2017年04月29日

Global Wedding Congress

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is an official Host Partner along with the other partners and sponsors including Laguna Phuket, Banyan Tree Phuket, Angsana Laguna Phuket and The Wedding Bliss.


Thailand is the first country in Asia to host the event, which brings together high-end destination wedding planners to do business with the most unique destinations, extravagant hotels, resorts and venues along with leading wedding suppliers and creative partners such as, couture designers, photography partners, furniture rentals, jewellery partners, cake designers and more.


The event also includes groundbreaking conference sessions, networking functions, ritzy cocktail receptions, lavish luncheons and themed gala dinners, all designed to help participants capitalise on the multi-billion-dollar industry.


The line-up of confirmed speakers includes Preston Bailey, Katherine Apostolidis, Koby Bar Yehuda, Marcy Blum, Mohomed Morani, Joe Blackman, Wendy El-Khoury, Bryan Rafanelli, Evelyn Mills, Alison Hotchkiss, Matthew Oliver, Michelle Rago, Innayat Khubchandani, Christina Holt, Bhavnesh Sawhney, Funke Burknor-Obruthe, Joanne Brown, Kevin Lee, Janine Closs, Sumant Jayakrishnan, Joann Gregoli, and Aleit Swanepoel.


' If we want to be the World’s Best Wedding Destination, we really need to enhance our expertise and better understand all our source markets,” said Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul. Photo: TAT

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Kevin Lee’s celebrity clients include Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Drew Barrymore, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Oprah Winfrey. Also, he is said to have been the inspiration behind the character Franck, played by Martin Short in the early ’90s movie classic, Father of the Bride.


Preston Bailey has been designing and planning weddings for celebrities, royal families, CEOs and athletes for more than 33 years. He has worked with renowned names; such as, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas, Jennifer Hudson and Donna Karan, to name a few.


Bryan Rafanelli runs Rafanelli Events, one of the biggest event planning and design companies in the United States since 1996. He has worked with clients such as, President Obama, Chelsea Clinton and Hollywood star Matt Damon.


Meanwhile, Evelyn Mills heads Marriage Maestros, which specialises in creating signature weddings in Hong Kong, Bali, China and across Asia.


Organised by Dubai-based QNA International, the DWP Congress has been held previously in Greece, Mauritius and Italy.


In revealing that Phuket was to host the event, Thailand Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul last September noted, “Thailand will leave no stone unturned in ensuring the best of preparations for this Congress in order to become a global wedding hub for couples of every nationality. We definitely have to work as a team. If we want to be the World’s Best Wedding Destination, we really need to enhance our expertise and better understand all our source markets.”


The global weddings industry is estimated to have a total value of US$298 billion (B10.31 trillion), of which the value of foreign country weddings is US$80bn (B2.76trn).


TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn noted, “This will be the first of Destination Wedding Planners Congress to be held in Asia. We expect the Congress will go a long way towards raising the image of Thailand as a wedding destination globally, and showcasing our superb range of destinations, venues, as well as the unique products and services that make each event memorable and extraordinary.


“Such events have an enormous ripple-effect benefit as they generate income for numerous suppliers of products and services; such as, decorations, gifts and souvenirs, party arrangements, F&B, audio-visual equipment, musicians, singers, and many more.”


“This (event) is exactly in line with the policy to focus on high-spending, long-staying, niche-market visitors, distributing income and creating jobs in the provincial areas. Wedding ceremonies typically involve at least 20 people, with an expenditure of B5-20 million per event, depending on its size,” he added.


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2017年04月27日

Wedding Tips

There's nothing Oregonians love more than mixing farm animals with non-farm activities. So no one should be surprised that now, Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas & Alpacas is bring llamas and alpacas to weddings in the Portland and Vancouver area.


You may have already heard of Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas & Alpacas. Lori Gregory, the owner of the company, and her daughter, Shannon Joy, events coordinator, have been using Rojo, their star llama, officially as a therapy animal since 2007.


