Best Man ‘steals £8,000’ and ruins Stag Do

Stag and Hen do’s are meant to be the a great way of making memories with old and sometimes new friends. A way of letting the hair down away for everyday life and having a few laughs and maybe a drink or two.

If your lucky its usually the best man who organises the stag do (wasn’t the case with my husband but that’s a story for a different day).

The only thing the group including the stag should worry about is getting time off work and sorting out spending money.

Your best man, after all, is the person you trust the most and usually your life long friends. So leaving the responsibility for booking flights, hotels etc is a simple task.

Now image finding out immediately before departure that the ‘bestman’ has taken all the money everyone has given them and spent it on themselves.

Ben Whincup from Swindon unfortunately found out the hard way that his best man had done this. The group had trusted the best man with £8,000 to organise the stag do in Las Vegas, but instead of booking flights and hotels he had simply spent it on himself.

The Stag party was relatively small, three friends from his local rugby league club, his two brothers-in-law, his dad and a family friend.

Source: Facebook

Ben said, “I’d always dreamed of playing the tables in those iconic casinos and what better time than just before I get married?”

“We had decided on the flights and the hotel on the strip where we would stay, and he just said he’d take care of it all.

“We handed over more than £700 each and trusted him to deliver the dream trip. In the weeks running up to the stag, we were all getting excited and there were no signs that anything was wrong.”

What worse is that it wasn’t until the night before flying out that the best man actually broke the news.

He said: “I could not believe what I was hearing. I never even got angry really, it was just shock and disbelief.

“You can’t believe someone would do something like that. So we’ve gone from thinking we’d be at a pool party in Vegas to sat having a beer in Swindon.”

So instead of a lads weekend away in Las Vegas, they had to settle for a few pints in Swindon instead – something they had done many times before.

Wiltshire police confirmed that a man was arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and has been released under investigation while enquiries continue, saying: “We can confirm this matter is being investigated. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”

It is quite common for one person to make all the bookings and collect everyone’s cash and 99.9% times there are no issues.

There are a few things you could ask for along the way to make sure they have actually booked it, these would include flight receipts, hotel booking confirmations etc – but if you can’t trust the best man who can you trust.

I am currently booking my sisters Hen Party so won’t reveal the location here as its a surprise, but everyone has sent me payments, but others have been involved in helping to book hotel and way of getting there.

I hope Ben has a nice wedding and happy marriage even if he didn’t quite get the Stag do of his dreams.

 

Top tips for a beautiful bridal bathroom: Setting the scene for the big day

Young bride in dress, silhouette on window background. Attractive bride in loft interior, Sits on bathtubs

Unless you’ve set foot on the moon or won a gold medal at the Olympics, your wedding day will be the biggest and most important day of your life. There may be other days which come close but this is the one special time when your friends and family all come together to celebrate that special bond between you and your partner.

The day itself usually follows a similar pattern, beginning at home or your parents’ home, where you’ll no doubt be a bundle of nerves, before moving onto the actual venue itself, which could be a place of worship, registry office, hotel or specialist wedding venue. Then it’s onwards to the evening do, which may be held in the same venue or somewhere completely different again.

We have already covered tips on preparing your bathroom for the big day, but that is all about getting your schedule right for the big day. This article is all about making phyiscal changes to your bathroom in the run upto the big day. After all there will be plenty of getting ready snaps taken.

Whilst we tend to focus more on the external venues in terms of look and feel, getting our homes just right for the special day is something that really shouldn’t be overlooked. As you’ll no doubt find, if you’ve experienced the wedding of a close friend or relatives at first hand, the bathroom can be a real hive of activity on the morning of the big day.

Beautiful Russian girl preens looking in the mirror

Making the most of your bathroom

The majority of British homes only have one bathroom, although many modern houses also feature a downstairs cloakroom (around 40%) and, if you’re really lucky, an additional ensuite (around 20% of homes). So, if there is only one space in which you can prepare for your big day in private, you need to ensure it is fit for purpose and full of useful bathroom accessories.

Many brides these days like to document their whole experience either through social media or assisted by a professional photographer. Whether you’re planning on posting pictures to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, or simply compiling a treasured photo album, what day would be complete without the inevitable bathroom selfie? After all, you’ll want to look back on the time you were treated like royalty, perhaps with a glass of something chilled in hand, getting your hair, nails and makeup done. And whilst you may be looking and feeling a million dollars, a tired old bathroom certainly isn’t the backdrop you want or need.

