Intimate Ceremony Ideas for Smaller Weddings

Since 4 July, weddings of up to 30 people have been permitted, and from 1 August, post-ceremony receptions with up to 30 guests have been given the go-ahead once more. For those who had their hearts set on a grand, lavish affair, this could mean making some serious sacrifices, or holding on until we have returned to a ‘new normal’.

But smaller weddings should not be ruled out, as there are so many benefits to having an intimate wedding day, surrounded by your very nearest and dearest. Everyone from venues to registrars are adapting and making COVID-secure changes to ensure your wedding can go ahead, and there are more options than you might think for keeping that special day special!

Here are some intimate ceremony ideas that prove you don’t have to go all-out to have a beautiful wedding.


Without having to spend as much money on larger venues, more wedding favours, catering, and accommodation for more people, an intimate wedding can cost you a lot less. Or perhaps with the money you save, you can lavish your guests with luxurious entertainment or catering, or simply set it aside for a day when an extravagant honeymoon abroad is feasible.

The Guest List

Not everyone has an endless list of friends and family to invite to their wedding, so smaller ceremonies and receptions can prove the ideal solution. A thinner guest list means the bride and groom can spend more time talking to the guests, and for the guests to be able to all talk to each other, which is perfect for families that maybe don’t know each other that well.

A large wedding can also be intimidating, having all those eyes on you, especially if you struggle with anxiety. You’re more likely to be able to remain calm and comfortable if you’re only surrounded by those that mean the most to you.


The intimacy of a smaller wedding provides a more casual atmosphere, which makes it easier for those having to perform readings or give speeches. Public speaking can be difficult for those unaccustomed to it.

The Venue

In many cases, a smaller wedding means couples have a wider choice of venues, and unusual settings in alternative, non-traditional locations.

Smaller wedding venues mean couples don’t have to go all out decorating a huge space unless they want to, which is much less time-consuming and less to have to consider and worry about. Also, should you be taking the DIY route in creating centrepieces and decor, it won’t take nearly as long.


A limited number of guests means there could be a wider option for catering to everyone. Perhaps your favourite restaurant would be open to providing for you, or for something really unique, Deliveroo provide a wedding catering service, which would definitely be something to look forward to!

You will still need to keep your guests entertained, and everyone will still want to dance the night away, so don’t forget your dance floor hire in Bromley!

No Lockdown Answers For Large Weddings Yet

The new government guidance means that smaller weddings with up to 30 guests can now go ahead, and the first ceremonies have already recently taken place. For some couples, this means they can go and tie the knot, and possibly save having a larger reception for another time.

But according to This Is Money, couples who had their heart’s set on a larger celebration will still have to wait, and if they had already paid for venues and suppliers if may become harder to get their money back, or

While most venues and suppliers have worked with couples to help find a new date for their nuptials, some have been caught withholding thousands of pounds in deposits, adding extortionate administrative fees, or refusing to cooperate or allowing couples to reschedule.

For those able to reschedule, they could be stuck with cheaper options, for example, a Tuesday in March instead of the booked Saturday in July. It is then down to the venue to decide whether to refund the difference.

According to wedding planning website Bridebook, it is estimated that 80 per cent of wedding venues have already been reserved for key summer dates in 2021. Some couples have found they are being charged thousands of pounds more for 2021 dates, as venues are charging next year’s prices.

Deposits made to photographers and florists could also be lost if the vendor is unable to make the new date. Many couples have already lost hundreds after needing to change date engravings on rings, wedding favours, and gifts.

A simple and elegant solution is to hold the reception at home in the garden with marquee and garden party equipment hire in Croydon, so why not talk to us today!

When Will Weddings Be Allowed In The UK?

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted many couples’ plans for their nuptials and, although the UK is starting to relax its lockdown restrictions and life is returning to something closer to normal, we’re not likely to be allowed to host large gatherings in the near future.

However, there is a glimmer of hope for any couples who plan to tie the knot later in the summer.

The government is currently looking at how to allow small ceremonies to take place by the end of June, and at present churches and other places of worship are set to reopen on 4 July, the Metro reported.

Northern Ireland has already announced that weddings with up to ten attendees that are held outdoors can take place in June, and it’s expected that the likes of England and Wales will follow a similar kind of system, Woman and Home noted.

The publication suggested that, not only will weddings be much smaller for the time being, but there are also likely to be more weddings hosted on weekdays as couples look to tie the knot as soon as they can, rather than having to wait for a weekend slot to open up next year, many of which are already booked.

Bridal dress designer Holly Winter told the news provider that lockdown has given some couples a chance to think about what they really want from their wedding day and that she has found many are re-evaluating their choices for their big day.

One factor that seems certain, however, is that outdoor weddings will be given the go-ahead before any indoor ceremonies. If you’re still intending to say ‘I do’ later this year, contact us to find out about party furniture hire so that you can make your outdoor ceremony as comfortable and stylish as possible. 

