Birthday Cake Inspiration

We love all special occasions at Just as Planned and if you are planning a birthday take a look at some of these delicious, mouth watering cakes and cupcakes we have found to help get you inspired.  Best of all all of this cakes are made by Australian cake designers.

Cake sisters - pink princess castle birthday cake

Pink princess castle birthday cake by Cake Sisters

Cakes 2 Cupcakes

Sesame St by Cakes 2 Cupcakes

The cupcake co - Anzac

Anzac cupcake from The Cupcake Co

Sweet confessions - butterflies

Butterfly cake by Sweet Confessions

Planet cake - Transformers

Transformer cake by Planet Cake

Rubys Cakes - pirate

Pirate cake by Ruby’s Cakes

Images from the website of the cake makers.


5 things they don’t tell you in the wedding magazines

5 things they don't tell you in the wedding magazines

5 things they don’t tell you in the wedding magazines

  1. You will disagree, upset or not please at least someone during the planning process

This is perfectly natural considering you have to answer a million questions and make a million or two decisions about your special day and everyone will have an option (or two or three).

Advice:  Remember your wedding day is about celebrating your commitment to each other.  Don’t lose sight of this during the planning process.

  1. Check, double-check and triple check your vendors

Having great vendors will make your wedding day go seamless.  Don’t be afraid to check out your vendors by seeing proof of their work or by asking other vendors for their suggestions or testimonies.

  1. Have a backup plan

Always have a backup plan especially if you are planning an outdoor wedding.  You can never predict the weather.

  1. Have a good checklist

Keeping track of all of the to-do tasks is not easy.  Being organised is a key step in ensuring you keep everything on track.  Also don’t be afraid to delegate, planning a wedding is hard work.

Tip:  Have a Wedding Day run sheet. A wedding day run sheet will ensure your Bridal party (maid of honour, bridesmaid, fiancée, best man, and groomsmen) and your vendors e.g. ceremony, reception venue, florist, photographer and the car hire know when and where they need to be.   Most of all once you have completed your wedding day run sheet print a copy for each of your suppliers and the bridal party.

Download our FREE wedding day checklist here

  1. You don’t get champagne when trying on your dress.

I have watched so many wedding movies and you see the bridal party sitting back and sipping on a glass of champers when in reality this is generally not the case when you are dress shopping.

You will generally only wear your wedding dress on your wedding day, so when it comes to the dress fittings, take your time and enjoy each fitting and show off your dress.

Tip:  When you are dress shopping, take your time and don’t book in too many appointments in one day.  Also allow some time at the end of the day for a well deserved break and a drink or two.

The Perks of an Intimate Restaurant Wedding Reception

Everyone has a favorite part about a wedding; for the bride it may be the dress, for the groom is may be the party, and for the guests it could be the food. Either way weddings are a wonderful celebration and an opportunity to make your guests feel warm and welcome, but with the cost point of large weddings these days, the intimate restaurant wedding reception is gaining a lot of popularity.

Instead of deciding between Chiavari chairs and crisp white linens, couples are looking for a more personal wedding experience, filled with close family, good friends and great food. Restaurants make the perfect venue for an intimate wedding reception since food is often the biggest aspect.

And what do restaurants do best? Food.

“Our team loves creating specialized and prix-fixe menus for wedding receptions because it creates excitement for our team and allows us to get creative with the bride and groom”, says Chef Hart of Riverside Restaurant in the InterContinental Adelaide Hotel.

When couples pick their favorite cuisine or take the time to work with the chef to create a personalized menu they play a part in planning. They are able to share their tastes for cuisine with their guests and it can make the evening even more special.

Chef Hart states, “Surprisingly food costs are lower when chefs have more control”. Since chefs have relationships with vendors and have experience with seasonal meats and produce they can help guide the menu planning and save you money.

Overall the price point for a restaurant reception tends to be substantially lower. Restaurants are well equipped with tables, chairs and dinnerware, as well as fully stocked bars which help with all-inclusive pricing, saving you the costs of rental equipment, service, and bar service. This can help leave money for splurging on other things like that designer dress or premiere photographer.

Couple’s aren’t losing out on the intimate vibe either, by choosing private dining room options or full venue rental the reception is exclusive to those invited. An exclusive guest list can ensure that the stresses of co-mingling are avoided and each guest will get along fabulously. Couples also have the opportunity to talk to their guests in depth without having to do “rounds” throughout the night.

