Как обновить Русские свадебные традиции для современной Русской невесты. – Традиция первая – «Выкуп»

Всем привет, сегодня я хотела поговорить о том, что я знаю с самого детства, о том, что так близко к моему сердцу – о Русских свадебных традициях.

Когда я была маленькая, мама мне говорила, что это удача увидеть невесту и каждый раз встретив девушку в белом свадебном платье меня переполняла радость, и я знала, что этот день точно сложиться удачно. Возможно поэтому я выбрала профессию свадебного организатора и считаю, что это привилегия принимать участие в самом важном дне молодоженов.

Свадьба – это обряд, таинство. А любой обряд всегда окружен традициями и приметами. Но в последнее время я часто слышу, что современные Русские невесты падают в обморок, услышав фразу – традиционная свадьба. Многие стараются избегать традиции и организовывать свадьбу по европейским канонам.

Но мне кажется наши традиции — это наша особенность, то что делает свадьбу уникальной и радует гостей. А гнаться нужно не за «Европейской» свадьбой, а за европейским сервисом.

Возможно наши традиции немного устарели и просто не менялись переходя из поколения в поколение. А что если осовременить некоторые из наших добрых старых свадебных традиций и приспособить их к нашему образу жизни?

Я рискну и начну с традиции, которая вызывает наибольший резонанс среди невест – «Выкуп».

Традиция выкупать невесту пришла еще с античных времен. С античных!! А мы удивляемся почему она звучит немного устарело, а для некоторых девушек даже оскорбительно.

Как подсказывает название, суть традиции в том, что жених должен выкупить невесту у ее родных и друзей за деньги. Жениха обычно заставляют прыгать по ступенькам в подъезде невесты, отвечая на вопросы о ней, а если он не смог ответить ему придется выпить стопку водки или заплатить деньги.

Все эти шоты и физические испытания не особо радуют невесту. А кто захочет выйти замуж за пьяного жениха? Да и штрафы за неправильные ответы могут быть экстремальным, до переломов конечно не дойдет, но вспотевший жених обеспечен. А это совсем не похоже на романтическое начало свадьбы.

Но я уверена, что эта традиция может быть элегантной и романтичной, особенно здесь в Лондоне.

 Давайте помечтаем 

Только представь, твоя свадьба проходит в удивительном Английском замке или загородном поместье – например в Hedsor House.

 

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фотограф: Ann Kathrin Koch 

Hedsor House это частное загородное поместье и потрясающая свадебная площадка в Бакингемшир, Англия, расположенная на территории великолепного исторического парка площадью более 40 Гектаров.

Итак, вернемся к мечте. Ты уже готова и ждешь жениха в изумительном свадебном номере люкс в окружении близких и друзей. Это та же комната, в которой жила Августа Уэльская, это поместье было королевской резиденцией.

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Фотограф: Ann Kathrin Koch 

Все гости собрались внизу. Приезжает жених, которого встречают твои подружки и просят пройти одно серьезное испытание вместо нескольких шутливых, а иногда немного глупых, как по старинке.

Твои подружки должны выбрать испытание заранее (несколько недель или месяцев), чтобы жених успел подготовиться. Выбрать испытание следует опираясь на таланты жениха и предпочтения невесты, а также это должно остаться в секрете от невесты.

Выкупать невесту жених должен с помощью песни, танца, собственного DJ сета или другого сюрприза. Он может попросить помощи у друзей или профессиональных артистов. Твои друзья или свадебный организатор должны будут подготовить нужную аппаратуру для сюрприза.

Вовремя выступления ты наблюдаешь с балкона или окна своего номера и решаешь выполнил ли он испытание. Решив ты можешь позволить ему войти, передав сообщение через свою подружку. А после, все могут переместиться в зал, где пройдет церемония.

Вот видишь, современный «выкуп» позволит тебе почувствовать себя принцессой, а жениху героем. Да и гости будут очень рады такому выступлению и уж точно не забудут твою свадьбу.

Мы, Stylish Events, были удостоены чести организовывать свадьбу в Hedsor House. У наших клиентов была индусская свадебная церемония, полная духовных символизмов под священным индийским свадебным шатром – Mandap.

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фотограф: Ann Kathrin Koch 

В усадьбе был снят фильм «Золотой компас» в ролях с Николь Кидман и Сэм Эллиотт, и Британский телесериал – Призраки.

Имение также стало площадкой для сьемки фильма Дастина Хоффмана – «Квартет». В ролях: Мэгги Смит, Билли Коннолли, Полин Коллинз, Том Кортни, Майкл Гэмбон

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Images courtesy of  Hedsor House website 

Еще одна потрясающая свадебная площадка, которую мы безумно любим это отель –  the Connaugh, который располагается в центре Лондонского Ме́йфэр. Здесь ты найдете самый шикарный бар Лондона.

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фотограф: Adrian Neal, The Studio Without Walls

В прошлом декабре мы были рады организовывать элегантную зимнюю свадьбу для наших клиентов Анны и Люка.

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фотограф: Adrian Neal, The Studio Without Walls

Твоей идеальной свадебной площадкой и местом для выкупа может стать Aynhoe Park – Это поместье 17 века в часе езды от Лондона.

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фотограф: Simon Carr

Aynhoe Park – это не отель, это частный дом Джеймса Перкинса. Джеймс полностью отреставрировал и шикарно декорировал усадьбу. Это одно из самых уникальных поместий в мире.

Нам очень повезло работать здесь в прошлом году с одной из самых любимых нами парой. Каждая деталь этой шикарной свадьбы была продумана. Свадьба получилось поистине утонченной так как наши клиенты обладают изысканным вкусом.

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фотограф: Simon Carr

Дочь Мика Джаггера – Джайд Джаггер вышла замуж здесь в Июле 2012 года.

