Michael Stedman is a wonderfully talented musician, listening to him playing classical guitar is always a pleasure on the ear. It was wonderful to have him as our Featured Business.
We were treated to some live and on the spot music during our interview on Facebook. And, our Twitter Chat was great too. We learnt about Michael playing and tutoring. Don’t worry if you missed it. I’m going to round it up for you now.
Q1: Who are you and what is Classical Guitar?
My name is Michael Stedman, I hail from Wicklow and have been playing classical guitar for nearly 15 years. I graduated from DIT conservatory of music and drama and have continued to pursue music professionally since.
Classical guitar is an intricate fingerstyle version of guitar-focused on classical composers with music from the likes of Bach, Beethoven, Villa-Lobos, Satie and more. I would utilise a number of different guitar techniques to create and enthral my audience in a different soundworld.
Q2: Would guitar work for my event?
Yes, guitar is an extremely versatile instrument and suitable for many occasions. For years the guitar has been a part of many different genres and not confined to one in particular.
Themed events or weddings are easily completed with the repertoire available on the guitar. I have played at Spanish themed weddings and even played a few Disney songs. Most instruments are transcribed for the guitar there’s a lot of possibilities.
The guitar can play a more virtuosic role in your event or amplify the atmosphere. As a small instrument with a typically quieter sound, it often draws the listener in.
Q3: I have a small event and venue. Would guitar work?
Smaller events are perfect for the guitar with light amplification, while bigger events require a slightly larger setup however, that is not as intrusive into the event space.
My setup is relatively small: amp, music stand and me. I can fit into a snug corner or at the entrance and not take away from the needed space.
Q4: Could I learn to play?
Yes, depending on what song you wish to do. It is possible to learn a song in a month (provided you practice everyday!) Simple chords and strumming is a lot faster to learn and can be extremely romantic to serenade your partner on their special day or for an anniversary.
I provided vouchers for this purpose. With time and preparation, it would be possible to learn a small classical piece which could be recorded or added to a video of your event.
Q5: Can anyone learn?
As a versatile instrument, the guitar is open to many different people of all levels and abilities. I teach many students that have special needs and not only are they a joy to teach they have progressed steadily.
Their parents and I have been delighted with the progress they have made. As well as the enjoyment and skills they’ve gained during the lessons. We have is no set plan. And, many lessons are conducted with mutual learning. Figuring out together what way to best improve and learn.
You can contact Michael on his website or on his social media platforms and chat with him about playing at your event or wedding.
Here’s a clip from our Facebook interview earlier. We had some fun and Michael played us a couple of tunes as well.
We really do love having our featured businesses come on to Irish Wedding Chat. We are always happy to help our fellow suppliers find a bigger audience and our Twitter Hour helps us do that.
Join us me and our wonderful community of wedding and event service providers, suppliers and venues Wednesday’s at 8pm on Twitter when we show off our gifts, gowns, services, cars, cakes, flowers and so much more. It’s a virtual wedding fair. Hosted by Deirdre of 2D Graphic Design. And, check out our Instagram – which the lovely Sarah of SVS Concierge is there to look after you.
This week we are talking about planning your Wedding post COVID with Mercy of Bashly Events. On topic – with the easing of restrictions announced recently.
So, without further ado…let’s dive into the Twitter hour. Hosted by Deirdre ní Dhubhghaill of 2D Graphic Design
What has been your perception of the events in recent months?
In late January when we started to hear words like COVID-19 & coronavirus, they were background noise as we continued our daily lives. This was an outbreak in China that slowly crept into Italy and some parts of Europe but nowhere near Ireland.
For some the Taoiseach’s announcement to lockdown in March was a surprise, even then it didn’t seem too serious as it was only to last for 2 weeks. Little did we know that 4 months later we will still be on lockdown and it will change how we live and interact with one another.
The virus hit the nation in a way that is unprecedented. It has caused us to rethink how we interact with one another. In some cases, affected family’s finances with people losing their jobs.
How has COVID-19 impacted the wedding industry?
@weddingsonline did a survey of 600+ couples and found that 88% postponed their weddings to a later date, 2% cancelled altogether & others went ahead with a smaller number of guest than anticipated.
We have spent the last few weeks working with couples and suppliers in postponing their wedding, confirming new dates with suppliers, working on updating guest list and communicating to guests on the change in plans.
What will weddings look like post COVID?
Failte Ireland has guidelines for the hospitality & wedding industry. One of the biggest changes is that guest list will become shorter – by choice and by necessity. Couples won’t feel obligated to invite everyone to their wedding anymore.
