Featured Image -- 2014

Beija Flor Events

I know.. it’s been a long time since our last post.

We are sorry for our absence however it’s for a good reason. We are having an incredible year of learning, working and meeting some great people. Now it’s time to reorganise all our socials, get back to blogging and sharing all of our outstanding experiences with you.

The first highlight of this year I would like to share is definitely my internship with Dominique Douglas at Stylish Events.

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Wedding Flower Trends in the USA for 2016

The USA is arguably  “the land of the wedding planner” and I often say to my students and interns, “in the US couples get in engaged and the first thing they book is their wedding planner, however, in the UK, when couples get in engaged the first thing the bride does is buy her dress! :))”. For this reason, wedding planners often look to the USA for wedding inspiration. We were delighted to be contacted by Heather Floral, based in New York City, to write an article on our blog on what’s hot in wedding flowers in the US.

So, what are the latest wedding flowers trends in the USA for 2016? Over to the team at Heather Floral…

Although plenty of people believe that true style is timeless, that doesn’t excuse wedding flowers from the endless rise and fall of trends. Certain choices become overwhelmingly popular in their time and these shifts in demand can alter prices and availability dramatically. Whether you want to follow the crowd or stand apart from it, here is a look at some of the biggest news in wedding flowers for 2016.

The Surge in Local Flowers
So far, all the evidence is pointing towards 2016 being a great year for tradition when it comes to wedding flowers. Planners and florists are getting a lot of requests for flowers that are locally-sourced and fresh-cut or at least look like they are. Seasonal blooms are in in a big way this year with the choice of date playing a larger role than ever before in floral selections.

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Seasonal wedding flowers all taken from Stylish Events weddings: Clockwise from L: Summer from Lavender Green; Autumn from Pinstripes and Peonies; Winter from Joan Holdsworth; Spring from Chantal Flores; Images courtesy of photographers (Kate Nielen, Adrian Neal, Ann Kathrin Koch

Some flowers that have long been relegated to the realm of hopeless cliche, such as chrysanthemums and carnations are being welcomed back into weddings thanks to the proliferation of heirloom varieties that combine traditional forms with exotic shapes and colours. In terms of colour selections, the latest craze is for subtle variations on a theme with different breeds and sizes being pulled together to create a rich, textured colour profile.

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Chrysanthemums and Carnations are making a comeback – images found on Pinterest

Naturalistic Arrangements
Besides concentrating on regional and seasonal flowers, wedding selections are also trending towards a more rustic style when it comes to arrangements. Greenery is gaining stature when compared to blossoms and “messy” arrangements that present a wild look are growing extremely popular. Foliage is winning all around, with non-flowering plants like vines, trees, and shrubs becoming especially popular for room decorations.

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Image courtesy of Heather Floral

Of course, the spontaneous look that brides are craving this year is actually the product of careful planning and considerable experience. The sheer variety of species required to realize some of these more ambitious “wild” designs means that the wedding florist’s job has grown far more complex. Good florists stay on top of their selections, ensuring that even the most diverse choices are assembled into a harmonious whole.

Edibles
One trend from 2015 that is still going strong this year is the continued interest in melding edible plants with decorative ones when it comes to floral selections. This practice is developing some real variety as it matures with planners picking up on cues from many different sources when they are selecting edibles. Some are chosen strictly for their visual appeal, like the berries that are appearing in more and more centerpieces. Others are added to give arrangements more intriguing odors, like vanilla and coffee beans. In many cases, edible selections even make direct reference to the veggies on the menu; at some food-oriented weddings, it gets difficult to tell the difference between the centerpieces and the side dishes.

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Watermelon and fruit carving, image courtesy of Heather Floral

Colour and Palette Trends
The colour experts at Pantone took a bold step by naming two separate colours as 2016’s “colour of the year”- rose quartz and serenity.  These interesting choices definitely play well together and though they are a trifle rich to be seen as true pastels, they are helping to prolong the popularity of the delicate pastel-themed palette in many US weddings. They also work very well with the above-mentioned trend towards wilder floral choices that are heavy on greenery. This is particularly attractive with serenity blue.

