Real Wedding: Thomas and Joanne


We love a good surprise wedding at Just as Planned and the surprise wedding of Thomas and Joanne is no exception.

Thomas and Joanne have been together for 10 years and wanted to do something a little different for their wedding, so their chose to surprise their guests!

Guests arrived to their house expecting an engagement party and were floored when they found it was to be their surprise wedding.

The theme was garden party, with lots of florals, food and drinks flowing. Take a look at these stunning photos

Thomas and Joanne

Thomas and Joanne Thomas and Joanne Thomas and Joanne Thomas and Joanne Thomas and Joanne Thomas and Joanne 154756657 154757438

Thomas and Joanne Thomas and Joanne Thomas and Joanne Thomas and JoanneThomas and Joanne

Dress: Raffinato Bridal Flowers: Moss and Fern Photographer: Alana Blowfield Shoes: Etsy Jewellery: Etsy Bridesmaid Dress: Review Men’s Suits: Connor

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20 brides-to-be, 20 money saving wedding tips


Getting married is a pricey affair but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways you can slash the cost of everything from your bridal gown through to the bonbonnieres.

Financial comparison site, Mozo.com.au, asked hundreds of brides-to-be to share their top cost cutting tips for their big day.

From the thrifty bargain hunting tactics through to the cheeky cost cutting methods, here are 20 money savings tips from 20 brides-to-be:

Invitations

  • “Design your own Save the Date card and Invitations and get them printed from Vistaprint”: Marie
  • “Only invite those who you know you won’t be sorry you invited in 20 years time!”: Kathryn                                                                                                           

Photography

  • “Do a pre-wedding shoot. Without guests around, it takes less time (and costs less). On the day itself, get a relative to snap important moments”: Kate
  • “We’ve asked friends to take turns taking happy snaps of our wedding and upload the photos onto our instagram account! Saves on a photographer!”: Candice

Bridal gown

  • “Save on an expensive wedding dress by recycling and buying a retro vintage dress instead”: Seyon
  • “Buy your dress from eBay USA – beautiful brand new designer dresses for under $500!”: Faria

Shoes

  • “Every bride needs something borrowed, why not be specific and borrow your wedding shoes? Today glitsy heels are very accessible”: Sian

Ceremony

  • “Plan a sunset ceremony on a weekday eg. Friday as this provides a cheaper venue cost”: Liz
  • “We are doing a morning wedding and ceremony for close family and friends only, and making a lot of our own decorations”: Jess

Food

  • “Instead of gifts, ask family and friends to bring a plate and have a picnic in the park after the wedding”: Sarah
  • “Cooking your own meals with your partner will ensure you not only have fantastic food but also at $10 a meal who can go wrong?”: Karley

Alcohol

  • “Our friend home brews so is brewing the whole bar for our wedding saving us hundreds of dollars!”: Hannah

Cake

  • “Ask for a ‘celebration cake’ rather than a ‘wedding cake’ and try chain bakers like The Cheesecake Shop or Michel’s Patisserie”: Julia

Flowers

  • “I am cutting out the middle man and am befriending a flower farmer, creating my own bouquet and supporting a local grower”: Candice
  • “IKEA sells amazing artificial flowers. One shopping trip and a couple of YouTube clips has saved me $600+ dollars. My beautiful bouquets are perfect!”: Toni
  • “For the wildflower look, keep an eye out for flowers that grow along the sideways of the freeway/highway! Also, baby’s breath is cheap too!” : Peta

Decorations

  • “Make decorations from stuff you can get from op shops. For example I am going to put pebbles and a candle into a jar for the table decorations”: Jacinda
  • “I have spent 3 months folding paper flowers to create a beautiful bridal table backdrop for my reception. Resources have only cost me $6”: Danielle

Bonbonnieres

  • “We spent $40 on a custom-made cookie cutter for gifts for the guests – much better than a corkscrew each or something”: Hannah
  • “Use a free app to personalise and print individual wedding favour gifts for all of your guests!”: Alisa

For more thrifty tips for your big day, head on over to Mozo’s wedding hub.

