Welcome to the Fox and Braces Blog !

Starting in early 2017, Fox and Braces set up primarily as a Wedding DJ company in Essex, however nowadays we provide services to everything from corporate parties, outdoor festivals and more.

Here you will find insights in to all things relating to Weddings & Events in Essex, Kent, London and beyond.

Giglogs, wedding venue recommendations, wedding planning advice, equipment reviews & much more.

Hope you enjoy reading.

Thanks

F&B

 

Pop up bar for a festival wedding

How to create a Festival Style Wedding in 5 steps – Updated for 2019

Tips for creating your perfect festival styled wedding in 2019

When we initially wrote this article, we believed we had you covered with 5 tops tips for creating your dream Festival Wedding.

However, the more time we spend in “The Wedding Industry” the more business we have met that we feel would compliment such and occasion.

Skip to the bottom of the article to see the updated list of venues we highly recommend to make you Festival Wedding a reality ! 

Picture of a festival themed wedding in Essex

Image from MyTipiEvent

1. Find a space

So you want a festival style Wedding, but where to start?…. Well, number 1 on this list has to be finding a suitable space.

Now if you are lucky and have a friend with a football pitched sized garden who doesn’t mind 100-200 guests partying the night away whilst they settle down for their evening cuppa, then you are very much in luck and you can skip this part.

Things to consider

But for the rest of us mere mortals, the job starts with finding a suitable space that ticks a fair few boxes.

Is there enough space, can your guests access it easily, can the Tipi company get the necessary large vehicles through to get set up.

Furthermore, will there be any residents nearby to consider (we are thinking noise limits and cut off times here…. Not going for an after party).

This is just the tip of the iceberg, there is a pretty extensive checklist to go through, but more often than not, you chosen Tipi supplier should have a few recommendations in the local area.

The above tips should take a lot of the stress and guesswork out of the situation.

2. Hire a Tipi

Tips aren’t the new kids on the block anymore when it comes to hiring a solid and stylish outdoor structure for your Wedding.

Dating back over 4000 years, the Tipi was historically made from Buffalo hide, although nowadays, this is replaced with high-quality canvas stitched together to create a warm and waterproof covering for your big day.

A cool setting

The whole vibe of a Tipi just oozes “cool”, and although you would think open sides may leave guests to wander elsewhere, they won’t want to be anywhere else but at the center of these fantastic spaces.

Furthermore, some Tipi companies now offer fire pits for when the sun goes down, enticing guests to gather and enjoy the festivities until the early hours without feeling that midnight chill.

We can highly recommend 2 of our favourite Tipi companies to make this day happen ….. My Tipi Event (Kents leading Tipi company) and Events Under Canavs (East Anglias No.1 Tipi Company)

Festival Style Wedding in Essex

Image from Events Under Canvas

3. Get creative

You have space. The tipi deposit is paid. But right now you just have an awesome looking tipi in a big field. Now is the time to start getting creative about how you want your big day to look.

If budget was no issue, then we would always recommend bringing in the professionals to help you bring your dream to reality.

Stylists are worth their weight in gold and we have seen them turn relatively plain spaces into eye-watering masterpieces, using out of this world props, dressing the venue from head to toe and totally transforming it in the process.

Budget

Of course, if the budget is a little on the lighter side then you can definitely go down the DIY route and tackle the job head-on.

However, be prepared for the eBay account to take a bit if a battering though…. “now… Where to store these 50 lanterns!!!”

We can highly recommend Rock The Day Styling (Essex) & Hire Love (Kent) for all your styling needs.

4.Eat drink and be merry

No celebration is complete without copious amounts of food and drink.

What better way to keep your guests fuelled for the dancefloor than to hire in some mobile catering and pop up drinks bars.

Thankfully in 2018, the popularity of these services has skyrocketed with more and more people opting for outdoor summer weddings.

Furthermore, we have a little inside scoop for you with 3 amazing companies who definitely fit the bill for such occasions !

Feast your eyes (not literally) at some of the mouthwatering options over at gather and feast events and wash that sumptuous food down with some exceedingly good cocktails from the boys over at The Craft Drinks Co. or the delightful ale from our man at Gather Bars….. Or better yet. Hire both!!!