Mick Jagger’s daughter, Jade Jagger, married Adrian Fillary

Images courtesy of Hello Magazine 

Завершая сегодняшний блог, я бы хотела показать вам потрясающий дворец. Дворец Бленхейм (точне — Бле́нем или Бленим,  — родовое имениегерцогов Мальборо, один из крупнейших дворцов-парковых ансамблей Англии. Расположен на окраине Вудстока в графстве Окфордшир. С 1987 г. — памятник Всемирного наследия ЮНЕСКО.

Blenheim Palace is a monumental country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, and is the residence of the Duke of Marlborough.

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Images courtesy of Blenheim Palace website 

Что ж, это все на сегодня. Я надеюсь, я смогла вас убедить в том, что наши старые русские традиции имеют место быть в современных свадьбах?

Надеюсь, вам понравился мой пост, и вы вернетесь в следующий раз, чтобы прочитать о еще одной уникальной и романтичной традиции – «7 мостов».

До встречи!

How to update Russian Wedding Traditions for the Modern Russian Bride – Tradition One “Vykup” (The Ransom)

Hi Guys, I thought I would talk to you today about something I know from my childhood and something close to my heart – Russian Wedding Traditions.

There is always something so special about weddings and I believe it’s such a privilege to be involved in the happiest day of someone’s life. In Russia we believe it’s very good luck when you see a Bride. My mum used to tell me that all the time.

A Wedding is a rite, a Sacrament. Any Sacrament is always about traditions and folklore. However, I keep seeing stories on the internet that modern Russian Brides want to escape from them. Just saying “Traditional Russian Wedding”, makes many Russian Brides recoil. Their first thought is usually silly stereotypes of Russian traditions.

What if we could revive some of our good old wedding rituals and adapt them for modern times?

I will take a risk here and start with the number one tradition in my “Silly Russian Tradition Chart” – “Vykup” (The Ransom).

The tradition to “ransom” a bride comes from ancient times. No wonder it sounds silly now, it’s a bit outdated and to some people a little offensive. As the name suggests, this tradition entails the groom “purchasing” the bride from her family and friends with money. The groom would normally be made to jump on the stairs of his bride’s family home, answer a series of questions about his bride and every time he gets a question wrong he must take a shot of vodka or pay a physical or financial penalty dreamed up by her bridesmaids.

All this drinking and mayhem puts many modern brides off, after all, who wants to marry a drunken groom? In addition, the penalties can be quite extreme and result in a rather sweaty groom and filthy wedding suit. This is not romantic and certainly not chique.

However, I believe this tradition could be so much more romantic and chic in a London setting. And by making it fun, there will be no one who could be offended in any way.

Let’s dream about it…

Imagine your wedding is at an amazing English castle or country estate – Hedsor House for example.

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Photographer: Ann Kathrin Koch 

Hedsor House is a private country house and wedding venue in Buckinghamshire set in its own magnificent 100-acre historic park.

So, you are ready and waiting for your groom with your family and friends in the fabulous Bridal Suite. This is the same room that was used by Augusta, the Princess of Wales, in 1166 as it was former Royal Residence.

Hedsor House

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Photographer: Ann Kathrin Koch 

All your guests are outside and your groom arrives who is given only one serious challenge by your bridesmaids, which he has had time to prepare ahead of the big day.

Your bridesmaids need to choose a task according his talents and your preference but they have to keep it in a secret from you. I personally think the groom should perform in some way: perhaps sing a song, dance, play his own DJ set or prepare another surprise. He could ask his friends to help or even get a professional artist to assist him. Your friends, or your wedding planner, would arrange any special equipment he needs for the surprise.

Your groom performs his surprise and You, watching from the window above, now decides if your Fiancé has completed the challenge to your satisfaction and then you send a message via your bridesmaids to let him enter the venue. Your guests then move to the Great Hall for the ceremony.

You see, “Vycup” isn’t meant to offend in any way, it’s meant to be fun and allows the bride to feel like a princess and her groom is her hero.

Stylish Events were honoured to have arranged a fantastic wedding at Hedsor House. Our client had a Hindu wedding ceremony full of spiritual symbolism underneath a magical Mandap.

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Photographer: Ann Kathrin Koch 

The house has been used as a film location for both television dramas and feature films including The Golden Compass and Spooks.

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Images courtesy of  Hedsor House website 

It was also the location of Quartet, a 2012 comedy drama film directed by Dustin Hoffman and starring Dame Maggie Smith and Billy Connolly.

Another dream venue, which we love, is the Connaught hotel located in the centre of London’s Mayfair.

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Photographer: Adrian Neal, The Studio Without Walls

Last December we organised a chic and elegant wedding for our lovely clients Anna and Luke at the Connaught. We believe it  has the chicest cocktail bar in the whole of London.

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Photographer: Adrian Neal, The Studio Without Walls

Another ideal wedding venue for a ransom scenario and a spectacular wedding location is Aynhoe Park – a listed seventeenth century country house in Oxfordshire, about an hour outside London.

Aynhoe Park Aynhoe Park

Photographer: Simon Carr

Aynhoe Park is not a hotel, it’s a private house owned by James Perkins, who has completely renovated the house and decorated it opulently.

We were lucky enough to work there last year, with one of our favourite couples, Clare and Patrick. Every detail of this luxury wedding was thought about and we were so blessed to have clients who had such exquisite taste.

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Photographer: Simon Carr

Mick Jagger’s daughter, Jade Jagger, married Adrian Fillary here in July 2012 and had a rock ‘n’ roll wedding full of pop stars and models.

Mick Jagger’s daughter, Jade Jagger, married Adrian Fillary

Images courtesy of Hello Magazine 

Lastly, I would like to show you a magnificent wedding venue, a true masterpiece of 18th Century Baroque architecture – Blenheim Palace.

Blenheim Palace is a monumental country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, and is the residence of the Duke of Marlborough.

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Images courtesy of Blenheim Palace website 

Well, I’m afraid that’s it for today. I hope I’m starting to convince you that old Russian traditions do have a place in modern Russian Weddings?

