Archive for the ‘Wedding Hints and Tips’ Category

Hire Kent Wedding Photographer

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012


If you are looking to find an affordable wedding photographer in Kent and South East then look no further than Kent’s very own James Heming Photography Kent.

With many years of professional experience James Hemming photography offers a complete bespoke wedding package that is affordable for any Kent couple looking for a great deal

James also provides photography for: Kent Building Photography, Kent Event Photography,Kent Interior photgraphy and many other projects.

Contact for more information and a free consultation.


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London Gets New Wedding Bands

Thursday, January 26th, 2012
London Band hire

London Band hire


We have been able to bring some amazing acts to London just recently, and we have now just secured a great number of London artists to work with us for all our London Wedding bookings and London Corporate enquiries. This year has seen a great many number of London Weddings already being planned for 2012 and 2013 ( even some 2014 weddings being booked too!)

This year its all about the Olympics and people have been contacting us for their Olympic games bands. Lets not forget that we also have some other interesting dates too in the calender. We are currently quoting for 100 year celebration for Titanic fundraiser gigs and the Queens Jubilee is also getting some interest for acts at parties in a vintage london style.

If you are looking for top quality and unusual London acts then we have something for everyone. You can click on our live chat or email us here for more help

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Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

There are so many factors involved in hiring a band.

Most people don’t know how much musicians and other artists charge for their services. We don’t want anyone to be disappointed so we have put together a rough guide to help you out. Please note this a guide ONLY and the factors below will determine the exact price.

Large bands (6+ members, often with brass section included) from £1400
Bands (usually 4-5 people) from £1100
Trios and Duos from £299
Soloists from £149

To read more visit:


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How to plan a shabby-chic themed tea party for your wedding

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
vintage wedding bands

Vintage wedding

A tea party may be the most elegant way of entertaining your guests, and can provide you with ample opportunity to explore the theme, from the bunting to the choice of food.The mention of tea parties usually conjurs up images of mad hatters (think Alice in Wonderland) or Edwardian/Victorian ladies of leisure sipping from delicate floral bone china with their pinkies up! However, tea parties with the emphasis on nostalgia are fast becoming one of the hottest trends in entertaining, from bridal showers, afternoon weddings or even for business meetings.

In the most elegant hotels, this elaborate late-afternoon event, comprising of delicate sandwiches followed by scones and petit-fours, is often referred to as “high tea”, although this term originally meant (to the working classes) an evening meal of heartier fare and proportions, taken between 5pm or 6pm. Afternoon tea is traditionally enjoyed between 3pm and 4pm.

If you are hosting your own tea party, here are a few suggestions to get you on the right track.

1. Choose the date and send out your invitations (think pastels and feminine florals for your stationery)

2. Gather together your tea service, tea and related accessories. Mismatching is fine for this theme and adds to the nostalgic feel. This site is beautiful and inspiring

3. Consider your menu. Generally speaking, the “nibbles” should be dainty and enjoyed in a few bites. You should aim to include a selection of savoury and sweet bites, such as cucumber sandwiches (sans crusts of course!) followed by scones. Make sure you perfect any newly tried recipes well in advance. For more ideas on tea party menus, look at

4. Set the table, using your finest lace tablecloth. A centrepiece in a vintage rose design will look exquisite.

5. Make and serve an excellent pot of tea. For help on this see

6. Relax and have fun with your guests as you all enjoy the event.

For ideas on shabby chic and vintage design style, be sure to have a look at

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Acoustic duos and soloists for Wedding hire

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

This unamplified music is perfect for when your event requires something more subtle to entertain your guests. This style of music is popular during wedding breakfasts and drinks receptions. We have a wide selection of acoustic duos and soloists available for hire at, from jazz musicians, gypsy jazz, latin, Spanish, French, Folk, Celtic, Ceilidh including vocalists, guitarists, pianists, harpists and accordian players to name but a few. If you want to get the party going, however, and you need something livelier to dance to, consider booking one of our fabulous party or function bands to get your event going with a swing.

