Nelson’s Ultimate Wedding Experience 2010

While, to be honest, I’m not sure that it quite lived up to the claim of being Nelson’s ULTIMATE wedding experience for 2010, the bridal show hosted at the Grand Mercure Monaco this past weekend was a heap of fun, and incredibly well attended.

If you didn’t manage to get there, don’t fret! I went for you. Which means that The Corner Store has even more up-to-date information about who’s doing what for weddings in the Top of the South. [I also saved you a piece of wedding cake, but I eated it…]

Sites of note [other than, of course, MINE!] included:

Edible Creations, makers of the afore-mentioned, and very delicious cake! I always recommend Edible Creations because they do such great work – and always with a smile. I’ve called on Yvonne and her team a few times this year when DIY brides have arrived at The Store, in tears over marzipan that’s refusing to mould right. Without a hint of fuss or recrimination, Yvonne has worked with them to rescue and decorate the cake. It’s rare to find someone who is such a professional and who is also so very approachable and easy to work with!

Fields Designer Florist are one of my favourite florists. I’m not sure whether it’s because Wendell is a bloke, [and therefore approaches the whole floral design thing from a completely different angle], but I have been consistently surprised and delighted by the way he as interpreted my [often garbled, and never ordinary] requests for floral arrangements. Their new premises on the sunny side of Queen Street, Richmond, is a gorgeous boutique where you can find traditional or funky floral designs to suit any occasion!

Avago Entertainment: I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Alison and Keith a number of times now. Normally, I HATE HATE HATE it when a couple suggests we’ll be using microphones for their wedding – done badly, it’s distracting and disruptive. Pretty much the only exception to my hate-hate relationship with sound gear is Alison Holmes / Avago Entertainment. Getting the sound right in the challenging environment that most weddings present is a real skill, and Alison manages it with minimal fuss, boosting vocal volume perfectly so that it’s almost undetectable.

As well as making me happy, Avago also provide music entertainment, from DJ and Dance tunes through to Karaoke, with a range of music available from 1940s to current chart hits, tailoring playlists to your requirements, and even offer versatile vocals as the singing duo good4tunes. You can track Alison down the old-fashioned way, by phoning 03 5419414 or 027 635 3955

Nelson Tailors Menswear Now, I should point out that, being a girl and all, I don’t have much call for suit hire services, so this is gossip and hearsay, but… it’s all good! Paul and Sue have been in the business pretty much forever, and those years of experience really show. They give excellent advice – trust me, any time I see a groom or groomsmen in poorly fitted suits, I know before I even ask that they didn’t come from Nelson Tailors Menswear. Because all their stock is held in Nelson, you can be sure that your suits will fit and look fantastic, rather than waiting and hoping that they arrive in time and in shape. Their range is massive – almost all styles are accounted for, from top hats and tails to mafia style pinstripes, or even disco fever coloured suits!  Seriously. Why would you go anywhere else?!

Southern Distributors Ice Sculptures are your source for gorgeous ice sculptures. Priced from as low as $20, these are a cool addition to your reception decor. I’ll admit, they’re not everyone’s idea of classy decor – people either love them or hate them, but, lit from within, these are a great alternative table decoration!

So there you have my top picks – and, for the record, NONE of them are paying me to say nice things about them! – of course, there were heaps more fantastic wedding professionals who weren’t exhibiting at the show, too.  For expert advice from someone who’s watched them at work, call into The Wedding Whisperer’s Corner Store. It’s more efficient than throwing darts at the Yellow Pages, and more comprehensive than any list of paid advertising could ever be.


Melrose House: Summer Garden Party Photos

Thanks to everyone who helped make the Melrose House Summer Garden Party such a huge success! sandra johnson boutique photographyIt was a great opportunity to view and enjoy the house and gardens. I really enjoyed seeing the House full of people having so much fun, and bringing ‘her’ to life.
The refurbishments are fantastic, and I can’t wait to see what the committee do next!

Photos of the day are available to view and purchase, with a donation made to Melrose House to continue the refurbishment:

Studio portraits by James from Tasman Photography
Candid and outdoors shots by Sandra Johnson Boutique Photography

sandra johnson boutique photographyFull credit goes to Simone Henbry and the committee at Melrose House who made the whole thing possible, and were such a pleasure to work with

Also supporting the event were: Fields Designer Florist, Kaimira  PussPuss historically inspired corsets, Flossie Balloons fun and formal balloons, Edible Creations Boutique Cake Design The Black Cab Company event transport, Great Event event planning, Abel Tasman Sea ShuttleWillPower Productions costume hire…

…and so many more who so very generously loaned or donated their time, talents, and enthusiasm to the event. We couldn’t have done it without you, and to be honest, we wouldn’t have wanted to, either!

