Wedding Fairy SOS!

Introducing The Wedding Fairy’s new column in British Mode Magazine…

TWF talks Wedding Trends 2013 with the very lovely Gen at GoHen!

''Four weddings or Don't Tell the Bride...'
The Wedding Fairy Chat's wedding traditions, trends, destinations and the best celeb wedding ever! @weddingdates

Best Man Speech tips!

It’s famously known as the hardest gig any guy will ever have to face!

George Watts

Here the Wedding Fairy shares 5 exclusive best man speech tips from his no1 best-seller -
50 top tips for giving the best best man speech ever!

A word on traditions…
Traditionally the best man speaks on behalf of the bridesmaids and others who have played a pivotal role in the day’s proceedings such as the ushers. The best man should also thank the groom for his toast (if applicable) which then leads into a toast for the parents/key organisers of the day. From this you would then formally thank the groom for giving you the top job as it were. It is also your role to read out any messages from those who could not attend and possibly take a moment to remember any close relatives who have passed away (I would steer well clear of the latter but, it is of course your decision). The best man then finishes with a toast which is not necessarily directed at the couple but, a few choice words that represent the entire meaning of the celebration.

Props
Pictures of your groom as a baby or spotty teenager are often a great way to get a laugh during the speech, just make sure these images are big enough – as in poster size, for your audience to see clearly. In the same vein, props are also a great source for adding some carefully thought out visuals to your tales from the past. Anything and everything from the christening gown to that first cheeky can of beer behind the bike sheds works for me! Be original and inventive with your chosen items – tap into the family for some classic memorabilia.

Sound advise
Testing one two one two! If using a microphone, make sure you have a proper sound check at the venue before ALL the speeches start. There is nothing worse or more off putting than a dodgy microphone that doesn’t work or is too loud at the beginning of a speech. Take responsibility of this task on the day itself and speak to the reception manager when you arrive on-site to arrange a test.

The best man should be introduced directly by the groom himself.

Breathe!
I know it sounds ridiculous but, focus on breathing slowly and calmly before and during the speech. This will not only help calm those evil nerves but, also help keep the overall presentation at a steady regulated pace.

The final word
Leave them with a tear I say! Choose a suitably loved-up line from the couple’s favourite song, movie or perhaps a verse of poetry, a famous quote or maybe just a simple line that says it all. I found this one on the internet recently:

‘Marriage is not about finding a person you can live with, it’s about finding the person you can’t live without.’ After that you can simply add, ‘My friend has found that person.’

Best man speech tips
And for the other 45 best man speech tips, check out the best-selling ebook
50 Top tips for giving the best best man speech ever! now available via Amazon, iBookstore, Kobo +

Barnes and Noble and all good International ebook retailers

"Your Wedding Fairy talks DIY Wedding ideas with dailymail.co.uk" @dailymail.co.uk

Wedding ring ideas!

Shine bright like a diamond girlfriend!
The Wedding Fairy talks Wedding ring ideas with our lovely friends
The Diamond Manufacturers

Vashi Dominguez

Vashi Dominguez

Hi Vashi, So how did you get into the Diamond business?

Since I was a young boy I’ve always been fascinated by diamonds; I couldn’t understand how something so small could be so valuable!   During my early twenties I built up a successful chain of electronics shops on my home island of Tenerife by sourcing directly from the manufacturers themselves and set off on a mission to see whether I could do the same with diamonds.  I spent a lot of time visiting mines, learning from diamond cutters in Mumbai and taking night classes in Gemology. The diamond world is very secretive, and it took over 200 visits to traders in Antwerp before one would cut me a deal – I started selling to jewellers themselves around the world and eventually set up DiamondManufacturers.co.uk in 2007 with the sheer aim of helping people source the highest quality diamonds at the lowest price online.

What’s your favourite thing about working in the industry?

It’s an amazing feeling when you’ve played a big part in people’s happiness, whether it’s helping them design a bespoke engagement ring, wedding band or gift. Every piece carries sentiment and becomes very special.

Vashi Dominguez Diamond Manufacturers

What advice would you pass onto anyone buying a Wedding Ring?

My biggest tip is to choose something that fits your budget and lifestyle. Remember this is something you will wear for the rest of your life, so think really carefully about the style that will suit you for many years.

Also make sure that your ring is comfortable. If you have an active lifestyle you may want to opt for platinum as it is harder wearing than other metals and won’t scratch as easily.

Wedding Rings

Can you advise anyone buying diamonds about the 4 C’s?

When buying a diamond, it’s paramount that you do your research. Be aware as with anything, flashy surroundings and expensive gift wrapping cost a lot of money, ensure you are getting the best value for money on the diamond – and not the box it comes in!

