Carina’s Dreamwave Lighting Blog

Mick Pollard – Our Right Hand Handyman!

Mick is a man who knows a lot about everything.  He is our resident being in the warehouse and an invaluable member of our team.   Not only in the warehouse, he can also be founds crewing on events or with a hot brew in his palms.

What Does Mick Do at Dreamwave Events?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – but if it is; give it to Mick! He is definitely the daddy of Dreamwave, taking care of us all.  He’s an organisational crackerjack and our warehouse wonder-man.  Mick Pollard, the master of mending is repairing the world one light bulb at a time.  He keeps all our products in tip top condition, checking each individual item carefully prior to each event, making sure it’s to the Dreamwave high standards of expectation.

Being the Lord of the warehouse, he has to be meticulous in his workings.  He always has several assignments on the go from simple painting and decorating, staying ready for the busy season to being part of implementing new lighting project designs.  Thus helping Dreamwave Events keep ahead of the game by bringing new inspirational arrangements that lead the way in wedding and party lighting and decor trends.

Mick Pollard Dreamwave Crew Essex Suffolk Lighting Handyman

Current Projects with Mick Pollard

As Mick is pretty handy with a soldering iron, he can be found in the centre of new projects tinkering away in the warehouse.  His current work is directing him to the design of a new prototype DJ Booth to add to our current collection of DJ set upsWatch this space…..



Make Your Own Rules at Captains Wood Barn, Essex – Real Wedding

Creative people dream big and make their own rules.  Captains Wood Barn is the perfect venue to draw outside the lines and put your own stamp on your wedding.  Dan and Andrea opted for this wedding venue in rural Essex for that very reason.  Being totally dry hire and exclusively theirs for the weekend, every decision was their own!

Wedding Videographer: The Wedding Video Guys

“We’re both creative people and we both love adventures. This lead us to start our own blog just over two years ago.   We both love D.I.Y, and can turn our hand to most things.  Dan designed our invites, games, signage, tattoos, custom glasses, posters and just about everything else you see printed. We LOVED wedding planning, it was so much fun and we both contributed equally to the process and just wanted the day to reflect us, our loves, our interests, everything was considered. We were so pleased with how it turned out and just had the best day ever. Everyone still says it was the most personal wedding they’ve ever been too!”

The Lighting Dan and Andrea had at Captains Wood Barn from Dreamwave Events

Captains Wood Barn Wedding venue Essex Lighting Hire

Image Source: Jess Soper Phototgraphy


“Many thanks again for the stellar job you did with the lighting. It really looked amazing – especially the low seating area. It was better than how we imagined it. “

The Dance Floor Area at Captains Wood Barn

Remember; Elegance is not standing out, it is being remembered.   Our Hanging droplet festoons defined the dance floor area for Andrea and Dan’s evening party. Striking vintage filament lamps hung from droplet festoon strings to create their desired look.

Captains Wood Barn Essex Wedding Lighting Hire Geometric Hanging Lamps

The Moroccan Seating Area at Captains Wood Barn

We worked with Amy from Anthology Vintage Hire to create this alluring low seating area.  Andrea and Dan’s guests could escape the barn to a quiet outside cozy setting when the need arose!  We feel our on trend Geometric Hanging Lamps complemented the theme perfectly!


What did Andrea and Dan think?

Why did you choose Captains Wood Barn as your Wedding Venue?

“Once we saw Captains Wood we just couldn’t get it out of our heads.  It wasn’t a predefined space, we could set it up and lay it out how we liked.  It was relaxed and informal enough to throw a great party, but we knew we could zone it so the grandparents and kids would have a quieter space.  We also loved Bob, Sally and Amy (who also runs AVH) they were so friendly and open to ideas and kind. Sally even gave us some sweet peas from her garden to take home after a viewing – a much nicer gift than a glossy folder or tote bag. We just had such good vibes we didn’t want to give our money to anyone else!”

How did you find our about Dreamwave Events?

“When started to think about great parties we thought about the vibe of Beertopia at Milsoms; live music and pour your own drinks. We went with friends last October too and it was the first time we noticed the lighting. It was Dreamwave so we’d seen their work in situ and in the context of a great party too!”

What Wedding Style/Theme were you going for?

“We just wanted the day to reflect us.  We write about travel a lot, so we included a lot of things we love from our own adventures in the décor. Our colour scheme was pinks, greens and golds and wanted natural elements that reflected the beautiful woodland setting of the barn.  

The dancefloor was an important area to get right. Dan was performing in a band so we wanted something special that really encouraged everyone to get on the dancefloor. The lighting was really key to zoning the areas too as there’s no definitive dancefloor – like we said you can lay it out how you like at CWB.