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Image courtesy of Heather Floral

Metallic palettes and highlights are also proving to have real staying power. Metallic tones like copper and gold work well with rose quartz and savvy florists are pairing this mixture up with the brightest, most eye-catching blooms to give their selections some real focus. Flowers with more intense but still complementary colours, such as deep reds and bright yellows, work well with these palette choices.

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Stylish Events wedding May 2016. Flowers from Passion for Flowers; Chargers, glasses and gold cutlery from Duchess & Butler; Tablecloths and napkins from Essex Occasions; Stationery from Intricate Creations; Venue Down Hall; Images courtesy of Craig Mitchell

In contrast to some years gone by, 2016 offers brides and planners a wide-open field when it comes to picking out trendy flowers. The overall tastes of the year favour diversity and eclecticism, and that means you can easily incorporate your own favourites into a beautiful and highly stylish decorative ensemble.

Written by D. More, a successful businessman who helps to operate the website, Heather Floral, who are committed to providing only the freshest and finest flowers. To see their one-of-a-kind arrangements which use some of the most exotic flowers available, visit today.

How to Choose Your Wedding Venue to Match Your Wedding Theme

Hi there, I’m Natasha and I’m currently an Intern at Stylish Events. I have been given the opportunity to write a blog post on something that I love about the wedding industry. So I’ve decided to discuss the topic of choosing the right venue for your wedding theme.

Marquee Weddings for Beau Belles, Harrogate, Yorkshire

Photos courtesy of 1. Beau Belles, 2. The Over Whelmed Bride and 3. The Academy

Most couples who are planning their wedding usually have some sort of idea as to the type of wedding they want and can envisage how they want it to look on the day. However, the reality of making it happen can be much more daunting than expected once you get started with the design of everything.

Nowadays, we are moving away from traditions and making weddings more personal and fitting to our character, so its only right that every aspect of the wedding matches the theme you want and so we begin to ask, ‘how can I match my theme to a wedding venue?’ and ‘is there a venue that can cater for my style of wedding?’ After all, it is an extremely important part of your wedding (after the wedding dress, of course :)!).

So I’m going to go through three popular wedding themes that couples choose today and look at the best venue spaces that I believe match with these themes, in order to help you achieve your perfect wedding day.

1. Rustic Chic
2. Classic Elegance
3. Destination Celebrations

Wedding Theme 1 – Rustic Chic

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Photo courtesy of Strictly Weddings

First on the list is Rustic Chic. Now this is definitely a theme that has become more and more popular with couples that appreciate the simple things in life and really want their personality and love to take centre stage. There are many variations of rustic chic themed weddings including:

  • Retro
  • Shabby Chic
  • Boho
  • Woodland
  • Do it Yourself (DIY)
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Photos courtesy of 1. Boho Weddings and 2. Coco Wedding Venues

“Tipi’s” are definitely a favourite venue space to create the character of a rustic chic wedding. It suits any style of rustic chic and has the potential to become anything you envision due to the simplicity and refined natural sensation it gives. The best thing about it though is that you can literally put it up anywhere!

Another option is a beautiful Barn located in the countryside. There are plenty of these located in the UK and barns are literally the epitome of rustic chic. Again, so much can be done, as they are a blank canvas ready for you to make your vision come to life. They provide so much space and endless options to suit your every need. Places like Dewsall CourtThe Old Kent Barn and Pennard House provide the perfect scenery and atmosphere for rustic chic weddings.

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Photos courtesy of 1. Old Kent Barn and 2. Pennard House

The simplest of all venues for a rustic chic themed wedding is a Rural setting either in an open field or a stunning meadow. This provides you with the most freedom to do exactly what you want, the way you want it done.

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Photo courtesy of Rustic Wedding Chic

Wedding Theme 2 – Classic Elegance

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Photo courtesy of Bridal Musings

Although you may be choosing to take the non-traditional route for your wedding, when it comes to your wedding theme, you may still love a traditional, romantic wedding, styled with elegance and sophistication. With such a refined and glamorous wedding theme, it’s only right that the venue mirrors this.