Pop up bar for a festival wedding

Image from Gather Bars

5.Let there be music

The final icing on the cake has to be music. Who wants to party without some absolutely banging tunes filling the air.

Chances are, if you want a festival style Wedding, then you have probably attended dedicated a festival (or 10) over the past few years.

With this in mind, you are probably going to want a DJ who can mix a decent house set (check), knows his Mumford and Sons from his Arcade Fire (ch-ch-check) and has a top-drawer sound system to fill the beautiful Tipi air.

(you guessed it…. We know a couple of guys).

Failing that, we love a band as much as the next Wedding DJ so feel free to invite us along to your shindig and we will happily soak up the atmosphere, tuck into to some amazing food and drink, party the night away.

The only band we currently recommend on our site….. The one (well three)… The only…Tres Milla Colina!!!!!!

Three Mile Hill Wedding Band

Image from Three Mile Hill

Sorry, with all the Latino music in the charts nowadays we went all Spanish…… What we meant to say was “Three Mile Hill” 🙂

Adios!

Updates for 2019

Well, as you may well be aware, are definitely styled more towards the Festival Wedding end of the wedding market, over your traditional white wedding country club type affair.

As such, we have been lucky enough be booked to DJ at some of the best Festival Styled Wedding venues across the UK.

In particular, we have single out 4 venues, that we believe have the perfect canvas to allow you to build on your dream wedding. So let’s get started !

The Browning Bros – Chalkney Water Meadows – Colchester

The first venue on our list is a no brainer for us. Nestled in the heart of Colchester and boasting acres of open land. The Browning Bros have pretty much got the blueprint for you festival themed wedding.

The venue has 3 Tipi’s premanently erected, giving you a relatively blank canvas to step in a make your mark.

And with a whole host of recommended suppliers, from Hog roasts to cocktail bars, you will have the pick of some of the best business in Essex and surrounding counties for your big day.

Best of all, the centre Tipi has a built in overhead sound system that has to be heard to be believed, meaning your guests will gravitate towards the dance floor in order to get the full effect of the awesome speaker system.

The venue has a music license until 11pm. And at this point, the silent discos take over and guests are left to part the night away until midnight.

The fun doesn’t stop there though. With open fires and onsite luxury glamping. You and your guests are able to party into the early hours and finish off by retiring to one of the luxury bell tents on offer.

If you are an Essex couple hunting down the perfect outdoor wedding venue. Then this amazing place should be on the top of your list.

Upthorpe Wood – Suffolk

Upthorpe Wood is a family run woodland wedding venue in the beautiful surroundings of Suffolk. A relatively new venue, opening officially in 2017, it blew us away when we first visited to take a look around.

The owners, Sarah & Allen Steel, had a vision that they have tirelessly worked towards in order to make this magical woodland venue and reality, and they have gone beyond anyones expectations.

As a result, this venue is a stunning crafted maze of woodland paths, leading into outdoor dining areas, a woodland ceremony area and a professionally crafted rustic bar.

The main building where guests party the night away, now has a permanent awning attached to it, measuring about 8 x 6m.

Consequently, whatever the weather, guests are free to enjoy the surroundings without fear of the odd (and typical) UK shower.

Suffolk Brides – This one is definitely for you if you are dreaming of a woodland festival wedding for you special day.

The Dreys – Kent

The Dreys was always going to make the list. And with good reason.

The venue oozes individuality and style. And is virtually the perfect design to host a festival inspired wedding or event.

Based in Sittingbourne, this venue is also close enough to the Dartford Bridge, that is appeals to Essex couples, as well as Kent natives.

Similarly, this is another venue with a permanent Tipi in place for the main part of the day.

However, for the evening shindig, the open sided bar and dance floor area, about 10 meters away, is something that a private viewing in order to appreciate.

Words and pictures just don’t do it justice. 

Moreover, with a built in QSC sound system and fully working & staffed bar, this area is one of our favourite places ti DJ in the UK.

It’s rustic and stylish charm creates the perfect open air area for guests to party away a summers evening.

With onsite accommodation for up to 50 guests, and with a late license until 2am. You can be sure that your guests will be staying until the final song of the night.

Wilderness Weddings – Kent

The name of this venue tells you all you need to know. A true outdoor wedding venue in an idyllic location.

