Real Destination Wedding – Alisha and Brian’s Cool Caribbean Wedding

This week we wish to celebrate the wonderful wedding of lovely Alisha and Brian at the Rose Hall Hilton Resort, in Montego Bay, Jamaica in July 2012.

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This is a wedding we will remember forever. A special couple is a very special place. We first met Alisha and Brian in 2011 when they asked us to help plan their wedding in London. Over the next few months, their plans changed and 18 months later we were in Jamaica together for a wonderful adventure.

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70 family and friends from the UK joined them for a week of celebrations at the Rose Hall Hilton Resort and they shared their emotional and heart-felt vows in a 7th Day Adventist Ceremony in the beautiful Garden Gazebo on the grounds.

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After the ceremony Alisha and Brian were driven via golf buggy to the Reception at the Private Club, where they were greeted with the traditional confetti shower.

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Alisha had a great sense of style and knew exactly what she wanted for her wedding day. So, together Alisha and Dominique designed every aspect of the wedding and just about every thing for the wedding (from the styling, table decor and printed materials) was bought in the UK and transported to Jamaica – in our suitcases!

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Dominique realises how was lucky she was to be asked by Alisha and Brian to travel to Jamaica to oversee the wedding and ensure that it was exactly how they wanted it to be. It was a great honour to be involved in this very special wedding in a magical place.

Here she is relaxing by the beach the day after the wedding 🙂

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Alisha and Brian have also remained close friends and it’s been lovely to see their family grow over the years. We loved this wedding and it has a special place in our heart and will be remembered with great joy and happiness.

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“We would like to thank Dominique and her team for organising such an amazing wedding in the Caribbean, we can’t praise you enough for all the work you have done. You are now a lifelong friend of both of us.”
Alisha and Brian

 

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.

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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.

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.

Luxury Wedding Venue in Thailand

As some of you may know, our Director, Dominique, is obsessed with beautiful wedding venues and we often talk about the stunning venues we are lucky enough to visit on our blog. Normally the venues are in the UK or Italy, but today we have a bit of a change – Thailand, specifically the tropical island of Koh Samui and the luxury Upni Duniya resort.

Dominique was fortunate to meet the lovely Jill, Managing Director of Exclusive Resort Marketing, at a Destination Wedding Show last October. Jill represents a number of exquisite venues around the world and was instrumental with one of our recent destination site visits.

So, we were delighted to hear about another of the exclusive venues she represents and wanted to share with you details of Upni Duniya. If you’ve been dreaming of a luxury wedding in a far off land, this could be your venue!

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Upni Duniya, Koh Samui, Thailand

Located on the island of Koh Samui, Villa Upni Duniya is the perfect location to host private gatherings such weddings, milestone birthday parties, family events and other special holidays.

With only 9 stunning suites, you will have exclusive use of this exquisite, 5 star beach front villa, so you and your guests will feel like you are alone in paradise.

The Master Suite is so beautiful and would be perfect for a bride and groom’s first night together. The view from the room is one of the most beautiful we have ever seen.

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Master Suite

The Villa offers the exceptional service of 14 resident staff including 2 international chefs and a villa manager. In traditional Thai style nothing is too much trouble. A gorgeous infinity pool, gym and Thai cooking classes are just some of the superb services at Upni Duniya.

If you are planning a small wedding, with only a few select family and friends, then everyone will be able to stay at Upni Duniya, however, it would also be possible to plan a larger wedding and have your other guests stay at one of the nearby hotels on the island.

We asked the General Manager, Mrs Na Aupatcha to explain more on how weddings are arranged at Upni Duniya.

“On the day of the celebration up to 120 people can comfortably be catered for.  For parties of over 60 we recommend using a special marquee which opens out onto the beach. The Villa’s pavilion is also a romantic venue for a wedding ceremony of up to 40 people; with wall to ceiling views out onto the gulf of Thailand.

For hosting weddings we use the services of a professional wedding company on the island, Bliss Events, who offer a range of tailor made packages.”

“To meet our guests religious and cultural needs, our teams are experts in providing both Western and Buddhist style ceremonies with English speaking celebrants and Buddhist Monks.

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Outdoor Terrace Poolside Lounge

“Furthermore in order to comply with the legal logistics of marrying in Thailand our wedding planners can help complete the essential and official processes and provide a legal marriage for foreigners in Thailand.”

The venue is delighted to assist guests for all types of  special occasions and can provide couples with a live band, a sound system and DJ to help them dance the night away.  Not to mention traditional Thai dancers, a firework show and Thai lanterns.

Over the years the venue has developed excellent contacts with events and activity organisers on the island, and an expertise with catering for special requests, such as themed parties.

The minimum suite rental is seasonal and varies between 4 nights/4 suites during the low season and 10 nights / 9 suites during Christmas and the New Year festivities.  There is some room for concessions with the minimum length of stay and minimum suite rental for repeat customers and other special circumstances.

The staff are also happy to recommend and arrange a number activities on the island and nearby islands including; yachting, para-sailing, paddle boating as well as boat trips to national marine parks where scuba diving and snorkeling are offered.  There is also a world class golf course nearby.

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Spa Treatment

Of course, the venue is so gorgeous that you may prefer to walk along the white, sandy beaches, have a romantic evening dinner in the Villa or on the beach, or just enjoy a drink by the poolside and stare at the some of the most stunning views on earth. And who could blame you!

If you would like to receive more information about Upni Duniya please just email Jill Mockridge on jill@exclusiveresortmarketing.com or 07957 275 533.

D̂wy khwām prārt̄hnā dī (best wishes in Thai)! from the Stylish Events team.

Relax