Unbeknown to my clients and many colleagues in the wedding industry in the South of France, I have a second life. Not anything sinister, illegal or sordid, far from it, it’s something much more fun than that! As well as being a wedding planner, I have another hobby / extracurricular activity / job on the side… I sing, and dance, and play the flute and drum. Along with my dear friend and wedding planning colleague Lizzy (AKA Elizabeth Loveheart) and American buddy Arikka (AKA Arikka Baby), my alter ego Siobhan Fox is a proud member of retro, female vocal group, The Sundown Sisters. Lizzy’s brainchild, the group was formed coming up to 12 months ago and ever since, we have gone from strength to strength. It seemed apt to blog about it as we come up to your year anniversary, after a first season filled with hard work, lots of laughs, lashings of red lipstick and impossibly tight skirts. Starting off with backing tracks, Sundown Brother bass player Nzo was recruited after our first gig where we played along side his band. Several corporate gigs, a few private parties, a couple of public gigs, a charity do, and a wedding later, The Sundown Sisters have just this week been joined by a superb rhythm guitarist which adds a whole new dimension to the group’s sound. I will be blogging about any upcoming public gigs, in the meantime, for more information and bookings, contact The Sundown Sisters by email on email@example.com or call Lizzy on +33 (0)6 77 90 97 97.
Here is a little picture of us taking a break between sets at an event we performed at this summer (I’m the blonde on the right). We will be working on promotional videos very soon!
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You will find below a hand-picked selection of the very best Anglophone entertainment acts based on the French Riviera, currently available for weddings and events throughout the South of France.
Acclaimed British Jazz/Soul singer song-writer Lizzy Parks is the perfect accompaniment for any event. An exciting and innovate performer, Lizzy adds atmosphere and class to any occasion. Signed to UK-based independent record label Tru Thoughts with whom she has released several albums, Lizzy moved from London to Cannes on the French Riviera in 2009. As well as performing her own material at gigs and festivals around Europe, Lizzy has a large repertoire of jazz and soul tracks which she sings at weddings and events accompanied by her fantastic band (available in different formations from duo to quintet). Offering arrangements of well-known standards, Lizzy and her musicians can execute a vast repertoire of music from vocal piano jazz to up tempo swing. In addition to her Jazz Band set up which is absolutely ideal for wedding cocktail receptions, Lizzy can also perform modern songs (with some of her own material if desired) in her own unique style with her guitarist Tom. Lizzy and Tom recently performed at an informal rehearsal dinner I organised for one of my clients and it worked fantastically. Lizzy is really a delight to work with, proving an exemplary level of professionalism at all times.
To contact Lizzy and find out more about the entertainment services she provides, you can email her on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can listen to some of Lizzy’s original tracks on her website, on itunes or on her myspace.
Based in the Nice area of the Riviera, the Phly Boyz are a 4 piece, Anglo-American band with double bass, drums, sax and guitar. The Phly Boyz specialise in cocktail and dinner entertainment singing in 5 languages and interacting with guests in a light-hearted humorous manner. The group perform hits from the last 50 years, covering any type of music from classical church music to the Beatles and the Black Eyed Peas. A typical Phly Boyz show consists of three thirty-forty minute sets: first set during the aperitif – jazzy instrumental, second set after the starter – more upbeat sing along going from table to table, and then the last set towards end of dinner – very upbeat full sound sing along and more dance tunes to get the party going. The Ply Boyz normally collaborate with a DJ so that the last song is seamlessly followed by a dance party. The Phly Boyz performed at a wedding I organised recently and were just brilliant. They really created a fun ambiance at the event and were adored by all guests.
