Homemade Cooking

Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar

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Winter is here … Grab Yourself a Discount Photo Booth!

Leeds Based Picture Us Winter Discount Photo Booths

The mince pies are all finished and getting out of your nice warm bed in a morning is a struggle. However, if you are celebrating a wedding, birthday, engagement or Christening that grab yourself a bargain!

If you are holding an event or party as part of your celebrations we have some fantastic discount photo booths on selected dates in January, February and March.

Save up to £200 on our regular prices. Our Leeds based company will deliver your discount photo booth at no extra cost. A friendly and professional member of staff is provided along with unlimited prints, guest book, memory stick and personalised text on each photo.

Get in touch now to book your discount photo booth. We travel to most places in the North of England free of charge. Call Katie on 07525 538 595 or email katie@pictureusphotobooths.co.uk.

discount photo booth

The Groom’s Wedding Speech .. Our Guide and Best Tips

Sometimes prepared months in advance and other times the night before the groom’s speech is a highly anticipated moment at any wedding.

For the groom, it is an opportunity to express his feeling on the most special day of his life and provide thanks to those who made it all possible.

Keeping a calm composure mixed with sincerity and the occasional touch of humour all go into making a great speech. Here are our tips on writing a wedding day speech that hits the mark.

grooms speech tips

When does the groom need to make his speech?

Usually, speeches will be conducted after the wedding breakfast. The father of the bride will be the first to make his speech. The groom will then take his turn followed by the best man.

In terms of timing, 10 minutes is adequate for each speech. After each speech a toast should be proposed by the person giving the speech. For example, the groom may say:

“I’d like to conclude my speech by proposing a toast to my beautiful bride”. Sarah is everything I could have wished for and my soul mate. So please be upstanding and raise your glasses to the beautiful bride”.

Writing Your Speech

The most difficult part of writing any speech is getting started. There are many sites available on the web that have template wedding speeches available. Whilst you may not want to copy these verbatim, they can be great to start with and edit as you go along.

There are specific things that you should cover if you want to remain in line with tradition.

  1. As a starting point, thank the father of the bride for his speech (he will usually have completed his speech before yours). If the father of the bride is not present, then this may be the bride’s stepfather or mother.

 

  1. Thank the guests for coming, the bride’s parents, groom’s parents (for bringing up the perfect child) and the best man (for saving him from being cellophaned to the local town hall during the stag do) in that order. A great tip here is to start this part with “My wife and I would like to thank …” which normally raises a cheer!

 

  1. At this stage, also thank anyone else that has played a significant part in the wedding and present bouquets to both mothers. You can also say thanks to the ushers and pageboys at this stage.

 

  1. The groom then focuses on his bride, complementing his beautiful new wife.

 

  1. Finally, the speech ends with a toast to the bridesmaids. If you like, you can also hand out gifts to them at this stage.

 

A few things to avoid in the speech

There are always some things to avoid doing or saying prior to and during the speech. There may be a myriad of things you can do to raise a laugh but be careful. It’s very easy for a joke made in bad taste to upset people.

  1. Try and refrain from drinking too much. Wedding days can heighten nerves and you’ll need to concentrate when it’s your turn to speak

 

  1. Don’t include foul language. There are always varied age groups and it can be very easy to offend

 

  1. Don’t talk badly about anyone – keep the speech positive and uplifting.

 

It’s all in the delivery ..

Remember that everyone will be intently listening to what you have to say. Even if you’re used to public speaking, you’ll find that you have the attention of the audience more than usual.

Try not to robotically read from a script. Prepare your speech well in advance and practice it frequently. If you can speak looking at your audience without referring to your notes too much, that’s great. However, if you do need to read directly from notes that’s fine – just project your voice and stay focused on the content.

Once all the speeches are delivered the end of the formalities are over and the celebrations begin.

 

Picture Us are a wedding photo booth hire company based in Leeds.

Guide to Planning a Christmas Party

Over the years we have attended and provided entertainment for a huge variety of office Christmas parties. The pressure of organising an event that has such high expectations can be daunting! Here is our useful guide to planning a Christmas party.

In this article we offer tips for those tasked with organising their office party this year.

Office Christmas Party

Save The Date

It’s never too early to get planning and ensure that everyone has saved the date in their calendars. Send a “save the date” calendar appointment around to all members of staff so that everyone has it in their diaries. This is also an early opportunity for anyone who has already made over plans in advance to let you know that they can’t attend.