We also wanted a quieter chill area. When we go out these days we tend to prefer quieter bars where you can have actual conversations. We also love a good roof top bar to chill out in when we visit new cities so the idea of a low seating area stemmed from there. It’s the kinda thing we’d have in our garden – if we had one – so we wanted to create the kind of space you could chill and chat with your mates in.  I think we ran away with the lighting in our first meeting with Dave – the options for impact are endless and when we pitched the idea of a low seating area in the outdoor covered barn – we knew Dave’s mind was working overtime with ideas.”

Tell me about how you think the lighting added to your wedding and the over affect?

“We did so much of the décor, the coordination and the set-up ourselves.  There was actually very little we hired or bought in. We invested in the things that were most important to us and we knew we weren’t capable of achieving, things like the lighting and furniture. The lighting really helped to elevate our D.I.Y Wedding, providing us with enchanting spaces and gave perfect ambiance to the party.”

I particularly loved the Moroccan seating area created with our new geometric lamps and décor form Anthology Vintage Hire.  Was this how you envisioned it?

“Yes, absolutely. This is something we couldn’t have achieved without our suppliers.  It looked amazing and was as cosy as we’d hoped for too. When it came to asking for the lighting for this area, we knew you’d be able to get this right and translate our ideas into realities. It really made a lot of people say wow, it was the first hint of the wedding everyone had as the main barn doors were shut when everyone arrived.”


Re-create the look using Andrea and Dan’s suppliers:

Photographer – Jess Soper
Videographers – The Wedding Video Guys

Furniture Hire – Anthology Vintage Hire
Lighting – Dreamwave Events

Wedding Breakfast – Grain
Pizza – Redwood Stone Baked Pizza
Ice Cream – Saffron Ice Cream Company
Cake – Crouch St Bakes
Beer – Adnams

Favours (custom glasses) – Confetti


Contact Us:

If you like Andrea and Dan’s lighting at Captains Wood Barn or have lighting hire ideas you wish to discuss, get in touch!

Before contacting us, take a look at what we need to know from you to bring your lighting ideas to life.


Wivenhoe House 2018 Wedding Open Morning

Wivenhoe House 2018 Wedding Open Morning is happening on Sunday 24th June.   Once again this is being supported by our amazing team at Dreamwave Events.  The historical 18th Century Country House Wedding venue in Essex offers the perfect setting to get married.  It is surrounding by the undulating parkland that the Essex countryside has to offer and offers the luxury stay that should be expected from a  four-star hotel.

Wivenhoe House 2018 Wedding Open Morning

Wivenhoe House Hotel will be dressed to impress!  Experience how your wedding could look by visiting between 10am and 1pm.  The rooms will be exhibited in wedding fashion at their best!  You should definitely take advantage of having the events team there.  They will be on hand to answer any questions you have on the day and discuss their fabulous wedding packages.

What will Dreamwave Events have on offer at Wivenhoe House 2018 Wedding Open Morning?

The Wedding Breakfast and Evening Party  is usually held in the Garden Suite at Wivenhoe House.  Our team can completely transform the room using specialized draping and professional lighting effects to create the ambiance you envision on your wedding day.  We love working at Wivenhoe house.  The amazing individuals there will gladly discuss the services we can offer.  You can take a sneaky peak prior to the day by  taking a look at our devoted website page of the Wedding Venue and our  DJ and dedicated Lighting and Decor Brochures.


A bit more info…..

You can also expect to be welcomed with a glass of bubbly on arrival.  Then feast on luxury canapes to tease your taste pallets.  Further to this, the Wivenhoe team also promise every attendee who registers to be entered into a prize draw.  You could win a luxury overnight stay for two! How awesome is that?

We look forward to seeing you on the day.  If you have any questions about our services – please just give us a call or email us through our contact page.


Dreamwave Sponsors – Easter Charity Ball 2018

We at Dreamwave Events like to grow by giving.  When we were approached by Emma to sponsor her Easter Charity Ball at Stoke by Nayland Golf Club in aid of Colchester Hospital’s Neonatal Unit, we jumped at the chance to support such a worthy cause.



A bit of Back Ground for the Charity Event

Emma, the event host, wanted to raise funds as a thank you to the hospital for the amazing care her triplet daughters received a few years ago.  The Easter Charity Event is also a thank you for the past and continued care given by hospital’s amazing doctors and nurses to families with ill or premature newborns.

All monies raised will be directed to improvement of the facilities.  In particular, the unit wishes to purchase a state of the art incubator, where keeping the newborns warm will much improve their chances of survival.

 Easter Charity Ball 2018 Suffolk Essex Neonatal Colchester Hospital fundraising sponsor

What Part did we play in the Easter Charity Event?