Over the phone on Wednesday, Joy said they now have five llamas and five alpacas though currently they only use three for therapy visits.



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And weddings.


Mtn Peaks has their first llama wedding in 2011. Last year, they scheduled 11.


"We have a dozen on the calendar this year and it's not even wedding season," Joy said.


The appetite for llamas in wedding gear at a wedding is clearly growing, in part because of the Instagram account Joy started called, appropriately, Wedding Llamas.


"Most brides want two animals," Joy told us. Usually that means Rojo in a groom outfit and a small white (male) alpaca named Napoleon as the bride. Sometimes, a llama named Smokey steps in.


Joy said that the weddings aren't just fun. They also fund the Mtn Peaks mission.


"It's our biggest way to support our therapy animals," she told us.


Llama and alpaca wedding packages start at $200 and $300 for two. Prices go up depending on distance from the farm and time spent with animals at the wedding.


"Every wedding varies in time," Joy said. "Most only prefer an hour as they are looking for an alternative to photo booths. Others have our animals greet guests, walk as ring bearer, take formal photos with the bridal party, and entertain during cocktail hour."


Joy said that now that Mtn Peaks has more volunteers, and with weddings gaining popularity, they are planning on taking more of the herd off the farm.


So if you want llamas and/or alpacas as your wedding this year, you still have a chance. Just send them an email to check on availability. With one caveat. "We are confident in driving up to an hour and a half away" from their farm in Ridgefield, Wash., Joy said. "After that it's kind of hit or miss."


Portland is only 30 minutes away. Time to start looking for llama friendly venues?


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2017年04月26日

Wedding venues

Seasoned Outlander fans will know that the hit show makes use of breathtaking locations across Scotland.


From medieval castles to luxury country houses, the show has (time) travelled the length and breadth of the country to showcase some of Scotland's most stunning sites.


With this in mind, we've picked a handful of locations showcased by the show which also double as wedding venues - turns out, you can tie the knot in exactly the same spot as Jamie and Claire!


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1. Glencorse Old Kirk


The charming Glencorse Old Kirk, nestled in the grounds of the Glencorse House in the foothills of the Pentland Hills, is where Claire and Jamie say 'I do' .


With its lush parkland, lake and splendid garden, it's a wonderfully atmospheric venue, if not one of the most romantic locations for Outlander fans to tie the knot.


2. Hopetoun House


This splendid country house on Edinburgh's outskirts doubles as the Duke of Sandringham's stately home in season one of the show - and a gorgeous wedding venue the rest of the time.


Couples can take over the splendid estate for their special day, saying 'I do' in the stunning Adam Stables before dancing the night away in the house's ballroom.


Hopetoun House is even bigger in person than it looks on the show, producers digitally erased some of the wings.


3. Doune Castle


Stirling's stunning Doune Castle plays a starring role in the show, substituting for the fictional Castle Leoch – home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in the 18th century.


It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank visit the castle in ruins on a day trip.


In the 21st century, the castle can host everything from large wedding ceremonies in its stone-walled Great Hall to more intimate affairs in the 30-person capacity Kitchen.


4. Pollok Country Park


The beautiful grounds of Pollok Country Park double as the grounds surrounding the fictional Castle Leoch.


The south Glasgow park also stands in for the French countryside characters travel through between Le Havre and Paris.


The Edwardian country house is also a popular spot for couples to tie the knit - with the maze-like gardens providing the perfect wedding photo opps!


5. Linlithgow Palace


Ok, so Linlithgow Palace's role in Outlander is far from romantic. The ruined palace - also the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots - is used as Wentworth Prison where Jamie is captured.


The 15th century site is still a charming wedding venue today . Couples can have an open air ceremony in the Great Hall or say 'I do' beneath the Undercroft's cosy, vaulted ceiling in the castle's charming courtyard.


