Welsh Businesses need to feel the love for GDPR

Valentine’s Day marked 100 days to go until The European Union’s much-talked about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) becomes UK law, on 25th May, and business owners and managers across Wales are in a race against time to comply – and could face maximum fines of up to €20m, or 4% of revenue if they don’t.

All businesses, local authorities, charities and other organisations which hold personal data need to understand the new law and make changes to how they operate when the GDPR supercedes the current 1998 UK Data Protection Act.

However, it’s a daunting task for many because the new Regulation has been issued as a 100-page legal document by the EU and applies to all data held, including customer information, employee details and even applies to facial recognition in the form of photographs.

Two Welsh-based companies, Serayah Styling & Event Mgt. Ltd. from The Vale of Glamorgan, and Starrd Solutions Ltd., of Pontyclun, near Cardiff, have joined forces to help companies based in Wales understand the new Regulations by offering one-day GDPR Awareness training workshops – currently available in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea – to cut through the legal jargon and offer practical, simplified advice.

“Recent research shows nearly half of all Welsh businesses
don’t think they’ll be ready by the 25th May deadline”

Paul Binning, of Starrd Solutions, and an accredited GDPR Practitioner, said “the new law is wide-reaching and presents a significant shift in the way organisations must protect and use the personal data they hold, as well as offering much greater level of rights to us as individuals. The Regulations are complex and to understand them fully takes a long time. Our one-day workshop breaks down the new law, summarises the basic requirements and helps everyone – from heads of departments to small business owners – to understand what they need to do ahead of 25th May, and beyond.

Every single business must comply with the new regulations, yet recent research shows nearly half of all Welsh businesses don’t think they’ll be ready by the 25th May deadline, and many still know little about what needs to be done.

For more information on the awareness training workshops, go to

www.serayah.co.uk/courses or email training@serayah.co.uk.

Also follow us on www.faccebook.com/GDPRAwareness for news, tips and support.

Opulent Masquerade Ball Styled Shoot

Hanna and I wanted to create a completely different look for this styled shoot, so when I visited the Exchange Hotel in Cardiff Bay last year, I knew we had the perfect venue to create something really special.  With a fantastic team of amazing Welsh talent on board, we got to work to create this Opulent Masquerade Ball shoot which could be used as a stunning style for a winter wedding, a celebration party or a gala dinner.

As well as creating the shoot, we also produced a podcast episode over the couple of days, to give you a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into the makings of a styled shoot.

We hope you love what we have created….

Set in the stunning and historic Exchange Boutique Hotel in Cardiff Bay, we faced the challenge of creating something truly incredible within the striking, dark and heavy surroundings.

We selected a vibrant colour scheme of beautiful purples, golds and reds to contrast with the deep mahogany walls.  The backdrop for the shoot – the Great Hall was used for many years, as the trading floor for Wales’ booming coal trade and incidentally, it is where the first ever £1million cheque was written!  We were really keen to give readers the inspiration to create a unique and alternative look, be it for a wedding, celebration party, or black-tie gala dinner.  We deliberately selected a team of incredible Welsh suppliers to provide all of the décor, floristry and cakes for this Opulent Masquerade Ball shoot.

To find out more, have a listen in to our podcast episode into how we created this styled shoot, on The Icing on the Cake: A Wedding Planning Podcast.

The key for creating the look was the use of heavy fabrics, draped as table linens, napkins and over chair backs. Candles softened and warmed the overall look and delicate peacock feathers against the gold charger plates and deep red napkins balanced the style perfectly.

Alternating the height throughout the table using incredible floral arrangements, candlesticks, candelabras, a chandelier and fabulous cake as a focal point, added to the luxe look, completed by the black velvet chairs draped with the sumptuous red fabrics cascading to the floor.

The floral designs, created by the uber-talented Forbesfield, brought height, luxury and a fabulous array of tones, complimenting and highlighting the colour scheme throughout the tablescape.  And to really offer that ‘je nais sais quoi’ our model Ellie wears a completely floral mask and a floral tattoo down the centre of her back.