Notably, the venue is actually on the land of a very well known and  brilliant wedding venue in it’s own right – Preston Court (Canterbury).

In addition, tt has a multitude of locations where you are able to tie the knot.

The “Woodsman Cabin” which overlooks a stunning Lake. Under the quirky “Boat-Zebo” which, believe it or not, is an overturned and stylishly decorated boat !

Additionally, you can even have a humanist ceremony absolutely anywhere within the grounds of the woods.

The main reception area hosts a familiar sight in this list – Yep you guessed it – Three giant Kata Tipi’s !

Able to host up to 120 guests who can enjoy the wedding breakfast in virtually untouched and natural surroundings.

Finally, with the onsite “Champagne Shack Bar” just a short walk away, what more could your wedding guests hope for.

Until next time

To sum up, we hope you have enjoyed reading our updated 2019 guide on how to create the perfect Festival Inspired Wedding for your big day.

The above list is certainly not an exhaustive one, but we are proud to recommend these fabulous places to our future Brides & Grooms.

What are you waiting for … Get planning 🙂 !

A picture of a stretch tent set up at a wedding

5 Reasons Why you Should Hire a Stretch Tent for your Outdoor Wedding

Considering a stretch tent for your Wedding ?

Stretch tent hire Essex

With summer right around the corner,now is the perfect time to start finalising those bigger details for your wedding day.

Maybe you’ve got the venue booked, but you’re not quite sure how to make the most of the space, or perhaps you’re yet to find a venue that’ll deliver exactly what you need for your big day.

The answer could be more simple, hire a stretch tent… A stretch tent can transform your wedding venue, providing extra space, shelter and style.

Here are five reasons why you should hire a stretch tent for your outdoor wedding:

1. Add additional space

You’ve found the perfect venue, but it just doesn’t quite offer the space that you need. Enter the stretch tent.

Picture your wedding day – maybe you’ve chosen a traditional and historic venue set in beautiful grounds, or perhaps you’ve opted for something contemporary.

The addition of a stretch tent can take your venue to the next level.

Simple in style, adding a stretch tent in the grounds of your venue can provide that much needed extra space, as well as variety when it comes to the mood and style.

2. Create multiple social spaces

When you’re planning your big day, for many a big challenge is being conscious of everyone who is attending, and trying to achieve a day that will suit all ages.

It can get really difficult when you start to think about everybody’s needs, and before you know it you’re feeling stressed when you realise that you can’t please everybody.

With a stretch tent you can create an additional social space, and can even achieve a different tempo and vibe to keep everybody happy.

While you might not want to split your wedding party up, a stretch tent could provide some much needed chill time for some of your guests.

Set up your stretch tent with comfortable seating, a mellow cocktail bar and chilled music so that guests can have a little break from the dancing going on inside.

3. Provide shelter

If your wedding is taking place outdoors, choosing to hire a stretch tent could provide some much needed shelter. Relying on the Great British weather isn’t always possible, even in the height of summer. In hiring a stretch tent you can create some much needed shelter from potential rain showers, as well shelter from the sun on especially hot days, while still enjoying being in the great outdoors and surrounded by nature.

4. Create a festival vibe

Imagine your own festival tent, with the sun shining, the cocktails following and music creating just the right vibe.

If you and your partner are avid festival goers, or you just want to make your big day a little bit different, in choosing to hire a stretch tent you can host your very own festival on your big day.

With a cocktail bar, dj booth and enough space for up to 60 standing guests a wedding festival is the ideal way to spend the day.

5. Increased versatility

Furthermore, when it comes to stretch tent hire, the opportunities are endless.

In having that additional space you can achieve the wedding of your dreams.

The stretch tent can be used as a welcoming cocktail area, a chill out space, a festival tent, for your wedding ceremony and wedding breakfast.

Or as the perfect covering for outdoor catering or your wedding band. Create the space you desire, with a stretch tent.

At Fox and Braces we provide stretch tent hire in Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire, London and the surrounding areas. Interested in hiring a stretch tent for your big day? Get in touch.

 

 

A diagram showing how tp plan the perfect Wedding

The Wedding Square

Our top tips for the perfect wedding day

A diagram showing how tp plan the perfect WeddingWhile the details and everything you choose for your big day all add up to the look and feel.