Also see: http://www.sheindressau.com/bridesmaid-dresses-australia

  

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2017年04月24日

Celestial wedding

With just four days remaining for the commencement of Chithirai festival, devotees want the temple authorities to provide adequate facilities to ensure that there is no discrimination in witnessing the celestial wedding of Lord Sundareswarar and goddess Sri Meenakshi.


The hoisting of the holy flag for the festival will take place on April 28, while the much-awaited celestial wedding is on May 7. Though more than a lakh devotees are expected to throng the temple, only about 10,000 will be let inside under two heads - free and fee queues - to see the wedding. The devotees have been terming this as nothing but discrimination.


"Though the temple authority allows devotees in free queues, such people are unable to see the wedding clearly because they are made to sit very far away from the wedding stage. This is not the case of VIPs and people who have paid, who are accommodated in front of the stage," said A Gopalakrishnan, a devotee.


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Another devotees, S Anandan, said "Of course, it may be necessary to give preference to VIPs and donors of the temple. But that does not mean that other devotees, including poor, need to be discriminated. If they want, equal opportunity can be given in front of the sanctum sanctorum. That is, one side for VIPs and paid devotees and the rest of the side for the unpaid devotees." There has also been a demand to give priority to elderly people. "They are the ones who mainly wish to see the ceremony. But, they face much hardship in accessing the temple on the day of wedding ceremony," said V P Manikandan.


Hindu temple protection committee state general secretary P Sundaravadivel said emphasis should be given on improving amenities as well. "The authorities need to provide potable water and other facilities in main places, including Aadiveedhi, Chiththiraiveedhi and Masiveedhi," he said. He also insisted that the Madurai police make preventive arrest of anti-social elements as chain snatching incidents have been on the rise recently.


Responding to the demands, joint commissioner of the temple N Natarajan said measures have been taken at a cost of Rs 50 lakh to ensure smooth conduct of the festival. In order to enable devotees to see the marriage ceremony, 20 LED screens will be set up around the temple. Air-conditioners, toilets-on-wheels, including two from Palani and one from Meenakshiamman temple, will be used, he said.


On the wedding ceremony, he said, "The problem is with the execution. A large number of people turn up for the wedding due to which there is no way to separate the VIPs and the people with tickets." Natarajan said that they are looking into the demand for a separate queue for the elderly.


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2017年04月19日

Wedding trend

Would you try it?


As we edge closer to the summer, you likely have wedding invites coming out of your ears. You’re probably cursing all your loved-up friends for stealing approximately 50% of your annual leave.


And it only gets more intense if you’re selected as a bridesmaid. Of course, it can be a lot of fun to be a part of the bridal party – but it has its moments. Especially considering this is how much it really costs to be a bridesmaid. And it gets even worse if the bride in question is like this one, and asks you to chip in for her actual plus size wedding dresses


But luckily for those of you who are ready to hang up their bridesmaid-duty shoes, the biggest wedding trend of 2017 appears to be working in your favour. According to Pinterest’s 2017 Wedding Report, many woman are choosing to have no bridesmaids. At all.


Considering it’s very traditional to be flanked by your closest female companions – whether there are two or twelve – it’s a very bold move. But many modern brides are ditching the idea of a huge wedding party in order to focus all the attention on themselves and their partner.


"Less is more — brides are choosing to go with fewer bridesmaids, or sometimes none at all! This decision ensures the focus is all about you and your partner," the Pinterest report says.


It also reveals that the interest in weddings without bridesmaids has had a 100% increase year-over-year. That’s a lot of women waving goodbye to matching dresses and pre-planned hen parties…


Whether you’re going all-out with a huge venue and hundreds of guests, or you’re more inclined to have a small and intimate day, it seems the numbers speak for themselves. So there’s no need to freeze in panic the next time one of your best friends tells you their good news…


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2017年04月13日

wedding costs

Weddings are expensive affairs for the bride and groom, and their respective families — the average cost of a wedding in Canada is roughly $30,000 — but that doesn’t mean that guests don’t also feel the pinch of the wedding industrial complex.


