As full service wedding planner, my clients often come to me for recommendations for all manner of wedding related things. My work usually starts with clients once they are engaged, sometimes one partner would have proposed with an heirloom which acts as place holder for a ring they can choose together at a later time. I’ve always been curious as to the process of ring making and I do like diamonds , so one (pre lockdown) afternoon I took a stroll through the historic heart of London’s jewellery quarter to meet the team at Diamonds Hatton Garden.
The team at DHG, a family run business, have assisted generations of clients across the world with all of their jewellery needs. From diamond engagement rings to bespoke pieces, fabulous fancy coloured diamonds to costume jewellery. The team may be small but their knowledge and passion are, conversely, very big.
On entering the recently renovated workshop, the centuries worth of knowledge, tradition and passion seem to inhabit every work bench that the team of craftsmen sit upon. As the whizzing and buzzing of various tools create a background hum, Daniel, 3rd generation jeweller, shares his insights into the industry.
“When a prospective groom arrives at our workshop I think that he is as interested in the creation of a piece as he is with the idea of marrying his love. It makes me proud to see the excitement on clients’ faces as they can see our teams creating pieces in front of their very eyes. This is an excitement and passion that we also share. ”
It is this love of their craft, a real joy in what they do, that is apparent when visiting their workshop. The teams comprised of four jewellers, two gemologists as well as Daniel and his father radiate a warm, proudful attitude.
DHG see what they do as a continuation of a long tradition. They really try to understand their clients, tastes, interests and style in order to help them find the perfect engagement ring. For them , it is not about spending three months worth of salary but about finding something that truly captures their partner and their relationship.
It is this care that can be seen from both the work being undertaken and the welcome that I received. Arriving in the workshop feels like a step back through time where talent, exceptional material and tradition combine to produce beautiful pieces of jewellery.
“We aren’t a huge company who will forget your name we are a smaller one who takes the time to be supportive. We like to guide our clients and to take them on a very special journey. The very top tip I can offer my clients is to consider the 4cs. The price of diamonds is influenced by what is known as the 4 Cs – Clarity, Cut, Colour and Carat.”
Clarity is the number of small blemishes or inclusions found in the diamond and the clearer the diamond (FL being the highest grade) the higher the price.
Cut, interestingly does not refer to the shape of a diamond, but more about the skill of the cutter and is judged on a range of factors including symmetry, proportion and polish. These are key factors that relate to how the light is internally refracted within the diamond that gives it more sparkle. The better the cut the better the sparkle.
Colour, as you can imagine, relates to the colour of the diamond and is judged on a scale of D to Z. The higher on the scale, closest to D, the diamond is judged to be coloured meaning that the diamond is perfectly transparent with no hue, or colour.
Finally, the carat refers to the size of the diamond. Essentially, when buying a diamond all of these factors, or scales, influence the price of a diamond. Those diamonds that are judged, independently by leading gemological associations, to be higher on the scale command a higher price due to their rarity and the combination of these 4 elements.
DHG can help you with that too. One of the biggest things they are proud of is their inventory of fancy coloured diamonds. These diamonds are the rarest of the rarest and make for the most exceptional pieces of jewellery. Daniel’s father is the mastermind behind this side of our business and, in recent years, they have become more well known for our coloured diamonds than their clear diamond jewellery. Whatever the client wants they will do for them.
As I wander through the workshop, drills and machines still humming, I can’t help but relate to the philosophy of the business. Much like my own, I too believe in exceptional service, of supporting and assisting a client. Tradition and modernity both meet in the style that Bychenai has and, I do believe, that offering a specialist service is far better than trying to do everything. Leaving the workshop I reflect on the experience. It seems far away from the vast boutiques of Graff or of Tiffany’s . Independents can offer a truly one of a kind, unique experience that has a true personal touch and I highly recomemnd a visit!
I am beyond THRILLED to have been invited to chat to Fiona on the amazing platform she has created, that spotlights female business owners.I spoke about my journey of building ByChenai Events and the UK wedding industry in general and how the BLM movement has shone a light on some great businesses and encouraged fruitful conversation. Check out the segment on the link below!
ByChenai talks weddings and traditions to discontinue on the Big Day Babes Podcast .I never thought I’d hear my own voice on Spotify or Itunes, yet here I am by way of Episode 7 of the Big Day Babes‘ Podcast. These 2 babes in the wedding biz scour the web for the most hilarious /weird and bizarre stories in the wedding world. In this episode I am talking about what I do as a luxury wedding planner , weddings traditions and the 1 thing I believe should be binned/ expelled/ removed from said wedding traditions. I had such a ball recording this episode and without further ado , head over to the link below to have a listen!ByChenai talks weddings and traditions to discontinue on the Big Day Babes Podcast.
