Category Archives: Sponsored Post

Animated Video Invitations from Mini Epic

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Organising hen and stag parties is getting harder and harder. Is it just me or do they all seemed to be way bigger and more complicated than they used to be? When I got hitched we just went for a night out in London, these days most hen dos seem to span over an entire weekend with multiple activities planned, and so many stag dos involve hopping on a plane!

This post is for those of you tasked with organising a hen or stag do in the near future. I’ve just done it for my sister, and believe me I feel your pain. Having to organise 10+ girls to not only agree on something to do, but making sure they’re all available on the same date and they can all afford it was like herding kittens at times!

When it came to inviting people along, I’ll admit, I took the easy route and started a private Facebook group, but what if there was a more fun and creative way to get people really excited about it, just like you might do with your wedding invitations?

Well, the answer is finally here and its a truly 21st century solution to the problem! Mini Epic is a dynamic new online invitation service which raises the bar with their range of highly entertaining, professionally designed, animated template invitations for hen and stag parties.

Launched by Jonathan Shine, an established motion graphics artist, he came up with the idea when he was best man a few years ago. With the daunting task of having to convince 15 guys to fork out for a stag do in Vegas, he wanted to create an invitation that featured the groom and would hint at where and what kind of do they were aiming for. He wanted to get everyone excited and usher them towards accepting the invite and what he came up with certainly did that!

“I thought of creating a Hollywood-style cinematic teaser trailer as the invitation”, he said. “The guys loved the invitation, it set the tone for the stag do and made everyone feel as though this was going to be an epic party. And that’s how the idea for Mini-Epic came about.”

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Create Your Own Completely Bespoke, One-of-a-Kind Engagement & Wedding Rings with Durham Rose

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Finding your dream engagement or wedding ring can be tricky, particularly if you want something a bit different to the designs you see at the big high street jewellers. You might have thought designing your own rings was completely out of reach, but I’m here today to tell you that it’s definitely not the case when you use Durham Rose!

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These London based jewellers (previously known as Hot Pink Jewellers) actually appeared on Dragon’s Den with their ingenious concept in 2013, and although they didn’t get investment, they used is as a springboard to launch their business.

The newly named Durham Rose work completely differently to any other jeweller I’ve come across because they don’t have a showroom and they don’t hold any stock (meaning they keep their overheads lower – savings which they pass onto their customers!) They work exclusively and directly with their clients to create them one-of-a-kind engagement and wedding rings.

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While most of their clients use their service to design an engagement ring, Durham Rose are also the perfect company for you to look at if you’ve already found an engagement ring you love, but are struggling to find a wedding band that works with it.

Maybe you’ve gone for a really unique engagement ring, but when its come to finding a wedding band that works with it, you’re stuck. Durham Rose can help you create a band that follows the contours of any engagement ring to ensure the perfect fit. They can also match setting work, profiles widths and metal finish so they look like a matching pair.

In some cases they may even take a 360 degree scan of your engagement ring to enable them to import the design into their engineering software and model the wedding ring around it.

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Honeymoon Travel Guide: A Surprise Trip to Vienna!

When you decide to book a holiday, what’s the first thing you do? You probably figure out if you want to go lie on a beach, explore a new city or throw yourselves wholeheartedly into some kind of action/ adventure sports trip. Next, you might want to know how the weather is at the time of year you plan to travel. Then you’ll probably look up what the local food is like, research the must-sees and investigate all the popular sites to decide if they sound like something you’d enjoy…

But what if I told you you could go on a holiday that you knew nothing about until two hours before take off!? Well, that’s exactly what Gareth and I did last weekend!

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Surprisetrips.co.uk is a new concept from the people behind Expedia.co.uk. How it works is you tell them your preferred departure airport, send them a short list of places you don’t want to visit (maybe you’ve already been there or you just don’t fancy it) and they book you a completely surprise European holiday!

They currently offer 77 weekend destinations in Europe and the service is open to all UK, IE, CA, AUS, NZ and US passport holders (all flights depart from the UK or Ireland). All flights are at convenient times (we flew out at 9am and back at 8pm) and are under 3 and a half hours.

When I heard about the concept I was excited, if not a little bit nervous. I’m not an over-planner when it comes to travelling, but I do like to do a little basic research so I know what to expect of a new place. Not least of all, I like to know beforehand how I’m going to get to my hotel from the airport!

