A Guide to Loveliest Flowers for Spring and Summer Wedding Bouquets

Hello, my name is Hanna and I am so grateful for this opportunity to be an intern for Stylish Events for four weeks.

As this is the last day of my internship, I would love to talk about one of my favourite subjects – flowers for Spring and Summer Bouquets; probably the most important flowers you will ever choose.

Your wedding bouquet will not only be with you as you walk down the aisle on your big day, but it will also be a feature on the photographs that you will cherish forever.

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Bouquet by Pinstripes & Peonies, Image by Simon Carr

Choosing your wedding flowers is never a trivial matter. Every season has different types of flowers and brides often want different types of bouquet styles.

I hope our guide to Spring and Summer Bouquets is the perfect place to start when considering what style will be the best to compliment you and your wedding dress.

SPRING BOUQUETS
Let’s start with Spring Bouquets. It’s the time of the year when there are plenty of beautiful flowers, from the iconic Tulip, the stunning Peony to fragrant Lilly of the Valley. Here are few ideas that you might find useful for your spring wedding.

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Image by Adrian Neal, The Studio Without Walls

Pretty Pastels
Spring is full of colour, especially pastel colours. It’s the perfect time for a romantic selection of spring flowers. The most popular flowers for pastel bouquets are China blue Hyacinths, Freesias, Muscari and soft pink Roses.

Boho Beauty
Peonies and lots of greenery tied in a loose, natural style can give a romantic bohemian look. Peonies are among the most coveted flowers of the wedding season and bride’s ultimate favourite choice of flowers in Spring.

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Bouquet by Bridal Guide, Image by Manda Weaver 

Not only are they the perfect mix of texture and softness, but also the flower represents ‘a happy marriage’. To create a perfect Boho Beauty bouquet, combine peonies with roses to create a bohemian look.

Heavenly Roses
Roses are always associated with love and romance, so it’s no wonder roses are the most popular wedding flowers. Heavenly looks are created with specialty roses, for example David Austin in soft peach and ivory. The roses can be combined with elegant Calla Lilies and a little greenery.

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Bouquet by Larry Walshe and Image by Adrian Neal, The Studio Without Walls

Beside Hyacinth, Peony and Roses, there are other different types of flowers that can be perfect for your Spring wedding. For instance, Anemone, Ranunculus, Tulip, Sweet Pea, Muscari, Lily of the Valley, Lilac and Narcissi.

SUMMER BOUQUETS
Summer is coming soon, and it’s an explosion of colour. Bouquets are vibrant and playful with luscious greenery. The flowers are a real celebration of the season too. Lovely Agapanthus, Peonies, Roses, Stocks, Hydrangeas, Dahlias, Sweet Peas and Nigella are desired in summer.

Bright and Beautiful
It is a playful look with popping colours and a very daring look for brides that choose bright and bold scheme for their wedding day flowers. The flowers represent optimism and work particularly well with seasonal flowers such as Peonies, Dahlias or Nigella.

Tropical
This style is perfect for bride’s who want something different for their big day. Whether you are getting married home or abroad, tropical flowers are a very natural and bold look.

To create this look incorporate Strelitzia, Ginger and Heliconia. Gloriosa and Calla Lilies are also a good choice as they add structure and texture to designs.

 

If you’re unsure which flowers you want for your bouquet, we always suggest to our Bride’s a visit to Covent Garden Flower Market in London. It’s the most wonderful place to see every type of flower up close and personal.

I hope this guide will help you find the perfect flowers for your Spring or Summer bouquet.

Good Luck and Best Wishes

Hanna

Are Destination Weddings in England the Latest Wedding Trend for UK Couples?

My name is Chloe and I am so excited to be at the start of my 4-month internship with Dominique at Stylish Events.

Today I wanted to chat about the growing trend of UK couples choosing to have a “destination” wedding in our amazing country – ENGLAND!

Now you might be thinking, if I want a destination wedding why not go abroad?

Well, there are many advantages to having a destination wedding in England and here are some ideas and tips if you’re thinking about it.

Cost for your Guests to Attend
Travelling by train or car is easier and probably less expensive for the majority of people rather than flying to another country (this might differ for family and friends already abroad). This means that more of your guests might be able to attend the wedding.