Stately Homes and Manor Houses are a common venue space for these types of  weddings. They are grand and rich in history with delicate architectural styles from different periods in time, it’s only fitting that such a venue is chosen for a grand occasion. This setting allows you to let the venue do all the talking and take centre stage with a few personal touches here and there. Venues such as Aynhoe Park and Hopetoun House fit this theme perfectly.

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Photos courtesy of 1. Aynhoe Park by Simon Carr for Stylish Events and 2. Hopetoun House

It’s even possible to go one step further and choose a Castle or a Palace for your wedding. For a classic fairy tale setting, there is nothing better. Again it sets the scene for romance, tradition and elegance, the venue itself showcases the type of wedding it is without too much having to be changed or added. Venues like Addington Palace and Peckforton Castle are two very grand venues and very different too, therefore the right venue is dependent on which style of classic elegance the couple are looking to achieve and your wedding budget.

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Photos courtesy of 1. Peckforton Castle (top and bottom left) and 2. Addington Palace (top and bottom right)

Having your wedding in a Marquee is another option for this wedding theme. They are so versatile and can really bring to life any wedding style you are looking to achieve. Simplicity is key. Marquees are best if you want to really let your vision come across from beginning to end, in the exact way you have imagined it.

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Photos courtesy of 1. Bridal Guide, 2. Key Structures and 3. Best in Tent Marquees

Wedding Theme 3 – Destination Celebrations

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Photo courtesy of Destination Weddings

Eloping is something that has been around for a long time (marrying away from home without the approval of your family), however it has now grown and developed into a whole new concept today: Destination Weddings (where you take your family and friends with you!). Destination weddings are becoming popular with couples looking to really let their love shine through and include a bit of sunshine with it!

It may be that there is a country which is important to your relationship or perhaps you want to double up and enjoy your wedding and honeymoon at the same time. Whatever the reason, there will be somewhere in the world that sets the scene for what you want.

Beach weddings have always been very popular when it comes to destination weddings. If you are a couple who enjoy laid back and relaxed holidays then a beach wedding may be perfect for you. There are many resorts located around the world that can provide the right atmosphere for you. The beauty of a beach wedding is that the golden sand and clear blue sea is so stunning that it may be enough decoration in itself and only little touches here and there are needed.

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Photos courtesy of 1. Wedding Elation, 2. Beach Wedding Guide and 3. Weddbook

There is actually a place in the UK where you can have your wedding on a beach. So, if you want this style but don’t want the airfares that go with it, you may wish to consider Beach Weddings Bournemouth.

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Photos courtesy of Beach Weddings Bournmouth

When it comes to destination weddings, most couples choose this option because they want to experience a different environment with stunning scenery and an experience to truly remember. The focus is on the natural beauty of the earth, from beautiful waterfall surroundings in the Caribbean to crisp ice capped mountain peaks in Colorado or even a countryside vineyard wedding in Italy.

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Photos courtesy of 1. Wedd Italia, 2. Brides and 3. Pinterest

I hope this post has helped you see the great potential different venues have to bring to life all your wedding dreams. I certainly know that I will be exploring more options when it’s my time to walk down the isle.

Best wishes, Natasha

The Life of a Wedding Planner

Are you thinking about becoming a wedding planner? Please read this lovely blog from someone who has attended our course, The Life of a Wedding Planner.

stylishOnce I’d made the decision that the Wedding Planner life was for me, I naturally got straight onto Google to find the answers to all my ‘What next?’ questions.

That’s when I came across Stylish Events’ ‘Life of a Wedding Planner’ day course. For the absolute bargain price of £99 I could spend 8 hours learning the in’s and out’s of Wedding Planning from the brilliant and successful Dominique Douglas. A real insight from somebody with experience in the industry, and a whole back catalogue of successful weddings and events.  Dominique offers a true and open look at the crazy and wonderful world of events, passing on her in-depth knowledge on a fast growing industry.

You’ll come away with a certificate, workbook and (in my case) a fierce determination to work within the Events world. If you’re thinking about becoming a wedding or events planner I can’t recommend the course enough…

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A Dream Italian Wedding Venue, Il Borro in Tuscany!

