magazine March / April 2011
Mar/Ap Edition 2011
HOME Spring Cleaning p15
WHAT’S ON UPDATE What’s New & Novel p4
Brights p6 Bridal Gowns p24
Easter Treats p13
The wedding season is almost upon us - and with it comes the hideous realisation that you have nothing to wear and it’ll be eye wateringly expensive - even if you’re not the one getting hitched. To help you survive the big day, our experts are on hand with life saving strategies. Also in this edition, there’s ‘eggcellent’ (sorry!) advice on Easter gifts and how to spring clean your home the simple way. Plus, Mel C reveals why she’s supporting Red Nose Day. This month I’ll be: MASTERING the art of making macaroons. Cup cakes are soooo last year. WATCHING Patagonia. The sexiest Welsh film of the season. TWEETING. Follow me @PFray
INSIDE & OUT Kinky Hair p8 Mel C p10 Tarotscopes p12
Self Help Books p21
BACK FEATURES Wedding Special p23
NEXT EDITION Viva La France
hot hair trends revealed p8
Mel C wears Comic Relief T-Shirt from TK Maxx
Penny x p2
UPDATE viva la revolution t-shirt by katharine hamnett p3
CURATOR OF COOL
demo Human rights, climate change and bankers’ bonuses peaceful protesting has suddenly become all the rage. This season, people are injecting substance into their lives by supporting hip causes. Governments have been toppled and lobbying groups like Amnesty International have seen their Facebook followers double. So find a worthy cause, dress as though you’re going to Glastonbury and jump on the demo bandwagon. My support goes to the Friends of Birkenhead Council Kennels. They’re campaigning to rebuild the local authority pound, so abandoned pooches can have space to play. Find their group on Facebook.
Good advice is hard to come by a therapist is too expensive and your best buddy too bonkers. The answer may lie in your birthday. That’s why The House of Good Fortune has come up with a mini birth chart for just £5. Three lucky readers will get a chance to win one for free by sending their name and address, plus time, date and place of birth to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 1, 2011. The winners will be selected at random. Competition T&Cs apply.
WHAT’S HOT zumba Dance your way thin with the latest fitness fad to cross the Atlantic.
Lighter evenings are almost upon us so this month I’ll be pottering around with a spring in my step. I shall be heading to south Liverpool’s Lark Lane to visit the aptly named Larks - a truly gorgeous little shop full of kitsch gifts and home ware. I’ve a lot of spring birthdays to shop for so I’ll certainly be popping in. Another shop guaranteed a visit is Bullet on Liverpool’s Hardman Street. It’s right on my doorstep and often lures me in on a Saturday afternoon when I’ve only meant to pop to the newsagents for a pint of milk. Here you can bag some lovely vintage clothing at bargain prices and they stock fab, hand-made, one off pieces too. Any evening excursions are very likely to feature Santa Chupitos – quite simply my favourite bar in Liverpool. This little place has an ever changing menu of delicious and unique cocktails, a friendly crowd and eclectic music. I’ve never had a bad night in there. Looking ahead to April, Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella at the Liverpool Empire is high on my excitement agenda. Set in WW2 era London, with stunning costumes and sets, Mr Bourne’s innovative retelling of the classic love story through dance is a cultural must see.