It also becomes a lovely extended weekend for your guests, compared to a five or six-day mini holiday some guests just might not be able to do.

Transport of your Decor Items
Decorations can travel safely on the ground rather than in the air or on the sea, leading to less worry about whether they will arrive in one piece or arrive at all!

Licensed Venues
Having a wedding abroad might mean you will need to have a Civil Ceremony in the UK before your wedding day, depending on which country you choose.

In England, we feel that we are spoilt for choice for licensed venues, and if you choose to have a Civil Ceremony at one of these venues then you will be legally married on the day of your wedding.

The Weather
Now of course, there is the weather factor……

Having a beach wedding or a party by the pool are huge factors as to why couples want a wedding abroad. Our English weather can be unpredictable but you might be lucky enough for the sun to shine beautifully on your big day.

England has some lovely beaches in places like Brighton, Bournemouth or Cornwall and your wedding weekend could start off here!

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Brighton Beach, picture courtesy of Bettie Rose

I really love the idea of having a destination wedding in the UK, with 3 days of celebrations!

Day 1 – The Party the Night Before
Having a UK destination wedding allows you to have a party the night before your big day.

Keep things casual by having a selection of your favourite food and drinks. Hiring food and drink carts are very popular for parties and are making their way into the wedding world too.

If you want to be fresh (no hangovers!) for your wedding then you could hire a coffee cart, or if you like a drink or two you can hire cocktail, prosecco, wine or beer vans.

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Picture courtesy of Gold Coast Tipis

For those with a sweet tooth, like me, then you can hire dessert carts with ice cream and doughnuts!

There are so many varieties to choose from so I have listed a few of my favourites from 2019’s best food vans in London according to Add to Event.

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Picture courtesy of Add to Event

Having a get together the day before the wedding is a great idea as it gives you the chance to catch up with friends and family. This then takes the pressure off mingling with everyone on the wedding day and you can really just relax and enjoy it without worrying if you have spoken to everyone!

Day 2 – The Wedding Day
Of course the big day of your destination wedding will be your Wedding Day – a day you have always dreamed of and hopefully exceeds all of your expectations.

To make this feel like a destination wedding, why not celebrate some parts of the day outside?

Your drinks reception could be based in a beautiful garden with your favourite cocktails you would usually have on holiday (for cocktail inspiration read our blog on Choosing a Signature Cocktail to Perfectly Match Your Wedding Style).

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After the ceremony you could head outside again for more drinks and have fun for all ages with life size games such as Jenga, Chess or Connect Four!

In the evening you could have a BBQ and enjoy a display of fireworks, before heading back inside to dance the night away! There will be no feeling of sadness as the day comes to an end because you will have the “After Wedding” celebrations to look forward to the next day.

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Day 3 – Brunch the Day After the Wedding
To extend your celebrations a little longer enjoy a well-earned brunch with your close friends and family.

If you are still looking to party then make it a bottomless brunch with unlimited prosecco or once again a selection of cocktails!

Long banquet tables with low florals are a trend for 2019 and seen on a lot of social media recently, so you won’t be short of ideas!

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Nicola and Daren’s Wedding, organised by Stylish Events

Bring the inside out with some sofas and casual tables in the garden area to really make you feel like you are abroad! Pop up a gazebo with a grazing table for a selection of nibbles – it could involve an antipasti style to make you feel like you are in Italy, or a selection of wine and cheese boards to replicate France.

This chilled day will be a lovely time to reminisce about the weekend and thank everyone for coming to your English destination wedding!

Who would not want their wedding to last as long as possible? I know I would!

I hope these little tips and ideas inspire you in some way to make your wedding everything you have always dreamed it would be.

Best wishes

Chloe

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Are You Royal Wedding Ready? Royal Brides throughout the years.

As regularly readers may know, we love to post guest blogs from our wonderful Interns here at Stylish Events, we are delighted to introduce you to our new Intern, Claudia.

Hi, my name is Claudia and I am lucky enough to be completing a six week internship with the lovely Dominique and Stylish Events team. The subject I have selected is something that has been in the spotlight for a few months now. THE ROYAL WEDDING!