We put our  eggs in one basket to be the headline sponsor and we naturally wanted to play a bigger role in the proceedings.  Giving is not just about making a donation, its about making a difference!  We were keen to help make this event a success; for Emma and the hospital.

Of course, one of our Dreamwave DJ’s would be in the mix, smashing the party with classic tunes.  But we also really wanted to make the venue striking with our stunning lighting and decor, creating the right atmosphere for such a hugely important charity event.

The photos speak a thousand words.  I think the combination of everyone’s efforts blew the guests away.  We supplied lighting (and lighting technician) in the way of an impressive backdrop behind the performance area, breathtaking hanging lamps and our DJ equipment to complete the room.  The lighting decor was perfectly complemented by Fairy Lights and Festoons, along with embellished chair coverings with lemon sashes by Embellish Events to complete the look.



 What Occurred?

The whole evening has a real buzz about it.  I think it has just the right balance of  happenings, that there was something for everyone and all were entertained.

Order of Events:

Welcome Drinks and live music from Emilty Starling and Michael Groves

Speeches from Emma Blowers


Karen Moss (from Colchester Neonatal Unit)

A scrumptious  Three course Dinner

Live Auction with prizes including a Newmarket Racecourse Music Night, Convertible BMW for the Weekend, Skippered Yacht for the Weekend and Tickets for Hammersmith Apollo with Plaza Hotel Voucher

Live Music by The Hot Shots

Raffle Draw of over 70 quality prizes

Dreamwave DJ until 1am



Easter Charity Ball 2018 COHOC Stoke By Nayland Essex Suffolk Headline Sponsor Dreamwave Events Neonatal fundraising

What was Raised?

All in all Emma raised in the region of £15000!  What an awesome achievement!  After speaking to Emma, she enjoyed organising this successful charity do so much, that she may aim to continue in these footsteps.  I think the industry has definitely gained a winner!


Like the look?

If you like the look of any of the lighting or are interested in our DJ Services, please contact us for further details and we will be happy to help!

Happy Birthday Dreamwave Events!

9 years old today! It barely seems likes yesterday that I had my first day in our much smaller office 7 years ago.  Time has really flown and now the company is celebrating another birthday and is now almost in double figures!

Dreamwave’s Birthday – An important Milestone.

Today marks the foundation day of the business.  Every age is enchanting and the journey from Dreamwave’s birth until now has been one hell of a ride.   I caught up with the inspirations of the business, Dave and Paul and the one’s who carry the story of reaching these heights of success.

“We are so proud that our hard work has paid off and Dreamwave Events has grown to where it is today.  We feel we have built a company with a solid reputation of professionalism, creativity and reliability.  We could not ask for a better team to be part of this and can only see more exciting ventures on the horizon!”


Our Story in Short

17th April 2008 was the day marked in history when Dave and Paul joined forces to form Dreamwave Events!  We saw our reputation of providing a fantastic party expand.  Alongside our experienced and approachable individuals, Dreamwave Events cultivated a strong position within the Wedding and Party DJ entertainment industry.  As we saw the business soar, Dreamwave Events naturally evolved into expanding it’s services into professional lighting where we have proved to be an unstoppable force in Essex, Suffolk, London and surrounding areas.  Our warehouse is now stacked with top quality sound and lighting equipment producing first rate installations that will knock your socks off!


Happy Birthday Dreamwave Events DJ Lighting Essex Suffolk London Hire Wedding Entertainment Production Sound

What our clients think

It has taken this time to build up our name as a source of quality and professionalism.  The support from our clients and referrals from venue:

“Dave, Spike, Paul, Carina and the whole team are so easy to work with and they totally understood what we wanted to achieve during our meetings, delivering it in spades.
If you are looking for quality music and/or lighting and decoration for your venue, then we would have no hesitation in recommending Dreamwave.” Jim Carter


Our Birthday; Another Year Older

This year is proving to be yet another amazing year for us and I want to embrace and celebrate the achievements for the business.  A huge thank you goes to our Directors, Dave and Paul (Dreamave is a huge credit to your hard work); The employees (including me!); the venues and above all the HUGE support from clients. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!


We will see you next year when we will see our 10 year anniversary with a huge celebration!











Outside Fairy Lighting Options

You can truly transform your outdoor space and make the most of your evening party.  Whether it be a wedding or private function, you can inject a little light into the area using outside fairy lighting.  These super sparkly versatile gems are just what is needed to ensure your guests continue to use the outdoor expanse into your evening.