Wayne Barratt, the band’s drummer who takes care of bookings and admin can be contacted by email on email@example.com. For more information and soundbites, you can visit the Phly Boyz website.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SELECTION OF ANGLOPHONE DJS ON THE RIVIERA
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT AGENCIES ON THE RIVIERA
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The rental of furniture, tableware and catering equipment is something that is more often than not managed by the catering company you choose but if you need to order any equipment directly, there are two main companies who operate throughout the South of France who specialises in the rental of furniture
, ‘Art de la Table’
(tableware) and catering equipment
for weddings and events: Options
Both Options and Aktuel have a large selection of dining tables & chairs
, buffet tables, high tables, coffee tables
and bar stools
as well as outdoor furniture
and lounge furniture sets
all for rent. As well as furniture, Options and Aktuel have a huge range of table cloths & napkins
, cutlery, crockery & glassware, candles & candle holders
and other decorative and functional elements. If you are feeling creative, you can mix and match items to put together your own décor concept, otherwise the sales team can do this for you.
Options and Aktuel also rent out professional quality catering equipment. Again, your caterer will usually take care of this side of things for you but if you or someone in your entourage decides to do the catering for your wedding then Options or Aktuel might be a good port of call if you need any extra equipment such as BBQs, serving dishes & utensils, chafing dishes, fridges and coffee machines.
Both Options and Aktuel’s websites are very easy to use, you can obtain a quote online using an ’add to basket’ system and view photos and descriptions of all products. Delivery and pick-up are quoted for according to the order but set up is not included because the companies assume this is going to be taken care of the caterer or the client directly.
You can view both companies’ full product ranges on their websites: www.aktuel.fr and www.options.fr.
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If you like me are a bit of a techno freak, then you will have no doubt thought about creating your very own website for your wedding. Wedding websites are fantastic tools for facilitating the organisation of your wedding and for keeping in touch with guests regarding important wedding information. With a wedding website, you can do the following and much more:
- Share the official wedding photos of your special day with guests and allow them to upload their own photos.
- Send e-invitations and regular email updates to your guests.
- Keep a track of your guest list by asking people to confirm their presence online.
- You can use your wedding website as a blog to share you feelings and experiences with your guests on the run up to your wedding.
- Allow guests to access information regarding the location of the wedding ceremony and reception with google maps or another similar application.
- Inform guests about your wedding list.
- Give guests info regarding accommodation options.
- Allow guests to contact one another if they wish to get in touch to share lifts or accommodation.
- Allow guests to post personal messages to you and your fiancée.
- Allow guests to donate money rather than buying gift using Paypal or a similar secured online payment system.
- Give guests the opportunity to upload audio files onto your website to include in the wedding play list.
Today, there are a whole host of companies offering easy to use wedding websites. Most claim to be completely customisable but I can tell you that this is not always the case. Although they generally offer a good range of templates, it is not possible to really create a totally original website. I have reviewed a few online wedding website companies for you below, all whom offer quite a similar service. Most are pay to use but some are free. Most companies charge according to how long you want your website to be online for (the length of time the company will agree to host your website on their servers). Usually the maximum online period is 18 to 24 months, after which your website is automatically taken off line. Some offer customisable domain names such as www.brideandgroom’sname.com whereas others only offer domain names as an extension of the company’s own URL. The major downside for me with all companies that I have come across so far is that they do not offer multi language websites. For international families this can be problematic.
- Wedding Window: Wedding Window is for me the best wedding website software service on the market. Wedding window offers the largest range of functions from a forum where your guests can communicate with one another, to an RSVP facility, wedding planning tools such as a budget calculator and checklist. Photos are displayed nicely and you are able to add music to your website. The themes are attractive and easy to customize. The Wedding Window package my clients most frequently go for costs 80 dollars for 12 months.
- My Wedding: My Wedding is a free website service. My Wedding websites are user-friendly and the range of themes is extensive. My Wedding does not offer quite as many functionalities as Wedding Window but My Wedding is definitely a great tool considering it’s free!
- Wedding Jo Jo: Wedding Jo Jo is fairly new on the market and offers a range of beautifully designed themes. The premium member option at 14.99 dollars a month offers considerably more features compared to the free version.