Last month I had the pleasure of spending some time with Angela Boninsegni, who is the Director of Reservations at Il Borro in Tuscany. She came to London to meet with a number of top destination wedding planners based in London. It was so lovely to be able to assist with the meetings and get to know Angela and Il Borro so much more.

Il Borro is an absolutely stunning 860 hectares’ location for weddings, events or just a lovely Italian holiday, in a secret corner of the landscape of Tuscany which is owned by the Ferragamo family. They have kept the history of the past and combined it with modern touches to create a superb blend of history and luxury.

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If you do not know Il Borro, I believe after this blog it will be hard to get it out of your head. For those who already know Il Borro, this is a perfect excuse to remember why this place is in your heart.

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At Il Borro there are many different locations to hold your wedding and for your accommodation. From the Main Villa, being an elegant location for the bride, groom and close family to stay, to the 5 star suites in the Medieval Village. There are also gorgeous farmhouses for your guests, which are 3 big country houses split in 2 or 4 units with a lovely pool to share.

Il Borro’s overall style is a combination of luxury and the Tuscany style.

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Looking out of the window from the Main Villa, gives you a view over the village and the breath-taking Tuscan landscape.

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In my opinion the Medieval Village is one of the unique selling points of ll Borro. Guests can enjoy the Italian experience with the unique handcraft boutiques and excellent restaurants.

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For weddings, Il Borro offers a series of exclusive locations, outdoors and indoors. Each of them has different characteristics and is designed to suit every taste. You can choose between the nineteenth-century manor house (Main Villa) for a refined and romantic ceremony, the private garden in the Renaissance style for an outdoor function or the stunning old Orangerie for your reception. If you wish to add authenticity and charm to your ceremony, why not choose the Medieval Village with its narrow streets and centuries-old church?

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Il Borro is a biodynamic farm where they produce their own electricity with solar panels. They produce their own wines with true passion from their beautiful vineyards which they store at their own wine cellars. This is a nice excuse to sign up for their wine tour, where you can enjoy the different home-made produced wines and visit the beautiful wine cellar.

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Il Borro offers a variety of different activities, amongst which are nature walks, a round of golf, mountain biking, trekking….. there is something for every taste to keep you and your guests entertained.

They also have 26 horses, which is the perfect way to discover the Italian landscape in a fun and exciting way.

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When one thinks of Italy, the majority will associate this country with delicious food. They have two fantastic restaurants (The Gourmet and the Bistro) and you can also enjoy cooking lessons with their chefs, which is a great way to learn Italian cooking skills from an experienced Italian cook. Not to forget, using the olive oil produced at Il Borro, from their own olive trees.

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It is my belief that Il Borro gives you that “goose bump” feeling even if you only look at the pictures, imagine actually being at this stunning location. An oasis of peace that rests over this Italian fairy tale location contributes to its uniqueness for your very special wedding day or just a relaxing holiday.

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I was already interested in Il Borro when Dominique introduced me to it and this interest only grew during my time with Angela. Her true passion for Il Borro is so inspiring and it was an absolute delight to see how she glowed and lit up when speaking of it. In my eyes, this is true passion. But then again, no wonder passion arises with a wonderful location like this!

Best wishes, Nina

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All photos in this blog are from the Il Borro website and their facebook page or from Snowdrops Weddings & Events photo shoot at Il Borro with Kate Nielen.

 

An American’s View of Choosing London for Your Destination Wedding

We were so delighted when Mark Wilcox, the founder of  WeddingIntro.com got in touch to ask if he could write an article on A Stylish Event blog. Mark is a huge lover of London and wanted to share why he loves it so much and why it’s such a great choice for a destination wedding.

Over to you Mark…

Two right turns. A couple of left turns. A really long plane ride. Followed by a short train ride. That’s my simple directions to get from my house in Dallas, Texas USA to Paddington Station. This drives my wife nuts. Because I can tell her how to get from our house to some location in London but I’m lost at home without her or my GPS.