Guestlist will be physical & virtual. Technology has played a positive role in the way we interact. Couples have had their weddings with their guests watching live as they walked down the aisle and made their vows, this will continue.
Majority of the weddings that did not go ahead this year was moved to next year. The industry is about to see its busiest year in 2021 and weekday weddings will be on the rise.
From Monday, 50 people can gather indoors and 200 outdoors till July 29th when that doubles. This will cause an increase in outdoor weddings.
With numbers restricted how might Couples go about reducing their guest list?
Varies for couples but my advise will be to prioritise. The same when drafting any guest list, it really depends on who you want to & who can be there with travel restrictions in place.
What advice do you give couples seeking to be married this year?
Adapt & be creative. Weddings are a celebration of love and should be safe. It is important to follow the HSE & Failte guidelines & adhere to the new rules
I hope you enjoyed catching up with our Twitter Hour – here is a clip from our Facebook Live earlier today. Watch the full interview on our Facebook Page
I enjoyed my week with Mercy – it was fun and we learnt a bit about the planning process for a post COVID wedding. Connect with Mercy on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for a Free Consultation.
Are you planning on getting married and looking for your perfect wedding service or supplier? Or, maybe you are a guest and looking for the perfect gift.
Come and join us on Wednesday’s at 8pm on Twitter when we show off our gifts, gowns, services, cars, cakes, flowers and so much more. It’s a virtual wedding fair. Or, check out our Instagram – which the lovely Sarah of SVS Concierge is there to look after you.
Turning the tables on our Twitter Chat host Deirdre ní Dhubhghaill of 2D Graphic Design
Talk about having fun and falling off my Twitter chair numerous times during yesterday’s chat. As we turned the spotlight on our Twitter Host Deirdre ní Dhubhghaill of 2D Graphic Design.
Thankfully, we have this blog and I can rescue this somewhat.
Let’s dive straight in…
Our first questions:
Q. 1: How can Graphic Design help?
One of the best things as a Designer, I’m lucky to meet people who are passionate about what they do, their business and where it’s going. From this research, stem the concepts and design solutions for you.
I’ll address your questions, concerns & help develop your ideas. A typical project starts with a Briefing • discussion • Concepts • Design process • Artwork to finished product – logos, cards – brochure, web design & image.
Expressing the personality of the wedding theme you wish to evoke. Developing images, invitations, Invitations, Favours, Save the date, Stationary etc. • Design &Promotion to appeal aesthetically and be remembered by your guests.
Q 2: Why do you need a Designer?
A Designer will spend time learning about you & your aspirations for your wedding & beyond? Discovering what your wedding material requires to share the story you wish to tell. How you’d like others to remember your day.
Unique • One of a kind design that caters to your tastes & the mood, romance etc. you wish to share with your audience, your guests
Q 3: Do you create pieces that may be suitable as gifts?
I’ve a range of Typographic WallArt. Expressing WiseWords, Proverbs, Sayings, Individuals catchphrases, Poetry & specific to locations • designandart.net
These make Ideal Gifts or Commemorative pieces
Q 4: Would you work on future design projects?
Yes Indeed! You may have that business idea that allows you to provide for your family in an enterprise you are most passionate about, who knows it may even become the next big thing?
I can be there to help you develop your business mark, Logotype, Symbol, Business Cards & fantastic Promotional material
I hope you enjoyed our Q & A with Deirdre.
I’m always on the lookout for Guests for our community.
Do you have something to offer? Maybe you are launching a book or course?
Feel free to contact me and we’ll help you spread the word.
The Love Coach as I like to refer Melody Chadamoyo was our guest on this week’s #irishweddingchat Twitter Hour. Having met Melody a few years back in Galway at a #WIN Event. I knew that this week we were going to be in for a treat!
Melody shared some fantastic insights with us. Like toxic behaviours and planning a wedding while under COVID-19 restriction during our Q & A. Which as always we are sharing with you in our blog this week.
Q1: What is the most challenging thing for couples in the first 2 year’s marriage?
In most cases, we don’t know what we’re doing when we first get married. Because no one ever tells us what is expected of us.
In my case anyway, I didn’t know how to be a wife. I just assumed that what I was doing was being super-efficient, superwoman, super independent, doing everything myself. Not needing my husband to do anything was the best way.
I also expected him to just sit there and not contribute because my opinion was more important than his and I knew better. That caused us to get into a conflict stage.