The Vale Cake Boutique created three incredible masterpieces for the shoot with the pièce de résistance being the collaborative work with Forbesfield, called ‘Exposure’ a cascading floral cake.  An absolutely mind-blowing piece of master crafts’wo’manship and definitely a hot new trend!

Ellie wore two gorgeous ‘Mascara’ evening dresses from Sally Evans at Boutique Box in dark blue and in black and Nathan Palmer Bespoke Tailoring certainly didn’t disappoint with our male model Leighton, showing off two of Nathan’s bespoke creations, the first of which was a black and gold floral evening suit and the second – a white woollen tuxedo with contrasting orange detailing.

Supplier Credits:

Styling: Serayah Styling & Event Management www.serayah.co.uk
Venue: The Exchange Hotel https://exchangehotelcardiff.co.uk/
Photography: Morgan James Photography www.morganjamesphoto.co.uk/
Florist: Forbesfield Flowers www.forbesfield.co.uk/
Cake: The Vale Cake Boutique www.thevalecakeboutique.com/
Dresses: Boutique Box www.boutique-box.co.uk/
Suits: Nathan Palmer Bespoke Tailoring www.nathanpalmer.co.uk/
Hair & Make-up: Minxies Beauty www.minxiesbeauty.com/
Décor: Megan & Claude www.meganandclaude.co.uk
Décor: Pistachio Inc. www.pistachioinc.co.uk/


How Serayah Styling came about…

When you’re from Wales and you meet someone from London, it’s not unusual (forgive me the stereotypical Tom Jones pun!) to receive a comment along the lines of “oh, have they got electricity in Wales now”, or “I didn’t realise you could get online in the Valleys”, a comment typically followed by a crafty snigger on their part celebrating their own cleverness, and a tired inward sigh on yours,  whilst displaying a face not unlike one of those emojis with a straight-line smile, trying not to look fed up.

For all of the development of Cardiff in particular in the past couple of decades, Wales as a whole is still seen as a backwater by many of those who have never visited, and that is, largely, an unfair opinion on a beautiful and progressive country.

However, being ‘out in the sticks’ – the capital, Cardiff, is over two hours from London, a fair distance from Birmingham and even further from more trendy cities such as Manchester or Liverpool – means that actually, Wales does miss out on some trends and new fads and that’s certainly something we noticed when it came to event styling.

“We are both professional wedding planners based in South Wales and initially created Serayah Styling & Event Management to offer our clients something completely different, as we are really limited in Wales as to availability of unique and fabulous décor.”

The main trends – vintage chic, rustic and the like – hit us because they’re ubiquitous, but with many years of event planning experience between the team, for all the glamorous and iconic venues around us and the beautiful scenery, we agreed that there was just something missing. a certain je ne sais quoi.

The world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and many more, means anyone can see what’s happening not just in London and Manchester, but New York, Sydney, L.A., Tokyo and Cape Town more easily than ever. But taking a couple of images and applying them to create a desired theme or style, to get the exact look & feel you want, isn’t an easy job – so that’s where we come in!

“We were seeing the same styles and designs again and again and found that our clients were desperate to source something beautiful and bespoke that wasn’t the same as they had seen at every other wedding, Christmas party or Corporate event they had ever been to.”

As experts in our field, we follow all of the key accounts, interact with bloggers and trendsetters and as Flash would say on their advert… “We do the hard work, so you don’t have to”.

“During our conversations with some of the fantastic venues with whom we work, it soon became apparent that there was also a desperate cry for corporate companies needing help and support to create, design and manage amazing and unique events.”

During the London 2012 Olympics there was a whole team created to manage this and the head of that team was ‘Director of Look & Feel’ now, whilst Brand Director may be a more traditional title but we know exactly what they meant, and that’s pretty much what we wanted to create with Serayah Styling & Event Management.

We are the experts you can rely on, we are the people who can see what’s happening around the globe, we tirelessly work with incredibly talented local suppliers across Wales (where possible) and England, to ensure that the newest trends and styles are available to the market in South Wales and the South West.  We want to bring all those ideas to life for your big event, whether that happens to be a wedding, a corporate function or conference, birthdays, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs – the lot!

“With our expertise, knowledge of trends and the relationships we have built with some of the top suppliers throughout the UK we saw the opportunity to create a service that would provide clients with something different and of course an unforgettable event.”