Another bonus is “décor du jour”. Restaurants are often expertly decorated by interior designers which add allure and panache to the space. Many restaurants will allow guests to bring flowers and small centrepieces to customize the space easily by transforming it into the picture perfect wedding.

For those considering a more intimate wedding the restaurant is the ideal wedding reception venue.

Canapes at Riverside Restaurant

Canapes at Riverside Restaurant

Champagne Bucket at Riverside Restaurant

Champagne Bucket at Riverside Restaurant

Celebrity weddings 2014

There is nothing like a celebrity wedding to help you with some inspiration.

Image from US weekly

Image from US weekly

Lauren Conrad and William Tell tied the knot along the coast of California on Sept. 13. “What a perfect way to start our lives together; surrounded by the people we love most,” the couple told “Us” in a statement.  Lauren wore a Mark Badgley and James Mischka ivory gown. (details from US weekly)

Image from US weekly

Image from US weekly

Melissa Etheridge and Linda Wallemn said I do at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, Calif., in May 2014 wedding. (details from US weekly)

Image from US weekly

Image from US weekly

Kim Kardashian and Kayne West said “I do”.  After a whirlwind wedding weekend extravaganza in May 2014. The couple had their rehearsal dinner in Paris, France, followed by their formal wedding ceremony in Florence, Italy at the Forte di Belvedere the next day. (details from US weekly)

Image from US weekly

Image from US weekly

Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory actress)  wed Ryan Sweeting (the tennis pro) after dating for six months in a New Year’s Eve Wedding in Southern California. (details from US weekly)
Hollywood’s golden couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt married at the family’s magical French home, Château Miraval in a family affair. (details from Hello magazine)

Image from Hello magazine

Image from Hello magazine

Hart of Dixie actress Brandi Burkhardt, 35, donned a stunning tiara at her June 29 wedding to jeweller Douglas Kazanjian in Annapolis, Maryland. (details from

Image from

Image from

Olivia Palermo married model and fashionisto Johannes Huebl in an intimate ceremony at a Bedford, New York, park on June 28. The bride pieced together an unlikely Carolina Herrera creation for her big day: “a simple cream cashmere sweater with scattered ostrich feathers and chic white shorts with a full tulle skirt overlay that cinched at the waist in layers of satin and silk and featured a high slit in the front with floral details along the hem,” she described on her website. She finished off the look with sapphire blue Manolo Blahnik pumps. (details from

Image from

Image from

“The Bachelor’s” Sean Lowe, 30, and his winner, Catherine Giudici, 27, wed in a live television fairy-tale wedding on Jan. 26 at the Four Seasons Resort – The Biltmore in Santa Barbara, California. Lowe teared up as his gorgeous bride walked down the aisle in a Monique Lhuillier gown and as they said their vows in front of the world. Lowe’s father officiated the ceremony. Credit: ABC (details from

Image from

Image from

Ashley Tisdale, The High School Musical alum knew the look she wanted for her Sept. 8 wedding to French: rustic and romantic. While her groom, a musician, looked sharp in a dark modern suit, Tisdale evoked a fairy tale princess with a flowing white ball gown and flower crown. The idyllic theme continued at the venue, near Santa Barbara, California, where guests were seated at long wooden farm tables covered with lace runners and garden rose centerpieces. “Best day of my life! Introducing Mr. and Mrs. French,” she posted on Instagram the next day. (details from people magazine)

Image from People magazine

Image from People magazine


Neil Patrick Harris: When you wait eight years to marry your love, a simple city hall wedding just won’t do. So Harris and Burtka flew to Italy and, surrounded by their nearest and dearest, including their 3½-year-old twins, Harper and Gideon, wed in an intimate ceremony on Sept. 6. Plenty of friends helped out: Harris’s How I Met Your Mother director, Pam Fryman, officiated, and there was a special musical performance by – wait for it! – Elton John. (details from people magazine)


Image from People magazine

Image from People magazine

Jessica Simpson: It was like something out of a fairytale for the longtime couple during their magical July 5 nuptials at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California. The bride wore a custom Carolina Herrera gown and veil, while her groom donned a charcoal gray John Varvatos tuxedo. “It’s so surreal,” Simpson told PEOPLE after the event. “This has been something we’ve wanted ever since we met.” The lovebirds were joined by Simpson’s mom, Tina, and her sister, Ashlee, as maids of honor and Johnson’s father, Stephen, as the best man. But it was 2-year-old flower girl Maxwell and 1-year-old ring bearer Ace that got the standing ovation walking down the aisle!  (details People magazine)

Image from People magazine

Image from People magazine

Putting your best foot forward

Most girls when planning their wedding have already their vision for their dress, colour theme and style, however have you considered what shoes you will be wearing?