- Wedsite: Wedsite is definitely one of the most visually attractive but its made using flash so is a little bit less viewer friendly.
- The Knot: Along with a load of different wedding planning tools and useful wedding planning advice, TheKnot.com offers free wedding websites for members with TheKnot.com domain names. Becoming a member of TheKnot.com is free, however only residents of the USA can become members. If you live in the USA then great, if not then TheKnot.com is not for you.
- Wedding Tracker: Wedding Tracker is an affiliate website of the same media group as TheKnot.com and offers a more complete service with personalised domain names. Wedding Tracker is a paying service but remains very reasonably priced compared with some other wedding website companies I have found on the net.
- eWedding: eWedding is one of the most user-friendly free wedding website services that I have come across. eWedding offers a very complete range or features including custom domain names if you wish to upgrade to the paying service. The downside is that the range of themes are not particularly creative.
If you are quite web savvy and fancy having a go at creating your own wedding website, Apple offers a great basic website design tool in their iwork software package. If you don’t have a Mac, then Google has created a fantastic online application for the creation og free websites for any purpose; Google Sites. Alternatively, you could always create a wedding website using the platform I used to create my blog, the wonderful WordPress. You could even find a local web design company to create you a totally tailor-made, professional wedding website. The advantage about creating your own site is that you can keep it online for as long as you wish. Equally, if you have an international family and need to present information in several languages, this is easier to accomplish if you create your own website.
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If you are searching for quality entertainment for your wedding and don’t find what you are looking for in the Wedding Bands or the Wedding DJs sections of www.my-riviera-wedding.com, you might like to contact one of the entertainment agencies below who offer all types of good quality musical and non musical entertainment for events throughout the South of France.
- Riviera Organisation: Riviera Organisation is owned and managed by British, Riviera-based DJ Peter Mackley. Riviera Organisation have a huge range of super entertaining acts on their books. From charismatic Soul artists to saxophone lounge music, funky house DJs and nu-school classical acts; Riviera Organisation can really provide the perfect type of entertainment for any occasion. As well as taking care of the artist liason side of things, the company can also provide all necessary sound & light equipment.
You can contact Riviera Organisation by telephone +33 (0)4 93 12 14 01 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the entertainment services that the company offers, you can check out their website: www.rivieraorganisation.com.
- Prodiam: Prodiam is an artist agency based on the Cote d’Azur run by a wonderful lady called Marie Christine Lescure. The company offers a huge range of musical, dance, magic and performance art acts of an extremely high quality. For your wedding ceremony, the company can offer string quartets, harpists, opera singers, classical guitarists and pianists… For your reception Prodiam can provide any kind of entertainment to get the party started from cool jazz and soul groups to exotic performance acts for a range of themed events such as Bollywood, Oriental, Medieval and much more. Prodiam can provide a complete entertainment package with technical equipment, sound and lights included.
You can contact Marie Christine by telephone on +33 (0)4 93 14 34 46 or by email on email@example.com. Marie Christine speaks great English and so do many of the artists on Prodiam’s books.
If you are looking for more high-end Anglo-Saxon performers then there is a fantastic British entertainment agency with its head office in London and a satellite office in France that you should definitely contact.
- Young Guns: Young Guns is run by well respected British music professional Dominic Lyon. I can personally vouch for the quality of the acts that Dominic has on his books as an event agency I was working for used Young Guns for a Russian wedding at the Chateau Saint Martin in Vence back in December 2008. All three acts were utterly professional and of the highest calibre. Young guns can provide musicians, DJs, dancers, models and performance artists for any occasion. Two of the most well-known groups signed to Young Guns are two classical girl groups: Escala and Passionata, you can see YouTube videos of these two groups below. If there is a famous signed artist or group that you would love to have perform at your wedding then Young Gun’s sister company Lyon Artist International can also sort this out for you.