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Dallas and London Skylines (images courtesy of http://www.doubletree3.com and http://www.norwyn.wordpress.com)

I have a long love affair with London and in this article, I will share some of the reasons why I would recommend choosing London for a destination wedding.

One of the reasons to travel to London is the history. There are the basics such as Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, Big Ben and, of course, the Tower of London. I remember when I first visited Buckingham Palace. I was struck by just how brilliant the gold is along the gates. It’s something the photographs and video have never captured perfectly.

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From top left – Big Ben, The British Museum, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London (images courtesy of http://www.traveltourismblog.com, http://www.krswallpaper.com, http://www.pepydiary.com, londontravelbuddy.com

There are also other history spots that you might want to visit as well. For example, there is the famous Madame Tussaud’s wax museum. There is also the more recent large Ferris wheel the London Eye. This provides wonderful views of the London skyline. And it is also something famous to be destroyed in every action movie over the past decade. If you are a zombie movie fan then you probably have seen the movie 28 Days Later. This is an older movie but famous for the fact that its main character comes out of the hospital after the zombie outbreak. If this sounds like the opening to The Walking Dead that’s because it is. They have a very similar opening a complete accident. Anyway in the movie the character wanders the bridge right next to Parliament. Every time I go to London I whisper myself “Hello”, just like the main character. I can’t help myself.

Besides the history, there are other reasons to choose London as your destination wedding spot. First is the language. As you can guess they speak English. They will think you have a funny accent and weird slang but you will get around okay. Just remember they drive on the other side of the road!

London is also easy to get to for your destination wedding. There are many direct flights from various American cities. There’s even a direct round-trip flight from Dallas to London Heathrow. Or it’s a short hop from New York to London.

Another benefit of choosing London is there are plenty of hotels and some of the most amazing wedding venues in the world in London or just a short journey outside of London. I should point out, however, London is expensive. And they use the Pounds Sterling, so make sure you check the exchange rate before you go.

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Stylish Events Wedding at The Connaught Hotel, London (images courtesy of www.thestudiowithoutwalls.co.uk)

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Stylish Events Wedding at The Olde Bell, Herfordshire (images courtesy of www.annkathrinkoch.com 
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Stylish Events Wedding at Hedsor House, Buckinghamshire (images courtesy of www.annkathrinkoch.com

In terms of practical matters about your wedding, you should check with the US State Department and the United Kingdom’s embassy. Talk to the team at Stylish Events and they’ll help you walk through the necessary details.

I always mention to friends who are thinking about getting married outside of America to consider getting legally married first. You can just go to your local courthouse and they will sign your wedding certificate. That way you can have a “symbolic” ceremony in London and not have to worry about all the legal bits.

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Stylish Events Weddings at Trinity College, Cambridge and Kensington Palace (images courtesy of www.katenielen.com)

And after you get married you have all of Great Britain, Ireland and, of course, the rest of Europe to choose for your honeymoon. It’s always a shock to us Americans about how close everything is in Europe as compared to the US. Heck in the time it takes me to go see my parents in central Texas I think I can go across three countries in Europe.

London is one of my favorite cities in the world. I’ve only been able to touch on a couple of my stories. For example, I didn’t even touch on my love of Indian food or the best fish and chips I ever had as a late night snack!

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I really encourage you to think of London as a potential destination wedding spot. I hope this article has helped encourage you to put it on your list of potential wedding locations.

This is a guest post by Mark Wilcox. He’s the founder of WeddingInto.com,  which helps brides reduce their stress by providing simple and clear wedding planning information.

A Stunning Hotel in the Heart of Madrid

If you are looking for the perfect place for a short “City” break in the depths of winter, I can highly recommend the fabulous city of Madrid. And if you want somewhere perfect to stay, then you cannot do better than the Westin Palace Hotel on the Plaza de las Cortes.

Westin Palace Madrid Facade

A couple of weeks ago my husband, Dan, and I tooted off to Madrid for a short break. I contacted the lovely Sophie Clauzé, Director of Sales, who I met at the Private Leisure Forum in Interlaken, Switzerland in October 2015. I had a strong memory of Sophie telling me how wonderful her hotel was and she invited me to visit soon.