There are a few key areas that have a big impact on your wedding.

Having these bigger details in place well in advance means you can build upon a strong foundation, arranging everything else that makes your day unique and special.

At Fox and Braces, we believe that there are four key pillars that form the foundation of a fantastic wedding, and we call this …

‘The Wedding Square’.

Once you have the elements of your wedding square in place, you are already well on your way to creating the dream setting for your big day.

Read on to discover the four key elements, which make the ideal place to start when it comes to planning your wedding…

Venue

Finding your dream wedding venue is the obvious place to start.

But many brides and grooms actually end up booking their venue before they have even sat down to look at the number of people that they need to cater for.

Don’t rush

This is a big decision, and so many people rush to book to get it out of the way, or because they have found a venue that they have fallen in love with.

It can be tempting to go big, lavish and bold, but something we see frequently is a wedding venue designed for 500 people, with just 200 guests attending.

Booking your venue early is great, and should be the first thing you organise.

But think about your guest list, and how having a bigger venue than you need might impact on your day.

For example, you wouldn’t want your venue to appear half full, as if half the guest list haven’t turned up, and equally the money you might save on a smaller venue could be better used elsewhere.

Music

Of course this is a big one for us, but music really does play a massive role in your wedding day.

Imagine your big day without music, , and you’ll quickly see what we mean.

In addition, it’s likely you’ve been to an event or a wedding where the music really hasn’t hit the mark, and it just changes the whole vibe.

Your wedding is a celebration, not only of your marriage, but also of your relationship, and it should feel that way!

It should feel like a celebration, but it should also feel personal to you as a couple, setting the perfect mood to suit you and your big day.

When it comes to choosing your wedding DJ, make sure you choose someone that suits your style, understands you as a couple and the mood you want to create.

Lighting

Just like music is key to setting the mood, lighting is too.

Lighting can have a huge impact on how your guests feel, which in turn influences how they behave.

In addition, lighting can also effect your wedding photos, so choosing lighting that strikes the right balance is key.

Choose lighting that can be altered – avoid anything that cannot be dimmed.

Instead choose lighting that can be changed to enhance the setting.

Brighter lights might be needed for your sit down meal and speeches, and dimmer lighting for your first dance.

At Fox and Braces we provide uplighting for the dance floor in a variety of colours.

Layout

When it comes to the layout of your venue, think about how people will use and interact with the space.

The location of the dance floor in relation to the bar is key.

Avoid separate rooms that will split your guests up.

Furthermore, try to avoid having the bar in a different room to the dance floor where possible.

Instead make a large room work for everyone – with a dance floor, bar and seating all in one room.

Get these four elements in place and you are well on your way to creating your dream wedding.

Of course the finer details count too, but in getting these four areas spot on, the rest of your wedding will simply fall into place.

How to Choose Your Ideal Wedding DJ

Taking the time to do your research can really pay off when it comes to choosing your wedding DJ.

Music is key to your big day, and can almost dictate how the evening celebration will go.

This means that finding the right wedding DJ to suit the mood you want to create is key.

There are a few things to consider when it comes to booking your wedding DJ.

Read on to find out what to look into and what you should consider to find the ideal DJ for your big day…

Reviews…

The easiest way to check out if a DJ might work for you is to read online reviews. You’ve probably got a pretty good idea of the kind of Wedding DJ that you would go for.

Consequently, the best place to start is their website and reading reviews.

Be smart when it comes to reviews though – some businesses will setup various email addresses to be able to submit reviews for themselves.

This can help make their service appear more genuine if they haven’t received any real reviews or positive reviews.

Short one line reviews are unlikely to be genuine.

Look for detailed reviews from previous bookings and make notes of the key points so that you can compare your options later.

Examples of real testimonials can be found here.

Equipment…

The quality of the sound, the mixing and the music options can all be limited if the DJ has basic equipment.

DJs that are serious about what they do, and serious about providing the ultimate experience will be well kitted out.

Pricing

When it comes to comparing prices, look into why one DJ might be cheaper than the other, to ensure you’re getting the best service.

If you can’t find any info about their equipment on their website, just ask the question.

Presentation…

 

A picture of a really bad mobile dj setup

Look at photos of DJs at work, check out what they are wearing to be sure you’ll be happy with how they fit in with your theme.

