Latest Christmas Party Survey Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Release

30thApril 2018

Latest Christmas Party Survey indicates continued market strength

The results of Venue Search London’srecently published 2018 London Christmas Party Survey includes information from over 300 corporate event buyers and reveals the latest trends in this core and valuable sector of the capital’s event market.

The survey covers the party choices of over 36,000 guests in the 2017 season, with a total spend in excess of £3m.

Key survey findings include:

 

  • The average spend per head rose by 2% in 2017 to £86.44 + VAT, with the proportion of buyers spending over £100 +VAT per guest rose from 28% to 32% in 2017.

 

  • 55% of parties are now held at restaurants, bars and clubs (up from 52% in 2016), with 60% of buyers still opting for the more formal seated meal catering style.

 

  • Thursdays and Fridays remain the most popular nights for parties, accounting for 69% of the total market. There is an increasing trend towards lunchtime events, which now represent 21% of the total Christmas events market.

 

  • Average party numbers are likely to increase for 2018, with 30% of respondees indicating a likely increase in guests for 2018 and only 4% forecasting a reduction in their numbers from 2017.

 

  • 45% of total surveyed event spend was booked through venue finders and event agencies, representing an 11% increase from 2017.

 

Notes to Editors on survey method:

The 2018 London Christmas Party Survey was carried out via an online questionnaire on Venue Search London and London Christmas Party Show websites between April 12thand 22nd2018.

The results of the second annual survey represent the activity of 36,000 party guests and covers £3.1m of total party spend in the 2017 season.

Of the 312 responders, 21 were excluded since they held their parties outside the M25 or were identified as event agencies or venues. The survey pool was therefore reduced to 291 corporate buyers (up from 266 in 2017) who booked Christmas parties inside the M25 in 2017.

Venue Search London

www.venuesearchlondon.com

0207 870 9305

Venue Search London is a free, unbiased venue finding service. Listing over 1,000 party, conference and event spaces within the M25.

 

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Disco on Ice – CEP hits the small screen to give us Sunday night fever!

As millions tuned in to one of the nation’s favourite TV treats this weekend, ITV’s Dancing on Ice brought viewers a glitzy glimpse of our Corporate Entertainment Professionals getting the retro party started.

Booked for the show’s disco special, our glitter ball head acts wowed the live studio audience and telly fans alike, as a host of celebrities got their skates on to perform to a medley of classic dance hits. As well as escorting superstar presenters Philip Scofield and Holly Willoughby into the rink at the top of the show, our glittery girls strutted their stuff in the celeb warm-up and holding area, dancing across the set and on top of podiums to bring the disco theme to life.

A prime-time weekend show, this season of Dancing on Ice has attracted viewing figures of upwards of seven million watchers. Filmed live, four CEP dancers were booked by the channel to conduct a day of full rehearsal, and for the televised disco extravaganza itself, aired for two hours as the third episode of the 2018 series. No stranger to the small screen, similar acts have also been supplied by CEP to television programmes such as Britain’s Got Talent, the Only Way is Essex, Big Brother and Made in Chelsea.

Of the high-profile booking, CEP’s founder Samantha Fellows said “It’s always exciting to see our acts on screen. The disco theme was a great addition to this season of Dancing on Ice, with ITV seeing the natural connection between their vision for sparkles and glitter and our range of disco acts. Our professional dancers had a great time with Holly and Phil on set, and were pleased to represent our range of event and corporate entertainment amongst such an exciting line-up of celebrities and the skating judges.”

Our disco ball head acts are perfect for entertaining clubbers as nightclub dancers, providing promotional services to advertise your event and hand out marketing materials, or as meet and greet hosts to welcome guests for corporate hospitality evenings. To view our full range of corporate dancing and walkabout acts, visit: https://corporateentertainmentprofessionals.co.uk/performersacts/

CEP’s performers can be seen on episode three ‘Disco on Ice’ of Dancing with Ice, available on ITV catch-up services. Further information on our disco ball heads can be viewed at: https://corporateentertainmentprofessionals.co.uk/disco-ball-heads/

To find out more about booking Corporate Entertainment Professionals for television filming or for private events, contact the team now on 08456 890 256 or via https://corporateentertainmentprofessionals.co.uk

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How to Plan a Party: 10 Easy Steps

Ever wondered how to plan a party which all your nearest and dearest are going to absolutely love? It’s a concern for anyone hosting a major event – so whether it be for a birthday, anniversary, wedding or any other special occasion, let the CEP team guide you through 10 easy steps when it comes to throwing a successful party.


1. Think of a theme and stick to it

 
Themed events are an increasingly popular means of hosting a party in the current day and age, so it stands to reason you’ll want to follow this trend and plot your event around one particular idea.

Whether it’s an enchanted garden, Great Gatsby or an Bollywood theme you’re looking to base an event around, make sure you choose an idea in the initial stages of planning and, most importantly of all, keep to it.

There’s nothing more counterproductive than coming up with a terrific theme only to change your mind half-way into bringing your idea to life. When considering how to plan a party, a critical step is to stick to your guns – even when you’re seriously tempted to spice things up a bit.

When it comes to thinking of the theme itself, some useful steps to consider include:

  • What you/the person who you’re hosting the party for enjoy
  • What is or isn’t currently topical or on trend
  • Whether what you’re planning to do is feasible for your budget/time

 
Unsurprisingly, this is one of the most important party planning factors for any would-be host. If you’re relying on the style of an event to see your do end in success, getting the theme right is an absolute must.


2. Tailor the event to an age range

 
Part of choosing the perfect theme comes from getting things to match up from the perspective of your guest’s age ranges. While you might love the idea of a Las Vegas themed shindig, with glamourous showgirls in toe, it wouldn’t exactly be appropriate for the younger kids in attendance.

When it comes to picking a party topic around ages, there are some real blurred lines. However, as a rough guide, here are some ideas which are perfect for the varying levels of youth which could be at your party:

  • Babies and toddlers – Enchanted forest
  • Children aged 5-11 – Circus, Mystical Creatures, Hollywood
  • Children aged 12-17 – Sci-fi, Robot Wars, Sports Entertainment
  • Aged 18 or above – No limit (taste allowing)

 
While you might think this problem is easily solved by making it a no-kids event, you have to remember a lot of parents might not be able to attend if that’s the case. If you’re forced (or if you want) to have kids at the party, bear all of this in mind. The last thing you’ll want your party to be remembered for is little Timmy catching a glimpse of something he shouldn’t have.


3. Make sure the music fits the theme

 
Similarly to our previous point, it’s important for the music you choose to play to be in keeping with the overall mood of the evening. There are plenty of ways of doing this. For example, if you’re hosting an Asian-themed wedding you could invest in some J or K-Pop tracks.

Looking to keep the affair as classy as possible? Choosing some singing waiters is a clever option. These guys and girls will serve you food throughout the night, before spontaneously breaking into a pre-planned song and dance routine.

Whatever it is you eventually opt for, you’ll want to ensure it’s in keeping with the rest of the event. If you’re hosting a classy affair, but blast out some funky drum and bass, you’ll be giving off a weird vibe to your guests.

You don’t have to hire out a DJ to guarantee the night will be a success, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to do so. If you do end up doing that, ensure they’re someone who knows the tone of the event.


4. Organise games to play

 
Who doesn’t love a good game at a party? This is a factor which often gets overlooked once our younger years have passed, with games usually associated more with something you might see at a child’s birthday party.

