Wednesday, 5 October 2016


A major factor that determines the success of your wedding is the entertainment.  Get this right and you can send your guests home glowing, with unforgettable memories of the fun and excitement!  While the conventional disco and wedding bands are classics, don't feel they are a necessity.  Rules are made to be broken and throwing some creativity into the mix can make your special day so much more special.  After all, the wildest ideas are often the most fun!

Her are some carefully selected entertainment ideas that your guests will love:

Bobbing apples with prizes 
Evoke the child in everyone with fun games such as bobbing apples. Alternatively, set up a beer pong table or flip cup (they don't have to involve alcohol). After everyone is settled, and a few cheeky drinks, it might be an idea to set up small teams for those wanting to take part. Prizes for the winners!

Set up a beer bar
Get hold of a few kegs of beer, cider and ale, so guests can grab a pitcher and get stuck in. The men will appreciate this one, I’m sure. Real wooden kegs will add a fantastic rustic quality to your theme, not to mention getting kegs can actually work out cheaper too, so you can save your pennies for even more fun activities.

Create a cosy corner 
For those guests that want some space or to relax in the evening, or for couples that want sneak off for a few moments of privacy, set up a little cosy corner. If it’s a warm night, set it up outside below the stars. A couple of hammocks, cushions, bean bags, candles in jars, and gentle music on a speaker to set the mood. Add some fairy lights to really set the scene for when it gets dark. 

There are literally thousands of ideas for canapés to treat your guests with. Also, be sure you don’t forget the drinks; send out some waiters with pitchers of freshly made lemonade, Pimms with fruit, and the canapés of your choice. Take a look at some canapés ideas here. 

Photo booth 
To create long lasting memories of the evening for you and your friends, it’s a fun idea to set up a photo booth with a box of dressing up clothes. Your guests can even take the pictures home, and enjoy the memories. An alternative to this, is to hire a quick-drawing sketch artist, that can sketch pictures of your guests throughout the evening. 

Enlist your grandmas to be your flower girls
To add some fun and humour into your wedding, why not ask your grandmas to be the flower girls?  Ideas like this will create a fun and relaxed atmosphere for your guests to feel more at east and make your grandma feel special too.  Consider having them taken to get their hair done with you before the ceremony too.  If you haven't got to that part yet, here is everything you need to know about bridal hair.

Historical Feasts
The food is a major part of the wedding success. Why not also make this part of the entertainment? For a fun and romantic wedding why not play with a historical theme, such as a Medieval feast.  Hire some costumes and props, such as swords and knight’s helmets to hand to the guests as they come in. Sit your guests around one or two long wooden tables in a beautiful stone floored barn. The tables can be laid with metal plates, goblets, fruits, candles with wine and meads, to set the atmosphere. To really set the scene a few simple sides and vegetables will make a fantastic accompaniment to a delicious “do it yourself” hog roast, roasted traditionally over coals and flames. This will provide a truly special wedding like no other. You can set a spit roast up yourself, or even hire someone to set it all up for you.

Wake your guests up with fun coffees
After the meal, your guests may be feeling a little stuffed and lethargic.  To reset a lively mood, it's your responsibility to wake everyone up and get the party started.  Create a coffee menu with fun names and ideas that people just can't resist.  Some of our favourite examples "The Dirty Harry" for a a double shot mocha with cream!

Old fashion sweets table
A sweets table is always fun. Adults and kids alike love to have a table with lots of old fashioned jars of sweets to help themselves to. It’s a cheap and fun way to add to the atmosphere of the wedding. To add to the fun, why not set up, at a safe distance, a giant Jenga game?

Make sure the little ones are happy! Provide lots of crayon and paper for them. If it's outside where there is a lot of stone flooring, chalks are also fun and wash away in the rain. Don’t be surprised if you see mum and dad getting in on the colouring action.

Ball Pit/Bouncy Castle 
Hire a bouncy castle or a ball pit for the kids. This is very exciting for kid of all ages, where i’m sure later on in the evening after a few drinks some of the adults with also be bringing out their inner child. 

Water slide
If it’s likely for hot weather, why not consider setting up a water slide for the kids. It’s great fun, and adds a spark of excitement into the wedding. Remember to warn the parents beforehand so that everyone brings along swimwear. It may also be an idea to bring a few precautionary spare t-shirts and shorts so no guests are left wet and cold. 

Dance instructor
Lots of people find dancing embarrassing and awkward because they just don’t know what to do on the dancefloor. To get people dancing, hire a dance instructor to get as many people up and dancing. Teaching some easy and fun dance moves, such as salsa. 