Jenny Morgan p4
THE MICRO CLASS
Part 3: Archeology by Glenn Godenho. Studying archaeology is cool and relevant. Every year, blockbusting Hollywood films based on ancient cultures are released. These necessarily involve a certain amount of fictionalising. So, how are we to know where the fine line between fact and fiction is drawn? That is the point of archaeology to recreate a reliable picture of how we used to live in the distant past. The recent The Mummy and The Mummy Returns films are just the latest in a long line of flicks featuring bandaged zombies being disturbed by archaeologists and then wreaking havoc in modern society. In reality, the gruesome process of mummification, the mysterious rites performed for the funeral and the perilous journey to the afterlife are no less remarkable. And although Egyptian hieroglyphs have not yet provided the key to activating a Stargate, they have helped us to understand the fascinating world of Egyptian society with its distinct religion and curious afterlife beliefs. Also, you do not need to excavate to
discover amazing facts. As Indiana Jones dutifully pointed out, 95% of archaeological work is done in the library. Once you know what kind of methods to apply and see a few examples, you get a privileged view into the way we were in the distant past. At times, the evidence is fragmentary and even contradictory. Archaeology, then, is all about solving puzzles, and for that you need creative imagination. The result is not only knowing that Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra costume was not 100% historically accurate, or that as Achilles in Troy, Brad Pitt should not have been in the Trojan horse, but already lying dead with an arrow sticking out of his heel. More importantly, by studying archaeology we are trying to understand the incredible story of the history of the human race, and a means by which to conserve it. After all, if we don’t, no-one else can. If you want to know more, See pages 11-18 of the Continuing Education Prospectus available online at http://www.liv.ac.uk/ conted/
There was a touch of Hollywood glamour when Browns opened the doors for their spectacular launch night in Manchester. Nine hundred invited guests including local businesses trod the red carpet leading to the entrance of the former Athenaeum bar. But the highlight of the evening was seeing ‘Tequila Queen’ Cleo Rocos serving skinny cocktails to guests. Meanwhile, the great and the good of Liverpool’s artistic set celebrated the success of Steven Berkoff’s Oedipus at the Playhouse. The play continues until March 12.
FASHION bright young things outfit from hobbs
COLOUR CRAZED George at Asda dress
Spring is time for some shock therapy on the style front, says Penny Fray. The hottest new colours for spring are so bright you’re going to need shades just to open your wardrobe. Inspired by the catwalk looks of Jil Sander, Gucci and Prada, eye-popping pinks, yellows and blues are expected to be everywhere this season. On the high street, both Primark and New Look are rocking the trend. But our favourite ‘fluro’ piece is this simple shift dress from Asda. Very Jackie O. Frightened of colour blocking? Don’t worry, ease yourself more gently with one vibrant piece surrounded by subtle nudes and neutral shades.
Nail Colour, £2.50, M&S
Earrings, £16, Tallulah Tu London
Leather weave clutch, £60, Asos
Bonprix skinny jeans Hankins Origami Sandals, £119, Hobbs
INSIDE & OUT
catwalk cuts hair by aveda p8
NEW WAVE Say ‘hello’ to the new season with simple, sinuous movement, says Penny Fray. Ladies, step away from the straighteners. A new hair style is literally making waves. The latest catwalk shows were awash with Hollywood glamour and fabulous 70s flicks. While Chloe took inspiration from hit TV show Charlie’s Angels, the styling at the ‘fierce’ Christian Siriano a/w 2011 show, embraced a more modern take on retro curls. Fashion stylist Antoinette Beenders for Aveda says: “The hair for this season is sinuous and matte — beautiful waves that are neither too beachy nor too glam. It’s pretty in the simplest way.” According to the expert, the look is easy to recreate at home and works for
Images from Aveda
anyone with a little length to their hair. To copy the style: 1. Apply Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair to damp locks to protect from heat styling. Blow dry straight with a Mason Pearson brush. 2. Use a fine-tooth comb to create a center part, dividing the hair into two sides. Loosely braid each side and secure at the ends with elastic bands. Spray with Aveda Air Control Hair Spray for light hold. 3. Starting at the top of each braid, apply a few seconds of gentle pressure with a flat iron. Section by section, move slowly down, so that the entirety of each braid has been pressed. 4. Gently pinch the sides of each braid between the thumb and forefinger and tug gently to loosen. 5. Remove the elastics and use fingers to loosen the curl. To create a soft wave, brush lightly and set the look with Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray.
TRIED & TESTED
CAUDALIE DRAINING ORGANIC HERBAL TEAS, £9.50, BOOTS What they say: Exclusively created for the tea room at Caudalie’s Vinotherapie Spas, these herbal teas help drain water and toxins from your body for an immediate feeling of well being. Contains blueberry, blackcurrant, orange and red vine. Verdict: Okay, so my idea of healthy living is ordering Diet Coke with my Big Mac. I don’t like diets and I especially don’t dig draconian detox regimes - but a pot of tea or two I can manage. This organic brew, while pleasant tasting, didn’t perform miracles. But I did feel a little less bloated after use and my skin looked a lot clearer within a week. Well worth buying if you’re planning to ditch the doughnuts and give your body a break from all things toxic.
