Posted on 02 Jul, 2015
I’m about to start the crazy countdown to my cousins wedding in 12 weeks and the next step is to organise the Hens Party. I should probably tell you up front that my idea of a ‘fun night out’ usually consists of potato chips and Netflix, but that clearly wasn’t going to be on the cards.
One of the bridesmaids has kindly arranged a day to discuss what we think will work and organise as much as we can. It never occurred to me that most hens parties are arranged by bridesmaids rather than the bride herself (lightbulb moment) and that there are significant challenges that you’re faced with when choosing what events lay ahead for this celebratory occasion. Predicting the range of ideas we will come up with, I’ve identified three types of hens parties as told from a bridesmaids perspective.
1. The “luxurious, fit-for-a-princess pamper weekend”
It actually makes me sleepy just writing that. Imagine heading off on a Saturday morning to enjoy brunch at a local winery and then indulge in some truly incredible pampering at a luxury day spa. We’re thinking footbaths, soaks, body wraps, steam rooms and relieving massages for all. With rooms booked on site, the girls then celebrate with a bottle of red and an incredible three course degustation – retiring to the best sleep you’ve had in years. This is obviously my idea of fun.
2. The “wild, crazy – we’ll talk about this for years event”
So the bride to be likes a good party and enjoys putting on her dancing shoes? We’ve got just the idea. Book a suite at an incredible hotel in Melbourne (think Crown, Grand Hyatt, Hilton) and arrive early in the day. Arrange for a hair stylist and makeup artist to visit the girls in the suite and give a lesson on makeup applications and hair styling for the night ahead. You then head down to an intimate restaurant for cocktails by the fireplace and make your way to a nightclub playing hits of the 90’s (because we all know that was the best era in music history). Think dancing until the lights come on and enjoying a buffet breakfast of fried goodies and an extra late checkout so that you can snooze the day away.
3. The “go-getter, adrenaline-seeking  fitness buff”
She is always on the go and ready for adventure – often considered hard to please, we know the perfect event to frighten even the craziest of adventurers. The morning starts at 8 with some energising fun at a trampoline warehouse in Melbourne. Practice jumping off walls, diving into foam pits and winning at dodgeball for a good hour. After burning all that energy you are sure to need a good meal to refuel and begin your next adventure for the day. Now for the competitive sports – laser tag and go karts to end the afternoon on a high. Just to sweeten the day, you settle in at the Adelphi hotel in Melbourne and book in for “dinner” at Om Nom. By dinner, we mean a dessert-only restaurant that is renowned for its incredible creations – perfect for the adventurer who is always looking for something different!
In all honesty there are so many options to choose from and so many budgets, locations and styles that you can work with. Half the fun is in the planning and the surprise!
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Posted on 25 Jun, 2015
You might have already heard a similar story through the grapevine, or maybe you just read this story that popped up in the news. To give you some background, we don’t know exactly who this heartthrob is getting his lovespiration or advice from – but we strongly recommend he seek it elsewhere.
It’s a given that the purpose of a wedding is to celebrate the love between two people who are choosing to spend the rest of their lives together. The bride & groom also stand out on the day so there is no mistaking who the day is to be focused on. Guests put aside family differences and friends put aside any jealousy about not being chosen to be in the bridal party – so it’s only logical that you would want to save one of the most intimate moments of your life for a more private moment, right? Maybe not for some…
When a photograph surfaced globally of a man down on one knee, holding up a beautiful ring to the woman of his dreams – the public did not respond well. Why you ask? Well this just so happened to be at a wedding. Awesome? Well there is potential that it could have been, but this was definitely anything but. In front of the bridal table, In front of the entire reception – with the bride and groom sitting right behind them blocked by the gesture itself, this man just happened to believe this was the best time for him to drop his knee and profess his love.
I’ll give this to the guy- women love grand gestures, we really really do. We all want to put our hands up to tell a story about the lengths our significant others have gone to when trying to make us feel special. It’s nice to know that someone loves you so much that they’re willing to go above and beyond the awkwardness or embarrassment of declaring their love for you, especially in a public setting.
But whoever gave this guy the idea to propose directly in front of the bride & groom during the reception is no good at giving advice.
It’s not hard to understand why the entire world is weighing in on the story, mostly due to the outrage from current brides to be about how they would feel if one of their close friends decided to take the plunge on their own wedding day.
The setting is possibly the most awkward photograph you could conjure up in your mind. The bride and groom are both smiling for the newly engaged lovers – because #letsnotruinthismoment right? Yet you can tell that the thoughts going through their minds are most probably quite different to the expressions on their faces.
But what could possibly be even more awkward is if the woman being proposed to is on the same page as the rest of us regarding engagement proposals at weddings. What if she herself thinks it’s not polite? What would you do in that special moment that you’ve been waiting for your entire life but also coming to the realisation that you’ve just totally stolen the spotlight from one of your best friends?
If this can teach us anything it should be that we should always ask our friends for advice before we do something. Who knows if the couple were actual genuinely happy for their friends, or if a fight broke out later on once everyone had some celebratory drinks? I guess we’ll never know, but in sharing this we hope that you’re able to inform any of your guy-friends that proposing at a mates wedding is 100% a no-no. No matter what romantic literature you’ve read, this is definitely an idea that is bound to end in tears of some kind!
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Posted on 11 Jun, 2015