But they’re a good idea regardless of age. Big kids can still have fun, after all. Some of the games we loved in our youth which are still perfectly appropriate to crack out include:

  • Pin the tail on the donkey (it doesn’t have to be this exact design, but pinning an item on a board based around a theme)
  • Musical chairs
  • Pass the parcel

 
As well as those classics from yesteryear, you’ll also be able to organise some drinking games if this is an event specifically catered for adults. Make it as competitive or light-hearted as you like and think about putting everyone into different teams if the numbers aren’t too high. This is a particularly good idea for parties with young adults.

5. Keep things as simple as possible

 
Sometimes when we think about how to plan a party, we let our imagines run away with themselves a touch. While we want to make an event as memorable as possible, that runs the risk of over-complicating things. One trick which is often ignored is to keep everything as simple as you can.

For example, a perfect theme which keeps things as easy as possible would be something along the lines of a Masquerade Ball. The nature of an event like this lends itself to customisation, but also keeps things simple in the most entertaining way possible.

Abstract ideas are all well and good, but if you can’t find the required gear to bring your vision to life, they’ll fall well short. Luckily, CEP provide a series of amazing bespoke acts and services, which can help make your dream a reality.

Stick to creative, yet simple, ideas and let the magic and ambience of an event flow naturally around that.

CEPMasquerade

6. Catering

 
Food, glorious food – what more could we ask for? Getting the nibbles and bigger bites right is half the battle when it comes to keeping your guests replenished at a party. Whether it’s serving hors d’oeuvres or the main course itself, you shouldn’t neglect the importance of your grub.

Some perfect appetisers which add that smidgen of class include things like:

  • Baked brie and cranberries
  • Bacon-wrapped apricots
  • Smoked salmon
  • Mini grilled cheese sandwiches

 
While this handful of light bites will keep your guests’ bellies ticking along nicely, you might want to also consider adding some candy machines, or other similar devices, for a sweet treat. This can be worked around your theme – for example, serving candy floss and caramel apples would work perfectly at a circus-themed event.

If it’s a sit-down meal you’re putting on, make sure you invest in a menu which everyone can enjoy. That doesn’t mean an entirely vegetarian or vegan options for everyone, but make sure they’re added as alternatives for non-meat and non-dairy eaters.


7. Ask for help if you need it

 
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional. Not everyone will naturally know how to plan a party, so it’s not a sign of defeat if you seek out the guidance of a pro planner to ensure your event goes off without a hitch.

Here at CEP we’re experts at hosting events, so we’d be an experienced head to turn to if you’re struggling to manage the day all by yourself. So if you need the hands-on personal advice of party experts, feel free to contact us for some ideas.

We’ll be able to help you decide on things like:

  • What theme would work for your guests
  • What kind of food is appropriate to serve
  • Which of our many services and acts would work best for you

 
Not everyone needs to be guided through party hosting, with some people out there possessing a natural flair for it. That said, if you’re part of the greater selection of people who have never thrown a large event before, you’d be smart to look for help.

8. Keep the booze flowing

 
Again, this is age-range permitting. If you decide to craft a party where alcohol is allowed, then make sure the adults have a constant supply of the stuff to keep them in high spirits. While you won’t want anyone to get sloppily drunk to the point of causing a scene, it’s generally true the more booze you serve the happier your guests will be.

You can ensure there’s a regular stream of alcohol for your attendees by:

  • Making it a free bar for the night (this will probably mean you have to charge guests a small fee themselves though for access)
  • Keeping peoples’ glasses constantly full with the help of roaming champagne tables and other similar services
  • Allowing guests to bring their own tipple of choice to the event

 
While you’ll naturally want to maintain some level of control over the alcohol situation, make sure there is an ample supply to keep people lucid and chatty as the night progresses. It’ll make a huge difference to enjoyment factors.


9. Think about the guest list when you’re planning

 
This harks back to some of the points we were making earlier but it’s important to know what type of people you want to attend your special day. Don’t just invite any old Tom, Dick or Harry. Tailor a guest list which results in your idea of a perfect event.

Some things to consider when throwing together your list include the likes of:

  • What age range your party is aimed at
  • Whether everyone you invite does or doesn’t get along
  • If there are any characters in mind who might cause things to get out of hand
  • Whether your guests are allowed to have a plus one or not

It might sound surprising, but this is actually one of the hardest steps when it comes to making sure you’re throwing a party which is going to end successfully. A poor blend of people could result in a lack of atmosphere – which is sure to kill an event dead in an instant.

While you obviously won’t be able to account for every fall out, you’ll know if there are two (or more) people who definitely won’t get on, or might even come to (metaphorical) blows. Make a judgement call on these kinds of things before you send out invitations.

10. Plot table plans carefully (if you’re having them)

 
On a very similar note, if you do elect to invite some fiery and potentially clashing personalities, make sure you keep them well apart in your seating plan at dinner. If you’re choosing to have a sit-down meal, it’s best to meticulously plot out who is sitting next to who.

A simple way to side-step this dilemma is by allowing your guests to choose themselves where they want to sit. Separating families is a particularly bad idea, with people less likely to start off a random conversation with a stranger (assuming they haven’t already knocked a few back).

It’s not a total no-no to sit guests who don’t know each other together, but only if you’re very confident they’ll get on and have a laugh with one and other. In truth, we recommend binning off the idea of a seating plan altogether, as it’s always easier for partiers to have a good time around people they’re already very familiar with.

Hopefully you now have a much better understanding of how to plan a party successfully. Follow these ten handy tips, and you’ll be the toast of the town when you next host a soiree for all your nearest and dearest.

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Party Entertainment Ideas, The Best Musical Acts to Hire

When it comes to party entertainment ideas, there’s nothing better than a service which can provide your guests with a little sing-song to raise spirits. Whether that’s through a lavish explosion of entertainment or a subtler approach, any party can be instantly livened up with music.

Today, we’re going to take a look at a selection of different musical acts or party bands for hire, which’ll guarantee your next shindig or hoedown is one people will remember for a long time to come. From classy and sophisticated, to a little wacky (in a brilliant way), here are eight musical acts worth hiring at your next event.

Singing Waiters

We’ll set the scene:

You’re sitting there, tucking into your dessert after a hearty three-course dinner at a formal or casual event, and wondering how you can possibly squeeze that last piece of cheesecake into your mouth.

Suddenly, the chap who’s been waiting on your table all night breaks into a rapturous rendition of a chart classic, as voices from all across the room join in for a harmonious melody which leaves you and the hundred-or-so other guests captivated.

That’s what you can expect if you do decide to rent out the singing waiters for your next event. These guys are particularly fun, and are a bespoke service – meaning they’re able to fit in with pretty much every themed event you can possibly imagine.

Singing waiters are perfect for:

  • Weddings
  • Birthday parties
  • Corporate events
  • Society functions

Got an upcoming masquerade ball planned? No fear, simply deck your guys out in masks and ask them to recite a song from the Phantom of the Opera. Having a jungle-themed party? Throw them all in different animal masks and let them crack out a few Lion King numbers.

The beauty of the singing waiter service is it’ll effectively work as a two-in-one feature. Your guests will benefit from both a professional culinary service, as well as a melodic masterpiece while their food digests – all from the same source.

