DIY vs. Don’t Even Try: Let’s Talk International Destination Weddings

 

There are no rules with a destination wedding.  Not today, not anymore.  Freedom and style, especially for international brides, trump conventional ‘rules.’  The way it was done before still holds some merit, the only difference is that now it’s connected to deeper cultural traditions, the merging of different backgrounds and a real respect for new multi-cultural traditions. That said, it is pretty important when jumping into an international meeting with real brides about destination wedding plans to really get to the heart of what a bride needs to know must be established. Recently speaking to real bride Faz Abdul Gaffa, who intends on having a ceremony in Singapore and also one in New Jersey, it was important to break the ice and give her sound advice that can help her make a decision she feels good about.
So, at 10:00am EST and 10:00pm Singapore time, Faz greeted me on our first Google+ Hangout session with a bright and open twinkle in her eye with that blazing question that every bride-to-be should ask herself and someone else: do I really need a wedding planner? The answer is YES, an overwhelming yes. With limited time for our first e-meet-and-greet, we had plenty of territory to cover. As Faz had already decided on a private yacht in the Singapore harbor overlooking its skyline as her first wedding location, we moved on to the save the date announcements. I suggested that these be sent out as soon as possible, 9-12 months are ideal. The formal invitation should be sent out anywhere from two to three months ahead of your wedding date. Let’s not forget to list your URL on your invite so guests can go online to your wedding site and find out information on places to stay, special rates, location maps, airport transport, etc. Ceremony locations and timelines of your multiple events should be listed among other guest information. As you can see during the second part of our conversation I literally had so much to squeeze in to ensure she knew all that happens during wedding planning that you may notice Google+ Hangouts simply stopped switching the camera between us both and just focused on my attempt to fill her in.  With weddings, there is simply so much to consider.  Imagine, if one 24 minutes Google+ Hangouts session seems to be a lot, what happens once the ball gets rolling with vendors, flowers, guests, accommodations, officiants, etc.
Faz has a vision of a stylish, intimate to medium sized wedding and is considering inviting the same wedding guests to travel to both international ceremony destinations.  I felt compelled to let her know that what actually sounds like one wedding, in this case, is actually two and that this is why getting those save the dates out the door sooner than later was very important. Multi event locations can become very costly and time consuming for your guest and can take a lot of planning on their side as well. We do admire her pazazz but from experience we know that planning has frustrated countless brides in the past. Brides should be free of this burden because the level of stress is literally the opposite of what our bride should feel on her wedding day splendor. It’s a conversation that marks the beginning of a trusting relationship.
To hear Faz tell the story of how she met her fiancé, John, at a Halloween party shows the joy she feels about her approaching nuptials and the love she has for her partner, but I find it’s pretty important for brides to understand that there is a craft to wedding and event planning. Our job is to incorporate your personalities, vision and dreams into your wedding and to take care of every detail, so you don’t have to. Whether it’s day of coordination, partial planning or full planning, for anyone planning a memorable event, let alone planning a wedding (or two!), we don’t only create for the sake of the host or bride and groom to look their best amongst their family and friends.  We become the creators so that couples can enjoy guests and the magic they envisioned. Though the decision making process at this stage can cause some anxiety, it’s not as black and white as many think.  For brides who are reconsidering planning their own event (in lieu of articles like this), who don’t have access to a gratuitous budget, we actually created Weddings in a Box package, an all inclusive must-have kit for those deciding to elope or who prefer to have an intimate ceremony with a special touch but without the ongoing details of a full scale wedding.  With this option brides can keep a close relationship with an upscale planner but from a consulting perspective.  Ahhh, the power of choice.
Faz is a young professional in love, who should be absolutely hassle free on her big days.  Directing her own multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-destination wedding when she’s never done it before is like refashioning the engine of a rare car without all of the parts.  With one year from her weddings, Faz will now have to decide if she will weather the DIY wedding planning storm or if she’ll consider other options.  She can pick up where we left off once she chooses a date. Well, two dates.

About Marc Wilson:

Marc Wilson is the Guest Lifestyle Editor of World Bride Magazine, a 2013 Big Apple Award nominee and the Founder and Creative Director of Weddings by MWD Lifestyles.  Marc’s company, MWD Lifestyles (formerly Marc Wilson Design), is a full scale wedding, event design, production and planning company with destination partnerships and capabilities and has grown to be the name in the decor and events, weddings and destination industry it is today.  Marc’s fifteen years within the events industry has resulted in national and international recognition and, to date, MWD Lifestyles has worked with Rolex, Hugo Boss, Martha Stewart Weddings and MGM Metro Goldwyn Mayer.  Marc’s work has been published in Grace Ormond Wedding Style, Design Bureau, New York Weddings, Manhattan, Essence, Weddings by Design, The Knot, Brides and Town&Country. FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.