Finding the right shoes can complement your dress and most importantly you need to make sure that you feel comfortable and able to walk down the aisle in them.  My biggest fear when I got married was tripping over and forgetting my vows.  Thankfully this did not happen or this would be a completely different story.

So what do you need to know before you go shopping for your wedding shoes? I popped over to one of my favourite sites Shoes of Prey and found some great advice on selecting the perfect style.

Firstly, lets look at the style of the shoe – flats or heels.  Shoes of Prey have the perfect way for you to select the right heel for you.

Flats – If you are like me and clumsy and scared that you will trip over whilst walking down the aisle you could consider wearing flats.

Heels – However if you need a little bit more height, consider a kitten heel.  If you need (or love) the your heels than the 6 inch platform is for you.

No matter what style you choose my best advice is to wear them in as there is nothing worse than on your wedding day to have blisters and be uncomfortable.

Now lets shop!

As an alternative, what about having your shoes to be your something blue?

As an alternative, what about having your shoes to be your something blue? Image by

So devine, Image by

So divine,
Image by

All that glitter Image by

All that glitter
Image by


Wedding traditions may be a thing of the past

Mary-Anne Lowe from The Riverstone Estate shares her advice on getting to the Ceremony.

wpid-img_15003378950191.jpegLong gone are the days where brides were obsessive about having something borrowed or blue, modern bridal couples are creating their own traditions.

Most bridal couples simple do what they want on their wedding day to satisfy their personal tastes and lifestyle.

Weddings are now viewed as a huge party without the rigid order of getting engaged, getting married, buying a house, having children.  Many couples have their order!

Not all bridal gowns are full length or even white, with most brides not wearing a veil.  Traditional fruit cake wedding cakes have been replaced with separate cupcakes or chocolate sculptures.

The traditional weekend wedding has now extended to any day of the week which couples are flocking to.

The only real tradition that seems to stay is the bride changing her name but there is a significant number who keep their maiden name.

Even bouquet throwing at the end of the reception has been tweaked.  The bride often hands over the bouquet to the couple who have been together the longest.

Brides are also opting to have both parents walk them down the aisle.

Whatever the changes, bridal couples are really personalising their big day that makes it right for them.

A little YouTube delight

Visit our new YouTube channel for inspiration for your next special event


Australia’s first bridal expo for 2014 is January 4-5, the Ideal Bride’s Ultimate Wedding Spectacular, will sashay into Melbourne Crown Palladium for two days, complete with over $1 million dollar giveaways and jaw-dropping bridal exhibitions.

Australia’s first and finest bridal expo will be giving $1,000 “Ideal Bride Money Vouchers” to every bride- to- be that attends this unique wedding expo.

Extra Prizes are valued at over $50,000 as there will be dozens of prizes on offer including a choice of a $13,500 wedding ceremony and reception package for 80 guests for a formal and sit down reception at Bram Leigh Reception in Croydon or a cocktail party for 120 people at Riverstone Estate Wines, Yarra Valley.

Just some of the extra prizes on offer throughout the weekend are:

*  $4900 photography and video from Front Cover Photography
*  $4000 Wedding Gown from Eva Tamala Couture.
*  $1000 Wedding Cake from Montease Creative Cakes
*  $4,900 Photography from Alex Pavlou Photography
*  $1200 Photo booth from OMG Photo Booth 
First Aussie Bridal Show for 2014

First Aussie Bridal Show for 2014

The Ideal Bride Ultimate Wedding Expo Spectacular, on from 4th January to 5th January, will showcase more than 100 exhibitors, four world class fashion parades, featuring world-class fashion designers, Darb Couture, Eva Tamala Couture, Nifi Bridal, Arlene D’Monte Fashion etc. There will be hire car and limousine displays plus a suite of bridal exhibitors, set to whet the appetite of all Melbourne brides and making it one of the largest bridal expo in Australia.