Cut

The cut is the most important factor when determining value of the diamond as it’s the biggest factor in how the diamond emits sparkle.  Grades range from ‘Super Ideal’ to ‘Good’, ‘Super Ideal’ being the highest cut grade.

In a well cut diamond the light enters the diamond and is reflected from one side of the diamond to the other and back into the viewer’s eye.  This light is called the ‘brilliance’ and in a poorly cut diamond the light ‘leaks’ out the sides or bottom of the diamond, rather than being reflected.

Colour & Clarity

The colour of a diamond is graded by how ‘white’ the stone is. Grade D is colourless and Z has a yellow tint. The whiter the diamond is, the greater it’s value. Clarity is affected by flaws known as ‘inclusions’ on or inside the stone. Grades of clarity range from FL (flawless) to i3 (visible inclusions). The less inclusions a diamond has, the more valuable it is.

Carat 

The Carat is the weight of the diamond and 1 carat is equivalent to 0.2g.  The higher the carat weighting, the more valuable a stone is.

 

Round Cut 0.82 Carat Halo Engagement Ring with Side Stones in 18k White Gold

Round Cut 0.82 Carat Halo Engagement Ring with Side Stones in 18k White Gold

Do you have any money saving tips for couples buying wedding rings?

Try to think outside of the box and look at the facts behind the value of diamond jewellery. For instance if you buy a stone that’s slightly under-size to the nearest round carat weighting e.g. 0.49 of a carat, you can save up to 30%. Also any diamond jewellery that you buy now is likely to increase in value, making diamond wedding bands a sound investment for the future.

Also don’t underestimate the value of after-care services, at Diamond Manufacturers we offer lifetime warranty as standard, which covers free cleaning, ring re-sizing, adjusting, prong tightening and rhodium plating at any time, completely free of charge, so this will save you money in the long-run.

What style of Wedding Ring is hot for 2013?

Wedding bands don’t have to be boring! Channel Diamond Wedding Bands are very popular at the moment as people like the sparkle of the diamonds compared to plain wedding bands, although there is a move of people opting for a more traditional plain band and yellow gold is increasingly back in fashion.

Halo engagement rings have been very popular for a few years now, and because of their shape, more women are opting for curved wedding bands to fit neatly beside it.

 

Curved Shared Prong Diamond Wedding Ring in Platinum

Curved Shared Prong Diamond Wedding Ring in Platinum

2.5mm Flat Court 18k Yellow Gold Wedding Ring

2.5mm Flat Court 18k Yellow Gold Wedding Ring

Channel Set Diamond Wedding Ring in Platinum

Channel Set Diamond Wedding Ring in Platinum

AND FINALLY… Any tips for the bride on how to ensure that her Engagement ring sparkles on the big day?

Your engagement ring will probably be the most expensive piece of jewellery that you’ll own so you’ll need to take care of it, especially for it to sparkle brightly on your big day. A couple of tips are:

  1. 1.       Certain cleaning chemicals can cause lasting damage to your engagement ring. Don’t let substances like hair spray, furniture polish or bleach near it. Wear gloves or take it off when cleaning.
  2. 2.       If you want to clean your diamond ring, soak it in a bowl of warm water with a little bit of mild liquid detergent and brush the ring very gently with an old toothbrush, rinse and leave it to drain on some tissue paper. Use a hair dryer to air the ring and avoid water spots.

Vodka will give your diamond ring a brilliant sheen! Drop your diamond engagement ring into a glass of vodka to give it its sparkle back. Simply rinse it under a warm tap and rub it dry with a lint-free cloth.

A copy

 

Let’s Plan the Hen Party!

We talk trends, international destinations, budgets and parties with GoHen!

1. What do you see being the hot hen trends for 2013?

Over recent times we’ve seen more hens looking to try out something unusual on their hen party, and this is especially the case in 2013! Not content with your average hen party shenanigans we’ve seen a rise hens booking activities like Inflatable Games, the Somerset Challenge and the Highland Games, all of which are a bit quirky and unique. More hens are also looking to get crafty, with activities like chocolate making, lingerie making and cake decorating all set to be hot this year. Our girls still want the classic big night out however, so we predict our VIP nightclubbing entertainment will get even more popular!


2. You’re full of fabulous hen party advice, what would be your top three quick pointers for hens?

Thank you very much! There are a lot of pointers we’d give any first time hen, but if we had to narrow it down to three then they’d probably be:

1. Plan early to avoid disappointment

2. Keep on top of the finances- be fair but firm with your guests

3. Pack some amazing activities in to make it truly memorable

 

3. What’s the easiest way to add a touch of uniqueness to a hen party?

As mentioned before, unusual activities like the Somerset Challenge are super popular and great for making your hen party extra unique (how many people do you know have done welly hurling at their hen party?!) Fancy dress is another great way to add an extra fun element, and if you have a totally different theme then people should remember it for all the right reasons.