After emailing Sophie, she offered us a FAM rate and an upgrade to one of their suites, which was so lovely. I have to say the rooms are delightful and the view from our suite was one of the best at the hotel.

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Bedrooms and Suites at the Westin Palace Hotel in Madrid

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The view from our suite at the Westin Palace Hotel in Madrid

From the moment we arrived we were treated so graciously and made to feel very special. The hotel originally opened in 1912 and is known as the iconic “Palace” hotel. It’s right in the centre of Madrid in the “Triangle of Art”, within walking distance of the city’s most prestigious museums: Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia Museums, among others.

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The gorgeous entrance and lobby of the Westin Palace Hotel

As a special treat for Dan, I asked Sophie if she could help me get tickets to see Real Madrid v Athletico Madrid, who were coincidentally playing the same weekend we were there. Sophie put us in touch with Ricardo, one of the super efficient concierge team and he managed to secure two amazing tickets for us. I have to say that for Dan, it was a once in a lifetime experience and I loved it too. We even took our very first “selfie” together!

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Dan and I at the Bernabau. Sadly, Real Madrid lost 0-1, but it was a fantastic experience to be there.

We did have plans to visit the museums and parks, but anyone who knows us well, will not be surprised that we spent most of our time shopping, drinking lovely Spanish red wine and eating the local jamon!

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A good bottle of Ribera del Duero and some amazing Jamon Iberico – perfect!

We loved our little break, in fact it was the first time in almost two years we were able to get away, just the two of us.

A huge thank you to Sophie, Ricardo and everyone at the Westin Palace Hotel for making it so special for us, and also to the team at Private Leisure Forum for introducing me to Sophie.

We loved our stay.

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The impressive dome of La Rotonda restaurant at the Westin Palace Hotel

Choosing a Signature Cocktail to Perfectly Match Your Wedding Style

My name is Nina and I am lucky enough to be doing a four month Internship with lovely Dominique and the team at Stylish Events.

As part of our internship, we are asked to do a blog on an area of weddings that interest us. The subject I selected is something that creates a nice finishing touch to every wedding: Signature Cocktails.

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Picture courtesy of Colin Cowie Weddings

I have always found it interesting to discover new recipes for exciting cocktails. In my opinion, a cocktail can be made in a way that is much more than just a drink that contains alcohol. A combination of different ingredients can bring that extra surprising flavour. In addition, the choice of your cocktail says a lot about your style and personality.

It might be a difficult choice to choose the right cocktail that perfectly fits your wedding style and your personality, so I hope the following suggestions will make your choice a little bit easier.

The first cocktail is: The Caribbean Mist, a perfect fit for a summer destination wedding on a stunning beach with the beautiful crystal clear blue ocean as your backdrop. Perfect for people who enjoy a refreshing and summer tasting cocktail. It’s quite easy to make and the blue/turquoise colour makes sure it perfectly fits with the stunning blue sky and ocean behind the chapel.

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Recipe:

1 Part Mango rum

1 Part Pineapple juice

1 part Soda water

Dash of Blue Curacao

Sugar for the rim

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Pictures courtesy of www.equallywed.com and tidetheknotbeachweddings.com and the recipe from somethingturquoise.com

The second cocktail is; The St. Germain,  a great choice for a classic, white and vintage wedding at a beautiful house or for a garden wedding. This cocktail is also called the White Cosmopolitan, which is usually enjoyed by the traditional classic female who loves to slowly sip a cocktail and indulge in the aroma and taste.

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Recipe:

2 parts of Vodka

1 part St. Germain

½ part Lime Juice

¾ part White Cranberry Juice

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Pictures are from www.vogue.com and burnettsboards.com and the recipe from www.stylemepretty.com

The third cocktail is: The Lavender Infusion, which is not actually cocktail, however, I believe is perfect for a spring wedding. It’s very easy to make and simplistic in style, but delicious. The lavender inside the champagne glass results in a light lavender aroma and a refreshing taste. The aroma of lavender is associated with relaxation and many people believe lavender attracts love!