So, to help you capture those perfect memories on your big day, we’ve come up with some great tips to make your bathroom look beautiful.

Does your bathroom look dated?

An out-of-date bathroom certainly won’t look great in your pictures, unless you’re having a vintage-themed wedding of course! If it badly needs a refurbishment, why not set a small amount of budget aside to give it a quick refresh?

Whilst we’re not suggesting a full renovation (I mean, who needs that when you’re planning a whole wedding too?), there are some quick and low-cost ways to spruce up your space in time for the big day.

woman with pearl necklace looking in the mirror

Give it a deep cleanse

It is a good idea to give your bathroom a deep and thorough clean a week or so before your wedding. Give ceramics a thorough scrub with a household cleaner and use a mix of vinegar and water to bring back sparkle to taps, showers and other chrome fittings. Wipe down furniture and clean glass, not forgetting to squeegee off excess water and dry with a soft cloth. Get rid of unsightly mould by using a mix of 1 part bleach and 3 parts water and scrub with a stiff brush.

New walls and floors

If your tiles are looking worse for wear and completely out of date, it may be time to say goodbye to them. A quick lick of paint can be the quickest and easiest ways to spruce up walls, with an on-trend colour like coral pink, amethyst purple or marigold yellow. If you’re looking for something a bit more decorative, shower wall panels are an excellent option. They’re more cost effective than tiles, easier to keep clean and are much quicker to fit.

It’s a similar story with floors. If things are looking less than impressive, there are some great modern laminate and vinyl flooring solutions which can be fitted without the need to hire a professional. You could choose to give your floor a stone or wood effect finish at a fraction of the cost of the real thing.

De-clutter your space

Not really something you’ll need to do until a few days before, but if your bathroom is prone to feeling cluttered, it might be worth giving it a good clear out. First, sort and throw out any old bottles or containers, and rid yourself of anything you simply don’t use. This will help free up space.

Go through any cabinets or storage units and re-organise. It’s better to discreetly conceal items, instead of leaving them on display. Make sure you know where everything is, so you’re not panicking on the morning of your wedding day. Add some stylish boxes and baskets to help keep things in order. You’re bound to come up with more fun wedding photo ideas in an uncluttered bathroom.

Add storage if necessary

If your bathroom still looks cramped and crowded, with items all over your surfaces, perhaps it’s time to invest in some more storage, like a vanity unit or wall hung cabinet? Make sure any new furniture complements your current bathroom style.

Alternatively, if you simply want to make your bathroom look good for pictures, move certain elements out into another room or a kitchen cupboard.

Accessorise

As any photographer will tell you, accessories can help to add a certain look or feel to your pictures. To create a wedding theme, look for items which are consistent with your chosen theme. White lace and good luck charms are obvious choices but how about creating a thoughtful display containing treasured mementoes or photos of your friends and family? Invest in some shelving to create more space for these elements.

Make sure your bathroom mirror is up to the task. You’ll want to see yourself in the best possible light, so why not upgrade to an LED mirror, providing additional lighting where you need it most. Many models now come with demisters, so there’s no need to wait for the fog to clear straight after your bath or shower.

Set the scene

To get the perfect bathroom wedding day picture, there are a few things you need to remember. First, make sure the toilet seat is down. This is the golden rule of the bathroom selfie.

Second, use lighting to your advantage. If you’re lucky enough to have windows with plenty of natural light, make sure this is behind the photographer. However, you may want someone to create additional ambient light using another light source, like a camping lamp placed behind a mildly translucent material.

Finally, unless you want to get all artsy with your shot, make sure the person taking the photo isn’t visible in any mirrors or shower screens…unless that person is you, of course!

By following this advice, your wedding day bathroom should be picture perfect! Don’t forget to say “cheese”!

6 top tips: Preparing your bathroom for the big day

Beautiful blond bride in pearl sleeveless dress getting ready in front of a mirror in a bathroom - reflection

With the big day on the horizon and all your months of planning finally falling into place, you’ll want to ensure everything runs smoothly both at home and at your wedding venue.

