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Common Wedding Mistakes - and How You Can Avoid Them

We've been hosting weddings at The Arlington Ballroom since 2013, and we’ve seen a lot of happy couples! Although the odd snag is perfectly normal (and nothing to worry about!) there are some mistakes people make during the planning process that make the whole day still stressful.

Food Mistakes: If You Don’t Cater for All Your Guests, They Won’t All Have Enough to Eat

Wedding Mistakes and How to Avoid Them - Arlington Ballroom Blog

It sounds obvious, but if you only cater for 50% of your guests, there will only be enough food for 50% of your guests! We always recommend people cater for 75% of guests at an absolute minimum - there’s nothing worse than running out of food!

Budget Mistakes: Be Aware of Minimum Spends

Most venues have a minimum spend in place, especially on a weekend. Ensure you talk about the venue hire fee and food costs with the event staff early in the booking process. Find out if there is a separate bar spend in place. Once you’re aware of all the potential costs, do the maths to check if you can achieve the minimum spend with the number of guests you’re expecting.

Budget Mistakes: Mistaking Guest Numbers

Orange and Yellow Wedding Flowers

It can be a disappointing thought, but unfortunately not everyone you invite to your wedding will turn up on the day, even if they’ve RSVPd. Send out your save the date notes as early as possible and emphasise the importance of RSVPing, but prepare for some people to simply not turn up. Similarly, be mindful that an extra 20 or so guests might mean a bigger venue and higher costs - so ensure you’re inviting only the people you really want!

Communication Mistakes: Read the Notes

Many venues will send you notes prior to your event, detailing things like timings, menu choices and any extras you’ve chosen. Ensure you read through these notes carefully before signing off on them!

Planning to hold your wedding in Southend-on-Sea in 2019 or 2020? Get in touch with The Arlington Ballroom today!

Wedding Favour Ideas from Local Businesses

Wedding favours are a tiny part of most weddings, but they’re a little detail that your guests will really appreciate, especially if they’re relevant to you as a couple. Read on a for a few inexpensive wedding favour ideas, all produced by UK-based small businesses!

Customisable Miniatures

Whether you’re a gin fan or a Champagne connoisseur, a miniature at every place setting can be a memorable wedding favour, especially if it’s customised, like these pink gin miniatures from Hearth and Heritage, a Bingham-based small business. Your guests can enjoy a tipple at their leisure and keep the gorgeous bottles if they’d like to!

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Eco-Friendly Seed Packets

Seed packets are a novel way of sharing your love for nature and the environment. Wildflower Favours is a Kent-based small business that specialises in customisable seed packet wedding favours. They offer a variety of packets in different colours and seed types, as well as charity seed packets - so you can support an important charity while you enjoy your big day!

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Customisable Porcelain Favours

Porcelain is beautiful and can be kept long after your wedding is over. These customisable, lace porcelain wedding favours by Northamptonshire -based artisan Karen Turner Ceramics on Folksy will add a delicate detail to your special day.

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Personalised Scented Candles

Scented candles are a popular gift, so why not use them as a wedding favour? If you opt for candles in an aluminium tin, like these from Serendipity Naturals in Chatham, your guests can reuse the tin once the candle runs out!

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If you’re looking for an intimate wedding venue in the Southend-on-Sea area of Essex, please do not hesitate to get in touch with The Arlington Ballroom via our Weddings page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Spring Promotion: £200 Venue Hire on Friday Nights Until End of May 2019

Thinking of holding an engagement party, birthday party, anniversary celebration or just a get together with your loved ones? Why not hold it in April or May? We’re offering £200 venue hire on Friday nights, with a minimum of 80 guests, until the end of May 2019 - current available dates include 26th April, 3rd May and 31st May.

Enjoy our fantastic gin and cocktail bar, make full use of our DJ (or book your own!), sit down to a 3-course meal or enjoy a buffet - it’s up to you! You can see our available dates here. Book to look around our ballroom and find out more by emailing info@thearlingtonballroom.co.uk or phone 01702 711350 (10am-4pm weekdays).

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Christmas Weddings in Essex

We all know someone whose favourite time of year is Christmas. They have their decorations up the first week of December (or before). They go buy stockings for everyone they know, partake in 10 Secret Santas and share posts on Facebook informing you how many sleeps there are until The Big Day. If you’re that person and you’re engaged to be married, why not hold your wedding at Christmas?

Jodie and Nicole’s Christmas wedding on 22nd December 2018.  Photograph by Boutique Wedding Films & Photography

Jodie and Nicole’s Christmas wedding on 22nd December 2018. Photograph by Boutique Wedding Films & Photography

Holding a huge event so close to Christmas or New Year might sound like a nightmare, but It doesn’t have to be stressful - and your guests are going to love having something to think about that isn’t turkey and Christmas pud! Read on for our tips on holding a Christmas wedding.

