Monthly Archives: Dec 2018

2019 Wedding Trends

Wow 2018 is so very nearly drawing to a close.

In the year that we were lucky enough to have not one but two royal weddings, we also saw an explosion of floral extravagance. Meghan & Harry along with Eugenie & Jack gave us two very personal weddings, which I believe as an experienced and professional wedding planner, will one of the biggest trends for next year that we will see.

More couples started to think about looking up at the ceiling of their wedding venue or marquee. We saw more hanging floral arrangements and lanterns strung. Throughout 2018 there was the trend of bringing the outdoors in. Think tall trees, greenery and foliage but inside and this will continue into 2019.Mary Briscoe, Experienced & Professional Wedding Planner, Marquee Wedding | Rebecca Farries Photography

Long guest tables were immensely popular; however, I personally prefer the social element of round tables. This was debated over on my Facebook page back in October and there is certainly a number of positives for each option. But what option would you choose?

Every year we have the hype of a new colour theme release and the wedding industry as a whole get very excited. We almost hold our breath in anticipation to know what the colour will be. Pantone’s colour theme for 2018 was Ultra violet (think a certain sweet company’s purple!) It made the perfect partner to gold, but couples also started to step away from the popular rose gold and opt for a more metallic touch in the form of copper.

For 2019 Pantone have given us Living Coral, a bright, sunny, pinky-orange which will certainly add a vibrant pop of colour to any wedding, party or celebration. Dulux however have chosen a complete contrast to Pantone for next year with their choice of Spiced Honey. They say it is sophisticated, warm and elegant – now that sounds like my kind of colour!

Food is probably one of the most talked about elements to a wedding or celebration. No one wants to get it wrong. Not fully breaking away from the traditional sit down wedding breakfast, but perhaps opting for a dessert and coffee station, giving guests the chance to mingle and graze at a more leisurely pace. Wedding food is definitely seeing a change, and this will continue into the 2019 wedding season.

Weddings are also becoming much more reflective of the couple and their personalities. In 2019 couples will be looking for a more relaxed feel to their special day, especially when planning the ceremony element. The use of a wedding celebrant to provide not only a more personal tailored service but also the place in which they marry will be far more reflective of this. Weddings are often steeped in tradition, which of course I love, but I also love it when couples tweak these giving a much more personal feel. This could be from speeches before the wedding breakfast and with the bride and maid of honour also saying a few words. These are ideas that work beautifully, especially when incorporated into the planning schedule.

I am most certainly not a wedding dress designer, but I can see brides opting for more simple and classic wedding dresses in 2019, especially after the beautiful dresses worn by Meghan & Eugenie. Their dresses were simply stunning. Meghan’s gorgeous long veil certainly added that extra wow factor and although Eugenie opted for no veil it truly reflected her style and grace. More brides will also opt for two dresses; day and evening.

Here at Weddings By Mary you know that I love traditions and trends. But first and foremost, I want my clients to express their own vision and own ideas for their wedding day whether it be ‘on trend’ or not.

What every 2019 brings let it be your wedding choice.

Signature of experienced and professional wedding planner Mary Briscoe

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Wedding Planner Mary Briscoe with Happy Couple / Photo by Sophie Oldhamstead Photography

With the 2018 Christmas festivities nearly upon us, like most, I find myself reflecting on the year gone by.

Weddings By Mary has certainly flourished this year and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every couple and client for putting their trust in me as their experienced and professional wedding planner for the most special of celebrations.

It is truly a huge honour to be part of any happy couples’ special day and I very much feel a personal connection, even if for a short period of time, and at times feel part of the family. I am immensely proud of the business that I am building and with every wedding, party and celebration that I plan that passion grows.

2018 has seen me present at The National Wedding Show in Birmingham, where I spoke about the importance of wedding budget setting; I instigated Weddings By Mary’s blog stories, which in turn has led to being featured on The English Wedding Blog and Bridal Musings; I have been invited to speak on my local BBC Essex Radio Station several times, and have recently been interviewed for Essex Living Magazines February 2019 issue.

I was also delighted to be nominated as a regional finalist for The Weddings Industry Awards East of England Wedding Planner of the Year category.

UKAWP logoI am also passionate about my own personal development. Although I have a wealth of experience and knowledge, built up over the last 20 or so years in the wedding industry, I believe in continuing to expand that knowledge base. As a member of The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners I have attended several courses as well as assisted with the planning of their annual Mix & Mingle event which included participating in my first styled shoot. I have also had the opportunity to assist fellow wedding planners, expanding my contact base and experiencing and learning from others within the industry.

