The Guest List

The Guest List


By Nicky Luis

If you are experiencing cold sweats and dread when thinking of your guest list – don’t worry as you are not alone! So many couples have issues when dealing with the tricky challenge of managing their guest list, and the challenges come in many shapes and forms. Which one are you facing?

It just keeps growing

Often the number of guests being added to the list is ever-increasing and, more often than not, this is due to family influences. Parents often want to invite friends and (distant) family members to your wedding who you may not necessarily want at your nuptials. I often say to my couples that the guests attending the wedding should be there because their presence will make my couple’s day that much better and more memorable. If not, they should be questioning why that guest is being invited. For the couple, this is a good test of working as a team and standing up to your respective families, politely standing your ground, and asserting that as a couple you are controlling the final guest list.

It did not say “and Partner” 

When you send out an invitation to a single guest and you have addressed it solely to that person, what do you do if they RSVP for themselves and a partner? It’s quite simple really – send a note, email or make a phone call to say that you are delighted that they will be able to join you in celebrating your marriage, but due to “venue capacity limitations/budget restrictions” (insert the most applicable response), the invitation is just for them and not for a partner, and you sincerely hope they will still be able to join you. Again, you want to have people at your wedding who will make your day better by being there – having a complete stranger there is not going to do that.

I don’t want HIM at MY wedding

Oh, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this line! Admittedly, it is normally from a fairly irate bride and she is often referring to a close friend of the groom. A small point here: It is not just her wedding – it is his wedding, too. Often when I have sat and chatted to my distraught bride about this “fiend” who dares to show his face at her wedding, I discover that she has not even spoken to the poor groom, who is completely oblivious to her distress.

Ladies (and, yes, I am stereotyping here), you do need to talk to your fiancés about how you feel. As much as we wish they had the superhuman ability to read our minds, the fact is that they don’t. And it may come as a bit of a shock to you to understand that there may just be one or two girlfriends on your list who he is not all that thrilled about. Some key cornerstones to a great relationship are communication and compromise – so it is a great idea to talk to each other about any “fiends” who may have made their way onto the list – the most common one is the drunk, loud Uni friend who always tells the most inappropriate jokes. This way your Superman can have a quiet word to the offensive brute far in advance, thus causing you the least amount of distress.

And if there are any ladies (or men) whom your groom finds objectionable, you have the opportunity to have a little chat with them, too. Remember, while your friends are incredibly important and you always need to have them in your life, both you and your partner need to be respectful of each other’s feelings. You are a team now – that is why you are getting married.

Over the years, I have discovered that when it comes to couples who are trying to handle tricky guest list situations, they usually sit and stew on the problem, getting more and more worried. It is far better to make the decision jointly as to what you are going to do and take action immediately. You can then move on to other wedding matters and decisions. Do remember that it is a joint decision. There will be many times as a married couple when you are going to face family pressure, conflicts, friends being difficult, etc – this is a very good opportunity to have each other’s back and show what a strong couple you are.


Child’s Play

Child’s Play


by Sabrina Atherton

It’s easy to expect the worst when you see the words ‘children’ and ‘wedding’ in the same sentence. Those two simple words can conjure up nightmarish images of gangs of little people terrorising your other guests,= screaming and crying uncontrollably as you say your vows, or breaking down in a sugar-induced tantrum during your first dance. However children can be adorable and bring heartfelt warmth to your special day.

If you’re thinking of including children at your wedding, we’re on hand with a few helpful tips to keep everyone happy regardless of their age.

Little Helpers

Little people love to please and lend a hand so make them feel like they’re an important part of your day by giving them small tasks to do. You can ask them to help by handing out the confetti or little bottles of bubbles at the end of the ceremony, bearing the rings, or helping to round up your guests for photos.

Don’t forget to tell your little helpers what a great help they have been once they have completed their task, the praise will make them feel extra special and in return they’ll want to help out some more.

