How to beat venue noise restrictions

You may or may not have heard of the event of Bruce Springsteen’s microphone being switched off at a gig he performed at last Saturday, at Hyde Park. Springsteen had to leave the stage in silence as he had continued performing after Westminster’s’ noise curfew. Whether this comes as a shock to you or not there are rules and regulations – no matter who you are!

Over the weekend, I attended a wedding where the music was so loud it kept cutting out. Now I don’t know if the DJ was aware that maybe he needed to turn down the volume just s notch or whether he was tone deaf. Either way it spoilt the atmosphere as all people wanted to do was enjoy and dance to the music.

Just the other day I came across a ‘How to beat venue noise restrictions’ article written by a London DJ Matt Maurice and Kelly Chandler from the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners. I thought I’d share it with you guys as of course this can fall into the wedding planning process. Each wedding venue differs from the next when it comes to decibel limits and strict end times, so Matt and Kelly have created a number of rules to avoid any trouble on the day.

Rule 1: Know the policy
You can run into sound restrictions anywhere, from city-centre hotels with non-wedding guests to remote castles where music can travel for miles (thus disrupting ‘neighbours’ you can’t even see). “I’ve played Thames river boats, 5-star London hotels and country mansions with sound restrictions, so there’s no set venue type,” Matt points out. The key, Kelly advises, is “never assume.” The two big areas to clarify with the venue are finish times and decibel limits, which may require your band or DJ to use a noise limiter when they perform. And if, like us, you’re not super-clear on how loud a decibel actually is, follow this rule of thumb: a noise limit of 80 decibels would be quite low, 90 is average, and 95 is pretty OK.

Rule 2: Don’t panic
“There’s a misconception out there that, ‘Oh no, the venue requires a sound limiter, the party is going to be a disaster’,” Kelly says. “But really what it influences is things like the size of the band you can have.” (Swap the 10-piece band for a 4-piece and you’re less likely to exceed your decibel count.) With earlier-than-desired finish times, you can also ask the venue if it’s possible to extend (though, as they’ll have to apply to the council for late license, this will most likely cost you extra).

How to beat venue noise restrictions_2

Rule 3: Communicate with your musicians
Knowledge is power, and there are techy tweaks your team can make to get the most out of their sound even if a noise limiter is required. “There are certain things that set off the sound limiter, like certain types of vocals or the position of the mic in relation to the crowd, and professionals can work with it most of the time,” Kelly says.

Rule 4: Respect the noise limiter
So how does this thing actually work? “Most use a traffic-light system: green, amber, red,” Matt says. “It’s programmed to the unique level setting at the venue, and at green and amber you’re OK. Go into the red for more than the pre-set number of seconds and power to the entire system can be cut.” Multiple factors can affect whether you enter the red zone, like room set up, number of guests and music style. “Crowd noise like clapping and cheering can also send the noise levels up and cause the limiter to kick in,” he adds, so be sure to follow guidance from the musical pros who know best.

Wedding DJ_How to beat venue noise restrictions

Rule 5: Stay on schedule
Don’t want your first dance to be the last of the night? Be vigilant about timings earlier in the day – especially if you’re up against a non-negotiable finishing time at the end of the reception.

Rule 6: Plan an after-party
If a noise limit rather than a fixed end time is the issue, ask if your venue will let you stay in the space with your guests if you agree to switch to non-amplified music or an iPod. Or, move on to phase two: we’ve known couples to arrange pub takeovers or book private areas in nightclubs to extend the best night ever.

How to beat venue noise restrictions_1

Rule 7: Be honest about your priorities
“If you have your heart set on a 10-piece band and partying till 5am, then you need to focus your energies on finding a venue that will allow it,” says Kelly. Though in that case, as Bruce and Paul learned the hard way, Hyde Park is probably out!

Words by Julia Scirrotto

I do hope this was helpful, as many people do fail to take this into consideration. Music can be the life and soul of a wedding or event….the last thing you want is the atmosphere being ruined because someone wants to burst your eardrums! Lol

Image sources: 1, 2, 3

Date for your Diary: The African Bridal Show

african bridal show banner

The African Bridal Show (ABS) is one of few traditional wedding exhibitions in the UK. Born out of the desire of its founders to celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of the African Culture, ABS aims to be the one-stop-shop for brides and grooms planning or wanting to incorporate African tradition into their wedding day.

The show will include a Head Tie Artistry catwalk, live performances, seminars on how to plan a traditional Nigerian wedding, as well as over 40 exhibitors showcasing their services and products.

ABS ensures that brides need no more feel that the quality of their traditional wedding has been diluted due to it not being in their home country, or not having the specific services they need.

This year the exhibition will be taking place at Hallam Conference Centre and what’s more it’s a FREE event!

Time: Sat 4th Aug 2012, 11:30am – 6pm

Ticket Prices: Free if booked in advance on Evenbrite (£5 on the door)

Register for your free tickets here and find out more on the website

African Bridal show

Simple Steps for Great Wedding Day Skin: Strapped vs. Splash

Every bride wants beautiful radiant wedding day skin, especially for the fact that you’ll be taking a lot of photos and that you’ll constantly have your guests getting close to congratulate you.

