Couples ‘engage’ in a new Bridal Masterclass event!

On Saturday 1st April 2017, The Alternative Wedding Group hosted the ‘first of its kind’ Bridal Masterclass event in Birmingham, created to support couples plan their own weddings. The event was held at the prestigious Park Regis Hotel and featured … Continue reading

Cross Cultural Wedding Planning

If you are planning a cross cultural wedding & want to incorporate both of your cultures, read our tips on how to do it. Continue reading

Top 5 Wedding Venues for Cultural Food in the West Midlands

Here at the Alternative Wedding Group we strongly believe that all brides (and grooms) should get to eat the food that represents them on their big day. We do not believe in sacrificing cultural (or preferential) food choices for the sake of having a nice venue. Food is such an integral part of many cultures that compromising is just not an option.

With that being said, we want to highlight some of the best venues in the West Midlands that accommodate a variety of food choices.

Chesford Grange, Warwickshire  


Chesford Grange is set in 17 acres of beautiful grounds and woodlands. The grand Kenilworth Suite can accommodate up to 400 guests for your evening reception and up to 600 for your ceremony. With full air-conditioning, a conservatory-style private reception area and foyer, it is perfect for mingling with your guests. Chesford Grange has partnered exclusively with Itihaas Weddings & Events based in Birmingham to provide authentic Asian cuisine.

Villa Park, Birmingham

Wedding Photography Birmingham

With facilities to host up to 604 guests, Villa Park is one of Birmingham’s top inclusive wedding venues able to cater for large weddings and celebrations. Your guests will be impressed by their state of the art design features, modern and spacious suites. They offer delicious Asian and Caribbean menus.

MacDonald Burlington Hotel, Birmingham


With facilities to accommodate for up to 400 guests and boasting features such as glittering chandeliers, this venue will help to add to that unique sense of occasion on your big day. The venue is licensed to hold civil ceremonies and therefore you can have your ceremony and reception in one place. The wedding coordinators specialise in coordinating self-catered weddings and therefore is perfect for individuals wanting to bring it non-standard cuisine.

Ramada Park Hall, Staffordshire  *Star Pick*


This grade II listed Georgian hotel is one of the most elegant wedding venues in the West Midlands. The hotel is set in 5 acres of landscaped gardens, with distant views of the Staffordshire countryside beyond; a stunning backdrop to your wedding photos. They are also a licensed venue for outdoor weddings that take place in the beautiful garden pagoda. The venue can accommodate for up to 600 people. They have extensive Caribbean, Greek Cypriot and Asian menus making it truly inclusive.

Marriott Forest of Arden, Warwickshire


This venue boasts manicured lawns and parkland with roaming deer, pheasants and rabbits. Licensed for civil marriage ceremonies and qualified for weddings of all types, including ethnic and military. The elegant outdoor marquee accommodates for up to 350 with the largest indoor space accommodating up to 250 people. This venue allows self-catering and also has a number of recommended Indian preferred Indian caterers.

If you know of any amazing self catering venues or venues that provide a range of cuisines please drop us a line at






Complimentary Wedding Masterclass

COMPLIMENTARY OFFER! Wedding Masterclass Saturday 5th of December 2015. Planning your wedding? Overwhelmed with everything? Get help from the professionals! Let us advise you on how to plan your DREAM WEDDING at our one of a kind mini masterclass. From … Continue reading

Birmingham Made Me – Alternative Events Case Study

On Wednesday the 17th of June, several months of hard work culminated in a show stopping celebration of all things Brum at the 2015 Birmingham Made Me Design & Innovation Awards. Continue reading

Gift List, Honeymoon Registry, Boxed Gifts or Cash Gifts??

Most people know that it is polite to purchase a gift for the couple when attending a wedding. However, the format of how a wedding gift is both given and requested has changed significantly over the past ten years. There are a variety of options available for today’s couple especially with the incorporation of the internet. Continue reading

Managing Difficult People When Planning Your Wedding

The Alternative Wedding Planner

As we constantly reiterate, wedding planning is mega stressful. Most people think that the planning part is the stressful bit when in fact it is often your friends and family that cause the most stress. Here are our top 7 stressful people you may encounter on the wedding process and how to deal with them.

