lovely day?

Happy Easter holidays – let’s hope the weather stays like this for us!

What are all your plans this weekend?  Easter Egg hunt?  Chocolate Egg eating competition??  Mahusive Roast???     …I’m hoping for all of the above!

I’m really happy that I was featured recently on Crème de la Bride – the UK’s biggest wedding website for coloured couples.

It was a little feature of me giving some advice and showcasing some of my weddings…

Matthew Oliver International Wedding Planner

Please click here to view the rest of the article (it’s well worth a read!).

Thank you for popping by.

Love you all,

Matthew Oliver

International Wedding and Events Planner xx

Happy Monday my lovelies, how are you?  Did you have a great weekend?  What lovely weather we’re having in the UK right now!  It’s wonderful!

I hope all your wedding plans are coming along nicely, I would love to hear about them?

Last week I was asked to talk on LBC Radio about men planning weddings and what I see being a wedding planner in the industry.

Matthew Oliver Weddings International Wedding PlannerIt’s a good question as everyone thinks men take a step back and let the woman plan there weddings, but it’s not always the case!  Some of my clients do it the other way round or some even work together on certain/particular tasks so they both get the day they deserve.  However it all depends on you and how you want to plan it – everyone is different!

You can listen to it here, I’m 2 minutes 42 seconds in –

A bit cringey as I hate the sound of my voice!  Great opportunity though and as you all know I love talking about weddings even if I do ramble on all the time.

Thank you for popping along and I hope you have a lovely day.

Love,

Matthew Oliver

International Wedding and Events Planner xx