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Weddings In The New Continental Hotels Beautiful Ballroom
How Do You Know If Love Is Real?
There is something so incredibly magical about weddings. They demonstrate love, and let’s face it, there is nothing nicer to see than a couple in love!
Weddings at the New Continental Hotelhave always been such memorable occasions. When you talk to staff about what they enjoy most about witnessing the celebrations, it’s not just about how the hotel is transformed, but more about the feeling in the air.
We asked our Wedding Coordinators what it is that couples tell them about how they knew they had found the one.
The ‘love indicators’ shared with them over the years melted our hearts; so of course we had to share them!
Weddings Using The New Continental Hotel Bridal Suites
“I knew that he was the one for me because although we don’t always share the same opinion about things or have the same viewpoints; we accept each other’s thoughts even when we don’t feel the same way”
“We don’t have conflict. Yes sometimes we bicker but we are always on the same side. We are a team; I never feel alone knowing I have her on my side.”
“It’s so easy being with him. From the very beginning I just felt at home in his arms. I love that I can be myself without judgement.”
“He pays attention to me, but not in a false way, in a real way.”
“She is my antidote. If I have had a bad day and I’m stressed when I get home she knows just how to calm me down. She always makes me feel at ease, she makes me genuinely happy.”
“This will sound sad, but even if we are apart for a day, we actually miss each other.”
Red Carpet Arrival
Have you found ‘the one’..?
Do these ring true with you? Are you lucky enough to have found ‘your one’?
If so and you are planning a wedding, we would love to meet you and show you how we might be able to be part of your special day.
We meet with our resident DJ to see what he thinks..!
Having a DJ at your wedding is more than someone helping you choose great songs. A great DJ requires technical know-how, high-quality equipment and be someone who can read a crowd so as to sustain the party atmosphere.
Depending on the type of wedding you are having, a DJ can be a great option for your entertainment requirements. It can provide a cost effective solution compared to live entertainment. Not only is hiring a DJ considerably cheaper, they can normally cater to a wider variety of music styles, tastes and genres than a band or other musicians.
If you do choose to go with a DJ you will find that hiring a professional and reliable DJ for your wedding can prove to be a very difficult task. With quite a large number of companies to choose from and a majority of those agencies being online, it can be very tricky to discover which DJ entertainment companies are legitimate, professional and trustworthy.
Here at the New Continental Hotel we have our very own Resident DJ, Steve Calvert from A Plus Entertainments. Steve kindly met up with Katie, one of our wedding coordinators to discuss what it means to him to be the New Continental Hotels Resident DJ.
Here’s what he had to say:
How long have you been a DJ and how long have you been running A Plus Entertainments?
I’ve been a DJ for 32 years and running A Plus Entertainments since 2008 (I ran SC Leisure before that but re-branded myself)
What made you decide to become a DJ?
I’ve always had a fascination with music. I would go through my mother’s record collection as a young boy and was always making mix tapes. When I was 14, I started working with a friend that was a DJ at a campsite and began learning the ropes from there.
How Much Wedding experience do you have?
Well over 20 years working specifically at weddings in various locations- pubs, hotels and other venues up and down the country.
How long have you been Resident DJ at the New Continental Hotel?
I’ve been Resident DJ at the New Continental Hotel for about 5 years now. I had worked at the hotel doing odd functions here and there but was approached by Simon Hawke (Hotel Deputy Manager) as he was familiar with my work and felt I stood out from other DJ sets as being of a high standard and was clearly passionate as well as reliable. He’d received much praise from those that had hired me for their events and offered me the residency post.
What does it mean to be a resident DJ and how does it benefit the couple getting married?
Exclusively working with one person who knows the New Continental Hotel extremely well, including the staff and function rooms, so it’s an easy and quick set up and I offer exclusively cheaper rates to the New Continental Hotel’s clients.
Are you PAT certified and why is this important?
Yes, plus I have public liability insurance, which covers myself and guests for everyone’s piece of mind. All venues should have their own; but a DJ should also have it in their own right. PAT testing stands for Portable Appliance Testing and it means all electrical equipment has been checked in the last year and a DJ should have a certificate to prove that too. A DJ should be able to email you and your venue a copy on request, and I highly recommend that no matter who you use, you do ask.
Do you offer a written contract?
Yes, this is for peace of mind for all parties concerned so that if anything unexpected should happen, everyone knows where they stand and what they are agreeing to. If nothing else – it offers clients reassurance which is really important in my mind.
Can couples meet you to discuss their wedding?
Of course they can. Normally everything can be sorted via emails. This can be less hassle for some couples who have different shift patterns and schedules. I’m also always more than happy to meet up with couples to ease any anxiety they may have or talk though any wishes or concerns. It’s really important you like the DJ you are booking. They will be a big part of your day and everyone’s memories, and people can sometimes be very different when you meet them face to face.
What equipment do you carry and do you have back up?
