60 Seconds with The Alternative Wedding Group

Q: Who is the Alternative Wedding Group? Luxury alternative wedding planning company run by Truchio Powell and Daniella Genas-Ogunbanjo. Q: What is an “alternative wedding”? Weddings that do not fit within the mainstream ideal. Q: What exactly makes you different to … Continue reading

5 Minutes With The Alternative Wedding Group

Q: Who is the Alternative Wedding Group? AWG: The Alternative Wedding Group was founded by myself (Truchio Powell) and Daniella Genas-Ogunbanjo. We are a niche luxury wedding planning service specialising in coordinating show stopping alternative weddings for inter-racial, cross cultural, … Continue reading

Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake! How To Make a Statement with your Wedding Cake.

We LOVE cake. We especially LOVE wedding cake. You may not have given your choice of wedding cake much thought thus far but do not underestimate the importance of a wedding cake in creating a major statement on your big … Continue reading

Why Do I Need a Wedding Planner??

We often speak to engaged couples about their big plans for their luxury weddings. They mention how important it is to wow their guests and have a spectacular day, yet they sometimes seem reluctant to hire a wedding planner.
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AWG Featured in the media

It’s been a great couple of months for us here at the Alternative Wedding Group. We have finalised our logo, sorted out our stationary, increased our social media following and already got clients booked in for this year. What has been really great has been the support we have received in the local and national media.

At the end of January we were featured in the Voice online: Click Here to Read the Story

 press clippings the voice the alternative wedding group

In February we appeared on the Chatback show with Bishop Joe Aldred on BBC WM. This week we will make our first television appearance on the Wassifa show on Big Centre TV! Now we just need to get into a magazine and we would have covered all bases.

If you would like to run a story on the Alternative Wedding Group contact us today! Email thealternativeweddinggroup@aspire4u.co.uk

Help! My wedding is stressing me out!

Organising a wedding can be one of the most stressful things to happen in your life. Primarily because of the fact that people tend to go crazy at the mention of the word wedding. Previously sane, normal individuals can turn into difficult, hurtful, maniacs within minutes of an engagement ring being slipped onto your finger. Falling out with jealous bridesmaids, arguing with your tight fisted spouse about the spiralling budget, back handed comments from the in-laws about not being allowed to invite a second cousin twice removed are just a few of the stress inducing scenarios that many brides to be are faced with.

What is supposed to be the happiest day of your life can quickly turn into a weight around your neck if you succumb to the stresses and headaches of the planning process. If you feel like your wedding is starting to feel less like fun and more like major stress inducer try our top tips!

  1. Appoint a representative

People are usually the biggest cause of stress when planning a wedding. Constant questions, demands, opinions, requests, can all help to raise your blood pressure. Ask your maid of honour/chief bridesmaid/mother/mother-in-law to deal with difficult people. They care about you and your mental wellbeing and one, or all of them probably won’t mind helping alleviate some of your stress. As much as they are involved in the wedding, they are still a little bit more detached than you are. Dealing with difficult suppliers, demanding guests or an evasive venue manager probably won’t be as upsetting to them as it is to you. Ensure whoever you appoint is confident and able to stand their ground during difficult conversations.

  1. Turn off your phone

The majority of stress building communication will happen via your phone, so if you want to minimise stress, turn it off! Obviously you cannot keep your phone off forever, but if you start to get inundated with calls, texts, Watsapp messages regarding your big day, switch it off for a few hours.

The same applies to email. Put an auto-responder on directing people to your appointed representative. State that due to heightened levels of stress you will no longer be receiving email correspondence from friends and family in relation to your wedding. Obviously only do this if you have a designated wedding email address and not your work email. Also don’t forget to turn it off once you are back in action.

  1. Keep a journal

Writing about your experience of planning your wedding can be very therapeutic. You can moan and complain about all of the things that have gone wrong or all of the people that have annoyed you without any consequences. There are also lots of wedding and bridal forums that you can post to anonymously and moan with lots of other brides to be. You will be surprised by how many people go through the exact same experiences when getting married. Getting advice from other people in your situation may also help to calm you down.

  1. Exercise

Exercise has long been proven to be an excellent way to get natural stress reducing endorphins flowing through your blood stream. Do 30 minutes of exercise a day to keep those endorphins pumping in times of high stress. If you are already feeling highly stressed why not try a high impact body combat style fitness class. Kick boxing, boxing or any defence or martial arts type exercise class will provide a great release. Plus, you might even lose a few extra pre wedding pounds as well as tone up.

  1. Step away

Sometimes a great way of reducing wedding stress is to step away from it for a little while. Due to the excitement of the impending big day and a desire for everything to be perfect, it can be easy to get totally immersed in all things wedding. From the moment you wake up to the minute you go to sleep the wedding is probably on your mind. This does not help when you are feeling stressed and anxious. Plan a none wedding related day out with a few of your girlfriends, book a pamper day with your mum, go away for the weekend with your fiancé even if it is just to stay with friends in another city. The most important thing is whatever you choose to do, make sure that whoever you are with is informed in advance that wedding talk is banned. Having that day or two away from planning can provide your brain with some much needed time off as well giving you a renewed energy to get back to it.