Tribute Acts

When it comes to party entertainment ideas, it doesn’t come much more fun than tribute acts. These nifty guys and gals play homage to greats from the past and present, with their job effectively being to replicate the talents of sensational performers from the past.

These artists are perfect for some people, because they provide you with the closest thing to actually having your favourite band or solo artists performing live right in front of your eyes.

Whether it’s because you simply can’t afford to book Ed Sheeran out for a personal performance (let’s face it – who can?), or because the artist of your dreams is sadly no longer with us (here’s looking at you, Elvis), this route provides party hosts with a fantastic alternative.

Some of the most popular acts in this range include the likes of:

  • Queen
  • The Beatles
  • Kiss
  • Elvis
  • Elton John
  • Adele

Whatever historic performer you’re looking for, you should easily be able to find someone to match the bill. These types of performances can be particularly powerful at a wedding, where a special song might have a deep meaning for you and your partner.

While the real artist who made it famous won’t be there to serenade you, you can always opt for the next best thing. These people are trained professionals and have forged careers out of closely mimicking their idols – so you know you’re getting a brilliant service.

Harpists

For a completely different atmosphere and tone, why not instead elect for an act with a little more ‘class’? That’s not to say whatever you choose for your event won’t be brilliant, but certain performers do bring a different ambience to an event.

Harpists aren’t the easiest act to find, but, if you can secure the services of one of these talented musicians, they will transform your party or function instantly. Whether you’re looking for a serene tune, or a light-hearted and jolly little ditty, these guys will be able to capture a room and provide the perfect melody.

When it comes to employing a harpist properly, some of the best themed events to utilise them at are:

  • Enchanted Forest or Garden – where an idyllic setup sees a performer situated right in the middle of a fairy-tale scene (akin to something out of a midsummer night’s dream)
  • Black tie – with the harpist creating a scene reminiscent of something from the main dining room of the titanic; dressed to the nines in a classy affair
  • Great Gatsby – these themed events have risen to prominence since the recent movie of the same name. Dressed like a 1920s flapper, the performer perfectly matches the time period by winding back the clock with a classic instrument

Whatever type of event you’re looking to host, there’s always room for one of these fantastically talented artists. Whether you want them to stand out as the showpiece of the room, or simply provide some melodic background music, a harpist is a unique option which you’re unlikely to see at many other parties.

Drummers

This is perhaps the most versatile service on the list, with the term ‘drummer’ in reality incorporating a lot of very different styles and genres under the same umbrella. From melodic and even peaceful background harmonies, to loud and thunderous demonstrations which steal the show – these percussion performers differ depending on your needs.

There are a number of different types of performances you can book out, ranging from all across the globe. Just some of the amazing and culturally diverse bands you can hire out include:

  • American rock drummers
  • Cuban bongo players
  • Brazilian samba drummers
  • Indian Dhol performers
  • European percussionists

The massive range of options available means you’ll definitely be able to find something, regardless of how precise or intricate your desires are. For upbeat and lively numbers which get everyone grooving, a samba troupe is worth employing. For a more relaxed approach, you can opt for a drummer you might commonly expect to find in a Spanish tapas bar.

Naturally, the type of show you’re requesting to be put on will depend heavily on the type of event you’re hosting. Different acts will work best with alternate themes. While a party flooded with Las Vegas showgirls is already exciting enough, why not throw in some drums for good measure?

Whether you’re looking to make the drums the star of the show, or just a side-piece for the main event, there are a myriad of options out there to transform any event into a memorable one for years to come.

Bag Pipe Players

If you thought our last suggestion was out there, try this one on for size. This weird and wonderful entertainment service is a bespoke act which’ll see a bunch of men in kilts turning up and blasting out some glorious tunes for your guests.

This discipline has its roots in bonnie Scotland, but has since translated across a number of different cultures.  Regardless, the lads who turn up to your do will be fully kitted out in traditional garb, from a faux bearskin hat to the sporran.

Just some of the banging tunes you’ll hear cracked out include:

  • Scotland the brave
  • Hector the hero
  • Loch Lomond
  • Flowers of Scotland
  • Mist covered mountains

While those names might not sound all too familiar, you’ll be surprised how many of them you actually know once they start playing. As well as the traditional Highland songs, you’ll also be able to request a few contemporary classics. There’s nothing like hearing Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ on the bag pipes.

When it comes to party entertainment ideas there are very few more original than this from a musical perspective, so it’s well worth looking into booking out party bands for hire who specialise in this most unique of past-times.

Soloists

An oldie, but a goldie. Solo performers might not stand out as extravagant an act as some of the other names on our list, but they nevertheless are a tried and tested entertainment choice which’ll leave your gusts wholly satisfied at the end of the night.

While we’ve already seen how tribute artists are a decent option for an event, why not instead elect to give an up-and-comer a chance? It’s pretty universally acknowledged talent isn’t all it takes to break it big in the music industry anymore – which leaves a host of performers who are immensely skilful left out in the cold.

You can take advantage of that by providing an outlet for one of these talented young (or not-so-young) stars for a price which’ll be far cheaper than finding an established singer or party band for hire.

Whether you want them to crank out some classic tunes, or would prefer them to give the day an original twist with some of their own works, these artists are sure to impress. There are so many solo singers out there looking for a chance to catch the eye, so providing them with a platform to do just that is not only beneficial for yourself, but also for an unknown star looking to break into the biz.

Saxophonists

The sax isn’t all about jazz – although that is one of a multitude of options you’re getting when you elect to employ one of these types of talents at your gala. Party entertainment ideas often revolve around themes which require explosions of sound and colour – but sometimes it’s the simplest things which are the most impactful.

Despite that simplicity, it’s certainly not to say you won’t get a show-and-a-half when saxophonists rock up at an event. There are plenty of party bands to hire in this genre, with more options than you can wave a stick at. You can choose from styles including:

  • Jazz
  • Modern
  • Classical
  • Blues
  • Soul

Whether static or interactive, these performers can blend into any environment and provide you with a classy display which’ll add a touch of elegance to your soiree. They’re also a relatively customisable service – meaning you can ask them to either suit up as smartly as possible, or come adorned in more casual evening-wear.

DJs

Not just for the kids anymore; DJs are one of these fantastic party entertainment ideas which’ll appeal to all age ranges. Music is food for the soul, so why not feed it with a blend of retro anthems and modern-day bangers?

Being a disc-jockey is a fairly glamourous job, but it certainly isn’t without its challenges. Getting a room full of people to leap to their feet and break out into spontaneous dance is very tricky – so you have to applaud them for the continual feat of successfully achieving such an act, party after party, gig after gig.

A mastery of their sound system is required for any DJ worth their speakers to raise the atmosphere of an event, which is often achieved via intricately weaving a playlist of songs which balances well-known tunes with beats that make you want to let loose.

Oftentimes, finding the services to complement a DJ is the real challenge – and it wholeheartedly depends on the tone of the evening you’re going for when it comes to finding the perfect secondary performer.

To really spice things up, why not elect to hire out some fire acts? These boys and girls will put on all sorts of crazy shows, with all of the following on the menu:

  • Fire eating
  • Flaming poi
  • Fire breathing
  • Flaming hula hoops
  • Juggling fireballs
  • Twirling a fire staff

Imagine witnessing all of that occurring, while in the background some of the hottest tracks in the world are blaring out of a high-quality sound system. I can’t think of a more exciting party.