According to a survey conducted by Priceline.com, millennials are spending upwards of US$600 on each wedding-related event. That means between the engagement party, shower, bachelor or bachelorette party (and/or stag and doe), and the wedding itself, guests could be shelling out in the thousands.


Unfortunately, what that means for this demographic (aged 21 to 34) is that 39 per cent of them will skip out on one or more of the events. And considering that 24 per cent say they’ll spend between US$800 and US$1,000 on a bachelor or bachelorette party, that might be a good one to sit out.


Millennials are spending a lot of money to go to weddings

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“A lot of people are making a shift towards going away for the bachelor or bachelorette party,” says Amanda Douglas, owner of Amanda Douglas Events in Winnipeg. “It’s hard to have any control over that as a guest.”


More men (60 per cent) than women (43) travel for the big send-off to the single years, and deciding on accommodations for these trips is the most stressful part of the journey.


Douglas says one way to curb the costs (and possibly circumvent the disagreements about accommodations) is to suggest something local, like going bar hopping in your own city, or going to someone’s cabin or cottage for a weekend.


There’s no shame, or offence taken, if you decide not to attend one of the events in question, either. Even if it’s the main one.


“You don’t have to attend every shower or every event related to the wedding,” Douglas says. “You can pick and choose what you want to be involved in based on how close you are to the couple.”


As for gift-giving etiquette, there’s no obligation to get the couple something if you don’t attend the wedding. You don’t have to give a wedding gift, either, if you went to the shower and brought a gift, Douglas says.


If you are attending the wedding and want to give a gift, take into consideration what your presence will cost the couple, between food, liquor and venue costs. Then tack on a little extra something.


“It’s up to you how much more you want to give,” Douglas says.


On the upside, almost 50 per cent of respondents said they’ll travel for the big day itself.


“Most people are fine with taking a trip, even a long one, for a wedding,” according to Brides. “The survey found that 47 per cent of those who travelled for a wedding did so because they wanted an excuse to travel, 67 per cent said they travelled specifically for the celebration, and 47 per cent said it was because they wanted to spend time with the couple.”


And a person’s presence at a wedding is often present enough for this generation.


“Millennials are more money conscious these days,” Douglas says. “There’s a shift in attitude around weddings that favours having guests there to celebrate and have a good time, rather than getting a big, extravagant gift.”


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2017年04月11日

Wedding Trend

Perhaps because Pantone has coined it Color of the Year, "greenery" is having a major moment in the wedding industry. Instead of blooming bouquets and ornate floral backdrops à la Kimye, more and more couples are opting for verdant assortments of eucalyptus, ferns, and various herbs to decorate their venues. According to a trends report released by Pinterest, the user search volume for "greenery weddings" on the platform has tripled in 2017.


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The reasoning for this shift is a pragmatic one. The national average spending on wedding flowers in 2015 was $2,300, according to a survey by The Knot. This amounts to about 7% of the average total wedding cost. That's quite a sum to spend on something so perishable.


Greenery is a way more inexpensive and durable alternative. The lush and leafy presentation is incredibly photogenic, too — after all, green has long been considered the most relaxing color for your eyes.


We've pulled together 10 greenery wedding ideas to show you how a touch of nature can factor into different parts of your nuptials. Read on for more inspiring images that will render calla lilies and rose hedges so last year.


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2017年04月05日

A Christ-centered wedding

Living out the Christian faith to the best of my ability is rarely easy, and over the past few months I have learned that planning a Catholic wedding with Christ at the center is no exception.


When my fiancé proposed to me in October, I was convinced that I was going to hold onto my feeling of joy throughout the whole process of wedding planning, and that nothing could get in the way of my excitement about starting our life together. I knew other people got stressed about all the details, but that wasn’t going to be my experience, because I knew what was really important: the love we have for each other and the beautiful sacrament we were preparing to enter into.


