The Life of a Wedding Planner – Stylish Events

On Saturday the 12th of May I attended the ‘Introduction to Wedding Planning’ course hosted by Dominique Douglas (Stylish Events: Wedding & Events Management).

Established in 2002, Stylish Events is one of London’s longest running, independent, luxury wedding planning and event management companies. (stylishevents.com)

If you are looking for a Wedding Planner course, I would highly recommend Stylish Events. Dominique was attentive and eager to teach us everything we needed to know about the life of a wedding planner, I was shocked by the amount of detail and information she was able to share with us in just one day.

The course included:

  • The Journey of a Wedding Client
  • What do we do for our clients?
  • Wedding Services and Fees
  • Proposal
  • Event Budget
  • Venue Hunting
  • CV & Covering Email

While there was an abundance of information to take in, Dominique ensured we fully understood each element, especially the more complex content like the legal requirements of marriage and the fees & budgets.

We were also shown some beautiful examples of the creativity that goes into weddings. At Stylish Events, Dominique and her team are very hands on and even create many items that are used by their clients on their big day. We were also shown unique, bespoke pieces such as invitations, place cards and table settings that I had never seen before.

Most of all I learnt that there is far more to being a Wedding Planner than I had first anticipated. While it does involve cake tasting and attending posh lunches, it is very hard work. It is filled with organising seating plans, on-the-day schedules, negotiating with suppliers, taking care of clients budgets and some weddings/events call for 20+ hour days.

Overall the course taught me everything I needed to know as a beginner in the industry and made me even more excited and interested about being a potential wedding planner.

Why Writing Skills Are Vital To A PR Role

Due to my recent change in my career aspirations, I have spoken to various PR professionals about the difficulty of a transition from Journalism to Public Relations, (read my blog post about it here.) Every single one of them mentioned the transition being simple due to one vital skill both industries have in common: writing. Why is this?

1. Press Releases

The staple task of most PR professionals,  they are short, factual news stories written in the third person and given to the media to encourage editors/journalists/broadcasters to feature the story in their publications and programmes. A press release is not very forgiving when it comes to grammar/spelling errors and it must be clear and concise. If you can’t write clearly, put the story into context and write a newsworthy headline, your press release will get little to no attention.

2. Communication

PR is all. About. Communication. As well as verbal, written communication is vital. Whether it’s in an email to a client or a blog post, you must communicate your message clearly. You can’t expect something to gain publicity if your audience is unsure about what you’re trying to tell them.

3. Social Media

Social Media is a vital platform to many industries today, and PR is no different. With social media, when writing you should be asking questions, maybe use extra punctuation, avoid abstract titles and tell people what to expect.

4. Writing Styles

You should know how to adapt your writing style for different platforms. Brands can be a large part of PR, let’s say the brand you’re representing has a very specific personality, it is important to adapt your writing style to fit theirs. The way you email should be different to how you do a press release and so on.

Also, if like me, you have got into the habit of writing academic essays, practise writing in a more concise style, make your writing sound as if you’re talking to someone. Practise this by writing blog posts for example.

Writing styles also come in styles that can vary on different platforms: expository, descriptive, narrative and persuasive.

5. Persuasion

Many will argue, the most important writing style in PR is persuasion. Often your role will be to persuade: persuade journalists to write an article about your artist or product, persuade a radio to give your band some air time, persuade clients you are the right person to work with. Most of this is achieved through effective writing techniques.

 

 

 

 

Top Tips For Picking A University Degree

If you read my last blog post ‘A Change Of Heart : From Journalism to Public Relations’ you will know that I am about four months away from graduating with a Music Journalism Degree. I will admit I did rush into choosing my degree and although I don’t regret my decision, I do wish I had followed some of these steps:

1.Do your research

Looking at the University website’s course details isn’t enough. You should look into the industry you’re interested in working in too. For example if you’re interested in doing  a Public Relations course, visit PR Week, read books, visit prospects.co.uk to look at job roles, skills and challenges. This will help you to decide if you’re the right person for this industry.