Have any of these wonderful party entertainment ideas provided you with a good idea of what you might be able to employ the next time you host an event? We certainly hope so. Music isn’t the be-all and end-all of an evening, but it goes a long way to setting an atmosphere and defining how guests remember a party. Make sure you get it right when it’s your turn to host.

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Christmas Entertainment: Reward your staff with the perfect festive do

Christmas is a great excuse to celebrate with your colleagues. Throwing a party is about thanking them for their hard work throughout the last year. What’s more, it can increase motivation, encourage genuine team building and trigger improvements in performance. In other words, a great event can also have great benefits for your business.

To make sure you organise something that’s going to please, you’ve got to gear the activity to the likes and dislikes of your team. After all, you want them to enjoy themselves.

The best festive dos have plenty of food and booze, but there’s a lot more to great Christmas entertainment than filling your boots. We’ve got party ideas that will impress even the Scrooge of your office.

Organise secret Santa

Not everyone admits to being a fan of secret Santa but, if you don’t set the budget too high, it’s a great way of getting everyone involved in the Christmas spirit before the party kicks off. Plus, once they’ve all got a present in front of them, everyone’s mood improves – even if they get socks.

Just one tip from us – keep it anonymous. As tempting as it is to tell someone who you’ve got or swap names around, the secrecy is part of the fun. If you think people might complain or struggle with buying a gift, you could always do a questionnaire that asks people about their hobbies, likes and dislikes.

Not only does it help with the shopping, it’s a great way to learn more about each other. Who knew Sally from accounts loved gardening?

Pick a thememarcelo-and-jordan-two-headed-bug

For your Christmas party, you could stick to a festive theme. So in addition to serving up things like pigs in blankets and egg nog, think about the décor. You’ll need plenty of tinsel and imagination. CEP can help complete the look with acrobatic elves, Christmas-theme stilt walkers and ice sculptures.

You could pick up some great props – reindeer ears and Santa hats, for example – and hire a photo booth for some funny photos to stick up in the office come January.

Or you could pick another theme, decorating and booking acts accordingly. Suggestions include:

Choose an interactive venue

As we’ve already said, essentials of any good Christmas party include plenty of food and drink. But it’s also a great idea to organise something for everyone to get involved with, rather than just being sat around a table for hours. After all, by December, you’re pretty sick of seeing their faces staring back at you all day.

Ideas for interactive activities include table tennis (e.g. Bounce), bowling, or, if you can face it, karaoke. Encourage a bit of friendly competition by putting people into teams. You could even hire some hostesses to read out scores and cheer on different teams – it will add something extra special to the atmosphere.

Keep up the entertainment

Even with Christmas parties that are less interactive, you can make it extra fun by hiring walkabout entertainment. For instance, if you’ve hired out a room at a restaurant for a Christmas dinner, why not bring out a magician between courses?

It’s a sure way of getting everyone talking and gives your party a point of difference.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could consider a snake performer. Treading the line between terrifying and entertaining, no one is going to forget the experience any time soon – especially when someone captures their scared face on camera.

Cookery workshop

Your whole Christmas party could be focused around an activity. With something like a cookery workshop, everyone can get involved. You can also encourage a bit of friendly competition. Examples include: the most creative pizza, best sushi or greatest sausage.

A similar idea is cocktail making. Learn from the experts and get creative, all the while having a few drinks – sounds like great fun. Our bar flairers can show you a trick or two and are guaranteed to impress.

Give them a gift

Of course, the Christmas party is a great way of thanking colleagues for all their hard work throughout the year. But as an additional gesture, you can organise something for everyone to take home with a caricaturist.

It will also serve as light-hearted entertainment throughout the event, as everyone laughs at each other’s exaggerated drawings. It’s the perfect addition to any party.

Organise a pub quiz

If you don’t fancy the standard Christmas sit-down dinner, you could organise a pub quiz. Do serve food though or you’re at risk of everyone having a bit too much to drink – and nothing to soak it up.

To build up a bit of excitement for the event, you could ask each department to come up with their own set of questions. That way everyone gets involved and is guaranteed to get some questions right.

While you’re waiting for someone to tot up the scores, why not treat your guests with some singers? They can blend in as bar staff or waiters at the start of the night to surprise the unassuming audience. It will certainly put a smile on their faces.

City cruise

Taking to the water could make your Christmas party one to remember. Across the UK, you can hire cruisers as venues to host events on – some move and some don’t. They’re a unique way to celebrate the end of a great year and many companies include catering in the package, minimising the stress for you.

Different seasonal packages will suit small and large businesses, ranging from a disco and finger food, to four-course meals. Whatever floats your boat, it’s a sure way to celebrate Christmas in style.

You could make the event extra special, though, with something guests certainly won’t be expecting in the run-up to Christmas – snow. Hiring a snow machine as a surprise will spread some festive spirit. CEP also offer a bubble ballerina, which works great as a giant snow globe.

Insist on Christmas jumpers

Eliminate all of the stress of what to wear for a Christmas party and ask everybody to come in a Christmas jumper – the cheesier the better. No-one will feel silly because you’ll all look like fools. Embrace the ugliness.

Get them there in style

Marilyn table 02
You want your Christmas party to be a great experience from start to finish, so don’t forget about transport. Whether you opt for minibuses, limousines, or a red London bus, just get your guests there safely – and preferably in style. Greet them with some canape girls and they’ll be made to feel as important as they are to your company.

Also, get in everyone’s good books by arranging taxis home so people can enjoy a drink without having to worry about organising a lift home.

The travelling party

Alternatively, you could take your party on the road. Book some group train tickets and take everyone on a seasonal journey. You can visit a Christmas market in Bath or Manchester, for example.

If you book with the Orient Express and their trains, the British Pullman and the Northern Belle, you’ll get a luxury experience including a four-course meal and champagne.

A treasure hunt

Everyone likes to engage their childish side once in a while – and what better occasion than at Christmas. A treasure hunt is the perfect interactive, competitive and memorable party.

Set up stops which all teams have to pass in order to finish and include roadblock challenges. In other words, don’t let them move to the next stage until they’ve completed a task or solved a riddle and collected some proof of success.

For example, get them to eat something gross, whilst other members of the team have to guess the next destination from clues made by a balloon modeller.

The last stop should be the party destination, where the winners can enjoy a drink or two while waiting for everyone else to catch up.

Set up a casinoMoulin Rouge-21

For a luxury Christmas party, you could host a Vegas-style casino night as a great way to celebrate the end of a successful year – a super idea if everyone exceeds their targets, for instance.

Hunt down a great venue, and hire in casino tables and entertainers. Walk-about show girls from CEP can serve canapes, as well as mix and mingle with your guests. Oh and don’t forget about the glamourous champagne tower.

Invite family to an in-house party

If you’ve got enough space in your office, throwing a budget-friendly Christmas party is a great way of inviting everyone’s better halves and creating a friendly workplace atmosphere.

Get the kids and pets in too – they can dress up in cute outfits, so you don’t have to. Organise a gingerbread house competition and serve up some buffet-style food for a laid-back approach to this year’s party.

A movie night

Another budget-friendly idea is a movie night. Get the pizzas in and put on some classic Christmas movies – Elf, Home Alone 2, Bad Santa, you get the idea. It’s a chilled-out event, whilst still maintaining the idea of a Christmas party – to reward staff and celebrate as a team. Just don’t forget the mince pies.