MIND, BODY & SPIRIT Singer, song writer Mel C, reveals the marvels of motherhood and why she’s not such a Sporty Spice. What’s your life philosophy? Enjoy today but consider tomorrow. What, in your opinion, are the best things in life? Family, friends, food & shopping. Seeing that you’re supporting Comic Relief by modelling one of the cult TK Maxx t-shirts, what makes you laugh? My little girl has definitely brought a lot of sunshine into my life. She’s very entertaining – she comes out with the funniest things. Which outfit in your wardrobe always makes you feel good? I think it’s important to know what suits you and clean, quite masculine lines suit me best – a nice black suit and heels for me are a fail safe. Any favourite designers? All the Brits – Alexander McQueen, John Richmond,
Fashion Vest Punk Girl XS - L £14.99 (with at least £7.00 going to Comic Relief). Available from www.tkmaxx.com
Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day is on March 18, 2011
Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney and, of course, Victoria Beckham. Your life in songs - which albums have inspired you most and why? This is such a difficult question. I’m constantly being inspired by different albums and artists, old and new, but I think my top three would have to be: 1. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life. This is an album I grew up with. I adore Stevie Wonder and was lucky enough to meet him once with the Spice Girls. Emma and I were such big fans we were speechless. He is such an incredible artist and a real living legend. His vocals are sublime and his song writing and lyrics are incredible. 2. The Beatles – Revolver. Never trust a person if they don’t like The Beatles – there’s a couple of them out there. I know - nutters! So many great albums but this is
the one I always come back to and my favourite track, Eleanor Rigby, is on it. Beautiful, simple song writing and Sir George Martin’s groundbreaking production. 3. Madonna – Ray of Light. I have been a Madonna fan since her first album in the early eighties. She was the artist that made me want to become a pop star. I love her early stuff but for me she really peaked musically and lyrically with this album. I have been lucky enough to work with some of Madonna’s collaborators on this album – Rick Nowels and William Orbit. How do you keep fit? I’m one of those people who enjoys keeping fit so I try to get in the gym a couple of times a week. I do a bit of running and strength training and love yoga but have found it hard to do much after having a little one.
upbringing. I’m a working class, Northern lass and proud. What ambition are you yet to fulfill? I’d love to work on Broadway and a number one album as a solo artist would be the ultimate What would our readers be surprised to know about you? I’m rubbish at a lot of sports tennis, golf & footy. I love football but my ball skills leave a lot to be desired.
If you didn’t have to cook it yourself, which dish do you enjoy most? I do enjoy cooking but you can’t beat a good steak and chips in a restaurant. Which beauty products and treatments do you swear by? I love Shu Uemura skin & hair products. I’ve been having five element acupuncture for over ten years and think it is miraculous. I met you during dinner for the McCartney gig and you were the most grounded singer I’ve ever met. What or who helps you stay that way? Thank you. I think a lot of how you are is down to your
A few of Mel’s favourite things: 1. Victoria Beckham Designs. 2. The Beatles’ Revolver Album 3. Shu Uemura Skin Products
Your forecast for March to April from The House of Good Fortune ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 20)
dangerous liaison with
The ace of pentacles
an air sign. If you’re
promises a season of
single, crack open the
progress, profit and
champagne. This is a
stability. Just be careful season strewn with of risking everything for
hearts and flowers.
the sake of a foolish whim.
VIRGO (Aug 24-Sep 23) You make a loyal
TAURUS (Apr 21-May 21)
companion, says the fool
It’s time to think
card. But sometimes you
must hold back, especially and professional and you’ll be well rewarded. queen of swords. New money when the object of your rather than act, says the making schemes need a
affection embarks on a
plan. And you’re up to the dangerous journey.
