Christmas is a magical time of year, so what better time to tie the knot? Christmas weddings are the perfect chance to show off your personality and show your guests the time of their lives. Here are Christmas wedding ideas to help turn your nuptials into a day that no one will ever forget.
1. Go Christmas boho with a winter floral crown.
It’s just too pretty! Not only do the red, white and silver look perfect together, but they’ll also work against most Christmas colour schemes.
2. Spread Christmas cheer in every corner.
A good table decoration is all in the details and, when your big day takes place during the most decoration-friendly time of the year, what’s the point in holding back?
Give your guests something to talk about during those awkward few minutes at at the tables. Ginger Ray have some super-cute tiny Christmas hats to stick on glasses and champagne flutes, and their straws with flags are pretty perfect, too.
3. Who needs fruit cake when you’ve got yule log?
Who doesn’t love a bit of yule log? It’s a Christmas classic and much more fun than traditional cake. For an extra festive twist, ask for chocolate orange filling.
4. Bring the outside, inside.
If you’ve been dreaming of the perfect winter scene for your festive nuptials, then go all-out inside.
5.Go lights mad at the reception.
There’s nothing like walking into a wedding reception to be greeted by a room full of tealights, fairy lights and candles. The softer light is ultra-flattering in photos (it covers a multitude of sins) and looks magical at Christmas.
6.Wear a dress straight out of a fairy tale.
Not content with making our wedding days feel like fairy tales, now there are tons of planners, dressmakers and companies willing to make them into actual fairy tales.
Not only is this Alfred Angelo dress too pretty for words, it’s also based on Elsa’s dress in Frozen. The dress was part of the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings collection by Alfred Angelo Collection, which debuted in October.
7.Recreate a Christmas market
Go as low-key or as big as your budget will allow… hire a German band, serve pretzels at the reception (perfect for lining your stomach) or even set up a stall outside giving out bratwurst, roast chestnuts and mulled wine.
8. Tiny festive food is filling and fun.
How about mini mince pies or gingerbread biscuits for canapes?
9. Have fun with festive nail art.
You and your bridemaids’ nails are the perfect place to inject some Christmas cheer. Seasonal nail art is subtle and is even suitable for flower girls to make them feel part of the dressing-up process.
10. Have children write their Christmas lists and mail them to Santa.
11. Forget the flowers altogether and try these pine cone bouquets.
12. And finally, a classic: welcome your evening guests with mulled wine.
Playa del Carmen is a fun beach town on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, part of the Riviera Maya. Smaller and less touristy than Cancun, it’s becoming a popular travel destination for people looking for travel experiences.
So what to do in Playa del Carmen? ...
1. Cenote Diving/Snorkeling.
Cenote is an underground cave filled with fresh water. The Yucatan has tons of them — sinkholes that open up into underground rivers with the clearest water you’ve ever seen.
If you have your PADI license, you can go scuba diving in these caves with a guide. Because there’s daylight near the entrance a more technical cave diving license isn’t required. Some good ones include : Cenote Dos Ojos, Cenote Azul, Garden of Eden, Gran Cenote, and more.
2. Visit Mayan Ruins.
The ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum are located South of Playa del Carmen in the town of Tulum. A must-visit if you’re in the area. Tulum was once a small but important port city for the Mayans. Along with impressive structures on the edge of a cliff, it has a beach below where you can swim too.
Because Tulum is so popular, it can be crowded unless you arrive early in the morning. Coba is another Mayan site near Playa del Carmen which sees less visitors. You can still climb the pyramid there too.
3. Swim With Sea Turtles.
Akumal is home to pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, untouched natural areas and hundreds of turtles who stay in the area because they are protected by the national authorities.
Akumal Bay is becoming more and more popular by the day due to the opportunity to swim alongside Green Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles and Loggerhead sea turtles in the wild.
To visit Akumal, the cheapest way is to take a colectivo taxi headed for Tulum from the stand located on Calle 2 Norte between Avenida 15 and 20 in Playa del Carmen.
4. Boat Trip To Cozumel.
Cozumel is a small island off the coast of Playa del Carmen known for it’s pristine beaches. Normally a stop for cruise ships, you can take a 45 minute ferry over on your own from Playa del Carmen.
An easy & cheap day trip is renting a scooter and driving it around the island where all the best beaches are. Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can try hitchhiking around the island instead.