Confectionery new
Treat them to desserts

Whatever event you choose, before everyone heads off home for the evening, it’s a great idea to leave on a sweet note.

Organise a dessert bar where people can warm up with some hot chocolate, for instance – include loads of toppings such as cream, sprinkles and cinnamon (perhaps even some spirits) and it will delight your staff.

Acoustic band

Get into the festive spirit with a talented acoustic band. They’re perfect for all sorts of Christmas parties, whether that’s a sit-down dinner or something a bit livelier. By the end of the night, everyone will be joining in with the Christmas carols.

Using these ideas as an inspirational springboard, you’ll be sure to plan, organise and deliver a great Christmas party. If you’re interested in any of CEP services, contact us today.

For a bespoke Christmas party, you can get CEP to plan and deliver the whole event. Our versatile range of acts love spreading fun and festive cheer, so send us an email or call 08456 890 256.

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Planning a wedding: How to set your day apart from the crowd

You can admit it – you want your wedding to be better than your friend’s that’s later in the year. It’s natural. Although it’s your big day, most people want others to remember their wedding for the right reasons.

But planning a wedding can be stressful. There are a lot of things to think about – the venue, food, who to invite, the dress, and so on. That’s why the more creative ideas that ensure a wedding goes unforgotten sometimes get overlooked.

To make sure yours is a great event, we’ve gathered some of the best ideas that’ll make your wedding stand out. But first, make sure you’ve got these 10 essentials of planning a wedding covered:

  1. Know your budget
  2. Have a list of must-haves and another for nice-to-haves
  3. Send your invites early and include a RSVP date
  4. Check your passports will be valid for the honeymoon
  5. Buy a gift to give your other half on the morning after
  6. Make sure key people – e.g. bridesmaids and groomsmen – know their role
  7. Decide your hair and make-up in advance
  8. Confirm numbers to your caterers and wedding venue
  9. Consider wedding insurance
  10. Celebrate

Capture your guests at their best (or worst)

Hiring a photographer for the day is almost a given when planning a wedding nowadays. It’s great to have plenty of photos of the guests together, as well as the typical family set ups.

But you can never have too many photos. And, to get more personal and casual photos, hire a photo booth for your guests to pose and make funny faces in. It’s something interactive for them to get involved with and most services print out instant photos – just make sure you arrange for digital copies too. Then you can have a chuckle afterwards and share them online.

So, provide some props and guests will have a great time. You’ll probably have a queue on your hands.

Pre-ceremony cocktails

It’s unlikely your guests will be expecting any drinks before the reception – so surprise them with a selection of beverages whilst they’re waiting for the ceremony to start. It’s probably not a great idea to serve anything too strong though.

Mimosas or spritzers are a great idea for something they can sip whilst chatting to the other guests before taking their seats. It makes the inevitable huddles of people and any possible delays look like they’re planned.

Prepare signature cocktails

While we’re talking about drinks, why not create a few signature cocktails for your wedding? Choose a couple of your favourite classic cocktails and give them a twist. For example, a pear martini. Not only does it give a personal touch to the drinks offering, you can serve them up at any future events you host.

If you add a couple of bottles of spirits to your weekly shop in the months ahead of the wedding, you’ll quickly amass quite the collection and spread the cost.

Give a personal wedding favour

Whilst it’s standard for guests to bring gifts, wedding favours are sometimes an afterthought when planning. But don’t waste your budget on pointless trinkets and gifts that will probably be left at the hotel.

Instead, hire a caricaturist to provide some light-hearted amusement on the day, as well as a lasting memory for your guests afterwards.

Make a video to send out

Modern video technology and editing tools are good enough for amateurs to capture the best of an event. So hunt down your friend with a Go Pro and ask them to get people’s thoughts on the day. They should be able to capture some natural moments and hopefully some hilarious comment.

It’s something you can share online with both those who attended and those who weren’t unable to – show them what they missed.

Enough about taking photos and videos, you’ve got to make sure the actual event looks beautiful too. But one of the key elements of a good photo is also something that can make your wedding stand out – decent lighting.

Light it up

For something a bit different, you can hire illuminated letters to spell out Mr & Mrs, love or individual letters. CEP also offer LED starlit dance floors and giant walkabout LED frames to add that bit of shine and sparkle to your event. One, or a combination, of these unique lighting offerings is sure to set your wedding apart from the crowd.

Keep it cool

For a stand-out focal point to your wedding reception, why not consider creating a custom ice sculpture? CEP can produce any shape and size – from swans and elephants to custom initials in hearts.

Create welcome packs for out-of-town guests

If you’ve got guests coming from far away, it’s a nice touch to prepare them a starter pack. Include a local map and recommendations for a good coffee shop, restaurants and where the nearest open-all-hours shop is for any last minute necessities. After all, you want them turning up to your wedding in the best mood.

You could also put some treats – handmade sweets or a local jam, for example – and hangover cures in too.

Make-your-own-flower station

Flowers are typically the central point of wedding table decorations. You can get florists to create some fantastic centrepieces. But, to be honest, even the best arrangements can be forgettable when each table matches. Instead, set up a flower station where guests can make their own bouquets to adorn the tables.

You can keep some consistency with the range of flowers on offer and the guests will have a great time getting creative. You could also include things like feathers and decorative twigs to fuel their imagination.

Hire interactive servers and performers

You won’t be able to get round to spending time with all of your guests. In fact, don’t make it your priority because your enjoyment of the day will suffer if you’re fussing about other people.

Instead, make sure guests are entertained and have plenty of drinks. CEP can help you out with both. For example, walking champagne tables will both draw attention and serve a purpose – keeping your guests topped up with alcohol and appetisers.

You can also hire living statues to welcome your guests in style.

Personalise your dress or suit

When Angelina Jolie revealed her wedding veil, embroidered with designs her children had drawn, it changed the game. Few people before had considered veering away from traditional style in such a way.

Indeed, few people would be brave enough now. So, if you do, people will definitely remember it. Some brides are starting to play with colour by wearing wedding dresses in blush tones and light greys. Alternatively, you could flash some colour with your shoes.

Personalise tables and name places

Getting everyone to their seats at the reception can be a pain. So guide them to their tables with a friends and family seating tree and ensure they can spot their place cards on the table.

You could also include a ‘Get to Know the Wedding Party’ section in the reception area, explaining the bride and groom’s history with everyone. Include stories that other guests might not know for a bit of entertainment.

Recognise others 

A nice touch to acknowledge your parents and/or married siblings is to ask the DJ or band to play their first dance song – after yours, of course. It’s a small gesture that only they might notice, but thoughtful nonetheless.

Put on a show

We’re not talking about the standard wedding entertainment, but something that will genuinely wow your guests. CEP’s aerial acts are breath-taking and will take your wedding up a notch.

Depending on the height and rigging points of your venue, different types of aerial acts are available, including hoop, silks and chandelier acts. There are also freestanding aerial hoop acts, so even if your venue isn’t equipped for aerial rigging, you and your guests can enjoy the mesmerising performance of an aerial act.

Don’t underestimate confetti

Confetti seems to divide opinion when planning a wedding. It goes without saying that confetti throwing makes for a great wedding photo – but not all churches allow you to throw confetti. Why? Because it can be a bit of a pain to get rid of and you can’t be sure all your guests are going to throw it at the right time.