I hope you enjoyed today’s post, please come back next time to read about tradition number two in my “Silly Russian Tradition Chart” The Seven Bridges – another unique and romantic Russian Wedding tradition.

What’s it like to do a Wedding Planning Internship at Stylish Events?

Hello everyone, this week we’d like to introduce you to Laura and Anna, our current interns at Stylish Events. We thought we’d ask them to write a blog post to give you an idea of what their job has been like in their first month. Both Laura and Anna have moved to London to start a new chapter and pursue a career in Wedding Planning. Laura is from Scotland, so she’s not too far from home, while Anna is originally from Italy but has moved to London from Sweden. So, over to you ladies!

Hi there, I’m Laura, in my first month here at Stylish Events I have been working with a client from America and have been researching many things for him. First was hotels and apartments as there is going to be eighteen family members travelling across from America to be in London during the Christmas week. I have also been looking at transportation and fun activities that they could do whilst being in London.

Hi, I’m Anna, and I have been working on organising our Italian Destination Wedding Show, a fantastic event we are co-hosting with Francesco Negro of Will Be Weddings & Events, in London on 26th October 2014 at the Sofitel. More details can be found further below in this blog post and we will be blogging far more about the event very soon.

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From Left to Right

Marina (Our Russian Wedding Planner in London), Anna and Laura (Wedding Planning Interns at Stylish Events)

However, not everything has involved sitting at a computer and researching things online. In fact, last week was the perfect demonstration of how glamorous the “Life of a Wedding Planner” can really be, as we were invited to some amazing wedding showcases. All in three days! Armed with our best heels, mascara and lipstick and accompanied by the lovely Marina, Stylish Events Russian Wedding Planner in London, off we went!

The first showcase that we attended was at the Kettner’s, a French restaurant based in Central London (in the heart of Soho) where we were offered a tour of their wedding space while sipping champagne and delicious cocktails. We also viewed rooms on the first floor which they had set up for a Christmas preview but the space would also accommodate wedding parties too. This venue would be perfect for a small intimate wedding ceremony and reception.

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Photo’s taken by Stylish Events

The next showcase was the following day at the V&A Museum (Victoria & Albert), and was called ‘A Love Story at the V&A’. We were welcomed into the internal courtyard, which was set for a romantic summer wedding ceremony but can also be used all year round for all types of events. We were offered very elaborate looking and delicious canapés while sipping on more cocktails and prosecco which were supplied by The Admirable Crichton. We had the chance to have one to one talks with suppliers that were involved in helping putting together the showcase, then made our way into a large gallery, which can hosts events up to 150 guests. The room was simply majestic, with Rafael Sanzio’s art hanging on the walls, creating a stunning back drop to a ceremony and reception. Lanterns were placed on the floor which immediately created a soft atmosphere to the event. We especially loved the table setting that was displayed and of course the dessert table! We were offered a selection of sweet treats, from raspberry marshmallows (which we both loved,) to elderflower jelly with gooseberries, which was decorated with an edible flower, to a lemon and basil posset. An amazing cake from The Abigail Bloom Cake Company took the central stage on the dessert table. We spent more time chatting away, and then we were on our way home with biscuits in our goody bag and a stunning bouquet kindly offered by the team of Lavender green, who also made all flower arrangements around the venue. It was a great experience and opportunity for us to network. In the goody bag, the V&A supplied two tickets to the Bridal Exhibition, taking place between now and March 2015.

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Photo’s taken by Stylish Events

Our next visit was at the Sofitel, St James hotel. We were very excited to be there as this is the venue we have chosen to hold one of our next events, which Anna is currently organising with Dominique. It is a fabulous Italian Destination Wedding Show for UK brides who would like to get married in Italy. This event will take place on 26th October 2014, so mark it in your diaries ladies! Stylish Events is working together with an Italian Wedding Planner, Francesa Negro of We Will Be Wedding Events to provide you with the best the Italy has to offer.

We have already lined-up some fabulous suppliers, both Italian and from the UK. We will soon release more information about the Event, how to register and attend, so stay tuned!

We ended the week on a high note with the launch of Cindys Choos new shop in Westfield, Stratford. Cindy had a passion and a dream and her innovative concept of renting fabulous designer shoes will be a sure success! The evening was organised by Nicola at Propose PR, and we were treated to cocktails and canapés while we were admiring the beautiful shoes. There even was a lucky winner of a stunning pair of Laboutin! No, it was not one of us if you’re wondering…but we sure had some favourites we would have loved to bring home with us:

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Photo’s taken by Stylish Events

Now, we don’t want you to think that the “Life of a Wedding Planner” is only about attended amazing events and getting the free goody bags at the end of the evening. There is a lot more work that is put in but all in good fun! If you would like to know more about our day to day job as a Wedding Planner then why not come along to Dominique’s “Life of a Wedding Planner” course? Dominique will guide you through the realities of being a wedding planning and explain in detail what we do. We both attended the course in 2013 and look at us now! Interns at Stylish Events! So go ahead, what’s stopping you, find out more about signing up here. http://www.stylishevents.com/Careers/Workshops.aspx

Love

Laura and Anna =)  x

Stunning Wedding Venues in Puglia, Southern Italy Part 2

Thank you for returning for part 2 of our Italian adventure touring Puglia and seeing some of the lovely venues that Southern Italy has to offer. For those who haven’t read part 1, our amazing study trip to Italy was organised by Isabelle Smith, of Isabel Smith Wedding Design, along with Bertrando, our Italian tour guide. The trip was organised for members of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP). The UKAWP is the leading industry body for Wedding Planners in the UK, promoting professionalism and providing support to independent planners across the UK, organising various training workshops, events and study trips.

Part 2 of our trip to Italy continues our story of the venues we saw and what we got up to as we arrived in the lovely city of Lecce.