Get Organised

More organised than you would for a non-Christmas wedding, we mean. Christmas is a busy enough time without a wedding to plan, so we recommend organising your wedding as much as possible earlier in the year. It might seem strange trying on winter wedding dresses in March, or planning white glittering decorations in August, but the more you do before December hits, the more you can relax on your big day! It might be an idea to do your Christmas shopping earlier in the year too…

Decide on Your Christmas Theme

Jodie and Nicole next to their Christmas tree.  Photograph by Boutique Wedding Films & Photography

Jodie and Nicole next to their Christmas tree. Photograph by Boutique Wedding Films & Photography

‘Christmas’ means different things to different people. For some, it’s all about the Father Christmas hats and multicoloured tinsel while for others, it’s about subtle gold or silver drapes and soft lighting. Talk with your partner about how you want to ‘theme’ your Christmas wedding - will it be a sparkling silver winter wonderland, or a bold red and gold grotto? Will you have carols and a Christmassy wedding cake? You could incorporate holly into your flower decorations, use Christmas crackers as wedding favours and even use gingerbread infusers to really get the Christmas theme going!

Are You Having a Christmas-Themed Wedding or Just a Winter Wedding?

How much Christmas is too much Christmas? Some couples want carols as part of their service, some want the Master of Ceremonies to dress up as Father Christmas, some want a choir. Others just want, well, a winter theme for their winter wedding.

Mulled Wine at a Winter Wedding

Plan Your Winter Wedding Breakfast Menu

Winter is the perfect time to be adventurous with your menu. Think mulled wine, Baileys or eggnog as a welcome drink or hearty hot chocolate as a dessert. You could have roast turkey for your mains, as it’s Christmas - or go with something more traditional like venison or pheasant.

Make Plans for Bad Weather

Andrea and Paul’s snowy wedding in winter 2018.  Photos by RM1 Photography.

Andrea and Paul’s snowy wedding in winter 2018. Photos by RM1 Photography.

Winter weather can be unpredictable, so make plans for putting guests up in hotels should it snow. Consider your outfits too - will your bridesmaids want to walk around in strapless dresses in December? Consider adding a wrap to their outfits, or choose a high-necked dress. Remember that guests may not want to hang around in the cold, so consider investing in a marquee.

Are you looking to hold a winter wedding at The Arlington Ballroom? Have a look at what we offer for weddings on our page, and get in touch via info@thearlingtonballroom.co.uk or 01702 711 350 (10am-4pm weekdays).

Jodie & Nicole's Wedding, 22nd December 2018

We love a big, seasonal wedding at The Arlington, and they didn’t come bigger or more seasonal than Jodie and Nicole’s wedding on 22nd December 2018. Jodie and Nicole held their engagement party with us in March 2017 wanted the venue for their wedding as well!

As the big day was the last Saturday before Christmas, the brides chose quite a traditional wintery, Christmassy theme, mixing stunning white and blue sparkling decorations with some natural features including pine cones and a stunning Christmas tree. The styling was by Scarlett Heart Weddings & Events, who did an absolutely fabulous job, while the gorgeous flowers were by Courts of Rayleigh. A big thank you to Yvette and the Events team for putting the whole day together as well!

The whole day was a busy one for our staff, especially as we had just hosted several weeks of Christmas parties and were holding Christmas Day Lunch a couple of days later! Everything went smoothly and Jodie and Nicole were both beautiful brides - it was a really emotional and wonderful day that we loved being a part of. All these wonderful photographs were taken by Boutique Wedding Films. Have a browse!

Jodie and Nicole’s wedding was so fabulous it was featured in G Wedding Directory in March 2019!

Are you interested in holding your wedding at The Arlington Ballroom? Visit our weddings page to find out more about what we offer, then drop us an email on info@thearlingtonballroom.co.uk or call 01702 711 350 (10am-4pm weekdays).

Wedding Vow Renewals at The Arlington Ballroom in Southend-on-Sea

You’ve had the wedding, you’ve had a few anniversaries (quite a few!) and now you and your other half want to celebrate your love by renewing your vows. Why not hold your renewal at The Arlington Ballroom?

We can host 80-250 guests and our beautiful function suite has high ceilings, black granite mirrored pillars and a mezzanine level with a Grand Piano - everything you need for a party! What’s more, we’ve got two fully licensed bars and can recommend live bands, wedding singers or DJs. If you want to go big, we can add features including photo booths, a dance floor, sweet carts, chocolate fountains… the list goes on!

