Hurley and Warne confirm engagement

Elizabeth Hurley and Shane Warne have confirmed their engagement, putting an end to weeks of speculation that the pair would soon tie the knot.

It is thought that Warne went down the traditional route; getting down on one knee during a romantic meal at at restaurant in Scotland. Dailyecho.co.uk suggested the pair were giving a standing ovation after Hurley said yes.

Both have been married before, so it may be likely they go for a more simple, understated ceremony; instead having their big celebration at a wedding reception venue. Their previous marriages both end earlier this year, not long after they got together.

Hurley publicly thanked her fans via Twitter for their positive response, stating: “Thanks for all your lovely messages. Means a lot to us x”. She later updated her status to: “Lazy, love day in Scotland. Happy!”

Her significant other did the same; in addition to posting a picture of the pair alongside a caption: “Here’s a pic of us about to go to Dunhill dinner in St Andrews.”

Hurley also played up to the cameras shortly after the engagement, proudly showing off her new ring. Reports revealed that it boasts an “impressive square sapphire and a diamond on either side”, which Marieclaire.co.uk revealed looked not too dissimilar to Kate Middleton’s famed engagement ring.

Huffington Post launches HuffPost Weddings

The Huffington Post today announced the introduction of four new sections to its website, one of which is sure to be a hit with wedding reception planners and venues all around the world.

HuffPost Weddings will launch alongside HuffPost /50, which features topical discussion for over 50s; HuffPost High School, a place for teens to engage with one another and HuffPost Gay Voices that will explore LGBT issues affecting the community.

The new wedding section is sure to be a hit with those picking a wedding reception venue as it is to feature the sexy, savvy and informed talents of celebrities such as Heidi Klum and Kelly Meyer who will be blogging away with their unique wedding tips.

They will be joined by celebrity wedding planners Mindy Weiss, Sharon Sacks, and Preston Bailey, as well as designers such as Nanette Lepore and Angel Sanchez who will also pitch in about how to prepare the ultimate wedding.

All Things D reveals that the “one-stop-advice” shop will contain comprehensive coverage of weddings and marriage from all angles, from “untraditional wedding cakes and exotic dream honeymoons”, to the more practical, including tips on “navigating the world of wedding planners, contemporary wedding etiquette, and more.”

The site’s rapid expansion isn’t set to stop any time soon either. Last month it surpassed one billion page views for the first time while in August, it received more than 37 million unique visitors, with 5.1 million comments being posted.

Speaking on the weddings section of Huffingtonpost.com, site founder Arianna Huffington said that the new sections are part of the teams’ “continued effort to provide content, community, and a platform for self-expression for as many of our readers’ interests and passions as we can.”

Event venues reminded to stub out vending machines

Pubs, restaurants, function venues and hotels are reminded to throw out their old cigarette vending machines as the units became illegal as of October 1st.

From Saturday, event venues that are still found to sell tobacco in public areas could face a £2,500 fine, reports the Mail Online. In addition to the ban on the sales of cigarettes, all public advertising in unlicensed venues will have to go as well.

The British Heart Foundation, who pushed for the legislation, estimates that as many as 46,000 children aged between 11 and 15 have been able to buy from vending machines prior to the ban.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley believes that children and young people will now less inclined to smoke in the first place due to the changes.

“Cigarette vending machines are often unsupervised, making it easy for children to purchase cigarettes from them,” he said, reports The Metro.

“The ban on cigarette sales from vending machines will protect children by making cigarettes less accessible to them – we want to do everything we can to encourage young people not to start smoking in the first place,” he added.

Behind-the-counter displays of tobacco products for sale in other venues will begin to wane from April next year as large shops and clubs will too face a ban. Smaller shops however have until 2015 until they have to remove their cigarette displays. The government has also proposed to introduce plain packaging legislation on cigarettes in order to help others kick the habit.

Are all-white weddings worth the hassle?

With this year’s Royal Wedding increasingly influencing brides’ choices, some wedding planners have asked: are all-white weddings really worth the hassle?

