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.

How to Create a DIY Candy Buffet


Candy buffets are still popular for weddings, engagements and birthday parties.  A few years ago we put together this post on how to create a DIY candy buffet and we wanted to share it again for you.

Here are 6 simple ideas to help you create a beautiful, fun and yummy Candy Buffet for everyone to enjoy.

 Glass Jars or Candy Vases

You don’t need to spend a fortune on Jars or Vases.   Most people have a vase or two at home.  Also make a few phone calls to your Mum, Sister, Aunty or Friends and find out what vases they have hidden away.  A cost-effective alternative is to visit your local flea markets or thrift stores.

You can always find a great bargain there and it wont break the bank.  Also consider using decorative glasses for items such as lollipops and musk sticks.

Scoops and spoons

Whilst out searching for your vases, also look out for some great scoops or spoons.  You may not need one for every jar as you can scatter then around the table.

Another great option is to visit your local kitchen store and purchase some white serving spoons.  White is great for any colour scheme you have chosen and you can always use them again at home.

  Favour Bags and Boxes

There are so many options available now.  Favour bags are cost-effective and are available in a variety of different colours and styles.  To add some extra flair, consider using items such as Asian take away container or Popcorn Cartoons.

 

Candy

Now for the fun part, Candy.  You can still be really creative when purchasing your candy.  Consider your style, theme and colour scheme when purchasing your candy.  When buying Candy, I stick to the brands I know.  This way you know it tastes good and your guests will enjoy.

You should allow about 250  – 300 grams of Candy per guest.  If the Candy Buffet is going to be used instead of dessert I would suggest adding just a little be more.

Some of my favourites are:

Candy Buffet - Selecting the perfect candyJelly Beans:  Everyone loves Jelly Beans.  You can purchase Jelly Beans in single colours or as a mixture of different colours.  They are very affordable and a lot goes a long way.

Strawberries “n” Creams: A classic. Great for weddings, kids birthdays and even Pink themed baby showers.

Conversation Hearts:  A great way to get everyone talking.  Printed message on delicious candy.

Milk Bottles: Another Classic, but great for any theme of colour scheme.

Lollipops:  Available in different shapes and sizes that can be matched to your theme.  Consider using lollipops to add some height and a splash of colour to your Candy Buffet.

Decorations

This is where you can let your imagination go wild.  Decorating the Vases or Jars are a great way to add some extra colour and WOW factor to the Candy Buffet.

One of my biggest tips is to go out and buy some sticky dots.  They are a small round double-sided dot which can be used to hold up your ribbon around the Vase or Jar without ruining the surface.

Here are my favourite decorations:

Table Cloth

A printed table cloth or runner can add that extra bit of flair to your Candy Buffet.  An affordable option is to visit your local fabric store and ask them what is currently on special or for what is on the cutting floor as you don’t need a lot of fabric.

Paper Lantern

Have them used as a hanging decoration above or place on the table o add some more colour.

Table Scatters

Simple and effective way to grab everyone’s attention.  Available in varies colours and themes there is one to match every event.

Telephone books and Novels

I am not going crazy.  Simply wrap in decorative wrapping paper and you can place your Candy Jars or Vases on top to add some extra height to your Candy Buffet.  They are great as they are sturdy and you can unwrap and use again for your next event.  Another great decorating idea is to visit your local second-hand book shop and purchase some classic hardcover books.  Glue a number together and use them as a feature stand for your biggest vase or jar.

Check with your local craft store as the best glue to use.

Placing

There is no right or wrong way when setting up your Candy Buffet.

The first step is to grab all of your empty decorated vases and jars and place them on the table.  Then spread them out ensuring that your guests can access each vase easily.  This is  so they are not having to lean over and potentially knock over the vase or jar.

Once you are happy with the layout, then you can place the Candy in the Vase or Jar.

Now enjoy.

Happy Planning Everyone!