2. Speak to people who are in that industry/ on the course you’re interested in

Getting advice from people who have been through it helps massively, some universities (like mine, Southampton Solent) do phone-ins where you can talk to students currently on the course you’re interested in. They can give you a real-life walk through of how the course will be, which should help to decide if it’s for you.

3. If you want to do a degree in Advertising, look into all the Communications degrees, and so on…

All degrees fall under certain job sectors, in communications we have Marketing, Journalism, PR, Advertising etc. You may have thought you wanted to do Advertising but after looking into other communications courses, you found yourself more suited to Marketing. This the same for all university courses, you may want to study nursing, then after a further look into the Healthcare sector, find yourself more suited to a Paramedic Science degree.

4. If your dream degree sounds really difficult, don’t let it put you off

University isn’t meant to be easy, it is supposed to be a big jump from college or school, the whole point of university is to challenge yourself and to learn, I say go for it.

5. Don’t let grade requirements put you off applying for a certain course either

If the course you’re interested in is asking for a number of UCAS points that you think you’ll struggle to achieve, don’t let that scare you. At the end of the day universities want students, in fact they need them. It has been known that many students get into their top choice university without reaching the exact UCAS requirements, sometimes universities are interested in more than just points.

A Change of Heart : From Journalism to Public Relations

I am final year Music Journalism student studying at Southampton Solent University, soon to be graduating in July. I decided on my degree not long before applying for university. At that point all I knew was that I loved writing and I loved music. I applied for my current course and some other Journalism courses in 2013 whilst still in college.

In my first year of university I thoroughly enjoyed myself, going to gigs, listening to tons of music, designing my own online music magazine, and of course lots and lots of writing, which all sat very well with me. Writing is one thing I have never lost interest in, ever since school I have always been a keen writer. So when I found myself becoming less interested in Journalism I was confused.

It was only after deciding to do a little research of my own that I discovered it wasn’t the writing I was getting bored of, it was the style and content of the writing. I began looking into other communications careers, but I wanted to make sure that my Journalism degree would still be useful and relevant. I started looking into PR,  it appealed to me for a number of reasons: the marketing (something that really stood out to me through my final year group collaborative project) branding, strategising, campaigning and writing. These roles sounded more appealing to me then Journalism.

Saying this, I don’t regret choosing my course, it has taught me so much. It has given me so much varied experience that I know I would not have received on any other course. It has given me so much more confidence as a person too, this came from the abundance of networking which is a key aspect of the PR industry.

I attended the PR SSU ‘Meet the Professionals’ event on the 7th of February; I chose to attend (as the only Journalism student) simply because i was interested in learning more and speaking to professionals about my career change. I was happily surprised to meet multiple former Journalists who had gone into Public Relations, (Simon Carr, James Morton: HantsFire PR). The professionals encouraged me to go beyond my degree and assured me that it was perfectly okay to change my mind. Head of Earned Media at Koozai PR Vicky Taylor also shared with me that she had studied film, then worked in recruitment and then ended up in PR, advising me that change is fine. What was also repeated to me was that in a degree like Journalism, you gain a lot of transferable skills that can be used in a range of fields, particularly within communication jobs. (advertising, public relations, marketing, etc.)

I felt very confused and worried about changing my career aspirations at first but after an abundance of research and lots of helpful advice, I am excited to begin a career in the PR industry.

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Meet The Professionals Event @ Solent University (The Spark)

 

Stayed tuned for my next blog posts similar to this one:

‘Top Tops For Picking A University Degree’

‘Top Tips & Advice: Changing Your Mind Mid-Degree’

A Dozen Favourite Albums (part 1)

When concocting up a list of my favourite albums I began to notice that the majority of them don’t have my favourite musicians as their creators, I found this bizarre! (this isn’t relevant for the first three.) This list could go on and on so I will doing more parts to this piece, but for now, here are a dozen of my favourite albums of all time.