As long as there isn’t a cruise ship in port, you’ll have those white sand beaches to yourself. Plenty of stops on the way for lunch & photos. Jump on the last ferry back to Playa del Carmen around sunset.
The area's golf courses are picturesque and challenging. The most popular courses are the Golf Club Playacar, the Grand Coral Golf Riviera Maya and El Camaleón Mayakoba Golf Club. Golf Club Playacar is praised for its well-kept grounds and exemplary service; Grand Coral wins favor with golfers thanks to its fair rates and beautiful design, though some say the greens could use a bit of improvement; and El Camaelón Mayakoba is heralded as a "gem" of a PGA course with well-manicured greens.
Green fees vary by course, but some offer twilight specials and golf packages for vacationers to save on rates. You'll find Golf Club Playacar in southern Playa del Carmen, Grand Coral Golf Riviera Maya in the center of town and El Camaleón Mayakoba at the northern end. For additional information on rates, opening times and more, visit the individual golf courses' websites.
Both experts and travelers say that Xcaret is a sort of Yucatán-style Disneyland, a large outdoor "eco-park" filled with an aviary, a dolphin aquarium, a turtle sanctuary and a beach perfect for swimming, diving or snorkeling.
The park also offers various excursions like dolphin interactions, stingray encounters, shark swims, snuba tours and speedboat rides. Stay the day at Xcaret then enjoy the evening events, which include performances exploring the area's Mayan past. Xcaret is home to a few dining venues as well.
7. La Quinta Avenida.
Playa del Carmen's main street, La Quinta Avenida, runs parallel to the shore and serves as a pedestrian walkway for travelers and locals. The avenue is lined with an assortment of restaurants, hotels, hostels, condominiums and bars, making it one of the best nightlife spots in the city.
High-class restaurants and local bars dominate the nightlife scene of La Quinta. There are plenty of souvenir shops. La Quinta Avenida begins at the intersection with Avenida Juárez and runs north about 4 miles north to the edge of the Grand Riviera Maya Golf Club.
8. Rio Secreto.
Often lauded as one of the best-kept secrets on the Yucatan Peninsula, Rio Secreto (or Secret River) is an underground river and collection of caves. The bright turquoise water contrasts with the caramel- and mocha-colored rock formations within the caves, which include stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors can swim in the river, climb through the caves and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Recent travelers said this adventure was the highlight of their trip to Playa del Carmen, noting that the tour was fascinating and that they learned a lot about the Mayans and the land's natural history. Many also said this is a great rainy day activity since most of the exploration occurs underground.
For vacationers that want direct beach access and ocean-view rooms, here are the best beachfront hotels to make your planning easier. Take a look at the best beach hotels in Playa del Carmen.
1. Grand Velas Riviera Maya
The Grand Velas -- set on over 80 acres of mangroves that meet a postcard-perfect beach of white sand and turquoise waters-- is one of Riviera Maya’s most sophisticated properties. It features 491 top-notch suites spread out in three different buildings (two family-friendly, one adults-only), all with their own stunning pool complexes, gyms, and restaurants. The property is so huge guests will need to take a three-minute shuttle ride from the farthest building to the beach, but the hotel’s spotless service, outstanding food, luxurious spa, and wonderful amenities make it a great pick for discerning (and well-heeled) travelers.
2. The Royal Hideaway Playacar
The Royal Hideaway is a member of exclusive hospitality consortium Leading Hotels of the World, and as such is one of the most luxurious properties in the area. It features upscale rooms with high-end amenities, a full-service spa with great treatments, several pools, and the best food around. The beautiful grounds, overall sophisticated vibe, adults-only policy, and beautiful beachfront location a short drive from shopping on Playa’s Fifth Avenue make it one of the most attractive options for couples in Playacar.
3. Hotel Esencia
The former estate of an Italian duchess, the ultra-luxurious Esencia oozes Mediterranean elegance and style. With just 29 rooms spread over 50 acres, the property feels intimate and exclusive, and shows a thorough attention to detail in everything from the services to the decor. Upscale, contemporary rooms are housed in two-story buildings set amid lush tropical grounds, and feature lots of high-end amenities, including pre-loaded iPods, Molton Brown toiletries, and in some, even private plunge pools. The gorgeous spa, excellent restaurant, and relaxing pools with ocean views are highlights.
4. Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun.