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Recipe:

Glass of Champagne

Floral Lavender

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Pictures courtesty of lifeinbloomchicagoblog.com and Elizabeth Anne Design and the recipe from www.bridalmusings.com

The fourth cocktail is: Peppermint Love, a lovely choice if you decide to have a winter wedding. This cocktail is a combination of peppermint, espresso liqueur and baileys. Your guests will enjoy a nice coffee flavoured cocktail with the fresh taste of peppermint, which is a perfect for when the weather is a little colder outside.

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Recipe:

1 oz of Peppermint Schnapps

1 oz of Coffee-flavoured Baileys

½ oz of Espresso Liqueur

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Pictures courtesy of www.stevemoody.com and www.coastalvirginiamag.com and the recipe from www.bridebox.com

Our final cocktail is something a little different. Not every couple has the same taste, which is absolutely fine. You may prefer a fruity cocktail with a nice refreshing taste; he may want something a little more “manly” and doesn’t see the need for a fancy cocktail.  Marriage is often about compromises so why not start on your wedding day? This can be done easily with having ‘’his and her’’ drinks for your wedding.  In this way, both female and male guests can have the drink they prefer. However, do not mind when male guests decide to go with the fruity cocktail: everyone is different!

For the guys, why not try a simple “Jack and Coke” – no recipe needed here!

And for the ladies, how about a “Blushing Bride” – strawberry vodka, champagne and cranberry juice.

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I hope this blog has given you a little inspiration on how to match your signature cocktail with your wedding style. If you have any other suggestions, please do let me know.

Cheers, salute, proost, salud, Zazdarovje, Gan bei, santé

Nina

“The Life of a Wedding Planner” with Dominique Douglas

A huge thank you to Holly for this lovely review of our course.

Forever in a Day

As I’m sure you already know after reading the “Home” or “About” pages of my wonderful (well, I think it’s wonderful…) “Forever In A Day” blog, my main goal in life is to set up my own business as an independent wedding planner. Now, when I realised that this was in fact the ultimate future career path I wished to achieve (rather than some sort of naive dreaming), I then took some time to deliberate how I could actually accomplish this goal.

The first thought that popped into my mind, was increasing my online presence through the creation of the “Forever In A Day” blog and accompanying social media sites, in order to get my name out there as someone who was passionate about wedding’s, whilst showing my determination to reach my Wedding Planning goal (which, I hope you will agree, has been relatively successful!).

Once I got these sites up and…

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How to Choose the Perfect Diamond Engagement Ring!

For our next installment of “Intern Blogs” we are delighted to introduce you to Gemma, who has been with us since September 2015. Over to you Gemma, to tell us more about an area of weddings that you love (and we do to!) – Diamonds ……

Gemma’s Blog
My name is “Gemma”, which is derived from the Italian meaning ‘precious stone.’ And whilst unfortunately, to my knowledge, I do not have any Italian ancestry, I do, however believe that this inspired my love for gems. I like to think my parents chose my name as they see me as precious to them, but the fact that they named their second child, Joshua, which means ‘saviour,’ casts a shadow of doubt.

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Stunning diamond cluster ring (left) and diamond heart-shaped single stone ring (right). Pictures courtesy of FEU Diamonds www.feudiamonds.com

So, for this blog I decided to investigate one of my favourite things – DIAMONDS – and their influence on the wedding market.

‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ is a well known quote by Marilyn Monroe and it appears the bridal community have embraced this sentiment with open arms. Despite the increasing popularity of other precious stones such as rubies, emeralds and sapphires, diamonds still remain the ultimate favourite for engagement and wedding rings.

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Photo courtesy of Kate Nielen www.katenielen.com taken at a Stylish Events Wedding.

A diamond is pure crystallised carbon brought to the surface, encased in solidified magma, during a volcanic eruption. Amazingly, a diamond can only be cut by another diamond as it’s the hardest substance known to man. They are mined across the world and particularly prevalent in Australia, Russia and South Africa.