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Location Location Location – The Carlyle Is All That Jazz

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The Carlyle Hotel in New York City has to be one of the most historically fashionable hotels to date. Besides having a history of housing some of history’s most influential people, it has also been known to be one of New York’s jazziest nightspots. Some of our favorite iconic performers have walked these grounds and performed in the night club, including Eartha Kitt, Rita Moreno, Bobby Short, and most recently, iconic bassist, Ron Carter  (accompanied by world famous guitarist, Russell Malone).

My first experience with The Carlyle was some 10 years ago, visiting the late Eartha Kitt before her performance. Her brilliantly decorated and perfectly maintained in-house apartment was astounding. From the doorman who greets you at curbside to the elevator operators, ALL of the staff lavish you with the white glove treatment. Literally. Frequent there enough and you will notice that they will know your name. Which, to me, speaks volumes.

The rooms and suites are some of the lushest environments you will want to call your home, whether it is for the night, the week, or you tie the knot. Your guests will be enchanted by the impeccable service they will receive. The comfort of their beds and the exquisite dining, be it an in-house restaurant or room service, will not leave them disappointed.

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Recently, I had the opportunity to host an event at The Carlyle, and we have to say that everything was first class and polished to perfection! We are sticklers for great customer care. We value the treatment of our readers, thus the reason why we are very hands-on with every business and service we recommend in writing. If it is not inspected and experienced by one of our writers, it won’t be written about. No exceptions.

 

The Carlyle NYC_Lobby

 

So, with great pleasure, we present The Carlyle Hotel as a location to consider for your wedding reception and honeymoon stay.  You will not be disappointed.

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The intimacy that the event space provides makes it worth every dime. When you’ve waited your entire life for this moment of love, the magic you want to create with your new mate should begin in the same fashion you want it to be for the rest of your relationship: With style and elegance. What better way to send that message to each other and share it with your loved ones than at The Carlyle?

Make no mistake, this is not a cheap date. It will cost you, like anything of value which is meant to be cherished. So, when planning your wedding or honeymoon, you will need to evaluate what is more important to you in the grand scheme of things.

But I think you can appreciate that some experiences in life are just worth having and checking-off from your to-do list.

 

Reasons Why

The three most important things for a person looking to plan any event are (1) location, (2) location, and (3) LOCATION! Why is that so important when planning your wedding? It will not only become a factor in your wedding plans, it will also set the tone for the kind of wedding your guests can expect, even before they arrive.

Location will determine how your guests will arrive. They will need to plan ahead based on where they live.

Location will determine the parking situation for your guests. They will need to plan for whether parking is available on-site or off-site, and the cost involved.

Location will set the tone for your guests and the kind of wedding you are having. That includes the dress code, theme, and the ambiance that the space provides.

These are some things you should take into consideration when planning your nuptials. So, for your jazz lovers and history lovers, The Carlyle just might be the piece of history you have always wanted to have for your wedding day!

 

 

To-Dye-For Locks

Whether you’re an edgy platinum blonde, a rich shade of chocolate brown, or a fiery redhead proper color and maintenance is a must leading up to your wedding day!

As a professional hairstylist with vast coloring experience I always recommend getting your hair color or any chemical process done by a professional. You should go pay your colorist a visit one to two weeks before your wedding day for application. If you’re a single-process brunette or a redhead, you should have it done the same week. The fresher the color, the better it will photograph. If you have highlights or low lights it should be done up to two weeks prior. You want to give the highlights time to settle and soften. To ensure that you maintain that just from the salon richness make sure you indulge in at-home color care! You should use a professional color safe shampoo and conditioner.

I recommend these Kérastase products (kerastase-usa.com):

Kérastase Reflection Bain Chroma Riche shampoo and Bain Chroma Riche System Aqua- Ionic Masque for Brunettes and Redheads

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Kérastase Bain Force Architecte shampoo and Ciment Anti-User conditioner for Blondes

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Here are two Pro tips to help with maintenance:

1.  Avoid excessive heat styling and an extended amount of sun exposure. 

This is very important because both sun and heat can be damaging to your hair and contribute to early fading.

2. Wash hair less frequently.

Refresh on your off days by flipping hair over and spraying dry shampoo at the roots to soak up oil.

Follow these tips to keep your hair lustrous and full of life!

