It's not just an American thing....
It's always been the tradition in the US, and now it is definitely becoming a more popular part of the wedding here too. When I first heard about this, I did initally feel, 'Oh no - but isn't that just another expense? Does it really need to be done?' And the answer is, no, of course not. It's one of those optional extras. However the more I've read about it, the more I get it. The whole point of it is to gather the people who have been involved in the planning of the wedding so they can meet each other before the big day. And it gives the bride and groom an opportunity to show their appreciation for the things they have done - in an informal way. So this is normally restricted to the imediate family, the bestman and the bridesmaids and close friends.
It can be held up to a week before the wedding, but it usually takes place the evening before. I actually think it's a lovely way to spend the night before the wedding. It can be as relaxed as you like, and doesn't even have to be dinner - canapes and cocktails would be very nice too...as long as you don't get absolutely trashed. Not a good look to have a hangover on your wedding day.
Adding flavour to your wedding!
A few weeks ago we met Robin Dunlop, aka Oyster Boy, who offers an experimental and alternative eating experience at your wedding. Wearing a kilt, he serves fine oysters straight from a traditional wicker basket. He was a delightful man to meet and would add a wonderful atmosphere to any wedding party. The oysters were completely delicious - he can even offer you tabasco and lemon to boot! Oyster Boy is part of a bigger company called Tempe and Shian who "strive to push the boundaries of food design". They combine creative food solutions with a boutique and entertaining edge so alongside Oyster Boy there is Mussel Man and Gastronomy Guys (lovin' the tags, guys!)
Afternoon Tea and Vintage China for your Wedding!
At a Most Curious Wedding Fair we met the lovely Christina from Vintage Feast and had a cup cake and a mini savoury tart - both were delicious! Vintage Feast can do a traditional afternoon-tea for your wedding including (as they put it) a nice cup of tea, a home-made scone with the most delicious strawberry jam you'll ever taste. And a dainty finger sandwich or two. This is perfect for weddings, we think (as long as you thrown in the odd glass of champage!). But they do lots of other menus too so worth checking out their website http://www.feast-food.com/
A Workshop by Dominique Douglas of Stylish Events
If planning your own wedding has inspired you into becoming a wedding planner, or even if you just want to work in the events industry, these workshops are a must! Dominique has herself has organised hundreds of weddings and events in the past 25 years, so she is the perfect person to share practical hints and tips on wedding planning. There are four workshops planned - 27 April, 25 May, 8 June and 13 July - and it costs just £40 to attend. This includes refreshments and lunch! Based in Canary Wharf, London E14, so easy to get to! But for more info visit www.stylishevents.com
Image courtesy of one of our favourite wedding dress designers, Sassi Holford.