Torre Del Parco

Torre del Parco (Turris Prati Magni) was our first stop in Lecce. This beautiful venue was built in 1419 in the heart of Lecce and is a real historic symbol of the City. The Tower has some amazing space for various functions and is at least 30 meters (approx 98ft) high and surrounded by a deep moat. This venue offers some stunning outdoor space including a roof top area and an additional outdoor terrace with lots of greenery on the ground floor which would be perfect for a drinks reception, a seated dinner or a buffet style reception. The indoor space is so rich in history and the main function room would make the perfect backdrop for a traditional, luxurious Italian wedding.

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Part 2 Torre Del Parco

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Images Courtesy of Torre Del Parco

Hotel Risorgimento

This 5* Hotel  was the final stop on our scheduled trip with Bertrando. At the end of day two he organised a B2B ‘speed dating’ session where we got to meet lots of lovely local wedding suppliers such as Italian Wedding Planners, Caterers and Photographers. We were treated to a delicious 7 course meal within the hotel; we honestly thought we were going to burst by this point as everyone had been so generous in looking after us on our trip. Hotel Risorgimento would be great for accommodation for wedding guests or for any corporate events. The hotel offers space for smaller events; private dining, corporate conferences and has a luxurious spa and beautiful roof terrace bar.

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Images courtesy of Hotel Risorgimento 

‘Lezioni di Cucina Salentina’

After our stay in Hotel Risorgimento, we waved goodbye to our fellow planners as Dominique and I had decided to stay on for a couple of extra days and make the most of being in Italy. Bertrando, who had been guiding us through our tour over the last few days arranged for us to attend an Italian cooking class at ‘Lezioni di Cucina Salentina’ which translates to ‘Cooking Lessons in Salento’. The lovely Gianna and Sara taught us how to cook ‘Salento Style’ making fresh pasta dishes from scratch! Gianna Greco is a very talented chef and sommelier with a real passion for food and wine. We had such an enjoyable evening learning about the food and wine of the region. Gianna and Sara were so welcoming and fun and they really made our trip to Lecce.

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We would like to say a HUGE thank you to Gianna and Sara for such a lovely evening and to Bertrando for organising everything. We had a fantastic evening and we would highly recommend this experience to anyone travelling to Lecce!

We would also like to thank Isabelle Smith for organising such a wonderful trip, we had a great time and are itching to get back to Italy and hopefully take some clients with us!

And finally, a big thanks to all the fellow UKAWP members who attended the trip, we had a great time!

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From the left; Dominique Douglas (Stylish Events), Bernadette Chapman (Dream Occasions), Melanie Helen (Cranberry Blue), Isabelle Smith (Isabel Smith Wedding Design), Becca Cole (Stylish Events) and Andri Benson (Always Andri)

Our new Russian Wedding Planner in London, Marina Ionina

Наш новый русский свадебный организатор в Лондоне.

I am so pleased to announce that Marina Ionina has become an Event Manager and Russian Wedding Planner in London at Stylish Events.

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We first met Marina when she attended Dominique’s “The Life of a Wedding Planner” course in September 2013, after which she assisted us as a consultant on several weddings, including Anna and Luke’s wedding at the Connaught Hotel, Anna and Michael Wedding at Stoke Park and Leila and Johnnie’s wedding in Cambridge.

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Leila and Johnnie’s Wedding in Cambridge, Image courtesy of Kate Nielen Photography

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Image courtesy of Stoke Park 

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Anna and Michael’s Wedding at Stoke Park, Image taken by Marina Ionina, Stylish Events

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Anna and Luke’s Wedding at The Connaught Hotel, Mayfair, Images courtesy of Adrian Neal, The Studio Without Walls 

Marina’s role at Stylish Events will be to further develop our Russian Division, working with Russian nationals who live in Russia and wish to get married in the UK, and Russian couples who live in London and want to work with a Russian wedding planner. She will of course be working with our lovely UK couples too.

Originally from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Marina owned and ran a successful business in the catering industry. She completed her BA Honours degree in Public Relations and Event Management from the Siberian Aerospace University in Russia.

Marina is a recent Bride herself, having married Adam in May 2014.

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Marina is a Certified Sandals WeddingMoon® Specialist, having qualified in July 2014.

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We love Marina’s attention to detail and she has created some amazing special touches for our weddings already, like this Table Plan for Anna and Michael, all hand-made and designed by Marina.

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 Images taken by Marina Ionina, Stylish Events

We are so excited that she has agreed to be part of our team.

Please find our lovely Marina on twitter @MIStylishEvents and like our Stylish Events Russian Division Facebook page!

If you would like to make an inquiry or would like to get in touch, you can reach Marina on  mistylishevents@aol.com

 

 

Thinking about getting married in the Caribbean? We highly recommend Sandals resorts

Hello everyone and welcome to my very first blog post for Stylish Events! For those of you that don’t know, my name is Marina and I am Event Manager and Russian Wedding Planner at Stylish Events.

As I’ve just returned from a luxury all-included Sandals dedicated WeddingMoon® educational trip to Jamaica, I thought this would be an ideal subject for my first blog! The trip was packed and impeccably organised by the lovely Kerrie-Anne Ford, who is the UK Weddings Supervisor for Unique Vacations UK Ltd (Global Representatives  for Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple Resorts), and Marsha-Ann Brown, who is the Director of Romance at Sandals Resorts International for Sandals & Beaches WeddingMoons®.

WeddingMoons®s is the division of weddings and honeymoons at Sandals Resorts across the Caribbean including, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas, Antigua, Barbados and many more amazing locations.
Sandals WeddingMoons Logo

Below is part one of my Jamaica travels which talks about my experience at Sandals Whitehouse in Westmoreland, part two will follow very soon and will cover the other hotels we visited.

This was my first trip to Jamaica and I am already dreaming of being back there again. I was very lucky to have won the sunny study trip at the annual UKAWP Mix and Mingle last year. The UKAWP (UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) is an organisation which promotes professionalism in wedding planning and we are very proud to be members.