Post-Lockdown Big Birthday Party Ideas

While we’re in the middle of a pandemic, everyone has had to put their lives on hold, and for some that has meant having to cancel or postpone milestone celebrations, such as engagements, weddings, and birthdays

Should your birthday happen to be in the middle of lockdown, there are still plenty of options to make sure you have the best day, but no matter whether you are postponing the celebrations for after the lockdown, or if you’re planning a special event for next year or beyond, everyone loves a party!

If you’re planning a special birthday party for an 18th, 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 70th or even 100th birthday, finding a venue will high on your to-do list. Taking advantage of marquee hire in Bromley means you have a fantastic celebration right in your back garden!

18th and 21st birthday parties

Parents will understand all too well the challenges of finding exciting party ideas every year, and as they reach adulthood, you’ll want to make sure you have that covered.

Having the party in your back garden means you can be involved in the boisterous fun (and maybe keep an eye on proceedings), but you can escape to the safety of your sofa. A marquee is a perfect idea, whatever the British weather decides to do that day!

There will be options such as adding a dance floor and disco lighting, and it’s easy to decorate with fairy lights, plants, flowers, beanbags, deckchairs, balloons, Mexican-inspired pom-pom bunting, retro neon lights – and maybe even a piñata.

30th, 40th, 50th

By the time you find you’ve become a proper grown-up, you’ll realise that you can have whatever kind of party you want! A theme is light-hearted and breaks the ice if you’re inviting a mixture of friends old and new, work colleagues, family and neighbours. Your theme can be anything you like, from your favourite decade, film, book, whatever sparks your imagination.

You might be less inclined to use fairy lights and piñatas for a more grown-up party, but there are always ways to dress up a marquee, such as chandeliers, and spotlighting for speeches. But no matter your age, everyone will still want disco lights for the dancefloor!

70th to 100th

You might want to focus more on a seated lunch, dinner, or afternoon tea, for a more sedate celebration, but that’s not to say no-one will want a dance floor and disco lights!

What it all comes down to is that it’s your party, so you can do whatever you choose! There’s so much scope for how to utilise a marquee to suit the personality of the birthday girl or boy.

If you are planning a party, for whatever reason, and need party equipment hire in London, then visit us today to see how we can help you throw a party everyone will remember.

What Will 2021’s Top Wedding Trends Be?

Most couples who planned to tie the knot in 2020 have started making plans to postpone their wedding, or alter their big day to allow for the restrictions imposed by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

But there is some good news for anyone who’s looking to get married next year, with Bridebook’s founder Hamish Shephard telling the Evening Standard that he believes 2021 will be the “busiest year for weddings in history”.

The newspaper highlighted some of the top trends that Bridebook is predicting for nuptials next year, including the rise of statement bridal veils and virtual guests attending through the likes of Zoom if they’re unable to travel.

The wedding planning firm is also predicting that couples will get more creative with their decor choices. “With more time than ever to think about wedding details, we can expect a move away from some more traditional elements to more creative and modern takes on decor,” it asserted.

Couples may want to introduce some unusual activities to their wedding day in the form of giant lawn games, for instance.

The Bridebook research also found that around 75 per cent of weddings will feature DIY elements because couples are looking for ways to reduce their expenditure.

Another trend that’s set to grow in the world of wedding planning is that of being eco friendly. Zero plastic and reduced waste weddings are set to become more commonplace, therefore, with couples taking various steps to reduce the impact of their big day, including composting leftovers and sending out invitations made from recycled paper or card.

If you have had to delay your wedding due to the pandemic, take a look at our blog exploring what some of the positives to a delay could be. It might be that people who had previously been unable to come to your nuptials will be able to make the new date, or that you have the time to elaborate on your original wedding ideas and make it bigger and better than before.

How To Make The Most Of Having To Delay Wedding

Thousands of loved-up couples will have been left devastated over the last few weeks, thanks to the coronavirus crisis having forced them to postpone their wedding while the country continues to be in lockdown.

Having planned their Big Day for months – or even years – they have had all the arrangements for their dream wedding shattered. Changing the date of the occasion is not just a logistical nightmare, but also an emotional one, with most brides and grooms disappointed they now have to wait even longer to tie the knot.

But we want to lift you up, and help you make the most of having to defer your wedding for another few months – even if it was the last thing you had wanted to do.

  • All your guests will be able to come

Those who are saddened at having to postpone their Big Day might take some comfort in knowing that when they do walk down the aisle, all their friends and family will be able to come. If they had held it on the original date, many elderly relatives, pregnant guests and those who fall into vulnerable groups may still not be able to attend even if lockdown had been lifted.

However, by postponing it until the pandemic has taken its course, there is a better chance you can celebrate with all your loved ones around you.