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

How to make a DIY flower crown in 5 simple steps


Our good friends from FreshFlowers.com.au have put together a great DIY post on how to make a flower crown.

If you don’t remember the heady days of the 60’s then you might not know what a flower crown is and why in the world you might want to make one. For those of us who were young and flamboyant in the 60’s however, we remember these whimsical and girly flower crowns with affection.

So it was quite a surprise to realise that floral crowns are making a big comeback with young girls today and that just about everyone wants to be seen wearing one of these fabulous floral creations.

They look absolutely beautiful on blushing brides and you can match them to your wedding dress and to the bride’s dresses as well. You don’t have to keep them to weddings though, because they bring a fresh and girly feel to just about any happy event.

Making your own floral crown is really easy if you have a ready supply of flowers in your garden. Otherwise, if your garden is bereft of flowers, then you can simply order flowers online and have it delivered in Melbourne or any other cities across Australia.

So grab your girlfriends and have a wonderful day making these beautiful floral crowns for yourself and each other.

  1. You need to collect your supplies together which includes, flower wire, tape and wire cutters, as well as a selection of fabulous flowers and some greenery.

Measure the circumference of your head and add about 10cm, cut the wire and bend the ends over to form a circle big enough to sit on your head. Then wrap the tape along the wire, making sure that you cover all of the floral wire (you need to wind the tape around the wire a couple of times).

  1. Decide whether you want to make a full crown or a half floral crown, then select the greenery and tape this to the wire, making sure to cover all of the wire where you want to add flowers (half or a full crown design). You will have to tape each of the greenery stems about 3 or 4 times around to make sure they stay in place nicely.
  1. Make small bundles with the flowers and tape them together
  1. Once you have covered the wire with the greenery, select your flowers and trim the stems leaving about 10cms or so to make it easier to attach the flowers to the wire.
  1. Arrange your flowers along the greenery covered circlet and tape each stem in place with the floral tape (3 or four times should do it).

The design of your floral crown is limited only by your imagination – wear them to weddings, parties, family get-togethers and even dates.

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A little wedding planning advice from Jaime King


OK so this just happened and I am beyond excited.  Today (it’s a Sunday here in Australia), just sitting on the couch looking through Instagram and I see a beautiful post from the ever delightful Jaime King, so I decided to write a comment and ask if I could interview for my little wedding blog.

Not expecting a reply but less than 20 minutes later i get a notification about a reply from Jaime King.  Well you could just pick me up off the floor. This is no ordinary comment but a heartfelt and genuine quote.

It is rare for a celebrity to take the time out of the their busy schedule and family time to comment to fans and also to provide advice for free.

I agree with everything thing Jaime has suggested especially around how a wedding is a celebration.  In my previous blog I talked about how you need to remember why you are getting married.  A wedding is for one day however you should be wanting a marriage that lasts a lifetime.

Wedding advice from Jaime King

“Savor every moment, relax and enjoy, don’t be pressured into doing or inviting anyone that doesn’t uplift you, no matter what tradition states.  It is a day of your dreams becoming reality, you don’t need a lot of money to make something beautiful. 

Choose a place that is naturally gorgeous, with gardens, lake or the sea, or natural flora around to save on flowers etc.

A candy bar is an easy fun way for take home gifts.  buffet, buffet, buffet.  Karaoke machine!!!  The more simple the better

And most importantly a wedding is a celebration of the spiritual union, it is sacred, not an obligation to please others.

Make a list of what is most important to you to spend on and where you can save.  And if you feel cornered by any people pleasing patterns, elope! LOL!!”

Until next time

Happy planning everyone

xo Christine

Wedding on a Budget


Cash strapped couples can feel a little left out of the decadent wedding game.  There are so many different ways you could spend a fortune on the wedding of your dreams.  Luckily, having a budget does not mean that you need to abandon all your dreams.  In fact, it can keep you focused and mindful of the things you really want to make your special day.  Here are some tips.