Picture Perfect

Children are renowned for having an attention span that rivals a goldfish, so it pays to organise any photos including them to be taken as soon after the ceremony as possible to get the best out of them. It’s also important to ensure there are plenty of things for them to do while your photographer is busy with you and your other guests.

If you want your young guests to join in then it’s a good idea to make sure you plan any child-focused activities early in the day, before their attention span and energy levels are depleted.

Bite Sized

When considering the menu for the little people, keep it kid-friendly – fish fingers or chicken nuggets with chips make great options; the kids won’t appreciate anything too fancy, and parents may be unhappy if it’s too unhealthy. The same rule applies to dessert – ice cream or a fruit salad washed down with a slice of wedding cake will always be an instant winner.

Entertain Me

Food may be the way to win a man’s heart but fun is how to win a child’s love. All you need to plan your entertainment with children in mind is a splash of creativity and a great big dollop of fun. There are plenty of options to keep your young guests (and some of the older ones, too) grinning from ear to ear – from professional entertainers to outdoor activities. Hire a face painter to transform them into tigers and butterflies, set up a game of crochet on the lawn, or hire a bouncy castle if the budget can stretch to one. Whatever you decide, make sure the entertainment is age appropriate otherwise you may be wasting your money. For more ideas for entertaining the kids, try Rainbow Rascals or The Fun Warehouse.

To keep the kids entertained during the ceremony or the wedding breakfast, you can make fun goody bags or activity packs for them to enjoy. Colouring books, crayons, stickers, a little pot of non-toxic Play Doh, and some yummy treats are all easy ways to keep children quiet for a few minutes.

Don’t include anything that might make a noise or will need adult supervision. It’s also a good idea to check the contents of your activity packs with your venue because some may not allow certain items.

Activity packs are not the only way to keep the kiddies entertained. We live in a tech-savvy world and a tablet at easy reach can be a lifesaver when faced with a young guest teetering on an edge of breakdown. Pre-load the tablet with fun games, interactive apps and movies to use at a moment’s notice.

You can take your child-friendly entertainment one step further if your venue, or more importantly your budget, can cater for a separate breakout room. It really can be worth every extra penny if done right.

It can be a room where the children can simply let off steam without disrupting the proceedings. Alternatively, it can be somewhere for them to chill out. Throw in some giant pillows, comfy blankets, a few buckets of popcorn and a Disney favourite, and you’ve discovered the winning formula to smiling faces all round.

Child's PlayAfter Hours

If you’re planning to invite children to an evening do, you can help parents out by organising childcare locally. Depending on how many you have coming with children, you may want to discuss plans with the parents to find out what they’re comfortable with, whether it’s an in-room sitter, a listening service or full-on childcare.

Add the contact details for a babysitting service into your wedding invitations or give your guests a day off from their parental duties by organising a team of sitters to whisk the little ones off for a few hours. Rockmybaby provides professional babysitting services across New Zealand; they can also custom create event care packages catering just for your wedding.

You may, however, find that your wedding gives those with kids the perfect excuse to enjoy some adult-only fun by leaving the little ones at home, or by asking friends or family to take care of them.



Rainbow Rascals:

The Fun Warehouse:





Claire Moulds offers invaluable advice to mum, dad and future in-laws on their roles in making the wedding planning process as smooth and as stress-free as possible.

First and foremost remember the golden rule – it is NOT your day. True, you may have dreamt about your child’s wedding since the day they were born but, ultimately, the final decision on every aspect of the ceremony and reception lies entirely with them and their future husband or wife. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have any input into the big day, or proffer advice, but always wait to be invited first!

Some couples have a very clear vision from the outset, and are happy to work together on creating their dream wedding, with minimal help from their respective families. Others will want to involve their nearest and dearest in the entire process, from writing the invitations, to making the table centrepieces, sewing bunting for the marquee, baking the cake.

Whichever approach your child chooses to adopt, be supportive and let them know that you are there to help them as much or as little as they want.

The pressure of creating the perfect day – not just for them, but for their family and friends – can be extremely stressful, so make it your aim to reduce the pressure wherever possible and not to add to it. This is especially the case if you do not agree with some of the choices being made!