For more information about Young Guns you can check out their website. You can reach Dominic by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SELECTION OF WEDDING BANDS ON THE RIVIERA
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SELECTION OF ANGLOPHONE DJS ON THE RIVIERA
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As our lives become more and more hectic and our families more dispersed, today many couples need the helping hand of a wedding planner to take the heat off organising their special day. For destination weddings, things can get particularly complicated with potential language and communication issues and logistics involving guests coming from both out-of-town and out of country locations. Finding good, trustworthy vendors and the perfect venue can also be a challenge if you don’t have word of mouth or personal contacts to rely on.
On the French Riviera, there are a host of wedding planners and event management companies offering destination wedding planning services, however it can be difficult to sort out the good from the bad and the downright ugly (I know this first hand having worked in the events sector in Cannes). This is precisely why I began my blog and why I wanted in the first place to get into wedding planning in the South of France.
The majority of the people who have contacted me via my website thus far need someone on the ground who speaks fluent French, who has local knowledge, who understands both the Anglo-Saxon and French way of doing things and with whom they can communicate freely and comfortably in English. I have developed through contact with and feedback from my readers and clients a range of wedding planning services. I now offer a full A to Z wedding planning service including all pre-planning and organisation as well as on site support on the Big Day itself, a venue find service, a wedding consultation service and a wedding design & styling service. If you would like to find out more about the different wedding planning services that I offer, please visit my new website www.kerrybrackenweddings.com. If you just need some information to get you started, I hope you will be able to find what you are looking for on My Riviera Wedding.
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There are a whole host of car rental companies on the French Riviera, so you should not have any problem at all finding a wedding car. The price depends on the number of hours you need the car for and the amount of kilometres you wish to cover. The minimum number of hours for a car rental with chauffeur is usually 4 hours. During this 4 hours, the driver is at your service to take you wherever you wish to go. Due to French employment law, normally the same chauffeur can not do more than an 8 hour shift and must take regular breaks. If a chauffeur does a shift over a certain number of hours then you will more often than not find approximately 20 euros added to your estimate for a meal for the driver.
I have picked out below just a few of the many car rental companies who specialise in wedding cars:
- VIP Lux : Based in Nice, VIP Lux specilaises in limousines for weddings and special occasions. As well as its signature car, a white stretch limousine , VIP Lux offers an extra bling bling stretch hummer limousine, a Rolls Royce and a white Ferrari all available for weddings. All cars come with a chauffeur and depending on the service package you choose the company can provide floral decoration, champagne and other additional services.
White stretch limousine
Hummer stretch limousine
- Riviera Car Prestige: Riviera Car Prestige specialsies in vintage cars and has a really interesting selection of old classics such as a white Rolls Royce, an Excalibur Phaeton III, a Cadillac, an English taxi, a 1930s Ford, a Triumph, an Austin Healey, a Jaguar, a white Volkswagen Beatle and a fun Citroën 2CV. I picked up a Riviera Car Prestige weddings tariff sheet from a wedding fair recently and was pleasantly surprised to see that prices were rather more reasonable I anticipated; from 300 to 800 euros per wedding day.
Rolls Royce Corniche II
Excalibur Phaeton III
- MC Limousine: MC Limousine specialise in Executive Transportation and have a large fleet of sedans or saloon cars most of which are Black Mercedes S Class. MC Limousine are a great company to go for if you would like to arrange VIP transportation for all of your guests to and from the wedding ceremony and reception venues or to and from the airport. All cars come chauffeur driven and the MC Limousine drivers are the most professional in the area. The company’s owner Cédric has a stunning black Bently which he also rents out for weddings.
Mercedes S Class
- GTS: GTS is a good transportation supplier for if you decide to put on coaches or buses to transport your guests around the French Riviera. The company have mini-vans (7 passengers), mini-buses (16 to 25 passengers) and coaches (48 to 55 passengers) in their fleet should you need to transport a large number of people at any one time.
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