With more than 1,500 brides-to-be expected through the turnstiles, the Ideal Bride Ultimate Wedding Expo Spectacular will simply be a show stopper.

According to founder and Managing Director of Ideal Brides, Mick Bentham, this bridal expo is the ultimate bridal experience, against the backdrop of the luscious grandeur of the Crown Palladium.

“Being the first bridal expo in Australia for the calendar year, we have got to be the best. And with such a premium mix of exhibitors, Melbourne brides will need the two days to get fully ensconced in the Ideal Bride expo in all its glory.”

Mary-Lowe, Managing Director of Bram Leigh Receptions and Riverstone Wineries, and one of major exhibitors of the expo, believes that bridal expos are still loved and needed by contemporary brides.

“Despite the internet being an important information source, brides still crave to wholly experience and research in a more organic and hands-on approach,” she said.

“As a business, it is fundamental to be seen ahead of the pack, so we at Bram Leigh and Riverstone, had to be part of the Ideal Bride Ultimate Wedding Expo Spectacular.”


DATE: Saturday 4th January to Sunday 5th January 2014

TIME: 10am to 4pm

VENUE: Melbourne Crown Palladium

ENTRY: $15.00 for a two-day pass


call 07 3821 0188

Boys Will Be Boys………

So you’ve got some little men coming to your wedding, maybe they are in the bridal party and you are thinking – OMG boys………

Firstly don’t panic, secondly make sure you remember, “boys will be boys”

boys vest suit setSome points to consider with most boys:

–          they usually like to chat during the vows (evenly loudly)

–          they can’t sit still for long periods of time

–          they hate posing for endless photos and may pull faces

–          when hungry or thirsty they tend to whinge (loudly….)

So now we have those few things out in the open and you are obviously cool with boys, you may have to decide what they are wearing.

Whether they are in the bridal party or not, its likely you will get a phone call asking that exact question and for boys the answer is easy… a suit!


boys wedding suits

I don’t know about you a wedding is a celebration of love and commitment and it just seems respectful to me to look savvy, no matter your age.

Nowadays its easy to suit the little and big tackers up without making too much effort. B

There are heaps of variations in boys suits from colours to styles and you don’t even have to go anywhere with our boutique cute4suit offering all the boys formal wear you will need online at

A word of warning if they are under the age of 6, l would definitely go a vest suit set and skip the jacket. It’s just another thing that will annoy him (and you when it comes to photos)

Vests are awesome, they sit beautifully over a shirt and make it look neat, whilst looking fab in photos and most importantly a vest, lets “boys be boys” giving them freedom to run around, swing on trees and wear themselves out.

Ohhhhhh  – and don’t forget to leave some games, toys or activities at their table and get them up to dance…..

boys black shirt and grey pants


These YouTube proposals, is it really what a woman wants?

Mary-Anne from Bram Leigh shares her thoughts on You Tube Proposals.

These YouTube proposals, is it really what a woman wants?

bride and groomWe have all clicked on the links to You Tube videos showing a flash mob proposal, or who can forget the one where the girl was told her boyfriend had died but then he appeared from nowhere with a ring, but in reality is that the type of (very) public proposal you would want?

Sure there is a small number of the population who would love to become a You Tube star by this means, but to many, a marriage proposal is a private and meaningful moment in your life that should be kept as a private occasion between the two of you.

With Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and every other electronic social media platform, everyone is going to know in 10 seconds or less, but doesn’t this all take away from a big formal announcement at a special occasion?

We speak with brides and they all love to tell their proposal story, and the ones that are the most heartfelt (in my opinion) are the ones that were a surprise.  It doesn’t matter if the proposal was made on the lounge room couch, sky diving or on a holiday – as long as it was a surprise it was the best proposal they could have wanted.

The ones where the bride had to wait 5 years, or pretty much go and buy the ring, or they “do it together” is not really what we dreamed about growing up.  I am sure the fairy tale was meet prince charming, fall in love, 1 carat diamond is produced and we live happily ever after.  It is not meet prince charming, wait 5 years for him to want to marry me, drag him by the shirt to the jeweller and then decide on it together.. but maybe its just accepted that the world has changed and this is how it is now!