Located on the Riviera Maya, south of Cancun, the 412-room Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun is a romantic, adults-only all-inclusive resort, set on a private white-sand beach lined with sunbeds, cabanas, and palapas. In addition to the buffet, a wide range of high-quality dining options are available, including Japanese teppanyaki, French cuisine, a wine cellar with over 200 different vintages, and, for an extra charge, romantic dinners for two on the beach. A stunning destination-style spa offers couples' treatments in private outdoor cabanas on the beach. Rooms are large and tasteful, with four-poster canopy beds, separate sitting areas, and private balconies; ground floor rooms are swim-up suites.
5. Blue Diamond Riviera Maya by BlueBay.
Blue Diamond Riviera Maya by BlueBay is an excellent option for couples looking for a more intimate and luxurious all-inclusive option outside of the hustle of Cancun. The four-and-a-half pearl property is spread out over gorgeous grounds that are partially manicured and artistic and partially jungle-like and wild so the overall ambiance is natural and feels almost isolated. No kids allowed means the two swimming pools, sandy beach, and plethora of restaurants are generally quiet and relaxing. Adult-friendly facilities include a sleek spa (free access to use the steam room and pool), cigar lounge, and one of the best equippedgyms in Mexico. Suites and casitas come standard with private outdoor bathtubs and minibars stocked with free drinks.
6. Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda.
Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda is one of the best family-friendly, all-inclusive resorts on the Yucatan Peninsula. This luxury property is located directly on the Caribbean and includes access to a white sand beach. The swimming pool, with a pirate ship playground and a swim-up bar, makes it a popular spot among families and partiers. Even the most affordable rooms here include marble floors and sensory soaking tubs. Upgrading often means swim-up pools and/or kitchenettes.Restaurant and bar options include everything from a show cooking buffet, to Argentinian-style steaks, to burritos, to sushi. Vacationers that go all-out for the Family Concierge level rooms get access to private pools, a tricked out club lounge, and expedited service -- but those who don't book it have reported feeling like second-class citizens.
7. Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso.
The 310-room, luxury, all-inclusive Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso is a Las Vegas-style, adult-only resort on the Riviera Maya. The resort is part of the five-hotel Iberostar complex, and guests at this hotel may use the amenities at all five properties, some of which are family-friendly. The high-end experience starts with champagne upon arrival, and continues with premium liquor, fine dining, a full-service spa, and several pools, including one dedicated to tranquil relaxation. The opulent decor incorporates marble and mosaic floors, glass chandeliers, modern artwork, and artisan-crafted furnishings. The lush, landscaped grounds complete the picture. Rooms are large and upscale, with jetted tubs, glass shower stalls, and personalized minibars.
8.Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa.
This upscale 65-room boutique between Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos has a beautiful setting on a white-sand beach, amid a jungle preserve. Contemporary rooms are equipped with original artwork, furniture from the hotel’s own workshops,king beds and either a terrace or a balcony. The great amenities on offer, including three pools, upscale dining, a wonderful spa, and a gorgeous beach, make this a solid pick, but prices are quite steep; other luxury resorts in the area may offer better value.
9. El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel.
Located in central Playa del Carmen, the 57-apartment El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel is really two adjacent luxury properties in one, sharing facilities and amenities. Two blocks from shopping mecca Fifth Avenue, El Taj is rightly considered one of the area’s best hotels, with a private beach and beach club, a spa, a large, modern gym, and several excellent restaurants, as well as gorgeous rooms, all with private balconies and full kitchens, and some with rooftop decks and private hot tubs. It's worth being aware, however, that many of the hotel's facilities (like the restaurants and gym) are a few minutes away from the hotel.
10. Rosewood Mayakoba.
Rosewood Mayakoba is a gorgeous, peaceful retreat within the resort community of Playa Del Carmen, set on a mile-long stretch of beach. Though it features an extensive children's program, the resort largely attracts couples with its serene atmosphere, upscale restaurants, and spa. The 128 suites feature attractive contemporary decor -- picture clean lines, white walls, and rich woods -- as well as high-tech amenities and private outdoor plunge pools. They have an open-air vibe, with many floor-to-ceiling windows, and the overwater lagoon suites have swim-up access. Plus, suites include freebies such as Wi-Fi, fresh fruit, and bottled water. Seaweed debris along the beach keeps the Rosewood from being flawless (although they diligently attempt to keep it clean by sending staffers to rake it away), but otherwise this hotel is top-notch -- for guests willing to pay top dollar.