20) Movement is the
challenge early April. LIBRA (Sep 24-Oct 23) GEMINI (May 22-Jun 21) Your confidence and
CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan
A new version of an old skill will make you pots
highlight of this month. Expect to travel more than
positivity is an
of money this April, says
usual or make unexpected advancements in your
inspiration to others
the seven of wands. Just
career, says the chariot
right now, says the star
make sure your wacky
card. But late March is
scheme has a viable
your time to shine in the
19) You feel a little
workplace. CANCER (Jun 22-Jul 23) You’re struggling to let past disappointments
AQUARIUS (Jan 21-Feb
SCORPIO (Oct 24-Nov 22)
isolated at the moment,
You are drawn to
says the hermit card. Yes,
mystery, says the high priestess card. This is a
go, says the five of cups. time to delve deeper into
there are people milling around you but do they really understand you?
You must make a clean
your life and face an
break this month or else
unexpected discovery about
PISCES (Feb 20-Mar 20)
risk delaying future
Stop holding back and start embracing the love
developments. SAGITTARIUS (Nov 23-Dec LEO (Jul 24-Aug 23) This is a time for
21) Your working world has says the two of cups. This is a time for romance and been a bit slow of late.
romantic choices, says the Expect things to speed up lovers card. If you’re late March, says the attached, watch out for a
that’s being offered you,
idealism not fear and fragility.
emperor card. Be focused
easter treats jugs from the contemporary home p13
bar, late o c o d ch lise onal a n o s Pers ng Per i Gett
Spring lamb beanie, £2, Matalan
Spring lamb beanie, £2, Matalan
Easter wreath, £19.99, The Contemporary Home
Set of Three Chicken Patchwork Decorations, £5.99, The Contemporary Home
Personalised mug, £18.99, Emma Bridgewater p14
spring cleaning accessories from linum p15
SHINY, HAPPY HOUSES
There is no better time than spring to get a fresh start on life by ridding the house of dirt, dust and clutter, says Penny Fray. Okay, so you’re missing the clean gene. You often leave the bed unmade and dirty dishes piled sky-high in the sink. The inspiration to clean properly doesn’t strike until things start turning green. But now spring has sprung and bright sunlight is sweeping mercilessly through those grimy windows, it’s time to change your slovenly ways. So, where to start? Well, according to cleaning guru Rhian Roberts, head housekeeper of Portmeirion Hotel, in North Wales, you need to assign some time in your diary. Then, make a list of all the jobs that must be done before tackling each room in a methodical and thorough manner. “You can’t clean quickly, especially if you haven’t been keeping on top of things through the winter season,” she says. “If you feel daunted by the task, tackle one room at a time. I always start upstairs and clean room by room, ending up in the most used spaces like the living room and kitchen.” Scared? Stick on some feel good music and look at it as exercise.
“Clear the clutter out of the closets, cabinets and drawers. Don’t get sentimental. If items are broken or unused, then they need to be thrown or given away to charity,” adds Rhian. “Then, take out everything that needs to be cleaned like rugs and curtains. Duvets, pillows and other bedding should also be laundered, while mattresses must be flipped over. In the kitchen, you need to tackle the oven and refrigerator and all windows must sparkle.” Rhian is emphatic on the importance of getting the right equipment, including rubber gloves, different coloured cloths, steamer and a decent vacuum cleaner. “If you’re not sure what to use where, read the product instructions,” she says. “Dust, then clean every cupboard, corner and crevice. A stepladder is invaluable to access hard to reach places. When vacuuming, make sure you use the right attachments. You’ll need patience, common sense and an eye for detail. I realise not everyone shares my enthusiasm for cleaning but I guarantee you’ll love the results.”