Each year one of the members organises the UKAWP Mix and Mingle event which is a social event for wedding planners and suppliers which gives us all a chance to talk through trends and tips and have a good catch up over a glass of wine.

I somehow managed to win first prize in the raffle, make new contacts and secure an internship at Stylish Events! I’m still regretting not going to the Casino that day!!

So here we are ready to take off, I travelled with Bernadette Chapman of Dream Occasions, also director of UKAWP, Jessica Barrie of Diamond Rose Events, Kerrie-Anne Ford from Unique Vacations UK Ltd, Dilara, Germany’s representative for Sandals & Beaches Resorts, Wedding planner Rhian, and two Lovely UK Tour Operators Maria and Sam.

Sandals WeddingMoons trip to Jamaica

So the main focus of this trip was to see ideal venues for stunning weddings in Jamaica and learn more about destination tropical ceremonies.

Our first stop was the beautiful Sandals Whitehouse European Village and Spa which is surrounded by impressive gardens with luscious greenery. Within the complex there are three European inspired villages – Italian, French and Dutch. All of which have ocean front rooms and suites offering the most amazing views overlooking the two mile long beach, and the top tier suites come with a personal Sandals’ Butler Service!

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Sandals Whitehouse Europeanean Village & Spa rooms

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a personal Sandals’ Butler Service

Pictures courtesy of Sandals 

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There are seven restaurants in this lovely hotel serving mouth-watering gourmet cuisine from around the world.

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Sandals food

Pictures courtesy of Sandals 

There is lots of entertainment available to suit everyone, ranging from a sophisticated piano bar to bonfire beach parties at night and volleyball, tennis, pool and many others during the day.

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Pictures courtesy of Sandals 

I was enjoying my view at the Beach front Grande Luxe Club Level Suite every morning and saw a few weddings from my balcony.

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Jamaican weddings are relaxed and simple but at the same time very beautiful and romantic. For those of you considering a destination wedding, here are three great reasons to help you make up your mind:

1. You can save money

2. Avoid the unpredictable weather in UK

3. The opportunity to combine the hen and stag ‘do’, ceremony and honeymoon

What I really liked about Sandals is that they offer a new tool on their website which allows you to design your own custom wedding “Your Wedding. Your Style”. This allows you to have a wedding created by you and sealed with your personal touch, which is what planning your special day is all about!

“Your Wedding. Your Style” takes you through the entire design and styling of your day from table styling and floral centrepieces, your bridal bouquet, cake design and flavours and your wedding breakfast.

Sandals Wedding table styling

Table styling

Weddingmoons kindly showed us a few of their table set ups to give us a feel of the table styling and centrepieces available. This is one of my favourite parts of being a wedding planner, it’s an opportunity to get creative and show your personality. The combination of the flowers you choose for your centrepieces is what truly makes them uniquely yours. Once your centrepiece is in place, it is time to have some fun. You can add elegant pillar candles, hurricane lamps, vases and seashells or sea glass crystals.

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Your Bridal Bouquet

From the flowers to the finishing touches, everything about your bridal bouquet should reflect your personality and sense of style and compliment the mood of your wedding. WeddingMoons work with you to create your perfect Bridal Bouquet, each arrangement can be wrapped in raffia or double-satin ribbon, or adorned with bows or seashells and they can also supply any type of flowers. However, I would advise taking the hot weather into account when selecting your floral!

Sandals wedding bouquet

Pictures courtesy of Sandals 

I personally fell in love with this stunning shell bouquet called Seaside Orchid Elegance.

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Pictures courtesy of Sandals

Wedding Cake

The wedding cake tends to be one of the main focuses of a wedding and our brides are spending more and more time designing and creating their perfect cake to fit the theme of their day. For many of our couples, the flavour is as important as the design and I have to say, this is definitely another ‘perk of the job’ as we get to taste a lot of cake!

Marsha-Ann, the Director of WeddingMoons® very kindly talked us through design and cake flavours and we all got to taste the cake flavours available; Red velvet, chocolate, vanilla and Jamaican fruit cake. The wedding cakes very elegant and a two tier White fondant cake topped with magenta Dendrobium orchids is included within the Free Beautiful Beginnings WeddingMoons® package.

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Pictures courtesy of Sandals

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Wedding Breakfast

The dining experience at the Whitehouse truly impressed me, the setting, the service, the entertainment and of course the amazing food that we ate! For your wedding breakfast there are so many different cuisines that you can choose from; Tuscany, France, the Far East, the Caribbean or something more eclectic.

On our second night we were served a delicious dinner which we ate on the beach. The setting was amazing and the attention to detail was second to none. The staff were so accommodating, getting to know all of our dietary requirements and ensuring we were very well taken care of. I would like to say a huge thank you to the all of the lovely team at the Whitehouse for looking after us!

Diner at Whitehouse Jamaica chicken chocolate desert

But we didn’t just eat at our wedding seminar, so I’ve got some important information for you:

Marriage requirements:

Couples can be married 24 hours after arriving in Jamaica providing application 60 days in prior. Sandals & Beaches advise to arrive 48 hours before the ceremony (so that you can have your on resort wedding consultation).

The cost of a license is four thousand Jamaican dollars (approximately £37-£40).  Sandals & Beaches charge a fee for government and minister fees which includes the license fee. In Jamaica this fee is $95 US dollars (about £57 pounds).

Unlike many countries, Jamaica does not expect you take a blood test before getting married. However, the following documentation is required:

  • Proof of citizenship – certified copy of birth certificate, which includes father’s name.
  • Parent’s written consent if under 18 years of age.
  • Proof of divorce if applicable (original certificate of divorce with court stamp).
  • Certified copy of death certificate for widow or widower.
  • Name Change Deed Poll if applicable

That’s all for part one, thank you so much for reading. I would like to say a very special thank you to some lovely people before I go…

As a group, we experienced great care and attention from all the  Sandals Whitehouse hotel’s staff I will definitely recommend this lovely place to all my friends and brides.

