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Our Marketing girl, Vicky is getting hitched to her fiance, John in the summer of 2014. With wedding season in full bloom, follow her monthly blog posts on wedding planning, dress buying and general wedding stress.

Before I agreed to write this blog, I decided to do a bit of market research on my married and soon to be married friends. The results were unanimous- planning a wedding is hard work, you have to be super organised and no one gets it 100% right. Regardless, it is one of the best days of your life and all the small things that will get you in a panic and stop you sleeping at night really won’t matter in the end.

So, in this blog I am going to be completly honest about my wedding planning experience and give future brides (and grooms)-to-be as many tips as I can from my own personal experience.

wedding

Photo credit : http://www.bohomoth.com/?p=27200

So, lets get straight into it. Things got off to a slow start but now we’ve got the momentum going, its all ticking along nicely ….

After the ‘will you marry me’ and engagement party, I was quite happy wearing my shiny new ring and telling people about my fiancé. People would ask me, ‘when’s the wedding?’ and I would reply, ‘oh, next year sometime.’ It was only when next year came (and we were nearly half way through it) that I realised if we were going to get married anytime soon, we would actually have to start planning!

This mini panic was in May. We are now in July and I can happily say that the wedding planning is well underway and that we now have a date, venue and wedding stationery.

The Venue

wedding venue

Photo credit: http://www.occasianz.com/blog/choosing-venue-your-asian-wedding

We always knew we wanted to get married in Ibiza, after spending many summers there and falling in love with the glorious sunshine, stunning beaches and chilled vibe which we thought would be an amazing back drop for our wedding. We thought we knew the island pretty well but soon realised that looking for a wedding venue abroad is nothing like looking for a holiday, so the pre-research began!

After browsing the Internet for hours and hours on end, we were able to shortlist 7 venues that we thought would be a perfect setting for our relaxed wedding in Ibiza.

Tip List 1: Finding a venue online

  1. Google is and will always be your best friend! Search for every combination of words you can think of that describe your perfect wedding and slowly start building a list of potential venues. This may seem a bit crazy but it works!
  2. You would be amazed at how many chat rooms and forums there are with people talking about and sharing their experiences of exactly what you are searching for – so find them! Try http://www.islandbrides.com/forum/ for Caribbean inspiration, or http://forums.confetti.co.uk/ for general planning help.
  3. Search for reviews. It’s all very well the venue telling you how amazing and perfect their place is for your needs, but listen to the people that have actually held their wedding there. Your much more likely to get an honest answer out of people who don’t make any money from the venues themselves!
  4. Finally (and without a doubt, the most important tip of all), make sure you go and see the place in person. Photo’s uploaded online can only do a place so much justice and wedding venues pay photographers thousands of pounds to take and edit beautiful, flattering images of their buildings.

Photo credit: http://www.campbellgrayhotels.com/carlisle-bay/weddings-and-events/weddings

So with this in mind, me and my fiance flew out to Ibiza at the begining of July to view 7 venues we’d fallen in love with online. And the unanimous conclusion was this: wedding venue hunting is tough! See the websites below for three of the stunning venues we viewed:

http://www.amanteibiza.com/

amante

http://www.restaurantecasmila.com/

casmila

http://www.sapuntaibiza.com

sa punta

If we had chosen from images alone, the beautiful hotel nestled in the mountains with stunning panoramic views over looking the beach would have been a no brainer! However, when we went walked into the final venue on our list, it was the feeling we both got that sold it to us. We stepped in and instantly pictured all our family and friends dotted around, celebrating our wedding day with us and it just fitted the bill perfectly. Scurrying back to our hotel room, we made an instant grab for the phone, called our beloved wedding planner and booked the date (July 3rd 2014 in case you were wondering!).

Next on our list.. the Stationery

Introducing His Royal Highness the Prince of Cambridge

He’s here! Finally, after 9 months of placing bets on every biological feature, scrabbling through magazines in search of news and debating over potential names, the 22nd of July 2013 has brought us the new Royal baby and probably the most talked about child of the century.

Royal baby

With a reported original due date of July 13th, we here at head office have been glued to every news bulletin and the live Royal baby watch every second of the day for the past 9 days and now, it’s official. His Royal Highness the Prince of Cambridge is finally here and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge are the new parents of a healthy baby boy. The Prince will now take the position of third heir to the throne.