Top: Housekeeper’s Box, £39.99, The Contemporary Home. Middle: Maison Belle Cucumber Spring Cleaner, £3.95, Beth Stevens. Bottom: Bouquet from a selection at M&S.
jekyll & hyde p17
THE BEAST WITHIN Marti Pellow takes on Robert Louis Stevenson's tale of split personality. Wet Wet Wet star Marti Pellow, is to unleash his darker side in the north of England this spring. The 46-year-old singer song writer is about to take on the role of Jekyll and Hyde in the smash hit Broadway musical of the same name. And the show calls in at Manchester’s Palace Theatre on March 21-26 and Liverpool’s Empire on May 16-21. Glamorous, sexy and deliciously wicked in equal measures, the show is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic gothic novella. Pellow stars as the brilliant but obsessive scientist whose sadistic alter ego wreaks havoc across Victorian London in a tale of love, redemption and the seductive power of evil. Pellow describes the gothic horror as intrinsically dark but fantastic to watch. “You are dealing with the classic battle between good and evil here,” he says. “It’s a great show, a FILM
great production and has great production values.” Written by Frank Wildhorn with book and lyrics by the Academy Award-winning composer Leslie Bricusse, this production is guaranteed to ‘wow’ audiences. Tickets are available from the Empire box office, by calling 0844 847 2525 or book online www.LiverpoolEmpire.org.uk
on What’s pr Mar/A
Matt Damon and Emily Blunt star in this fast-paced
THE HUMMINGBIRD BAKERY CAKE DAYS by Tarek Malouf - £20
KING LEAR Mar 22-26, The Lowry Theatre, Manchester
JUSTIN BIEBER, March 20-21, MEN Arena
thriller about fate, destiny and forbidden love.
The hugely popular
Based on the short novel by
Hummingbird Bakery is
One of the greatest works in western literature, King Lear explores the very nature of human existence. Starring Derek Jacobi and directed by Michael Grandage, this play is set to stun.
JOHN SMITH’S GRAND NATIONAL Apr 7-9, Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool.
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU Out nationwide on March 4
acclaimed author Philip K. Dick, The Adjustment Bureau
back with a
tells the intriguing story of David Norris, an
wonderful new collection of
ambitious politician who
easy and delicious
falls in love with an enchanting ballerina. But
mysterious forces are determined to keep them
layer cakes, pies and
apart. If you previously
enjoyed Inception and the Minority Report, this is a ‘must see’ movie.
This teen idol is one of the most Googled name on the planet. Since appearing on YouTube Bieber has become a huge pop sensation. Okay, so I don’t understand the hype, then again, I’m over 30.
A three day event filled with horses, drama and over the top fashion. This British institution is the highlight of the sporting season. Not to be missed.
dutch delights p19
GIVING AMSTERDAM THE GREEN LIGHT Holland’s capital mixes cool cafe culture with high design shopping. IT may be the city of sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll, but Amsterdam is also filled with interesting architecture, boho boutiques and amazing art. The stag nights have moved on to cheaper European destinations, making Holland’s capital an ideal weekend getaway. Despite being straight laced, I’ve always loved this liberal city, partly because of the culture but mostly because the locals are so friendly. Stop anywhere (except the cycling lanes), accessorised with a vacant expression and someone will stop, smile and offer guidance - usually in superb English. If you’re like me and love exploring galleries and museums, then save oodles of money by buying an I am Amsterdam card £45 for three days. It’ll get you into most of the ‘must visit places’, including Anne Frank’s House, for free. Plus, it offers generous discounts for some of the hippest restaurants and bars in town. Best of all, you don’t even have to pay to get around on either tram, train or boat. Whilst a visit to The Van Gough Museum and the Rijksmuseum, home to works by Dutch masters Rembrandt and Vermeer, is essential, stopping off at Amsterdam’s Hermitage is recommended. The new gallery has an agreement with the Russian government to produce exhibitions together with the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. Currently, they’re exhibiting artifacts around the life and conquests of Alexander the Great but come mid-March, you’ll see the splendors of the Russian Orthodox Church. Food wise, try and find time to visit the Boerenmarkt, where you can sample all kinds of Dutch and