I won’t go into why I love every individual one, I just wanted to share my favourites.

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Fleetwood MacRumours (1977) / Best Song : “Dreams”

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Fleetwood Mac – Tango In The Night (1987) Best Song : “Little Lies”

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Fleetwood Mac – Mirage (1982) Best Song : “Gypsy”

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Tears For Fears – Songs From The Big Chair (1985) Best Song : “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”

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Tennis – Ritual In Repeat (2014) Best Song : “I’m Callin”

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Paolo Nutini These Streets (2006) Best Song : “Last Request”

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The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (1966) Best Song : “God Only Knows”

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Maroon 5 Songs About Jane (2002) Best Song : “Sunday Morning”

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Amy Winehouse – Back To Black (2006) Best Song : “Love Is A Losing Game”

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Van Morrison – Magic Time (2005) Best Song : “Stranded”

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The Kooks – Inside In The Inside Out (2006) Best Song : “Naive”

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Kanye West – Graduation (2007) Best Song : “Good Life”

 

Two Skincare Products I Can’t Live Without

Today I am talking about my top two favourite skincare products of all time. The first is the Ultra Facial Cream by Kiehl’s. I have been using this product for just under a year now and I won’t be changing my moisturiser any time soon.

Who is it for?

Anyone and everyone can use this product, it is made for all skin types. My skin is combination, it gets oily in places and dry in others. My skin is also sensitive, this cream doesn’t upset it.

Price?

50ml : £24.50

125ml : £45.00

Does it last?

I replace this moisturiser once every 3 months and I use it twice a day. (I buy the 50ml)

Results?

It seems to have calmed my skin, it is free from harsh chemicals or fragrances and doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily, despite the rich creamy texture. I can tell I am using better quality ingredients on my face.

Ingredients?

Antarcticine (Glacial Glycoprotein Extract) – it further helps to protect skin from extremely cold temperatures, facilitating skin’s retention of natural water reserves.

Imperata Cylindrica (Desert Plant Extract) – helps skin to store and retain moisture efficiently – even in the driest weather conditions.

Squalane (Perhydrosqualene or perhydrosqualene vegetal) –  helps restore skin’s natural moisture balance to keep it extra soft and supple.

Packaging?

I love a luxury face cream but sometimes fancy packaging isn’t practical. This Kiehl’s cream comes in either a 50ml or 125ml plastic container, it is lightweight, clean and small enough to travel with.

 

The second product I can’t live without is Ginzing by Origins. I was gifted this eye cream over Christmas and admittedly I haven’t been using it for long but it’s been a must in my skincare routine recently.

Who is it for?

All skin types. Specifically if you get either puffy, dry or dark under eyes.

Price?

50ml : £25.00

Does it last?

I have been using this product twice a day (morning and evening) every day since Christmas and i’m not even a quarter of the way through.

Results?

Like the name suggests, it ‘zings’ your under eyes awake with its cooling solution. It wakes me up in the morning and de-puffs and brightens my eyes. At night I use it before bed so my eyes look fresher the next morning. Overall I can say I have noticed a change to the darkness of my eye bags.

Ingredients?

Active ingredient are coffee (hence why it wakes you up and lemon peel.

(full ingredient list) https://www.origins.co.uk/product/15352/42745/skincare/moisturise/moisturiser/ginzing/ultra-hydrating-energy-boosting-cream

Packaging?

This eye cream comes in a 50ml pot, but don’t be fooled by the small-scale because a little does go a long way! (and is very travel friendly too). The vibrant orange packaging will brighten up any makeup bag.

 

What are your skin care must haves? Let me know below!

 

 

 

 

Valentines Gift Guide For Him (Under £10)

 

 

It’s just under 3 weeks until Valentines day and you might be thinking about what to get your ‘someone special’. This gift guide is perfect for those on a budget, ’10 items under £10.’