Since November last year when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement, the nation has been on a countdown and a craze about what the wedding will be like. Like Kate Middleton, Meghan has been given a “style influencer” status – the ‘Meghan’ effect has started – meaning it is inevitable that her look will be replicated by thousands of brides in the next couple of years. Their beautiful and inspiring ceremony is to take place on May 19th at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. As we wait just a little longer to see what Meghan’s dress will look like, I thought we could look back at some of the trends that other royal brides have set over the years.

Credit Alexi Lubomirski

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrating their engagement in November. Credit: Alexi Lubomirski.

It was Queen Victoria who set the biggest wedding trend of wearing a white dress. In the 1800’s, it was tradition to wear a red wedding dress. However in 1840, when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, she decided to wear white to her wedding to symbolise purity and innocence. It is said that she wrote in her own journal that it was a ‘white satin dress’ with lace and jewels, including Albert’s sapphire broach. From this moment, this trend has revolutionised the wedding fashion industry and has now become the norm. Queen Victoria’s dress has also been compared to Katherine Middleton’s dress, in terms of the vintage style and lace.

''A Century of Queens Wedding Dresses'' Exhibition , London.

Queen Victoria’s wedding dress. Credit: radiotimes.com.

Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, married in 1947 and are still a strong presence together today. The Queen was just 13-years-old when she first met Prince Phillip of Greece and Denmark and instantly fell in love. The two wrote one another letters and their relationship blossomed from there, later becoming secretly engaged in 1946, however it was not until Elizabeth turned 21 that the engagement became formal. Around the time of the wedding, after WWII, the Queen purchased material for her wedding dress by using coupons, as rationing was still around. The style of dress that the Queen wore was a fit and flare ivory silk dress, which was designed by Norman Hartnell. The dress was embroidered with 10,000 white pearls, as well as silver thread, crystals and tulle. Her satin shoes matched this and were created by Edward Rayne. The couple then shared their honeymoon at Prince Phillip’s Uncle’s home.

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Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Phillip celebrating their wedding day  in 1947. Credit: weddingandweddingflowers.co.uk.

Prince Charles’ first wedding to Lady Diana Spencer was an extremely iconic day for many Britons, in 1981. Their wedding was like a fairy tale at St Paul’s Cathedral, that was fit for a Princess. When the Queen Mother married King George VI in 1923, she had a simple wedding dress, designed by the court dressmaker Madame Handley Seymour, which fit the Coco Chanel era. When Diana and Charles got married 58 year after this, Diana had a very different dress, made by designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, which characterised 80s style with its big shoulder pads, frills and a 25-foot-long train, which made headlines. This was the start of the late Princess of Wales becoming a fashion icon, which is what people say today about the Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle.

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Prince Charles’ first marriage to Princess Diana on their wedding day in 1981. Credit: Getty / David Levenson.

Prince Charles’ second wedding was to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005. Camilla’s look was perfect for a mature bride, with a simple embroidered pale blue and gold coat over a matching chiffon gown, designed by Robinson Valentine, as well as golden feathers in her hair.

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Prince Charles’ second marriage to Camilla in 2005. Credit: Getty Images.

One of the biggest weddings of the century so far is the marriage of Prince William and Katherine Middleton, in 2011. Like Diana’s wedding gown, the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding gown, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, has now become one of the most iconic royal wedding dressing in the world. She was given away by her father Michael Middleton, as is tradition. Her silk tulle skirt, 9 foot train and elegant long-sleeved lace dress with a satin bodice was a staple point in the wedding fashion industry and spurred many different designers to created ‘Kate inspired’ wedding dresses, which flew off the racks with brides soon after the wedding day itself. She also wore the Queen’s Cartier halo tiara and Robinson Pelham diamond earrings, giving a little sparkle which made her glow. Broadcasters reported that over 24 million viewers watched the TV coverage of the big day.

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Prince William and Katherine Middleton on their wedding day in 2011. Credit: AP Association Press.

From Queen Victoria to Kate Middleton, royal weddings have always been a cause for national celebration and the world-famous balcony appearance by the bride, groom and the family is now an expectation. Most of the time, when an immediate member of the British Royal Family gets married, we tend to look back at previous royal weddings and compare them, as well as try to make our predictions for the upcoming ceremony. It was Queen Victoria who began the fashion of marrying in a white dress, Princess Diana with the puffy sleeves, Kate with the lace dress and now it is almost time to see what trend Meghan Markle will be setting for the next year or so.