If all else fails, Hire a wedding planner!

Although it may seem like an unnecessary expense, hiring a wedding planner to assist in the wedding planning process can alleviate a lot of stress. Not only will they take care of all of the suppliers for you, but they will have relationships with the suppliers which may garner you some great discounts. A little known fact is that wedding planners can also take charge of the invite list and chase RSVP’s which can be incredibly stressful. It is an additional expense but totally worth it for the peace of mind it gives you!

5 Ways to Pre-empt Wedding Supplier Cancellations!

Imagine the scenario: You have spent days, weeks, months, maybe even years planning your dream wedding. You have just a few months to go and one of your major suppliers cancels on you. You scream, you shout, you cry, you throw yourself on the ground and curl up in a ball like an injured animal. Why is this happening to you? What will you do now without a photographer/caterer/entertainment…..?

Generally, suppliers are reliable as there reputation is on the line if they cancel. But there is always the chance that some sort of emergency will arise that will lead you to be missing a photographer/caterer/entertainment or another major wedding supplier. Even with the most meticulous planning in the world things happen! It is therefore important when planning your wedding to recognise this in advance. By accepting that things can go wrong you are able to plan in advance how to minimise the impact.

If you take heed of the following 5 pieces of advice you may save your self major headache in the long run!

  1. Wedding Insurance

Even if you are planning a low cost wedding, chances are you will still spend quite a lot of time and effort coordinating your dream day. If something goes wrong you should be compensated in the same way that you would be if your car broke down or something went wrong with your house. Wedding insurance is available for this very reason. There are a variety of providers offering packages at varying costs. Make sure you read the small print and familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions. You wont get your time back but it may soften the blow if you are financially compensated. The finance may also help you hire a new supplier in the event of the original supplier withholding finance or cover price increases incurred because of late bookings.

  1. Contracts

Make sure anything or anyone you book for the wedding provides you with a signed contract and terms of agreement. Again, make sure you read all of the small print and are clear on cancellation policies. It may also be worth having a word with the supplier upon signing a contract just to be clear on what would happen if they needed to cancel. This can avoid you being misled further down the line if they did need to cancel. Contracts do not guarantee that your supplier wont mess you about but it provides you with evidence of what has been agreed which you can use for any insurance or legal claims further down the line. Also when contracts are in place the formality often encourages professionalism.

  1. Ask for references

For any service you hire, make sure you obtain references from previous clients. At a minimum, ask for details of three former customers and drop them an email. Or if you can, give them a call and ask for details of the service they received. The supplier is always going to give you details of the best customers so it is unlikely that you will receive any negative feedback from a reference but asking a few questions can uncover interesting information about your supplier. Also if they are unwilling to provide you with references, this could be a red flag. To be extra careful, also do a Google search for any bad reviews of the service. If any of your friends or colleagues have got married recently ask for recommendations of who they used. If you can hire a supplier that someone you trust has received a good and reliable service from, the risk of you  receiving poor service is greatly reduced.

  1. Hold off payments

Where possible try not to pay for any service in full prior to your wedding. This gives you leverage if you are unhappy with anything provided. This is often difficult however, as many suppliers require 100% payment upfront. If you are unable to negotiate this, ensure that there are clauses in the contract that enables you to get a full or partial refund should the service not be up to standard. Make sure both parties are clear on what dissatisfaction looks like as once payment has been made it is easy for a supplier to put your unhappiness down to a difference of opinion. Having clarity on this included in your contract can save this issue arising if you are unhappy.

  1. Use a wedding planner

As obvious as it seems, it is a wedding planners job to plan weddings. As such they deal with suppliers everyday and often have long standing relationships with a variety of different service providers. They therefore can hire trusted and reliable suppliers for your wedding. Also in the case of them using a supplier that they do not know they are well versed in what questions to ask, negotiating terms and how to spot a dodgy supplier.

Have you had any nightmare experiences with suppliers? Let us know your stories.

How to Plan a Cross Cultural Wedding

As most engaged and married couples know, weddings can be incredibly stressful to plan. From managing warring family members to spiralling budgets, there is a lot to take into consideration. When the bride and groom come from two different cultural … Continue reading

The Best Wedding Ever – Indian Fusion

Indian Fusion Weddings

I have been to many Indian Weddings over the years and I must say, like Nigerians, an Indian wedding is always a particularly extravagant affair. The invitations alone are some of the most beautiful and ornate pieces of art I have ever seen. You can therefore imagine my excitement when a beautiful purple, gold leaf encrusted invite landed on my door step a few months ago. I spent at least twenty minutes inspecting each individual item within the pack which included two invitations, rsvp card and a number of other pretty sheets of wedding information.

The wedding took place in Hounslow in London at a fairly standard sounding hotel but I wasn’t going to be fooled into thinking it would be a standard wedding. I had been to weddings thrown by this family before so I knew that whatever venue I would be stepping into would have been transformed into an eye-popping display of Indian opulence. As I walked into the hotel I was not disappointed. Continue reading