Seeing other brides’ ideas and what has been done at other weddings is enough to inspire any bride-to-be…and keep you glued to your computer screen for hours on end. To help you out, here is a list of some can’t miss surprises for your groom, your bridal party, your guests and even for yourself. From games to honoring the people you love.
1. A live wedding painter to capture your ceremony/reception space and your guests.
2.Arrange ceremony seats in a circular pattern around the couple so that everyone can see.
3.Provide coasters that help people keep their drinks while dancing.
4. Give guests to-go boxes so that they can take cake home.
5. Put photos of yourselves at different ages corresponding to table numbers for your guests to enjoy.
6. Make your ring bearer a ring security guard.
7. Add a pop of color on the tulle under your dress.
8. Instead of throwing rice….
9. Compile addresses of all of the guests at your wedding
10. Leave fun facts about yourselves on the tables.
11. Honor guests that aren’t in your wedding party (or can’t be at your wedding).
12. Pin something sentimental on your bouquet
13. Make your own Instagram hashtag that your guests can use. Not only is it fun for them, but it also allows you to see all of the pictures your guests uploaded to Instagram in one search.
14. Include a space on the RSVP where guests can request songs to play at the reception.
15.Attach your garter to a football for your husband to throw.
16. Create a piñata for you to break open on your first anniversary filled with notes from your wedding guests.
17. Have guests sign a calendar with their birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
18. Guests throw darts at balloons filled with paint attached to a canvas. You keep the art.
19. Take a picture of the rings with a newspaper from the day of your wedding.
20. Incorporate cake pops that match your wedding invitations
10. Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony
Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 (sometimes identified as No. 7) really is unfinished. A symphony traditionally has four movements; Schubert completed two movements but then abandoned the project for reasons that are not clear. However, he did sketch a third movement. Various composers have “completed” the symphony based on that sketch, and their interpretation of the first two movements, but for all intents and purposes, Symphony No. 8 remains truly unfinished.
9. Dvorak’s 9th Symphony
This beloved symphony is better known as “From the New World” or “New World” because the famed Czech composer from Bohemia composed this masterpiece in 1893, while he was staying in America. However, the nickname is somewhat misleading, because while he composed it in America (a.k.a. the New World), it’s not an exclusively American symphony. While American Indian and black American themes inspired the symphony, it has as much, if not more, influences from his native Bohemia. Leonard Bernstein said it best when he described the 9th as “multinational.”
8.Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man
During World War II, the conductor of the Cincinnati Orchestra asked Aaron Copland to create a fanfare to be used to introduce concerts. The conductor had suggested a salute to the common soldier, after similar pieces created by English composers during the First World War, but Copland, instead, sought to make a salute to the Four Freedoms (freedom from fear, want, religion and speech & expression).
Finally, he settled on making a salute to the common man. At the orchestra leader’s suggestion, it premiered during income tax season in 1943. Copland later turned the Fanfare into the theme for the fourth movement of his Third Symphony. The now-familiar Fanfare can be heard at rock concerts, the Olympics and political campaign events.
7.Mendelssohn’s Wedding March
Sometimes, it’s hard to fathom that tunes such as “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and “Happy Birthday” were actually composed. Even the “wha-wha-waaaah” played on the trumpet was composed! Such is the case with Felix Mendelssohn’s wedding march, part of his incidental music for his A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Most people would recognize this march as the music played for a newly-married couple’s recessional.
6.Handel’s Water Music & Royal Fireworks Suites
Georges Frederic Handel composed three suites to accompany England’s George I, as he and his companions sailed on the Thames River. Handel premiered his compositions in 1717, and, supposedly, the king loved the pieces so much that he had the 50 musicians play them continuously for hours. (That had to hurt.) Thirty years later, Handel composed the Royal Fireworks Suite at the behest of the court of George II, to promote the unpopular treaty ending the War of Spanish Succession. Humorously, during the first official performance of the Fireworks Suite, an elaborate stage built for the show caught fire.
5.Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony
Dubbed the Eroica symphony, which means “heroic” in Italian (not “erotic”), Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony was initially his tribute to Napoleon, whom he admired. But when Napoleon crowned himself emperor in 1804, Beethoven angrily declared that Napoleon had become a tyrant and tore out the score’s title page dedicating the symphony to the general-turned-emperor. The Eroica was the first work of Beethoven’s in which he finally arrived at the peak of his composing abilities.