  • Keep on planning

All the plans might already be in place, but having longer before the special occasion means you can really elaborate on the ideas, be more creative with decorations or invitations, and get all the details just the way you want.

What’s more, you may have missed out on suppliers as they were booked up originally, whereas you might now be able to hire them. If you have always wanted a wedding marquee in Croydon, for instance, but were unable to find one for your original date, this is the time to get in touch again and see if one is available for your new wedding day.

  • Extra additions

While it is hard to ensure your entire original guest list will make the proposed date, if you give them enough notice, there is a good chance all your friends and family will try their best to make it.

What’s more, you might even find you have extra guests attending your Big Day – whether they are loved ones who could not make the first date, or expectant guests who have had their baby by the time you get hitched.

Though it would not have been a reason to postpone the wedding in the first place, having a smiling cherubic baby in wedding photos will make everyone smile and lift spirits even more on the day.

  • Enjoy an even bigger celebration

There is no doubt you would have thought your wedding was the best day ever anyway, but it will be even more poignant after this. The guests who can attend will be more appreciated as they are still well, while the celebrations will be even bigger as everyone will know how much you have waited for this.

Luxury wedding planner Audrey Ametis told Harper’s Bazaar: “In these very difficult, exceptional times, where some of your guests will lose loved ones, or some may be laid off, now is the right time to focus on what is important.”

Movie Soundtracks That Could Be Perfect for Your Wedding

When you’re planning your wedding there are a lot of decisions to make, including what song you’ll have for your first dance as a married couple.

Once you have your dance floor hire in Bromley sorted, you can decide how you’ll be waltzing around the space as a couple on your big day, and what will soundtrack that moment.

An article for Matzav Review recently picked out the top songs from movies that are perfect if you’re looking for inspiration for your first dance.

Among them is Can I Have This Dance from High School Musical, which could well be a favourite choice for anyone who grew up in the early 2000s when this film was at the height of its popularity.

Your Song from the musical Moulin Rouge is another option, or even the original version by Elton John if you’d prefer that to Ewan McGregor.

Can You Feel The Love Tonight, another Elton John classic, is also on the list. This song was, of course, famously written for The Lion King and with the live action remake of the movie released recently who knows, we could see it become more popular among couples again.

If you’re looking for something with a bit more of a rock vibe, I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing by Aerosmith could be perfect. It featured on the soundtrack of the movie Amageddon and it’s easy to see why it’s ideal for a wedding.

You might also find some inspiration from the wedding song challenge that’s doing the rounds on Instagram at the moment. Married couples are being encouraged to share a photo or video of their first dance, HITC explained. So you could see if any of your friends or the accounts you follow have any good suggestions.

Top Tips For Planning A Summer Wedding

Summer has long been the most popular season to tie the knot in, with brides and grooms wanting their wedding photos to be filled with glorious sunshine, blue skies and lots of outdoor scenery. However, there are some important things to consider if you’re planning a summer event, so your guests are as comfortable as possible and able to enjoy your Big Day.

For our tips, read on.

  • Provide shade

You might want to spend all day outside basking in the sunshine and sipping fizz on the lawn, but for some people, the intense midday sun can be too much for them. Therefore, it is essential you provide relief from the sunlight to those with fair skin, elderly relatives and young children.

Hiring a marquee in Bromley is a great option, as it allows guests to step away from the UV rays while still enjoying an outdoor feeling, so they don’t feel isolated or stuffy. Make sure it has an air-conditioning system in too, in case the heat becomes too much for some people!

  • Later start time

It is wise to delay your start time if you’re opting for a summer wedding to avoid the sun when it is at its strongest. Instead of a midday ceremony, you could begin procedures later in the afternoon, so more guests can enjoy being outdoors without feeling too hot.

As the sun doesn’t set till late during the summer months, you can simply push back reception drinks and your wedding breakfast till later in the evening.

  • Offer suncream

For a wedding your friends and family will really enjoy, forgo unnecessary favours and offer your loved ones flip flops, sunglasses, fans, sunhats, insect spray or suncream instead. They will certainly find this a novelty, as well as incredibly useful.

It is also important that brides and grooms protect themselves from the sun too, as you don’t want to look bright red in photos of your Big Day. Keep suncream in your purse, so you can reapply regularly too.

  • Refreshing drinks

One thing your guests will definitely need on a sweltering day is something refreshing to drink, so choose your beverages carefully. Ditch the red wine and serve a fruit cocktail instead.

You could have a cocktail made specifically for your special occasion as a reception drink, which will be unique alternative to sparkling wine. It is also important to have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks to keep loved ones hydrated, so they don’t get too inebriated in the heat!

  • Serve something light to eat

Similarly, this isn’t the time for a heavy roast dinner, so rethink your menu. Why not have a lighter meal of grilled fish and vegetables, or chicken and salad, or even something vegetarian?

