Thursday, June 27, 2013

Top Wedding Tips 27 - Time

I've talked about scheduling before but now I'm going to talk about time.

Give your photographer time to get all the shots you want. Realistically they're not going to get all the photos of everyone in  your family if you only allocate a half hour for photos.

Give your photographer at least an hour for formal photos and couples portraits. All going well you'll be back to join the party in no time.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Supplier Spotlight - MPT - Mobile Personal Training

I met Andy from MPT through his girlfriend who I just happened to go to college with. I'm in my 4th week of training with Andy and I can't believe the difference already. I have lost 6lbs of body fat and it really didn't feel like that much effort.

The workouts are so much fun, don't get me wrong, you're sweating and red faced afterwards but you feel like you had fun doing it.

I caught up with Andy the other day to ask him about how is service could benefit my brides to be.

What brought you to the world of personal training?

That’s a great question! It consisted of a few things really. I spent 8 years working as a fitness instructor in Carlow and for the past number of years was commuting almost daily to Waterford to train in my sport, Mixed Martial Arts with Waterford MMA. I had looked into the idea of finding work in Waterford in the leisure industry but instead of waiting for something to happen I took the plunge and started MPT with a good friend of mine Alan Butler, who is based in Carlow. I graduated from Waterford I.T with an Honour’s degree in Recreation and Sport Management. What I really enjoyed most, both in college and in the gym was working with people on a daily basis, designing and implementing  programs and motivating them to succeed. This has really served me well with MPT.

What advice would you give to brides to be?

I’d have to say don’t put yourself under any undue pressure and enjoy the whole experience. You’re marrying someone that loves you for you. In relation to exercise, I would definitely recommend some form of physical activity as it does serve as an excellent destresser and gives a sense of accomplishment and achievement after each training session. The overall health benefits of being active are far superior to simply looking at a number on a set of scales. I personally work off an 80-20 ratio in that I work hard on my diet and training for 80% of the week and then allow myself that 20% to still be human and enjoy the treats in life. Everything in moderation and balance. Exercise and diet should help improve your lifestyle, not the opposite and sometimes we can forget that.

How far before the wedding should a bride start their workout?

Again, it really depends on what the bride’s goals are and the individual themselves. I’ve worked with brides-to-be as far as a year out but also as little as 4 weeks before their big day. Each individual is different but it really is never too late to start in order to achieve some of those overall health benefits before your big day.

Any diet and nutrition tips for brides to be?

Every body type is different therefore the needs of the individual can differ depending on what sort of shape a bride hopes to be on the wedding day. What I would say is that a bride to be should try to consume a minimum of two litres of water a day in order to stay adequately hydrated and flush toxins out of their system. Also, try to consume plenty of fruit, anything that ends in berries is always excellent as they are full of antioxidants and are great for your skin and provide good natural sugars. 

In my past 8 years 90% of people who I have designed a program for have said that their main goal is to ‘tone up and lose weight.’ You have to realise that a workout is on average one hour of your day and there are 23 other hours free. You cant outwork a bad diet so try make sure that your workout compliments a healthy diet and try stay clear of starchy, fatty foods and fizzy drinks. My biggest tip, is to start your day with a good breakfast that contains some form of protein, this will set you up for the day and reduce hunger pangs. The protein is used for growth and repair so will help shape and define those muscles that you’ve worked during your exercise session.

What does a typical personal training session look like?

Each session is different depending on the individual however there are a number of things that remain the same. I always arrive at a client’s door and introduce myself with a smile. Once introduced I assess the individuals body composition analysis. This is strictly confidential and allows the client to get a print out of their Weight, BMI, Fat Percentage, Fat Mass, Fat Free Mass and Total Body Water, which we keep track of throughout our training process. I then give out a diet sheet and discuss the client’s goals and find out what they’re looking to achieve. 

A typical session lasts an hour and consists of a warm up, dynamic stretch, advanced warm up, main phase consisting of both full body cardio, strength and conditioning, cool down and post stretch. The workouts are fun and adaptable for all fitness levels from complete beginner to the advanced athlete. The service is unique in that it enables clients to exercise in the comfort and privacy of their own home. Clients are also encouraged to message me for advice throughout the week so they can receive the constant support they need in order to achieve their goals. I feel that this is a vital part of the service as believe it or not the training is the easy bit. The support network is important so clients can feel free to ask questions on their diet on a difficult day to ensure they stay on track.

What do you like to do on your day off?

To be honest I’m never really switched off as I’m constantly trying to help motivate my clients or am in the gym training myself. You’ll either find me training Mixed Martial Arts with my coaches and teammates at Waterford MMA, catching up with friends and family or chilling at home with my girlfriend Marina.

Sweets or savoury?
Sweet. Hey I’m human too!!! But as I say to everyone, everything in moderation! 80-20 Remember!!

Check the guys out on their facebook page, and maybe book a session, trust me you won't regret it

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Supplier Spotlight - Floral Boutique Flowers

I've had the privledge of working with Alison from Floral Boutique Flowers a couple of times now and her work is always perfect. The oohs and ahs speak for themselves. 

She specialises in creating beautiful and unique wedding flowers and providing a professional service with a personal touch.