Alternatives to traditional confetti include bubbles or mini pom poms. You could also hire a confetti cannon from CEP for the end of your first dance to make sure there’s a spectacular explosion of flower petals.

Alternative wedding cakes 

Traditional wedding cakes are fruit cakes and, I don’t know about you, but they’re not my favourite. Whilst different flavoured sponges have been a popular choice for weddings for some time, more adventurous alternatives exist.

These include: towers of doughnuts, cheesecakes, macaroon stands, pancakes and an assortment of cheeses. Consider one of these more interesting takes on the wedding cake to delight your guests. You’ll also have a great time taste testing.

A walk down memory lane

All of your guests will have known you and your partner at different stages of your life and for various reasons – life-long friends, workplace buddies, third cousins twice removed… and so on. The common thread that ties them all together is you. They’ve come together to celebrate your big day.

So put aside any modesty and show off your relationship. Take them down memory lane with photos of your past – for example, your first date and the proposal. 

Have something for the kids

If you’re having a child-friendly wedding, you’ll need to make sure there’s something to entertain them. Of course, you don’t want to ruin the overall aesthetic of your wedding with a kids theme, though. That’s why an all-white bouncy castle is the perfect idea.

Combine that with a magician and both young and older attendees will be entertained for hours.

Midnight snacks

After the party has been going on for a few hours, your guests are bound to be hungry again. Satisfy their cravings by offering something like burgers or fish and chips. Just speak to your caterers and make sure there’s a good way of presenting it. You don’t want to spoil all of the careful wedding planning with paper bags of chips.

Wedding advice box

Even the happiest of couples will experience a first argument after getting married. Setting up a wedding advice box is a great way of showing you don’t take yourself too seriously and are after advice on how to handle bumps on the road.

That way, when the argument does happen, you’ll be too busy laughing over the tips of others to remember why you were angry.

Have the occasion painted

As a treat to yourself, you can now hire live painters to capture your wedding as it happens. All you have to do is set them up with a good perspective of the room and guests. They’ll provide you with something truly special that reflects the emotion and energy of the day to keep forever.

Tell them it was a great day

Last but not least, eliminate any risk with planning a wedding and don’t give others a choice in whether they enjoyed the day or not. Hire a hypnotist to trick the suggestible amongst your guests. Jokes aside, a stage hypnotist will entertain and delight.

To ensure you’re planning the best wedding, contact us today. We’ll be able to talk you through all of the entertainment options available. Also, if you’re after something in particular, we’ll help you find it.

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15 Fantastic ideas for kids’ birthday parties 

As if organising a great children’s party wasn’t stressful enough, adult peer pressure seems to have upped the ante. Over the years, they’ve got more extravagant and impressive, but the simple things still please kids and a party doesn’t have to cost a fortune to go smoothly.

Spend wisely, and you’ll organise a great party that is sure to impress all attendees – whatever their age.

 

1. Invite kids and their toys to a teddy bear picnic party
Face paint3
Ask all of the youngsters to bring a favourite teddy bear – or any other stuffed animal – and set up a dining arrangement for children and toys to enjoy together. It’s best set up on the floor with picnic blankets, cushions, plastic cutlery and snack-based foods.

A teddy bear picnic could easily be outdoors or indoors, depending on the amount of room and the number of kids attending.

Time can be spent dressing up the toys with outfits bought from a craft store. You can also cut up old clothes to make scarfs and other accessories for the teddy bears. To prevent all of the kids fighting for outfits at once, arrange for face painting at the party and suggest they get their faces painted similar to the stuffed animals. As an added extra, you could get each child a new stuffed friend to take home instead of having party bags.

2. Get active with a trampoline party

If you’d like a party that tires over energetic kids out, see if there is a trampoline park near you. They’ve been springing up all over the place in recent months and many offer party packages that include jumping time, supervision and food in the price. If you’re busy, it’s an easy one-stop-shop for your kid’s party.

3. Enjoy the excitement of a carnival party

circus-2If you’ve got the time, a carnival themed party is worth the added effort. It’s perfect for those with a big garden and you can rope in family and friends to help decorate, cook food and generally be an extra pair of hands.

Create some games – such as beanbag toss, mini golf and ring toss – for relatively little cost and hire in a puppet show and confectionary stands for added enjoyment. It’ll also help knowing you’ve got extra people to entertain the children.

With a carnival party, there’ll be loads of different things for active kids to get involved with and it’s something parents can enjoy with them.

4. Get messy with a chocolate making party

A chocolate making party will please all kids with a sweet tooth – which is probably most. To prepare, you can buy moulds of all different shapes and sizes at craft stores and add a lot of chocolate to your weekly supermarket shop. Make sure you pick up some decorations too for the kids to get creative with.

It’s best if you melt the chocolate safely yourself and give each child an individual pot to pour in their chosen mould. That way, one sneaky kid won’t be eating all of the chocolate. They can then decorate until their hearts content.

You’ll have to be prepared for quite a bit of cleaning up after, but every child gets something to take home with them. You could stick lollipop sticks in some of the chocolates for a sweet treat on the go, without the sticky fingers. To minimise mess further, you can put down parchment paper to catch all the melted chocolate that inevitably gets spilt.

There’s other things you could rustle up in the kitchen too. Try cake making and decorating, or pizzas for a savoury take. Pizza bases are available at most supermarkets and the youngers can pick their own toppings, so even the fussiest will be happy.

5. Solve clues on a scavenger hunt party541481_10151262343146256_1367600838_n

One for older children – you could set up an exciting scavenger hunt full of clues and challenges. In such a hunt, players follow a series of clues, often posed as riddles, along a predetermined path set by you that leads to a prize. Although they’ll all be working against the clock to find the main treasure, make sure there are smaller prizes to be found along the way. Then everyone is a winner.

If you’re stuck for ideas, clues are mainly just simple messages to work out. For example, ask ‘what’s black and white and read all over?’ and put the next clue in a newspaper. You can mix it up with some more engaging hints. For example, hire a balloon modeller to blow up rabbits or flowers if you’ve hidden the next clue under a hutch or flower pot.

6. Have an adventure with a bonfire party 1393646_795639990462615_2116485021_n

If you’re organising a birthday party for the last precious months before it’s too cold outside, you could have an outdoor adventure party. Spend the afternoon in the fresh air building shelters and learning about creepy crawlies.

Turn it into a camping event with a fire to toast marshmallows in the evening to extend the fun. For a memorable and unique twist, how about having some giant LED robots make a surprise entrance?

7. Be energetic with a sports day

You could go to a local park or hire out a venue to host a sports day party. There’s got to be something for every child to have a chance at winning, though. So plan activities in advance. Ideas include: relays, space hopper obstacle courses, sack races, egg and spoon races and tug of war.

Get the music going, give out medals to all attendees and make sure there’s plenty of food and drink for the young competitors. Don’t forget about hot and cold drinks for the parents that stay and get involved too.

8. Have fun at a film-themed party

You’ve probably watched your child’s favourite film countless times. So why not put that knowledge to good use? Impress them with a party themed around the film. It’s likely that their friends will love the film too, so ask them to dress up as characters and decorate a venue or room in your house. For example, if they loved Finding Dory, make it feel like you’re under the sea with blue streamers and give out blowing bubbles.

Perhaps your child is a fan of Disney’s The Good Dinosaur or Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. In fact, most kids love dinosaurs – so impress them with an eight-foot high walking t-rex.