A bride’s level of comfort in her own skin plays a huge factor in her confidence level on the day of her wedding. Some women will follow beauty regimes right up until the day in order to minimise any unpredictability, skin reactions or last minute episodes with tweezers and shaky hands. 
I’ve heard of brides undergoing treatments 12 months in advance, intensive masks, costly experiences (we’re referring to the vampire facial here) and any cosmetic treatments if you’re a fan of needles (i.e. injections, fillers, botox).

It’s part of the human condition that as women, we strive towards perfection and how it is defined by what we see in mass media and the culture that surrounds us. There seems to be a fine line between wanting to feel confident and happy in your own skin as opposed to moulding yourself into a bride that is physically beautiful by the standards that society sets.

How can we possibly get rid of these types of suppositions and establish exactly what our own definition of beauty is? How can we feel comfortable in our own skin by harnessing our own beautiful uniqueness? It’s difficult to establish exactly what features of beauty we appreciate as an individual as most of these conceptions have been programmed into us from a young age.

Instead of being taught to feel happy in our own skin and to feel comfortable with our appearance, we’re shown what to wear, how to act and what trends to keep up with in order to fit this generalised mould. We’re shown what types of dresses look good, what colours flatter us, how to wear your hair and how to do your makeup to make sure you abide by the societal standards of a perfect bride. It’s a hard nail to hit on the head, but what if I told you that you don’t have to?

This type of beauty that we talk about can often be considered as having a certain air or aura surrounding oneself. This particular type of beauty isn’t necessarily obvious either, but is apparent to the one person who is waiting down the other end of the aisle for you.

When we think that no one can possibly figure out our own individual beauty, someone has actually already figured it out.

That person has seen you as your most attractive self, but keep in mind that this person has also seen you at your most vulnerable as well. This includes waking up with panda eyes and ratty hair, when he’s exposed to your embarrassing flatulence, when you’re frustrated or angry and when you’ve had a big day and can’t stand to look in the mirror for fear of what you might see. This person, your future husband – is able to see the beauty in everything that you do because that’s who you are. He is able to push through the generalisations and see your true beauty – as the saying goes, warts and all.

This doesn’t mean that a little makeup and fake tan doesn’t make us feel a bit better about ourselves – but that’s the point. Your own perception of beauty is more important than anyone else’s and it’s your own beauty that shines through on your special day, because you will be truly happy and comfortable in who you are and how you’re presented.

It’s not about what you’re supposed to do, it’s about what you want to do.

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Posted on 04 Jun, 2015

6 years ago, if you had have asked me if I would move in with my “husband” prior to tying the knot – I would have struggled to find an answer. I wouldn’t have known whether tradition would have been pursued or if I would have been swept off my feet and into a beautiful lavish house with a view.

To clarify, none of these things actually happened. Did I follow tradition? No, we moved in together even before we were engaged. In fact, we bought a house together before we were engaged (which some argue is even more of a commitment than marriage itself). So I figured that I owed it to the future generations of brides-to-be and girls in the dating game to explain my opinions on living together before tying the knot.

Lesson One: Thou will disagree with thy partner
And sometimes you will have to admit that you’re wrong when you’re actually right.

This is regardless of whether you choose to move in together prior to the wedding or after the wedding. The only difference would be delaying the ‘disagreements’ until later on. These types of disagreements are actually ridiculous – from which side of the bed you can claim as your own to what is considered acceptable home decor and who’s responsibility it is to cook/clean etc. Just a heads up, shotgun the cooking duties as opposed to the cleaning – no one wants to get stuck cleaning the toilet.