When considering the best days, most companies opt for a Thursday or Friday but don’t expect maximum productivity if there is a working day the next day!

Know Your Budget

Find out as early as possible how much money you’ll have available to spend. It’s always advisable to do this before you go too far down the planning stages. There is nothing worse than putting a huge amount of effort into planning an event only to find out the budget won’t stretch that far and you need to start again.

You’ll know from previous parties what the general expectations are. For example, some companies may always have a free bar for some or all of the night. Other may put more emphasis on quality entertainment. Budget accordingly around these areas but make sure you always keep some in reserve for the unexpected expenses!

Christmas Party Options

When it comes to organising your party there is an array of options available to you. Here are a few examples:

  • Organising Your Own Tailored Christmas Party – This is where you start from the ground up and find a venue, entertainment, catering and everything else yourself. You manage the whole organising process and deal with all aspects.
  • Buy a Pre-Organised Party – This is where you “buy-in” a Christmas party that is organised by a venue or events company. In this instance they will tend to run a series of Christmas party nights for companies that have a consistent theme. Some of these events are shared where a number of different companies will buy tables at the same event.
  • Local Options – This may be suitable for smaller companies and could feature a meal at a pub or restaurant with some drinks afterwards. Alternatively, it could be bowling, cocktail making or even a river cruise!

Finding Your Venue

If you are creating your own event, securing a venue early is critical.

  • When considering venues, location is key. If you are based in a city centre you’ll have a number of options open to you but you may need to consider pre-booking taxis to ensure that everyone gets home safely.
  • If you decide upon a venue a number of miles away from the office you should consider organising a coach/mini-bus to the venue straight from the office. At the end of the night, you may want to consider whether this should go back to the office so people can make their own way home from there. Alternatively, you may organise taxis from the venue.
  • Attend the venue to get a feel for the size and facilities. Do listen to the staff there as they will have seen dozens of events and know how best to organise proceeding once everyone gets to the venue.
  • This is a good time to consider how any themes could work in the venue.
  • Some people may wish to stay overnight so ask the venue if there is any preferential rates available (if a hotel) or the best accommodation nearby.
  • If you are looking at hiring in your own entertainment/equipment ask the venue about any rules they have. Most venues will need to see an electrical PAT safety certificate and/or public liability insurance from your suppliers. Make sure your suppliers hold these before booking anything with them.
  • When agreeing the details and contractual element with the venue do ensure you can add additional guests later on as you may want to start with a minimum number and the add people when they’ve confirmed. At this stage you will also want to clarify costs and check the small print for additional charges.

 

Food and Drink

After organising the venue, selecting the various food and drink options can be daunting. However, there are a number of steps you can take beforehand.

  • You will need to decide whether the venue will provide the catering or whether you bring someone in to do this. Some venues may insist on using their own catering. Either way, ensure you do some research on the quality of food from your providers. If the venue has a great reputation for food it’s advisable to stick with them for the catering rather than the extra hassle of bringing in someone else.
  • Food can be served in a variety of ways so determine what will work best for you. Are you going to have a sit down meal with waiter service or a buffet instead? If you are providing people with a menu to choose from you will need to distribute and take their choices well in advance.
  • If you are providing menu choices it is quite likely that people will have forgotten what they chose by the time of the party! A good tip is to use place cards at tables that as well as having names, also has their menu choice on the back.
  • Make sure there are additional food options available for people with special dietary requirements.
  • Do ensure you have the option to hold a food tasting session, poor food will be remembered.
  • Arrival drinks need to be chosen. You could serve sparkling wine, cocktails or something more seasonal like mulled wine.
  • If you are offering a free bar for staff you may want to consider how you ensure you don’t go over budget. You can provide drinks tokens or even limit the bar to only certain types of drinks to keep costs down and avoiding the whole budget been blown on prosecco within minutes!
  • Some companies provide buckets of drinks placed around the venue so staff can help themselves.

Music and Entertainment

Music is usually an integral part of any Christmas party. There is an array of things to think about when it comes to music. For example, when and how do you want music played. Should music be playing on arrival, during the meal or other specific parts of the evening?

How should the music be played – is the sound system in the venue available in all the areas you want music and are you going to have a DJ, live band or performer?