If you believe the fantastic 1984 movie “Amadeus,” then Mozart’s rival, Salieri, plotted to kill Mozart while helping the younger artist compose the Requiem, as Mozart lay dying. The truth is somewhat different, and the Salieri plot is a creative fiction. The youthful genius apparently completed only the first movement sometime before his death, while the remaining outlines were completed by others. How much Mozart actually did before he died is still subject to much debate.
3.Beethoven’s 9th symphony
As you may know, Beethoven eventually lost his hearing. The maestro composed some of his later pieces while literally pounding the piano with his ear close to the keys. When he premiered his magnificent 9th Symphony, he conducted it without hearing a single note. Because of his deafness—and perhaps the fact that he had not conducted in public for 12 years—Beethoven’s conducting was sporadic and unsynchronized with the orchestra. A member of the orchestra even had to turn him around so that he could see the enthusiastic approval of the audience.
2.Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
People with a passing knowledge of classical music would know this one: Igor Stravinsky’s ballet of pagan springtime rituals sounded, and looked, so bizarre to early 1900s audiences that during its first public performance the audience rioted. It didn’t help matters that the composer and his choreographer came to despise one another. The dance steps, costumes and intricate music didn’t sit well with some in the audience. Soon, supporters and detractors started fistfights, which degenerated into a riot—even though many could no longer hear the music. Musicians were even assaulted. Think about that the next time you hear of an audience going crazy at a rock or rap concert.
1. Liszt’s Les Preludes
I was actually a little dismayed when I first learned a bit of trivia about this Franz Liszt symphonic poem some years ago, because it’s one of my all-time favorite compositions. However, none other than the Nazis used parts of Les Preludes to be the official theme song for the propagandistic German Weekly Newsreel service, circa 1940-1945. (Can you imagine watching news footage of Luftwaffe Stukas dive-bombing Soviet troops and towns with The Prelude blaring, just like Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries was used during the helicopter attack in the movie Apocalypse Now?)
1. Mamita´s Beach Club
Mamita´s Beach Club is undoubtedly the Mexican Caribbean beach club par excellence. With 650 ft. of the best beach in Playa Del Carmen, Mamita's Beach Club provides services and comforts of first quality to their guests: modern restrooms equipped with air-conditioning, showers, kids pool, an area with massage service, and 300 deck chairs and 100 beach umbrellas for rent, towels as well, parking lot with valet parking, Wi-Fi service and private security. This is the perfect place with lounge music and very nice cocktails.
2. Fusion Beach Hotel Bar & Grill
Though this is a beach club, it stays open throughout the night as well. The Fusion Hotel Beach Bar and Grill is popular with both tourists and locals. At night, this beach side bar turns into a romantic beach lounge lit by rustic oil lanterns. To complete the mood, you will find live music that's easy on the ears as you relax by the sea. No doubt that you will experience one of the most romantics settings in Playa del Carmen. Nightly fire shows and salsa dancing a few times a week.
3. Mandala Playa del Carmen.
Mandala is one of Playa del Carmen's most cosmopolitan nightclubs. People of all ages from all over the world go to Mandala for that "time of your life" night that you expect when you're on vacation, complete with pounding music and flowing drinks.
Weekends are very busy so if you go during the week you'll have a better chance of getting a table. Bottle service, open bar and pay-as-you-go are all available. Mandala's party doesn't really get started until about 12 am and doesn't end until 5 or 6 am. For a different experience, head to the rooftop terrace where there is a bar, a dance floor and different music than they play downstairs. Mandala offers a great feel of contemporary nightlife in Mexico.
4. La Santanera Playa del Carmen
Are you a fan of electronic music and looking for a place to enjoy that in the stunning Playa del Carmen area? If yes, you have La Santanera. A gathering of electronic music fans, especially Mexicans, can be seen here whenever you visit this nightclub spread across two floors.
Popular DJs can be seen doing what they know best in the first floor, which is a dark room provided with a bar and couches. The second floor also features a DJ and bar, but with a lounge feel to it unlike the first. The ambiance at this club is simply electrifying!
5. Zenzi Playa del Carmen
All day great sounds selected by our DJ for your enjoyment, then music ” LIVE at FIVE” featuring local artists playing Rock, Blues, Salsa, Cumbia, Latin, Reggae. Two bands playingdaily from 5pm. Located near the famous light house and with a very large Beach and white sand, it’s the place to be and enjoy drinks or delicious food.