I always have back up equipment, so if there was to be any technical hitches it doesn’t let you down. A good quality sound system is essential! To name but a few main pieces of equipment I tend to use-
LED lighting and effects, Modern/clean sounding speakers, Digital controllers, laptop And I have other lighting effects etc available to suite the function
You are really reasonably priced in comparison to many other DJ’s, should people be price-led when choosing a DJ?
There are many factors that can dramatically vary the cost of a DJs can vary hugely. But it’s worth remember that its not always based on the quality of equipment or the level of experience a DJ has; take me as an example, I have good quality equipment and years and years of experience,l however I choose to keep my prices as low as possible. It’s a passion as much as a job for me – so I want to be accessible to everyone. Plus, as a DJ you are in a really privileged position, you are part of a wedding or celebration and have a unique view of the event, and you form parts of many peoples happy memories – sounds corny but to a good DJ, that really means something.
When do you arrive to set up?
In the morning (if that’s possible) which takes just over an hour or so to set up smoothly – this is another benefit to knowing the layout of all the function rooms at the New Continental Hotel, as I know where everything is and the layouts, cable length requirements and the acoustics in all the rooms, so, if for any reason I can’t get into the room in the morning, the process of setting up is very quick with minimal disruption.
Can you explain the process once a couple has booked with you for their wedding?
I send out a contract for the couple to check, sign and return. I then contact them closer to the event for final details, specific song choices or if any other entertainment such as bands have been booked. If other entertainment has been booked, I then make contact with them so that we can collaborate over timings, equipment and performance space required.
Where payment is concerned, I can take it on the day, just to make things easier – especially when so much else requires payment on booking with weddings!
You’re playing to a mixed crowd. What music do you have?
Everything! That way there is always something for everyone to keep all guests happy. I hold one of the largest mobile music collections in the South West!
To round things up, if you were to simply summarise what couples should look for when hiring a DJ for their wedding, what would it be?
Certification and experience! Very often, once they have checked availability with a DJ, the very next question is “how much are you?” I understand this is really important, but so too is the experience that the couple and their guests will have, think about asking for their certification and also look for recommendations. Most venues will have either a resident DJ or recommended providers, that’s always a good starting point.
Out of interest, what are the most frequently asked questions from wedding couples?
What kind of music do you play? This one gets asked a lot and I can play any music to suit the event and the atmosphere on the night. I never carry around only one genre of music for any one type of event.
Do you have speakers? This one always makes me chuckle, although there are also a lot of people claiming to be DJ’s who don’t have any of the correct equipment – just their laptop. I always think that if it really was that simple, to be a professional DJ, then everyone would want to and would be doing it! With great DJs its not just the equipment though, t’s about gauging your guests, the type of function and atmosphere on the day as well as having the necessary equipment of course! I always want to create the cleanest sounds and lighting to help create the perfect environment for that event.
If you could offer one piece of advice to a couple regarding music for their wedding day, what would it be?
It’s the couple’s big day so as long as they are happy and getting what they want I’ve then done my job correctly. I’m there to guide them, but it has to be what they want, it’s their day ultimately. A good DJ will be able to read the guests and blend different musical styles and genres together, so it is always a good idea to discuss what music you want to hear.
Many couples now send out song requests with their invites for each of their guests- how does this affect your job?
It gives me a great guideline of a playlist for the night, and gives me an idea of the type of music in general that people want to hear to tailor my set accordingly. I will always do my best to play requests as long as they are within the realms of what the couple is happy with. If they have specifically requested certain songs not to be played I am mindful of this– it is their day and they are the most important decision makers.
What do you enjoy most about your job and being part of the New Continental Hotel’s Weddings?
I love music, so selfishly, being able to turn my passion into a profession is unbelievable, but combine this with getting the opportunity to meet lots of different people on a regular basis and being part of such personal events is just amazing. After a good event I leave buzzing with a great feeling and sense of pride that “I did that” when I know people have had a great time and enjoyed what I do. I guess that why I’ve been doing it for such a long time!
Even working in the world of weddings as I do, I found that really interesting and I really hope you did too. I guess its not until you have been a guest at a wedding reception and heard the chorus of Bruno Mars’ ‘Marry Me’ on repeat for 20 minutes that you can really begin to appreciate the unique skill that a bona fide wedding DJs brings to a party!
If you want to talk further about anything ‘wedding’ – please do get in touch – we would love to hear from you.
Nowadays, there are no two weddings that are ever the same (which we love at the New Continental Hotel!) However, that’s not to say we aren’t all familiar with some long standing wedding traditions and customs. The question is…
“Do we know where they stem from and how they came to be?”
Here is a fun guide about different wedding cultures and customs from around the world that may explain to you how some of today’s long standing traditions came to be and might just make you rethink about what you wish to include on your own wedding day;
Weddings Around the world |
In English tradition, Wednesday is considered the “best day” to marry, although Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health. (Saturday is the unluckiest wedding day, according to English folklore. Funny—as it’s the most popular day of the week to marry!)
In many cultures around the world—including Celtic, Hindu and Egyptian weddings—the hands of a bride and groom are literally tied together to demonstrate the couple’s commitment to each other and their new bond as a married couple (giving us the popular phrase “tying the knot”).
