Monthly Archives: May 2018

About Wedding Jewellery You Never Thought of Asking

Over the years I’ve made many pieces of wedding jewellery and advised more brides then I can remember. This article condenses 4 years of experience down to the top 5 most common questions about wedding jewellery.

Should I buy my wedding jewellery from the same place?

Not necessarily!

If you’ve seen a necklace online but fell in love with a bracelet in a boutique shop then there’s no reason why you can’t have both (as long as you have the budget that is). Just stick by the following rules:

  • Stick with the same colour metal
  • Choose the same stone, so if your bracelet is made from crystal bead your other accessories should also have crystal beads, same for diamante and pearls.
  • Select jewellery with the same colours so if your bracelet has got clear AB crystals and ivory pearls your necklace should have too.

What type of wedding jewellery should I buy?

You’re jewellery should match your wedding dress, so if you dress has diamante detailing then their should be some diamantes in your jewellery. If your dress has a combination of stones such as pearls, crystals and diamantes, then you can use all three in your wedding jewellery or just stick to one.

There’s a collection of matching items i.e. a necklace, bracelet and earrings should I get them all?

There’s no need to get them all, these products are created as part of a range allowing you to easily pick matching items. Some designs would look too over the top if worn together such as a wide crystal encrusted bracelet and a chunkier crystal choker. Some times choosing 1 or 2 statement pieces and by this I mean a piece of jewellery that will make an impact is enough to compliment the dress.

I didn’t take care of my silver wedding jewellery now it tarnished, how can I get it to sparkle again?

Silver by its nature tarnishes when it comes into contact with our atmosphere. You can help prevent this by storing it in an airtight dark container. If it has become tarnished you can try placing a piece of foil in a dish, sprinkling a liberal amount of bicarbonate soda on top, place your jewellery in the dish and cover with boiling water. This is safe for things that don’t contain glue or non porous stones such as crystal beads. I won’t advise you do this with fresh water pearls though. If in doubt don’t try this, your alternative is to take it to a jewellers and ask them to clean it for you.

Is it appropriate to give wedding jewellery as my bridesmaids present?

Some couples give wedding jewellery for their bridesmaids to wear on the day and bridesmaid gift others just give jewellery or a gift. It depends on your budget but remember to treat the ushers, best man and bridesmaids in the same way, if they men got cuff links and another gift such as a tankard then the bridesmaids deserve wedding jewellery and a bridesmaid present.

Facts About Wedding Planners

The responsibilities of a wedding planner are some of the most important leading up to and on the day of a wedding. These professionals often juggle coordinating multiple rehearsal dinners, weddings, and receptions at one time. As many weddings are typically planned up to a year in advance, the wedding planner must be an extremely organized and time-oriented person. For those interested in becoming or learning more about wedding planning, here is some information:

There are many steps involved in coordinating a wedding with a planner. The planner must meet with the couple to plan out the events that will happen preceding, during, and after the wedding, as well as the budget, colors, and general style of the couple. This initial meeting is very important for the planner, as it will begin to outline the wedding events and all the details that must accompany this special occurrence.

Some wedding planners choose to “specialize” in a certain area. While they are well-rehearsed in all areas of wedding planning, some may be extremely organized and detail-oriented, while others have fantastic style taste that will help with choosing the wedding gown, bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen tuxedos, flowers, lighting, invitations, etc. Still others may have experience in counseling and negotiation, which may be useful if the bride/groom/parents are having trouble agreeing on certain aspects.

Many planners have favorite vendors they like to recommend to couples. Listening to these recommendations could be a good idea, as the vendors are likely to have a good relationship with the planner. Even if you don’t choose a specific vendor due to cost or a date conflict, asking for other recommendations could lead to an even better vendor arrangement.