After everyone is feeling relaxed why not have a few rounds of karaoke to spark up some fun! This doesn’t have to be done one at a time, choose a few classics to sing from, and get the whole crowd singing along. Get any of the little ones involved that would like to sing to lighten the mood and get everyone interacting. 

Cocktail hour
Cocktails are trendy and a must have at your wedding. Instead of just offering a few cosmopolitans, hire a couple of cocktail experts to make some fun and delicious drinks for the guests. An added section of whisky and cigars for the men certainly wouldn’t go unrecognised. Why not set up a casino table as well?

Petals for confetti 
For a more tasteful send off, why not give flower petals to the guests as confetti. It’s more environmentally friendly, less messy, and the sweet  fragrance of flowers will fill the air, adding to the atmosphere.

Finishing with a bang!
Finish the wedding reception by handing out a few sparklers, and setting off a mini fireworks display. This is a nice visually appealing, fun and romantic way to finish the wedding. Even a small one can make a big impression, and is a nice conclusion to a wonderful day.

Party bag hangover kit 
After such a fantastic wedding, i think it's safe to say more than a few of your guests are going to be waking up with a hangover. Why not give little party bag hangover kits for your guests, filled with vitamin drinks, green tea, fruit, a mini hangover cure guide on a piece of card, along with a few other bits and bobs. An “I’m not hungover HAHA” badge will keep the non-drinkers amused all the way home.

You don’t have to stop here, the more creative you are, the more fun you and your guests will have. Have a brainstorming session with a couple of your friends, you will be amazed what you might come up with.

Joe Thomas is a writer, who creates articles on the subject of events, and how you can make them better! Creativity is the key for a special day everyone with remember.  For more info. please contact Joe on:

Monday, 22 August 2016


Nearly nine years ago, my friend Katie was getting married and asked if I'd help her  collect vintage crockery for her wedding - and so began the start of our joint business venture, Bristol Vintage.

Initially we thought it might just be a one-off for Katie's wedding as we're both vintage geeks but we hadn't realised that there's a whole community of us out there!

Over the next two years, we had masses of fun collecting crockery and props and making lots of new contacts in the vintage and wedding worlds; we learnt about marketing ourselves on-line and we discovered how to pack and deliver crockery unbroken and how sometimes we can't sleep when we're worrying about doing the best job for our clients.

In the third year Katie had the joy of becoming pregnant and having a beautiful baby daughter, now nearly six years old!  

Although Katie had to leave Bristol Vintage to focus on her family, she's still very much a part of the company, often helping me brainstorm ideas and always there if I need support or just a sounding board.  

It's been an amazing journey, including staging the first vintage wedding fair in the South-West, which has gone on to be an annual event, our crockery appearing in lots of magazines, TV shows, and supplying crockery for hundreds of weddings, parties, funerals and other events.  Our clients have included Pieminister, Goldbrick House, Hotel du Vin, Aardman Animations, Riverstation, The Clifton Club to name a few as well as scores of wonderful couples and individuals and we've loved working with them all. 

We've co-organised a shop launch, been involved in photo shoots and held an annual wedding fair with the most fantastic exhibitors, many of whom have become friends.

We've loved every minute of it but, sadly, it's time for a HUGE life change and time for me to part with Bristol Vintage.  

So, Bristol Vintage, one of the longest running vintage crockery and events companies in the South West is on the market. The business includes afternoon tea crockery for nearly 300, including cups & saucers, tea plates, cake stands, teapots, milk jugs and sugar bowls.  We also have crockery for 160 for dinner AND we have mismatched cutlery too and mismatched napkins and linens!  We have some amazing props including our bike, Mabel, a sledge, working gramophones and a typewriter, suitcases, vintage and much more.  Alongside this we have our website, the company name, our popular blog, the wedding fair contacts, Facebook and Twitter sites and, above all, a faultless reputation and some wonderful friends in the industry.

I would love for someone to continue the company as we've built up a great reputation and a fabulous collection of crockery, which will be very hard to part with but, if that's not possible then I will be selling the crockery and props off separately.

If you would like further information on our stock and to have a chat about the business, please do call me on email: and we can arrange to have a chat.

With love to all our followers and past clients for many happy moments!


Wednesday, 17 August 2016


Earlier this year I met up with a fabulous lady called Harriet de Winton who had been recommended to me by my friend Kirsten (aka The Little Wedding Helper) to talk about rebranding my other business as a massage therapist, which I’ll be blogging about soon.

It was so great to sit and chat with Harriet  - I felt like I’d known her for years as she has such an easy manner, but she’s also really professional and totally ‘got’ my vision for the business.  To be honest with you, I was dreading the branding process.  I’m not good at getting across what’s in my mind and I really did wonder what on earth Harriet would make of my ramblings about how I wanted it to look.  This lady is so talented though, I knew I was in safe hands as soon as we started chatting and I am so incredibly pleased with the results I really want to tell the world about her.