Every morning Zenzi Beach offer you the most beautiful view to the Caribbean sea…
6. Coco Bongo Playa del Carmen.
Located just one block from the famous 5th Avenue, Playa del Carmen Coco Bongo is surrounded by colorful Caribbean style buildings, several international restaurants and the carefree vibe feature offered by this paradise in the Riviera Maya. All the tranquility disappears once you've crossed the doors...
Feel the high voltage power while you are surprised with acrobats flying across the room and exciting tributes to the great figures of music. A place to dance, be amazed and to be part of the show.
7. Coralina Daylight Club
Coralina Daylight Club takes notes from places like Ibiza, Spain where they started the party early and enjoy DJ’s and a club like atmosphere only this time when the sun is out. People do like to have a good time during the day and this is kind of a new concept for Playa Del Carmen. Coralina has upped the game and created a beach club that is less about being in the sand and more about being near the pool and drinking with friends while listening to electronica and dance music.
This club is not going to be for everyone. It is a place to be seen and see others. Enjoy the atmosphere here and music.
8. La Mezcalina Playa del Carmen.
One of the perfect spots for music, drinks & dancing in Playa Del Carmen. The ambiance is alternative and raw, with a good sound system, fans, plenty of great artistic decoration and cool A/C. This is more of a locals spot, but being on 12th street you do get a fair amount of tourists.
Catered to more "in the know" clientele musically speaking, they also offer very fair prices on beer, mezcal & cocktails. The people are friendly, the music is always experimental or underground dance (house, techno or both) and the service is friendly and quick.
Over the years, history’s greatest painters, sculptors, and craftsman have toiled to create the iconic pieces of art we’ve all become familiar with. While many of those masterpieces remain safely tucked away in museums or private collections, others have not been so lucky. Here are stolen pieces of art that are still lost somewhere in the world today.
1.The Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius
For a musician, owning a Stradivarius violin is like getting your hands on the Holy Grail. According to reputation, no instrument compares to the rich quality of sound produced by a Stradivarius. They even boast the ability to withstand centuries of wear and tear if taken care of properly. With that being said, only around 650 original Stradivari have survived to the present day. As well as violins, the remaining instruments include cellos, violas, guitars, harps, and mandolins. The current whereabouts of the instruments range from private collections to the Library of Congress, Smithsonian, and the Stradivari Museum in Cremona, Italy.
In October 1995, a $3 million 1727 Stradivarius violin was stolen from renowned violinist Erica Morini’s New York apartment. Morini, who was 91 years old, died shortly after the robbery. The theft is still on the FBI’s Top Ten Art Crimes list and the instrument is still labeled unrecovered as of today.
2. “View Of The Sea At Scheveningen” By Vincent Van Gogh
On 7 December, 2002, at around 8:00 AM, two men climbed onto the roof of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum and broke through into the building. The thieves only took two paintings—“View of the Sea at Scheveningen” and “Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen,” both painted between 1882 and 1884. This period represented the peak of Van Gogh’s artistic achievements and the paintings are estimated to have a combined value of $30 million.
According to the museum gallery page, “Van Gogh painted this picture on the spot, at Scheveningen, a beach resort near The Hague. He had to fight against the elements: the gusting wind and flying sand, which stuck to the wet paint. Most of this was later scraped off, but a few grains can still be found in some of the paint layers.” Two suspects were arrested in 2004 and later sentenced to up to four-and-a-half years, but the paintings have yet to be found. The museum currently offers a reward of €100,000 for information on their whereabouts.
3. Eight Imperial Fabergé Eggs
The Imperial Fabergé Egg collections of Alexander III and Nicholas II might actually have been more popular than the Czars themselves. Peter Carl Fabergé of the House of Fabergé created the jewel-encrusted egg masterpieces for the Russian royal family between 1885 and 1917.
The collection consists of 52 known Imperial eggs, complete with exquisite jewels, precious metal details, and complex cogs and gears for clockwork mechanisms. In 1918, the Bolsheviks pillaged the House of Fabergé and the Czar’s palace in St. Petersburg. The eggs were confiscated and shipped to the Kremlin. Some of the eggs were subsequently sold to private collectors, some were stolen, and some remained in museums around the world.
