Real Wedding – Fran and Gary’s Spectacular “WOW” Wedding at Down Hall

I am so excited to share with you the wonderful wedding of Fran and Gary, who were married on a lovely spring day in May 2016 at the stunning Down Hall Country House Hotel.

From the very begining Fran and Gary knew they wanted a wedding full of fun, laughter, love, family and friends. They invited 120 guests to the ceremony and dinner and then another 100 guests joined them for the party in the evening.

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All photographs in this blog are courtesy of our wonderful photographer on the day Craig Mitchell Photography

Fran looked stunning in her Jenny Packham dress and Gary was very dapper in his suit by Christian English Bespoke.

The Bridal Party were Fran’s nieces and nephews: Maid of Honour – Hope; Bridesmaids – Grace, Francesca, Emily and Olivia; Ushers – James, Jack, Thomas, Joseph. Gary’s Best Man was his son, Ben.

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2017-04-26_0003When Fran and Dominique first met ten months before the wedding, her brief was always clear, she wanted a “WOW” wedding, so together they designed every detail of this amazing, bespoke, sparkly and utterly gorgeous wedding.

The Civil Ceremony took place under two birch trees that were ethically chopped down from Epping Forest and beautifully intertwined with roses to form a “tree-arch” by the wedding florist Ildiko and her wonderful team at Passion for Flowers.

F&G ceremonyFollowing the ceremony, guests enjoyed an elegant drinks reception in the gardens of Down Hall, whilst the 30 children attending the wedding were expertly looked after by the team from Safe and Sound Events Childcare. The guests loved all the garden games available and in particular it was wonderful to see children (young and old) playing on the giant Helter Skelter!

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Guests were then invited into the dining room for the wedding dinner and this is where Fran truly demonstrated her wonderful sense of style. Everything was handpicked and every detail thought about. We were so delighted to have been able to work with some of the best wedding suppliers in the industry. Down Hall looked spectacular and certainly sparkled. A full list of all the suppliers involved can be found at the end of this blog.

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Flowers by Passion for Flowers, Tablescape by Duchess & Butler and The Essex Occasions Company, Wedding Day Stationery by Intricate Creations, Wedding Favours by Delice, Dance Floor, Light Up Letters and Production by Mighty Fine Entertainment

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F&G Stationery

F&G production

Entertainment on the day was provided by Jojo and her Five Piece Band, who sang Fran and Gary’s first dance “At Last” so beautifully, The Silk Street Quartet played at the drinks reception and the harpist for the ceremony was Felicity. After dinner the wonderful DJ Dennis took over the music and had everyone dancing until 1.00 am.

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As a surprise for Gary, Fran booked a wonderful vintage caravan photo booth by Caravan Photo Booth.

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Following the lovely speeches, Fran and Gary cut their amazing cake from Choccywoccydoodah and then guests enjoyed a fabulous dessert station by Goose & Berry, with cupcakes from Cupcakes by Gee.

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F&G desserts

To end the evening in spectacular style, guests were invited outside to view an amazing fireworks display, set to music by the team from Fireworks Crazy.2017-04-26_0010

This was such a wonderful wedding and I hope you will agree, very much the “WOW” wedding that Fran had wanted. It’s always a joy for us to work with lovely couples and Fran and Gary and their families were a delight from start to finish.

Thank you for choosing us to be your wedding planners.

“Well, were do I start!. There are no words to convey mine and Gary’s thanks for the most superb job that you and your team did on creating our perfect day. It couldn’t have been more wonderful and we will cherish those precious memories of our day forever. 

From the very start my brief to you was that I wanted a WOW wedding. Well, I lost count on the amount of times I said “wow” on the day. There is no doubt in our minds that our dream wedding would not have happened without your meticulous planning, attention to detail, amazing organisation and your fabulous team who I know worked so hard in both the planning and the execution of the day. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom on our hearts.”
Fran and Gary, May 2016

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The List of Wonderful Wedding Suppliers

Real Wedding – French and Italian Style Combine for this Elegant Wedding at a Royal Palace in London

To continue our series celebrating 15 years in Wedding Planning for Stylish Events, this week I would like to feature one of my favourite weddings of all time: Pauline and Luca at The Orangery at Kensington Palace in 2015.

Thank you to the fabulous Kate Nielen for providing these beautiful images of the day.

From the moment Pauline and Luca went to afternoon tea at The Orangery at Kensington Palace, Pauline knew it was where she wanted to have her wedding.

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Pauline and Luca’s Wedding at The Orangery at Kensington Palace

The Orangery was once the setting for Queen Anne’s sophisticated court entertainment and its soaring ceilings and classical 18th century architecture were a magnificent backdrop for this classic and elegant Summer wedding.

Pauline, who is French, and Luca, an Italian, have both lived in London for many years and they have a beautiful son together. They wanted to create a chic wedding, with many warm and intimate touches to ensure their 120 guests from around the world experienced a very special wedding day.

As two busy professionals, they also wanted to hire a wedding planner to assist them to create their wedding day. So, after booking the venue and the church, the next supplier they booked was Stylish Events.

With Pauline’s exquisite French style and Luca’s Italian sense of fun, the day was a quintessentially classic wedding, with thoughtful touches, at one of London’s most prestigious venues.

The night before the wedding the Bride stayed in the Royal Suite at The Goring Hotel, which is actually the same suite that Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge, spent the night before her marriage to William, the Duke of Cambridge.