Live band at The Arlington Ballroom Southend

In terms of food, our excellent chef can create a bespoke menu, from 3 and 5-course meals to buffets. We can organise national cuisine, free-from, vegan and barbecue!

If you’d like to book a consultation to look round the ballroom, give us a call on 01702 711 350 or email info@thearlingtonballroom.co.uk. You can read more about our general wedding service here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Wedding Renewal at The Arlington Ballroom Southend
Vow Renewal Service at The Arlington Ballroom Southend

Jennie's 1920s Art Deco Wedding Shoot at The Arlington Ballroom (as seen in An Essex Wedding Magazine!)

When bridal hair stylist Jennie Galgey was working at The Lawn in Southend on a wedding shoot, she wasn’t expecting to fall in love with an Art Deco wedding dress. But when a model from Blush Brides walked out in a beaded Eliza Jane Howell dress and took her hoodie off, Jennie (who usually specialises in a more boho style) was enthralled. She embarked on putting together an entire photoshoot around the dress, and got in touch with local suppliers to help her.

The Arlington Ballroom has always been Southend’s go-to Art Deco venue, so Jennie got in touch with us about shooting here - and we were only too pleased to agree!

On the day of the shoot, the Arlington looked like a Great Gatsby film set, with a 1920s Pierce-Arrow Limousine loaned by Arrow Vintage Cars and opulent styling by Rock the Day Styling and Party Squared. The gorgeous stationery was supplied by Cartalia and Gray Starling Designs. Jewellery was by Dee Neicho, while Elisa Jane Howell supplied four beautiful dresses and House of Lovely Stuff supplied the suave pocket square. Make up was by Katie Poole and our stunning models were Nur, Tate and Andrew (please see photos for links to other suppliers!).

When we spoke to Jennie about the shoot months after it happened, she was still brimming with enthusiasm about how well it went. Everyone who worked on the shoot offered their time, products or services for free, and the shoot grew in size as people got in touch with people and everyone pitched in! Jennie was adamant that she wanted to show a different side to Essex, and it paid off - the shoot was featured on the Mrs P and P wedding blog, and on the cover of the November/December 2018 issue of An Essex Wedding Magazine!

Special thanks go to Matthew Harrison Photography for his beautiful photographs and Bow Ties and Bouquets for their cinematography. Want a sneak peek behind the scenes of the shoot? Watch the video here!

Art Deco Wedding Bride and Groom at The Arlington Ballroom
Couple in Vintage Wedding Car, Art Deco 1920s Photoshoot

Want to hold your very own Art Deco wedding at The Arlington? Get in touch today!

This beautiful wedding cake was by  Pinkface Cakes of South Woodham Ferrers

This beautiful wedding cake was by Pinkface Cakes of South Woodham Ferrers

This stunning floral arrangement is by our favourite florist,  Courts of Rayleigh .

This stunning floral arrangement is by our favourite florist, Courts of Rayleigh.

Our gorgeous groom was dressed by  Anthony Formal Wear of Billericay and Colchester .

Our gorgeous groom was dressed by Anthony Formal Wear of Billericay and Colchester.

Table Decorations 1920s Art Deco Wedding
1920s Art Deco Wedding Inspiration at The ArlingtonBallroom
Art Deco Wedding Table Holders at The Arlington Ballroom
Brooch bouquets were very popular in the 1920s! This was made by London’s  Blue Dove Weddings and Events .

Brooch bouquets were very popular in the 1920s! This was made by London’s Blue Dove Weddings and Events.

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The Arlington Ballroom in An Essex Wedding Magazine.jpg

Wedding Fairs at The Arlington Ballroom, Southend-on-Sea, in September and October 2018

Are you planning your wedding for 2019 or 2020? Why not come along to one of The Arlington Ballroom's upcoming wedding fairs?

On 23rd September we have a gorgeous wedding fair with Destination Bride, which specialises in weddings and honeymoons abroad but will also be showcasing various suppliers. Entry is free, but we would love for you to register your interest on EventBrite! You can learn more about Destination Bride here. The fair runs 11am-3pm and all couples who book on the day will get £100 off their wedding, honeymoon or holiday booking!

On 14th October we have a delectable fair with magazine The Wedding Guide. Browse suppliers and wedding inspiration to your heart's content! Again, entry is free but we request you register our interest via the form on our listing. This fair is also 11am-3pm and every bride in attendance will receive a £100 voucher towards their honeymoon, holiday or flight bookings! Find out more about The Wedding Guide here.

Wedding Fair at The Arlington Ballroom Southend-on-Sea