An illustrator and designer, Harriet set up her design studio, The de Winton Paper Co specialising in elegant watercolour hand painted stationery for weddings and every day.  Her inspiration comes from a unique wedding gift to her parents which hangs in their family home - a guest used their wedding invitation as the canvas for a watercolour landscape.  Recognising what a beautiful and unusual idea this was Harriet began creating for family weddings and The de Winton Paper Co was born.

With a broad range of gorgeous styles pre-designed by Harriet, choosing your wedding invitation couldn't be easier but if you want something unique to you Harriet  offers a bespoke service and can transform your wedding invitation into a beautiful and original artwork. A talented calligrapher, Harriet's stunning lettering can elevate your stationery into something truly magical.  And, just for fun, she also offers on the day accessories such as 'Wedding Speech Bingo' and guest comment cards.

But her work isn't just for weddings - a hand painted card for any occasion or just a special message can be kept, framed and cherished forever.

Offering a service that will help you every step of the way, even with wording tips for your wedding and a printing and delivery service, you know you're in safe hands with The de Winton Paper Co.

And, of course, the amazing thing about stationery is that you can now order anywhere in the world - whether you're getting married in Borneo or Bristol!

As Harriet herself says ... "Based in Devon, going global".


Thursday, 4 August 2016


Last night Kirsten Butler (aka The Little Wedding Helper), Emma Norton and I had a fabulous girls night out at The Ivy Clifton Brasserie.

I've always wanted to eat at The Ivy in London but it's still on my 'wish' list so I was very excited to see whether Bristol's newest addition to it's thriving restaurant scene would live up to my expectations.

In the heart of Clifton Village, the restaurant is based in the old Bank building on Caledonia Place.  The entrance is quite impressive but it's the inside that has the real 'Wow' factor.  With lots of beautiful dark wood, amazing Art Deco light fixtures and a stunning bar area, it's really quite breathtaking when you walk in.  

I have to mention the staff - all immaculately dressed, they were welcoming, friendly and attentive and I was really impressed that every member of staff who dealt with us seemed to know who was having which dish at our table.

We all started with a cocktail and I had the beautiful 'Lavender Lady' which was delicious with quite a delicate flavour.

The menu is really extensive and we loved the fact that along with some unusual dishes there were also some great comfort dishes like their signature hamburger and fish and chips.  Our starters were superb - I had one of my all time favourites, the classic Prawn Cocktail, and was really pleased that it was fresh with a great tomato flavour - not at all sickly or over creamy, but my companions' dishes looked wonderful too, with Kirsten choosing the seared scallops and Emma the Mozzarella di Bufala - which I think I want to try next time!  The ladies decided on steak and fat chips and I went for one of the days specials which was two different types of lamb, incredibly tender and tasty.

In the past I've not been able to resist the dessert menu but these days I find that so many things are too sweet or sickly that it takes a really good pudding to tempt me but I have to say EVERYTHING on the dessert menu appealed to me.  I was a bit worried as Kirsten and Emma chose the Creme Brûlée which is one of my ultimate favourites and I thought I was going to be jealous but I HAD to try the Chocolate Bombe with an ice cream centre and warm salted caramel sauce, which our waitress poured over the Bombe.  I can happily report that it was divine!  Our only regret was that Kirsten didn't video it melting under the sauce.  All washed down with a delicate bottle of rose and finished off with coffee.

We all felt it was a real dining experience - wonderful surroundings, great service and a fabulous menu, beautifully cooked and presented!

We ate in a room off the main dining area, which we all thought would be wonderful for a smaller wedding party as it had a garden area too and the whole experience was really rather special.

It's also worth mentioning that they serve afternoon tea so once you've done your wedding dress shopping you could pop in to rest your weary feet and treat yourselves!

I'll definitely be going back - hopefully might surprise my husband and treat him for a special occasion!

Saturday, 2 July 2016


On a rainy October day last year a wonderful group of creative people joined us to collaborate on a photoshoot at one of our favourite Bristol Venues - Hotel du Vin, and I can happily report we had so much fun, resulting in these stunning photos from Matt & Joe of Always You Photography

Hyder Syed & Charlotte Felski with flowers from The Pink Peony 
A few months before, myself and Siobhan Thomas, joint owner of Queenie the Cocktail Caravan were wondering how we could promote our photo wall for weddings and parties and we came up with the idea of a photoshoot.  We started talking to some of our wonderful friends  about working together to showcase our talents and approached Helen at Hotel du Vin, Bristol and all was set!