  • If you are bringing in a band or similar you will need to ensure that the venue has everything they need.
  • If you plan to do speeches or make announcements you may also need to ensure the venue has an adequate PA system or hire in your own.

You may also want to consider some other forms of entertainment. Magicians are a great way of keeping people entertained before meals or at the table between courses. Photo booth hire is always lots of fun and has the added advantage of giving attendees a printed reminder of the evening. These are also the source of much fun in the office when the photos are uploaded to the intranet the morning after!

photo booth hire

Over ideas can include giant games such as head to head arcade racing or even a comedian (though you need to be careful who you select).

  • Ensure your entertainment suppliers have a reputation for being reliable. There is nothing worse than getting a great deal on entertainment only to find they let you down on the night.
  • Check their Facebook page for reviews and ensure they hold public liability insurance where appropriate.

 

Additional Items to Enhance the Night

There are many things you can do to add an extra element to the evening. Here are a few ideas:

  • Awards/Speeches – this is a time for the company owners to thank staff for their hard work and provide recognition.
  • Make sure speeches are short and don’t do them too late so at least everyone provides attention.
  • Hand out some awards, these can be done as some fun if you prefer. For example, you may want to hand out the “Drama King or Queen Award” or the “Most Spectacular Scene Award” (great for a movie themed night)
  • Goody bags at the end of the night are a nice touch. You could put in a bottle of water, a chocolate bar for late night munchies or aftershave/perfume samples.
  • A photographer can be great for professional quality images that can be used on social media after the event but also provide attendees with some great shots of themselves with colleagues.

 

Extra Tips for Organising and Managing the Christmas Party

Each Christmas party is a mini-project in its own right. Here are some additional tips for ensuring everything goes smoothly:

  • When sending the invites make clear the venue address, date, start and finish times and dress code. You will also need to make clear whether transport home is provided. Also include a menu advising when you need any choice back by. Finally, advise that you need to know whether people are attending or not by a set date.
  • Invites can be emailed but make sure they’re in a format that is easy to print.
  • Create table plans (if necessary) but do try to do this in a way that places people with those they don’t normally get the opportunity to speak to.
  • Ensure the table plan is visible at the venue and put place cards on tables.
  • Create a personal itinerary that details what is happening, when it is happening, where it is happening and who is responsible. It is a good idea to include supplier contact details and when they expect to be arriving.
  • It is a good idea to confirm your understanding of timings with the venue and suppliers beforehand.
  • Ensure you are aware of your supplier’s requirements beforehand. For example, if a photo booth needs an hour to set up before its start time ensure there will be space for them to set up and bring equipment in without navigating a large crowd of people.

 

We do hope this guide is useful. Feel free to share it and provide your own tips on ensuring your Christmas party is a success!

 

Getting Married in Cyprus

Getting Married in Cyprus

We’ve just returned from our family holiday in Cyprus and it got us thinking about how lucky anyone getting married there is. With that in mind, we have put together a helpful guide on the formalities of getting married in Cyprus.

Cyprus is a beautiful country with romantic restaurants and golden beaches. Weddings abroad are something very different and will be remembered for a lifetime so why not picture the amazing landscapes Cyprus has to offer.

cyprus

Cyprus has some of the most picturesque churches set near the crystal clear waters surrounding the island. The weather will not be a problem with the months of July and August being some of the hottest. With 25 degree heat on average there will be no complaining about the typical English weather or having the rain ruin you big day!

Legal Formalities

When you are getting married in Cyprus you have to see a Marriage Officer in person when you arrive in the country.

You must be resident in Cyprus for 3 clear working days prior to getting married.

The 3 days only applies if you apply to the Marriage Officer for the issue of a Special Licence. If you do not apply for the Special Licence your marriage cannot go ahead until 15 clear days after you submit your Notice of Marriage –  so plan ahead!

Passports and birth certificates, along with other documentation (see list below) are shown to the Marriage Officer and you must sign a joint application called the “Notice of Marriage “.