Outside Fairy Lighting Wedding Glemham Hall Suffolk Hire

Image Source – Ross Dean Photography


I want to share with you my favourite ways to use outside fairy lighting to enhance exterior features at your wedding or party venue:

Outside Fairy Light Canopies

Possibly my ultimate pick of the bunch and absolutely the most impacting.  These emit elegance and incur that wow factor.  A fairy light canopy is proof that you don’t need green fingers to make the most of the gardens! Even a bland and quite frankly ordinary space can be transformed with a bespoke design of outside fairy lights.

With choices from single and multi swag canopies to crossed strands and fans – there will always be a design to suit different outdoor confirmations.

Outside Fairy Lighting Hire Foliage border Wedidng Essex Suffolk Hengrave Hall

Outside Fairy Lighting in Foliage

Trees  / Shimmering Shrubs

Border hedging, shrubbery and trees lend themselves to fantastic decorative opportunities to illuminate outdoor spaces into a whimsical wonderland!  Fairy lights wrapped around trunks or draped within the foliage create beautiful eye catching features.

Kenton Hall Outside Fairy Lighting wrap tree trunks Hire Essex Suffolk

Flickering Fencing / Pretty Pergolas

Hang fairy lights along fencing or draped effortlessly on outdoor features to enhance your evening setting.

Outside Fairy Lighting draped in trees hire Hengrave Hall Essex Suffolk Wedding

Other Uses of Outside Fairy Lighting

Why not look at accentuating other features and areas by wrapping beams with Fairy Lights.  Alternatively, make a shimmering backdrop by having a stylish lit curtain draped to the floor?


Dreamwave Events on Outside Fairy Lights –

I caught my fellow Dreamwaver and crew member, Spike Grimsey, to catch his take on Outside Fairy Lighting:

“Fairy Lights remain timeless and magical.  They can transform any space with delicate ambience”


Quality and Installation

Every fairy Light concept will be custom design to every outdoor space, taking into account the layout and permanent features.  This results in the ultimate fairy light combination designed to complement and enhance every venue’s attributes.  Our fairy light installations are recommended by a multitude of wedding and party venues across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and the surrounding areas.  This is due to the professional quality of our product and expertise of our team.

As I have mentioned, our fairy lighting is of commercial quality and is all IP44 rated.  So, what does this mean?  In a nutshell, this means that all our fairy lighting used outside is specifically designed for external use.  No more worrying about the possibility of impending rain from threatening dark clouds!


Want to know more?

If you need further visual stimulation, have a look at our gallery or contact us for a personalised quote of our services.  For further information of what we need to give you a comprehensive quote, click here.



Need to know – Your Lighting Hire Enquiry

Whether you need lighting for your wedding or a party it is difficult to know where to start.  What lighting is suitable for my venue? How much does it cost?  A good place to start is at the beginning by contacting us with your Lighting Hire Enquiries.  We offer our lighting hire services all over Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, East Anglia and London.  Our ability to provide a fully comprehensive quote for our services that are accurate, detailed and personal is dependent upon the information your provide in your lighting hire enquiry.

Of course, not everyone knows the what we need to respond to your enquiry efficiently.  I have written this post so that we can hopefully skip a few backwards and forwards emails and thus you can receive your quote much more speedily!

Hanging Kilner Lamps Barn Wedding Bulbs Rustic Natural Chandelier Essex Suffolk East Anglia Lighting Hire

What we Need to Know from your Lighting Hire Enquiry to produce a Detailed Quote


Wedding Date / Date of your Event

Sounds obvious doesn’t it?  But it is a point that is overlooked surprisingly often! This is a really important factor when we receive your initial lighting hire enquiry as it enables us to check our physical stock availability of our hire products for your wedding or event.  Just bear in mind that some lighting installations need to be laid prior to the event.  This leads on nicely to….



It is a great help if we know your venue’s name and address from the off.  We are based in North Essex and operate here and the surrounding areas of Suffolk and East Anglia.  We are happy to travel further afield and cover nationwide.  This would include additional transport and mileage within your quote.  Of course, if your venue is within our catchment, it’s likely we have worked there before and therefore experienced in what lighting can be done and looks best!


The venues logistics and availability for install determines if we can install your lighting vision.  Another factor is their restrictions.  Will they allow the lighting to be installed?  Is the layout of the venue suitable for your lighting?

Style of Wedding or Party Venue

Whether your wedding or party venue is a Barn, Hotel, Stately Home or Private Marquee, lighting can really complete the look.  But it has to be the right kind of lighting that will suit your venue’s style.  Our experienced team can recommend the most complementary lighting for your evening and make it look amazing!