Some say yes to wearing a white dress, dressing the bridesmaids in white, having all the wedding reception venue decorations in white and even serving up white drinks. Some aren’t so sure, according to Taiwannews.com.

It can leave “room for error”, according to fashion designer Amsale Aberra. It can leave the bride unidentifiable amongst the sea of brilliant white. However she did admit if done well, it can be “very beautiful.”

Her enthusiasm was shared by Martha Stewart Weddings’ editorial director, Darcy Miller. She claimed it’s a “very striking” look and one that has definitely been spark by the Royal Wedding, adding: “The classic look of an all-white wedding is thought of as very traditional.

“But the clean, sophisticated palette can easily be transformed for modern venues so it is suitable for all types of brides.”

This may be all very well, Aberra added, but it has to be done intelligently in order to work. She told the Washington Post that brides should stick with natural whites rather than pearlescent or metallic. Furthermore, adding in just a touch of colour contrast can really make an all-white wedding venue pop.

Weather warnings could mean earlier Xmas parties

Early rumbles regarding heavy snowfall could put a number of Christmas parties in doubt, reports internetretailing.net.

As shoppers are being urged to gather their Christmas presents earlier this year, managers should be considering the location of their corporate Christmas party in terms of accessibility to staff.

Snowfall could cause traffic build-up on the roads or act as a catalyst for the cancellation of trains and other public services, putting staff in a difficult position when it comes to the work Christmas party.

However, by planning Christmas party close to work or homes of staff, business owners can avoid the hassle of snowfall and continue celebrating the holidays in style.

Netweather claims there could be snowfall as early as November: “With the current forecast showing the potential for temperature to be below normal, this could indicate the increased risk of more widespread snow.

“At this range there is no way to accurately predict whether this may be the case and should it occur, when it may happen.”

Last year, large sections of the M25 were closed due to snow while Heathrow and Gatwick airports were closed. Kent was “virtually cut off” when a 32km stretch of the M8 was closed for 48 hours as temperatures plummeted as low as -19C.

Sounds of Royal Wedding to be released

Couples who have yet to sign up a band to play at their chosen wedding reception venue could opt for the same composer as Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Speaking to The Leader, Paul Mealor described how he has received unbelievable exposure from providing the music for the royal wedding earlier this year – watched by about 2.5 billion people across the world – and is set to release an album.

It may prove to be a hit among engaged couples if the public’s reaction to his ‘Ubi Caritas et Amor’ at the Westminster Abbey ceremony is anything to go by. Mr Mealor described the response as “amazing” and claimed it has been a rollercoaster ride ever since.

The University of Aberdeen professor suggested it must have taken a great deal of courage for the royal pair to choose an unknown musician for their special day, adding: “Composers like me rarely get the opportunity to work with major recording labels. As a youngster growing up in North Wales, I could not have dreamed of this.”

If the bride and groom prefer rock music to classical tunes, they could emulate KISS bassist Gene Simmons, who invited his bandmates to take the stage for a number of songs at his wedding reception, reported the National Post.

The newspaper revealed that the veteran rocker had his first dance with Shannon Tweed to the Etta James’ song, ‘At Last’.

Corporate hospitality will boost ROI, claims report

Fancy a ROI of more than 12 per cent? Invest in corporate hospitality during the Olympic Games then, claims a report commissioned by Prestige Ticketing.

Event Magazine cites the report by the official hospitality provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which “values the earnings at an estimated £1.6 billion”.

It also reveals that Olympic hospitality as a whole, which revolves around high-end tickets to the most in-demand events of the Games, is set to exceed more than £3 billion.

British businesses have been urged to “seize the opportunity” to take their clients to the Olympics, according to Andrew Burton, chief executive of Prestige Ticketing.

Hospitality tickets offer “world class” experiences during the Games, including AA and A category tickets, dinner at fancy event spaces and entrance to their Olympic Park marquee, highlighting the extravagance of the overall package.