organic delicacies. In the evening, try one of the many Indonesian restaurants scattered throughout the city. The one we visited was chic and served one of the best curries I’ve ever tasted. On Sunday, enjoy brunch with live jazz in the Art-Nouveau American Hotel on Leidsekade. Talking of hotels, there are plenty of upmarket places to stay, including The Grand Amsterdam, where royalty have visited since the 16th century. There’s also The Hilton, where John and Yoko had their ‘Bed-In’. Unfortunately, the latter was full during our stay, so as a bit of fun, I booked us into the Botel for two nights. It was cheap - and that should have been my warning - because this floating hotel, not situated too far from Central Station, was basic. Then again, if you don’t mind ‘roughing’ it in three star accommodation for a couple of nights for less than £80, it’s an ideal base for exploration. Unfortunately, I nearly had a one man riot on my hands when my boyfriend saw the size of the ensuite bathroom. And despite shedding a few crocodile tears at the time to stop him checking out, I must admit I should have opted for the uber hip Citizen M hotel, which was well within budget at £90 a night. Then again, once you get into the Amsterdam spirit of things, bijou shower cubicles and rough towels, isn’t that much of a big deal - even without the hash brownies. p20
WORK living by the book p21
BUZZ BUSINESS BOOKS Behind every successful woman is a self help tome, discovers Penny Fray. Natalie Massenet, director of Net-a-porter, says that Creative Visualisation changed her life, while Gwyneth Paltrow recommends Energy & Health on her lifestyle website Goop. Like it or not, behind some of Britain’s most successful women is a self-help book. This is the world’s most popular jobhunting guide, with 10 million copies sold in more than 20 languages. Written by career guru Richard N. Bolles, it leads jobsearchers to find meaningful work even during the toughest of times. OUR VERDICT: This straight talking book is not just about finding a job, it’s also about finding your passion - but to strike gold, you’ll have to be pushier than Madonna, more persistent than a sales rep and saintly in patience.
Discover the art of using mental energy to transform and improve your health, wealth and happiness. In other words, create your perfect life through goal setting, meditation and a series of positive affirmations.
OUR VERDICT: When it comes to creating the life you want, Shakti Gawain literally wrote the book. And while her advice is clear and easy to follow, the less spiritually minded may find some of the chapters on contacting their higher selves or meeting their guide a bit odd.
No longer stigmatised as the accessory of the impressionable, life changing manuals have never been hipper. We review the ones most recommended to us by Merseyside’s business elite.
Expect fast-acting, myth-busting scientific answers to a huge range of everyday problems from over eating to self-esteem issues. Personal and professional success may be less than a minute away. No soul searching required.
OUR VERDICT: It’s easy to see why this book is so popular among time poor professionals. It offers quick life fixes that are scientifically supported. No waiting, no mantras - just really useful advice. Our favourite.
Live your life the way you want, moving from a place of pain, paralysis and depression to one of power, energy and enthusiasm. A cult book that’s helped millions of people be more courageous, creative and confident.
OUR VERDICT: This book does exactly what it says on the tin or should I say title - it gives you the courage to do anything and be anyone. Thought provoking and inspiring, this is a ‘must read‘ book for those who finds themselves paralysed by fear. p22
wedding fever model wears shoes from rainbow p23
WEDDING BELLES With Kate and Wills about to tie the knot, wedding fever has struck the nation. Penny Fray discovers how to select the right bridal gown for your body type. You swore you’d be a calm brideto-be. No confrontations with bridesmaids, emotional outbursts, or obsessive-compulsive behaviour that would alarm your future husband. But the search for the perfect wedding dress is turning you slightly crazy. It’s time to shop for your shape. And who better to consult than Jean Macleod of Opulence bridal boutique in West Kirby. PETITE Empire line gowns are perfect for petite brides as they give the illusion of length to the body. It is essential to avoid anything with a dropped waistline as this will result in your body appearing longer than your legs. Detail works better when it is
kept to the bodice area as this helps to draw the eye upwards. HOUR GLASS For those of you with a curvier figure, a more structured gown is the best. Many designers now incorporate a corset into the bodice which enhances the waist whilst providing support for a fuller bust. It is better to avoid anything with an empire line and keep any detail balanced to ensure that your proportions remain the same. Dropped waistlines and fuller skirts work well on this figure as do ‘mermaid’ styles. PEAR SHAPE Princess line gowns are extremely flattering as they feature a skirt that gradually flares out from the waist. Skimming hips and thighs, it’s the perfect shape for you as it highlights the narrowness of your midriff and waist. It works well in most fabrics, and if the bodice has straps or detail, it will draw the eye level away from the fuller part and help to balance out your figure. Mermaid shapes and straight gowns are best avoided as they draw the eye to any potential problem areas. FULLER FIGURE Your body shape will really benefit from a good corset structure as they can create a truly amazing look. Detail on the bodice and hemline works particularly well if the waistline is emphasised by fabric sweeping across to one side, Anything too flowing can result in drowning your shape altogether. Deep vnecklines are very flattering. Don’t be tempted to cover up too much as showing some skin on the upper part of your body works very well. p24
