<![CDATA[Four Candles Blog - Blog]]>Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:45:49 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[40 Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding [INFOGRAPHIC]]]>Thu, 01 Oct 2015 15:31:18 GMThttp://four-candles.weebly.com/blog/40-ways-to-save-money-on-your-weddingWe all want to save money when it comes to the wedding WITHOUT sacrificing any class. Well here are 40 way you can do just that! 
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<![CDATA[Marquee Wedding Tips]]>Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:44:17 GMThttp://four-candles.weebly.com/blog/marquee-wedding-tipsThinking of hiring a marquee for your wedding? They can provide a cost effective solution to host your big day and nowadays there are many companies offering marquee hire - we give you some top tips on how you can make your marquee hire work:

Season

A Summer Wedding is perfect for a marquee - although as they are becoming more popular the cost in this season can be higher than others.

If having a marquee in winter, autumn or spring:
  • Consider a wooden floor - perfect for keeping mud out
  • Hire some heaters - no-one can predict the weather

Catering

  • Remember that you will need access to water - so make sure you marquee is near somewhere, or if not you will have to provide water
  • Consider what kind of meal you would like - Hog Roast, BBQ, buffet or sit-down? With a marquee you have more food choices to consider.
  • Also think about the size of your marquee - you need to make sure you have enough room for your caterers to serve your food.

Essentials

You need to look into:
  • The Electricity supply for your marquee - a generator may be needed if your in the middle of nowhere
  • Hiring toilets if no static loos are nearby - you may need some portaloos for your guests.
  • How your guests and your suppliers are going to access your marquee - make sure there is enough room for items to get to your venue and think how guests are going to get there.
  • Lighting for your marquee - remember it will get dark and if your in the middle of nowhere you need to light the way for your guests and for your catering.

We hope these tips help you with your marquee wedding!
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<![CDATA[Top Tips to Save on your Wedding Catering]]>Wed, 05 Nov 2014 12:47:49 GMThttp://four-candles.weebly.com/blog/top-tips-to-save-on-your-wedding-catering
With the average UK wedding costing £21,000 and catering being one of the most expensive costs of the day - we take a look at some top tips to reduce your costs.

Do your Research

However far in advance your wedding is planned for the catering should be looked into as soon as possible. Make sure you do your research thoroughly beforehand - you don't always have to use your venues caterers - check when looking at venues. If you can use external caterers this can save money - but make sure you look into both options before you make a decision. 

When looking into your own caterers make sure to shop around - gather quotes, check reviews and even meetup with potential caters and gather sample menus. Try to get your potential caterers to compete against one another - telling one company of a lower quote you have received could help you secure a better deal.

DIY as Much as You Can

When you are choosing a caterer check what they include within their price - then double check! You don't want to fall flat when you realise a few weeks before that you have to provide your own table linen or glassware. However if you can DIY parts of your catering this could help you to save some costs. If hiring furniture, tableware or table linen is a part of your cost - check whether an event caterer can do these elements for cheaper - you never know.

Most caterers will add a mark-up to items so looking around at other external equipment hire companies could help you to save.

Substitute Dessert With Cake

Do you really need a dessert and a cake? Our thoughts on it are no! Use your cake as your dessert and save on an extra course for all guests. DIY-ing your cake will also help you to save on your cake - view some top tips on creating your own Wedding Cake here.

Compromise on Food Served

Choose one expensive or high-end course or drink and then pick affordable food or drink for the rest of your day. For example you could swap champagne with prosecco or Buzz Fizz  and you could have inexpensive stater and dessert with a more expensive main.

Two Meals? Opt for one!

The traditional wedding normally consists of the wedding breakfast followed later by a buffet of some sort - why have both? If you are looking to really shave down your budget consider a later wedding - 4pm could work well then serve a buffet at 7pm and your guests will be sorted for the night! Cut your cake a little later to keep your guests satisfied too.
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<![CDATA[15 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Venue]]>Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:00:48 GMThttp://four-candles.weebly.com/blog/15-ways-to-save-money-on-your-wedding-venue
DIY weddings and budget weddings have become hot topics of late. It seems that everyone is searching the web for ideas on how they can reduce their wedding costs. Well we’re here to help too and have compiled a list of ways to reduce the cost of your wedding venue.

1 Avoid the weekend

Saturday is the most common day for weddings. It’s traditional and more convenient for most. But by having your wedding mid-week you could cut costs by half.

2 Try a package deal

It might be cheaper to have the wedding and reception in one spot rather than paying for two separate venues.

3 Prioritise your wants and needs

Think about the most important aspects a venue should have. This might be a great view or a large space or easy access for guests etc. Choose a venue that might not be perfect on all fronts but at least covers some of your main priorities.

4 Think outside the box

Your venue doesn’t necessarily need to be a 5* hotel. There are lots of great places where you can get married in a beautiful yet non-traditional setting. Here are just a few:

-          Pubs

-          Local sports clubs

-          Village Halls

-          Local authority buildings (check your local council’s website)

-          National Trust venues

-          Village greens

-          Art galleries

-          Country cottages

-          Smaller hotels

5 Go to wedding fayres

Some venues and suppliers offer discounts exclusively for shows. Either way you may get some fresh ideas from the fayre.

6 Choose a small town

Shop around your local area; you might be able to find a cheaper venue in a small town or village rather than in the city.

7 Avoid wedding season

Venues are bound to offer a reduced fee for out-of-season dates. So book between October and April.

8 Bargain with the owner

If you’ve got the skills you may just be able to haggle for a lower price.

9 Dress up a venue

Don’t judge a book by its cover. You can dress up any venue and hire anything you might need. Four Candles hires out furniture, catering equipment and more.