2018 was also the time to shake up the Weddings By Mary brand. Under the valuable guidance of Nicki from Branding By Nicki my new logo and brand style was created along with a revamped website.

Weddings by Mary is all about authenticity, traditions, romance and a sense of calm which I hope shines through.

Proud owner Mary of Weddings By Mary / Photo by HJ-Photography.co.ukI also stepped out of my comfort zone and held my first personal branding shoot, under the excellent direction of the talented Hiral of HJ-Photography. We had to postpone the shoot once because of really cold, wet weather but we still ended up holding the shoot with snow on the ground.

Visibility has been a key learning factor for me throughout 2018. If you follow Weddings By Mary on Facebook & Instagram you will, I hope, have certainly noticed that I have come out from behind the screen a lot more. With the wedding planning services that I offer, clients are ‘buying’ not only my wealth of experience and knowledge as a professional wedding and events planner but primarily they are buying me. Clients, and wedding suppliers alike, both present and future really need to get to know Mary Briscoe, as a person.

Last, but not least I launched my new wedding service Bridal Sessions. I felt that there was a gap in the wedding industry that with my wealth of knowledge I wanted to be able to share. This new service is especially aimed at couples who may not wish to use the full wedding planning or partial wedding planning services which I offer but at some point, in their own wedding planning journey could benefit from some expert guidance.

I hope that you continue to read Wedding By Mary’s Blogs. There are plenty more exciting and useful articles planned for the coming year. If, however you have any questions that you would like me to answer via a blog piece then please let me know, they are all written with you in mind.

Thank you for being part of Weddings By Mary throughout 2018 and here’s to 2019…. and beyond.

Champagne reception bubblesSignature of experienced and professional wedding planner Mary Briscoe


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Wedding Car Transport / Photo: Studio Rouge Photography
Need some Wedding Planning Guidance?

With so much to do and so much to organise it can be hard to even know where to start or indeed which way to turn to plan your wedding.

Many couples wish to plan their big wedding day. Initially setting out their budget, discussing their ideas, sourcing the perfect wedding venue and team of wedding suppliers, creating and sending out the wedding invitations and keeping an eye on their RSVP list.

But as the months start to tick away, the ever-growing list of tasks, the seemingly endless stream of emails, calls and paperwork that planning a wedding entails can swiftly become somewhat overwhelming.

When you are ready to start your wedding planning grab a coffee, tea or wine, whichever is your preference plus pen and paper. Find a quiet spot then write yourself a wish list. A list of all the things that you would like for your wedding. Getting everything down on paper helps to not only help you to start the planning process but also to relieve your mind of the million and one things rushing through it.

As an experienced, professional and down to earth wedding planner, who has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to planning a wedding or special celebration, I can offer practical advice, guidance, tips and inspiration for any engaged couple.Weddings By Mary, Wedding & Party Celebrations Planner / Photo: HJ-Photography.co.uk

Having been involved in weddings for over 25 years and experienced them from almost every possible angle first hand (I was a wedding venue manager for 10 years, a Sessional Registrar, ran my own outside catering business, as well as being a bride once myself). I can certainly understand that if you have never undertaken planning any type of celebration before it is a massive undertaking and one that you will want to make special, exciting and unforgettable.

There are lots of little things that you won’t even think of or know about, but I will. These will make a difference, not only to your planning, but some might also save you money, time and stress.

Whether you just want to know where to start, have a conversation about a particular idea or perhaps you would like to talk through your plans from beginning to end to make sure that you have got everything covered, Weddings By Mary offers Bridal Sessions. These sessions have been designed to assist you plan your big day with fun, expert guidance and sound, informative advice. They consist of Bridal Burst, The Power Hour or Afternoon Tea Inspiration.

Planning a wedding should be a really fun and enjoyable time. But let’s be honest, at times it will get stressful. So, when this happens identify your concerns and talk together about your anxieties. Any doubts can fester so deal with them head-on as soon as possible. Confronting them and taking action will instantly reduce stress levels. It is also good to acknowledge the smaller niggles and perhaps accept them.

It’s sometimes helpful to take some time out from wedding planning and give yourself a breather. Whether this is a ‘wedding free weekend’ or a weekend away to recharge together, this may be just what you need.