I didn’t know that marriages go through stages, the first one which we all know about which is romantic/honeymoon stage. And, then the conflict stage couples get stuck here because they don’t know how to get themselves out of that situation. And, the blissful stage. Most couples never get too because they get stuck in the conflict stage.
Knowing that we were in a conflict stage. Knowing that it was a stage and it was going to pass helped me a great deal. It helped me to have a focus because I wanted to get to the other side. To the happy blissful side.
I looked for ways for me to get there with my husband because obviously being superwoman didn’t work. Thinking that I knew everything didn’t work. And, not needing my husband to contribute in any way except financially also didn’t work.
Waking up to that and knowing that I needed to create a partnership. Where what my husband was contributing verbally, emotionally financially was appreciated. Helped me to serve my marriage and helped us to move to the blissful stage.
Q2: 3 toxic things you can do during Lockdown that is bad for your relationship?
As couples spend a lot of time together they might do toxic things that might be bad for the relationship in the long run.
The first one is:
Criticism. It is blaming the other person for everything that might be wrong. When you begin sentences like you never or you always. It always makes your spouse feel unappreciated and they would probably start feeling self-conscious or feel like they are not giving enough to the relationship.
It never helps to be that person who is always criticising someone. In terms of men, when you say “you always”. They take it like whatever effort they have been making is washed away like it didn’t matter. So when you say some of these things. It means you are not appreciating the spouse that you’ve got.
The 2nd one is:
Contempt which is criticism powered by hostility or disgust.
This is something a lot of people do; they just eye roll or they are sarcastic or they make their spouse continuously, incessantly.
We have seen this. It seems like it’s a joke. But, if you’re the one who’s at the brunt of the joke. It stops being funny.
You start feeling like someone doesn’t care about you and they don’t really respect you.
Your spouse says something and you say, here we go again and you roll your eyes and you say all these mean things.
Even if you don’t say mean things it is perceived as mean because of how they feel. You need to be aware that they might want to get out of COVID and get out of the relationship as well.
Because nobody wants to be in a situation where they are not loved and appreciated and respected.
The 3rd issue is:
Defensiveness. It is not taking responsibility for your contribution to the interaction.
You start noticing when you’re doing it. When you stop acknowledging what others are saying. They are telling you how they feel and might even tell you what you’re doing. And, you say “Yeah but”…you had done this first. Or, like you are the only one who has feelings the other person doesn’t.
This is not good.
It’s very toxic and it can cause a lot of resentment. Once you have resentment it is a signal of the beginning of the end of your relationship. So you don’t want resentment to fester in your relationship. You’ve got to start focusing on respecting, listening and understanding the other person. Not meaning to say they are right or wrong all the time but at least see them from their point of view.
Q3. What is the best advice you can give to a couple planning a wedding that was affected by social distancing?
I think sometimes we tend to take some of these things very seriously.
I do understand it, it’s frustrating. You’re planning something and you’re going somewhere. And it doesn’t quite go ahead because the government puts limitations of how many people can attend your wedding.
You also have to remember something, everyone is in this situation.
We’re all being curtailed for reasons of health and we have to understand that. A wedding day is just a day. Yes it takes a long time to plan, yes it takes a lot of commitment and a lot of action but it’s really just a day.
It is a day to celebrate your commitment to each other. You need to be aware of that. Maintain that commitment. You have an opportunity to ensure that you operate as a team.
If you develop coping mechanisms for dealing with strife. And, problems that come in life. It is actually good for you because life will happen after you’re married. A lot of things will go wrong sometimes. They might even go wrong on the wedding day. It’s how you cope with those things that are going to determine whether you survive as a couple or you won’t.
And not just surviving, you will thrive and be happy.
I remember one of the biggest things that happened to me with my husband. I had several miscarriages. And, then we had a baby and she died.
How we coped with that was we were always a unit.
We were always together.
We functioned as one.
We understood that my pain even though it was different from his. He was also going through pain.
That is when you start negotiating and moving through life because life happens. If you can survive struggle and strife without turning on each other. Then you’re building something with a good foundation that will survive life. Things will happen and you have to be prepared.
This might be a bad situation. But it’s also a time you can use to see whether you need to work on some things in your relationship. Or, negotiate some things in your relationship. So, that you’re ready for real-life tomorrow.
Q4: What can help new couples survive after Covid 19?
Focus on growing your love.
I know sometimes we don’t talk about that but love and kindness go hand in hand. When you start practising kindness intentionally, being kind to your spouse you find that your love will start to grow because that person will feel loved and appreciated.