From bridal suites to bathroom suites, everything should be absolutely perfect with nothing left to chance. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what you can do with your bathroom to ensure your wedding day runs as smoothly as possible.

Brunette bride posing in bathroom

1. Schedule times for showers and baths

If you haven’t already put a timetable in place, now’s the time to come up with one. It may sound a little anal (forgive the slightly crude pun) but scheduling bathroom time could be a very real necessity for the day of your wedding. If your home (or the home you’re spending the evening in) only has one bathroom, you’ll need to make sure everyone is in and done on time. For example, if your bridesmaid were to spend an extra 15 minutes in the bath, it could have a knock-on effect on the rest of your preparations.

You can easily use a phone calendar to organise this. Estimate the realistic time you’ll each need to shower/bathe and do all those things you’ll need to do. Ensure the bathroom is free for makeup or touch ups, not to mention that last minute toilet stop before you head to your wedding venue (remember, nerves are bound to play a part!).

2. De-clutter and clear surfaces

This is something that can be done around a week before your wedding day. A cluttered or disorganised bathroom, where items can be easily misplaced or lost, could put pay to your carefully laid plans. It’s a good idea to organise bathroom cabinets, throw out any used or out-of-date toiletries or medication and give the place a good tidy. If the bathroom still looks a bit cluttered, why not buy some storage boxes or baskets which will at least make things appear tidier.

3. Lay everything you’ll need out

If you have followed step 2 and tidied your bathroom ahead of time, just make sure you don’t tidy away too efficiently. Everything you need for the big day should be close at hand. From the more conventional items, like toothbrushes, toothpaste and toiletries, to those cosmetic essentials, like makeup, hair products and even life-saving safety pins, everything should be in an easy-to-reach place. A new set of bathroom accessories will help you do this.

4. Make sure hot water is switched on

If you’ve planned a large wedding entourage, who will each need to use the bathroom, it makes sense to ensure there’s enough hot water to go round. First things first, make sure your hot water is switched on. After all, you don’t want a freezing cold shower in the morning, do you? Secondly, ensure everyone is working to your showering timetable (which we’ve already mentioned), so nobody uses up the hot water. As it’s your wedding day, you’ve got the perfect excuse to be first in the shower!

5. Use radiators and heated towel rails to warm bathrobes

As your formal attire is one of the last things you’ll attend to, you’ll most probably be walking around the house in your bathrobe (with a nice glass of something bubbly in your hand, no doubt!). As we all know, the great British weather doesn’t always play ball, even in the middle of summer, so it pays to hang bathrobes over bathroom radiators and heated towel rails, ready for you to use. If you’re feeling warm and cosy from the get-go, you’re more likely to feel all warm and gooey inside when you walk down the aisle.

Beautiful blond bride in pearl sleeveless dress getting ready in front of a mirror in a bathroom - reflection

6. Ensure your bathroom mirror is up to the job

One vital thing, that often gets overlooked, is the size and quality of your bathroom mirror. On this day of all days, you’ll want to ensure you look your very best. If your current mirror isn’t up to scratch, why not invest in something bigger and better? There are plenty of bathroom mirror options for you to choose from, including models with LED bulbs which provide added task lighting for makeup and even integrated magnifying mirrors, making close-up work much easier. A full length mirror which can be tilted and moved to other rooms (often known as a “cheval mirror”) could be another option to consider.

Once you’ve settled into your marital home, why not head to Victoria Plum, the online bathroom specialists, for more great bathroom ideas.

Best UK Hen Location

Hen party logotype with chicken silhouette and text

So you are the Maid of Honour and one of your key decisions is sorting the Hen do, after all you want to give the bride a good party to remember.

Picking the right location is key, your never going to pick the right location to suit everyone but if you can get one that the Hen likes and please the majority you are onto a winner.

According to data analysed by Red7 Liverpool came out on top as the best Hen Party destination to visit.

The top five UK destinations for hens in 2018 were:

  1. Liverpool
  2. Brighton
  3. London
  4. Manchester
  5. Bournemouth

Liverpool even came in third place as the most popular hen destinations in Europe, beating traditional places like Ibiza and Benidorm.

In fact, Liverpool was nearly four times as popular than both London and Benidorm with the UK’s brides-to-be.

