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

Posted on 09 Apr, 2015

Today is a special day of sorts, that most men etch into their memory to make sure they never forget and most women look forward to so they can eat to their hearts content. We’re talking about the anniversary and not just any old anniversary. Today marks 5 years since my fiancé and I officially became ‘official’ shall we say. It also marks close to a year since his proposal on the Melbourne Star.
On this special day however, I’ve somehow managed to single-handedly attract each and every human being from the corner of the globe wanting to know not only when our engagement will be, but also whether our wedding will actually happen. It seems that the longer you hold off on such a milestone, the more concerned those around you become. As unfortunate as it is, it seems that the delay in our enthusiasm to begin planning our engagement has caused suspicion among friends and family who now suspect that we’re either pregnant and delaying the engagement due to a new addition to the family or that we’re secretly separated and waiting until the spotlight is focused elsewhere in order to part ways quietly. The worst part is, that when we explain that we would like to save a little more money to make sure that the event is even more special – we’re met with suggestions of just having a small party at our own house (which has two tiny bedrooms) or opting out of an engagement and just saving for the wedding instead.

This is right about where my patience runs dry and I begin to wonder why on earth we are waiting if it’s inevitable anyway? Shouldn’t we just get to it and start our lives together? We don’t need anything fancy; it’s just a waste of money – right?

There is no correct answer, because it all comes down to the individual choices of both the bride & groom and what they want. Some couples save for years to be able to enjoy an incredible evening with no expense spared, whereas some couples prefer a low-key event with only close family and a casual atmosphere that is evidently extremely cost effective. In all honesty, I’ve heard of weddings that range from Cinderella-like fairy-tales all the way through to horror-themed occasions complete with Halloween styled accents. The point I’m trying to make is that regardless of when or what you chose to do on your day, it’s exactly that – your day. There’s a fine line between polite conversation with a bride-to-be and enforcing your opinion on someone, whether it be related to timing or cost. Advice is welcomed but criticism is not.

I’m still infatuated with telling people ‘I’m engaged’ because ‘I’m married’ just doesn’t seem to have the same effect for me yet. If I want to feel like Emily Blunt in the five-year-engagement, that’s not a crime and it most certainly is not up for deliberation. If I don’t want to rush things, why would I feel pressured to do so? Although it’s a cliché, it pays to stop and smell the roses every once in a while and that’s the mentality I’m taking on board at this stage of my life. So whether I end up marrying this man of my dreams in a year, 5 years or 20 years – none of it matters to anyone else except us.

Just like some couples can’t wait to be husband & wife, I’m happy over here with my one ring and hubby-to-be – unofficially official and everything in-between.

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Posted on 02 Apr, 2015

Too many couples are often scared away by the mention of Portsea & Sorrento for a wedding venue, not because of the incredible views or the serene nature surrounding the two hotspots but rather because the two little beachside getaways are known for their incredible mansions, exquisite views and a perceived expensive price tag. It’s not a known fact, but rather an assumption based on the already superb choice of venues and restaurants that have been very well received and accordingly rewarded throughout the food & wedding industries.

But what couples fail to do is research the options available, excluding these incredible areas from their venue-scouting list. I’ve had my eye on this secluded beachside café for sometime, and was blessed to have the opportunity of viewing a wedding in action yesterday that truly reflected the beauty of Sorrento.

With 180-degree views of the ocean, All Smiles Café is a bespoke cocktail venue that sits on the peak of Ocean View Beach at the tip of Sorrento. As a venue that moves away from the traditional seated concept, All Smiles manages to create an intimate and engaging atmosphere where each and every guest feels just as important as any other attendee. The large floor plan includes lounge suites and bar tables sporadically placed around a large central fireplace, which extends to an incredible alfresco and what must be named as one of the best views of Ocean Beach or dare I say it, Sorrento itself. The alfresco area provides a refreshing contrast to the warmth inside the venue, allowing guests to experience the sea breeze throughout the evening. The location is truly untouched by any other commercial influences, so enjoying a glass of champagne overlooking the ocean was definitely a highlight to remember.