 

Riverstone – a diamond in the Yarra Valley


We welcome back Maryanne from Bram Leigh to introduce us to Riverstone

It is always very exciting as an Australian businesswoman and entrepreneur to discover a rough jewel, that when polished, has so much potential, it is overwhelming.

For the past 12 months, I have been on the lookout for another events space, a deserved sibling to the already successful and established Bram Leigh in Croydon.

When you least expect it, life gives you wonderful surprises, and for me, it was discovering the mind-blowing property which is Riverstone Estate located in the Yarra Valley heavens. Featuring jaw-dropping panoramic views of the Yarra Valley, Riverstone Winery has transformed into something special.

Over the last month, my team has worked tirelessly in creating an event space which oozes glamour, intimacy and uniqueness. We have painstakingly chosen the finest of furnishings and fittings to complement the beauty and grandeur of the building at Riverstone.

What we have ended up with is such a beautiful area to host any family celebration or corporate function. The Yarra Valley has been beckoning for a property with this innovative style and look. We cannot wait to share it with you. http://www.riverstonewine.com.au/ riverstone5   riverstone1 riverstone3   riverstone1 riverstone6

7 Steps to achieve your Inner Balance (part 2)


Welcome back to Michelle from the Bride Guru.  In case you missed Part 1, click here

Imagine YOU, the Bride-to-be taking the 7 Steps to achieve Inner Balance

Step 2- Nourish your body, taking good loving care of you body.

“Your body is precious. It is our vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha

Our first step was all about self care, which will contribute to learning to love yourself. When you practice enough your imperfections, will be less of a burden and you will see that you are blessed.

Another way to love yourself, is by nourishing your body. Your body is your temple.

  • You can find a healthy balance. You’ll feel better and have more energy when you develop healthy living habits, for you body that come so naturally and feel so normal you hardly think about them. You can do this by being regularly active and keeping yourself well nourished without dieting. Take care of your health, but don’t obsess over it or struggle for perfection. Find a satisfying balance of wellness and wholeness that works for you at this busy time in your life and helps you live the way you want now and after the wedding.
  •  Now is the time to stop obsessing over your external appearance and obtaining an ideal body. Many Brides decide as soon as they get engaged to go on a crash diet or starve themselves. This is not the answer. Instead focus on the way being healthy makes you feel and what it gives you. No need to work on perfecting yourself. In fact, it can be self-defeating, and a big waste of time. Perfection does not exist in the real world. Many women who struggle with eating, weight and body image spend inordinate amounts of energy trying to change their appearance. They make their bodies their life’s work; they put their lives on hold “waiting to be thin.” Don’t waste time and emotions staring at pictures of perfect bodies and wishing to be one of them. If you need visual inspiration, find photos of you at your best, not someone else at their best. Your body is okay. Your size is okay. The good news is that you can change how you feel about your body by changing your self-talk. If you are especially concerned over weight, understand that your body has an opinion of what it should weigh at this time in your life. It regulates weight around a set point that may be nearly impossible to change. Recognise how destructive the obsession to be thin. Your weight is not a measure of your self-worth. Accepting this can give you new freedom.

You are AWESOME, just the way you are. You are unique, capable, loveable, you have special talents and strengths. What if you just let all the negativity go and accept and respect yourself right now. Honour yourself, accept your size, shape and yourself unconditionally.

There are many tools that can be used to help you reframe the way you look at exercise or dieting, to make it more enjoyable and fun, something that will become a part of your new healthy life with your dream man.

Feed your body nourishing food so that you always feel your best, and remove the worries of disease and poor health.