Wedding Lighting Hire Hanging Lamps Osea Island Essex Suffolk

Image Source – The Kitcheners; Style and Planning – London Bride


Venue Availability

Lighting Install

Depending on the type of lighting you are interested in, we would need to know when you venue is available for install and de-rig.  Aerial lighting or hung lighting can take a remarkable amount of time and man-power and so cannot be done on the day of your wedding.  Our crew needs to be able to freely install your desired lighting safely when your venue will be free of tables and decorations.

Lighting Removal

Taking your lighting out is a quicker process.  This can either be completed at the end of your evening or the days to follow depending on your venue’s availability.

Crew Costs

Lighting arrangements can incur a cost of our experienced Dreamwave Events Crew Members to install your lighting within your Quotation.   The price of the crew is down to the complexity of the lighting package; the time it will take to install your effect and the time of day this is to take place (night rates will be different to day).


Wedding Lighting Hire Essex Suffolk East Anglia North London Festoons Barn Indoor Inspiration Houchins Venue


We really want to know your awesome ideas for your wedding or party!  The best way to show us is by sending us pictures.  This could be inspiration from Instagram, Pinterest or a screenshot of images found on the web.  If you need our advice on what lighting would be suitable, tell us your desired look or theme.  Let us know whether your would like indoor or outdoor lighting so we quote you with suitable bulbs.


Though not essential for us to produce a comprehensive lighting quote, it is really helpful.  Knowing your budget will help us to use your ideas to produce a desired package product that can realistically be achieved within the limitations to create your desired effect.


Moving Forward with your Lighting Hire Enquiry…..

Now you know exactly what we need to put together your lighting package.  It’s time to get in touch with our expert team.  Why not check our specialised lighting website detailing our services.  Our gallery is also full of exciting ideas.


Milsom Wedding Show 2018 – Kesgrave Hall Suffolk

Congratulations for saying “I do”.  Now come with me where dreams are born and time is never planned.  Just think of happy things and your heart will fly on wings to your very own wedding wonderland!  Milsom’s Weddings hosted at Kesgrave Hall, Suffolk in partnership with The Wedding Planners and Dreamwave Events are hosting the ultimate Wedding Show 2018.  Showcasing beautiful dresses and delicious tastings, expert guests and wedding suppliers galore!

Milsom Wedding Show 2018 Spring DJ Lighting Hire Essex Suffolk


Be inspired at Milsom Wedding Show 2018

With complimentary canapes and fizz, cocktail demonstrations, a mini spa, afternoon tea, a flower market, cocktail DJ and even a man creche! – the Milsom’s team will tick all your boxes with their ideas and inspiration.  Take the opportunity to view one of their amazing venues and speak to their wedding team about their other awesome sites; Le Talbooth and Maison Talbooth in Essex.

Make the most of the moment and read Caroline Gould’s advice,  from The Wedding Plannerson how to ride the waves of the Milsom Wedding Show 2018.


Running Order of the Milsom Wedding Show 2018

There is a great deal on to keep you buzzing about your wedding.  We have a tonne of inspiring ideas and opportunity to ask experts advice and see services first hand:



10.45 – 11.05: OUT WITH THE OLD’

– Michelle from Occasions Covered –

11.15 – 11.35: ITS ALL IN THE DETAILS…

– Tudor Rose –


– Emily from the Treatment Rooms –


– Mark from Bottle Proof –


– Gemma Jane Design –


– Tori from The Wedding Planners –


– Bev from Jades Flower Design –


– Mark from Bottle Proof –


– Emily from The Treatment Rooms –



– Caroline from The Wedding Planners –

10.20 – 10.40: MUSICAL SHOWCASE

– Sole Bay Strings –


– Carl from Bushfire Photography –


– Kay from Sister Sax with Dreamwave DJ’s –


– Bev from Jades, Dave from Dreamwave, The Milsom Wedding team, Paul Cudmore, Rebecca from Apple Tree Cakes –


– Tudor Rose –


– Abigail from Abigail’s Collection –


– Sole Bay Strings –


– Paul Cudmore –


– Rob from The Groom’s Room –


– Kay from Sister Sax with Dreamwave DJ’s –


– Julia from W Flowers, Dave from Dreamwave, The Milsom Wedding Team, Carl from Bushfire, Raluca from Luca’s Cakes –

3.25 – 3.30: “THAT’S A WRAP!”

– Caroline from The Wedding Planners –


Remember test things out, enjoy the process and most of all have fun – When its over, you will want to do it all again!

Get Inspired! – Real Wedding at Layer Marney Tower

Ali and Jim picked the perfect Autumnal day in October to get hitched at Layer Marney Tower in Colchester, Essex.    I spent a fab morning catching up with Jim and getting his take on their day over coffee and a much welcome box of Krispy Kremes (provided by Jim – they didn’t last long!).