If you are unable to let it go and feel you simply HAVE to say something, try to deliver your thoughts in a calm, measured fashion, however upset you might be. Emotions will already be running high, so bear in mind that any perceived criticism of the wedding plans is likely to be taken badly and leave you all feeling battered and bruised afterwards.

It’s also important to recognise that the wedding is about two families, not just your own. Your child, through the act of getting married, will form a lifelong link between your family and their partner’s, and both need to be on an equal footing from the very start. While the bride’s parents may have historically taken the lead on decisions, as they were paying for the wedding, the modern approach is for both families to be equally involved. If you don’t know each other very well, suggest getting together a few times during the planning process for a meal or a drink to remedy this.

If you’re the mother of the groom, it can be difficult to find your place in proceedings as your future daughter-in-law is likely to be taking the lead role in the planning process and will turn to her own mum for advice and support.

Make it clear from the outset that you are more than happy to help share the load and are available as a sounding board whenever she needs it, even if it’s simply to vent over a coffee if things are getting too much for her. And, while she may have a clear idea who she wants to accompany her on her own dress appointments, there’s no reason at all you can’t invite her on a shopping trip with you to choose your outfit.

One of the thornier aspects of being ‘the parents’ is how much to contribute financially. These days many couples prefer to pay for their own wedding – or at least the majority of it – with the onus no longer on the bride’s parents  to pick up the entire bill. However, that still leaves the dilemma of ‘how much?’ It goes without saying that it’s not a competition as to who gives the more generous donation to the wedding fund. Both families may have very different incomes, approaches to funding family weddings and opinions on what the parents should and shouldn’t pay for. Respect the decision of your opposite numbers and, if they don’t want to share what amount they contributed, do not ask your son or daughter to tell you, even in confidence!

If you can’t afford to make a financial contribution, remember that your time and skills are just as valuable. You could offer to write all the invitations, address the envelopes and take them to the post office, thereby saving the bride and groom hours of precious time. Putting money into the wedding fund does not ‘buy’ you the right to make key decisions, even if you have put in the largest amount. My friend’s mum thought that by paying for the lion’s share of her wedding she could demand to have three tables at the reception solely for her own friends, even though that meant her daughter and fiancé would have to not invite some of their closest friends in order to make room for them!

Appreciate that your offspring might not want to give you a full financial breakdown of the cost of the wedding, and that you might not know what your money fully or partly paid for. If you feel strongly that your money should pay for specific items – as the bride’s parents you may want to buy her dress, and as the groom’s parents you might want to pay for the drinks – then ask if that’s a possibility.

On the day itself, accept that your son or daughter is going to be in huge demand. As well as wanting to spend time with each of their guests and having their formal photographs taken, they will also want to enjoy private moments with their new spouse. Do not take it personally if it feels as though you are only getting a brief word here and there!

If there is a special moment you want to share on the big day, make it clear beforehand so it can be included in the schedule, especially if it’s not a traditional part of the proceedings.

Finally, don’t forget that a wedding is just the first of many future celebrations that you will all share – use it as an opportunity to get to know the people who have welcomed your child into their family and build the foundations of a lasting friendship. Your children – and future grandchildren – will thank you for it.


It Adds Up

It Adds Up

Since the birth of the early abacus some 2,000 years before Christ, calculators have been used by mankind to nd solutions to all sorts of boring equations.

New Zealand entrepreneurs Roy Zane and Steven Male have launched a world rst: a calculator which helps users work out how much wine to buy for their wedding or upcoming event.

“Calculators are a bit lame, but not ours,” says Zane. “While engineers use traditional calculators to work out the structural integrity of a building, our calculator can tell people something much more interesting: how much and what kind of wine they should get for their wedding or event.”

The free Wedding Wines calculator works on a simple four step process in which users are asked a few details about their event, including the main type of food being served and the drinking habits (from tea-totaller to heavy) of the average attendee. Respondents are then given a tailored recommendation on how much and what type of wine they should get.

