Royal wedding reception rumours circulate

If you are accidentally left off the guest list for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s nuptials in April, fear not, there’s always the wedding of Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall in July to dust your hat off for.

Details of Zara’s wedding plans have been “accidentally leaked,” according to several tabloid newspapers today. The Sun claims news that the Queen’s Edinburgh home, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, will be closed to the public for several days at the end of July, suggesting it is a possible wedding reception venue.

Similarly, it is suspected that ceremony is likely to be held at neighbouring Canongate Kirk, situated on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, after they confirmed they too would be closed to the public from the 27th to the 30th July.

This rumour is strengthened by reports in The Daily Express that local people spotted Zara, who is thirteenth in line to the throne and her rugby star fiancé talking to the Canongate Kirk’s minister only a few weeks ago. Palace officials however, deny any such thing.

“The Palace is a working palace and hosts many Royal engagements throughout the year. So we never disclose why it will be closed to the public,” said a spokesman.

Meanwhile Kate and Prince William are said to be in a quandary over their guest list for their wedding reception, according to The Daily Mail. The pair have been ‘allowed’ just 100 invites each, with another hundred allocated to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.  

Events to be held to find the faces of the 2012 Games

Olympic organiser Locog has announced that it will be holding a series of Games Maker selection events, to ‘find the faces’ of the London 2012 Games.

Nine volunteer selection centres will be set up at event venues across the UK over the next few months. Each event will comprise an exhibition about what is involved in Olympic and Paralympic volunteering, and a 30-minute interview.

It is estimated that more than 300 people a day will attend one of the selection events being run over the next 14 months. The successful candidates will be appointed later in the year, with training expected to commence in February 2012.

Locog chair Sebastian Coe told Event Magazine: “The Games Maker volunteers will be the faces of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and it is crucial that we recruit the best team players in the UK.”

“Our team will be finding out if the applicants have got what it takes to be a Games Maker and that they are willing to go beyond their personal best to help us stage a great Olympic and Paralympic Games. The interview process is a huge undertaking, but vitally important to find the right people for the success of the London 2012 Games,” he added.

English cities to join forces on major events

Major event cities in England have agreed to join forces and collaborate on major events in the future, after putting together the 2018 World Cup campaign.

The England 2018 Candidate Host Cities which includes Nottingham, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool and Sheffield attended a forum at which the idea of collaborating on bidding for future major events was considered.

The event was also attended by representatives of the Football Association (FA), the Rugby Football Union (RFU), the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, England Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and UK sport, CIT magazine reports.

The Host Cities Forum was organised by Visit London’s Events for London team last week and more than 30 representatives from the cities which also included Milton Keynes, Newcastle and Sunderland attended the event. It is thought the consortium of cities will work together to make decisions on which event spaces will hold future events, similar to what they did when organising the details of the 2018 bid.

Iain Edmondson head of Events for London said: “This was a major milestone for major events across the country – the agreement to work together is a critical step towards England and the UK making the most of major event opportunities in the future. Although the 2018 bid for England was not successful we are keenly aware that there must be some real tangible benefits and a positive outcome from all the hard work and investment that was made.”

All Party Parliamentary group expected to be approved next week

A cross party group for the events industry is expected to be approved by the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards next week.

An application was recently made to officially register an All Party Parliamentary Group, which would represent the UK events industry. If approved, a date will be set for the groups inaugural meeting at which a lead committee will be elected, CIT Magazine reports,

The group is currently being organised by MP Nick de Bois who said: “We are now awaiting approval for the All Party Group and we should get that next week. We will probably have our first meeting within a matter of two weeks of getting that approval.”

In order for the group to gain approval, a total of 20 MPs were required to join it, with ten coming from the party in power. A minimum of six members had to come from the main opposition party.

“The events industry has not really represented itself well in Government, despite the significant stake it has in the economy,” du Bois said. He added that he didn’t want the group to just lobby on issues that affected the industry on a day to day basis, but also to get the Government to support them in their efforts to attract big customers to come and use our venues for hire.

“Compared to other countries, we don’t do that quite as well,” he said.

Increase in demand for extra-long honeymoons

After celebrating at their wedding reception venue with friends and family, most couples jet off on a 10-day or two-week honeymoon; however reports have suggested that couples are becoming more inclined to book a month-long break to celebrate their love.

According to Wedding-news.co.uk, a recent study found 34 per cent of soon-to-be newlyweds had opted for four-week trips, or in some case, longer. These results provide a stark contrast to previously traditions, as it was thought around 20 years ago, the average time for a honeymoon was 1.5 weeks.

“It’s great to see couples choosing to turn their honeymoon into the trip of a lifetime, allowing them to see the world and experience a bit of adventure before settling into married life,” said travel expert, Alex Francis, in The Daily Mail.

Nicknamed the ‘honeymonth’, today’s honeymoons are also changing geographically, with loved-up couples turning to more long-distance destinations, such as Sri Lanka and Vietnam. They are also spending more on their trips, with an average of £4,113 being forked out – over eight times the average spent throughout the 1980s.

Furthermore, it has been found that most couples are using their entire holiday entitlement for the year, just so they can indulge in one long honeymoon; as well as foregoing the traditional wedding gifts, in favour of receiving cheques towards their big adventure.

Festivals should focus on food this year

Festival organisers should focus more of their attention to the entire visitor experience, such as the food and drink offered.

That’s according to catering director David Hornby, who believes that in addition to taking into consideration the event spaces and entertainment line-ups, organisers should also think about moving beyond the usual burger vans and hot dog vendors.