Prepare to swoon.

Cute grooms buttonniere and FANTASTIC wedding entrance

What brought you to the world of wedding flowers?
I come from a world of window design and display so when it came to my own  wedding I did the styling for the day and the flowers for the venue.  I loved it so much that I decided to go to Irelands leading floristry school which led me to start  my own business as a wedding and event stylist….And I have to say I absolutely love it!

What is your favourite wedding flower?
Oohh that’s a tough one!  It has to be the perfect peony.  Love love love!!

Unique wedding styling and the perfect peony

What flowers/products can you not live without?
Ahh my little humble glue gun is a must.  I simply cannot do without it especially for my favourite brooch bouquets, but I have no finger prints left from the hot glue! 

What should a couple keep in mind when choosing their wedding florist?
The flowers should reflect the people they are and compliment the styling of their day.  Having an idea of what they want for the day can be a plus, but any good florist should be able to give them ideas and help them plan their day.  It is very important to see a portfolio of completed work.  Recommendations from recently married friends are also very useful. They should have an idea of what they want and understanding their budget.     

Floral Boutique Flowers' Unique Wedding Styling

What flower trends do you think will be popular with this year’s weddings?
With brides still in love with vintage I think we are seeing more of the freshly picked from the garden look with this years brides. Big bouquets are also quite popular so we are seeing the shower and cascading bouquets making a comeback. If you want a little sparkle on your day the Heirloom brooch bouquet also very popular this year.

What do you like to do on your day off?
Not sure what a day off is, but when I do have one my love of horses draws me into the saddle.  I love nothing more than to play a game of polocrosse with my husband.

Sweets or savoury?
Mmm…sweeties all the way.  

Brooch Bouquet

Any wedding disasters worth mentioning?
Glad to say I’ve had no disasters as I have a wonderful team around me.

Check out more of Alison and the gang's work over on their Facebook page. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Supplier Spotlight - Jill Blanc Designs

Jill has a computer degree (which hasn’t been used in 8 years!?!). She's Irish, from Waterford City, went to college and met her husband in Dublin City University and settled in Naas, Co. Kildare. She two beautiful kooky daughters. She's partial to an over-the-top hair accessory She believes there is beauty in symmetry. She goes through a crazy amount of false eyelashes because she likes to wear two pairs at a time. She really hates having to wear glasses. She could quite happily live in a TK MAXX store.
She is also a super talented stationary designer and was kind enough to take some time out to talk to me about her work. More over on her website here.

Straw Flags & Tags - Photo by Lucy Takes Photos 

What brought you to the world of design?
I suppose I’ve always been a little bit creative, loved art in school, loved painting, drawing and sewing but doing my degree in IT I didn’t get much of a chance to continue with it. So when I started working in the real world, it was surprising that I always seemed to fall in to the web design/graphic design roles despite being hired as a software engineer – I guess my employers saw that arty side of me. So being allowed to learn on job, I taught myself how to use various graphic design programs by trial and error {this was before tutorials on YouTube – God, I feel old!}. So I suppose you could say I am self-taught. Then after I got married I left fulltime employment, and had two daughters, Cara and Abby, but kept sewing and making wedding stationery for friends and it just progressed from there.

Steampunk Invitation - Photo by Chemistry Photography

What is your favourite design trend at the minute?
I’ve never been one for anything understated, so I have to say I still absolutely love the vintage trend that has been around for the last few years. In my book, more is more.

What products can you not live without?
Microsoft Word – This might sound a tad blasphemous to graphic designers out there but I do most of design work in Word! *ducks*
GIMP {GNU Image Manipulation Program} – - think free Adobe Photoshop
Sissix Big Shot – for all your fabulous die-cutting needs
Pritt Stick – yer only man for sticking

Favour Tags

What advice would you give to a bride when planning her big day?
Don’t try to please everyone, it’s impossible, and you will only stress yourself out and end up annoyed and unhappy– be true to yourself and it will all turn out amazing! {from my own wedding experience!}

Flower girl Flag
What trends do you think will be popular with this year’s weddings?
From my correspondence with brides, popular colours this year are coral, peach and grey. Brides are definitely getting more adventurous which is just fabulous! Really inspirational!

Candy Stripe - photo by Dennigan Photography

What do you like to do on your day off?
Day off?!? LOL  When I do decide to take some time out from making stationery, housework, and children, I really love getting dolled up to the nines and going for a cocktail somewhere special.

Dessert Table Signage
Sweets or savoury?
Sweets OF COURSE!!

L: Perry Cake Bunting R: Woodland Photoshoot - Photo by Dennigan Photography

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Top Wedding Tips 26 - Cameras

This is a pretty popular topic at the moment. Guests and their cameras during the ceremony. Yes everyone wants to get the shot but bare in mind your photographer NEEDS to get the shot. I can't count on my hands how many times someone has stepped out in to the aisle to take a photo while I was crouched down to get my shot running a very important photograph.

If at all possible advice people not to bring cameras to the ceremony because it could mean you don't get the shots you want. Many people put a blanket ban on cameras and photos at their wedding advising guests to just enjoy every moment.