Lesson Two: Thou will be asked to sacrifice thy shoes

When moving into our new place and packing up everything in boxes, my partner advised me that I would have to cut my clothes/shoes in half as there would not be enough space to accommodate for every item I owned. So what did I do? I hid half of my wardrobe and shoes in garbage bags, packed my little car with as many clothes as humanly possible (this is actually a very hard task if you haven’t already tried to do it yourself) and tried to get the best head start possible on unpacking. Fortunately enough, I recommended that I sacrifice the space for me in the main bedroom by taking the spare room and office as my ‘closet’  – which meant that I would never have to worry about this ever again (so we can clarify we’re literally talking about 3x more space – if not more).

Lesson Three: Thou will become excessively obsessed with thy groceries (i.e. chocolate)

This is one that you probably wouldn’t have expected – but it is by far the most fought about topic in our household. Why you ask? Because we both seem to become incredibly defensive when the other touches food that we have claimed as our own. I know what you’re thinking, “Aren’t you about to take a vow of what’s mine is yours?” Well, yes – but it should be noted that this explicitly excludes any form of chocolate that is purchased on behalf of one individual with the intention of consuming said chocolate all by oneself. I’m guilty of it as well, I’ll admit it – especially on a chilly Saturday night whilst watching re-runs of Scandal. It’s a lot more common than I’d like to admit – sneaking a few blocks of chocolate in the hope that I’m not caught out later on. It’s actually become so bad that my lovely fiancé has started hiding his blocks of chocolate/left over easter eggs/nutella. Little does he know that I’m aware of every single hiding spot he has. It was relatively easy to figure out actually, considering I’m 5”2 and he is 6”3. I just took a chair around the house and every spot that was ‘too high’ for me, there would be chocolate. It’s often like an easter egg hunt, just a lot more fun.

So kids, that wraps up todays lesson on the experiences of moving in together before tying the knot and the types of obstacles you’re most likely to encounter. In my opinion, so long as you both have set tasks/chores (note: avoid toilet cleaning at all costs), have your own closet ‘space’ and have your own labelled chocolate that no one else is allowed to touch – you’ll get along splendidly!

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Posted on 28 May, 2015

I would be a terrible bride if I didn’t at least own up to what I’ve done. I swore I wouldn’t watch it, but I went ahead and watched it anyway. Look, I didn’t intend on it but it just kind of happened.

I watched Married At First Sight. And the worst part was that I really liked it.

At first I was apprehensive, I thought it was a bit controversial and did the occasional eye roll every time I saw the advertisements (and there were definitely plenty of them).

But then I started watching and as much as I hate to say it, I was glued to my television.

I don’t believe that our current system and the laws in place for marriage are necessarily where they need to be but I think that if someone wants to marry someone else who just so happens to be a stranger and ensure that the whole world is watching – by all means. Just be prepared for the entire world to have an opinion.

Controversy aside, Roni & Michael have officially stolen my heart as most adorable strangers married at first sight and I haven’t even watched the other couples yet.

Michael’s face the minute that Roni walks down the aisle with her bubbly smile and that jump in her step, was adorable. That reaction is something that hardly ever happens – most probably because most men are aware of who will actually be walking down the aisle.

Even my mum who was cynical of the show spoke to me the next day, exclaiming how adorable the couple were and how they’re just meant to be. I guess this really highlights the concept that love may be possible at first sight – and I wanted to share my experience (albeit embarrassing).

The night that I met my fiancé, I was not in the best mood having just returned back from overseas. He offered to buy me a drink – I said no. He asked me to dance – I said no. I was about as receptive as a brick wall. As grateful as I am today for his persistence at the time, I must admit that one thing still strikes me as completely coincidental.

I realised just how stand-offish I was being and I remember clear as day saying to myself (in my inside voice of course), “Hey, you never know – this could be your future husband”. I laughed it off of course, but now it certainly makes for an interesting discussion about whether this was potentially one of the first impressions that I unknowingly gave myself.

Within the space of two months I just knew that we’d get married. It just made sense, we clicked and it worked. 5 years later and he got down on one knee. It sounds simple, but it’s just the way it was meant to be.

I think sometimes you ‘just know’, even when you don’t realise it yet.

Roni and Michael are definitely heading in this direction and I can only hope that they fall even more head over heels for each other.