Most DJs will appreciate that wedding attire requires a certain standard.

However, some DJs may take a bit more of a relaxed approach to their appearance, so do your research here.

At Fox and Braces we always turn up suited and booted.

Music…

A picture of a really bad Steven Segal songOf course this is key, and it’s vital that you make sure your expectations align with what your DJ will be able to provide in advance.

Find out if your shortlist are on the same page as you.

Having a conversation about the different music you would like to hear on your big day is always a good start.

If you start mentioning different genres, bands and artists and are met with a blank expression, it’s likely that DJ isn’t right for you.

Understanding your needs

It’s important to find someone that understands exactly what you want to achieve and that doesn’t take over with their own ideas.

Choose something bespoke, that works for you and creates the vibe you want to achieve.

Lighting…People looking up at a bright light in dark glasses

Some wedding DJs will provide lighting for the dance floor, others won’t. Don’t assume that this will be included, ask the question.

In addition, checkout the type of lighting that will be provided.

At Fox and Braces we provide uplighting that is versatile – with different settings and colour options to suit your style.

Ease of service…

When you’ve got so much to plan you need all of the services that you book.

At Fox and Braces, we have invested in an online system to make things as simple as possible for you.

You receive your own unique account and login, so that you can build your music collection for your big day in your own time.

Make planning your wedding as straight forward as possible by choosing a wedding DJ that makes everything easy for you.

When it comes to our wedding DJ service, we invest a lot into what we do, and aim to make the music for your wedding memorable for each and every wedding that we DJ at.

We take a bespoke approach, creating a set that’s been designed just for you.

We invest in our business, from our equipment and appearance to our website and customer experience, to us it is key to provide you with the ultimate wedding DJ service.

Top Three Wedding Venues in Kent

Our top 3 venues to tie the knot in Kent

While we love every venue we work in, we have gained a lot of experience when it comes to what works well for a wedding venue.

Working in London, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and the surrounding areas, we have first hand experience of the local wedding venues.

While we’ve been to many amazing wedding venues in Kent. There are a few that really standout to us.

Read on to discover our top three wedding venues in Kent…

The Old Kent Barn

The Old Kent Barn Wedding venue

Awarded the Kent Wedding Venue of the Year in 2012, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

It’s clear to see why The Old Kent Barn is so in demand.

Picturesque

Surrounded by the picturesque Kent countryside, the barns are set in the beautiful 2.5 acre gardens.

The beautiful barn is ideal for holding both your wedding ceremony and reception.

In addition there is a paved seating area alongside a canopy, which can be used for an outdoor ceremony for up to 150 guests.

Find out more about The Old Kent Barn here: https://www.theoldkentbarn.co.uk

East Quay Venue

A picture of East Quay Wedding Venue

Choose a venue that is unique and full of character

Proudly standing as one of, Whitstable’s oldest buildings, East Quay Venue is set within can be found perfectly situated at the end of the harbour.

Originally the home of the Seasalter and Ham Oyster Fishery Company.

Tthe venue faces the shore and provides a beautiful setting with a ‘shabby-chic’ style.

The venue can accommodate up to 100 guests for the ceremony and drinks reception, and up to 120 guests for the wedding breakfast.

Truly unique

The rustic charm of the venue makes for a truly unique setting.

with fantastic photo opportunities throughout the day, and endless options when it comes to setup and décor.

Find out more about the East Quay Venue in Whitstable here: http://www.eqvenue.com

The Night Yard

The Nightyard Wedding VenueJust a short distance from the historic city of Canterbury, The Night Yard forms part of the Highland Court Farm family estate.

The unique venue provides a variety of opportunities and enables you to hold your ceremony indoors or outdoors.

With space for up to 140 guests for your ceremony and sit down meal, The Night Yard has enough space for an additional 100 guests in the evening.

The unique barn-like building is wonderfully historic, and the vast grounds enable you to capture unique photos in a variety of settings throughout the day.

To discover more about The Night Yard click here: http://www.thenightyard.com

Once you start looking at venues, you’ll quickly find one that’s ideal for you big day, especially when there are so many wonderful venues to choose from.

If you’re interested in booking Fox and Braces for your wedding DJs, simply get in touch.