“With wine you get people who are either know-it-alls or those who know nothing because they have always been afraid of the know-it-alls,” says co-founder Steven Male, who’s worked in the industry for four years. “The result is that most events have a poor choice of wine. There’s a lot that goes into getting the right quantity and type of wine to match food; even the best red in the world can taste horrible after eating an oyster.

“Our calculator takes the guesswork out, leaving the married couple relaxed and free of stress as they begin their lifelong commitment to each other,” adds Zane.

Behind the friendly and easy-to-use interface of the wine calculator, there’s hard science. “We’ve done a ton of research, talking and drinking with people in both the wine and wedding industries, about drinking habits. Plus we’ll be constantly tweaking the calculator based on our users’ experience.”

The calculator is completely free for users, with the startup making money from vineyards when users purchase the packages recommended to them. Those using the tool can rest assured they’re getting better deals with bulk discounts through the Wedding Wines website than they would get from the vineyard directly.

“With our group buying model, everyone wins,” says Male. “And the best thing is: if you’re worried you might not have enough, you can just over-order because all our wine suppliers offer full refunds on any untouched cases.”

Gown Shopping Tips

Gown Shopping Tips


Shopping for the perfect gown can be a daunting task. Here are our very best tips to help you through the process.

1. Budget

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – ALWAYS have a budget and stick to it. You need to know how much you can allocate for your dress before you start shopping. So many brides completely blow their budget on their dress and then nd themselves out of pocket when it comes to the rest of their expenses, having to forgo details they’ve dreamed about for years!

2. Location

Where you decide to hold your big day will have a bearing on what kind of dress will suit. A velvet dress with fur trim just won’t do for a mid-summer beach ceremony, whereas something oaty and loose tting would be perfect. Consider the time of year, the elements, the length of time you will you be outside. And then consider whether the shoes that are likely to match the dress will actually suit the location – if that dress requires punchy heels and you’re tying the knot on a grassy knoll, think again!

3. When to Start?

If you are getting a dress made by a dressmaker or designer, you will want to allow 12 months, especially if you are getting married in peak season. For ordering online allow six months, plus you may need to get your dress altered once it arrives, so allow time for that. Buying off the shelf at a bridal store is more complicated – you may nd your dream dress in the rst shop or you may nd that you want to wait for the next season of dresses to come in. Allow yourself a minimum of nine months to look for a store bought dress.

4. Refine your Style

You may have seen a dress you love or have an idea of what you want. However, our advice is to visit a dress shop and try on every style and every shade before making any solid decisions. Even if you don’t like the look of the dress it helps to narrow down which style really suits your body type and which colour suits your skin tone. From there, look at what fabrics you prefer and what extras you like: lace, pearls, jewels, gathers, bands, buttons, ribbons. Consider gloves, veils, shoes and jewellery at this stage, too. If you already have an accessory you’re determined to wear, take it with you when you go shopping.

5. Take a Buddy

When deciding who to take shopping with you, consider a friend who isn’t too opinionated, one who will guide you in your decision but not try and talk you into something that they like. Although this can be a fun and exciting girls’ day out, it can also be hard to concentrate when you have too many of your girlfriends around. Listen to the advice of the bridal consultant, too. And never impulse buy! Sleep on it and try the dress on again in another few days. Sometimes that second tting feels a lot different.

Series: Becoming Mr & Mrs

Series: Becoming Mr & Mrs



One of my clearest memories from my own wedding is standing alone in the bridal suite, after everyone else had gone to church, and being hit by an attack of nerves. Not because I had any doubts about getting married, or about the man I was marrying, but because I had suddenly realised that I was about to become the centre of attention, with all eyes on me as I walked down the aisle.

We all invest so much thought and effort into planning our big day that we don’t stop to think how it will actually feel to be a bride. Certainly, if you’re not used to finding yourself in the spotlight, suddenly becoming the focus of everyone’s happiness, along with your new husband, can be a little overwhelming.