Woodland Wedding Themed Styled Shoot

Serayah Styling & Event Management was created because Hanna and I both felt that there was a real lack of something different here in Wales.  Our clients were looking for something beautiful, bespoke and different from every other wedding they had seen and whilst we knew that the talent and creativity was here amongst wedding professionals in Wales, there was just no opportunity for them to showcase their ideas.

This styled shoot came about to do just that….  We hope you love it as much as we do.

The look is all about bringing the outdoors inside, creating a natural soft, whimsical and pretty yet striking effect. 

Shot in the conservatory at the Vale Resort in Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales, overlooking the resort’s beautiful grounds, lake and golf course, we wanted to inspire couples whilst creating something accessible for them and so used natural, easily sourced elements such as ivy and twisted branches from the Vale’s gardens for the main centrepieces, creating the effect of being outdoors throughout the room, with twinkling lights and lots of layering of sparkling fabrics and special little touches.

We kept the colour scheme very natural with lots of green foliage and twisted branches and some white flowers to lift the look, tall pillar candles creating lots of twinkling light and gold candlesticks, charger plates and fabrics, with coloured glassware and just a pop of deep red to create a warm, luxurious feel against the clean backdrop.

We loved these stunning crossback chairs as they perfectly complemented the theme and are actually incredibly comfortable for guests to sit on too!

We wanted to create a truly bespoke, beautiful and unique cake and this fabulous hand decorated floral design with gold leaf and a hexagonal marbled base tier by the Vale Cake Boutique, worked perfectly against the backdrop.

Kieron is wearing a fabulous navy and black bespoke, tailored tuxedo designed by Nathan Palmer Bespoke Tailoring and Keshia looks truly beautiful in this gorgeous Aire Barcelona delicate lace fitting gown, with a mild sweetheart bust and beaded butterfly finish.

We wanted a very natural, whimsical and unstructured bridal bouquet, which smelled as heavenly as it looked and complemented this with Kieron’s buttonhole to move away from the traditional single rose, in keeping with the style of the shoot.

Supplier credits:

Stylists: Serayah Styling & Event Management – www.serayah.co.uk
Photographer: Lewis Fackrell Photography – www.lewisfackrell.co.uk
Florist: Sara Caroline Floral Design – www.saracaroline.com
Cake: The Vale Cake Boutique – www.thevalecakeboutique.com
Bridalwear: CocoMio Bridal  www.cocomiobridal.com
Groomswear: Nathan Palmer Bespoke Tailoring – www.nathanpalmer.co.uk
Stationery: Made By Fallow – www.madebyfallow.co.uk
Hair & Make-up: Minxies Beauty – www.minxiesbeauty.com
Décor Hire: Cotswold Vintage Party Hire – http://cotswoldsvintagepartyhire.co.uk
Décor Hire: Pistachio Inc. – www.pistachioinc.co.uk
Chairs: Blue Goose Hire – http://bluegoosehire.co.uk
Venue: The Vale Resort – www.valeresort.com
Models: Keshia Taylor & Kieron Davies

Zoë & Hanna’s Podcast episode: Styling Your Wedding (and my love/hate relationship with Pinterest)

‘The Icing on the Cake‘ is a wedding planning podcast hosted by Zoë, which is designed to help you to plan your very own wedding in the UK.
Episode 4 of the series is all about styling your wedding day, so who better for Zoë to ask to co-guest with her, than Hanna of course…

Have a listen into the episode here

You can listen to all of the podcasts via iTunes or Subscribe on Android here and you can also view the notes to accompany the episode here.

If you click subscribe, then every episode will download automatically for you when it’s ready, without you having to go searching for it.
Please email Zoë at podcast@weddingsbyzoe.co.uk with any questions you have and don’t forget to watch this space as the second series will be airing in December 2017.

Want a unique and stunning wedding that looks different from all those you’ve previously been to? Series two will be bringing you lots of inspiration, considering upcoming trends to really enable you to create a wedding style all your own. Zoë will be talking to fashion bloggers, top chefs and American wedding planners and podcasters to get the low-down on the future of wedding styles before they even reach the UK!

So, until next time… happy planning x