On a side note for couples: you should always make sure your planner is or can become very acquainted with your wedding venue. If they don’t take the time to visit the space and talk to the venue manager/person in charge, they won’t understand specifics such as who can be used as vendors, what time they can set up, when people need to leave, and exactly how much space can be used. To planners: visit the venue! Ask a lot of questions, and maybe read up on the venue beforehand.

For those who are considering becoming wedding planners, understanding a few desirable characteristics may be very helpful. When looking for a wedding planner, many people ask other married couples for recommendations. Always end an event-driven relationship on a good note! Be attentive, responsive, and accessible.

Want To Know More About Wedding

Today, Norm Goldman, Editor of Sketchandtravel and Bookpleasures is pleased to have as a guest Judy Allen. Judy is the author of Your Stress Free Wedding Planner (Sourcebooks, Inc.), as well as five professional books on event planning (John Wiley and Sons).

Judy has created-produced-orchestrated special events in over 30 countries for up to
2,000 guests.

Good day Judy and thank you for agreeing to our interview.


Judy, could you tell us something about yourself and how you became involved in wedding planning?


I started out in travel and managing one of the highest producing offices for a national chain. As part of my office’s growth, I developed corporate business, which evolved into handling all of their corporate events such as incentives, conferences, conventions, product launches and social corporate branding events.
Subsequently, I joined one of the leading incentive houses to design custom one- of- a kind events around the world for corporate clients.

Over ten years ago, I opened my own special events company. As a result, I have created-produced-orchestrated corporate and social special events around the world for over fifteen years, including the gala theatrical opening for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and the co-ordination of Oscar winning director Norman Jewison’s 25th Anniversary Celebration of Fiddler on the Roof.

In addition, I am also the author of five best-selling professional books on event planning that are being used around the world by industry and business professionals, and as teaching tools by Universities and Colleges.

The foreign rights for my second book, The Business of Event Planning, have been sold to China and Russia, and Harvard has deemed my third book, Event Planning Ethics and Etiquette, a “must read” for event planning and small business professionals.

The event planning series of books came about as a result of my being called “to run and rescue” non-profit gala events days before an event was scheduled to take place.

I noticed that many charitable organisations were clueless as to what to be aware of and wary of when planning events. I found this most disturbing.

The same situation occurred with wedding planning. Clients or their friends began to consult with me regarding their personal wedding plan needs. I kept hearing from them as to how stressful they found the process to be- the hidden costs and surprises they kept encountering along the way. Because of the direction I am taking my company, I do limit the number of weddings that I personally become involved in.

I wrote Your Stress Free Wedding Planner as a means to provide couples with what they need to know from a design, budget, implementation (logistics) and orchestration perspective – not etiquette – when they go to plan their wedding. I wanted to give them a wedding planning tool that would held them enjoy the process, lessen the stress and show them how to create a wedding day that is meaningful, memorable and magical.


Could you tell us something about your book Your Stress Free Wedding Planner?


I have shared with readers the ten key planning steps, that when followed in sequential order, will allow the bride and groom-to-be to create and co-ordinate a wedding that will exceed their expectations and stay within their wedding budget guidelines. It does not matter if a couple has six weeks to plan their wedding or a year or more, the event planning principles I have designed and the order of the steps which be followed for optimum results, remain the same.

Your Stress Free Wedding Planner simplifies the wedding planning process and allows everyone involved to relax, and enjoy the festivities that lead up to this very special day, secure in the knowledge that everything has been attended to.

What is unique about Your Stress Free Wedding Planner is the wedding design questionnaire that will show the bride and the groom how to combine their individual wedding visions and take them their personal idea of a dream wedding to one that will become “our” dream wedding. I also show couples contract red flag areas – that can cost them thousands of dollars more than they expected – that they need to be aware of before they sign on the dotted line as well as areas of negotiation and terms and conditions that they need to have amended on their contracts.


If you had to choose 5 of the most romantic wedding destinations in the world, which ones would you choose and why?


