Friday, 27 January 2012

All the single ladies....

So, it's 2012, and a year that is full of excitement and special occasions... the London Olympics, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - I've mentioned these before.

But there is something else far more special and wonderful this year - it's a leap year, and custom dictates that all those girls out there whose minds have turned to marriage needn't wait for their fella to do the deed, they can get down on one knee themselves.

There's some dispute as to when exactly this can happen - is it any day this year, Valentine's Day (my favourite), or just on February 29th?

There's also some debate as to the consequences - some folklore would have it that if he turns you down, he has to pay a 'sizeable forfeit' and offer the unlucky girl gifts, such as a new silk gown or a gift of £100.  I'm guessing they were both a lot more valuable when that little lore started.  Also, I'm thinking she'd have preferred it if he'd just bought the flamin' ring in the first place!

In other tales, the bad luck is on the refusing gentleman, unless of course, you forgot to wear your scarlet flannel petticoat while you were asking the question, then he's relieved of any curse.  Quite how he gets to find out the colour and cloth of your petticoat after such a disappointing response, I don't quite know.

Of course times have changed since these beliefs started - back then, when society rules were so strict, it would have been unthinkable for a lady to propose marriage.  However, even now, we girls still prefer to think we'll be asked, and there is still a uniqueness about a girl proposing to her beau.

Unless you're Zsa Zsa Gabor of course, and she proposed to all 9 of her husbands...... but don't let that put you off!

And to get you in the mood, we will extend our current web offer for free reception canapes to any couple who get engaged this year, because the bride to be exercised her ladies' privilege. 

So, get in touch and tell us your stories

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Wuthering Heights

Now, I admit, the idea of a deep winter wedding on the edge of Saddleworth Moor in Lancashire might not be everyone's idea of romance.  Bleak landscape, horizontal rain and gale force winds..... and the bride in wellies!

But.....  if this photo doesn't instantly scream Cathy & Heathcliff, then there is no romance in your soul.

photo courtesy of
 Jenny Martin is a very talented photographer who took some of what are possibly the best wedding photo's I've ever seen. 

OK, so I admit to a degree of bias, the subjects being my sister and new husband and our families and friends, but that said, having gone through the online album, and seen the images on her facebook page, there are some stunning shots amongst them.  If nothing else, Jenny and her partner have cleverly captured the total happiness that just shone from C & J on their big day. 

But more than just the images, Jenny managed the bridal party and guests brilliantly, whilst working around some truly awful weather. At all times, we were 100% clear on what she and her partner needed us to do before each photo or grouping were assembled, especially when the photo was to be taken outdoors.

Jenny is based in Lancashire, but has assured me she would be more than happy to travel down to our coverage area, so I am really looking forward to recommending her to some of our brides for this year, and hopefully working with her soon.

Friday, 13 January 2012

A family occasion?

When drawing up that guest list for your event, usually in the case of a wedding, one question that comes up is whether to invite children. There is no doubt they can add to the enjoyment of the day.... when they are having a great time.

At our recent family wedding my six year old niece challenged the photographer to a 'shoot out', and spent the wedding breakfast touring the tables with a disposable camera snapping away various (probably headless) images. Another client of ours drew up a photo competition for the older children, giving each a polaroid camera and a list of clues to the people they had to find and photograph during the day.

If you are expecting your guests to bring their families, we believe it's important to make sure the children feel welcome and looked after.

photo courtesy of
In May last year we worked on a wedding for Jamie and Ceri, and they had a relatively large number of children in attendance.  They were able to provide a separate children's marquee, and asked us for advice on how to best look after their young guests. 

So, out came a tried and tested recipe - some sort of entertainment and a special children's menu to help keep them happy and contented throughout the day.

Busy Living Ltd were brought on-board to provide a creche for the younger children, along with a magician for later in the day.  Before the event, they met Jamie on-site and together they carried out a comprehensive risk assessment, confirming several changes that were made in the garden to ensure it was a safe environment for the children. 

We provided a dedicated team for the children's food to make sure they were consistently looked after whilst we also took care of the grown-ups. We made sure the children were given several small meals throughout the afternoon, ensuring they didn't get chance to get hungry or thirsty.

On the day, the children's tent was well-stocked with toys, and qualified nannies. 

As one guest commented 'No-one heard a single child crying all day' so our task to keep the children happy was clearly successful!
photo courtesy of
We appreciate not everyone has the luxury of separate space for their young guests, are can afford a children's entertainer or creche.  But the principle remains the same and it doesn't cost much to make sure that the menu is right and there is entertainment for them, even if it just takes the form of a party bag on the table with colouring books or games for them to keep themselves occupied. 