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Three popular engagement ring styles (left to right) – diamond single stone ring; modern 3-stone diamond ring; marquise diamond ring. Picture courtesy of FEU Diamonds www.feudiamonds.com

With Diamonds representing strength, endurance and beauty it’s hardly surprisingly that in 1939 De Beers, a diamond company, decided to harness this idea and market the diamond as the ultimate symbol of unbreakable love. Using the clever slogan of ‘Diamonds are Forever’, the diamond industry was on the up! By the mid 1940’s sales had increased by half and the diamond was the most common style of engagement ring. Still to this day the diamond is the most popular choice and even now, in 2015, De Beers promotes it’s products using the phrase ‘A Diamond is forever.’

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Picture courtesy of www.brides.com

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Vintage style with surrounding diamonds on the head and shank. Pictures courtesy of FEU Diamonds www.feudiamonds.com

A diamond’s worth is determined by a number of factors, however together we can navigate our way through the jewellery jargon by focusing on the following four caterogies, affectionately known as the 4C’s: Colour; Clarity; Cut; Carat Weight.

Colour
The colour of a diamond can be anything from colourless to brown and it is the responsibility of the Gemological Institute of America, GIA, to compare each diamond against a master set in order to determine the grading. They are graded from D (colourless) down to Z (dark brown). The higher the grading, the better the colour, and more often than not, the greater the worth.

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Picture courtesy of www.ninaellejewels.com

Clarity
The GIA also grades the clarity of the diamond based on the number and location of the internal flaws (inclusions) and surface characteristics (blemishes). These features are only taken into consideration if they are visible under 10x magnification. There are eleven grades of clarity ranging from Flawless to I3. The higher the grade (i.e. the closer it is to flawless, generally the greater the worth of the diamond.

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Picture courtesy of www.ninaellejewels.com

Cut
Defining the cut of a diamond is somewhat difficult as it considers the overall appearance and quality of the diamond. The GIA grades the round brilliant diamonds from Excellent to Poor by assessing many features including brightness, symmetry, and polish. (Note, the cut of a diamond is not the same as it’s shape). The round brilliant diamond is not the only shape of diamond; there are a number of other exciting shapes too! The radiant, pear and marquise are also typically used in rings – some people even have a heart shaped one!

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Common shapes of diamonds. Picture courtesy of www.thediamondauthority.org

Carat Weight
Carat weight is the standard unit of measurement for diamonds. It is measured in the GIA laboratory and rounded to the nearest hundredth of a carat. As a rule of thumb, one carat is the equivalent of 0.2 grams and again the greater the number of carats the higher the price of the diamond.

The 4C’s define the quality of the diamond and influence it’s worth. Nevertheless, De Beers is correct in the sense that a diamond IS forever. So where do we go from here?

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Photo courtesy of Kate Nielen www.katenielen.com taken at a           Stylish Events Wedding.

The world of rings, diamonds, jewellery and quite frankly weddings themselves is a minefield! Please don’t be put off by the vast amount of choice; you would think that the more options you have the easier the choice – but that’s really not the case. It’s ok to find the experience daunting, but it’s not ok to choose a ring because your friends like it, because your future mother-in-law says so, or because you can’t decide so you just picked any old one.

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Picture courtesy of www.brides.com

A ring is yours to keep for eternity; a symbol of your love and commitment to your partner. If your partner chooses it, and it’s perfect, then good for you! However, many couples go shopping together whilst some women leave carefully placed magazines around the house or accidentally leave a ring on the computer screen!

Shop around; have fun; make a day of it! Whatever takes your fancy. You don’t need to buy the first one you try on – take your time and try a few. Cliched as it sounds – everyone is different. If every single bride, liked the same kind of ring, the world would be a very sad and a lot less sparkly place.

I like the vintage style rings, whilst my best friend likes the heart-shaped diamonds and my cousin is drawn to the 3 stone ones. All three of us like different styles, but that’s what makes us different. So, use your ring to celebrate you personality and choose a ring that suits you. Your ring is yours to keep; pick one that makes you happy. If you look down at your hand and smile when you see it, then you know you’re on to a winner.

Fingers crossed that my future husband will read this blog and make detailed notes! Vintage please, no pressure and good luck!

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Picture from www.bridesmagazine.co.uk courtesy of Instagram/ jillygolightly