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Royal Brides throughout the years. Credit: britishyoungroyals.

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

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.

 

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

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

Aso Ebi – The Colourful Custom of Nigerian Weddings

The next few issues on our blog will be from our current Stylish Events Interns, Robert and Gemma. We set them the task of writing a blog on an area of the wedding industry that interests them and that they would like to share with our followers.

First up is a blog from Robert, who has been with us since August 2015. Robert decided to investigate the Nigerian wedding tradition – Aso Ebi. Some of you may know that our Director, Dominique, grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, so she was delighted to be able to celebrate an African wedding tradition on our blog. Over to you Robert…..

Robert’s Blog
I can’t count the number of times my friends have told me that I’m going to end up marrying a Nigerian girl. I’m a British-born Ghanaian and, having lived in London all my life, I’ve grown up and made friends with many Nigerians over the years so getting married to one wouldn’t be the strangest thing ever. I actually wouldn’t mind getting married to a Nigerian, especially since I’d get to see and experience one of my favourite wedding customs – Aso Ebi.

Blue and White

Photo courtesy of naijaglamwedding.com

Aso Ebi is an outfit made from matching coloured and patterned fabric that all members of a party wear at a wedding although it can also be worn at party, funerals and other social events. For ladies, Aso Ebi consists of a gele (a head wrap), a kaftan and a wrapper whilst men’s outfits consist of a fila (a cap), a kaftan and trousers. Some of the most common material used are ankara (a patterned cotton material) or lace.

Tracing its origins back to Nigeria’s Yoruba tribe, Aso Ebi was originally worn only by the family of the bride and groom as a way to easily identify the relatives of the celebrants. As time went on, Aso Ebi was no longer restricted to family members but soon extended to close friends of the bride and groom although the colour would be different. For example, the Aso Ebi worn by the bride’s family might be blue and white, while the groom’s family wears green and purple, the bride’s close friends might wear yellow and red and the groom’s close friends wear blue and orange. The colour combinations are infinite!

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Pictures courtesy of bellanaija.com

Unlike in the West, where suits and dresses are bought ready-made from shops, each Aso Ebi outfit is custom made for the wearer. The bride chooses the colours and fabric to be used for the Aso Ebi and then purchases several yards of the material. She then resells lengths of this material to her guests with a small profit on top which goes towards costs of the wedding and/or ‘thank you’ presents for those who buy the material. For more prominent family members and guests, or if the family is affluent enough, material is given as a gift for free. Then it’s off to your tailor to get your outfit made!

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Picture courtesy of theasoebijunkie.wordpress.com

What I love most about Aso Ebi is its fusion of oneness and individualism. By wearing Aso Ebi, you visually show your support and encouragement to the bride and groom. By having each outfit tailor-made, it allows each person to impart their own individual flair and style into their outfit.

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Pictures courtesy of weddingdigestnaija.com, singleingidi.com. RHphotoarts and selectastyle.com

Clothing worn to African weddings have always been and will always be vibrant display of colour. And even in the sea of colours you’ll come across you can be sure that Aso Ebi outfits will always a wave of awe surging through you no matter how many different ones you see.

My internship at Stylish Events will, sadly, finish in December. This means I will begin my journey to become a fully fledged wedding planner. I certainly hope I will get the opportunity to plan lots of Nigerian weddings.

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Picture courtesy of coordinatedforyou.wordpress.com

A Week in the Life of an Intern at Stylish Events

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an Intern at one of the top wedding planning companies in the country? Read no further! A brief introduction, I’m Rebecca Robertson and in May 2014 I booked my place on Dominique’s ever popular ‘Life of a Wedding Planner’ course. I fell in love with the industry and company and I was lucky to have been chosen as her January 2015 intern. I have been with Stylish Events a little over two months now and thought I would give you an exclusive sneak peak into my world for a week in the life of an intern!

Tuesday
We start our day in the office, which may I add is the lovely setting of Canary Wharf, and as usual I’m greeted at the door by Dominique’s gorgeous golden retriever, Barkley. A busy day ahead is planned so we catch up on emails and discuss the week’s diary.

Barkley - always there to greet me in the morning!

Barkley – always there to greet me in the morning!

