Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. All of these can be kept after your big day and remembered fondly, but moments full of love on the day can only be kept in your memory as little golden treasures.
As such, choosing the right vendors for entertainment, laughter and love on your big day is crucial. Paul Murray, co-owner of Sensational Events with his wife Nichola, has been gifted with the ability to create magical wedding memories and entertainment extravaganzas. So let’s dive into the world of love, laughter and happily ever after!
Can you tell us how you got into the world of weddings? And what is it that Sensational Events do?
Paul tells us that it was towards the end of 2019 when he was inspired to look at opportunities within the wedding industry.
“As soon as 2020 came around I dove straight into my research, finding out corporate niches in the market, and what was really out there. I had the idea of starting something that I could bring to people’s wedding day. That idea got the ball rolling.”
“It all started off by putting a deposit down on a selfie mirror from the UK with the goal of modernising it myself into a photobooth. I just kept on building from one mirror to another.”
Paul built up the business gradually by developing numerous alternatives and bespoke packages that he could offer to couples. “If couples asked me for certain things that I didn’t have at the time, that would eventually serve as a stepping stone for Sensational Events.”
Selfie mirrors, chocolate fountains, and donut walls, can you tell us about all the different food and entertainment options that you offer?
“The most sought after product we have is our modernised photobooth which is the selfie mirror. It’s an interactive mirror that stands six feet tall. It works by touching the screen for the mirror to start which will count down and take a picture.”
“We offer funny props, such as wigs, hats, glasses, block guitars and blow up trumpets. Everything under the sun that you can think of, we’ve got it.”
Paul explains that there are countless options with the selfie mirror images, from rebuilding the photo or printing out multiple photos depending on what the bride and groom agree to. “You can even sign the photo with your name, an emoji or a special message.”
“Our second showstopper that receives a lot of inquiries is our white sparkle LED dance floor,” says Paul. The dance floor is made up of thousands of tiny LED lights and can range from a 16×16 foot up to a 20×20.
Twinkling and sparkling throughout the whole night, brightening up each corner of the venue, this beauty really does make you want to dance!
“Another item that we do is our four foot LED letters and number lights. We have the full alphabet with multiple creations available.”
“We can also cater for that extravagant proposal, with LED letters spelling out ‘Will You Marry Me?’ We love being part of the full journey,” adds Paul.
Last, but certainly not least, is a dream for our fellow chocoholics! “Our chocolate fountain is primarily used for the drinks’ arrival reception.” Who doesn’t love a bit of chocolate before the party starts?
“We have noticed a couple of different trends, around 95 per cent of the time couples opt for the chocolate fountain for the drinks arrival or reception. The other 5 per cent of the time, it becomes a free for all at the after party!”
“After the meal, we create a different setup to the drink arrival setup. We change the dipping items to tailor for the end of the night.”
In terms of the LED dazzling dance floor, I'm assuming it appears like a white floor until the tables are moved away at night. Is that right?
“That’s correct,” says Paul. “In some venues the tables will be cleared from the floor depending on the setup of the venue. It won’t be an eyesore when it’s laid prior to that.”
“The tables almost act like a disguise and when it’s time to move them it represents the sea parting. Creating a full wow moment when the transformation begins and the sparkly dance floor is revealed from underneath.”
Since you set up Sensational Events in 2019 have you noticed any trends emerging in weddings, maybe because of the pandemic or just in general over the past few years?
“What we’re seeing in 2023, so far, are five major trends,” explains Paul.
“The first being bright colours, whether it’s bright flowers, dresses or cars. It’s like a statement being made with these bright colours for weddings at the moment.”
“The second thing would be the civil ceremony versus the church wedding. We’re seeing an awful lot more people opting for a civil ceremony nowadays, compared to the back end of the past three years.”
“I know from speaking to a couple of people that it’s quite hard to get priests, there might be one priest, perhaps linked to five parishes. Even the people who perform civil ceremonies, they’re saying a couple of years down the line, they might be seeing themselves being dragged, basically drafted into churches, too.”
“For example, It was only two weekends ago, we were doing a wedding fair at Wrights Anglers Rest who are also our preferred suppliers. One of the solemnisers mentioned that the average age of a priest from Dublin is either 71 or 72, you just can’t get priests any more”.
“If they’re struggling now in 2023, five to ten years down the line, it could be completely different.”
“The third one would be wedding cakes. A lot of people are looking at wedding cakes and saying right, “I’m being charged X amount for it but really should we spend that amount of money on a wedding cake, when is it just going to be left on a plate, will it be eaten?”
“We’ve had a good few inquiries and a couple of bookings since the start of the year for our chocolate fountain to replace the wedding cake.”
“I’m actually in the middle of building a gin cart because we’ve had so many inquiries, so it’s all these little pieces that are being added into the sort of drinks reception or the afters that seem to be building on the trends this year,” he added.
“There’s also a demand for different entertainment for the evening. Whether it be a selfie mirror or a hypnotist, it’s not just a band, and a DJ any more,” says Paul.
The trend that we've noticed is personalisation. Everything is personalised and bespoke in today’s market. Have you noticed that as well?
“To be honest, that’s something that we do.We do certain packages for couples but the way we look at it is that it’s their day.” “We want to tailor a package that suits them and their needs. So we would like them to say, ‘Look, Paul, I’m looking for a sparkle dance store, a chocolate fountain and a selfie mirror.’”
The event organiser agreed that bespoke and personalised is what people are looking for now more than anything. “That’s what they want. We’re not forcing them into a package with something that they don’t want. We will tailor that package to their needs while going through the whole planning process with them.”
“We ask questions like, ‘how do you want things set up? Where do you want things to go? And when?’ Our booking system then operates through a live client interface, so they can see what’s been booked, what time we’ll come, what time we’ll start, and what time we leave out.”