A novel idea would be to have an ice-cream cart outside the venue afterwards, so guests can enjoy a delicious scoop of their favourite flavour. Or you could make sure you bulk-buy ice-lollies to keep everyone cool and hydrated, so they are really able to enjoy an evening hitting the dance floor!

TheTop Tips To Reduce The Stress Of Party Planning Title

We love a good party, but we also understand that the planning process can be stressful, especially when you want to make it into a special occasion for lots of your friends and family to enjoy.

Whether this year will see you organising a big birthday bash, the wedding of your dreams, or even a retirement shindig, there are plenty of things you can do to make the process a little less stressful and ensure that you still get the end result you’re looking for.

SoGlos recently spoke to an event planning expert to get some top tips. Dany Freemantle, events director of Oasis Events, explained that the most important thing is to enjoy the process of planning the event.

Her first tip is to “play to your strengths and enjoy the process, don’t sweat the things you can’t face or manage”. This may mean bringing in some extra help from professionals, but that may not be such a bad thing.

For example, she said that even if you love making cocktails, tending bar all night and doing that for your guests might wear thin and mean that you don’t get to enjoy the party yourself. Instead, you’re better off hiring a professional bartender to handle this side of the festivities.

It’s not just bartending you need to consider either, but catering and serving as a whole. Having a team who can deal with all the food and drink requirements for your guests, not to mention providing a welcoming service on the day, can make the whole thing run much more smoothly.

Ms Freemantle said that while it might feel like a big expense initially, the benefits quickly stack up.

Another of her top tips is to determine your budget early in the process so that you know exactly what you can afford. “Think through what you are willing to spend before you focus on any details and produce a considered list of everything you would like,” she stated.

This will allow you to work through each and decide what your priorities are, in case they don’t all fall within your budget. If you’re planning to save money on venue hire by having a marquee in your garden, don’t forget to allow for the extras that you’ll need to make the marquee party-ready.

Consider marquee flooring hire at the same time that you’re looking at marquees, and don’t forget about lighting and the other furniture and equipment you’ll need to make sure your guests are comfortable for the whole event.

Ms Freemantle also said that it’s essential not to get caught up in only planning the fun elements of your event, and to make sure that you also spend some time thinking about everything that could go wrong or present a problem.

“Make sure you think about the practical things too – maybe adverse weather or temperatures, heating or cooling for your venue, and power,” she explained.

This is where it’s important to talk to your suppliers well in advance to find out what requirements they may have and to ensure that these are catered for.

If you’re planning to host an event in a marquee in the coming months, you might want to look at our advice for keeping the space warm. One of our top tips is to use an indirect heater, because these devices are very efficient at heating large spaces and keeping them warm.

We’d also recommend turning your heating on an hour before your guests are due to arrive to give the marquee time to warm up nicely.

When it comes to taking the stress out of the event itself, Ms Freemantle has a few pieces of advice. Firstly, delegate tasks to friends where you can to give you some time to rest and relax a little before the fun starts.

Her second tip is to make sure that you’re “party ready” half an hour before your guests will be arriving, as this will mean you’re relaxed and have time to do all your final checks without worrying about not being ready to face anyone who arrives a little early.

One thing that many people forget, and that can add stress the day after, is the clear up. Ms Freemantle stressed that this is just as important as all the preplanning, so make sure you know when you can expect people to turn up to remove the marquee and other equipment you may have hired.

If you’re going to need some help cleaning up afterwards, see if you can rope some friends into giving you hand the morning after. Knowing who’s coming and when will help you ensure that packing up after the party is efficient.

How To Keep Your Marquee Warm In Winter

Just because the weather is on the decidedly chilly side doesn’t mean that you can’t throw the party to end all parties – but you will need to take a few considerations into account when it comes to marquee hire for your Croydon event if you do want to put a shindig on over the winter months.

An indirect heater may well be the best option for heating a marquee because they’re so efficient when it comes to heating up large spaces quickly – and for a prolonged period of time. Simply position yours outside your tent hire and enjoy all that lovely warmth being ducted inside.

Avoid hiring halogen or infrared heaters that don’t have fans as they’re not going to be powerful enough to heat bigger marquees.

You may also want to avoid using a space heater (even if they do seem like the most inexpensive option out there) because they’re meant for use in well ventilated areas and could potentially lead to carbon monoxide build-up.

Once you’ve chosen your particular heating option, get them going at least an hour before your guests are due to arrive so it’s nice, cosy and welcoming for them. You can also evoke a feeling of warmth in the space by decorating in a certain way, choosing darker, richer colours and plush furnishings.

Lighting is also key when it comes to creating a certain atmosphere, so go for warm coloured lights and uplighters in autumnal shades to help keep guests warm on a chilly evening.

Need any further help or advice? Get in touch with us today.

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