A bit of Background

Ali and Jim had a whirlwind romance and our dream couple were engaged after only 5 months together.  But the sound of wedding bells were not to be heard for some time.  It wasn’t until they had undertook the life experiences of home owning and extending their family with their beautiful daughter, that Jim planned to surprise Ali 20 years later by re-proposing on a romantic beech in Norfolk.

A small shin-dig just wasn’t going to cut it after all this time.  Ali and Jim wanted to celebrate their lives together.  With Jim taking the reins on the planning side (Yes ladies, the groom planned most of the day!), despite the horror stories of groom-planned weddings – Jim is living proof its possible and he did a smashing job!…………

Wedding Layer Marney Tower Colchester Essex

Here’s Jim’s insight on the day….

Why choose Layer Marney Tower as your Wedding Venue?

“It has always been Ali’s dream to get married at Layer Marney Tower. So in that way it was an easy choice.  Having said that we did visit a few alternatives but that really just reinforced was an amazing venue Layer Marney Tower is. Yes, it’s a beautiful place in itself but what makes it truly special are the people who work there. We felt immediately comfortable with no question too small.”

Wedding Layer Marney Tower Colchester Essex

What Drew you to your Choice of Wedding Attire?

“With the help of the excellent Abigail’s Collection and Grooms Room in Colchester. They have such a wonderful setup there and we immediately felt so comfortable. 

Ali wasn’t going to have a dress with a train and I wasn’t going to have tails … but guess what? That’s exactly what we ended up with because in the end, they looked fantastic! Seeing Ali in her dress for the first time as she walked down the aisle really was a ‘WOW’ moment (I found out later from the guests, I actually said ‘WOW’ out loud when I saw her!). So, morale of the story: don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone a little and take the advice of the experts.”

Wedding Layer Marney Tower Colchester Essex Order of Day

Any  Personal Touches?

“We settled on an Autumn theme early on which followed through from the wedding invitations to the decor at the wedding breakfast.  It kept a lovely timeless feel and created a flow which tied together pretty much every aspect of our wedding journey.

Ok, so some might say I went a bit over the top on this one.  I say, Ali deserved the wedding she had been waiting 20 years for.  One I especially like was a custom ‘Order of the Day’ board which we put outside the entrance to the Long Gallery. It looked perfect.”

Wedding Layer Marney Tower Colchester Essex Venue East Anglia Woodland Gobo Projection Up-Lighting Uplighters


Wedding Layer Marney Tower Colchester Essex East Anglia LED Candles Luminara

Décor and Lighting at Layer Marney Tower – An obvious focus!

Here’s where Dreamwave came into their own.  We had originally planned for a another DJ but he was unavailable on our date, so Plan B had to be found.  This was a real stroke of luck as it tuned out because not only would Dreamwave be able to provide the DJ for the evening but the added bonus of the fabulous decor and special touches too.

From the script-style ‘Love’ letters which worked brilliantly under the main window in the Long Gallery to the candles on the staircase (a late addition but totally worth it), the woodland “gobos” and the up lighters.  These are all the things that made the venue ‘ours’ for the evening. 

We settled on an Autumn theme early on which followed through from the wedding invitations to the decor (the woodland gobo’s worked complemented this perfectly) at the wedding breakfast.  It kept a lovely timeless feel and created a flow which tied together pretty much every aspect of our wedding journey.

Wedding Layer Marney Tower Colchester Essex LOVE Letters Lights Scroll Italic


Wedding Layer Marney Tower Colchester Essex Venue East Anglia Woodland Gobo Projection

The Wedding Ceremony at Layer Marney Tower

“I was fine until about an hour before the ceremony.  We’d been at Layer Marney Tower all morning setting up and making everything “just so”.  We had the use of the bridal suite, which was perfect for us to get ready. From there it was a real blur and before I knew it I was standing in the Corsellis Room waiting for Ali to arrive.  I’ve been told that when the door opened and she began to walk down the aisle, I turned round and audibly said “Wow!”. She looked absolutely gorgeous; exactly as I’d dreamed she would.”


The Drinks Reception and Wedding Breakfast at Layer Marney Tower

“We were so lucky with the weather to be able to have our drinks reception outside, given it was late October.  It was lovely to go into the Long Gallery whilst it was still empty, just us with the smell of the log fire burning in the fireplace.  We were able to take a moment to admire everything and take a breath before the wedding breakfast.   The flowers, from W Flowers, were amazing and reflected the whole Autumn theme perfectly.  Wendy and Julia understood exactly what we wanted including Ali’s favourite Dahlias. They also provided a couple of Bay Trees for the entrance which set it off nicely.