Royal babies have always caused national excitement, with our latest being no exception. However, it is those born within the last century that have incited our interest the most, with the rise in technology making it ever easier and quicker to get all the latest news in an instant.

The birth of Prince William and Prince Harry

On June 1st 1982 at 9.03pm and weighing 7lb 1.5oz, Prince William was presented to the world in front of St Mary’s hospital in Paddington. The name William was chosen a few days later and he was christened, as Royal tradition demands, in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace on 4th August 1982.

Royal Children

image: Prince Charles of Wales and Princess Diana of Wales with newborn William and Harry

Two years later, on 15th September 1984 at 4.20pm and weighing 6lb 14oz, Prince Harry was welcomed by his parents Diana and Charles at the same hospital. Around 300 reporters camped outside St Mary’s in the week preceding the birth and it was eventually announced by a local TV crewman that the baby was a boy.

So let’s be honest with ourselves. With 2,000 ‘lucky’ silver pennies being given to every British child born on 22nd of July 2013 from the Royal Mint and Kate to be gifted with a knitted kangaroo from an ex Australian Prime minster , what do you buy for the baby that seemingly has everything? If a newborn baby has recently blessed your lives, why not take a look at the little montage below for some gift ideas.

babygiftideas

From left to right: 9ct gold bangle £265 (1024005), silver locket £65 (0324010), pearl bracelet £65 (0072006), silver cross £39 (0312003), identity bracelet £45 (0071003), gold heart £95 (0235319)

And don’t forget, to all those husbands, boyfriends and partners out there, to spoil the women who carried this little bundle of joy and sacrificed looking at her feet for 9 months. Tradition dictates that the first born child should be celebrated through an eternity ring. Whether you choose a full eternity or half eternity, this should be worn as a symbol of your ever strengthening love and commitment as a family.

0423029 - 18ct white gold 0.75 carat diamond eternity ring

18ct white gold 0.75ct diamond full eternity ring. Was £1499, Now £999. (0432029)

In Fraser Hart style, we’ve decided to celebrate the new Royal’s birth with a promotion on one of our favourite eternities. This beautiful 18ct white gold full eternity with three quarters of a carat is the perfect expression of love for that special new-mummy and will sit beautifully next to most other styles of ring.

The Fraser Hart team are dying to see what jewellery is bestowed upon the Princess following the birth of her first born child so watch this space and we will be sure to keep you posted.

Li Bingbing Gucci Bamboo Collection

 So it would seem that our local Weatherman is an avid reader of the Fraser Hart blog. How else can you explain the beautiful heat wave we’ve been having after all those months of gloom? If you have a problem, if no one else can help and if you can find them… maybe you should call the Fraser Hart Team.

We’ve been lapping up countless ice creams and grabbing every second of spare sun during our lunch breaks and we are officially back in the summer spirit. With all the denim shorts and floral crop tops floating around, we decided it was time to appreciate some of the beautiful accessories out there this summer. And what a perfect time for it to suddenly brighten up! Gucci have just released their new Li Bingbing L.O.V.E campaign and we’ve been dying to have a better look at this beautiful collection.

Li Bingbing L.O.V.E Bamboo Campaign

Li Bingbing L.O.V.E & Gucci

Renowned Chinese actress, Li Bingbing has teamed up with Gucci Timepieces & Jewellery and her personal charitable organisation, L.O.V.E to create a new Bamboo timepiece and bracelet. With the intent of promoting a responsible attitude towards life, L.O.V.E was founded in 2009 and has since worked with such programmes as Tony Blair’s Climate Group “Million Forest” project and the World Wide Fund for Nature “Earth Hour” project. Now, the charity has partnered up with well-known fashion house, Gucci, to launch two limited edition pieces to endorse this partnership

Special Edition Bamboo Timepiece

From the first time a Gucci Bamboo watch graced our desks here at Head Office, we instantly fell in love. With styling favoured by celebrities such as Florence Welch and Beyonce Knowles, the natural bamboo paired with horse-bit styling synonymous with Gucci was enough to make us jump with excitement.

Special Edition Li Bingbing L.O.V.E Bamboo watch

Crafted from light bamboo and with a medium sized dial (35mm), this special edition timepiece is the perfect luxury Gucci for any watch lover. The creamy dial and over all colour scheme blends perfectly with the 2013 spring/summer trends and allows luxury design to pair with wearability.