But a month later, I was loosing sleep over not being able to have the perfect mountainside reception I had envisioned. And five months later, I found myself negotiating the coloring and wording of a piece of paper.


Photo by Sarah Kodres-O'Brien
Kelly Seegers and Andrew Sankowski are getting married this summer.

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“Isn’t ‘Please RSVP’ redundant?” my dad asked me through the phone, as we both sat in front of our computers, reviewing the wording for the wedding invitations and RSVP card that I had designed online. “RSVP means, ‘Respond S'il Vous Plait,’” he pointed out, making the “Please” written beforehand unnecessary.


“And shouldn’t we have parallel structure?” he continued.


“Of course, Dad,” I responded, while promptly changing the wording of “Regretfully Declines” to “Declines with Regret,” in order to match the structure of the phrase “Accepts with Pleasure.”


About an hour after I had originally gotten on the phone with my parents, we finished going through each word on the invitations. Since wedding planning requires proficiency in the art of compromise, I got to use the invitation colors I wanted and my parents got to use the wording they wanted.


While we were able to laugh about that episode, my prideful assumption that I was somehow better than all other brides who get overly stressed and focus on unimportant material details has proven to be false. While I know how important the Sacrament of Marriage is, at times, that knowledge has not been enough to prevent the joy of engagement from fading into the background of worrying about having the perfect reception location, deciding which appetizers to have, or debating the redundancy of the phrase “Please RSVP.”


There have been times where the details have become so overwhelming that I have been filled with a physical sense of dread at seeing another wedding-related e-mail pop up in my inbox, and times where more significant setbacks have required my fiancé and me to reframe our vision of what our wedding day will look like. We’ve had to discern which things we care enough about to fight for and which things we are okay with letting go of in order to make the day better for our families and guests.


As much as we truly do desire to have a wedding day more focused on love than on material things, it can be challenging to navigate all of the pressure to have every detail right. Through it all, I think the process of constant self-reflection and re-centering around our priorities has been a good preparation for marriage, even if the focus on the wedding day has detracted from discussion about the marriage that will follow. But over the past few months, I have learned a few things that have helped me refocus on the sacrament itself.


I have found that being intentional about how I think and act makes a big difference. While many things will happen that are out of my control, the way I react to them is entirely up to me. If someone offers the fifth piece of unsolicited advice of the day, I can let it frustrate me and complain to my friends about it, or I can smile, say thank you, and pray for the grace I need to maintain peace of mind. While there have been plenty of times where I’ve let myself be frustrated, the more intentional I am about creating positivity, the more positive I feel.


Secondly, prayer has been my saving grace throughout this process. While I do not make as much time for it as I should, I do my best to pray for my fiancé and our upcoming marriage, pray for any graces I need to have a joyful and enriching engagement, and pray over any major decisions we are making. While God is probably okay with leaving it up to us to chose dusty blue or sky blue napkins, He does want to be a part of how we decide to plan our future family and how we treat our current family throughout the process. Consulting Him about these things has led to a much greater sense of peace.


During the month of February, I tried to only do things related to the actual Sacrament of Marriage, like choosing readings and music and going on a marriage-prep retreat. It was one of the most joyful months of our engagement so far, because I realized how exciting it is to have the opportunity to plan an entire Mass. When else do we get to choose the music, readings, and people involved in Mass? And when else do we have a reason to invite all of our friends and family to go to Mass with us? It’s an incredible opportunity not only to plan a meaningful Mass for ourselves, but also to invite everyone else to experience the faith that we love so much.


Amidst all of the planning, I hope other engaged couples will be able to find the same consolation that I have found in prayer, the beauty of the sacrament, and a healthy sense of humor every time we catch ourselves breaking out in a panic sweat over which color tablecloth to use. While we may not succeed in planning the perfect Christ-centered wedding, I am beginning to think that is okay as long as it leads to a Christ-centered marriage.


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