Currently, eight of the eggs are still missing since the Bolshevik plunder. Each egg is valued at over a million dollars and rumors of their location have spread all over Europe, South America, and the United States.
4.“Charing Cross Bridge, London” By Claude Monet
Famed impressionist Claude Monet depicted Charing Cross Bridge in London as part of a series painted between 1899 and 1904. The series depicts various versions of the bridge over different periods of day and night, allowing Monet to utilize his vast understanding of color pallets.
The 1901 Rotterdam painting simply titled “Charing Cross Bridge, London,” was part of the Kunsthal Museum theft in October 2012. One of the men convicted of the crime claimed that the Monet (along with the other stolen works) was burned in his mother’s stove to hide evidence of the theft from government officials. Although certain traces of pigments were indeed found in the stove, no solid evidence has been found proving his claim and the painting is still listed as missing.
5. "The Pigeon Aux Petits Pois" by Pablo Picasso
One of the strangest art thefts in history took place in Paris, France about May 20, 1911 7:00 masterpiece "The pigeon pea small" 2010, Pablo Picasso (Le pigeon aux petits pois) was one of five paintings estimated to a total value of approximately € 100 million, stolen from the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. One broken window and a broken padlock were found at the crime scene. The thief had the dexterity to quickly and thoroughly remove the paintings from their frames rather than use a knife to cut them out. security images revealed that the burglary was a work of a man rather than a team of robbers. A man said to be the lone thief was caught and sentenced in 2011, and later said he had panicked and threw paint in the trash shortly after stolen. Many people have expressed doubts about the story of the thief from today and the paint is still nowhere to be found.
The violin is the most modern embodiment of stringed musical instruments played with a bow. Like the guitar and other plucked string instruments, bowed instruments date from antiquity. Although its precise origins are not completely understood, it is probable that the violin evolved during the mid-16th century in Northern Italy. In addition to perhaps being the maker of the first true violins, Andrea Amati (ca. 1500-1577) was the patriarch of the Cremona school of violin making.
During the next 150 years, other members of the Amati family and their followers, who included Antonio Stradivari and Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri , brought the violin to its highest level of perfection both as a musical instrument and as a work of art.
During the 17th century, violin making spread to all of the other countries of Europe and, in the 18th and 19th centuries, to the rest of the world. Although violins have been and are being turned out in large numbers by factories in Europe and Asia, most fine violins are handmade by individual craftsmen using essentially the same methods employed by classical Italian makers several hundred years ago.
Most of the tools required for violin making are the same as those used for most types of hand woodworking and carving: planes, chisels, gouges, knives, saws, and scrapers. In addition, a few specialized tools are needed. These include a thickness caliper, small curved bottom "thumb" planes, purfling groove cutter, peg hole reamer and matching peg shaver, bending iron, clamps of various types, and patterns. Many violin makers take pride in making some of their own tools. Indeed, one of the keys to success as a violin maker is developing the skills associated with making, using, and maintaining sharp edged tools.
The back, sides (ribs), and neck of the violin are most often made of matching quarter-sawn (cut along the radius of the log) maple. There are many species of maple, growing in different parts of the world, which are suitable. The criteria for selection include the straightness of the grain, the density and the figure of the wood, all of which contribute to the tonal characteristics and visual beauty of the finished instrument. The top of the violin is made of quarter-sawn spruce. The internal parts of the violin—the corner and end blocks and the linings—are usually made of spruce or willow, while purfling can be made of many different woods and/or "fiber" (thick paper or cardboard). The fingerboard is made of ebony, the bridge is maple, and the other fittings (pegs, tailpiece, chin rest) are ebony, rosewood, or boxwood. Rather than making these items from scratch, they are usually purchased in a finished or semi-finished form and customized or installed by the maker.
The Manufacturing Process
It is likely that fine violins will continue to be handmade in the manner described above. However, there is a long history of experiments with new designs and materials of construction. Recent products of this are violins made of synthetic materials such as plastic. Some of these have solid bodies, while others are of a traditional design using synthetic materials for some parts.
There are also electric violins, in which the vibrations of the strings are converted to an electrical signal by a pick-up or microphone, which is then amplified and output to a speaker or computer interface. There are a number of such "high tech" instruments on the market today; they are mainly used to play jazz and popular music. In the realm of classical music, the traditional violin is by far the dominant choice.