An incredible positive to such a beautiful location is the ability for the couple to venture out onto the beach for traditional wedding photographs while guests were able to relax inside with canapés and refreshments rather than the usual three-hour wait while the bridal party are accompanied by a photographer to different locations. With the afternoon reaching 29 degrees, guests were presented with Midori cocktails on arrival followed by cheese and fresh fruit platters along with cold canapés. What followed was one of the best cocktail menus I have ever experienced, featuring vegetarian rice paper rolls, sushi rolls, oysters, gourmet beef burgundy pies, gourmet pizza, noodle boxes filled with fish & chips, peri peri chicken pancakes and so many more that we almost didn’t venture near the candy buffet at the end of the evening! The traditional throwing of the bouquet and garter were a highlight towards the end of the night, and the farewells came all to quickly as the couple departed for their honeymoon to Thailand. We, on the other hand were left on an incredible high celebrating the union of a beautiful couple and the start of a very long weekend thanks to the mid-week date.

For those of you based in Melbourne who are interested in exploring the venue more, visit http://morningtonweddingvenue.com.au/ to make an enquiry.

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Posted on 26 Mar, 2015

Next week, I’m attending a beautiful wedding on the Mornington Peninsula, where two of our good friends are tying the knot. My fiance and the groom have been best friends since they were young boys, so the sentiment is certainly there and I wouldn’t be surprised if tears were shed on behalf of my future hubby.

As my fiance is in the bridal party as a groomsman, he will be travelling to the venue with the bridal party. I, on the other hand will be going solo and driving myself. Just so that we’re clear, this does not bother me one bit and it is actually quite relaxing knowing that I won’t be pushed out the door with half-done make-up and hair. When contemplating the logistics of how I am travelling to the location, where and what I’m doing in the interim between the ceremony and the reception – I started to ponder the realities of actually attending events ‘Han Solo’. It’s been a long time since I’ve attended anything by myself and it had me thinking about guests who are unable to bring their partners to a wedding as they hadn’t received a ‘plus one’.

So why wouldn’t a couple invite a guests significant other to their wedding? At first, I can completely understand that you might be a little nervous or even scared of attending an event alone, but the trick here is to remove yourself from the situation at hand and think logically about the reasons why a couple have not included a plus one on an invitation. Do they want a small and intimate wedding with only very close friends and family? Are they budgeting and can’t afford the additional cost of several plus ones? These reasons can come into play and none of them should be taken personally. Remember that a couples wedding is about the celebration of their love and commitment to each other rather than the names on their guest list. There are already such significant sacrifices that need to be made to make family members happy, that when it comes to friends’ partners – budgets have already been exceeded and there simply is no room to move numbers. It’s easy to forget that weddings in peak season can often put you back for as much as $250 per head and once you have committed to a budget, it’s hard to justify why one guests partner should be able to attend and not the other.

What should be celebrated however is the fact that the couple want to enjoy their day with you and would be honoured with your presence – after all, they are your friends and you should want to celebrate the occasion with them, in company and without. The likelihood is that you will know someone else in attendance, so why not get in touch prior to the wedding and arrange to go together?

Aren’t we all growing tired of the disagreements we hear purely based on table numbers, family members proximity to the main table, seating arrangements and guests lists? I think it’s time we remembered the real reason we all come together for such a celebration – and no, it’s not for the free food.

 

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Posted on 19 Mar, 2015

Recently I had the pleasure of being asked to be a bridesmaid for my beautiful cousin Steph’s wedding. Luckily, Steph is as stylish as ever – so you can imagine the relief I felt knowing my first experience as a bridesmaid would be a good one. Steph selected beautiful custom made-to-measure elegant and sophisticated black, floor length gowns (future brides – this is the epitome of perfect and you should most certainly take a leaf out of Steph’s book).

For all that know me, if I could live in black for the rest of my life I would die a happy woman. The best part about Steph’s decision to choose this exact design and colour, is the fact that it genuinely looks beautiful, suits all body shapes and will satisfy even the pickiest woman you could find. Unfortunately though, this story isn’t as common as one would hope – with quite a lot of brides selecting bridesmaid dresses that they themselves would prefer not to wear.

I have heard of stories where remarks have been made that bridesmaids dresses should be unflattering in order for the bride to stand-out from her bridesmaids (because, let’s face it – the bride blends in when she is usually the only one wearing white *cough*). That aside, I believe the undertones of these types of conversations are around the mentality that women need to be in constant competition with each other to be the most attractive woman in the room (presuming that your bridesmaids are wanting to steal the spotlight from you).