Not only will they then add to the enjoyment, but the parents will thank you for the opportunity to share in your day without worrying about their little ones.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Best of British

One theme we're seeing a lot of this year in all sorts of ways, is the Best of British.  With the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, it looks like red, white and blue will be popular colours.

We've already had a few enquiries from clients looking for a traditional British 'knees up' for want of a better word!  Plans for bunting, village fete-style food stalls and themed food as well as decor are abundant, and we're enjoying stepping up to the challenge.

How about the following canape ideas for a summer bash.....

miniature cottage pies topped with cheesy mash
traditional yorkshire puddings with rare roast beef and horseradish cream
sausage and mash in porcelain spoons
fish and chips in bamboo cones
ham hock terrine on miniature toasts with gherkin and piccalilli
prawn cocktails in filo cups

..... and many more.  For a full drinks party, you could even serve them in 'courses' finishing off with some beautiful sweet canapes such as passion fruit tartlets or hazelnut meringue kisses with chocolate cream filling.....

Alternatively, add finger sandwiches and miniature homemade victoria sponges, and serve with Pimms and Early Grey for a traditional English tea.  Why not go the whole hog and serve on delicate vintage china?

If any of these ideas have whetted your appetite, do give us a call on 01491 575357 or drop us an email to, and we'll be happy to expand on the theme.  We'll make sure there's a little surprise too, if you mention you found us from this blog.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Social Media Merry-go-round

As part of our new marketing 'strategy' we're making a concerted effort with social media, as we're reliably informed that's the way to drive new visitors to our website, who will then fall in love with our menus and event services and immediately book us for their upcoming function.

So, we now have the following accounts, pages, whatever the correct and relevant terminology is:


and newly added today..... Google+.

My computer doesn't know what's hit it - it was created in the days well before social media was dreamt of, and Google+ has caused it to go and lie down in a darkened room 3 times today already.  It's 11.38am and all I seem to have done today is send 2 emails, answer 2 phone calls and then spend the rest of the morning rebooting my poor hung pc.

It seems I will be spending more time updating all these accounts than actually working on events!  So I thought I'd try an experiment and see how many people are actually reading any of the posts I put up. 

I'm looking for your feedback - what would you like to see us post about?  What would make you come back and read more?  And which social media sites do you use?

Features we've considered are case studies, sample menus, recipe of the month, etc.  Would these be of interest to you?  Or would you prefer special offers?

Please let me know, and we'll put your suggestions to work.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Wedding celebrations.

As you can imagine, we are involved in a number of weddings every year.  However, this year we were on the other side of the fence, and between Christmas and New Year we were guests at the wedding of my sister C and her lovely new husband J. 

The whole day was beautiful and so relaxed - they had planned it to perfection.  The only small hiccup was the weather - but let's face it, Lancashire in December was never going to be balmy.  (However I could have lived without gale force winds and horizontal rain.)

The church service was so lovely and personal to them.  The vicar even shared a box of chocolates with us to illustrate his sermon.  I had been asked to do a reading in the church, and as I am a fairly emotional character at times like that, I was really nervous.  However, I'd practised the reading over and over till I thought I was immune. 

Then I made the mistake of watching C walk up the aisle, and that was it, the tears started and I never really recovered.....

I had a hymn and a small part of the service to pull myself together, but as I walked forward I knew it would be touch and go!  I was almost lost when I looked at C and she was also welling up, but I just about managed to hold it together, although the line 'you can cry on my shoulder' did raise a laugh!

'I Will Be Here' by Steven Curtis Chapman has to be one of the most perfect readings for a wedding, and I have C & J's permission to share it with you, along with a photo of their day.  I hope it may provide inspiration for some of our future brides and grooms.

I Will Be Here
Steven Curtis Chapman

If in the morning when you wake,
If the sun does not appear,
I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand and have no fear,
I will be here.

I will be here,
When you feel like being quiet,
When you need to speak your mind I will listen.
Through the winning, losing, and trying we'll be together,
And I will be here.
If in the morning when you wake,
If the future is unclear,
I will be here.
As sure as seasons were made for change,
Our lifetimes were made for years,
I will be here.

I will be here,
And you can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us we're older.
I will hold you, to watch you grow in beauty,
And tell you all the things you are to me.
We'll be together and I will be here.
I will be true to the promises I've made,
To you and to the one who gave you to me.
I will be here.

Happy New Year!

OK, so it's a few days late, as we had a sneaky extra day off!  But may we wish all our clients, (past, present and future) suppliers and followers a very happy and prosperous New Year. 

May 2012 bring you health, wealth and happiness.  We look forward to working with you all again in what looks set to be a busy year ahead.