Invitations

weddingonabudget-inviteBespoke invitations are beautiful but the costs really add up especially if you have a large guest list.

If you print out your invitation on the computer, it will look a bit corporate and dull.  That is until you unleash your creativity (and a bit of pinterest inspiration).  You do not need to be a graphic artist to pick out some cardboard and ribbon and other embellishments to bling it up a little.  Most of us are capable of doing a bit of gluing, cutting and bow tying with a bit of practice.  The benefit is that the choices are endless and you will come up with truly unique invitations.

One of my friends inspired me to handwrite my invitations.  She said that her mother did not like computer generated invitations and so she handwrote all invitations to her 21st birthday party.  I taught myself calligraphy from a book and, after a few practice attempts, I handwrote each and every invitation to our wedding (we had 120 invitees!)  It meant that our invitations looked like they cost thousands when in fact they were less than $1 each.  I would only recommend this for the truly dedicated and organised but I did find it therapeutic after I got into a rhythm and I learnt a new skill I have used on birthday cards since our wedding.

Flowers

A florist told me when I got married that it is flowers, after the Bride, that draw the most attention at a wedding.  Although all wedding vendors will say that about whatever it is they are selling, I tended to agree with her.

While florists can do truly beautiful arrangements, it is not necessary to have professionally arranged flowers.  We bought enormous bunches of wildflowers from the markets on the morning of our wedding.  My mother tied bunches of them for me and my attendants and put some in large vintage cream cans my parents-in-law had for the ceremony.  They were very striking and cost less than $50.

If you prefer more polished flowers, I went to a wedding where the Bride and her attendants carried a single red rose and there was one on each table at the reception.  Elegant, simple and classy but it would not have broken the bank even with the highest quality roses. weddingonabuget=flowers

Food

To some people food is more important than it is to others.  However, if you have people travelling long distances for your wedding, you will need to make sure that there is enough food for your guests.  Grumbling tummies after spending the day with you does not make for well wishes.

You can save a lot of money on catering by having a cocktail reception rather than a sit down meal.  Many couples baulk at this idea because it seems too informal.  Ironically, the most formal society weddings in England are cocktail style.  You just need to make sure that there is enough food and there are plenty of chairs available for people to sit down if they need a rest.

If you do want a sit down reception, try getting a quote from your preferred reception centre for a “function” rather than a wedding and asking if you can set up the tables yourself.  You may find that the quote is significantly lower.

Wedding cake is often wasted.  The tradition of giving each guest a piece of the cake as they left is well and truly dated.  Most guests just left it in their cab or in their pocket and forgot about it.  Why not get your wedding cake to double as dessert?  You are not limited to fruit cake and you can have more than one type of cake.  Some people now have wedding cakes made out of wheels of cheese.  You can present different cakes with the same icing to create a more traditional wedding cake.  I have seen Brides present their wedding cakes on boxes under satin or velvet to create a tier effect if your cake is too soft to stand on top of each level.  Homemade cakes can look more professional and polished if you decorate them with flowers rather than amateur piping.

The Dress

Specialist wedding dress shops tend to be very expensive.  One of my friends wore a beautiful cream silk designer label dress she picked up in a high end boutique for $600.  Expensive for an evening gown but very cheap for a wedding gown.

If you have been sketching your dream wedding dress since you were a little girl, ask around for recommendations on home based seamstresses.  You would be astonished to find the quality of tailoring available from home based businesses.

Other Ideas

Why not put together a list of “extras” that you would really like if you could only afford it.  Guests will undoubtedly be asking what you want as Engagement and/or Wedding gifts.  If they know that you dearly wanted a string quartet, a soloist, hand crafted chocolate truffles as bonbonniere or a vintage Rolls Royce wedding car they may be able to get it for you.  Your cousin might play in a quartet, your Great Aunt might love to make your bonbonniere and your best friend’s parents might be members of a vintage car club.