 

4. What are your favourite hen party themes?

There are so many ways to add a theme to your hen party and we love them all! A vintage theme is always fabulous- you can get into proper 50’s attire and go for afternoon tea! Alternatively a festival theme is always a winner and great on a budget as you can dig out your wellies and summer clothes rather than buying fancy new clothes.

5. And your favourite active hen party idea?

More hens are looking to be active on their hen party, wanting to have fun and tone up for the big day, so for active hens we’d recommend an activity like blo karting, clay shooting or kite surfing. Or if you want something active with a sweet reward at the end a chocolate treasure hunt is a whole lot of fun.

 

6. For a relaxing hen weekend, where’s the best place to start?

While we do get some hens looking to rush around and be active there’s also a large proportion that want a relaxing time with some girly pampering. Book yourselves a pampering day and be thoroughly looked after with massages, facials and saunas. After that indulge in a bit of wine tasting and then embark on a serene river cruise.

7. Any ideas for keeping all ages of guests happy at a hen party?

When organising any type of event it’s important to take all of the guests into account, and this is especially the case at a hen party when you’re booking activities and often a big night out. There are plenty of activities which are suitable no matter what the range of ages is, life drawing and cake decorating are suitable for all, and for the nights entertainment you could book a cabaret or comedy show instead of having a wild night out. It might be a good idea to draw up a list of activities you’d like to do and then talk to the older guests to see which ones they’d enjoy most.

 

8. Do you think it’s possible to have a hen party without breaking the bank?

Absolutely, as long as you have your favourite girls and a plan in place there’s no need to spend a fortune! There are also loads of ways to cut costs, the main one being to downgrade on accommodation. Do you really need a five star hotel if you’re only going to be spending a few hours there sleeping? You could also consider making your own games- why not write out dares or jazz up an old card game to suit? The last suggestion for cutting hen party costs is not to buy a brand new outfit- chances are you have something in your wardrobe already which will look fabulous.

9. What’s your favourite unusual hen party ideas?

We love the aforementioned Somerset Challenge and Inflatable Games- they’re both great for getting a bit active and having a giggle. Life drawing is a fab, unusual activity with a cheeky element, and a ghost tour can add a unique touch to your evening! Alternatively there are loads of dance activities which are slightly unusual to take part in- why not have a belly dancing class or make like Baby with a Dirty Dancing lesson?

 

10. And last but not least, any advice for hens organising a hen party in 2013?

2013 is all about making your hen party as amazing as it can possibly be- add unusual activities, make sure you’ve got your big night planned out and invite all of your favourite people! Stay on top of the money and make sure you take everyone’s budgets into account, and book early (especially if you’re going abroad as flights tend to be cheaper). Overall though just enjoy the night, it’s all about celebrating an upcoming marriage and a hen party presents the perfect opportunity to have a giggle and a gossip with the girls!

For more help and advice check out the GoHen blog – The Clucker!

 

How to plan the perfect hen party!

In collaboration with GoHen.Com

The shots of tequila are fully loaded, the party regalia has been packed and is good to go, the stag is bracing himself for the messy road ahead while the hen is already paralytic courtesy of those cheeky Jaeger bombs on mass pre take-off… turns out that last shot may have been a bad idea! Yes the wagon with the troops is ready to rock n roll out the local NCP car park for a weekend of hedonistic mayhem but, the event logistics of what, where, when and how are all still a little bit fuzzy. Did anyone remember to print the hotel reservations? Does anyone have directions?! Infact has anyone even thought about what to do when we get there?  Yes ladies and gents welcome to the chaotic world of a classic stag n hen weekend. A haze of drunken drama that often leaves the bride-to-be in tears and the groom-to-be in A&E.  What is supposed to be the biggest weekend of their lives can quickly turn into a hideous nightmare or worse still an unmemorable nightmare if the party is not properly prepped pre lift-off. When it comes to the stag and hen party, spontaneity is just too big a risk to take and this is where your Wedding Fairy steps in with a few pearls of wisdom to set you off on the road ahead. Ultimately of course you have made the right decision turning to my friends at goweekend.com to help you plan out said adventure but, in conjunction with their super fabulous skills, I am going to run over some pre-planning tips to ease the road ahead and ensure your celebration goes with that all important bang as they say!

get yourself a planner!