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Posted on 21 May, 2015

With Spring bridal trends already on my radar, I turned to Fashionista.com who have kindly published what they describe as ‘The 10 Biggest Bridal Trends for Spring 2016’ to keep myself up to date with the newest trends.

I love the fact that 2015 is already out of the picture for most brides, who are now looking to prolong their engagement and tie the knot in 2016/17 instead. I on the other hand haven’t even had an engagement party for the sole reason that there are not enough hours in a day #firstworldproblems.

For a little inspiration, I wanted to see what was trending, what’s up & coming and how significantly my bridal style is going to be influenced over the next 6 months.

So what trends have Fashionista.com anticipated from the release of designer bridal collections for Spring 2016? We break it down for you in non-designer speak.

Traditional

Thanks to the recent trends of ‘covered up’ brides – traditional dresses now appear to be back on the radar of brides everywhere. Although there’s less skin showing, a lot of the extra material is lace, light or near transparent providing the illusion of a second skin. The trend continues to stay dreamy and princess like, but without the cupcake effect many of us try to avoid (when you step into a dress and you literally look like a birthday cupcake because you are so engulfed by the dress itself).

Think long silhouettes and lighter, more glamorous materials extending on the traditional designs of bridal dresses.

Total Exposure

Well, we enjoyed it while it lasted. Fashionista.com literally jumps straight to the complete opposite of traditional and reveals its next prediction of ladies baring as much skin as possible without going that step too far. Think plunging necklines; see through silhouettes, backless dresses and midriff pieces.

It’s daring and unique – but it’s also very risky. Be prepared for disapproval from your grandparents.

Underwear as Bridal Wear

Don’t worry, I was just as shocked as you reading that one. Apparently Vera Wang has elaborated on the trend by using transparent lace and bespoke lingerie-style garments to create this look. The look is also reminiscent of corset styled strapless dresses or sleek satin nightwear with lace trims.

We’re not sure how appropriate this is, but each to their own.

Extreme Necklines

Think extremely high and extremely low necklines as bridal fashion statements. High necklines made of transparent lace delicately framing your jawline compared to low necklines that break the boundaries of traditional bridal wear that can often look elegant and classic.

Dramatic and extravagant, definitely for the style icons who can pull it off.
The 3-D Effect

This trend excited me a little as it’s one of the more original concepts moving forward in the designs of bridal wear. Think texture and effect of soft and transparent-like fabrics over a more structured, bolder underlay. Several of these designs incorporate a midriff concept into the look, with another trend I’m surprised was not mentioned – pockets. A very carefree and stylish accessory, it helps brides who would typically have a more laid-back style feel comfortable in such a formal dress.

Think bold, lady-like structure paired with relaxed femininity and soft accents.

Flirty Feathers

Wow-o-wow! I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this one, but in the right way it can be done oh-so-well. Bringing texture into a dress is a must for character and personality, but go that step too far and it’s just too much. Some great examples are the new Lela Rose collection where one dress features a corset bodice of French lace, draped with soft tulle and an A-Line skirt adorned with beige floaty feathers. Typically the look is created in the lower parts of the dress, with softer and simpler elements above the waistline. A few designers this season have played around with colour this year, in particular Vera Wang who produced a black midriff-style gown (with pockets) and adorned with black textured feathers for the length (and train) of the dress.

Great textured look – just don’t take it too far.

Dreamy Watercolour Prints

I’m not too sure how I feel about this as it’s a little bit too left of centre for me. Think Year 12 formal, long flowing watercolour dresses in pastels and soft blues. Don’t get me wrong as they’re beautiful dresses and certainly appropriate for a formal occasion, but there’s something about the mix of colours and the floaty dream-like feel that just doesn’t sit right with me.

Beautiful dreamy, floaty designs but not really wedding-worthy.

The Princess Overlay

This is a perfect example of taking a design you love that you don’t think flatters you and making it work for you. For example, being a short and centre-heavy woman – I do not suit princess gowns. When I put one on, I am literally lost in tulle and often look like a 12-year-old playing dress ups for the first time. This new princess overlay concept is a brilliant way of incorporating that princess effect without losing yourself in your dress. The overlay itself (think big, fluffy, bouncy tulle) is only paired onto the back of the gown meaning it doesn’t fall out at the front, clearly defining your waist and the lower silhouette of your dress – it only falls from the furthest part of the sides and your lower back. This look is best with a train to emphasise the detail, and creates body and texture that can complement simple designs.