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Plan a Vintage Wedding London

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

We have many vintage acts to hire and several London-based acts ready for you to select.

If you are planning a vintage wedding there are some great ideas for you here.

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Wedding Budget Planner, Hints and Tips Guide

Friday, May 14th, 2010


Right, you’ve found your ideal partner and decided to tie the knot. It’s an exciting time. But, before you get swept up in the moment, you need to have a serious and frank conversation with your beloved about who will be paying for your wedding. This may seem like a total passion-killer while you’re still feeling all “hearts and flowers” but it is THE most important part of planning your wedding in these initial stages, given that the average cost of a wedding will set you back in excess of £15,000. It may feel unromantic, and therefore a difficult subject to broach, but nobody wants to start married life with mounting debts either….

Who will pay for your wedding?Historically, the bride’s father would have picked up the tab for the main event, with a contribution from the groom for the ceremony fees and of course, a fittingly exotic honeymoon destination. However, it’s common practice nowadays for couples to pay for the entire wedding themselves or share the cost between themselves and both sets of parents. If you do opt for the cost of your wedding to be distributed in the traditional way, the list which follows gives you a quick overview of whose responsibility lies where.

The bride’s father usually pays for:

Newspaper announcement of your engagement
Bride’s, bridesmaids dresses, page boy outfit and all accessories
Bride’s parents outfits
Wedding stationery
Transport to ceremony venue for himself, bride’s mother, bridesmaids and page boy
Transport from ceremony venue to reception venue for those above
Flowers for both venues, including bouquets and buttonholes for guests
Wedding cake
All reception expenses
Photographer and videographer
Overnight accommodation for close family members
Present for the wedding couple
Wedding insurance
The groom’s parents pay for:

Their own wedding outfits
Present for the bride and groom
Meeting with the bride’s parents after the couple becomes engaged

The groom pays for:

The bride’s wedding ring
The stag party
Suit hire for himself, the best man and ushers
Transport to ceremony venue for himself, best man and ushers
Ceremony fees (church or civil)
Presents for bride, bridesmaids, best man, ushers and page boy
His going away outfit
Transport away from reception for the wedding couple
Wedding night

The bride pays for:

The groom’s wedding ring
Her going away outfit
The hen party
Her hairdresser and beautician on the wedding day
The groom’s present
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

The bride and groom pay for:

A present for the bride’s parents

The best man does not normally pay for anything although traditionally he pays for the ceremony fees with money given to him by the groom.

How to approach your parentsThis may seem obvious, but it’s best to pick a time when they’re more susceptible to seeing things from your view point. You may already have had some indication of whether they intend to contribute to your wedding financially as it may have been discussed when you told them of your engagement. Ask them to let you know when would be a convenient time to talk about your wedding. That way, they’ve had some advance notice of the subject matter and the conversation is taking place on their terms. If you spring it on them, they could have all manner of other things on their minds (family business you aren’t necessarily aware of, for example) and not be able to devote the time and/or attention to the subject of your wedding day that it rightly deserves.

It is not uncommon for the parents of many brides to be unable to manage the majority of the cost (as set out above). In addition, you may consider it unreasonable to expect your parents to even contribute, especially if you and your partner are both working, or over the usual age for marrying first time. However, many parents feel that they would like to make a contribution, and you should be respectful about their desire to be involved in this way. (After all, they may have spent many years mentally preparing for your wedding, and to refuse their help if it’s offered would be rather insensitive). If your parents are willing and able to fund part of your wedding (and you are comfortable with this) you should discuss with them what kind of figure they would be happy to provide. This way you and your fiance have an idea of how much you are likely to need to find yourselves. Bear in mind that your parents may be unaware of the average cost of a wedding nowadays, so drawing up a rough plan of anticipated costs in advance of approaching them may be a better option. It is usual practice (and good manners) for your estimate to be shown to the bride’s parents first, before being shown to the groom’s.