Right so where do we start? Well, if you are the stag or hen-to-be reading this rundown your first priority is to bag yourself a party planner a-sap. Now this could be the best man or maid of honour but, in most cases it is more sensible to select the friend or family member that thrives on planning people – we all have one! Yes this is about picking the best man or woman for the job at hand – who would Sir Alan go for? If they get turned on by excel spreadsheet formulas and tally weekly spending costs to stay ahead of their allocated budget – book em! After all this is the person you will hand the keys of responsibility for putting together your last weekend of freedom so choose wisely… once that vital decision has been made – or if you are indeed the chosen one, we can of course move forward.

what, where, when!

So next step for the organiser is to start thinking about the what, where, why and when! What makes our bride or groom-to-be tick? Are they action adventure types or more about heading for a tipple in the country? Do they want a full on party packed weekend or maybe a few light daytime activities mixed in too? It’s essential to consider the likes and dislikes of our individual stag n hen, otherwise the whole thing will be a total disappointment and at the end of the day we do want to make sure this event is utterly spectacular for them. Think about all their interests and hobbies that you could also integrate into proceedings. Is fancy dress a total turn on or turn off? Are they hardcore adrenaline junkies? Maybe a light sports based activity is more their addiction? Use individual personality traits as a starting point for planning the entire event – DON’T just go with what you fancy doing! Ok, so we need to throw in a few twists and turns along the way to spice things up, but don’t make this celebration a total nightmare for them – take note boys!

At this junction and for inspirational purposes, I feel it best to highlight some of our top party packages for both stag and hen celebrations here in the UK and abroad…  there is literally something for all tastes and desires with this little lot!

Visit gohen.com or stagweb.co.uk for a mix of sensational ideas.

Now the research is really under way, you can seriously start putting some ideas together and mash-up the itinerary. Pick your favourite four packages at varying budget points and organise a summit meeting with some of the team to choose a winner. Where possible include a good mix of invitees to the selection process to ensure the entire pack is happy with your plans. I know you always get one moaner that will disagree, but hey majority rules! And if that doesn’t work remember you are the final decision maker. Do not go into this first meeting cold otherwise you will all just end up going round and round in circles discussing a million potential ideas without any decisions actually being made. Bite the bull by the horns and pitch what you believe will work.

budgets

This is also an ideal opportunity to discuss costs per head and the budget in general. How much cash have peeps got to splash? In my experience everyone understands a stag or hen party is going to cost them at least a few hundred quid so the more notice you can give the better. Remember, majority rules. No-one can ever disagree with democracy. As long as this whole process is inclusive none of the team can complain. As a general rule, once the final decision has been made, simply advise the groom or bride-to-be the total event cost so they can make a payment to you directly without having to reveal all your plans. It is not necessary for the group to cover all groom or bride-to-be expenses unless this has already been agreed.

keeping the group in order

Set up a facebook page right from the beginning of this process to keep everyone updated and interacting leading up to the event itself. This is also a great way for you to introduce all those that have not met each other before.  If you have enough time and are super organised, set up a monthly payment scheme so attendees can pay a fixed monthly sum into your account pre-booking. This always makes the financial impact much easier to handle. With goweekend.com packages, only a deposit is needed initially – the balance is paid off 5 weeks prior to the holiday. Remember to also add-in a budget per head for the evening’s entertainment and by that I mean a kitty for the alcoholic beverages. If it’s £30 per head per night attach this to the monthly payment scheme or allocate as a separate one off cost. Don’t forget to also include the stag or hens alcohol allocation which is generally covered by the team as well. A stag and hen must never buy a drink if tradition rules!  I always recommend organising a kitty primarily so the first night doesn’t wipe out everyone’s entire bank account – leaving the next day as one messy hysterical hangover, and secondly so you can monitor the alcoholic intake of said stag or hen. If they are in a hideous state after day one they will only lounge around in bed all day which is no good to man or beast!

Once the package has been decided, the payment plan is in place and the alcoholic spend per head has been confirmed, we are good to go on planning the biggest weekend of your lives! Finally remember to issue a countdown checklist via email to each guest detailing fancy dress requirements and any specific party regalia they may require to complete said stag n hen challenges along the way.

The drinking games and party regalia is of course another story… Enjoy the journey!

Drink Aware – Always drink responsibly!

How to plan the perfect hen party in collaboration with gohen.com

''Exclusive! Top money saving wedding planning tips by the wedding fairy'' @WeddingIdeasMagazine

Wedding planning book

So excited to preview this lovely little snippet featuring my new ‘wedding planning book’ – 60 Minute Countdown to the perfect wedding in the very fabulous County Weddings Magazine…

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