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The anticipation of where we might end up was definitely one of the best parts of this whole experience and everyone I told about it was like “Wow that’s so cool, I’d love to do that!” Once you book, Surprise Trips emails you a link which tells you which airport and terminal to go to and what time you need to arrive. Then, a couple of days before the trip they email you again with a weather report from your destination so you have some idea of what to pack. Ours told us it was going to be 26-30°C so we were kind of expecting that we might end up on a beach somewhere… But as you can see, that couldn’t have been further from what happened!

Now I’m no YouTuber, but I thought it might be fun to make a little travel video so you can see what we got up to. Enjoy!

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Saying Thank You with Links of London

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Saying thank you is so important. Especially to those people who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes of your wedding, helping you prepare for the special day. Giving flowers is nice, but why not consider something more long-lasting? It would be really lovely to thank you mum, for example, with a necklace she can wear forever, or your dad with some engraved cufflinks.

When you’re in the throws of wedding planning it can be difficult to think past that one day, but today I’d like to encourage you to remember to show your appreciation for those people that have really helped you.

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” – Dalai Lama

I personally think jewellery is a really nice idea. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it’s something they can keep and wear forever. My sister got married this past weekend and she gave all of us bridesmaids handmade silver earrings. It was such a special moment because she’d made them especially for us. We all put them on immediately (I actually haven’t taken mine off since!)

If you’re not in the position to make your own silver jewellery then Links of London have some amazingly beautiful, yet affordable, options that would be suitable for anyone you needed to thank. The Diamond Essentials Sterling Silver Pave Star necklace is one of my favourites. What could be a better gift for someone that’s been a complete star throughout your wedding planning?!

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Bloody Mary Metal Launch a Bespoke Wedding Service!

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This is not a drill! My favourites, Bloody Mary Metal, known far and wide for their awesome letter stamped silver rings and quirky designs, are launching a bespoke wedding ring service on August 1st!!

They have been creating beautiful engagement and wedding appropriate rings for almost four years from their Cornish base, but this brand new service (launching on its own micro-site) will give you way more choice when it comes to finding those most special of rings.

They say, “Complete with a tongue-in-cheek, yet informative ‘guide’ to choosing the perfect ring, our Bespoke Wedding Service brings a new level of maturity to our youthful brand, whilst remaining unique and fiercely independent. The site is easy to navigate, endearing and free spirited, with just a touch of the now-infamous BMM cheeky sarcasm!”

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“We have poured years worth of crafting engagement and wedding rings into creating a jaw-dropping wedding collection. So if ‘fully bespoke’ doesn’t float your boat, there are plenty of gorgeous, ready made, show-stoppers to choose from, in yellow, rose and white gold, as well as silver.

In true Bloody Mary Metal style, the collection shuns the stereotypical idea of engagement rings – so don’t expect just the classic white diamonds here! Blush Morganites and Peach Sapphires sit amongst Mystic Topaz and Black Diamonds in this magical, magpie’s dream of a collection. Not forgetting wedding bands too. We have created a variety of wedding rings, from classic, easy to wear bands, through to fully bespoke, shaped rings to fit around specific engagement rings.”

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How to Put Together a Gift List That Really Rocks

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When it comes to choosing things for your wedding gift list, I think adding your own personality to the proceedings is the way to go. I mean, sure, you could order a silver kettle and a set of white dinner plates, but why not have a little fun with it?

When The Wedding Shop got in touch to ask if I’d like to curate some of my favourite items from their website, I jumped at the chance to do some fantasy shopping. Hum, I feel like I might need the pink palm tree dinnerware in my life for real though.

The Wedding Shop is the UK’s original multi-retailer gift list company. Their team of in-house buyers travel internationally throughout the year to curate a unique collection of thousands of products from more than 350 leading and boutique brands including Wedgwood, Yves Delorme, Kate Spade, The White Company, Ralph Lauren, Dualit, Le Creuset, Kitchen Aid, Garden Trading, Cornishware, Missoni Home and many more.

For high-value items such as furniture and electrical appliances there is now the option to split the cost into affordable contributions for guests. You can also add an unlimited number of independently stocked products to their list without any additional charges.

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If you’re starting to put together your own wedding gift registry, here are my top tips:

Start early

It is completely acceptable to start compiling your gift list as soon as you get engaged. Some people will might want to buy you an engagement gift, or they might just be super keen to order your wedding present right away.

Upgrade your old stuff

With most couples living together before they get engaged, you might think you don’t really need a lot of new stuff for your home. However just because the duvet set you bought from Primark is still perfectly functional, doesn’t mean you can’t try and get something way better!

When we got engaged we were able to register for a Dyson vacuum, Vera Wang plates and 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton bedding. At the time we never would have spent our own limited fund on such indulgences, but receiving them as wedding gifts from generous relatives was so amazing!

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