For me 5 of the most romantic wedding destinations in the world would be

· Greece/Greek Islands for their beauty, ambience and history – you can relax, sightsee, and have fun exploring as a couple:

· South Pacific (Bora Bora) – getting married on the beach and honeymooning in an over the water thatched bungalow with glass bottom floors – perfect setting in a romantic paradise

· Bali – staying at the Four Seasons that come with private plunge pools and secluded outdoor showers – a romantic hideaway from the world:

· Egypt (getting married with Pyramids as the backdrop) then on to the Valley of the Kings/cruising the Nile (honeymoon) exotic and a trip of a lifetime:

· Italy – Rome, Venice, Tuscany, Capri, Florence – so many romantic choices to choose from. You can hold your wedding reception in a castle, rent a private villa in Tuscany, hold the wedding and reception there (and honeymoon for the rest of your stay), take-over a medieval hamlet or be married or hold your wedding reception in a winery. Italy just has the air of romance.


You have indicated that you have sailed on all types of yachts/ships. Which yacht or ship did you find to be the most romantic?


Failing to afford chartering your own private yacht and set your own course, I personally found Windstar Cruises to be more romantic than larger cruiselines. I liked the more intimate feeling aboard ship.

Their guest count ranges in the low hundreds (148 to 308) as opposed to the in the thousands and they are not geared to having children onboard. I also like that you have the luxury of eating meals at your leisure and not at set times, summoned by a bell.

There are no formal seating table assignments – you can dine or your own or with couples you have met, there are no jacket and tie requirements and should you chose dinner can be served to your cabin. I also like the tucked away ports of calls available to you – due to being on a smaller sailing vessel — and the easy on and off of the ship. And sitting out on deck, under the stars when the sails are unfurled is extremely romantic.


What is a wedding planner and how do you separate the good ones from the incompetent?


What is a wedding planner and how do you separate the good ones from the incompetent?

In the planning industry there are two types of planners: Event Planners and Wedding Planners.

Generally, event planners handle designing and producing corporate, social and non-profit events. The types of events they are involved in can be quite diverse — from complex one-day entertaining events strategically planned to meet business objectives to corporate learning, performance, motivational events and elaborate arrangements of incentive or product launch theme productions that take place over the course of a week around the world. Some event planners handle not only event design, but also education and entertaining components (transportation, accommodation, food, beverage, decor, entertainment, themes) but also multimedia stage production. This is the type of event planning that I have been primarily involved in.

Wedding planners work with newly engaged couples to help them create the wedding of their dreams. They take over all the wedding planning and operation requirements, consulting closely with their clients along the way. They are compassionate, caring and adept at handling the emotional elements that are tied to planning a wedding when nerves are frayed, couples get jittery and help find areas of compromise between couples and their families when there are opposing ideas on how the wedding day should unfold. Wedding planners co-ordinate the weddings from beginning to end and are on hand on the wedding day to oversee that all goes as planned. Some wedding planners also handle social events as the two event planning styles are closely aligned whereas event planners who mainly work with corporate and business related social events generally do not cross over into wedding planning as juggling the needs of these two very different clients does not tend to mesh.

If couples are considering hiring a wedding planner, I suggest they first read Your Stress Free Wedding Planner.
With this in mind, they will immediately be able to spot the level of competency of a wedding planner, and they will be able to discern if the wedding planner is experienced or not.

Experienced wedding planners are able to fully answer questions pertaining to the budget, contract and logistical problems.

Check references- not only other wedding couples that have hired them. Also check the venues in which they have held their events.

Find out their level of ability e.g. if the wedding planner has only done events for 50 guests or less and your wedding is for 500 or more, there will be a learning curve for the wedding planner – don’t let it be at your expense.


Have you ever planned weddings for any celebrities?


No, not weddings, but social events with Oscar winning guests and celebrities in attendance, such as the theatrical gala premiere of Beauty and the Beast and the co-ordination of Oscar winning director’s Norman Jewison’s 25th Anniversary Celebration for Fiddler on the Roof.