9. Be creative with arts and crafts

If you’re willing to deal with the messy aftermath, a party dedicated to arts and crafts is great fun for a mix of ages. You can buy supplies from a craft store to paint canvases, make fabric pom poms, plait friendship bracelets or decorate photo frames.

The options are endless, but it’s best to stick to one activity – you can practice beforehand and show the kids how it’s done. If you have an example, they’ll know what the end result should look like and will feel inspired to come up with their own ideas.

Be sure to fuel their creative juices with a picnic – a range of sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and dips, warm pizzas and cupcakes will do the trick.

To control the mess as much as possible, provide aprons or ask parents to bring a spare set of clothes for their youngster.

10. Fascinate with a science party

You can learn how to make silly putty, write secret messages in milk and other fun science activities online to amaze children with a science party.

You can also hire people in to put on an impressive show. CEP’s Bubble man and his team of Bubbleologists, for example, can do a range of tricks using the magic of bubbles. It will surprise and delight for a party you’ll all remember.

11. Keep it simple with bowling

It’s easy to get carried away with all of the party ideas on the Internet. But don’t forget about old classics. Bowling, for example, never gets old and kids always enjoy a bit of friendly competition with their mates. Most bowling alleys offer party packages as well, so you don’t have to worry about making the food.

Make sure you collect some change beforehand, though, for when they inevitably ask to play on some of the arcade games.

12. Get in the spirit with a pirate party Johnny Depp 05

Grab a tonne of eye patches from a craft store and invite young mateys to a pirate party. You might need to spend some time and money on the decorations (think sails, swords, treasure chests and the odd parrot), but the kids’ imagination will do the rest.

There are some great games too – treasure hunts, walk the plank and ring around the sword. If you want to make the party extra special, consider hiring one of CEP’s mix and mingle performers. Jack Sparrow, for example, would delight youngsters and be the talking point of the playground for weeks afterwards.

13. Have fun at a disco party

SmileyHeads-3Book a local venue, arrange some great music and host a disco for your children’s party. You can hire some smiley heads or disco ball heads to get the party going. They can get involved with traditional party games – such as pass the parcel and duck, duck, goose – as well as pose for fun photos.

It’s a great way of keeping up the energy and ensuring your party stands out from the crowd. Just don’t forget the balloons, fairy lights, party food and plenty of fruity drinks.

14. Go wild with a zoo party

Arranging a trip for your child and all of their friends to go to the zoo can be a logistical nightmare, as well as an expensive party. So why not recreate a zoo at home and get animal masks or onesies for the youngsters to wear? In keeping with the theme, you can play games like sleepy lions and pin the tail on the zebra.

For something fun and unique, get a crazy chimp to join the party – they can come in a range of whacky suits and will entertain kids of all ages.

15. Relax with a movie night

For a somewhat quieter party, you could host a movie party. The requirements are simple – lots of cushions and blankets, as well as plenty of pizza and popcorn. Make sure you decide the choice of films beforehand and check all of the technology works on the day.

For the occasion, you could put down a red carpet and get the attendees to dress up as movie stars. It’s best to make it a sleepover – in case they fall asleep during the movie marathon anyway.

If you want to make your kid’s birthday party extra special with one of our unique services, get in contact with CEP to book.

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16 Amazing Wedding Reception Ideas

16 Amazing Wedding Reception Ideas You Will Love

Weddings are increasingly becoming more of a status symbol for a bride and groom. Nobody wants to be the couple whose wedding is quickly forgotten about, or, worse than that, remembered for all the wrong reasons. The last thing we’d want to do is set you up for a dull affair, so here are 10 amazing wedding reception ideas that will make your special day one that will live in your friends and families’ memories for years to come.

1. Wedding Piñata

A wedding reception is always a fantastic way for your nearest and dearest to wish you well and send you forward as a married couple in blissful harmony. But while it’s always nice to kick-off married life with well-wishers passing on their congratulations, the whole process can be arduous and lengthy.

Instead of going from person to person as you attempt to engage in small-talk with a distant cousin you haven’t seen since you were 12, why not liven things up with a destroyable piñata full of personalised messages from your guests?

Entertain yourselves and your guests all at once by bashing a paper animal (or whatever design you wish to purchase) to pieces, before collecting up the individual messages that fall out when you finally break through. It’s all the gooey lovey-dovey stuff, with a bit of fun thrown in.

2. Hangover Helper Kit

Let’s face it – people enjoy the odd tipple or two after the ceremony is done. Another fantastic wedding reception idea comes in the form of a hangover helper kit – designed specifically for the messy morning after.

Several manufacturers offer this bundle, with common items including a free bottle of water, an eye mask to keep your eyes sheltered from the blazing morning sun, ear plugs to drown out the traffic and even some ibuprofen to douse that splitting headache.

While not everyone at your special occasion is going to be knocking back the booze, it’s safe to assume that more than a few of your guests will think of this little beauty as something of a godsend.

3. Transportation from ceremony to reception

Nobody wants the hassle of trying to find their way from the ceremony hall to the wedding reception itself after your special moment, so why not provide guests with a unique way of travelling?

Whether it’s in stretch limousines, old school buses or even something as grandiose as a hot air balloon, transport your loved ones to their party destination in a completely creative and original manner.

A hot air balloon journey in particular is something that a lot of people may not have tried before – but be sure to stress that if people feel more comfortable driving, they can still do so. Not everybody deals with heights just as well.

Wedding Transportation

4. Confessional Booth for wedding goers

If you’re making a wedding video to revisit lifelong memories of your special day, then setting up a confessional booth for attendees may well be the way to go.

While these hidden video recordings may not necessarily carry messages as deep or earth-shattering as your standard confessions booth in a Catholic church, the privacy of these hideaways allows people to really open up.

Whether that’s a good or a bad thing really depends on the nature of your guests – but whatever the case, it’ll always be fun to watch back what they had to say after the event. Here’s hoping you have a decent set of friends who aren’t going to be too scathing.

5. Hire out a local food truck

Not everybody wants to serve up a fancy three-course dinner at their wedding reception, so a somewhat out-there idea could come in the form of a custom food truck or two.

While a single vendor might only specialise in a certain style, a bevy of trucks – your own little brigade – could keep guests happy with a vast array of cuisines, from your standard burger and chips to a slightly more ‘classy’ pita wrap option.

So long as you ensure you’re keeping attendants happy with a varying range of recipes, nobody should have too much of a problem with chowing down on some slightly more tasty snacks over your standard run-of-the-mill wedding menu.

6. Bouncy Castles

Maybe it’s a tad childish – but you show me any fully grown adult who doesn’t still love bouncy castles and I’ll show you a very bitter person.

Whether you’re six or sixty, what more could you ask for after a ceremony than bouncing around on a specially designed white wedding bouncy castle at the reception? Hours of fun can be had with these inflatable fun factories, which help to make your special day just that little bit more unique.

That said, we don’t really advise that you get involved with this one too quickly after tucking into dinner. Bouncing up and down on a full stomach probably isn’t the smartest strategy for people dressed to impress at a wedding.

7. Word search napkins

Who doesn’t love a word search? One of the simplest joys in the world could now keep your reception fun, while also keeping your guests on their toes and stimulating their brains.

A variety of providers will manufacture napkins for you, which can be personalised with words and names that are relevant to your special day.