Perfect for girls who don’t want to be outdone by their gown, the princess overlay is a perfect example of making a design work for you and not the other way around.

The Must-Have LWD

Of course it was going to come up, how could it not? Similar to the concept of the Little Black Dress – the Little White Dress is essentially exactly that. For girls who avoid lengthy dresses, brides who want something a little fresh and girls who are intent on wearing their wedding dress again – the LWD is the perfect option. It’s also significant easier to find as you’re not restricted to formal and bridal boutiques – there are literally short white dresses everywhere.

With styles ranging from skater dresses through to ¾ length structured looks – this is a traditional girls take on casual and effortless chic.

And last but not least – possibly the most unexpected trend to arise from the list:

Pants

We aren’t exactly feeling it either. Don’t get us wrong, pants are a great look but wearing a white suit jacket and pants makes me want to place bets on how long it will take me to get makeup, dirt or food on myself. There are hybrids of the suit in the form of overalls and jumpsuits but I think this is reserved for the fashion elite who can pull off the eccentric yet stylish designs of high-fashion.

My Conclusion:

You’re most beautiful in what you feel comfortable in, but I have to say that if I were to experiment with shapes and textures, 3-D and Feathers would be at the top of my list!

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Posted on 14 May, 2015

A story released recently highlights the importance of ensuring you choose a wedding photographer who you connect with and more importantly – whom you can trust.

Newlyweds Ashlea and Daniel tied the knot in Berrima earlier this year at the Bendooley Estate. The couple had selected Lee Maxwell Judd for their wedding photographer and were excited, as any couple would be about their big day.

Although the wedding went beautifully, the couple have been forced to deal with a difficult and sensitive disagreement with their photographer that has unfortunately become rather public.

Although Ashlea had been concerned that Lee Maxwell Judd was “heavily drinking” at the wedding, it wasn’t until the photographs were due to be delivered that it became apparent that things had gone awry.

The data files from the day, with all of their photographs and intimate moments captured on camera were placed on a USB and then sent to another woman named ‘Ashley’.

But how did he get this other Ashley’s details, you ask? According to Mrs Howard (Ashlea) the woman was a bride who had enquired on Judd’s wedding photography services but had not actually booked him for her wedding.

The mix-up was the beginning of what is now reminiscent of a Hollywood saga – except this is real life and these are a couples treasured memories.

Unfortunately it didn’t end there, because #socialmedia took the entire disagreement to the next level when Judd uploaded a photograph of the couple with the caption ‘Ugliest bride I have ever photographed. Winged the whole time. Bridezilla #1.’ As you can imagine, this set of a spiral of events that don’t need to be discussed here.

Although Judd claims that he was ‘hacked’ and that he never wrote any of the Facebook comments in question, the entire situation has left a bad taste in the couples mouth and is yet another reminder of the connection that you should have and relationship you should establish with each of your wedding suppliers.

Once the couple did eventually get their hands on their wedding photographs, they were extremely disappointed with the quality, as news.com.au reports that ‘Some were over exposed or out of focus and there were only a few that could be used forcing the couple to demand a refund from the photographer.’

“We are missing quality photos of large chunks of the day due to blur and overexposure. Mainly outside at the ceremony and the bridal/family dances,” said Ashlea.

Regardless of the outcome of this situation, it serves as a reminder that the case studies, testimonials and reviews of a photographer are one of the most important tools for couples. Firstly, you should always meet with your photographer to ensure that they are the right fit for you both (i.e. does their ‘style’ suit yours, is their personality one that you feel comfortable around?).

At this initial meeting you should always ask to see multiple examples of work, preferably an extensive example of at least two couples weddings. This includes all of the ‘in-between’ photographs of the day to ensure that you’re not just viewing the best selection of edits.

A photographer who has been servicing the bridal community for a significant amount of time will most certainly have reviews and testimonials. Ask to speak to some previous clients of the photographer so that you can gauge the experience from a first-hand perspective.

Ask as many questions as humanly possible. This ensures that there is no miscommunication at the wedding or afterwards, if it’s in writing it’s even better. You may think that ‘photojournalistic’ means one thing, but your photographer could think that it means something entirely different. The best way to ensure everyone is on the same page is to clearly explain the wants and needs of both parties, ideal shots, important family members and picturesque landscapes.

Finding, securing and trusting a wedding photographer should not be a difficult or hard task, it should be fun and enjoyable. If you ever have any questions on what makes a great wedding album, be sure to get in touch.