Even when you’re feeling afraid, tense and uncertain about your future. At least, if you’re practising kindness it will help you to grow and help you to appreciate each other.
What you can do regularly is to list 3 things you’re grateful for every day for with spouse in mind.
What are the characteristics of who they are that make you feel like ooohh, I really like this person?
What attracted you to that person is something you should always appreciate.
I know after a while it starts being annoying but if you teach yourself to appreciate the person’s characteristics, their values, who they are. You’ll find that your relationship will grow. You will thrive as a couple. And, everything will go beautifully.
Remember love always protects, and it always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.
In perseverance. It means you’re persevering to make sure your relationship keeps growing, keeps maturing, keeps going to the next stage.
Remember, I told you there are 3 stages, they’re actually 4 but we don’t even talk about the 4th one because most people don’t get there.
You want to be that couple that gets to that stage. Do you really want to married for 56 years and be miserable? There’s no point in that.
You want to be married 56 years blissfully happy, blissfully together, growing together appreciating each other because that’s what matters.
Well, that was enjoyable!
Thank you, Melody, for sharing such fantastic advice and being so very generous with it too. Melody’s new book titled “Why Self-love is The Key to True Love” available to buy on Amazon.
And, if you are looking too Attract Love. Then check out Melody’s course. Where your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to learn how to choose the right man for you, based on becoming clear on what you personally value in a relationship partner, so that you can build the foundation for a happy and lasting relationship–in 6 weeks or less.
I hope you enjoyed our time with the beautiful Melody Chadamoyo. We certainly did.
I’m always on the lookout for Guests for our community. Do you have something to offer? Maybe you are launching a book or course? Feel free to contact me and we’ll help you spread the word.
We had the pleasure of having Sharon Thomas of Celtic Knot Weddings and Events as our Guest for this week’s Q & A on #irishweddingchat. Where we learnt about “Operation Help our Heros” and why Sharon decided to launch this fantastic initiative.
Let’s take a moment to introduce Sharon to you:
Sharon is the Owner & Founder at Celtic Knot Weddings and Events, Co-Founder at The Wedding Festival, Creative Wedding Specialist at Glengarriff Lodge and Founder of Operation Help Our Heroes campaign.
She is a Wedding and Event planner, and Creative stylist who specialises in Boho, Festival and Creative style Weddings. Sharon is a LGBTQ Ally who supports equal civil rights, gender equality and is a LGBTQ friendly wedding & event planner.
She dedicated her business in memory of her Uncle and Aunt who were very supportive of and are her Heroes. And, is passionate about supporting the LGBTQ community because of her uncle who came out as gay, a few years before he passed away. These were the happiest years of his life. It made her realise that life was too short so go for your dreams today not tomorrow.
Our first question to Sharon was:
What is Operation Help Our Heroes all about?
Celtic Knot Weddings & Events and well over 150 wedding suppliers from all over Ireland, including some from the UK. Have come together as a team to help our front line superheroes. Who are working tirelessly, battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the most talented, kind and simply the best wedding suppliers. Have decided to join forces and offer our front line heroes discounts. On our services to help towards planning their weddings, for when this pandemic is all over and we can celebrate life again!
Who does Operation Help Our Heroes include?
Whether you are a doctor, nurse, paramedic, carer, hospital attendant, hospital porter. A hospital cleaner, nursing home worker, medical administration staff, fire brigade, a member of An Garda Síochána, working with the HSE, or are Covid-19 test centre staff, NHS. Or, if you are a bride or groom working on the front line’s around the world and due to marry in Ireland before December 2021 you can avail of this offer.
Why have you decided to do this, Sharon?
I have decided to launch Operation Help Our Heroes for our Frontline workers, as they are doing a super, amazing job and this is something very close to my heart.
There are a number of reasons why I choose to do this. I’ve family and friends working in the healthcare sector. I also have Crohn’s disease, which means I am in and out of the hospital from time to time for tests and I have had minor surgeries.
Usually, I don’t share this private information with people but I am sharing it, as this is one of the reasons I am doing this. The care I receive from the doctors, nurses, care staff, porters etc, is absolutely amazing every time. They are incredibly kind to me, empathetic and reassuring.
My sister is one of those heroes; she is a care worker. She cares for the long-term residents in Bantry General Hospital and is helping so many people. I am so grateful and proud that she is my sister. She is working so hard along with the other superhero healthcare professionals.
She was also due to get married in Sorrento, Italy, this June. Nothing has been postponed or rescheduled as of yet but I can help my little hero sis when the time comes and pop on my wedding planner cape! It’s the least I can do to help a hero in need!
