2019 WORLD WEDDING TRENDS: New report unveils all


Global wedding events association International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning (IAWEP) has released its fifth annual ‘International Wedding Trend Report’ highlighting the hottest new trends for weddings this year as well as the essential statistics on the wedding planning industry according to experts in the field, journalism.co.uk reports.


The hundred experts who lent their observations to the report include household industry names such as Colin Cowie and Mindy Weiss and the document covers many of the upcoming wedding trends making their mark in 2019 in the UK and Europe, North America, Australasia, South East Asia and the GCC region. Overall, there is an increasing trend towards ‘eco-conscious’ weddings that minimise the use of plastics and other environmentally unfriendly materials.

In announcing the free public release of the report, the IAWEP’s chief executive officer, Kylie Carlson said in a press release from the association: “The International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning is a global leader of continuing education in the weddings and events industry,’

“Our connection to industry experts around the world provides us with the unique opportunity to invest in researching and revealing worldwide wedding trends. Each year offers new and exciting styles and designs, and we’re thrilled to share that 2019 has a lot in store.”

Among the highlights covered in the International Wedding Trend Report will be the rise of new colour trends and floral arrangement choices among brides and grooms-to-be, as well as trends in centrepiece and table layouts.

More couples are opting for sharing foods and buffets over traditional plated assemblies, they increasingly want to capture the memories of their big day as videos and animated images such as GIFs, rather than the classic shoot with a wedding photographer, and more people are opting for holding their weddings on Fridays and Sundays, rather than the usual Saturday, the report states. The report can be accessed via this linkHighlights from the Report can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLYtFv57ag0


“2019 wedding trends unveiled in annual international report” – journalism.co.uk (7 January 2019) https://www.journalism.co.uk/press-releases/2019-wedding-trends-unveiled-in-annual-international-report/s66/a732755/

“Get your FREE copy of the Global 2019 Trend Report.” – International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning https://weddingacademy.lpages.co/the-wedding-trend-report/


“File:W E D D I N G 1 (67357911).jpeg” – Cj Hudgins & Vember Photo via 500px, Wikimedia Commons (20 August 2018) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:W_E_D_D_I_N_G_1_(67357911).jpeg  – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.


MADE IN ITALY: 2017 a bumper year for Italian exports

Rome – VIJAY SHAH via askanews, Dukascopy and Yahoo! Notizie

The year 2017 has been a great one for ‘Made in Italy’, as the European country saw a historical world beater for its exports abroad, Yahoo Italia and askanews reports today. With Italy’s exports achieving a healthy growth of six per cent this year, the nation brought in €40 million (GBP 35.4 mill./USD 4.7 mill.) in revenues. The figure was based off an analysis presented to Italy’s National Assembly in preparation for International Italian Food Year 2018.


Two thirds of Italy’s food exports in 2017 were to members of the European Union, with a sizeable portion fuelled by importers from the United States, which has a large historical Italian population.

Published figures based on ISTAT foreign trade tables pointed to a seven per cent increase in exports to France, six per cent to the US, and a small two per cent increase in trade with Great Britain. But by far the biggest recipient of goods ‘made in Italy’ was China, with a booming seventeen per cent increase in Italian exports, buoyed by a greater presence of Italian firms in the Far East and Chinese middle-class consumers developing a taste for Italian cars and cuisine.

But even the Chinese powerhouse was eclipsed by Japan and Russia, who increased their exports from Italy by thirty-nine and thirty-one per cent respectively. This was despite an Russian embargo slapped on the importation of a list of products, fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meat and sausages, as well as fish, from the European Union, which was enacted after the EU imposed sanctions on Russia.

Italian salami were the most popular export this year, with a growth of eight per cent. Producers of wines and artisan cheeses also enjoyed modest trade increases, but surprisingly, sales of pasta abroad declined by three per cent, partly blamed on new EU transparency rules concerning the origins of wheat production.