I would like to say thank you Sandals and WeddingMoons.

If you would like to know more about their wedding packages, please visit the Sandals website.

Great respect and massive thank you to Marsha-Ann Brown, Director of Romance for SandalsResorts, BeachesResorts and WeddingMoons, for her energetic and informative seminar.

Thank you Andre Wade, Director of Industry Relations at Unique Vacations Inc. , and Jeffrey Burke, Sales Manager of The Sandals Whitehouse, for entertaining and taking such great care of us.

And of course, I would like to send my love to Kerrie-Anne Ford, UK Weddings Supervisor and Certified Sandals WeddingMoon Specialist, for making this trip happen and being such an amazing host!

Thanks to UKAWP for giving  us this wonderful opportunity once again. Of course it’s one of the main benefits of being a member.

It was a very special experience. I am so pleased to now be a Certified Sandals WeddingMoon® Specialist!

Sandals WeddingMoon Specialist - Marina Ionina Stylish Events

 

Stunning Wedding Venues in Puglia, Southern Italy Part 1

Some of you may not know this but Dominique is actually half Italian! Her mother, although never living in Italy, is very proud of her Italian roots.  In fact, Dominique’s Great Aunty Mary, at 93, still lives and works in Rome and she visits her at least once a year.

So, in 2008 Dominique was so excited to be asked to organise her first wedding in Italy. It was for the daughter of Dominique’s first boss in London, Peter Crystal. She began working for him way back in 1991 and over the last 23 years she has organised many of his private, family events, including; a Venetian Ball; his daughter Carla’s Bat Mitzvah, and in December 2013 his daughter Anna’s wedding at the Connaught Hotel, Mayfair.

The wedding in Italy was for Emma, Peter’s eldest daughter, and Manuel. They designed an elegant wedding in beautiful Tuscany in an historic castle, Castello di Modanella. 120 guests joined them for a 4 day event and enjoyed the wonderful food and wine of the region.  Dominique worked on the wedding with the fabulous Italian wedding planner, Giulia Bono.

Emma and Manuel

So naturally when we were given the opportunity to travel to Puglia, Southern Italy for a study trip with fellow UKAWP members, we jumped at the chance!

We love being a member of the The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP). In case you don’t know, UKAWP is an organisation which promotes professionalism in wedding planning. They organise training workshops, annual events and study trips. In this case, the lovely Isabel from Isabel Smith Wedding Design together with the help of the fabulous Bertrando Di Renzo (our Italian tour organiser) arranged this fabulous trip, with a packed itinerary from start to finish. The aim of our visit was to see amazing venues in the region and to see (and taste) first hand what this area of Italy as to offer – and we were not disappointed!

In Part 1 we take a closer look at 3 of the lovely venues we visited whilst in Puglia. Part 2 will be published in a few weeks, so watch this space!

The Borgo Egnazia 

Our first stop was the breathtaking Borgo Egnazia. This modern yet, at the same time,  traditional resort is the perfect backdrop for an elegant wedding. The wonderful Marcella who heads up the events team certainly looked after us and we were treated to a delicious dinner, a complimentary, luxurious nights stay in one of the Borgo’s magnificant rooms, and of course a guided tour of this magnificent venue and it’s almost endless selection of glorious wedding locations.

Now we don’t like to name drop, but…… this is where Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel got married in 2012.

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Images courtesy of Hello Magazine 

We cannot wait to return to Borgo Egnazia and show some of our couples how perfect a wedding can be here.

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Images courtesy of Borgo Egnazia 

Tenuta Monacelle 

The beginning of day two began with a coach journey up a very steep and, at times, precarious hill. It was worth it though as we arrived at Tenuta Monacelle.  Located on the outskirts of Delva di Fasano, we reached a set of cone-roofed “Trullo” houses and tufa-stone “Masseria” villas, surrounded by gardens, orchards and spectacular hill top views.

This venue is a more traditional Puglian country venue, but as our host, Antonio Ladisa pointed out there are many options for a stunning wedding here, including having your food served from market stalls along the avenue of Trullos.  We particularly loved the pool area, which would make a great party venue.

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Images courtesy of Tenuta Monacelle 

Castello Monaci

Our next stop was the beautiful Castello Monaci, which is a truly enchanting venue with so much to offer. The ivy covered towers, palm trees, luscious greenery, bright flowers and stone staircase in the courtyard makes for one of the most stunning outdoor wedding ceremony venues we have ever seen.

Our host, Luigi Ancora,  gave us a fantastic tour of this lovely venue, guiding us through the history of the of the castle and the spectacular outdoor space that Castello Monaci has to offer.

This venue is set within 3000 olive trees and 200 hectares of vineyards and has its own winery, which we were lucky to get a tour of and even luckier to sample some of their fine wines over a lovely lunch.

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Images courtesy of Castello Monaci 

This venue is set within 3000 olive trees and 200 hectares of vineyards and has its own winery, which we were lucky to get a tour of and even luckier to sample some of their fine wines over a lovely lunch.

Copyright - MARACA FotoGrafia

Copyright - MARACA FotoGrafia

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We would like to say a special thank you to Isabel Smith from Isabel Smith Wedding Design and Bertrando for organising such a fun and packed trip. This is one of the many reasons why we love being a member of the UKAWP as it brings us so many fantastic opportunities!

Top Tips to Finding the Perfect Wedding Planner by guest blogger, Lianne Crosby of Adore Weddings

We were so pleased to be contacted by Lianne from Adore Weddings, the beautiful wedding inspiration website. It is an honour to have her as a guest blogger this week. Here Lianne discusses a topic close to her heart.

Imagine hiring a wedding planner that didn’t understand the types of detailing you want to achieve on your big day; that can make planning your wedding awkward and stressful for everyone involved, not to mention the worry of not having everything you ever dreamed for your wedding.