 

Bio

Kate Schwarz is the developer of Gift Club – an App for iPhone with an Android version coming soon.

Gift Club is an all purpose fully customisable gift registry on your phone.  You can add anything you like to your wish list – traditional wedding gifts, cash, honeymoon activities, someone to make the wedding cake…

After the wedding, you can use the wish list for birthdays, Christmas, baby showers…  You just keep your wish list current and it is searchable whenever anyone wants to buy you a gift for any reason.  There is no risk of causing offence because the wish list is searchable and people will only look it up if they have already decided to give you a gift.

The App is free and can be downloaded here https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/gift-club/id760018890?mt=8

Check out Gift Club on Facebook here www.facebook.com/GiftClubApp

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3 simple ways to add colour to your next event


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1.
I was so blessed to share in the special day of my best friends wedding last year. 

Instead of having table numbers the Bride and Groom had different colours for each table. 

It was a perfect way to add a splash of colour and individuality to their special day.

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2.
Using flowers is one of my favorite ways to add colour to any event.  This beautiful display of flowers adds style and a pop of colour without being too over powering. 

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3.
Thinking outside of the square and adding colour by using coloured crockery is very effective.  I always recommend using napking rings and your best silverware to add a touch of glamour.

Until next time,
Happy Planning everyone
xo Christine

A Little Delight


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A unique way to display your favourite flowers.

 So hard to just choose one.

My favourite flowers are Peonies, Roses and Gerberas.

What are your favourite flowers?

Uniqueness… Always a Challenge


Guest blogger Mary-Anne Lowe  – CEO Of  BRAMLEIGH RECEPTIONS shares her views on today’s Weddings.

In the wedding industry, the term unique is thrown around constantly.  Nuptials are constantly looking for that elusive unique entity that will make their wedding and reception shine like no other.

The obvious one is the bridal gown and over the last two decades, I have seen a sea of diversity in the gowns that brides choose to look unique.  Flowers, being seasonal, are often a hard one to captivate in the ‘unique’ basket, but brides give it a red, hot go!

Sometimes, it is the intricate elements of the wedding and reception that give uniqueness a whole new meaning.  I am often very impressed by the level of details a couple gives to the quality of their Bonbonniere or favours.  Gone are the days of silver cake slicers with a bag of almonds or an ornament which will eventually gather dust.

These days, couples are very creative with their favour investment.  Just recently, I noticed my staff putting beautiful glass jars filled with personalised printed smarties on the tables in preparation for the wedding.  Wow what an impact and talking point for the guests.  These smarties were printed with a special announcement and were printed on pink and blue smarties.. You can only imagine what the surprise message was for the guests !  Very unexpected but also very exciting!

 smarties in jar

One of the new trends which I am sure will be the next big thing is the smash chox which are a chocolate box filled with your favourite lollies, and the concept behind them is that your guests get to enjoy their treats and eat the box too! I can’t imagine too many of these will be left over at the end of the night. Check out http://www.chocolateworks.com.au

Contemporary brides are also lifting the bar in what they give to their husbands on the day as a gift and vice versa.  I used to cringe when a puppy was pulled out of a basket with a white ribbon to be given to the bride as a gift!  Fortunately, that fad is long gone and we are now seeing a range of gifts that are more personal, private and sometimes just for the eyes of the newlyweds.

On the wedding day, the most important piece of jewellery given is the wedding ring, but often the groom will surprise the bride with beautiful pair of earrings, bracelet but I find the most treasured gifts are those that can’t be bought with money, it’s the ones where the bride or groom leave a card and notes for them to find on the wedding day, or a bride making a packed lunch of his favourite sandwich for the wedding day to make sure he has something to eat.  It is these moments that bring  a tear to my eye and are the reason why there is no better industry to be  part of.

www.bramleigh.com.au

Until next time,

Happy Planning Everyone!

Product of the week


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Our birdcages are so versatile.   Fill with fresh flowers or candles for a stunning centerpiece or use it as your wishing well. Available now @
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