Happy Thursday!

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Posted on 02 May, 2015

I’ve always said that the reason I love weddings is because it’s the one day that every single bride gets to feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.”

How do you trump tradition and achieve the closest thing to eloping without starting WWIII? We weigh in on the difficult decisions for couples who prefer minimal wedding guests or the prospect of eloping.

There are some brides out there who were made for big wedding celebrations. You know exactly who I’m talking about. That girl who bought wedding magazines before she was even 18 and whose favourite movie just happens to be either ‘Man of Honour’, ‘The Wedding Planner’ or ‘Bride Wars’. The bride that loves the idea of hundreds of guests, a huge, incredible venue and a reception evening that happens to make NYE look dull. But for others who prefer to binge eat in front of the TV on a Saturday night, this extravagant type of celebration probably isn’t up your alley.

Like a puffy princess dress and bling galore – some brides love it and others just prefer simple and subtle. Everyone has different tastes, but what happens when your tastes and preferences include cutting back the guest list or having no guests at all?

Some brides, are extremely private and prefer to keep their wedding day strictly to immediate family members. Others, are more than happy to have a guest list that exceeds 400 guests.

I’ve always said that the reason I love weddings is because it’s the one day that every single bride gets to feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. But what if feeling beautiful doesn’t include having eyes on you here, there and everywhere? What if you want the smallest of celebrations but don’t know how to break it to your family without hurting anyones feelings?

It’s a situation that is all too common for some brides-to-be, who feel the pressure to agree to the requests and preferences of others. This is especially the case when financially you don’t have to contribute to the wedding and your parents/in-laws have decided to cover everything – perhaps even including 50+ guests that you’ve never even met. Offering to cover a large portion of the wedding costs is no longer expected of parents, but it’s a beautiful gesture all the same and one that anyone would be grateful for. But how do you negotiate the numbers, the venue, the decorations when others want to be involved and have an opinion? How do you break it to your parents that, even though they would love to have their friends from England and have offered to pay – you would prefer to keep your guests strictly to family only?

How do you tackle the conversation when you’re telling your parents that you don’t want their brothers, sisters, cousins or friends to attend your wedding without ruffling any feathers? Sometimes it’s not an issue of how much an event costs, but rather that you want a private wedding to keep the ceremony and reception intimate and informal.

I’ve always said that a wedding is a time for both the bride and groom to express their love and commitment to each other in front of those that they care about – and it most certainly is. But sometimes, your parents and your extended family want to share in your happiness and experience this special day with you.

It might not be the most comfortable experience to imagine, walking down the aisle in front of hundreds of guests – but every single one of them is there to support you, to celebrate with you and to show you that they want to contribute to as well as be a part of your happiness. If you’re an only child or the only girl out of 5 boys, your parents and in-laws are going to want to show off their new son/daughter-in-law (and their future grandbabies).

It’s natural for relatives to get emotional about invitations and guest lists for weddings, but remember that it’s not because they aren’t thinking about or respecting your wishes – it’s because they love and care for you and can’t imagine not being a part of your day. If it makes your parents happy and it doesn’t bother you both, why not?

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Posted on 24 Apr, 2015

April has brought with it a fresh chill and a taste of the cold seasons to come. What you might not realise though, is that this is actually the most cost effective time to tie the knot as venues release specials, deals and promotions that make it hard to choose any other time of the year for your wedding.

As my research continues, I wanted to summarise the best deals for 2015 to get an idea of what 2016/2017 may look like in terms of packages during the colder seasons. So if you’re looking for something affordable and a little different, mid-year may very well be the time for you to get hitched!

First off, is the beautiful Baxter Barn located in Baxter. A bespoke location where both a ceremony and reception can take place as well as a marquee wedding if you’re up for it. In peak season, this beauty will set you back $5000.00 + GST for a Saturday evening inclusive of 5 hours hire and a BYO theme. The location does offer packages, however this is their basic Saturday night, peak-season fee.

If you were prepared to brave the chill, the website advertises that a Saturday night in off-peak season (classified as MAY – JUNE – JULY or AUGUST)  is only $750.00 + GST for the same experience. Packages are available for food and beverage, or you can always opt-in for the BYO and plan your own unique cocktails and menu!