HEM Businesses, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses

Dukascopy Signals IT‏, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/FXS_Signals_IT

“Notizie online fornite da Dukascopy” – Online News powered by Dukascopy https://www.dukascopy.com/news/?languages=it&tags=source_code%3Ayahoo_italia_notizie

“Coldiretti: 2017 record storico made in Italy su tavole estero” – askanews, Red and Apa via Yahoo! Notizie/Yahoo (20 December 2017) https://it.notizie.yahoo.com/coldiretti-2017-record-storico-made-italy-su-tavole-095659649.html


“Italian exports imports” – Stefano Chiarelli, Stefano Chiarelli Photography via Flickr (27 June 2009) https://www.flickr.com/photos/stefanochiarelli/5052569618



FIGHTING DISCRIMINATION: London council launches hate crime helpline



In the wake of a massive rise in reported hate crimes such as racist attacks and taunts following the outcome of the EU referendum in June 2016, a London local government body has launched a specialised helpline for its residents to report incidents and crimes of xenophobia, anti-Semitism and other forms of hate.

Harrow Council, in north-east Greater London, had set up the service after several people in the borough of Harrow came forward to report ‘low level’ incidences of verbal racial abuse, which the council’s iHarrow portal stated was “causing distress amongst community members” in the borough of 215,000, one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse among London’s 32 borough areas. The council also expressed concerns that while Harrow escaped the worst of the spike in hate-motivated incidents in the wake of Brexit, much of these crimes were going unreported to the police.

The new hotline, 0800 138 1625, which is free to call and runs 24 hours a day, was set up by the council in tandem with the Stop Hate UK service. The service is also being promoted across the borough to encourage people to speak about hate crimes affecting them, their families, friends and communities.

People who witness others being personally attacked or having their property attacked because of their disability, race, religion, creed, sexual orientation or gender identity and where it is not an emergency can call the helpline in strict confidence. People whose first language is not English can arrange for a translator to return their call within five working days by simply leaving their contact details.

Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind
iharrow.com, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/iharrow
“Report Hate Crime in Harrow – 0800 138 1625” – iharrow.com (16 August 2016) http://www.iharrow.com/council/report-hate-crime-in-harrow-0800-138-1625/

FIGHTING THE RECESSION: UK business confidence at a 13-month high

As the business environment in the United Kingdom fights off the effects of a triple-dip recession and an all-time low in consumer confidence, and as higher costs/rents and falling sales are killing off many businesses big and small, there is a small whiff of hope. At least if a report recently published by a firm of business advisors and accountants is to be believed.

English: Logotipo de la compañía BDO
English: Logotipo de la compañía BDO (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the report, produced by BDO, confidence among British businesses is at its highest in just over a year, based on an evaluation using BDO’s own “Optimism Index” which has risen higher for the fifth consecutive month in June 2013.  Figures released by BBC indicated that the Optimum Index, a predictive indicator looking at business performance six months ahead, showed a rise from 93.6 to 94.3, which is a 13-month high. Additionally, the company’s Output Index, which measures sales volume predictions in the next few months, also showed an increase. The Index rose from 94.4 in May to 94.9 last month. Despite being an obvious improvement, the figures fall slightly on the wrong side of growth rates. Growth is indicated by figures of 95.0 and above.

BDO’s report states that the spike in business confidence has been at its highest among firms in the manufacturing and services sectors, despite the British manufacturing industry having been nearly decimated by competition from cheaper markets and lower manufacturing costs abroad, particularly in the emerging superpowers of India and China.

Despite these fresh shoots, BDO also warned in its report that recovering markets are still experiencing volatility particularly in the Eurozone (European countries with the euro as their currency). This has joined forces with declined spending by U.K. customers being held down by stalled wages and the Government’s widely reviled austerity cuts, and moves by the United States Federal Reserve to wind down its program of stimulus measures for ailing businesses across the Atlantic. Figures released by the agency show that growth has been slower than expected and have actually been underperforming. BDO has advised its business clients not to acquire false hopes of a total financial recovery in the interim.

English: The City of London skyline as viewed ...
English: The City of London skyline  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peter Hemington, a partner at BDO, said in an interview with the BBC  “While it’s encouraging to see confidence continuing to improve, we should be mindful of the zig-zag trend that has characterised UK business confidence since 2008.”

“Periods of improved confidence have ended before growth has really begun to get going.

While BDO’s figures do make optimistic reading for British businesses, the stark reality of post-recession life has still made life difficult for business and consumer alike with even Government departments forecasting job losses in the public sector running into the tens of thousands. In a stark trading atmosphere, while any positive news is to be welcomed, the see-saw demeanour of UK economics and the fickle nature of customer spending, coupled with financially crippling austerity measures enacted by governments across Europe, means that UK plc is not quite out of the woods yet. The tough times are far from over.

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“UK business confidence reaches 13-month high” – BBC News Business (8 July 2013) LINK