Nobody can predict how he or she is going to respond emotionally. My friend Nikki – a tough, no nonsense prison officer by trade – was visibly shaking, almost in tears and clinging onto her father for all she was worth as she made her way towards the altar, while my friend Caroline, after ten years of patiently waiting for her moment, practically sprinted towards her future husband!

And it’s not just you that will be battling with a range of emotions. For my own husband, who hates being fussed over and having his photo taken, the day brought its own set of challenges.

While at the time I thought his refusal to let go of my hand throughout the service was his way of calming my nerves, I now realise it was to also steady his own.

It’s important to accept from the start that not everything over the course of the day is going to go accordingly to plan. The flower girl might not want to walk ahead of you scattering rose petals, the person doing a reading may stumble over their words and the organist might hit a wrong note or two. However thorough your preparations, you simply cannot control everything. In our case, I didn’t sleep a wink the night before as I was so excited, my husband locked himself out of our flat in the process of getting dressed and my hair and make-up artist arrived so early that I barely had time to grab two mouthfuls of breakfast before dashing up to my room to get ready!

Equally, some of the things that were entirely out of your hands from the start will surprise and delight you. We got married during one of the wettest summers on record and, when I opened the curtains on the morning of the wedding, the sky was dark and brooding. As the day progressed though the sun came bursting through the clouds and we enjoyed the best weather of that entire year. So much so that the photos of the evening do showcase a collection of ever redder faces! I’d also been worried about my Dad’s speech as he has little experience of public speaking and isn’t entirely at ease at big social events, but it was absolutely brilliant – touching, funny and a great way to welcome all our guests.

While it’s natural to want to play the perfect hostess, don’t feel under pressure to do so at the expense of your own enjoyment of the day. It’s someone else’s job to ensure people know where they are going, have ample food and drink and make it safely to bed at the end of the evening. That’s what you have ushers, a best man, bridesmaids and the staff at your venue for. I will confess though to insisting on checking the reception room before I left for church to ensure it had been laid out exactly how I’d asked it to be, but then, I am the ultimate perfectionist!

Although your wedding doesn’t come with a script, there will be moments that you have anticipated ever since you got engaged. It might be what your father says on seeing his little girl dressed as a bride, it might be the look on your fiancé’s face as you walk down the aisle or it might be the reaction of your guests to the line ‘I now pronounce you husband and wife’. Just remember that these might not play out exactly how you imagined them and that even though someone might not articulate their emotions in the way you’d hoped, it doesn’t mean they aren’t feeling them.

A standout feature of the day, which everyone warns you about but you don’t fully appreciate until it’s your own wedding, is that it all goes by so fast. We therefore deliberately chose to have an early ceremony so we had as much time afterwards as possible to celebrate with our guests. We also stole moments here and there, just the two of us, so we could drink in everything that was happening and share how we were feeling.

One item on the schedule that can be highly unpredictable is photography. Even though we’d selected a photographer with a relatively relaxed style so we weren’t having formal photos taken for hours on end, the process still took far longer than we thought. I don’t regret it, as we have some wonderful images, but you do need to allow for this and to accept that you might be away from your guests for some time, especially if bad weather complicates the situation.

And, while you might only just have become husband and wife, don’t be surprised if, in and amongst the confetti, cake cutting and first dance, talk turns to the pitter patter of tiny feet. We’d barely made it out of the church before people were asking us when a baby would be arriving, so the pair of you might want to have a few witty retorts up your sleeve!

Finally, people say that their wedding day was the best day of their lives for a reason. You’re committing to spending the rest of your life with your soul mate, surrounded by the people you love most in the world – cherish every single minute!

Next issue: Claire looks at what it means to be married





By Claire Moulds


‘The perfect match’

How to find wedding suppliers who can turn your dream day into a reality. Now you have a clear idea what you want your wedding day to be like it’s time to start searching for the perfect location.

Since the venue will take up a large proportion of your budget, and popular ones get booked up so far in advance, it’s important to focus on this first, not least because it will mean that you can then set the date!