The Brighton Savoy is one of the best places to plan a wedding with little notice, with frequently advertised special offers to take advantage of. The Wellington Room has a current advertised package for 50 guests at $4399.00 which includes the standard 5 hour reception, the honeymoon suite, three course dinner for all guests, staff and hostesses to assist through the evening, decoration, unlimited wine, beer, soft drinks, coffee/tea and the cutting and serving of the wedding cake. What’s even better is this offer goes all the way through until December 2015, which means it doesn’t have to be a winter affair if you don’t want it to be.

Not getting married before December 2015? That’s alright, for $4699.00 you can get the same package but from January 2016 through until December 2016 – even for a summer wedding!

If a mid-week wedding is more your style, The Brighton Savoy currently have a Seaview Room special up until September 2015 with 80 guests from $8000.

Another excellent choice to look at during the colder months is Sails On The Bay which offers a $115 per person (all inclusive) winter special from April through until September 2015. This includes either dinner with canapés on arrival or cocktail party packages that allow for more space. This includes personalised printed menus, signage, feature entry with a floral display, coffee/tea, 5 hour premium beverage package, personalised signage at the venue with beach floodlighting.

There is also the option of a Winter Lunch wedding which runs from 12-4pm and can be snapped up for $100 per person for an all inclusive celebration.

Still not your style? Try the Overnewton Castle, built in 1849 and set on five acres of gardens. Their current Winter Wedding Special (minimum of 80 adult guests) is only $95 per person which includes 30 minutes canapés, an entrée, main, dessert and basic beer, wine and soft drinks. The venue comes with the standard 5 hour duration, photography rights, gold candelabra centrepieces and table linens.

Of course there are plenty of other venues to consider and next week I’ll give you some other tips on special packages that might be exactly what you’re looking for.

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Posted on 16 Apr, 2015

It’s one of the most anticipated moments of the event, where all eyes will be set on you both; just not to watch you at the alter. This time, everyone will be watching you perform one of the most awkward moments with your partner that you will ever encounter – the first dance.

Some take it very seriously and heavily invest in a magnitude of expensive classes. They choose to enjoy the journey with their partner, picking up a hobby that they both enjoy together. They experiment with the salsa, rumba and the traditional waltz – pulling out all the stops to show their guests just how hard they’ve been working. However, if you’re the type of couple who can’t contain yourselves when asked to hold hands with a dance instructor, prefer to spend your Saturday nights watching re-runs of Breaking Bad or will always choose the outdoor cinema over the indoor alternative (rain, hail or shine) – it might be time to reconsider tradition.

A few years back, couples began incorporating an upbeat second half to their routines that would usually result in a few giggles but was still traditional to an extent. We’re talking about a nice and relaxed Waltz, followed by a bubbly change of pace and some pretty memorable dance moves. Since then however, these types of routines have almost become the norm, which begs the question of ‘What does a couple have to do to stand out from the crowd?’

As an engaged woman in my mid-twenties, I wanted to let you in on a little secret of mine. You see, my partner and I are not what you would refer to as a ‘cool couple’. We’re offbeat, but not in a hipster or indie way. When we’re forced to take something seriously, it all falls apart & we can’t even take ourselves seriously. It’s like this – Imagine how awesome you were at 15. Do you have that image in your head? Well that’s us. Awkward and weird, pimples and all. So we thought, if our guests know that we’re not that traditional, co-ordinated type of couple – why we would try to mould ourselves to fit the bill? Our guests are going to have a good laugh at us regardless, so we may as well give them reason to.

So our plan is this. Picture Biggie Small’s “Hypnotize” (you know the one – ‘Biggie oh biggie oh can’t you see? Sometimes your words just hypnotize me’), gold chains, red caps and hi-tops – does this give me an excuse to purchase Isabelle Marants? Belly hi-fives, some ‘get lows’ and a lot of twerking. It would be the whole deal. We would choreograph the entire dance ourselves, with two goals in mind: To make our guests laugh and to have a blast and a good laugh at ourselves while doing so. It is a party after all!

I guess what I’m trying to get at is the day is going to be a representation of you both as a couple and there is no point in doing something that makes you both look and feel uncomfortable. Just like any other aspect of the day, even if it’s happened at every single wedding you’ve been to, it doesn’t mean that you have to conform to it. Not everyone is going to enjoy dancing the waltz or gazing into their lover’s eyes to a James Blunt lullaby. Some of us lovebirds just want to get down and dirty with Biggie on the d-floor and celebrate the big day.

 

Bride and Groom enjoying their first dance on their wedding day in Melbourne