Some quick and easy tips to put into place this week Brides:

  • Don’t Drink Too Much Coffee/Caffeine: When burning the candle at both ends, people often find themselves using coffee drinks to jump-start themselves in the morning, and a pattern of all-day coffee drinking often ensues.
  • Don’t Eat The Wrong Foods: Due partially to increased levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) stressed people tend to crave foods high in fat, sugar and salt.
  • Keep some fruits and nuts close by and snack when you’re hungry. Don’t forget the veg, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and carrots are great snacks!
  • Don’t Skip Meals: Another thing overly stressed people tend to do is skip meals. Have you ever found yourself rushing out of the house without a healthy breakfast, or realising you’re starving in the late afternoon because you didn’t eat enough? Consider a juice for a healthy start to the day (green smoothie = Energy!)
  • Don’t Mindlessly eat: Stress also makes us prone to emotional eating, when we eat when we aren’t hungry, or eat foods that are bad for us. Have you found yourself mindless snacking on junk food, or eating when you aren’t hungry, because of stress?
  • Don’t Forget your water: It’s easy to forget to drink your water. Do you get a full eight glasses per day, or even four?
  • Forget Fast Food: It’s easier to just drive through a fast food place or go to a restaurant than to go home and cook something. It is both expensive and Unhealthy.
  • Don’t go on a crash diet or starve yourself: Some people intentionally eat less food than they need, or try dangerous fad diets in order to lose the excess weight. Diets that aren’t balanced with fruits and vegetables, protein and healthy carbohydrates can often be bad for your health in the long run, even if they look attractive short-term. And once your big day is here, can you sustain this healthily???

Exercise will benefit your body in many ways relieving the daily stress of life,to release endorphins, to fight anxiety, and to feel good. Meditation can help you get in touch with your emotions, to connect with the bigger picture, and to feel at peace. Release negative thoughts about your body and to focus on the good that it brings you every single day. Make a daily list of your accomplishments and your gratitude. Just like in the rest of life, when we focus on what we don’t have or what we haven’t accomplished, we feel frustrated and ready to give up. Listing your achievements instead puts your focus on what is going right, which in turn motivates you to do more.

Focusing on loving and caring for yourself first will most likely lead to the external transformation that you’ve always wanted. Once you begin to treat yourself with the respect and care that you deserve, the habits needed for physical transformation develop naturally. Real beauty encompasses what’s inside, your zest for life, your fun-loving spirit, a smile that lights up your face, your compassion for others. It’s being friendly, generous and loving, having strength and courage, and respecting yourself just as you are.

You’ll want to nourish your body because you are grateful for it, so healthy choices will come with ease. When an unhealthy choice makes you feel awful, you won’t stand for it because you know you deserve better.

Before you know it, you’ll see your body transform, and not just in fat/muscle composition, but a healthy glow from the inside out.

Look in the mirror, smile, and be happy with what you see. Your beauty shines from within and happy Brides are the prettiest.

Food glorious food.. you hope!


Guest blogger Mary-Anne Lowe – CEO Of BRAMLEIGH RECEPTIONS shares her views on  Food glorious food.. you hope!

 

One of the most common questions asked by brides to be is in the search for the perfect reception is “can we taste the food?

This is always a curly question for some venues as if they are not a wedding specialist venue, they may be too busy running conferences or a restaurant to be able to dedicate events to ensuring that the bride and grooms are confident in their menu choices.

Every couple has the same niggling thought when looking at venues, how do I know the food is great.  No one wants the wedding to be remembered as the one where everyone was starving and had to go to maccas on the way home from the wedding.

Menu selections vary widely depending on the style of reception you are considering; however the majority of weddings are comprised of a three course sit down meal with alternate service for the guests.

Spring and summer weddings – the client often looks for a lighter entrée option as it may be much warmer, so thai beef salad and salt and pepper calamari are both options that the guests will love and not over indulge themselves with.

Main course sees the traditional options of a red and white meat, however Herb crusted rack of lamb is always top of the list. Desserts vary from a Pavlova covered with fresh berries and double cream, citrus tart or my personal favourite crème brulee.  Winter weddings generally sees a choice of much heartier meals, lots of creamy soups to warm the guests, (alternative soup shots are a great pre dinner alternative)  lamb shanks and hot desserts feature strongly including sticky date pudding.

Special dietary requirements are catered separately so when considering the menu options, look at what two meal options would the majority of guests enjoy?