As an event planner focusing mostly on luxury weddings, I find when answering queries from potential clients that the same ones always come up , one being “what will it be like to work with you”. Now every planner has their own way, people have a perception that we are all clipboard wielding, blazer wearing and ear piece having characters like the movies portray . Whilst there are certain things you can expect from all of us in terms of what we should be able to help you with, how I support my clients on their journey is very much through open, honest communication and collaboration amongst other things. It’s easy for me to do the sales spin but what I thought would be of more value was to get a REAL ByChenai client to tell you about their wedding planning journey working with me. This first blog is an introduction to this client and some detail on how we ended up working together. It’s very important for me that I feel a good fit with my clients and vice versa, which is why working with this couple is such a joy.Introducing Jacinta & Jeffrey These two London based professionals have their wedding set for December this year at a venue in Essex (more will be revealed later) I’ve asked Jacinta or Jass as she prefers , to talk about their relationship, what led her to me and each blog going forward will talk about where we are in their wedding planning journey.
Please give the readers some background on you and Jeff: Jeffrey and I met in 2017 at his sisters birthday party. We didn’t actually speak to each other during the celebration, it was only at the very end that we said our first hello, established that we had taken a liking to each other and went on to exchange numbers. I later learned that he had seen me earlier on that evening and thought I was cute (Yaay). The moment I knew I fancied Jeffrey was when he was posing with the birthday girl (his sister) and I joined in with everybody who was taking pictures of the sibling-love moment. It was then I thought wow, he’s handsome. it didn’t once cross my mind that he had seen me out of all the other girls that were there that night, but it turns out he had!
We haven’t stopped talking since the day that we met, which again surprised me as I had found that consistency and intentional communication on the dating scene was a real struggle. Since meeting we have done a fair bit of travelling together. So far our favourite destinations have been Santorini & Barbados! Travelling together has helped us really get to know each other and we feel have us the opportunity to see if this relationship was something we could see ourselves long-term.
When did Jeff propose and how did he do it?Jeffrey proposed on the 23rd of March 2019, which was a few days after our 2 year anniversary. He planned a lovely day which consisted of a 5 course vegan dining experience at Vanilla black. I then was told we were heading to an art exhibition at a new gallery that had opened, unbeknown to me this was a little white lie to get us to St. Dunstan in the East garden, a location Jeffrey and our wonderful photographer had picked weeks prior. In this beautiful garden is where he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! I laughed so much because I was so nervous and honestly could not process it until later that evening where Jeffrey had arranged for my family and closest friends to toast to our engagement. It was when I walked in and saw everybody who had been in on it that I burst into tears and it finally sunk in!
Photos by Ben Achana PhotographyAbout the wedding….When did you start thinking about the wedding/agree budget etc?Not too long after the engagement, we agreed on a budget after we had viewed and set our hearts on our venue. Our rationale for this was we wanted to make sure the budget was built after one of the biggest costs had been factored in. We didn’t want our budget to restrict the type of venue we had, but of course we did have an ideal number in mind of what we would be willing to spend. Did you know straight away you would want a planner?Nope. Initially I was going to plan the wedding with just the help of a few friends who have always been great are organising events and use blogs and tips found on well known wedding blogs and real brides YouTube videos. However, once we had started the process of venue hunting and reaching out to potential vendors, the reality of how much admin management comes with wedding planning, got very real. With both Jeffrey and I’s busy schedules (work, being in the middle of buying a flat and social commitments) we decided to get an expert to come alongside and help us bring our big day together. We also both really wanted to keep stress levels down and enjoy the journey to “I do”. And what better way to do that than patterning with an awesome wedding planner?! Did you know anything about how wedding planners worked or what services they provided?Somewhat. I have a few friends who have recently started growing their event planning businesses and have planned a few big and small weddings. So from casual conversations with them I learnt a few things, however, I found that each service (dependent on the wedding planner themselves) differed. I have always thought and have now found out that wedding planning is a very personal service offered and a genuine connection between the couple and the wedding planner needs to be there for it to really work and essentially bring visions to life. What if anything/had you done so far in terms of arrangements?Before partnering with Chenai, we had only agreed on a date for the big day and had confirmed our venue. How did you find ByChenai?On Instagram, through a wonderful sponsored post that popped up on my timeline! What was the process like of booking her , what made you want to go with her?Once I saw her post, something about her caption completely resonated with me. It had such a personal tone, it was passion filled, yet still came incredibly professional. So, I decided to slide into the DM’s and enquire about her services. I received a response back in less than an hour (her work ethic is admirable!) and she let me know the services she offers, how shes works with her clients and proposed an initial consultation call. The call was great, Chenai explained everything in detail and we had all our burning questions answered. We immediately felt like we were in safe hands, there was a great rapport between Chenai, Jeffrey and I. It turned out to be a no brainer for us, so very soon after the call we emailed Chenai to let her know we would love to move forward with her and she expressed the same! A contract with t’s and c’s were sent over on the next working day with clear details of costings also and the rest is history. And there you have it. Please come back for the next blog where Jass talks to you about the vision for their wedding AND her wedding dress appointments and purchases at The Wedding Gallery & Andrea Hawkes