Our first appointment of the day is at Hotel Café Royal in Piccadilly Circus; Flavia, who also attended Dominique’s course in 2014, has recently been appointed as Sales and Events Coordinator and invited us along to have a look at the newly renovated venue and meet her Meetings and Events Manager, Aysa.

We were shown around this beautiful venue, which is rich in history and a pleasant sanctuary away from busy Regent Street. My personal favourite room is the Oscar Wilde Bar, which has sumptuous, gold décor and a wonderful ambience; the pianist playing really set the tone. The Hotel Cafe Royal is an elegant wedding venue, set in the heart of London. Thank you Flavia and Aysa for showing us around. We are very much looking forward to going back soon for one of your limited edition Givenchy cocktails!

The Oscar Wilde Bar at the Hotel Cafe Royal

The Oscar Wilde Bar at the Hotel Cafe Royal

If there was ever a hidden gem it would be at our next appointment, set in one of London’s most exclusive areas. This is an exciting time for the venue as they are allowing weddings to take place there for the first time. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to disclose the details just yet. Please stay posted…I couldn’t reveal everything now could I!

Our next stop was at Blo Blow Dry Bar, right in the centre of Covent Garden and the first one of its kind in the country; an exclusive brand and company from America. They very kindly invited us to have our hair done, complimentary, so that we could experience their fantastic service. The lovely Irina, Franchise Partner, and the friendly ladies who were going to work their magic on our rather windswept hair greeted us. A hair menu was provided for us detailing 8 classic styles to choose from, which are guaranteed to get you fab in a flash included styles such as; Red Carpet and Hunt Club. After a gorgeous wash and treatment, I enjoyed a nice drink whilst choosing my design from the hair menu. I opted for a ‘Holly Would’, which I was told, is full of bounce and curls, London’s answer to Hollywood hair! Rosie did an amazing job and also advised me on a great product for my hair from their range. We all felt like a million dollars leaving the salon and there was a serious amount of hair flicking on the journey home! I cannot thank Irina and the team enough for a wonderful experience. So, ladies, if you want the ultimate girly experience ending in great hair visit Blo Blow Dry Bar!

Blo Blow Dry Bar in Covent Garden

Blo Blow Dry Bar in Covent Garden

Thursday
To begin our day we headed off to a charming church in Chelsea, which will host the wedding of one of our clients this summer. Such a delightful location. Dominique explained to me how the wedding will work logistically at the church on the day.

A short walk away we had an appointment booked just off the Kings Road at San Domenico House with lovely Rachel Louis. This hotel will play host to our client’s guests for one of our summer weddings and they are most certainly in for a treat. When I say hotel what I mean is home away from home, a discreet, exquisite and secret home you can call your own. With only 17 guest rooms, San Domenico House offers a relaxed, private environment with a superior level of service. San Domenico’s Italian heritage plays a strong part in the decor, mixed with English traditions. Every single piece in the hotel is unique and tastefully hand picked to perfection, there is nothing else like it in London.

One of the stunning bedrooms at San Domenico House

One of the stunning suites at San Domenico House

As if I hadn’t seen enough beauty in one day, our final appointment was at The Orangery at Kensington Palace. This venue is so exclusive it only plays hosts to a select few events each year. We are fortunate to be planning a wedding here this summer, aren’t we lucky! This truly is a magical place full of history, with the Royal couple Kate and William residing in Kensington Palace opposite to The Orangery. We are super excited for the wedding and what a pleasure it is to be planning it at a venue like this.

The Orangery at Kensington Palace. Images courtesy of Lavender Green

The Orangery at Kensington Palace. Image courtesy of our florist for the wedding Lavender Green

Image courtesy of Lavender Green

Image courtesy of Lavender Green

Friday
To round off my week, Marina and I were invited to a bridal fashion show at the glamorous Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge. This was an exclusive event for Haute Couture Fashion week (bridal) and a chance for us to enjoy the exclusive show of bridal work of Daalarna and Erin Grey Couture. This was a great opportunity to mix and mingle with the top wedding professionals in the industry and network in a gorgeous social environment. I have to say that our glasses were never left empty and we were treated like royalty.

Images courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental London

Images courtesy of Daarlarna

Images courtesy of Erin Grey Couture

I wonder what is install for me next week…!

Best wishes, Rebecca

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.

Kettner's

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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

We ended the week with a visit 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!

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