Sarah Chapman, Head of Hen, Stag and Sten at Red7, explained: “Liverpool is a fashionable destination with great shopping as well as trendy bars and restaurants.

“A real shift is taking place in terms of what hens and stags want from their pre-wedding party. We have noticed that, over recent years, hens are steering away from hotels and opting for other types of accommodation such as apartments, villas and houses.  

“Whilst a big night out in an exciting city centre is still seen by many as an essential, more groups want to spend time ‘in’ together. Hotels mean that groups are separated into different rooms, but Liverpool is full of beautiful, modern apartments.

“A lot of our hens have entertainment come directly to them – like cheeky butlers, private chefs, yoga classes and pampering sessions.

“We expect this trend to continue in 2019. A few years ago, celebrity trends had more of an influence and many of our hens wanted their travel to reflect reality shows such as TOWIE. Our trips to Essex were flying off the shelves.

“I feel that, today, people want to create their own unique experience. Liverpool is perfect for that – it can be whatever you want it to be.”

For more information about Red7, head to their website www.redsevenleisure.co.uk

Best Honeymoon Destinations

beautiful couple at sunset near the ocean.Honeymoon romantic couple in love holding hands walking on beautiful sunset at beach. Lovers or newlywed married young couple by the sea. Wedding in Thailand

For many newlywed couples a honeymoon destination is one that should stand out. It should be a holiday that is unrivalled by any past or future getaways. After the stress and often years of planning, of the wedding, it is your time to unwind and explore a location that all friends and family will envy.  Of course, the list of destinations is almost endless and can be a difficult decision to make, considering what you both want from the trip and how you may set the tone for your future lives together.

There are times when married couples must compromise and maybe this is one of the first times that you’ll have to do so, but surely us girls get the final say?

Firstly, decide if it is a city or beach break you are after, an adventurous or relaxation and pampering break or a far away and culturally different experience.  In fact, this may be the first most important decision that is made as a new couple!  Consider how long you wish to escape for and the budget that you both have set aside.  There are so many options available and often speaking to other newly weds will point you in the best direction.  We have compiled our personal list of top 4 honeymoon destinations below, ones which will provide a lifetime of memories, unique and memorable experiences and last but not least, romance.  Not only that, we have also listed things to see and do whilst there, as well as special places to eat and stunning daily trips to join. 

Bora Bora – For The Beach Beauties

Bora Bora is one of the most idyllic, postcard perfect, tropical beach locations there ever will be.  Cosying up to your husband on the balcony of your private bungalow, above the clear waters whilst watching the sun set will be a feeling that will unlikely be met elsewhere.  Did we mention that you can rent a whole island to yourself here?  Leaving just the two of you to relax and enjoy a private island for snorkelling, capturing photos and lunch on the sand – there is truly no better place to make those special memories.

  • Le Meridien Bora Bora – One of the more budget friendly resorts in Bora Bora, but still boasts picturesque views of Mount Otemanu with a gorgeous crescent shaped beach, each side facing different views.  The overwater suits provide guests with an unbelievable view of the lagoon and each contain huge glass bottom floors that let you look down into the wonders of the clear blue water.  Surely this is the definition of romance?!  The resort even has a dive school, an Ecological Centre and a turtle sanctuary where you can visit these beautiful animals that have been rescued.
  • Bloody Mary’s – A relatively casual restaurant, but one which is unique and worth the visit.  Here you and your man are taken into the kitchen where you choose your meal from the fresh-caught seafood on display.  The dining room floor is covered in sand, and provide a laid back feel to a restaurant where the likes of the Rolling Stones have dined before you!
  • St. Regis Bora Bora Resort – Aside from this being another stunning resort ideal for honeymooners, they offer the perfect couple’s massage that will have you suitably relaxed for the night ahead (ahem)!  We recommend you book the last massage time of the day so it can be performed by candlelight right at the water’s edge.  Follow this with a private dining experience next to the lagoon and tropical vegetation, and voila, the perfect night for new couples is made!

Rome – For The City Dwellers

Italy is well known for its romance.  It’s cobbled streets, stone buildings, landmark museums, rich history and romantic restaurants make it an ideal choice for newlyweds who wish to be captivated with their loved ones and explore a city which has a lot to offer.  The array of Roman architecture will keep you memorised for days and provide for good photo opportunities especially when the sun sets over the ancient city landscape.