“As the price of tickets continues to rise, organisers understand that visitors now expect an experience that doesn’t just focus on the quality of the music,” said Hornby in Events Industry News. “Organisers are focused on the overall product and that includes the catering, both in terms of food and level of service.”

“People now expect the same retail experience they receive in the high-street, and all major event organisers need to understand that if the food on offer doesn’t match the expectation levels, then visitors will vote with their feet.”

He also added that consumers may be more interested in knowing where their food has come from, claiming: “Consumers want to know that caterers are taking their corporate social responsibilities seriously.”

The advice may have already been taken up by Blur musician, Alex James, who recently announced intentions to start his own festival, according to eFestivals.co.uk.

“My family are looking forward to a celebration of all our favourite things,” said James, who added that the festival will highlight “the very best of the British food scene, alongside a soundtrack of the finest bands around”.

Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations revealed

Buckingham Palace has released details of the Queen’s forthcoming Diamond Jubilee next year.

he Queen will be 86 years old when she marks her 60-year diamond anniversary on the throne, and her celebrations will be held over four days, from Saturday June 2nd, to Tuesday June 5th.

The Tuesday has been declared a bank holiday by the government, following on from a late May day on the Monday.

Staged events will include a televised concert from the Palace, a Big Jubilee Lunch and a day at the horse races for the Queen in Epsom. However the focal event of the ceremony will see the Queen taking centre stage as she sails down the Thames accompanied by 1,000-strong flotilla.

Brits will undoubtedly be ecstatic to hear that the Royals have provided yet another long bank holiday weekend; allowing plenty of time to invest in party venues for hire for the big occasion.

A Royal source told the Daily Mail that the Palace particularly wants to encourage celebrations on a local level, saying that they have always been part of previous Jubilees. They claimed: “People particularly remember the street parties in 1977 for the Silver Jubilee and grassroots celebrations in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee.”

According to BBC News, events are expected to be held throughout the UK and other commonwealth countries. Activities over the long weekend will culminate in a carriage procession and thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Ex-Blue Peter star and opera singer to marry

Ex-Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones has proposed to his girlfriend, singer Katherine Jenkins, after a three-year relationship.

Jenkins reportedly said yes and the couple are expected to hold their wedding sometime in 2012.

“Gethin proposed last month, it was a wonderful start to the year for both of them,” a source told the Daily Mail. “Katherine is so happy and can’t wait to start planning her wedding, which will be next year. They both have busy schedules and Katherine is touring a lot this year, but they will start planning soon.”

The fine details are yet to be confirmed, but the source added that the ring was “totally fabulous” and that Wales would be “an obvious choice” for the wedding reception venue and overall event.

“Wales is an obvious choice. It’s where they both came from and Katherine has always said that she would go home to be married,” the source claimed. “They are both very happy and in love, and their family and friends are equally delighted for them. They are such a well-suited couple – a perfect match.”

According to The Metro, the soon-to-be groom picked the engagement ring himself from a London jewellers, before popping the big question whilst he and his bride-to-be were on a winter holiday in Mexico.

The mezzo-soprano herself confirmed she “of course said yes” when Jones asked, and that “he popped the question at the end of an amazing holiday.”

 

 

Bride spent £20,000 on wedding dresses

A bride has spent a total of £20,000 on wedding dress alone, after finding herself unable to choose between 18 different gowns.

Helene Manca told The Daily Mail: “Every time I tried a dress on, I just had to have it. But as soon as I took it home and compared it to the other dresses I had already bought, I couldn’t bear to choose.”

Eventually Manca came to her sense and took back nine of the dress, leaving her with the same amount to change into through her wedding day. Although the final cost for her wedding has not been revealed, a combination of the wedding reception venue, flowers, food and champagne- which reportedly cost £10,000 alone, may have mounted to a rather large figure.

“By the end, I knew that 18 was too many and I wouldn’t have time to wear them all, so I thought about the different stages of the wedding and decided nine was perfect,” Manca added.

The most expensive of her dress was a designer gown, costing around £5,500 which the bride wore for her first dance with her husband, who she claimed “knows what I’m like – I’m excessive about everything,” in The News of the World.

Manca’s husband supported his bride’s decision, claiming: “Lots of people might think Helene is a little crazy for wearing so many dresses, but I love how she is so unique in life.”

Luckily for Manca, it seems her decision to invest in the dresses only endeared her to him more; and as she plans to wear another 10 dresses when they renew their vows next year, hopefully he will remain as enthusiastic in the future.

More businesses are booking travel using mobiles

Two-thirds of businesses plan their travel using search engines, with bookings made using smart phones up 69 per cent on last year, new research showed.

According to Google’s manager for travel, Nate Bucholz, the internet has overtaken word-of-mouth as the primary medium businesses use to choose destinations in which to find venues for hire for corporate events.

Figures indicate that 69 per cent of businesses – compared to 63 per cent of consumers – plan their travel by searching the internet, visiting an average of 22 different websites before making a final decision.

Last year, mobile travel bookings were found to have accounted for 15 per cent of all reservations, up 69 per cent from 2009, when just nine per cent of bookings were made using the medium.

As reported by CIT Magazine, Bucholz recommended that the travel industry should use longer phrases in their SEO, and make them more akin to the types of phrases consumers use when looking for certain websites.

It is thought this will enable them to take advantage of Google’s Search Funnels, and increase the likeliness of their website featuring in search results.

Bucholz was also asked whether hotel searches on Google Maps were now too influenced by advertising, which in turn had led to smaller hotels not being included in search results. He responded by saying that Google needed to handle several layers of data before small businesses will be able to get more coverage.