  • Full passport with at least six months left to run
  • Photocopies of the picture page of the passports of the bride and the groom
  • Photocopies of the picture page of the passports for your two witnesses, listing their name, address and occupation
  • Full Birth Certificate (showing mother and fathers names), bearing the stamp apostille
  • If you have been divorced – Decree Absolute and previous Marriage Certificate
  • If you have been widowed – Death Certificate of previous spouse and previous Marriage Certificate
  • Name Change Deed Poll Certificate – if applicable
  • Adoption Certificate – if applicable
  • Scottish and Welsh citizens must also obtain a Certificate of No Impediment / Certificate of Freedom to Marry bearing the stamp apostille
  • A sworn affidavit or statutory declaration from a Solicitor or a Commissioner for Oaths or a Notary Public in UK.   Note:  The document must use the wording “Solicitor” or “Notary Public” as must the headed company paper and the stamp.

Any partner who is under the age of 18 and wants to get married must have a written consent from the father if they are dead or incapable of writing the consent then the mother must take charge. If they are dead or incapable of writing a guardian must fill in the consent and hand it in to the Marriage Officer.

Religious Weddings

If you would like a religious wedding, then you must get through to a Minister of Religion and all arrangements should be made with the Registered Minister.

cyprus church

Do be aware that a Catholic ceremony is not legally binding unless you first have a civil wedding ceremony.

If you have an Anglican wedding ceremony you are not required to have a civil wedding ceremony.

Holding the Ceremony

With the paperwork completed, the wedding must take place after 15 full days at the earliest, or within 3 months at the latest, from the date the notice is given. If, for any reason, the wedding doesn’t take place within 3 months all the paperwork will be considered void and the application process will need to be begin again.

The Cypriots themselves are lovely and most understand English though do appreciate it when you try the local language.

Children will love the island as there are water activities ranging  from jetsking to paragliding or even just taking a boat trip out there is everything for the kids to be amused.

Getting married in Cyprus is definitely something you should consider!

Getting married in York?

Getting Married in York, North Yorkshire?

For us at Picture Us Photobooths, York holds a special place in our hearts. Not only did Katie, the owner at Picture Us live in York most of her life but it is also the place where we married ourselves and our son was born in York hospital. If you are getting married in York we provide some great advice based on our own local knowledge!

The City of York

York attracts millions of visitors every year and has an amazing array of historic and picturesque wedding venues. We believe that the combination of narrow shop filed streets, artisan cafes and a history going back centuries create a romantic feel the city.

If you are new to York then certainly take time to visit the city to explore everything it has to offer beforehand. Not all wedding venues are in the city centre and it may also pay to check out the surrounding areas. The are some lovely villages, such as Aldwark that we mention below that can also create a country feel to your wedding.

If you would like to see which venues have also been approved for civil marriages to take place, the City of York council website has a list of approved civil wedding venues in York.

In this article we list out our favourites York wedding venues and also provide a few tips on organising your wedding.

Merchant Adventurers Hall

Merchant Adventurers Hall is situated in the heart of York, down the busy street of Fossgate. This medieval guildhall was completed in 1361. The Great Hall within the building has a timber framed structure and is the largest such building in the UK that is standing and still used for its original purposes.

The Great Hall makes an amazing backdrop for weddings and can accommodate up to 180 guests. Once the ceremony is over, the walled garden outside is fantastic for wedding pictures, drinks and canapes in the summer.

Please note however that high heels are not allowed in the building to protect the floor, though heel protectors can be purchased at the venue.

Merchant Adventurers Hall York

Merchant Adventurers Hall was one of the first private venues to be licensed for civil marriages. Whilst parking on the roadside can be a challenge when busy, there are a multitude of city centre car parks close by.

Aldwark Manor

If you prefer something out in the countryside, Aldwark Manor sits in 120 acres of parklands and is steeped in its own history. The manor itself was commissioned in 1865 by Lord Walsingham as a wedding present for his eldest daughter.

Aldwark Manor York

Nowadays, Aldwark Manor is a fantastic hotel and wedding venue. The hotel features a spa and an excellent 18 hole, 72 par golf course allowing you to relax before or after your wedding. The hotel provides a fantastic range of wedding packages and Picture Us Photobooths is proud to be a supplier to this hotel.

The Hospitium

The Hospitium was built in the 14th century and is a listed two floor building. It set within the breathtaking Museum Gardens and is overlooked by the  ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. The Hospitium is a licenced wedding venue and in the summer months, the venue will rope off the paved area outside allowing you to enjoy look out on to the gardens with guests after your wedding.

The Hospitium can accommodate up to 135 guests for dinner and 200 guests for an evening reception.