For good luck, Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day. Ouch!
B Middle Eastern brides paint henna on their hands and feet to protect themselves from the evil eye.
Throwing confetti over the bride and groom originates from Italy.
Peas are thrown at Czech newlyweds instead of rice.
A Swedish bride puts a silver coin from her father and a gold coin from her mother in each shoe to ensure that she’ll never do without.
In Holland, a pine tree is planted outside the newlywed’s home as a symbol of fertility and luck.
In Egypt, the bride’s family traditionally does all the cooking for a week after the wedding, so the couple can relax.
In Greece, they have a ‘money dance’. It starts off with the couple dancing with a handkerchief and then one by one their guest’s pin money to them – Forget gravy boats and toasters! The Greeks give the stuff you really want to take home.
Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve are the two busiest “marriage” days in Las Vegas—elopement central!
In South Africa, the parents of both bride and groom traditionally carried fire from their own fireplace (hearths) to light a new fire in the newlywed’s fireplace.
In Japan, white was always the colour of choice for bridal ensembles—long before Queen Victoria popularised it in the Western world. (Queen Victoria started the Western world’s white wedding dress trend in 1840—before then, brides simply wore their best dress.)
Wedding History |
Much of the traditional wedding ceremony as we know it is based on Ancient Roman customs, when marriages were arranged so the tradition of being given away symbolises the act of the father quite literally handing the bride over to a new owner! Usually, the bride was given away in exchange for a price of dowry.
In the 17th century there were two cakes – a bride’s cake and a groom’s cake. The groom’s cake was dark in colour because the white of the bride’s version was not considered masculine enough.
Queen Victoria’s wedding cake weighed a whopping 300 pounds.
European nobility started the trend of wedding favours in the 16th century by handing out cubes or small boxes of sugar – an expensive and rare delicacy at the time.
The honeymoon originates from when a man would capture his bride! The couple would hide from the bride’s parents before marrying and remaining hidden for a further cycle of the moon after the wedding, celebrating their union together by drinking honey wine.
Princess Victoria established the tradition of playing Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” during her wedding processional in 1858.
One of history’s earliest engagement rings was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was two-years-old at the time!!
Wedding toasts are believed to stem from ancient times when wars raged between neighbours. Many would attempt a truce by marrying off the children of their leaders, during the celebratory feast, the bride’s father would drink from a communal pitcher to display to his guests that it was not poisoned.
Stag parties were first held by ancient Spartan soldiers, who kissed their bachelor day’s goodbye with a raucous party.
The tradition of having bridesmaids started in Roman times when brides would have 10 witnesses dressed identically to them. The idea being that the bridesmaids would act as decoys to evil spirits trying to harm the bride. They also served as extra protection should a rejected suitor try to kidnap her on the way to the wedding.
The flower in the groom’s buttonhole goes back to the days when a knight would wear his ladies colours to display his love.
Having a Best is a tradition from Anglo-Saxon England. Then, the groom would take along his most trusted and strongest friend (his ‘best’ man) to help him fight any resistance from the bride’s family.
The bride stands to the groom’s left during a Christian ceremony, because in bygone days the groom needed his right hand free to fight off other suitors.
Each tier of the wedding cake has its own significance; the bottom tier is for eating at the ceremony and the middle tier for distributing after the event and in the 19th Century, the top tier was saved until the first child’s christening – an event which often followed quite soon after the wedding. As the traditional recipe is a fruit cake, which has a long shelf life, it was quite safe to tuck into a slice for a few years after the big day
About 70 percent of all brides sport the traditional diamond on the fourth finger of their left hand.
Snake rings dotted with ruby eyes were popular wedding bands in Victorian England—the coils winding into a circle symbolised eternity.
Wedding Culture |
The “something blue” in a bridal ensemble symbolises purity, fidelity and love.
The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revellers broke a loaf of bread over a bride’s head for fertility’s sake.
The bride throws her bouquet backwards over her shoulder for the group of unmarried girls to catch as its believed the girl who catches it will be the next to marry.
Before paper confetti, people threw flowers, petals or grains of rice at the happy couple to bestow prosperity and fertility.
The traditional haul of five sugar coated almonds as wedding favours are to represent health, wealth, happiness, fertility and a long life.
A pearl engagement ring is said to be bad luck because its shape echoes that of a tear.
The groom carries the bride across the threshold to bravely protect her from evil spirits lurking below
Rain on your wedding day is actually considered good luck, according to Hindu tradition.
The custom of tiered cakes emerged from a game where the bride and groom attempted to kiss over an ever-higher cake without knocking it over.A successful kiss – without the cakes tumbling down – meant a happy marriage.
Aquamarine represents marital harmony and is said to ensure a long, happy marriage.
Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since.
Many of us feel comfortable doing ‘what is expected’ when it comes to wedding traditions. If it’s what our parents and grandparents did, it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside to carry on those same traditions. But if that’s not for you, well it’s your wedding so you can pick and choose what elements suits you for your own unique and special day!
With our fun guide, you’ll hopefully now know exactly what each part of your own big day symbolises and why these traditions are carried out.