THE VOW FACTOR
From smashed cakes to wine soaked dresses, the work of a Liverpool wedding planner is never ending, discovers Angela Brooks. When it comes to planning for the big day, Mally Best has seen it all but is never fazed. She explains how she calms the bride, sorts out the venue and all she needs is a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit when things get a bit tough. “Nothing is difficult. If something goes wrong then I just rectify it. I hate seeing bridges nervous on the day because they can’t enjoy it - and they should.” Liverpool weddings, low or high budget, are without doubt the most glamorous in the country. Mally explains that even the very low budget weddings here are full of glitz and glamour. The brides go all out on their special day. “The Mersey girls just have that flair,” says Mally. “We like to get glamed up. Whether bought from a designer shop or high street, we have that natural flair to make everything look glam.” The young mum has worked as a coordinator all her life which has taken her from managing a hotel
in the Caribbean to working for Everton Wedding football club. planner But when it Mally comes to the Best actual wedding day, Mally has did because then seen it all. One everyone will do it bride she was working and no-one will hire with didn’t like me.” champagne, but loved She explains that her red wine, so instead of techniques are not a pre-ceremony usually conventional champagne toast, her but always work. Once, mum gave her a glass of a groom had last minute Merlot. “As she gave it nervous just before to her, she was that saying his vows and nervous, as well as Mally used reverse having her dress psychology to make him stitched up at the realise what he really back, the wine split wanted. “I just said and went down the front ‘ok, then let’s go, if of her white dress. I you don’t want to get just took the dress, married then we should told them to carry on leave’. This scared him with make-up and got it and made him realise he sorted.” couldn’t leave her. Mally prides herself on The city of Liverpool being calm and composed plays host to a number when things go wrong. of amazing wedding “One time the wedding venues, including St cake fell off the table George’s Hall. and smashed into “Liverpool has done so smithereens. I had to much work to their think of something historic buildings. quickly, so I went to There are beautiful get a new cake. I buildings that you can didn’t tell the bride use, whatever your because it would have budget. If you have just worried her. I money to spend, one of didn’t want anything to the cathedrals or St spoil her day. I can’t George’s Hall would be tell you how or what I fantastic. Those on a
lower budget should consider The Hope Street Hotel, where there is a function room on the top floor that holds 50-70 people and gives views of the whole city. It’s plush but not expensive.” Mally’s dedication to her work is admirable. She often follows the bride and groom from the hen and stag nights, right to the end of the wedding day, making sure everything
runs smoothly. There is no room for error and her scheduling is run with military style precision. “There is one or two minutes either side in terms of flexibility but that’s it,” she laughs. Otherwise nothing would get done.” For more information, contact email@example.com
TOP TIPS • When it comes to choosing a wedding date, allow yourself plenty of time to plan the day of your dreams. You’ll be amazed how much work it involves. • Once you have decided on the venue for the ceremony, book it as early as possible. Popular dates during the summer are often booked up to a year in advance. • Save the date. If you’re not using a lot of text, consider printing the information on magnets You can get them relatively cheaply on internet sites like Vistaprint. • A hen or stag party the night before the wedding is not a good idea - especially if alcohol is involved. Be smart and have the party a week or two before the wedding. • While most brides benefit from hiring a wedding planner, it’s well worth the investment if you’re rubbish at being organised, have an inflexible work schedule or are holding a really large event. • Weddings are expensive but there are ways to cut costs without compromising on the glamour of the event. Consider trimming the guest list or moving the wedding from a Saturday to a Sunday.