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The Goring Hotel

Pauline looked stunning in her Sassi Holford dress with her hair styled by Severin of the Hepburn Collection and make up by Sarah Stacey.

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Pauline in her stunning Sassi Holford wedding dress

The Church of England ceremony took place at Christ Church in Chelsea, which was decorated with gorgeous flowers by Joan Holdsworth and her team.

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Luca, wearing his Stowers London suit, arrived with family and friends on a Red double-decker bus and Pauline arrived in a Black Bentley.

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After the ceremony, Pauline and Luca were chauffer driven to Kensington Palace in the Bentley, whist all the guest travelled on the double-decker buses.

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On arrival at The Orangery at Kensington Palace guests were greeted with champagne, canapes and an amazing anti-pasti bar (for an Italian touch), served by the fabulous team from Rhubarb. Music was provided by the Meridian String Quartet.

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Wonderful Catering by the fantastic team at Rhubarb

The Orangery was decorated in classic green and white, with stunning high and low flower arrangements by Sue and the team at Lavender Green and a tablescape designed by the Bride, Stylish Events and Rhubarb. The “chandelle” chairs by Great Hire completed the sophisticated look perfectly.

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Flowers by Lavender Green, Chairs from Great Hire

Without doubt the centrepiece of the room was the elegant “Faberge” cake created by Mich Turner of The Little Venice Cake Company, who was there on the day to ensure that everything was perfect.

 

Pauline and Luca wanted to make their special day just as special for their son and the many children of their family and friends. So, the children had their own fun and entertainment, expertly looked after by JoJo Entertainment.

Following a splendid five course meal by Rhubarb, Pauline and Luca cut their gorgeous cake and took to the round dance floor for their first dance, with production by Fisher and music by DJ Rich T. The guests were wonderfully entertained by the French magician, Etienne Pradier .

As darkness started to fall on a lovely Summer’s evening, guests were invited on to the terrace for a lavish dessert station by Rhubarb and the children chilled in their own room being read bedtime stories or watching films.

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At the end of the evening Pauline and Luca were whisked away to spend their first evening together as a married couple at The Goring Hotel.

Of course a high-end wedding of this size needs a wonderful team of suppliers and you can see everyone involved below. It also needs a great team from Stylish Events, we actually had 12 people on our team that day and I am so grateful to everyone for working so hard – huge thank you to:

Pauline T, Diane, Anna, Alex, Rebecca, Tracey, Steven P, Ellie, Marina, Robert and Kate

And finally, I wish to say an enormous thank you to Pauline and Luca for selecting me as their wedding planner. They were so delightful to work with from start to finish and it was an absolute honour to be part of their very special wedding.

“Dominique really tried to make sure that every single aspect of our wedding was going to be as smooth as possible for us so that we could enjoy our big day.  Not only did everything go perfectly and on the day we had nothing to think about apart from living the event, but Dominique and her team managed to turn all the preparation work in a series of meetings which became very enjoyable and special moments in the run up to our wedding.

We were very sad to see the last meeting gone. What is the “difficult” part of getting married, the organisation, it became something to enjoy, to look forward to and so for us the “big day” was the wedding together with a long period of special moments in the run up to it which we will never forget.

Dominique for us will not only be linked to quality, but also to the magic to be able to make every necessary thing to be done around the event, something to enjoy and look forward to.

She was our angel for this special moment in our lives.”
Pauline and Luca, 2015

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List of Wedding Suppliers:

Venue:  The Orangery at Kensington Palace (www.hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace/hire-a-venue/weddings/)
Church: Christ Church
Wedding Planners: Dominique and the team at Stylish Events (www.stylishevents.com)
Photographer: Kate Nielen (www.katenielen.com) assisted by Cristina Rossi
Videographer: Jonathan and Monica from Portobello Films (www.portobellofilms.co.uk)
Bridal Accommodation: The Goring Hotel (www.thegoring.com)
Guest Accommodation: San Domenico House (www.sandomenicohouse.com)
Catering: Georgina and the team from Rhubarb (www.rhubarb.co.uk)
Flowers at the Christ Church: Joan Holdsworth, Parish Florist
Flowers at The Orangery: Sue and the team from Lavender Green (www.lavendergreen.co.uk)
Production, Outdoor Furniture, Lighting & Dance Floor: Grace at Fisher Productions (www.fisherproductions.co.uk)
Cake: Mich Turner MBE at The Little Venice Cake Company (http://www.lvcc.co.uk)
Chandelle Chairs: Greathire Ltd (www.greathire.co.uk)
Marquees: Berry Marquees (www.berrymarquees.com)
Musical Entertainment: Sternberg Clarke (www.sternbergclarke.co.uk), DJ – Richard Toynton, String Quartet – Meridian String Quartet
Magician: Etienne Pradier (www.frenchmagician.co.uk)
Children’s Entertainment: The JoJo Entertainment Co Ltd (www.jojofun.co.uk)
Hair: Severin at The Hepburn Collection (www.hepburncollection.com)
Make Up: Sarah Stacey (http://www.beautyintheart.co.uk)
Bride’s Dress : Sassi Holford (www.sassiholford.com)
Groom’s outfit : Stowers London (www.stowers.london)
Bentley: Panache Chauffeurs (www.panache-chauffeur.com)
Red London Buses: A Class Corporate Travel (www.aclasscoachhire.co.uk)

 

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

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.

Master Suite 1

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.

Outdoor Terrace poolside Lounge

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.

Sailing together

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