Professor Simon Chadwick, director of the Centre for the International Business of Sport at Coventry University, believes corporate hospitality will trump any economic conditions: “The corporate hospitality industry has hit a number of challenges in the last three or four years, particularly in light of the economic downturn.”

“But I think the Olympic Games is exceptional…and has the strength to transcend prevailing economic conditions,” cited Reuters.

McCartney and Shevall marry in London

Sir Paul McCartney has married for the third time, tying the knot with American Nancy Shevell, reports BBC News.

The former Beatle and the haulage heiress were married in a modest ceremony at Old Marylebone Town Hall registry office in London, in the presence of family and friends.

They then took travelled to a marquee in the McCartney’s own garden for their reception. Crowds of journalists and well-wishers had surrounded the town hall entrance to catch a glimpse of the couple or any of their small, but high-profile guest list.

The low-key event may inspire others planning their connubials to consider a smaller event themselves, as there are plenty of venues for hire in London that can accommodate smaller wedding parties.

Ringo Starr was said to have wished the happy couple “peace and love” as he entered; while Rolling Stone star, Ronnie Wood, wished them “a very happy future.”

Two aspects of the wedding were particularly poignant, according to The Telegraph. Not only was the wedding venue where Sir Paul married his first wife Linda in 1969, but the wedding fell on what would have been John Lennon’s 71st birthday. 

In a stark difference to his second marriage to model, Heather Mills, McCartney’s new bride has been welcomed by the family; with daughter Stella reportedly designing Shevell’s stunning white dress and coordinating the meat-free, organic menu.

After the ceremony, the groom told journalists that he was “terrific, thank you.” He continued: “I feel married, I feel absolutely wonderful.”

TfL confirms that London can cope with Olympics traffic

The commissioner of Transport for London (TfL), Peter Hendy, has reassured the London Assembly Transport Committee that the capital’s transport system will withstand next summer’s overwhelming traffic.

Speaking to the committee at a hearing this morning, Hendy confirmed that both the 2012 Olympic Games organisers and his own body, TfL, are confident that they’ll be able to deal with the event’s challenges.

He did admit on Continuitycentral.com that the Olympics would create “100 days of extraordinary operations” for TfL, but that: “TfL and London 2012 are on track to deliver the necessary reductions required in demand at certain times and certain locations on the transport network.”

With both UK residents and tourists zipping from sporting events to function venues for subsequent celebrations, it is thought London will be heaving during the Games. However, it is hoped Hendy’s comments will reduce any concerns people have about being able to travel at this time.

One question put before Hendy was from Caroline Pidgeon, the committee’s chair. According to Sky.com, she asked him: “Can each area cope with the number of spectators that are going to be visiting? What measures are being put in place to make sure that you can control the crowds that will be there?”

With such tough questioning, it is testament to Hendy’s confidence that he was able to respond calmly. One caution he did issue was that individual businesses should take matters into their own hands; preparing for the possibility that their logistics operations could be affected.

Chantelle Houghton wants Christmas wedding

Former ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ winner Chantelle Houghton has revealed that she wants to get married to cage-fighter Alex Reid this winter, following his live television proposal on ‘The Saturday Night Show’.

The pair look set to hunt for event spaces for their nuptials in the next few months – even though Reid is still married to glamour model Katie Price, reported Mail Online.

In terms of the look of the wedding, Houghton said she hopes it has a “fantastic winter wonderland” feel to it; although the first step will be for Reid to buy a ring for his bride-to-be, as he did not have one on him when he got down on one knee.

The martial arts expert was prompted to propose to his girlfriend on live television after repeated requests from chat show host Brendan O’Connor, ultimately saying: “We’re in Dublin. I haven’t got a ring, but you know what, I’m going to do it. Seriously, nobody tell anyone! Will you marry me?”

RTE noted that this would not be the first famous face that Houghton will have tied the knot with, since she was married to Samuel Preston from the Ordinary Boys for a year following her ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ win.

The entertainment news website also noted that O’Connor looked genuinely surprised when Reid agreed to propose on the Irish chat show.