The best advice I can offer is to start your skin preparations well in advance (at least 6 months) of your wedding day. It’s no good having the dress of your dreams, with stunning jewels and then have your make up applied to skin that that is not looking its best.

Below are some tips that I have picked up along the way and have also tried. Not everyone has the money to splash out on a facial every week, so I’ve also included ways that you can get good results from your skin without having to break the bank!

Strapped for cash?

  • Cleanse
  • Moisturise daily
  • Remove make up at night
  • Exfoliate skin at least once a week

All of this should improve your complexion

I guess we’re all suckers when it comes to caffeine and sugary drinks, but drinking plenty of water has been said to clear up the skin. If you find this difficult, try taking a bottle of water with you to work, the gym or out shopping. It may be hard at first but it does get easier. Trust me I’ve tried it!

Don’t forget that there are always special deals around…check out Groupon, Kgbdeals and money saving expert for vouchers and offers on hair, nail and beauty treatments.

Wedding day skin

Got cash to splash?
If you can afford it why not book an appointment for a facial. It’s a good way to distress and detoxify the skin, and it does wonders for cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturising. Book your facial at least a few months before your wedding day. Everyone’s skin is different and can react in different ways. The last thing you want is a bad reaction the day before your wedding day.

If you have a serious skin problem and want specialist advice I would recommend seeing a dermatologist.

wedding day skin

Now it’s not just what we do on the outside, but also what we feed our bodies. There are plenty of foods that can benefit our skin and here are just a few:

  • Oily fish such as salmon and sardines are rich with Omega-3 fatty acids; therefore they can help replace fats lost in the skin that have been causing dryness. If you have eczema or dermatitis your skin will surely benefit from the anti-inflammatory qualities of fish oil.
  • Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines and grapefruits are known for their high vitamin content, which in turn can help the skin detoxify and tone.
  • Green veg such as spinach can improve the skins complexion
  • The fibre in oats helps to control the release of insulin and the absorption of glucose, resulting in good insulin regulation -good control helps keep your skin firm and healthy.

Wedding day skin foods

Why not combat your hair and nails too with Vitabiotics Perfectil Plus. Part of the tablets nutritional information includes vitamin C, Iron, omega-3, magnesium and so much more. I always think it’s best to get the nutrition from the original source though.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

West African Wedding Attire – Beautiful Fabric and Colours

Good morning people. Hope you all had a great weekend!

Today I thought I’d showcase the beautiful wedding attire worn by West Africans. Each piece has its own special name depending on each country and it is common to wear particular materials and outfits for specific ceremonies. Do read on and enjoy the rich and bold colours along with the vibrant patterns!

Clothes of the Family
Aso ebi [Nigerian and pronounced asho-eybee] or Aschobi [Sierra Leonean and pronounced asho-bee] means clothes of the family in English. These outfits are made from matching fabric and are to be worn by the bride and groom’s close relatives and friends. It shows support for the celebrants and wearing a specific aso ebi/ aschobi sets apart the two families. For example, all the bride’s family and friends might wear green and gold while the groom’s might wear red and gold.

aso ebi

Aso oke fabric
The Aso ebi/ Aschobi fabric is called Aso oke [ah-shaw-oh-kay] and is a hand loomed cloth woven by the Yoruba people of south west Nigeria. It is typically chosen by the bride, and once the material has been finalised guests are informed months in advance so they can purchase theirs and have it prepared by a tailor. Some close friends and family members are given the aso ebi/ aschobi as a gift. When it comes to colour selection, no colour is out of bounds! Coral, gold, purple, green, blue, red, name a colour and it’s available.

West African wedding attire_aso oke_aso ebi_aschobi

Bride and groom evening attire
In the later period of the wedding reception the bride and groom change into their aso oke. For the bride this consists of an Iro [i-row] or Lappa [La-pah] – a wrapper skirt, Buba [boo-bah] – a blouse, Ikpele [ip-ay-lay] – a shawl worn on one shoulder and Gele [gay-lay] – a head tie. Along with this, the bride will wear stunning pieces of matching jewellery that compliment her outfit.

West African wedding attire_aso oke_bride 1

The beautiful coral bead jewellery is a popular choice among brides

West African wedding attire_aso oke_bride and groom

Bride and groom in matching Aso Oke

For the groom their traditional attire consists of a Buba [boo-bah] – a shirt, Sokoto [show-kow-to] – a pair of trousers, Agbada [Ah-gba-dah] – a wide sleeved robe worn over the shirt and usually worn to the ankles, and a Fila [fee-lah] – a hat.

West African wedding attire_groom_aso oke

Another choice of clothing that wedding guests can wear is Ankara [Ann-kah-rah]. This is very popular with the younger guests of the wedding and is more affordable than the aso oke fabric. Again, the bride will select the fabric and those who would like to support the celebrants will purchase their material and have it tailored made into a style that suits them.  Ankara is so popular now that it has made its way into mainstream fashion and has celebrities such as Beyonce and Lady Gaga rocking theirs in their own individual styles.

west african wedding_ ankara styles

ankara fashion styles

Ankara on the catwalk

So there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post. As you can see there are endless possibilities when it comes to fabric and colour in West African Weddings. No wedding can ever be the same….


Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7