Charlotte Felski models bridal wear from Lisa Keating Bridal with flowers from The Pink Peony
If you regularly read this blog, you'll know I'm a massive fan of Lisa Keating Bridal, an independent designer whose work is handcrafted and made to measure to couture standards.  Lisa's beautiful work is featured here and it was lovely to have her with us on the day to dress the bride - she's great fun and passionate about everything she does and her attention to detail and styling is superb.

Hair accessory from Vintage Button Bridal Designs

Accessories were loaned by Clare Lloyd of Vintage Button Bridal Designs.  Clare is an absolute delight to work with and loves what she does.  It was such a treat for me to visit her workshop in Frome.  I literally cannot walk past Clare's work without feeling like a kid in a sweet shop and found it so hard to choose accessories for the shoot that Clare really kindly indulged me, letting me take a whole box full!

Make up by Rashida Foy
Our friend Rashida Foy is a great make-up artist - able to create beautiful subtle bridal make-up, as she did for this shoot - as well as amazing creative work on alternative shoots.  We love her flexibility and her laid back attitude

Hyder Syed modelling a waistcoat by Mark Keating

We were so lucky to have two really incredible models for the day.  Hyder Sayed came from London for the shoot and was so professional, gave loads of input and was such an all round good guy.  Tall, dark & handsome, he was the perfect foil to Bristol based Charlotte Felski, our beautiful pale-skinned natural red-head!  Both have lots of modelling experience and we felt really spoilt to have them as part of the team!

Charlotte Felski models Lisa Keating Bridal design
Charlotte's hair by Bonominihair
Charlotte's stunning hair was styled by Bonominihair, a brilliant salon in Clifton who have a great reputation and a very loyal clientele.  

Flowers by The Pink Peony
The flowers are the creation of Laura Connelly from The Pink Peony.  Laura's lovely to work with and has the most wonderful eye for colour and shape.  Her designs literally brought everything to life, drawing the eye and completing every picture. 

Hair accessory by Vintage Button Bridal Designs

Vintage wear - Bristol Vintage
We hadn't worked with Matt & Joe before, but they made the day so easy.  We had a shot list which they ran with and made their own - covering everything and more with so little fuss.  I'm thrilled with the pics of my vintage crockery & props and it was great fun working with them.

Props - Bristol vintage
Cake - Chocolate Delores Cakes
A wedding shoot wouldn't be complete without cake and WHAT cake! Chocolate Delores is queen of the chocolate wedding cake and her creations always bring a  real magic to any shoot.  She also TOTALLY spoilt us by bringing some of her hand made chocolates for us to share and her work seriously is not only some of the most beautiful but also the most delicious!

Charlotte & Hyder model the photo wall & props 

Beautiful bridal shoes from The White Collection Bridal Boutique
Hyder models suit and accessories by Mens Hire.  Working gramophone - Bristol Vintage
Mens Hire, Bristol, loaned us Hyder's vintage-style groom's wear.  They did a brilliant job as we had to work from measurements alone - and he looked great!

We have to thank Hotel du Vin for letting us use their fabulous venue for the day.  Hotel du Vin has been my favourite Bristol Hotel since it first opened over 16 years ago and it was the first place I thought of.  It has a wonderful, relaxed feel and the staff are so professional yet somehow manage to be friendly and laid-back - we didn't really want to leave!

Bristol Vintage's 'Mabel' modelling The Pink Peony's flowers!

Props from Bristol Vintage
Chocolate Delores Seashell cake with Bristol Vintage props

Chocolate Delores white chocolate cake
Thanks are also due to Sarah Daly - our styling assistant.  Sarah has been working in the wedding industry for the last year learning her trade as a Wedding Planner.

Also thank you to Catherine, Lisa Keating's gorgeous daughter, who also helped us on the day!

Thanks to everyone who was involved  - we LOVED the day and the results and we'd love to do it all over again!!!

If you're interested in booking the photo wall & chaise, do email ( or call on 07791 898650.

Supplier list:
Venue: Hotel Du Vin, Bristol
Photography - Always You Photography
Bridal Wear - Lisa Keating Bridal
Bride's Shoes - The White Collection Bridal
Grooms Outfit - Mens Hire Bristol
Accessories - Vintage Button Bridal Designs
MUA - Rashida Foy
Hair - Bonomini Hair
Cakes - Chocolate Delores Cakes
Flowers - The Pink Peony
Photo Wall - Queen the Cocktail Caravan & Bristol Vintage
Crockery & Props - Bristol Vintage
Photo Shoot Assistant - Sarah Daly