All of the catering was taken care of by Bouquet Garni, the resident caterers at Layer Marney Tower.  They provide all the amazing food as well as serving canapés and drinks. 

Throughout the reception and wedding breakfast, Spencer Wood performed his brilliant magic to entertain the guests.  We had so many complements!  He was also able to provide all the Master of Ceremony duties too, so he really tied the whole day together.”



The Evening Party at Layer Marney Tower

“We opted for an Early Set Up with Dreamwave.  What a great move this was.  We didn’t have to worry about the the chaos of the room turn-a-round.  Our transition from day to night for the evening party felt like a natural progression.  Definitely worth the extra money!  Following the speeches, Spencer hosted another little surprise for everyone: a quick game of Mr & Mrs! It was so simple, yet so much fun too.  

I had one last ‘little’ surprise; my gift to Ali on our wedding day. We had a rouse to get everyone outside, a photo shoot with sparklers, which in itself went really well. Then the surprise: a full fireworks display by Dynamic Fireworks. Queue lots of oohs and aahs and a very, very pleased Ali!  A blow torch to light the sparklers was a great idea.  It was a pretty windy evening and we had not trouble lighting them!

Then it was onto the party! Our Dreamwaves DJ, Spike was amazing!  From the first dance (Still Falling For You by Ellie Goulding) to the last song the music and dancing just kept coming.  We had previously shared a Spotify playlist with Dreamwave so they had an idea of what we liked.  It was fun selecting songs you both love, but not too many: there’s maybe 60 tracks in a 4 hour party.  Also, make sure you let your DJ know if there are any songs you DON’T want played too!  I still have that playlist, it’s a cherished keepsake I hadn’t expected.  It’s something to take away from the day and enjoy again and again, much like the wedding photos.  Music is so emotive too and those happy memories just keep flooding back.”


TIP – You can backup Spotify playlists to files using Exportify.

Advice from the Groom

“I would definitely say to sort out the big questions to start with.  It makes it far less daunting.  So, big or small wedding?  Summer or Winter? Posh or Shabby Chic?  Get the basics right first and you’ll get a better idea of what you’ll need to do later on.

Plan as much as possible as soon as possible.  We set ourselves a goal to book all the main suppliers before Christmas 2016 (for October 2017) and even then it was tight.  Many suppliers will be booked up a year or more in advance, so it pays to get in quick.

Get Organised – Make a list for everything and start from day one.  It’s easy to keep on top of it then. On the day there is so much to do and just having a check list of things to do was invaluable.

Get to know your suppliers.

Decide on a realistic budget and keep a spreadsheet to help keep you in check.  There’s such a lot to think about, from the obvious like stationery, menu choices and wine selections to the more subtle details like easels and drinks.

Keep an open mind – What immediately springs to mind about something may not be what works out when you try it.  So consult your supplier on your thoughts, that’s what they are there for.

Leave a couple of surprises.  In our case the Fireworks and the “Mr & Mrs”

Find a good photographer.  Not just one who takes photos you like but one you would want to spend time with.

Take a moment.  This will be one of the best days of your life and one of the busiest.  During the day itself make a specific effort to take a moment to take in what’s happening.  It’s an amazing time but it is a whirlwind.  You will (necessarily) be whisked off here and there and before you know it, it can be all over before you realise.

Get on the internet. Etsy, Notonthehighstreet, Weddingspot, Pinterest.  These site were really useful for getting ideas.

Finally, have fun!  I met so many lovely people through thus journey. It was an honour and privilege to able to organise our wedding. Not only did I get to finally marry the love of my life,  I had such an amazing time doing it.”


A HUGE thank you to Jim and Ali for inviting us to be part of your day and taking the time to meet me to write about your awesome wedding!

Contact Us

If you liked the look of the Lighting and Decor at Jim and Ali’s Wedding or just want a fab wedding evening party; Contact Us to find out more!


Supplier Credits for Ali and Jim’s Wedding at Layer Marney Tower:


Venue – Layer Marney Tower

DJs, Lighting – Dreamwave Events

Caterers – Bouquet Garni Caterers

Flowers – W Flowers

Wedding Dress and Attire – Abigail’s Collection & The Groom’s Room

Photography – EPS Photography

EPS Blog:—21st-October-2017—Layer-Marney-Tower

Stationery – Dreams to Reality Wedding Stationery

Pianist – Phillip Keith

Fireworks: Dynamic Fireworks

Magician and MC: Spencer Wood

Bridal Hair and Makeup: The Uber Salon

Alterations: Tas’s Alterations

Photo Booth: Strictly Photobooth

Chocolate Fountain: Choc-o-Lush

Wedding Favours: Charlotte Hupfield Ceramics

Order of the Day Board: Paper Fudge

Preparation for the Wedding Fair Season

We are smack bang in the middle of the Spring Wedding Fair season.  I know how intimidating these can be.  All those suppliers waiting to pounce on you, ready to tell you how perfect their products will be for your day.  This is all very daunting and Brides and Grooms need to go in prepared.  So I have prepped this blog post to help you make the most out of wedding fairs and extract what you need from suppliers prior to stepping foot into the gauntlet!