Make appointments to visit all of the venues you’re interested in and be sure to spend at least a few hours there. Don’t just look at the building itself … observe how the staff behave, how professional and on the ball the wedding co-ordinator is, and try and taste the food and drink. Ask if yours would be the only wedding there that day, where your photos would be taken if the weather is bad, and what time the music has to stop in the evening. Try and see it when it’s set up for a real wedding so you can really get a feel for how it would look on the day.

If the venue is also where you want to spend your first night together as husband and wife make sure the bridal suite is reserved for you – don’t assume this will automatically happen!

Now that the venue and date have been confirmed, inform everyone you intend to invite so that they can put it in their diary and book time off work if required. It’s not imperative to send out save the date cards; you can simply phone and email everybody on your guest list. Make it as easy as possible for those travelling a long way by sending them details of airports, railway stations, local taxi firms and a choice of accommodation to suit every budget.

My next priority was booking the photographer. As your wedding photos are your lasting memory of the day, they are absolutely worth investing in but, as photographers can vary markedly in price, they can also make a big dent in your budget. Certainly, at whatever stage you book your photographer, it’s worth asking to see albums of recent weddings they’ve shot at your venue so you can get a feel for how they use the space. It’s also important to confirm how much of the day they will cover – will they still be there to capture your first dance together?

SERIES: BECOMING MR & MRSWhen looking for suppliers don’t be afraid to pick the brains of family, friends and colleagues who have recently married. Many brides shy away from this as they want their wedding to be completely different to anyone else’s. However, if your friend has already done the legwork and found a florist who offers a good service for a fair price – and you loved the flowers at her wedding – it would be silly not to ask.

Research, research and more research is the key to finding good suppliers who really understand your vision and who you feel confident working with. Weddings often attract a premium, so negotiate on everything you order – if you can’t get a reduction on the price ask, for something extra to be thrown in for free!

Throughout the planning process, it’s vital not to lose sight of your original vision for the day. You might want to tweak some ideas based on your research, but always remember that the best weddings are a true reflection of the couple themselves. It’s the personal touches that will make your wedding stand out in people’s memories in the years to come, and these are often more about thought and effort than spending lots of money.

For example, we ordered very simple, good quality wedding stationery, then added a ribbon detail ourselves to match my dress and to create a signature look that ran through the whole day. The ribbon only cost a few dollars, so the main investment was spending a few hours together tying them on. I also spent days constructing a playlist for the DJ of all our favourite songs – and those of our guests – and everyone said that they hadn’t danced as much in ages.

The hardest part for me was finding my dress, especially as everyone said I’d know the minute I found ‘the one’. I never experienced that initial rush of love for mine – even though it was absolutely perfect. Having spoken to other brides, I’ve now realised I’m not the only one, so don’t worry if you don’t! Spend your first appointment trying on every type of dress available, even if you think you know what you want. I was adamant I didn’t want a strapless dress but, quickly realised they suited me best. While I sometimes took family and friends with me, I probably made the most progress when I went on my own, as I wasn’t being swayed by the opinions of others.

Be true to your own style with your choice. Don’t feel compelled to go down the ‘big dress’ route if that’s simply not you. Consider how your wedding photos will look in twenty years’ time. Is the dress too ‘of the moment’? It shouldn’t be the determining factor in your decision, but it is worth considering so your photos don’t quickly appear dated.

While it may be a stressful and expensive process, planning your wedding is also a really special time in your lives – you’re creating something that reflects the pair of you and which sets the tone for your future lives together. Enjoy and treasure every single moment of it!

Next time: Claire looks at the day itself and what it means to be a bride.


Wedding wars!

Wedding wars!

Wedding wars!Wedding Wars: how to avoid divorce before marriage!

by Sara Chatwin

It is said that all relationships require work and certainly after the blush of the newness wears off, marriages, too, require work. Yet who was to know that actually getting married probably requires the most amount of work that any person will experience in such a relatively short period of time.

So many couples today report significant amounts of stress as they head to the altar … and certainly there are a raft of anecdotes and stories that most married couples have about the ‘agony and the ecstasy’ that seems to permeate wedding planning.