 

 

Sonia Castleberry-www.soniacastleberry.com, http://www.bridesbysoniacastleberry.com

The Gele- Nigerian Headwrap- Fashion Piece with History

The Gele is a traditional Nigerian Headwrap. It is worn during special occasions as an accessory to the traditional ‘iro’ (a wrap-around skirt) and ‘buba’ (a loose fitting blouse). Gele is usually made out of heavy or stiff fabric that can be wrapped and moulded into a specific shape. Fabrics from Switzerland and Austria are very popular, but the most popular and indigenous to the Yoruba is the ‘aso oke’. Aso Oke is originally a ceremonial fabric woven locally in Nigeria and is made up commonly of strands of cotton and/or silk. Aso Oke is also used to make Iro and Buba, but generally for very special occasions such as the brides wedding dress.

Growing up in Nigeria, the tying of the gele was always a sign of an upcoming special occasion. My mother, who admits to being inept at this admirable art, always enlisted the help of a close friend or neighbour before a party. After many failed attempts by my mother, these women would swoop in and have the Gele tied in 5 mins flat. To a skinny, six year old girl, there is nothing more beautiful than seeing your mother looking like a queen. The gele meant more to me than a tiara or an actual crown. It was the ultimate expression of femininity. Maybe it was the glimmering metallics of the aso oke, or the bright shades of the Gele, that made women look so glamorous, but it was empowering, and made me proud to be female in a society that celebrated the dominance and superiority of men.

Gele is a sign of social status and importance. It is, in essence, the Nigerian woman’s crown. In the eighties, the various comedy sitcoms in Nigeria, always had a ‘business woman’ character sporting an expertly tied gele. One of such women was the character ‘Madam’ of the series, Basi & Company, created by the Late Ken Saro-Wiwa. She was a woman of means, weekly falling prey to one of Basi’s ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes. She wore her gele all the time, no matter how bright, or outlandish. It was a sign of flamboyant ostentation, at a time where millionaires were being made it seemed almost daily in a then 20-something year old Nigeria.

The Modern Gele
Today, the gele, much like Nigerian traditional culture has been revamped and celebrated. An explosion of creativity, combined with our innate cultural pride means that women are treating the Gele not just as an accessory but sometimes as the main focus of their attire. Gele now comes with scalloped edges, laser-cut designs, hand-beaded, two-tone effects, Swarovski-encrusted, hand-painted, embroidered, sequinned, and any other design aesthetic you can dream up.
Gele tying is now a service provided by most make up artists and/or salons in Nigeria or Nigerian communities across the world.

Weddings
During the preparation for my traditional wedding ceremony, my mother, her ‘committee’ of well-versed wedding planners and I, scoured hundreds of fabric samples before deciding on my gele. Even though I knew exactly what I wanted, this was necessary as the Gele for your wedding is generally custom-made. Being that the groom was from a different part of the country and has his own traditions I donned two types of outfits on the day, meaning two different Geles. As an ode to my own tribe, the Yorubas, I wore an “aso oke” gele(to go with the “aso oke” “iro”and “buba”)for the ceremony, as during the ceremony the groom comes to formally ask for the hand of the bride from her family. For the celebrations after the ceremony I wore the traditional attire of my husband’s family, which required a “gele sego”. In my culture, when a woman marries, she enters into a new family and adopts their customs and traditions as her own. Wearing their attire, is a way of showing my desire to adopt their culture and be part of their family.

The gele is becoming more and more significant. As more Nigerian women take pride in their culture and traditions, the attire becomes a huge part of their lifestyle. Nigerian women take great pride in their appearance, and the gele is their crowning glory. The gele can be outlandish or demure, depending on who is tying it and for what occasion it is being worn. From my mother’s conservative styles, via the comically outlandish costume of “Madam”, to our ever fashionable crowns today, there is no doubt that the gele is a bold expression of femininity. In the Eighties, Western women had the power suit, Nigerian women had the Gele. This is a custom I hope never fade.

Teniola Adunni GioKabari is a Nigerian-British Beauty expert living in London.

The Business Of Hospitality- Dubai Ramada Plaza Visit

“You can’t please everyone.” We’ve all heard these words since childhood. As adults we need to believe them to survive the harsh competition and to find success in our field.

While pleasing everyone may not be my ultimate goal, for a hotel franchise as large as Ramada the very theory can and will destroy a business while simultaneously killing an economy if ignored.

In this new age of technology the options for travel are endless. With over a hundred sites to help you buy tickets and reserve hotel rooms from cheap stays to the royal treatment, you are bound to craft a journey specific to you and businesses will need to cater to your needs.

We caught up with the managing director of Ramada Plaza Jumeirah Beach Residence, JBR, Terak Hayder, who shared with us the three formulas of building a successful hotel stay for your guests.