If you’ve been asked about the theme of your wedding, chances are music isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But tunes are often a common thread early in a relationship and can hold a lot of sentimentality for many couples. That’s why a musically themed wedding is a fantastic way to celebrate your love with family and friends. From sock hop to festival to rock concert, a music theme makes for a great way to show some personality with all sorts of touches.
1. Floral Guitar Decor: Add a folksy, Americana touch to a rustic wedding with guitars strewn with flowers. Everyone will be swooning over this romantic touch.
2. Vinyl Record Guestbook: Ditch the traditional guestbook in favor of more interesting options. Case in point: These vinyl records that’ll make guests feel like they’re giving you their autograph.
3. Tambourines as Favors: While tambourines might feel like they belong in a band camp supply closet, we’re here to refute that misconception. The instruments make a great noisemaker following your announcement and make a great favor.
4. Amp Dessert Table: Who says your theme can’t extend to your furnishings? Use speakers of varied heights to create a visually interesting dessert spread.
5. Concert Poster Favors: Take it back to the days of dorm room glory with a baller poster commemorating the best day ever. A poster this sweet could even double as wall art.
6. Victrola Decor: Throwing a vintage-inspired bash? Grab a victrola to purpose as decor, and be sure to play some older swingy classics to really set the mood.
7. Beatles Records as Centerpieces: This Beatles-themed wedding is spot on, even down to the centerpieces. Take the best love songs the foursome recorded and have at it.
8. Festival Passes as Escort Cards: Channel Woodstock with sick backstage-pass-style escort cards that double as a unique keepsake for guests. Bonus points if you arrange your tables by favorite classic rockers.
9. Music Note Cookies: Is there a more delicious way to include music in your wedding? (Nope.) Sweeten the occasion with frosted cookies like these — trust us, no one will be mad at it.
10. Cassette Escort Cards: Take a trip down memory lane to the days when mix tapes were love notes. Reminisce by including these cute cards in your reception.
11. Tape Deck Invitation Suite: Play it up with cassette tape save the dates, invites and RSVP cards.
12. Jukebox as DJ!: Save cash on the DJ by renting a jukebox for your big day. This puts a lot of trust in your guests, but it’s also a surefire way to keep the fun times rolling the whole night long.
1. The tension of the 230-odd strings in a grand piano exert a combined force of 20 tonnes on the cast iron frame.
2. Robert Schumann would often plunge his hands into the entrails of a slaughtered animal to heal his ailments.
3. There are two skulls in Haydn's tomb. His head was stolen by phrenologist and a replacement skull was put into his tomb. In 1954, the real skull was restored but the substitute was not removed.
4. Rossini wrote the area "Di tanti palpiti" while waiting for some risotto in a Venice restaurant.
5. A single violin is made from over 70 individual pieces of wood.
6. According to his boasts in the opera, Don Giovanni seduced 1001 spanish, 640 italian,231 german,100 french and 91 turkish women.
7. The London Symphony Orchestra was booked to travel on the Titanic's maiden voyage. But they changed boats at the last minute.
8. Baritone Leonard Warren died on stage at the Met in 1960 just as he had finished singing Verdi's "Morir , tremenda cosa".
9.Dogfish skin was often used in the 18th century to sand violins.
10. Soprano Dame Nellie Melba died from a skin infection after an unsuccessful facelift operation.
11. Russian cosmonaut Yuriy Gagarin sang a Shostakovich song "My homeland hears", over the radio on his first space mission.
12. During a performance of Boris Godunov at Sydney Opera House, a chicken fell off the stage... and onto a cellist.
13. Renaissance composer Orlande de Lassus was kidnapped many times as a boy because of his beautiful singing voice.
14. The most expensive opera costume of all the time was worn by Adelina Patti at Covent Garden in 1895. It was worth over £ 15 million.
15. Franz Liszt received so many requests for locks of his hair that he bought a dog and sent fur clippings instead.
16. When he died, conductor Herbert von Karajan's wife, Eliette, inherited a fortune worth € 250 million.
17. Mozartkugeln' is one of the most popular chocolate brands in Austria.
18. Havergal Brain's Symphony No.1, the "Gothic", requires over 800 musicians to perform including 82 string players.
19. Domenico Scarlatti composed his "Cat Fugue" after his cat, Pulcinella, walked across his keyboard.
20.The Japanese world "Karaoke" comes from a phrase meaning " Empty Orchestra"