Bamboo Bracelet Special Edition

Having satisfied all those watch lovers out there, Gucci then decided to release a special edition bamboo bracelet to pair alongside.

Special Edition Li Bingbing & L.O.V.E bracelet

This beaded Bingbing Bamboo bracelet is crafted from wooden bamboo and milky white beads of Tagua nut. Chosen for its sustainable ability, the Tagua is known as ‘vegetable ivory’ and eliminates the risk of animal cruelty through the ivory trade. Fastened with a metal drawstring ball clasp and emblazoned with the Gucci logo, this stunning bracelet pairs two massive 2013 trends (graphic prints and minimalism) to create a wearable and versatile piece of jewellery.

So while the sun is still beating in the sky and we’re all sat in our gardens sipping colourful cocktails and giggling over BBQ’s, make sure you don’t forget to get yourselves down to one of our stores or online and grab one of these stunning limited pieces.

 

Mi Moneda does Summer 2013

Calling all girls, lasses and ladies. It’s time to stand up against a great evil and take back the freedom that summer used to offer us. No longer will we wrap ourselves in winter jumpers when July dates creep round the corner. No longer will we settle for steaming bowls of tomato soup when we should be savouring melting ice creams in the park. We here at the office have decided that enough is enough and Summer 2013 will be the most enjoyable and colourful summer on record. So we have decided to introduce our newest and most coveted brand, Mi Moneda, to you today and show you how this beautiful new concept jewellery can be paired with many different 2013 summer catwalk trends.

Mi Moneda (which translates as ‘My Coin’ in Spanish) is an innovative jewellery concept that has been seen on the necks of celebrities such as Rhianna, Vanessa Hudgens and Halle Berry. Inspired by ancient amulets, the story of Mi Moneda began in Amsterdam with designer Michelle Mentrop. We have spent hours upon hours drooling over the hundreds of coin options, chains and metals available, and have fallen head-over-heels in love with this versatile and personal system.  We’ve put together this little guide with some beautiful pairing options to introduce the most talked about and inspirational 2013 catwalk trends into your everyday wardrobe.

Graphic Prints

Graphic prints 2013Image from www.patternbank.com

Not a trend for the faint hearted, this look calls for bold, eccentric and exciting prints in a mad variety of colours. Think bright, tropical flowers and geometric lines from head-to-toe and your basically right on the marker. Not always to the taste of every individual, why not introduce some bold prints into your wardrobe with this stunning double coin set.

Graphic prints Mi Moneda

Featuring synthetic butterfly wing segments and colourful shell design coins, this combination breeches the gap between catwalk-ready and every-day practicality.

Animal Print

Animal Print 2013

 Images from www.patternbank.com

Erase those images of Melanie Brown as ‘Scary Spice’ from your memory, as we move into a mature animal print trend. Think muted colours mixed with the occasional splash of neon, and you’re basically describing the entire Spring/Summer 2013 catwalk of many designers. A hugely versatile trend that can be played up with head-to-toe outfits or down with a simple leopard print shirt, this trend is becoming hugely popular throughout the high street and is one that us at Fraser Hart are particularly fond of.

Why not bring out your wild side (pardon the pun) with this beautiful double act, partnering rich leopard print with sparkling black Swarovski elements?

Monochrome Print

Monochrome 2013

Image from www.patternbank.com

Think Twiggy at the height of her career and the Swinging Sixties and you have the monochrome print. Quite simply the partnership between black and white, this print takes hold in strips, dots and any other combination of lines to create an aesthetically intriguing design. Easily the most wearable of all the trends here today, most will associate this trend with business suits but don’t be taken in by this misconception. Pair these two colours together right and you’re guaranteed an eye-catching, sophisticated look that carries through from morning to night.

Monochrome Mi Moneda

Mi Moneda has managed to beautifully encapsulate this trend in this stunning crystal set pendant with seemingly merging black and white stones. Paired with a silver carrier and chain, this is the perfect piece for just about anyone.

So, I don’t know about all you lovely ladies, but I’m off to grab myself one of these beauties before they get snapped up by everyone else. Available to buy in the following Fraser Hart stores: Bedford, Bristol Cabot Circus, Gateshead, Glasgow, Lakeside, London Stratfield, Manchester Trafford, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Norwich and Plymouth.