Planning and managing your budgetThere is every chance that you and your partner will have to do some saving to pay for some (if not all) of your wedding day. It is a good idea to dedicate a particular joint bank/building society account to this purpose. Be sure to shop around and check the best interest rates. Some might seem to be offering a good deal but you could be penalised for withdrawing cash early, which may not be the best choice if you have to pay suppliers advance deposits in order to secure bookings. Often online saving accounts offer the best rates due to their low maintenance costs.

How to find low cost suppliersThere are key elements which will influence the cost of your wedding, such as what time of year you choose to get married, the style of your wedding, the size ie number of guests and the setting. It’s best to have in mind the factors which matter most to you and prioritise accordingly, so that you can “reign in” your spending on any areas of lesser importance. Make sure you do plenty of research to get the best deals on the things which matter most to you. An effective way to do this is by joining an online forum where ideas can be shared, particularly from couples in the same position as you. Here’s a few wedding forums to get you started:

Set the budgetFirstly, set an overall budget. You will have established who (if anybody) is contributing to the “wedding fund” by this point, so that your plans remain on track and realistic. Do bear in mind that family members who are willing to contribute may well expect some authority over how and where their money is spent, which can be tricky if your ideas and theirs don’t match!
Make sure before you sign any contracts with suppliers that you are aware of exactly what you are paying for. The finer details of contracts can often reveal hidden “extras” that could severely hike up the cost and swallow chunks of the overall budget.

Do set a rough limit on spending in each area, as without it things can easily get out of control. If you keep in mind your priorities, it’s easier to see where overspending in one area means cutting back in another. Some budget checklists recommend that you set up a wedding “contingency” fund in case of overspending. However, there is a danger in doing so that you will find it harder to stick to your original budget, knowing that you have additional funds in reserve, so is not really advised. Exercise restraint-that’s what a budget means (boring, but true).

Limit your guests. This may be difficult but this is the main area where restricting numbers means big savings. The cost of food and drink at your wedding comes with a massive price tag so reducing bums on seats will instantly save you money, (think also fewer tables and chairs to hire, as well as a smaller venue) allowing you to spend more in another area (your dress, for example!) or indulge in a more extravagant menu for a more carefully selected guest list.

Be flexibleYour choice of venue is also important in terms of overall budget. The venue can also affect the date of your wedding, ie, if your dream setting is unavailable on your chosen date, you may need to be prepared to be flexible. Once the venue is chosen and booked, it’s easier to plan and book the rest of your wedding day. As with all aspects of your budget, research your venue to discover what‘s incuded, eg is there a room for you to change in, or day-before hire to dress the tables?

It’s also a good idea to be flexible with your date to reduce costs. Midweek weddings are significantly cheaper than traditional weekend ones. Similarly, although the Summer months have always been the most popular, out-of-season weddings can mean that you make drastic savings.

You may also find that the style of your wedding that you select saves you money. A traditional “wedding breakfast” will undoubtedly cost you more than a laid-back ceremony with an informal buffet.

The most important thing is to decide which features of your wedding are most important to you and then plan accordingly within your agreed budget. Make a list of what matters most to you on the day, be it the flowers, the entertainment, the photography or the table decorations.

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Dealing with divorced parents and step-parents at your wedding

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Dealing with divorced parents and step-parents at your wedding

First things first….this is YOURS and your fiance’s wedding day, not your parents! However, it can be tricky to embark on planning your wedding day if one or both of you has divorced or separated parents, especially if the break-up was painful for either party, and/or if either party has remarried or is with a new partner.

It’s important that you speak to your parents initially to gauge what their thoughts and feelings may be regarding seeing their ex-partner at your wedding. This will give you an idea of how far each of them is prepared to compromise (or not, as may be the case). When you know how they feel about this situation, it’s entirely your choice whether or not this knowledge impacts on your own decision-making about the day.

Remember this wedding day is about you and your fiance. Don’t be afraid to make it clear to all involved (including step-parents) what you expect from them on the day in terms of how they conduct themselves, and let them know that childish behaviour will not be tolerated. Tell them how important it is to you that they put their differences aside for the day, and let them know how it will make you feel if they are unable to do so. After all, you and your fiance are the children in this situation, not your parents, so don’t be scared to remind them of this too.