10 Pay in full

You might be able to get a discount if you offer to pay for the venue in full as opposed to providing a down payment and paying the rest later.

11 Don’t rush it

Make sure you shop around for the best prices. Don’t just settle for the first place you find, your dream (budget) venue could still be out there somewhere.

12 Have a small reception

Only invite your nearest and dearest to the reception. You can have a casual party for the rest of your friends later on.

13 Get wedding insurance

Obviously taking out insurance costs money, but you could save a whole lot of money if something doesn’t go to plan.

14 Find a new venue

Some brand new venues that are just opening will be cheaper than established venues.

15 Shorten your reception

If the venue charges by the hour then save money by cutting down on time. In all likelihood guests won’t even notice.

We hope that these tips will help you save some dough on your big day. Just start early and think things through and you won’t end up paying through the nose for a venue.


Image: Jason Sussberg
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<![CDATA[How to Start Your Own Wedding Planning Business]]>Mon, 07 Jul 2014 09:09:03 GMThttp://four-candles.weebly.com/blog/how-to-start-your-own-wedding-planning-business
The statistics say that every 1 in 3 start-up businesses fail within the first three years. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t bother starting up your own business because there’s more chance you’ll be part of the majority who succeed. However, you need to keep in mind that many do fail and for this reason you need hit the ground running from the get go. You need to start your wedding business with a solid foundation to ensure your ultimate success.

1 Get to know the industry

It’s completely unrealistic to think that you would be able to start your wedding planning business with absolutely no experience whatsoever. So, you’ll want to get as much experience as possible either through formal education or work experience. Prospects has some great information as to where you can get training.

2 Consider your style

This is an important aspect of starting any business, not just a wedding planning business. You’ll want to create a marketable image and brand. This means creating the bare bones of your branding strategy to begin with. You’ll want a business name and logo that reflects your style. You may want to write down your company’s ethos and even set up a website.

3 Build up contacts

It’s safe to say that you won’t be able to do every job yourself. Therefore, you’ll need to make contact with various professionals you’d like to work with. This includes photographers, florists, venues etc. Using a wedding directory to find relevant people is a good idea. Send out a few emails and organise some meetings. You might also need to hire catering equipment from time to time using a company like Four Candles.

4 Tick all the boxes

You’ll need to make everything official if you want to set up a legitimate business. This means registering as a sole trader or limited company. Here’s some information on registering your business in the UK.

5 Market your business

So you now have a great business and lots of contacts, but this is absolutely no use if you have no clients to work with. Nowadays, the easiest way to reach prospective couples is online. You’ll want to make sure your website is search engine optimised. And you almost definitely want to reach out to people via social media too.

Remember that achieving business success takes time. So, don’t be disheartened if your wedding business isn’t thriving from the get go. 


Image: Jonathan Day
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<![CDATA[10 Massive Events Fails to Avoid at All Costs]]>Tue, 27 May 2014 13:33:14 GMThttp://four-candles.weebly.com/blog/10-massive-events-fails-to-avoid-at-all-costsPicture
There are a few faux pas that will irk your guests so much they won’t be in attendance next time, if they haven’t already left the event that is. Here’s what you need to avoid to make sure this doesn’t happen to you:

1 Lack of Wi-Fi

Social media addicts, business people and phubbers will be far from impressed if there’s no Wi-Fi available at your event. What’s more, guests won’t be able to visit your website, follow you on Twitter or Google the guest speaker. Think of all the opportunities you and your guests will be missing out on if there’s no Wi-Fi.

2 No disabled access

Every host needs to make sure that ALL of their guests’ needs are catered to meaning that ALL of their guests leave having had a great time with no added obstacles.

3 Damaging the environment

By not making your event green you’ll be making many of your guests blue. It’s not just a small group of eco-activists that care about the environment nowadays, lots of people genuinely care about our planet.

4 Disclosing contact information

Data protection and privacy are further issues that are gaining attention. We are only just starting to realise that we basically sign over our souls when we don’t read the Terms & Conditions for websites like Facebook. And there is no one more hated than the cold caller who seems to pick people’s details out of thin air. With this in mind, let’s just say your guests won’t be very happy if you give away their details to marketers.

5 Lack of clear direction

This is of course important when thinking about the overall purpose or schedule, but even more so in the literal sense. To put it simply, your guests will feel lost if they don’t know where they’re going.

6 A long-winded RSVP process

We all have enough paperwork to take care of, we don’t want to complete a three-page questionnaire just so we can attend a conference. And faxing or posting something you’ve had to download and print is just nightmarish. Get an online registration form, it’s that simple.

7 Running out of things

Sometimes this can’t be helped. But that doesn’t mean your guests will be able to take it on the chin when you run out of white wine.

8 Letting your Uncle Bob dj

You might be tempted to hire friends, relatives, acquaintances or your next door neighbour to provide the entertainment or help with catering. But if you want a professional event always hire the best person for the job rather than a personal contact.

9 Freaking out

Let’s state the obvious, planning an event and seeing it through is highly stressful. A whole manner of things could go wrong, but what your guests will remember is how you dealt with those things. The last thing you want is a shrieking events manager running around like a headless chicken. Keep calm and collected and roll with the punches.

10 Not saying goodbye

Or thank you for that matter! Not only do first impressions count, so do final impressions and essentially you want to make a good lasting impression with guests, staff, vendors etc.

Finally, forgetting to enjoy the event you’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into organising, is certainly something to be avoided!

This post was brought to you by Four Candles, Berkshire and the South East’s leading furniture and equipment hire company. Image: Evil Erin

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