The Hospitium York

York Wedding Tips

Once you have chosen your venue, there are a variety of other things to consider:

York Holiday Apartments

Accommodation for friends and family shouldn’t be an issue as York has a multitude of quality hotels. However, for friends and family who may be travelling from further afield and excellent alternative may be to let a York holiday apartment or other property.

York holiday apartments give family and friends to stay in the same property for a few days and explore the city our countryside.

Transport links in York are very good. York bus services run from outlying areas into the city centre.

York Wedding Entertainment

There are a variety of entertainment companies for your wedding based in York and the nearby major city of Leeds. We are certainly seeing a diverse array of wedding entertainers that provide entertainment before and during your wedding breakfast or as part of your evening reception.

If you are looking for something different we can highly recommend Mark Waddington, an excellent close-up magician based in North Yorkshire. If you are looking to provide your wedding guests with a takeaway souvenir we are seeing a huge surge in popularity of our magic selfie mirror. Our magic selfie mirror packages will provide you with a guest book full of great, fun photos signed by your guests – each guest get a picture to take away too!

Choosing Your York Wedding Suppliers

Choosing your wedding suppliers for other items such as wedding cake, suits and flowers can be daunting especially if you don’t live in the area. For this reason, we highly recommend that you visit a wedding fayre organised by a reputable company.

Wedding fayres are usually held at the premium York wedding venues and feature an array of hand selected suppliers.

The Wedding Affair are a York based business who specialise in such wedding fayres. Run by Lisa and Chris Hogg, they choose only the best suppliers to feature at their events. Each event gives you the opportunity to speak to wedding suppliers in the York area direct and in one place.

 

Whatever you choose to do for your York based wedding, we hope you have a fabulous day.

 

Sheffield Doc Fest 2016

We had a fantastic time at Sheffield Doc Fest opening party. Set in the amazing Cutlers Hall in Sheffield city centre this was a party not to be missed. We provided a photo booth with a green screen for all the guests to get some fab pictures. A busy evening and plenty of snaps in this amazing setting!

 

cutlers

Wedding Fairs 2015

2015 is here and we’ll be at the following Wedding Fairs this year – come and see us!

Sunday 22nd February – Holiday Inn Rotherham
Sunday 1st March – Goldsborough Hall – Wedding Affair
Sunday 8th March Doncaster Racecourse – I Do Magazine show
Sunday 7th June – Aldwark Manor – Wedding Affair
Sunday 6th September – Sheffield Ice arena – I Do Magazine show

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CandleLighters Christmas Party 2014

After last year’s brilliant party we were delighted to be welcomed back to provide our kids photo booth for the CandleLighters Christmas Party at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

CandleLighters Christmas Party Leeds

This is a fantastic event that provides a fun day for child cancer sufferers to enjoy with their family. The event included a Santa’s grotto, DJ, table magician, balloon modeller and much more.

 Here is Katie with a friend she made on the day!

Social Media is Great but Nothing Beats an Eyeball

Back in the mid 1990’s as a teenager I was hooked by the CB craze. Me and a couple of school friends would use our “rigs” (Citizen Band radios) to speak to people across the whole of Leeds and Bradford.

A little like social media nowadays, we had never met a lot of these people but friendships developed as we talked the night away with our new found CB comrades. Sometimes we would suggest a meet-up to put a face to a voice – what we called an “eyeball” in CB speak.

CB Radio

It reminds me a lot of how we conduct some of our business through social media nowadays. We engage with a large number of customers through Facebook and organic Google searches. It has taken time and effort to build up a good reputation on some of the Facebook groups. However, in some part due to the actions of an unscrupulous minority we still get asked by some brides if they can meet us in person as they want to ensure that we are who we say we are.

This is completely understandable – I mean, anyone can talk the talk on Facebook and offer someone the earth at a good price. Sadly we’ve seen brides suffer at the hands of people who take their money and then fail to deliver or disappear completely.

This is why we actively encourage our brides to come and see us. It’s one of the main reasons we attend wedding shows and wedding fairs. Yes, we obtain some new business through these but it’s nice to meet potential customers we’ve spoken to on Facebook and gives them the opportunity to ask questions face to face. Alternatively, we invite people round to Picture Us Towers to see us in our home environment and do the same thing.

So when looking for suppliers for your wedding don’t hesitate to ask for an “eyeball” – the good ones will graciously accept your request!

WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU

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about any of our photo booth hire services.