THE FIRST IMPRESSION

The red carpet treatment upon arrival was an understatement. From the moment we arrived our every needs were met. The location is conveniently located within a five-minute walk to the beach and easily connects to a private pool on property. The streets nearby are nothing short of a restaurant mecca. And the hotel itself is equipped with a wig spa, three restaurants and a bar that provided entertainment, both live and stemming from a jukebox that contained variety of tunes.

WINING AND DINING

The hotel is armed with the capability to host not only meetings or luncheons but entire weddings. Guests can choose to enjoy the magnificent city view from a private, intimate setting of 30 all the way up to parties of 160.

The selling point of the restaurant lies within its renowned executive chef whom I promise will not disappoint. This French born food artist is not only charming and pleasing to the eyes ladies, he also has that appetizing French accent that will definitely make an impression in the beginning of your experience for your occasion. The wait staff of women is equally as beautiful and accommodating.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

As always, I am a stickler for manners and customer service. With the exception of the shortage of front desk help that made check-in a bit slow, the offering of refreshments and acknowledgement of your presence makes it tolerable. But I guess when your hotel is at full capacity that may be not such a bad problem to have.

I don’t remember ever pressing a button once we were on the elevator. Security personnel on each main elevator were there to assist me the entire time and I was definitely spoiled.

The hotel staff serves complementary breakfast, snacks, and happy hour beverages to preferred customers leaving nothing to complain about. Except for maybe gaining too much weight after the constant eating you will be doing. Hunger calls at 4am? There is someone in the kitchen ready to serve you. Bon Appetit!

The hotel room itself and the view more then made up for any discomfort experienced at check-in. The property provides parking and a concierge desk for all your needs. There is even a shop for souvenirs and small needs.

So maybe you can please just about everyone. Or come darn close to it.

World Bride Magazine Event at the May Fair Hotel

The event is drawing close to us and we are looking for 50 Brides and Groom to register to recieve a FREE tickets.  Please email bookings@freelancetheworkspace.com with your name, contact number, email address and wedding date.  You will be emailed if you have qualified.

Designers Jane Wilson Marquis New York, Isabel Zapardiez Spain, Jasper Garvida London will all be attending the event so a fantastic opportunity to speak with the designers personally for your wedding needs.

Companies comfirmed John Lewis gifting suite, Kim Rix from Your London Weddings as the Wedding Coordinator (also you have the opportunity to Win her services for your wedding day), Shuly Wigs a special wig collection designed by Eugene Davis, Cakes by Candy amazing cakes with heart behind the taste, Dean Davidson’s amazing Jewellery Collection presented by Sunshine, m2m damorejon the amazing celebrity inspired nail collection.

This event is hosted by the Beauty International Model Betsie Dsane as seen on Project Catwalk and the H&M by Madonna campaign.

Come down to this amazing event, registration is needed see below for more information

Check HERE FOR EVENT DETAILS: Main Flyer

World Bride Magazine in London

World Bride Magazine are launching into Europe and its all exciting as we approach the amazing event taking place at The May Fair Hotel in May Fair London on Saturday 12th December starting at 5pm.

World Bride Magazine’s event is hosted by Betsie Dsane Britain’s Super Model featured in the latest Project Catwalk and H & M by Madonna – Check out Look Book Factory

We have some amazing designers who are flying in from around the world to be part of show. Yes the designers will be at the event to meet with you whilst their designs are showcasted.

  • Jane Wilson Marquis from New York, comes home to London as she has made some fantastic designs especially for this event.
  • Isabel Zapardiez from Spain, wow what can i say she is awesome and the designs speak for themselves.
  • Jasper Garvida from Project Catwalk is extremely talented and the designs will be showcasted for the modern and quirky brides.

Plus we have some great sponsors such as :

Mizani L’oreal, John Lewis Gifting, Kim Rix (Wedding Planner), m2m damorejon nail collection, Celebrity Session Stylist Eugene Davis designs a Bridal Wig Collection for Shuly Wigs plus more.

 This is just to name a few of the exciting people and companies that are involved. This will be an event based on experience which should not be missed.

Win a Free Nights stay the May Fair Hotel*on the night

Win a Wedding Coordinator for your most important day by the amazing Kim Rix. Book sometime with the planner via bookings@freelancetheworkspace.com

Tickets are now on sale so book quickly as to avoid disappointment. BOOK NOW

Brides we are looking for you as we want 7 amazing brides to be featured in our next issue.

Everyone is welcome to come as this is not your traditional bridal show as we would like to meet with you all.

Look forward to seeing you there.

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