  1. The random acquaintance that invites themselves

This person is generally someone you quite like but are not especially close to. You have never been to each other’s houses, you don’t even have her number in your phone. However, upon hearing that you’re getting married, she is overly excited and exclaims that she can’t wait to receive her invitation. As much as you genuinely wouldn’t mind having her at your wedding, you are only having close friends and family so she won’t be receiving an invitation. You would never have suspected that she would think she would be invited as you wouldn’t have thought you would be invited to her wedding. Sometimes people think they have a deeper relationship with you than you with them. Other times people just want an invite to a knees up so they can eat and drink on you.

What to do: Explain that due to being on a budget, only close friends and family will be invited and as much as you would love to share your special day with them, you simply cannot afford it.

  1. The mother/mother in law who wants to invite an unreasonable amount of people.

For many mothers/mother in laws the wedding of their child is another opportunity to relive their wedding or if sadly they never had one, to live vicariously through you. Not to mention a chance to rub their friends noses in it that their child has found love and getting married. As such they can become generally overbearing and annoying when inputting into the wedding. Most things can be ignored or tolerated but if they start making unreasonable demands on who you should be letting them invite it can become a major issue causing family conflict. Especially if they are inviting random people just to show off as opposed to because they genuinely want them there.

What to do: Calmly explain your desire to have an intimate wedding with just your nearest and dearest and that the neighbour from 15 years ago doesn’t really count. Provide her with a realistic number of individuals she can invite and let her pick who fills those seats. If she is adamant ask for a financial contribution towards the guests she would like to invite.

  1. The cousin who wants to bring her children

You don’t have any children (or you do but only like your own) and have subsequently decided that you would prefer a child free wedding. Children make lots of noise after all and won’t really value or appreciate the importance of the day. However, your cousin has four kids under the age of ten and everyone in your family who could baby sit will be at the wedding. Worst of all her children are known for being particularly unruly. She is insistent that if her kids cannot attend then neither can she.

What to do: This is a difficult one as it could lead to you potentially falling out with your family member. However, if you really do not want children you have to be firm but understanding. Offer to cover the cost of a babysitter service. Get in touch with other guests who have kids and get everyone to chip in for the cost of a babysitter service. If your cousin doesn’t want to use this option then you need to consider if having a few kids at your wedding is as detrimental as falling out with your cousin.

  1. The individuals who do not RSVP

Chasing RSVP’s is a tedious and frustrating process. You give guests ample time and ample methods to be able to RSVP yet there are still those who do not follow the clear instructions included in your invite. Typically individuals who have organised a wedding before will RSVP pretty quickly as they understand the process. However, others may just assume that you know that they must be coming because obviously you are a psychic and received their telepathic RSVP.

What to do: Put someone else in charge of chasing RSVP’s. A sister, an aunt, a friend anyone. Not only will it mean that your stress levels remain low, but receiving a stern phone call or email from a third party usually gets quicker responses.

  1. The bridesmaid adamant on bringing a plus one

It’s a few weeks before your wedding and one of your bridesmaids has started dating someone and has told you that she will need a plus one so he can come along. Problem is you do not know this person and more importantly neither does she. There are plenty of other people who you would prefer to attend but don’t have the space. However, your bridesmaid says she won’t come if she can’t bring her new boo.

What to do: This is a very upsetting situation primarily due to the selfishness of your bridesmaid. A real friend would not put you in this situation and as such you should definitely not give in to her blackmailing. If that means she is no longer a bridesmaid and you lose her as a friend then unfortunately that is her choice for putting you in an impossible situation. Stand your ground!