When you’ve got a sense of how your parents are likely to behave, discuss this with your best man and bridesmaids. It may be helpful to ask members of your party to keep an eye on your parents, and try to head off any potential clashes by distracting them or steering them away from each other on the day.

Devise a seating plan, and ensure that your parents (and their families) are kept apart. Look at which will enable you to do this with ease.

Ensure that your photographer is informed about the situation and any potentially explosive situations between your parents so that he/she avoids asking them to pose together.

It would also be a wise measure to stick to wedding party speeches only, and avoid any open-mike speeches or toasts, as innocent remarks could be misconstrued especially once the alcohol has started flowing, and the opening up of old wounds through a flippant comment could also lead to unpleasant scenes you don’t need (or want) on your special day.

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Band Hire on a Budget

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

It can be cheap but not nasty!

Band Hire is Our Business”

We all have to stick to a budget these days and no matter what your budget is, we have something for everyone for any occasion such your wedding, office party, or product launch. If it is a party band you are looking for then we can suggest loads of acts that fit into a really good price bracket.

If you are after a Jazz band or Swing band, then we use localised artists so that you don’t pay for the travel to get them to your chosen venue from a long way away.

Many acts have the option of a duo band  or a trio version of their larger Party or function band and we can also negotiate this too. Maybe you’re after an act that is a little different, maybe something like a Latin Band or a Spanish guitarist ? Perhaps even Gypsy Jazz. In every case, we can provide you all of these things at very reasonable and affordable rates.

“How long do they play for?”. Well, we can also negotiate this but usually 2 x 1 hour sets or 3 x 45 mins of live music is standard. In addition to this we can arrange for the musicians to play an ipod/cd music in between and at the end for up to 45 mins, so you get a whole evening’s worth of entertainment included in the price.

Email us for some quotes on specific acts or for more details: or visit band hire

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What is Gypsy Jazz?

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Hi and welcome to the new blog on Gypsy Jazz !  I’ve kindly been asked by the Morris Agency to write some lines about this vibrant and increasingly popular music style.

First off, apart from having my own gypsy jazz trio, I’ve been involved in playing this style for seventeen years and working as a professional guitarist for over twenty.

With gigs, there’s no end to the variety of events that gypsy jazz can cater for.

Over the years, we’ve played at jazz festivals, arts centres, theatres, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, gypsy music festivals, wakes, corporate functions, private parties, boat launches, embassies, museums, plus the odd bit of TV and radio. All thanks to the timeless popularity of the music.

So now a brief history for anyone who has just discovered gypsy jazz!

The origins can be linked to one man, a Belgian gypsy guitarist called Django Reinhardt (1910 – 1953).

Discovering jazz as a young man, he successfully fused his awesome ethnic playing style with the early American jazz that was finding its way into Europe. In so doing, he created a genre, re-defined plectrum style guitar, wrote enduring melodies and generally become a total legend on every level.

Oh! And he had a disability in the fact that his fretting hand was badly burnt in a fire and he could only fully use his index and middle fingers.

When his recordings started reaching the rest of the world, people were completely blown away. He became a world-wide phenomenon.

Many Gypsies from Europe play this style; Django ignited this quirky branch of jazz and for some, it has become part of their culture, adding a new dimension to their already amazing musical heritage.

I consider myself lucky and honoured, having learnt to play gypsy jazz from some of the greatest exponents on the planet since Django, including Bireli Lagrene, Stochelo Rosenberg and Lulu Reinhardt. Whether on a gig or a jam, I’ve soaked up every second of playing time with these remarkable musicians.

In the my own gypsy jazz trio, TMA025, we’ve kept the format nice and simple. Two acoustic guitars and a double-bass.

Because gypsy jazz is so adaptable we can incorporate elements of swing jazz, Latin and even a little funk into the tunes.

The music has an endearing quality of being both ‘street’ and sophisticated in its sound. Very European and extremely infectious.

Okay, that’s it for now, thanks for reading!

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