Wedding planners are like a dream come true, if you can find the right one. It’s important to find a wedding professional who understands your needs and vision. Here we give a little guide to finding the right wedding planner for you.

Recommending the Best

Your friends will never recommend a bad foundation, and much the same they will never recommend a bad wedding planner.

Word of mouth is how most wedding planners grow their client base and if you have been to a wedding that you particularly enjoyed then there is no harm in approaching the wedding planner and getting in touch.

I found my planner by attending a friend’s wedding that was two years before my own, the wedding theme and overall day was close to what I wanted and therefore I asked my friend to put me in touch with her wedding planner and we went from there.

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If you are an engaged couple who just don’t have the time to plan a wedding but want to tie the knot sooner rather than later then hiring someone who plans events for a living is a major benefit to any bride and groom. Not only will it save you time finding suppliers because they will be readily available and on board with your wedding planner, but you can share your thoughts on flower arrangements, dresses, decor and all the other important details with your planner without the panic of organising it all alone.

An experienced wedding planner will know all the right questions to ask and when, a bride can sometimes be overwhelmed with having to communicate with suppliers, venue and other professionals used for the big day that they can forget what needs to be asked and dates will become a mission impossible.

Things to Look Out For Before Hiring a Wedding Planner?

Most wedding planners have a blog that they run themselves so why don’t you give the blog a visit.

If the blog looks popular, it has loads of great posts with comments and shares then the wedding planner is likely to be very popular and great at their job.

You can also check their social media profiles, their Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. If they yet again have a good following on these profiles then they are likely to be a great and favoured planner.

If you however do not have a wedding blog to check out seeing as you may not have a wedding planner in mind, then another great way to find a wedding planner is by visiting websites such as the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners who list reputable wedding planners on their blog and site.

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Make sure you are the client and not the other way around

A quality of a great wedding planner is one who works with your schedule.

A great wedding planner will ensure your meetings and tasting opportunities coincide with other appointments, ensuring not to take up too much of your valuable time.

This is such a helpful trait of any planner as you will find you will not have to take time off work or sabotage any other regular activities to meet with your planner which makes it a less stressful experience.

Do they help you with your honeymoon too?

Going extra and beyond is an excellent quality with anyone, especially a wedding planner.

If you want to plan a dream honeymoon in Tahiti but you don’t know an awful lot about the area, then there are great sites to give you information about honeymoon packages such as this site. However, if you ask nicely any awesome wedding planner will dig deeper and may help plan some great activities for you.

If you are looking for a stress free wedding planning experience then you should consider hiring a wedding planner, you will not regret it.

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Written by: Lianne Crosby, Adore Weddings

Becca Cole – My Story So Far

As you may have already seen on various social media posts, the lovely Angelique Franklin (aka our star blogger) has moved on to pursue her obsession and passion through launching her company ‘I Love Nails’. We miss her so much already, but luckily for us she still pops into the Stylish office for a cup of tea and a gossip! I’m afraid this means that you’re stuck with me. I thought for my first blog, I would share with you my experiences and how I came to be a part of Stylish Events.

I first met Dominique when I attended her very first ‘Life of a Wedding Planner’ course in March 2012 which I heard about through a friend who was studying Event Management at Greenwich University. Having completed my degree in Event Management at UWIC University in Cardiff in 2011, I was keen to learn more about the world of wedding planning, so booked onto the course immediately. It was so inspiring to learn in such depth all about the planning process, seeing real event proposals, plans, budgets, schedules and learning about Dominique’s experiences. But I think one of my favourite parts was flicking through amazing albums of real past events and weddings. At the time, I had no idea where that would lead me, but I couldn’t be happier that I attended Dominique’s course.

In June 2012, I was so delighted when Dominique asked me to assist her at one of her events. This Bat Mitzvah celebration hosted at The Reform Club was a dream 13th birthday party with a chocolate fountain, an ice cream stand, casino tables, a photo booth,  a four tier blue and gold cake and last but certainly not least…a very special performance by Diversity! It really was a fantastic event and I was so honoured and proud to have been a part of it and knew that Dominique was a true professional and a planner who could teach me so much more.

Carla's Batmitzvah

Photography: Colin Antill, Fotoseeker, venue: The Reform Club, London, Entertainment: Diversity, Flowers: Vive La Rose, Cake: Alexandra Clay, Sound, Lighting and Casino: JSO Productions, DJ and Host: 9 Events, Chocolate Fountain and Ice Cream Stand: Fruits and Fountains.  

I instantly applied for an internship following the Bat Mitzvah and couldn’t have been happier when Dominique offered me a four month internship at Stylish Events starting in November 2012. This was not my first experience as an intern but was by far the best and so much more than I could have ever imagined. Dominique took the time to pass on her knowledge and really involved me in extensive research and meetings, venue hunting, looking at budgets and creating mood boards. In my short four months at Stylish Events I had learnt so much about wedding planning and was so lucky to be involved in a real event which was a two day wedding in Buckinghamshire at Hedsor House.

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Photography: Ann-Kathrin Koch, Venue: Hedsor House, Buckinghamshire, Flowers: Chantal Flores Design 

In March 2013 my internship was due to end and this was when I was offered a position within the company alongside Dominique and Angelique as the Event Manager. I felt as if all of my dreams had come true and couldn’t wait to continue with the weddings I had been working on as an intern. It turned out that 2013 was an incredibly busy year for the team at Stylish Events and we are so proud of the weddings we have been involved in. We love helping our clients design their dream day and it’s such an amazing feeling to see it all come together.

Anna and Luke's Wedding Photos1

So that brings me to the present and the future and I am so proud to say that as of January 2014, I am now a Partner at Stylish Events.

