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Olivia & Paul

Real weddings

Real weddings

Olivia and Paul chose Party Up for their relaxed, beachy wedding at Shell Bay Restaurant in Dorset. Olivia gave us her top tips for planning a wedding!

Olivia & Paul

Where did you get married?

Our wedding reception was at Shell Bay Restaurant in Studland, Dorset. It is a beautiful seafood restaurant right by the sea, with fabulous views across Poole Harbor towards Brownsea Island. We wanted to show off our coast!

We had an absolute blast thanks to Party Up and we were all very impressed - thank you!

The venue has a bit of a laid back, beachy vibe, but was set up beautifully with white linens to provide the perfect mix of formal and relaxed.

The owners and staff are great there and Cass was a fabulous event organiser who we totally trusted. To top it off the food there is amazing and they did us a stonking BBQ!


Our theme was a relaxed beach vibe with a bit of class! We had oyster shells for place names and storm lanterns with fairy lights, but kept it fairly simple because the stunning view speaks for itself.

One of my favourite moments was when I turned up at the ceremony in a very big truck (my Dad owns a quarry and it was sign written with my name!), which was a surprise for most guests. So I loved my arrival! Then we got a boat with our guests to Shell Bay, which was also pretty fun.


Why did you choose a live band?

My husband and I both love music - it's very important to us, and was a big part of the day and evening. We feel that live music creates an atmosphere that you can't get just by popping on a playlist, although don't get me wrong, we had playlists for every other part of the day!

A live band is a focal point for the evening's entertainment and creates a buzz around the first dance and the rest of the event, especially as we had evening guests arriving who needed to feel like they'd arrived at a great party. Plus - I wanted to DANCE LOTS!!


How did you choose your wedding band?

We found Function Central having researched on the internet for Dorset wedding bands and found the website easy to use and find exactly the type of band we were looking for.

As soon as we checked out Party Up's YouTube videos we were sold, and although they were slightly pricier than some others we had found, we wanted the best at our wedding!

The contract process seems quite in depth and there are a lot of requirements and details that you need to provide about the venue etc, but actually this meant that everything was sorted and agreed well in advance and we all knew where we stood.


The signing of the contract was very easy. Once booked, the communications from Beverley at Function Central were responsive and timely. I had several questions along the way, which she got back to me quickly on, sometimes having to contact the band and get back to me.

When I spoke to the band directly they were really friendly and helpful. Whilst they weren't able to play a couple of songs we suggested, they were responsive to the odd minor tweak to their set list, and actually on the night the set they played went down like a storm!


What did you think of the band?

Party Up created the perfect atmosphere at our evening wedding party, got loads of people up dancing, played a great mix of funk and soul tunes, are obviously very talented musicians and worked in a professional and efficient manner in terms of setting up and packing down.

It was an absolute blast thanks to them and we, plus all our family and friends, were very impressed - thank you!

The best bits? Stealing a few moments with my new husband on the beach for photos was special. And of course dancing the night away to some of our favourite music is up there too!


What advice would you give to other couples planning a wedding?

  • Good old Google! Function Central came up with a great selection and it was easy to search location of bands, musical genre, and narrow down your search. Then once we had a shortlist - YouTube came into its own in that we could watch the acts performing.
  • Spreadsheets, spreadsheets, spreadsheets!
  • Surround yourself with people you trust and COMMUNICATE!
  • Decide what you really care about, and what you're not so bothered about, and prioritise your time and money accordingly.
  • Don't sweat the small details that don't really matter.
  • Ultimately do it your way and only compromise on the things you're not too fussed about.
  • Smile all day, simply enjoy yourself... and keep it real (especially you brides... no 'zillas allowed!)



Photographer - Jake Moore Photography
Lovely guy and amazing natural shots.

Dress - Chameleon Bridal Shop, Bournemouth
Fantastic service and selection of gowns.

Florist - New Street Florists, Poole
Beautiful flowers, efficient service, put up with several e-mails from me!

Cake - My fabulous friend Lou, and cousin, another Lou, made delicious and stunning cakes for our day.

Trucks - Volvo UK lent us a brand new truck for my arrival.

Boat - Dorset Cruises
They provided the beautiful vintage boat that we travelled in from ceremony to reception.

Bus - Romeround
Their open top bus provided other guest transport on the day.

Featured act

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Party Up

  • Kent
  • 6-10
  • (188)

Party down with Party Up, the slickest soul, funk and R&B band in the South East! Featuring sax and up to three stunning vocalists, the band count Sky, Cadburys and Emma Thompson among their regular clients.

Other events featuring Party Up


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