Now, I want you to answer a question without thinking too much about it. Presuming you’re the bride with your friends as bridesmaids, would you want them to look just as beautiful on your wedding day?

Half of you answered ‘Of course!’ and you can go ahead and pat yourself on the back. The other half of you scrunched up your face and cringed – I know the feeling. It’s your wedding, so why wouldn’t you want to be the most beautiful woman in the room? Surely that can’t be a crime? And no, it most certainly isn’t. However, forcing your best friends into dresses that are completely unflattering is just cruel.

For the life of me, I will never understand why some brides insist on their bridesmaids wearing a ridiculous style and colour of dress that cannot possibly suit any form or figure. ‘I Am Woman!’ and we love our bodies, but sometimes something too short (for all of the legs 11 out there) and something too busty (for all of the women who have had the pleasure of wearing a minimiser) – is simply not comfortable to wear and quite frankly, it makes us feel awful. And hey, as women we’re pretty humble (*cough*) so we don’t want to spoil your day by whining and complaining about the dresses you chose, but spare a little thought for us prior to scheming with your devious persona about fluoro-green floor length gowns with shoulder pads (just don’t do it).

Research the different types of dresses available and see what type of shapes you yourself would want to wear. Spare a thought for legs 11 before deciding on a mini dress, and you might love a plunging neckline but I can assure you that it is humanly impossible for anyone over a DD to feel like they are wearing clothes. Think of my beautiful cousin Steph, who chose something elegant, classic and timeless (crisis avoided).

So, as a future bride myself – how do we feel about orange my beloved soon-to-be bridesmaids?

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Posted on 12 Mar, 2015

I promised and here it is, an alternative to Minted.com and some further insight into the world that is online (bridal) shopping. Zazzle (www.zazzle.com.au) is a modern and boutique alternative to the invitation services you would expect to receive through a freelance designer or a paper and design business that people you know may have already utilised. Judging from the name you can already tell that Zazzle is a pretty modern and progressive online invitation provider, and for this reason I wanted to explain how these online ‘shops’ work.

Zazzle admits that its team are ‘united by a passion to re-define commerce’ and are from all different walks of life. Similar to the set-up of Minted and other similar stores, Zazzle has a designer program whereby freelance designers can upload their work/designs for free and earn a royalty from the designs they created. This is the leading factor as to why I have always been drawn to websites similar to this, as I am a big fan on supporting independent designers and freelancers, especially in an industry that is overrun with lots of big players. It’s also a great opportunity to see work that you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to select from – all the while standing out from the crowd and remaining unique in an industry that consists of mainly traditional ideas, products and themes.

The added benefit of working with Zazzle, is that you can essentially build and customise your own design, which definitely helps if you aren’t able to locate what you are looking for. This can also come in handy if you have completed artwork that you commissioned from an artist or a friend.

There is no denying it – the designs on Zazzle are beautiful. You have the option of faux gold foil and an array of designs including watercolour, nautical, rustic, art deco, geometric, calligraphy, chalkboard and boho! The search functions are quite easy to navigate and you can search designs via a specific designer, colour, theme or even season. Generally Zazzle invitations will set you back between $2.65 and $5, with the most common pricing for a great design at just under roughly $4.
One of the other benefits in using a website like Zazzle, is that you’re able to create additional ‘pieces’ to go with your order, which is where some of my current ideas come into play. I had always wanted to completely customise whatever space we chose to hold our engagement in by adding boutique, personalised decorations that really stood out and added the finishing touches to the event. I also wanted to make sure that whatever I did end up selecting would be able to be kept for some of our family and close friends as mementos of the evening. My idea was to either create themed cushions to be used for the event on whatever lounging there is available or alternatively if we do end up going with a rustic/outdoor theme, personalising several throws with our own custom design or photographs on.

Ultimately I’m very fond of Zazzle & websites of a similar offering. They allow you to become creative without having to sacrifice too much of your own precious time. Every bride wants to feel involved in the style and general feel of her engagement or wedding, but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Thanks to websites like Minted and Zazzle, our creative spark ignites and we have the opportunity to get our hands dirty and start to enjoy the planning process.

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