I have been asked which is my favourite wedding of 2013, which is an incredibly hard question to answer. Every single wedding we were involved in last year has been entirely different. If I really had to choose one that stands out to me, it’s our autumnal themed wedding at the amazing Aynhoe Park in Oxfordshire for Clare and Patrick. What I loved the most about this wedding was the colours, the décor was so warm and inviting and it complemented this quirky and slightly crazy venue perfectly. Clare had the most exquisite taste and her attention to detail was second to none. Clare and Patrick made it clear from the very first meeting that their priority was their guests. They wanted their close friends and family to have the best experience possible and spent hours planning and putting together a personally selected wine list, a lavish five course meal, their favourite cocktails and of course, they all had the most fantastic time. Weddings are all about the personal touches and this really came across on the day.

Blog - My Story

Photography: Simon Carr, Venue: Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire, Flowers: Pinstripes and Peonies, Cake: Princess Patisserie, Caterers: Absolute Taste, Fine Wines: Giles Smith Walker, Independent Vintner,  Dance Floor, Stage and Lighting: Mission Events, Band: The White Keys, Jazz trio: 101 Jazz Trio, DJ: Stylish Entertainment, Celebrant: Mark Townsend

It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind since my first meeting with Dominique almost two years ago, and I am very much looking forward to another year with more weddings, more events and more fun!

Planning Perfection!

Hi Guys,  I thought I would talk to you today about something close to my heart – no not Shoes! lol  – Wedding Planning, but more specifically the UKAWP - no I haven’t gone all “urban” on you and dropped some new-fandangled text speak; the UKAWP is the ‘UK Alliance of Wedding Planners’ it’s the Industry body for the wedding Market. Their job is to encourage, promote and ensure professionalism within the wedding planning industry  through seminars, events and  training courses for any aspiring and experienced event planners! They’re also a source of knowledge and guidance to all brides-to-be helping them to find a Wedding Planner they can trust; as any Event Planner the UKAWP recommend or promote is always and only a member of their organisation – like myself and Dominique are! and I have to say I couldn’t agree more with this ethos, I think it’s great that Planners are be able to add to their skill ‘tool belts’ through all the professional educations seminar and events they organise and also that the UKAWP is a a trusted source for Brides to be able to confidently search for a planner for their big day. Which is no small thing by the way! finding someone who you can trust to manage and organise your special day is not a easy decisions to make and on top of that, brides should be able to know that when they hire a Wedding Planner they’re going to receive the best service possible, from someone who is honest, professional and actually cares about the job in hand – their WEDDING DAY! lol

But what I really love about UKAWP  is that its managed by two ladies who are wedding planners themselves and are actively running their own events companies: Bernadatte Chapman of ‘Dream Occassions’ and Sandy Moretta from ‘Tern Events’. Being an Event Planner myself – albeit a new one – it’s nice to know that the organisation is under the supervision of ladies who have over 10 years experience and are really passionate about this industry! The Lovely Bernadette (the original founder of the UKAWP) took the time to let me know the reasons behind starting  the UKAWP, the importance of having an organisation such as theirs, their upcoming events and also the future for the UKAWP:

The Story:

“Back in 2003-2004 I was receiving phone calls from brides saying their wedding planner had disappeared with their money, at the same time I would get emails from people wanting to become a wedding planner and asking how I started Dream Occasions. It led me to think there was a need for a) professional training and guidance on how to launch a wedding planning business and b) somewhere to help brides choose experienced and reputable planners for their wedding. I spent time thinking about what made a good planner and how we could introduce a code of ethics to its members. The UKAWP has seen such growth since its inception and is now recognised as the leading organisation for wedding planning training and membership”

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September 2012 – Mix and Mingle – *Photo’s taken from UKAWP website*

The importance of UKAWP:

“It helps the bride choose a wedding planner that is experienced, that is insured, doesn’t take commission and can show references for past events they have organised. And for the planner? They can show brides they are serious about their career by continuing their learning at UKAWP events. Planners get a sense of community from the UKAWP, many freelance for each other enabling them to experience weddings different from their own client base. They also benefit from a much larger marketing budget then they would have, the UKAWP advertise on many of the major wedding blog and publications and are also striving for new ways to market our members to brides.”

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October 2012 – UKAWP Study Tour to New York City – *Photo’s taken from UKAWP Website*

UKAWP Events:

April – We have a marquee workshop in London where we will explain the logistics of organising a marquee reception including the different types of structures available & how important lighting is.

May – A northern marquee workshop, probably in Leeds plus our last training course for the Spring will be Step by Step in Manchester. This is also the month for our annual members meeting whereby we discuss the past years activity and brainstorm new marketing plans for the forthcoming year, we actively ask members for input so we are spending money in the right areas.

June – a meet the planner afternoon is planned where those interested in the career of wedding planning can meet some new and experienced members + a director to really hear about what it is like as an active wedding planner. No glamour, just straight talking facts . Details of this will be announced very soon

September – our annual mix and mingle social evenings will take place in various locations across the UK

November - we are proud to be one of the speakers and exhibitors at the UK Wedding Conference http://theukweddingconference.co.uk

Also the training courses will start again from September and in November”

The Future:

“There are so many exciting plans for the UKAWP many of which we can’t share with you yet! We are working on a new bridal focus with bespoke branding, this will be ready to soft launch by May. We have plans for a new membership category which we have to keep quiet for now until we are ready to announce the details! We will also be holding more workshops come the Autumn, the next planned topics will be PR from a journalists perspective and floral emergencies and we will be growing the sister company to the UKAWP namely wedding venue excellence http://www.weddingvenueexcellence.co.uk

Well I hope you enjoyed todays post? especially all you brides-to-be out there? I think it’s really important to know there’s a organisations out there; such as the UKAWP that is truly waving the flag for industry professionalism and planning perfection! Make sure you head back over my way real soon, as I will be bringing you our ‘Supplier of the Week’ John Natlacen of  Churchmouses Cheeses and his lovely Cheese Cakes – thats  a savoury cakes made of ACTUAL cheese people! until then….

Stay blessed and we’ll speak again soon.

xx