Often couples comment on how they feel very ‘out of control’ as they plan their big day. Others believe that much of the preparation revolves around what ‘other family members’ want and not necessarily what they intended for their big day. Take heart though, there are ways of minimising the stress during the process of wedding planning that can make your wedding day just that: YOURS!

Here are 5 hot tips for anyone embarking on the wedding journey:

1. Have a plan! The more organised you are, the more prepared for anything you become. Whilst ‘micro-management ‘ is not necessarily the plan, knowing what you want and what you are going to get at your wedding gives you a sense of ‘control’ and direction that helps calm any nerves!

2. Do what both of you want to do: Wedding time is a time of happiness and future plans. It’s also a time of strength! This is due to the fact that at some point you will need strength and resolve to get what YOU want. There will be many people popping their ingredients into YOUR mix. Strength is needed to stick to your original recipe and be the architect of your destiny and your future.

3. Move forward with both eyes open! Of course you become very wound up in the daily tasks of planning a wedding. However, take time out regularly to enjoy your life! Remember to do the things that you have always done, or further, that you enjoy. Don’t narrow your focus completely. There is life after the big day!

4. Don’t be scared to delegate! If you have a person or people you can trust to get some of the small stuff done, enlist their help and you may not have to sweat the small stuff. This is particularly helpful at a time where there is so much going on and, as the old adage goes, many hands make light work! (I would only alter that adage slightly by saying many SKILLED hands make light work!

5. Regularly remember WHY you’re getting married. Celebrate the ‘love’ part of the wedding equation throughout this planning process. This will keep you close to the excitement and joy that you will feel as you exchange your vows and start your life with someone REALLY special.

Weddings can be a challenge; a bitter sweet experience for many. So it’s important for couples to try to focus on their wants and needs for their big day and to celebrate in a style that they are comfortable with. And when the wedding is over and you have negotiated your way up and down the slippery slopes of seating plans and floral arrangements, your future together will seem like a proverbial walk in the park!

Sara Chatwin (Reg. Psychologist and director of MindWorks: Life Performance Specialists) is a familiar face on our TV screens and in other media. She is highly skilled as a life skills manager, stress buster, mind coach and mentor. /


An Elegant Chignon

An Elegant Chignon

dressTo complement Monique Lhuillier’s whimsical and sensual Spring/Summer 2016 Bridal Collection, Moroccanoil Global Creative Ambassador Kevin Hughes created a low modern, elegant chignon. The sleek, sophisticated updo showcased the bride’s natural beauty and provided the perfect foundation for her gown style.

Create the look:

  • Smooth Moroccanoil Treatment Light from mid-lengths to ends of dry hair.

    This foundation transforms, nourishes, detangles and boosts hair’s shine.

  • Create a middle part and brush hair back into a sleek ponytail at the nape of

    the neck, securing with an elastic band.

  • Apply Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream to the ponytail to eliminate

    frizz and add soft definition before wrapping into a soft chignon.

  • Twist ponytail and wrap counterclockwise around the elastic. Secure with bobby pins.
  • Finish with a generous spritz of Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong. It keeps strands shiny and smooth and the style in place all day and night

Find Her Style

Find Her Style
  • ringsPay attention when she admires someone else’s ring
  • Notice which advertisements or photographs of rings she admires
  • Ask her friends and family what she likes
  • Take time to notice the other jewellery she wears – whether she prefers simple designs or more intricate ones
  • Note her metal choice as well – white gold, yellow gold or platinum
  • Note which shape of diamond she likes, for example, round brilliant, radiant, princess, marquise, emerald, pear, oval or heart.
  • Be aware of her gemstone of choice – remember that not all ladies prefer white diamonds.

    We also stock a vast range of coloured diamonds and coloured gemstone engagement rings including sapphires, rubies and emeralds.

  • Browse with her at a reputable jeweller or go window shopping with her.
  • Learn about the 4 Cs of diamonds so that you can make an informed decision.