Wedding Tuddenham Mill Essex Suffolk Norfolk East Anglia 2018

Image Credit:

Plan what you want included in your day

Planning a wedding?  – if your anything like me, the list of services available leaves me dumbfounded.  Everyone is different and each couple needs to decide what they want from their day.  I recommend a brainstorm.  Forget budget at first just smash a list out of what will make your day about you.  After all, it’s your wedding and every inch of it needs to scream that it is!

Always bear in mind the season your getting married in and plan appropriately for this.  There is no point having a barbeque for winter wedding!


So, you have written down everything you want.  Now its time to out them in order of what is realistically doable and affordable for you.  After all, you don’t want to be paying for your wedding for the rest of your time on this earth.  If your in a position that you have enough for everything you want, that’s great! But make sure you don’t have any regrets of what you have spent your hard earned cash on.

Wedding OPen Day Fair Fayre Tuddenham Mill Essex Suffolk North London East Anglia Norfolk Lighting DJ

Image Credit: Emily Fae

Set a Budget

This will be a guide to what you can achieve for your day and will help keep you reined in.  It is so easy to over spend and at the same time important to have an clear idea of your wedding day dream so you can get as close to its reality without over stretching.  Remember stay grounded!

Do your own Research

Personal Recommendation, is in my opinion, the best way to find a good supplier.  It gives you re-assurance that they are competent in what they do and deliver a great service!  But on top of this, do your own research online, in wedding magazines and look at reviews.  Prepare questions you wish to ask the wedding experts.


Know the Wedding Suppliers who are Attending the Wedding Fair

Prior to going to a wedding fair, make sure you know what suppliers are attending.  You know what you want on your wedding day and have completed your research and now know who you wish to speak to.  The next step is to ask the suppliers at the wedding fairs how to achieve your goals.  Remember only attend the wedding fairs that suit your style.

Wedding Open Day Fair Fayre 2018 Essex Suffolk Norfolk North London East Anglia

Dave Drane showcasing our Cocktail DJ Service for your Wedding Drinks Reception Entertainment Image Credit: D&A Photography

Wedding Fair Action

You are now prepared to enter a wedding fair.  What is great about wedding fairs is that you will get some great ideas that supports your wedding vision, which is awesome.  Don’t rush, this is your opportunity to speak to the experts in their field and determine if they are the right supplier for your wedding day.  The temptation is to get carried away.  Take away the information and contact details that is relevant to you.

Look for the supplier who is on the same wavelength as you.  Immediately discard the tacky quintessential services and find the companies who “think outside the box”, who is fresh and inspirational.  They need to listen, gauge your personality and find your quirks that will make your day that little bit different and more importantly “yours”. … A company like Dreamwave Events for artistic, stimulating lighting and décor options.

Remember when speaking to wedding suppliers there is always room for negotiation.  But beware – don’t always go for the cheapest price.  In my experience you nearly always find there is a reason why they are cheaper.  Make sure you read the fine print and make sure there are no hidden costs and everything is included that you need.

But do you know what makes a cracking wedding (and what every wedding needs) is the best entertainment you can find.  Of course, I am biased in what I consider the best wedding entertainment available in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk (basically East Anglia!)  Read more about fantastic evening entertainment for your wedding here.

Wedding Open Day Fair Fayre Essex Suffolk East Anglia Norfolk Houchins 2018

Finally…….Be Organised

A life saver for me when organising my wedding, was setting up our own wedding email.  Myself and my now husband both had access and information about our day did not get lost in translation amongst our other online commitments.  This truly helped with keeping everything separate and clear making the whole planning process far less stressful.

Another tip is to create a methodical wedding day spread sheet of services, suppliers, costs, when balances are due, details required etc.  It can all become over-bearing, especially in the couple of months leading up to your day.  You will be thankful of this.  Trust me!


Want to find out more……

Dreamwave Events are the experts in DJ wedding entertainment, lighting and décor in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.  Drop us a line to discuss your ideas in more detail.  Alternatively, you can find us at the following wedding fairs this year:

You only get married once.  Enjoy it! We look forward to seeing you!!!



Cover Photo Credit: Ross Dean Photography

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