 

  1. Personalised Heart Chocolate Box (Thorntons) £10

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“Presented in a beautiful pink box with stunning copper design” (thorntons.co.uk) Inside there are 3 different flavours and a larger chocolate heart that can be personalised with your own message.

http://www.thorntons.co.uk/valentines-day/personalised-heart-chocolate-box-65050.html?cgid=valentines-day#start=3&cgid=valentines-day

 

2. Gentlemen’s Hardware Waterproof Notebook (John Lewis) £10

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This is for the outdoorsy type, perfect for camping, sailing or fishing trips.

https://www.johnlewis.com/gentlemen%27s-hardware-waterproof-notebook/p3254503?sku=237010362&s_kwcid=2dx92700028205588535&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&gclid=CjwKCAiAnabTBRA6EiwAemvBdw3S1Jen6lUkMt3LeW3o-AR6uGUYrgwcIe8Eut-cgQz-8Xqp9VD29RoCrzcQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

3. Maroon Velvet Sneakers (Zara) £9.99

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Originally £29.99, these shoes are a steal! And they just scream Valentines Day.

https://www.zara.com/uk/en/maroon-velvet-sneakers-p12211302.html?v1=5513505&v2=454503

 

4. Date Night Cookbook (Asos) £10

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This is a gift and a date idea in one!

http://www.asos.com/books/date-night-valentines-cook-book/prd/9063688?clr=multi&SearchQuery=date%20night%20cookbook&gridcolumn=1&gridrow=1&gridsize=4&pge=1&pgesize=72&totalstyles=3

 

5. Melting Chocolate Hearts (Hotel Chocolat) £5.50Screen Shot 2018-01-25 at 10.23.41

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pink and white milk chocolate hearts, wrapped in a white ribbon. According to Hotel Chocolat they are “utterly mellow with a beautiful melt, they’re perfect for showing someone you’ve got a soft spot for them!”

http://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/melting-hearts-milk-chocolate-hearts.html?keyword=&adtype=pla&product_id=melting-hearts-milk-chocolate-hearts&gclid=CjwKCAiAnabTBRA6EiwAemvBd0DJG5sZopIQYIXEU64yVGgjHUGa4my5qegKs5NavNMYJOepgeE6ihoCrXgQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

6. Borg Lined Slippers in Grey (Asos) £9.99

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Cosy slippers are always a good idea, these have faux fur lining.

http://www.asos.com/new-look/new-look-borg-lined-slipper-in-grey/prd/8987875?clr=midgrey&SearchQuery=new%20look%20grey%20slipper&gridcolumn=1&gridrow=1&gridsize=4&pge=1&pgesize=72&totalstyles=2

 

7. Diesel Valentines Kiss Socks  (Asos) £10

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You can’t go wrong with socks – especially ones with a festive theme.

http://www.asos.com/diesel/diesel-valentines-kiss-socks/prd/8975878

 

8. Star Wars The Last Jedi Character Glass (Asos) £7.99

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If your special someone is a Star Wars fan, this may be ideal for them.

http://www.asos.com/star-wars/star-wars-the-last-jedi-character-glass/prd/8377112?clr=multi&SearchQuery=star+wars+glass&SearchRedirect=true

 

9. Johnny’s Chop Shop Beard Oil

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Never assume men don’t care about haircare/ skincare.

http://www.asos.com/johnnys-chop-shop/johnnys-chop-shop-beard-oil-30ml/prd/7563035?clr=multi&SearchQuery=beard%20oil&gridcolumn=1&gridrow=1&gridsize=4&pge=1&pgesize=72&totalstyles=5

 

10. Sport Eau De Toilette (Topman) £10

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Fragrances are lovely presents but sometimes the price isn’t within everyone’s budget, unlike this one.

http://www.topman.com/en/tmuk/product/shoes-and-accessories-1928527/mens-gifts-grooming-lifestyle-4663864/sport-eau-de-toilette-7174705?bi=0&ps=20

 

I hope this gift guide is helpful to you and please comment below if you’re thinking of buying any of the items mentioned here! Have a lovely Valentines Day! ❤

 

xo

Sian