  • Teatro dell’Opera – Get lost with your hubby in the art of opera in one of Romes most impressive amphitheatres, a building which is known worldwide for its detail and grandeur.  We can guarantee that you both will be overwhelmed with emotion and shivers when the performers voice echoes around this huge building; it certainly is an experience that cannot be described.
  • Trevi’s Fountain – Known across the world as one of the most beautiful fountains ever created, this spot could be the highlight of your honeymoon – no other city on the planet has a fountain this impressive.  It is one of the oldest sources of water in Rome and certainly creates a spellbinding experience for you and your partner.
  • La Pergola – Overseen by one of the best chefs in Italy, this restaurant is one not to be missed.  Found within the Rome Cavalieri Resort and with impressive views over the Eternal City, this is quite simply one of the worlds most beautiful restaurants.  Stemming from Italian and Mediterranean tradition, the fusion of flavours and quality of ingredients sets this restaurant apart from hundreds of others in Rome.

Iceland – For The Adventure Junkies

Iceland is a country that attracts thousands of adrenaline junkies each year.  If scuba diving between two tectonic plates, trekking through lava fields, driving snowmobiles and exploring ice caves sounds like your sort of honeymoon, then look no further – Iceland has it all.  Set within a landscape that is hard to find elsewhere on the planet, Iceland provides thrills and excitement that will guarantee to get the adrenaline pumping and leave memories that will certainly impress the grandkids!  The Nordic country may not have any of the beaches that Bora Bora has, or the ancient city landscape that Rome brings, but it has its own uniqueness to offer and this land of fire and ice will only fuel the love between you and your man.

  • Northern Lights – Putting this on your To Do List goes without saying!   A beautifully romantic opportunity where only nature can do the talking.  There are many night tours that can take you and your partner to ideal viewing locations, undisturbed by the city lights.
  • Thrihnukagigur Volcano – A dormant volcano that last erupted 4,000 years ago and one that you can descend into!  After hiking 2 miles through the breath-taking scenery, the base of the volcano will be reached, and you are then lowered into the volcano using an open elevator system to a depth of 120 metres.  Definitely not one for the faint hearted!
  • Golden Circle – This is a bit of a road trip that can be done with a private taxi tour or guided tour, but is best done renting a vehicle and driving by yourselves.  There is a lot to do on the way around including stopping at Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Hot Springs, the Langjokull glacier and Gullfoss, a spectacular waterfall.

Patagonia – For The Nature Lovers

For any lover of nature, being far away from the hustle and bustle of cities and busy areas is a must.  Patagonia is a destination which may not even be considered as a perfect honeymoon location but if you are looking for a remote retreat, worlds away from everything we know and a place that oozes romanticism, then Patagonia is a must.  It is easily one of the most unique places in South America ensuring that this one of a kind location is one which will provide memories that will last a lifetime.  Over-towered by the stunning, snow topped Andes Mountain Range to all the glaciers and lakes to explore, Patagonia is a region of the world that is a nature lovers’ paradise. 

Patagonia is slowly growing in popularity with Honeymooners from all around the world yet is still a destination that remains quite unexpected and secretive.  There are many day trips and tours that can be booked ranging from one day to 15 days including glacier visits, whale watching, mountain trekking and visits to the beautiful National Parks.

  • El Calafate – The perfect starting point for your adventure, often referred to as the “Gateway to Patagonia” and is in the far north of Patagonia.  There are numerous glaciers to be found here including the renowned Perito Moreno Glacier.  Day trips to visit this glacier are available and are extremely well priced with an optional boat ride too.  This is one location where you must ensure you have your camera!
  • Puerto Madryn – This is something to make any bodies knees weak! Puerto Madryn is a hotspot for whale watchers seeking those thrilling moments with nature.  There are several day excursions available at specific times of the year that offer visitors an up-close glimpse into the secretive lives of these majestic sea creatures. 
  • The Singular – A place to experience the authentic taste of Chilean Patagonia whilst overlooking views of the Seno Ultima Esperanza.  Located in a rustic building and under the watchful eye of a top chef that mixes French trends with local products, this restaurant delivers culinary delights at their best.