Could you tell us which wedding celebration you had planned that was the most memorable and why?


They are all memorable – each is different and unique.
However, the one that was most memorable was one where I was a guest but got involved when there was a slight glitch.

It was an outdoor reception and the staff carrying the wedding cake out to garden for the cake cutting ceremony, tripped over one of the small children that was attending the event.

The child was okay as was the wait staff but the wedding cake landed upside down. Luckily a cloth had been placed over the cake for the reveal and guests were not aware of exactly what had taken place.

The cake was carefully righted and I went into the kitchen to meet with the chef to see what the damage had done. The top of the cake was totally smashed. I quickly gathered the bridesmaids’ bouquets that matched the flowers the bride was carrying and with the chef’s help, some plastic wrap (to protect the cake from flowers as flowers were not edible etc.) and icing.

The flowers were artfully arranged on top and fresh icing was skilfully applied to mask the dents and damage. The cake was made picture perfect without guests being any the wiser and raves were given to the floral topping on the cake. The bride and groom had been advised of what happened and were trilled with the results.


What is your idea of a unique romantic destination?


The amount of time it takes to get to the Seychelles can be quite daunting with airline connections and layovers (depending where you are travelling) but after arrival, there was never one moment that I regretted the travel time. What is a wonderful romantic combination is doing an African safari first and then flying to the Seychelles for the rest of your stay.


Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers about wedding planning, romantic getaways or wedding destinations?


Should you decide to combine your wedding with your honeymoon, there are now bridal registries that handle weddings and honeymoons at upscale hotel properties around the world.

Instead of giving a toaster as a wedding gift, family and friends celebrating your nuptials can contribute to your destination wedding. As an example: the activities on your honeymoon stay, or a couples’ massage or a private romantic dinner for two after the wedding.

These individuals work with wedding specialists at the location to pre-arrange all the wedding and personalized honeymoon details.

They also advise couples on the legal issues that being married in a specific location will entail.
If couples are planning a destination wedding they need to make sure that all is in order for them to get married and to file their marriage papers after their wedding.

One couple that flew to the Caribbean for their wedding did not check into residency requirements for weddings. They did not allow sufficient time and were unable to extend their time on the island, as they had to return to work. Unfortunately, they ended up posing for wedding photographs on the beach and then getting married at home.

About Wedding Centerpieces

Having a perfect wedding is a dream of most couples. They want to have their wedding day as the most perfect event of their lives.

No wonder why many people are so engaged into wedding planning because the numerous details of the wedding should never be taken for granted. From the invitations down to the reception, every detail must be meticulously considered.

Take for example the wedding centerpieces. For some events, centerpieces are not that important and may not take much of preparation and consideration. But with weddings, these beautiful embellishments usually found in the reception are extremely important as these items, likewise, set the mood in the area.

Wedding centerpieces are not necessarily the “center of attraction” in the event. But they do complement the bride and the group along with the other details of the wedding.

Normally, wedding centerpieces are not included in the reception or the catering; hence, it is a must that you hire the best provider of wedding centerpieces.

So, for people who wish to obtain some tips on choosing wedding centerpieces, here are some pointers that you could use:

1. In most cases, flowers are the best wedding centerpieces. They add color and life in the reception area.

Best of all, flowers can enliven the spirit of those who are present in the reception. It gives a homey feeling, thus, making the reception program more fascinating.

2. Do not just go with the flowers. Consider the arranger as well. The flower arranger could also be the same arranger you have hired to decorate the church.

The wrong flower arrangement, color, and types of flowers used as centerpieces can do more harm than good. Hence, it is a must that pertinent details like this one should be considered seriously.

3. Shop around

Do not be constrained on one establishment only. It is best to shop around and get more ideas on wedding centerpieces. Flowers are not the only thing that is considered as good wedding centerpieces. You can also have some candles, glass bowls, floating and scented candles, etc.