Rocky Horror One-Night-Stand

Sometimes truth really is funnier than fiction: A friend told me that, earlier this week, during the break at band rehearsal, a woman had gone up to her Dad to inform him that she hated that show she went to see at his theater on Saturday night.

Apparently she left shortly after the show began because the audience was too loud, the costumes were offensive and she couldn’t even hear the words the actors were saying.

Oh, what was the show? The Rocky Horror Show.

Way to miss the point! I’m finding it hard to imagine that there’s many adults who wouldn’t EXPECT offensive costumes and a loud audience at a RHPS

By happy happenstance, the November-December programme for The Playhouse just dropped into my inbox, and among many other gems, I note the offer of a one night stand with Frankie, Riff Raff, Magenta & Columbia from the Rocky Horror Picture Show on Thursday 26th November!

I’m trying hard to picture Rob in fishnets & a corset – but it sounds like it should be an outrageous night of fun and games!

And, if that’s really not your scene, there’s still plenty on offer – from the Mojo Funk Orchestra, through to Elvis and back again, with a detour into the 2009 Young Talent Finals, all the way through to a Naughty Little Christmas Show and New Year’s Eve!

I’m continually amazed at the variety, quality, and breadth of the programmes Rob and Susanna keep bringing together – The Playhouse might be out in the sticks, but it performs like it’s in the City Centre!



A mondo task for Mondo Travel

MainPromo-SamoaAppeal2As soon as news of the Samoan Tsunami reached the Mondo Travel Company offices, they moved into action, putting out an appeal to their entire network, requesting donations for Samoa.
The results were incredibly moving:

mondo responseThis week, a Mondo representative met with the Consulate General for Samoa, the Manager of Habitat for Humanity, and 3 RETKO owners at the RETKO depot, where the donations had been collected in one location.
The pictures speak for themselves of the lengths the team at Mondo, and their clients, had gone to.  There is no doubt that these items will be received with great appreciation by people whose lives were literally turned upside down just a few weeks ago.

mondo response2A heartfelt thanks is due for the “mondo” response, to everyone who contributed to the appeal. I am proud to be part of such a generous community!

One of the things I love most about this story is the visible demonstration of what i have already observed – that Mondo really are not like any other travel company – it’s the way they operate – building a relationship with each of the destinations they offer, and the people who live and work  there year round.

mondo and repsIf you’re planning a destination wedding, or honeymooning overseas, you should definitely talk to the team at Mondo about your plans. Their expertise, combined with their own personal knowledge of the destinations they’re recommending, and their community spirit, will ensure that you have the trip of a lifetime!

Fashion With Compassion fundraiser for Marine Reach: Pacific Link

“How to look fabulous for under $50” plus music, comedy, and supper.   7th November @ Hope Community Hall

A fashhion show featuring fashion clothing from local charity shops, musician Matt Werner, hilarious comedy, as well as auctions, raffles, spot prizes and great company. All proceeds will be donated to Marine Reach Ship “Pacific Link”
Marine Reach have visited 16 nations across the Pacific, involving over 130 visits to coastal communities. In each nation, dental and optical teams provide services to the inhabitants, FREE of charge.   Engineers from the ships fix hospital equipment, repair village generators and outboard motors.
Water testing services have been provided, and hospital water systems repaired. Teams work in prisons, orphanages, and hospitals, supporting the local communities in any way they can.

To date over $5,000,000 NZD worth of medical supplies and equipment have been distributed free of charge to poor communities.

Fashion With Compassion aims to raise another $2,000 towards this incredibly worthy cause.Tickets $15 each phone Andrea on 5483821 or 027 376 1149 or simply make a donation directly to Marine Reach

More info about Marine Reach here

Edit to add:
I hear that this was a massive success, and raised almost double the amount hoped for! Congratulations to those involved, and thanks to all who contributed!

Whining about Art…

Wait! No, I meant WINE!

Kaimira Ventures [Kaimira and Brightside Wines]  tasting room / art gallery opens for the summer, from Labor Weekend! Their gallery in Brightwater is packed with an changing display of works by local artists. What better way to spend a lazy afternoon than by browsing some of the best established and emerging local talent while sipping a glass or two of extremely excellent wine?!

What makes it excellent, aside from the fact that it’s delicious, is that it’s also local, grown sustainably, to organic standards, the whole process is certified carbon neutral, and… it tastes great!

Ian and June, Principals of Kaimira are known locally, not just for their wine [did I mention it was good?] but also for their sponsorship of NMIT’s Fine Arts and Hospitality & Tourism Schools.  Kaimira are sponsors of the local arts community, from Opera in the Park, through to the Wakefield Nouveau Design Awards, and the Buskers Street theatre – with a real focus on supporting young talent – dancers, musicians and artists – keeping it local, and keeping it fresh.

Not only that, but if you ask them nicely, they’ll even bottle your selection of wines with personalised labels for your wedding! I’m a fan!

Kaimira Ventures

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