From standard words like ‘cake’ and ‘ring’, to personal names of the bride and groom (or even some of the more notable guests), the options are endless for this individual and fun wedding reception idea. Just make sure to provide guests with a full list of the words that they’re looking for to tick off.

8. Personalised comedy pamphlets

There can be a lot of sitting around and awkward talk at tables between guests who may not be that familiar with each other prior to being placed together.

A good way to break the tension is by providing them with a personalised comedy pamphlet each to mull over and share a giggle with as they break the ice.

While producing a 4 or 5-page pamphlet filled with purely individual and personal information about the bride and groom might take some time and effort, it serves not only as that aforementioned tension-killer, but also a funny memento of the day. Well worth the hassle.

9. A wedding colouring book to keep the kids entertained

Kids are always a hard one to keep quiet and under control at a wedding reception, but by providing the little ones with a wedding-orientated colouring book, you can go a long way to maintaining sanity.

While a wedding-specific book is not necessarily a requirement, it could only be a good thing to offer them a helpful reminder exactly why they are there in the first place and whose special day it is.

Kids will always be kids, but by providing this book you can just do that little bit more to ensure they remain under control in an environment where they might be prone to acting up and drawing attention away from the happy couple.

10. Strolling Champagne tables

Here’s an idea that’s a little out there – why not make the most of CEP’s fantastic offerings to hire your very own walking champagne table? Never heard of one? Have no fear, it’s a simple concept to grasp.

We’ll simply place a CEP performer in a specially designed dress which is capable of transporting a collection of champagne flutes around your reception.

The team member in question will offer up casual small talk while providing your guests with a refreshing and free glass of champagne. The mobile nature of the ‘champagne table’ means that loved ones don’t need to seek her out – she’ll find you in time while you’re enjoying the frivolities.

11. An outrageous communal dessert

Rather than serving up the traditional wedding cake, how about offering your guests one slice of a gigantic communal dessert?

‘What’s the difference between that and serving up a slice of cake?’ I hear you ask. Well, how does the idea of a 100ft banana split sound to you?

Okay, this idea isn’t for everyone – but it would stand out as an original and edgy idea which could be fun for the whole family. That said, I’m not sure the grandparents would approve as much.

12. Guestbook advice cards

Providing guests with advice cards is another way to go – allowing your friends and families the chance to leave feedback on your special day and offer advice going forwards.

While you may want to stick away from sensitive questions like “do we make a good couple?”, queries like “Should we get a pet?” or just general “Words of wisdom and advice” cards can only be useful.

Much like the wedding piñata, these cards provide you with a helpful way of garnering information from loved ones without having to go person-to-person for the information.

13. Stilt walkers, showgirls and fire breathers

If you really want to add a little pep to the reception, then the use of talented and skilled performers could make the difference between a dull affair and a wedding that’ll be spoken about for years.

This unique idea creates something of a spectacle for all involved, with trained professionals gripping the entire family with their unbelievable fire-breathing skills. Whether you’re six or sixty, watching someone blast fire from their mouth never gets old.

Stilt walkers also help to add atmosphere to a party, with a variety of different styles – from Geisha walkers to Las Vegas – able to provide the right tone for your own personal event. Showgirls are also available if it’s a kids-free zone and you want to make things just that little bit more risqué.

14. Enter the room in style

Any random bride and groom can casually stroll into the room with their nearest and dearest applauding. Why not spice things up a bit by making an entrance they won’t forget in a hurry?

These sort of kick-offs to events are becoming all the rage, with a happy couple able to personalise their entrance according to their tastes or interests. Whether you want to ceremoniously stroll into the reception to the sound of the Star Wars theme – naturally dressed to the nines in Jedi robes – or want to recreate a famous scene from a movie like Titanic, give your guests an entrance they’ll remember for years.

On top of that, a fun entrance detracts from any awkward moments for people who feel anxious about an entire room starring at and clapping for them (at least if you’re putting on a show it makes some sense).

15. Price is right prize wheel

This one is completely different to anything else we’ve covered on our list. It’s not necessarily ‘easy’ to find a giant wheel recreating the famous television show, but if you do (or make one yourself) you can have guests individually come up to the makeshift game and play for prizes.

It won’t be very fun if everything that appears on the wheel are positive treats for people, so why not throw some (light-hearted) negative options in there too? We’re thinking something along the lines of: “have a dance with Granny” or “do a lap of the dancefloor”.

Equally, some nice prizes could include stuff along the lines of “get a free glass of champagne”. The game will keep people entertained at all times throughout the party and is accessible and fun for all ages (that said, it’s probably best to have a “free juice” option for the kids as opposed to more ‘adult’ drinks).

16. Jenga on the lawn

Rounding off our list is a party game we all enjoy playing the whole year round. Jenga involves stacking high a selection of wooden blocks, with the aim to remove them one by one without the overall tower toppling down onto you.

While the standard version of the game takes place on something as small as a dining room table, special gigantic size pieces can be bought to be used on the lawn. In an ideal world, no wedding reception will be complete without a gargantuan game of Jenga being played.

This is likely going to be a very popular addition, so it might be wise investing in more than one set so multiple parties of people can play at once. With the alcohol flowing it’s also probable the rules will quickly go out the window, so remember not to be too strict when it comes to enforcing the ‘laws of Jenga’.

These are just a few wedding reception ideas people might love, but when it comes to your special day, let your creative juices flow and make your event a memorable one for years to come. Whether it’s a walking-talking champagne table, or a huge Price is Right wheel, do something that people will never forget. If you want a special reception for you wedding, get in contact with CEP and book out one of our many services.

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Bespoke Candi as featured on Britain’s Got Talent

CEP’s most popular act at present is their Bespoke Candi Performers! – as seen on Britain’s Got Talent.

All three judges Simon, Amanda & David loved the T.Rex act, however Alisha was not so convinced! but with three yes’s the group are now very excited to see what happens next.

Consisting of 8 extremely talented fire performers, 8 acrobats and dancers with one very large animatronic dinosaur Bespoke Candi wowed the audience with their flintstone’s themed audition. The next question is did the judges like them enough to put them through to the live semi-finals? Keep watching in May to find out!

 

 Bespoke Candi fire girls bespoke candi gallery

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Wedding Fair at Grand Sapphire!

CEP was invited along with UK’s top wedding service suppliers to perform & exhibit at Grand Sapphire Hotel & Banqueting

 

On Sunday the 21st of February our dedicated CEP team had the pleasure to attend an exhibition at a prestigious new wedding venue in South London, Grand Sapphire. We were proud to be part of it as only the best in the wedding services industry got the chance to attend the event.

We received an amazing response on the open day and were really happy to exhibit at this amazing new lush wedding venue. From weddings and parties to any kind of special life events, CEP makes your occasions memorable for a lifetime!

Our CEP Contortionists WOWed audience with her mind boggling flexibility. We also brought the UK’s largest robot MAXIMUS which showed his amazing bolly moves. We also had our unique human champagne divas which were loved by everyone.

Grand Sapphire turned into a boogie wonderland after the shiny range of disco head performers brought glitter ball to the dancefloor. These head turning performers were also seen on BBC’s Let’s Dance for Sport Relief!

Both of our bespoke and luxury champagne dress tables were out at Grand Sapphire wedding fair and Luxury Wedding Show, London.

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Images by Illusion Photography

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