  1. The uncooperative groomsman

Before the wedding planning process started you and your fiancés friends got on like a house on fire. Yet, once the wedding planning process began, one friend in particular has become uncooperative. They don’t want to hire a suit, contribute to travel, book into the bridal party hotel, or pretty much do anything you have asked. Your fiancé isn’t really doing anything about it and is being a typical laid back man. However, it is infuriating you and messing with your arrangements.

What to do: Insist on your fiancé sorting it out. Calmly explain to him how upset his friends’ behaviour is making you and how important it is that he does the things you have asked. Let him know how much it is affecting your wedding planning experience. Mae sure you reiterate how much you like the friend and question if there is something deeper going on as you have always got on. Hopefully your fiancé will recognise the severity of the situation and do something about it. Make sure you do not spend the entire conversation bad mouthing his friend or you will come across as a crazy Bridezilla.

  1. The warring bridesmaids

Bringing a group of women together with only you as a common factor can be an automatic recipe for drama. If you have friends from different parts of your life, mixed with family members, there is no guarantee that they will get on. With differing personalities, lifestyles, strengths and weaknesses clashes are somewhat inevitable.  However, good bridesmaids will keep you out of it. If the drama becomes so major that you have to get involved it can create unnecessary stress that you simply do not need.

What to do: Your Chief or Maid of honour should really get all the bridesmaids in check. If she can’t or if she is part of the problem then ask your mum or an aunty to try and sort it out on your behalf. If you simply have to get involved take a calm approach. Explain to all involved how important it is that you remain stress free. Remind them of their roles and why they were chosen and how important it is that they get on for the sake of you having the day you dreamt of. Basically guilt trip them into behaving.

Happy Planning x

Why You Should Seriously Consider Hiring an ‘On-the-day’ Wedding Coordinator.

So you’ve spent, weeks, months maybe even years planning your dream wedding. The date is fast approaching and you have everything in place. You have great organisational skills and a supportive bridal party who have been chipping in throughout the process. Wedding Coordinator? Why would you need one of those when you have done such a good job so far? Here are the reasons why.

Fun for ALL of your guests

Without a wedding coordinator the job of ensuring everything runs smoothly will ultimately fall to your appointed family or friends. Instead of being able to fully immerse themselves in the fun and revelry, they will be preoccupied with ensuring your day runs smoothly. Why should they miss out on the fun?

Peace of mind

Contrary to popular belief, wedding coordination is a profession. It requires experience, skill and the ability to work under extreme pressure. This enables proficient coordinators to execute weddings to a professional standard. Your friends and family may be able to do a good job if everything goes to plan but what happens if things don’t go to plan. How will they cope? Will they know what to do? A wedding coordinator will and this will give you the peace of mind that you want when shelling out thousands of pounds on your special day.

Maintaining relationships

If things do go wrong and your family or friends are responsible it could lead to major rifts that ruin your relationships. You cannot really expect that individuals who are not trained or experienced in wedding coordination can be held responsible if things go awry. However, with tensions running high during weddings, it is quite possible that you will and end up losing a friend. Do you really want to take that risk? A wedding planner will ensure that this is not even a possibility.

Quality control

As previously mentioned, wedding coordinators are experienced in managing wedding days and working under extreme pressure. Hiring one will ensure that the investment you have made in your wedding is worth it by reducing the chance of something going wrong. Do you want to spend thousands of pounds planning the perfect day only to scrimp on its delivery? The coordinator will liaise with suppliers beforehand and ensure all of your plans are logistically sound. They will manage the schedule on the day as well as implement any special measures if anything changes. If you are going to spend a lot of money on your big day, you don’t want it to fall apart at the last hurdle. It’s like buying a brand spanking new mansion and furnishing it with cast offs from friends and family. Why would you do that? If you want quality you need to hire the professionals.

It is not as expensive as you may think

You can hire a wedding coordinator for £400 – £1000 depending on the number of guests you have attending your wedding. Given that the average UK wedding costs around £26,000 and the average luxury wedding costs £35,000 the price of a wedding coordinator is a very small fraction of the overall cost of the wedding. It is a particularly small price to pay for all of the above.

Happy Planning x