This week our Guest and Featured business was Ailish Kelly of Sí Jewellery. Ailish creates the most beautiful bespoke memorial jewellery. It’s really discreet and meaningful. A wonderful way of having someone who has passed on with you.
Before our Twitter Hour, we got to know Ailish a little more. Here is a little clip from our interview with Ailish in our Supplier’s Facebook Group.
I loved interviewing Ailish, she was just so vibrant. We asked Ailish a few questions all about her memorial jewellery during our Twitter Chat which is on Wednesday’s at 8pm and hosted by the wonderful Deirdre ní Dhubhghaill of 2D Graphic Design.
Question 1: You offer a very unique bespoke product, Ailish. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do and what makes you so unique?
Ailish: I love my pieces to bring comfort to those that are wearing them and because each piece is made with a personal photo, quote or even the ashes/ hair of a passed loved one , – it maintains the bond and love between them.
Question 2. We’d love to know where did your inspiration for starting your business come from?
Ailish: A number of years ago my children were competing in the World Kickboxing Championships and I wanted them to have something inspirational and protective, – as I could not find the right piece to fit the bill, I made it myself! The business developed after that
Question 3. Can you tell us how can your beautiful custom jewellery will enhance our couple’s wedding day?
Ailish: Having a photo of a passed loved one attached to your wedding bouquet, your wedding shoes, or cuff-links allows you to share your day with them, it is a unique way of include all your family members
Question 4. If I only have a very old photo, can that be used?
Ailish: Yes, I can edit and enhance it as much as possible to a standard that can be used.
Question 5. Can other photo’s and quotes be used other than memorial?
Ailish: Yes, – it is not always about looking back, – it is also about bringing your personality to your wedding, its your day , your way. You can use a line from your favourite song, or a photo of your pet . Family crests are very popular as groom gifts for example; pocket watch, tie bars etc
We really enjoyed having Ailish on has our Guest Featured Business and learning about Sí Jewellery. Hope you did too.
Feel free to join us on our Twitter Hour every Wednesday’s from 8pm until 9pm. And, chat with our fabulous suppliers while they showcase their gifts, flowers, outfits, cars and so much more. Would you like to be our Featured Wedding Business? Contact us for more details.
Planning your wedding is probably one of the most stressful events ever!
Lot’s things to do. From the ceremony to the reception. And, let’s not forget the honeymoon! All the itty bitty details as well! My head is already swirling at the thought of it. And, I’m not getting married. Well, not yet anyway!
My mission this week was to find the best advice for you.
Planning the big day
Starting with this fantastic blog from weddingdates.ie and the team at Inishowen Gateway Hotel, Donegal who share 8 expert wedding planning tips from deciding on your budget to enjoying the planning process.
While searching for useful tips, I came across this fantastic blog by Bruno Rosa, a Dublin Based Photographer. He shares excellent advice on how to plan your Destination Wedding in Ireland. It’s incredibly detailed and full of so much useful information from visa to venues.
Deciding on what kind of ceremony you want will be one of the major decision you and your partner will have to make. There are so many options today that it can be confusing. Sandra the Wedding Lady helps to clear the confusion with the elements that need to be in place before you can get married.
I really enjoyed reading this from Laura of beourguest.app It’s a little bit different from the usual wedding planning blogs I’ve come across. Laura talks about your guest experience. I love the suggestions she makes and how informing your guests is important. Definitely bookmark this one to read later. Oh, and I highly recommend checking out beourguest.app it’s a very handy one to have. Save you a lot of hassle.
Okay, so you need a little help organising everything because I have come to realise that planning the perfect wedding day is stressful, to say the least. That’s where Sarah comes in. She is s**t hot when it comes to sourcing the little details. From pulling together your theme to your favours.
The Wedding Dress will be in most cases at the top of the planning list. While I was researching this topic, it became really clear really quickly that finding the perfect bridal gown is pretty stressful. So, I decided it was my mission to find the very best advice out there to help ease the whole experience.
Let’s kick off our topic with a look at the Bridal Fashion for 2020. Loving the Randy Fenoli gown shared here by Sara Kennedy, irishweddingblog.ie
I’m looking forward to the Trunk Show in Eden Manor Bridal on the 14th. I’ll have to make sure that I take a few pics and maybe even share a story or two.
Ever wondered what a Trunk Sale is? It’s normally really special event that where Bridal Boutique invites a designer to showcase their collection. These gowns are normally not yet available in your country or city. Here are some fabulous tips to help you shop at a Trunk or Sample Show.
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