Why not contact me to receive your FREE guide to GETTING YOU WEDDING PLANS STARTED which includes some really useful tips?

Signature of experienced and professional wedding planner Mary Briscoe

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Five Tips On Why You Should Host A Winter Wedding

What images conjure up in your mind when you think of Winter weddings? Cosy log fires, beautiful long velvet capes, a dusting of snow, warming spiced drinks & twinkling candle light?

It all sounds so romantic doesn’t it? So why not have your wedding during the magical winter season?

As an experienced and professional wedding planner here are my five ideas and tips on the benefits of hosting a winter wedding:

One of the bonuses of hosting your wedding in the winter is the cost implication.  A venue you set your heart on may not have availability during the summer but will offer a much more cost-effective rate for the winter months.

Although December may be a slightly more expensive winter month, it will not be nearly as much as in the height of the summer busy wedding season. You could also make use of the venue’s festive decorations, to save even more of your budget on décor.

November is perfect as it is pre-festive season. Why not really get the party ball rolling with a stunning firework display, to add that extra sparkle?

A January wedding mind you does give everyone something to look forward to after all the madness of the New Year has passed, especially if it is later in the month.

#TOP TIP: Double check with your venue that fireworks are permitted and whether you are required to use a specific company

Wedding Rings / Photo: Rebecca Farries Photography2. HAY FEVER & WASP FREE
Everyone immediately thinks of weddings as summer occasions. The thought of hosting the drinks reception outside with the sun shining warm and bright, the sound of children running freely around and lashings of lovely fruity Pimms and buckets of ice-cold beers.

But, then along come the wasps. Your guests start to waft their arms about frantically or shift around constantly, with the odd light-hearted scream and dash. You know who they are and can picture them already can’t you?

Those of you who suffer from Hay Fever will most certainly want to consider avoiding the summer months. Streaming eyes don’t make for the prettiest of photographs, however much your photographer can edit.

#TOP TIP: Don’t forget to check if there is a cloakroom or coat rail available for guests to use as you more than likely don’t want unsightly rain macs spoiling your wedding reception appearance.

Just because you book your wedding in the summer doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to have beautiful blue skies and the sun shining bright on you and your guests. (Although you would have been very lucky this year, albeit a little too warm at 34 degrees in a three-piece suit).

If you decide upon a winter wedding you know that it will probably be chilly. However you could also be lucky and have a bright crisp winters day. If it does rain at least you knew that could possibly be the case and purchase some umbrellas, perhaps to match your colour theme, just in case. I have however known December weddings to have most of their photographs captured outside as it was such a beautiful, warmish and sunny day.

Imagine a bride not only wrapped up warm and cosy in a stunning white winter cape but also wrapped in her new husband’s arms too. What’s not to love?

#TOP TIP: Don’t skimp on a professional photographer. They will take amazing photographs come rain or shine and will make the most of the winter light


Now I’m not stylist but even I can picture a wonderful, magical winter wedding scene. Crunchy & frosty under foot, twinkling white lights, lots of gorgeous pillar candles, perhaps a delicate dusting of snow, with a warming, crackling log fire…. the enchanted feel good factor is endless.

If you are wanting to embrace the whole Christmas feel for your winter wedding then you can really let your imagination run wild. Why not try either beautiful pale blue, sparkling silver and crisp whites or opt for truly festive rich reds and emerald greens with holly wreaths and mistletoe hung?

You could opt for a mini Christmas tree with gift tags for guests to write a special message to you which they then leave hung on the tree. A gorgeous guest book alternative.Christmas Wedding Wishing Tree, London / Photo by Weddings By Mary

#TOP TIP: Check when the venue put up their festive decorations as well as their choice of colour scheme. You don’t want it to clash. Do also double check that they permit candles.

How about serving spicy mulled wine or warm winter Pimms for your wedding reception? Such enticing smells to tempt your guests and warm their hands! Exactly what winter is all about, tempting and teasing the taste buds (and expanding the waistline!)

During the evening celebrations, as well as serving traditional coffee and tea, why not offer mugs of warming, rich hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and marshmallows. How lovely would this be for adults & children alike?

#TOP TIP: Have the hot drinks served on a separate table station, which will give guests the chance to move about, stretch their legs and mingle with other guests.

If you have always dreamt about a summer wedding, why not switch your thinking and dare to be different!


Signature of experienced and professional wedding planner Mary Briscoe

This Blog was written for and featured on Bridal Musings

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