Trust me, it’s not the random fish dish or the most expensive sounding one.  Aim to choose meals that the guests will recognise and enjoy.  An important note about dietary requirements is to ensure that your invitation has the option for the guests to rsvp any special meal requirements.

You may be surprised to know that up to 10% of guests may have a special dietary requirement and some may not have heard of vegetarian, lactose, gluten-free, fructose are just the tip of the iceberg, and the only way that the wedding meal is not compromised for those guests is by providing the relevant notice to your wedding venue.

www.bramleigh.com.au

 

A Little Delight


image

Create a unique table runner by using old photos.

Perfect for a wedding,  21st, baby shower or anniversary.

Wedding Day Emergency Kit


On your Wedding Day be prepared for all possible situations with this great guide to a 

Wedding Day Emergency Kit.  

Pack all of this in a tote for ease of access during your special day.

Wedding Day Emergency - Share the Love

Fashion Fixes

□ Baby wipes.  Perfect to clean up and marks grubby hands and is generally safe to use on all types of fabrics.

□ Extra pantyhose. Keep a spare pair for yourself and the bridal party.

□ Extra earring backs.

□ Mini sewing kit.  Keep some extra buttons, needle, thread and small scissors.  Match thread to your bridal party’s colours and if you are unable to match the buttons, clear buttons are the best  option as they allow for the fabric colour to shine through.

□ Sticky tape and hemming tape.  Sticky tape is a great alternative if you can not get access to an iron to use the hemming tape

□ Double sided tape or Hollywood tape.  You can also use double-sided tape to fix you hems if you run out of sticky tape

□ Lint brush.  Quick and easy way to get rid of any pet hair and dandruff

□ Clear nail polish. Great to stop runs in pantyhose.

Beauty

□ Make up and make up remover.  You could also get hold of some make up samples as these are a great size and won’t take to up much room.  If you are having a make-up artist, ask for some extra product for touch ups.  You can place lipstick on the end of a cotton tip to reapply later in the day or night.

□ Compact mirror

□ Tweezers

□ Tissues

□ Cotton balls and cotton tips

□ Nail file, nail polish removers and nail polish

□ Good moisturizer, something you can use on your hands, face and body

□ Brush, comb and hairspray.

□ Bobby pins and hair ties

□ Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash

□ Deodorant, perfume and aftershave.

Keep on Dancing

□ Antihistamine

□ Your prescription medications

□ Pain relievers

□ Band-Aids.  These are a must.

□ Snacks and water.

□ Breath mints

□ Party feet gel inserts or party feet ballet flats

Creating a Mood Board


When I was studying for my Diploma of Interior Design many moons ago, I was first introduced to the concept of mood boards.

A mood board is a type of collage that may consist of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition of the choice of the mood board creator. Designers and others use mood boards to develop their design concepts and to communicate to other members of the design team and clients.

When you start planning an event such as a Wedding, Engagement or Birthday party, creating a mood board allows you to see different colours, textures and ideas put together.  You don’t need to have it over complicated just use some cut out from a magazine or favourite pictures you have found on the internet.

A mood board is also a great way to ensure that your decorators, florists, reception venues or wedding planner has a clear vision of how you envision your special day.

Whilst searching the web, here are some of my favourite mood boards. Hopefully this will help inspire you for your next event.

Until next time,

Happy Planning Everyone

xoxo Christine

Fresh Green

cakes and flowers

 

 

 

Winter Wedding Mood Board

How to Create a DIY Candy Buffet


Everyone loves Candy.  Create a Sweet memory at your next event with a Candy Buffet for you and your guests to enjoy.

Here are my simple steps to create a beautiful, fun and yummy Candy Buffet.

 

 

 Glass Jars or Candy Vases

You don’t need to spend a fortune on Jars or Vases.   Most people have a vase or two at home.  Also make a few phone calls to your Mum, Sister, Aunty or Friends and find out what vases they have hidden away.   A cost-effective alternative is to visit your local flea markets or thrift stores.

You can always find a great bargain there and it wont break the bank.  Also consider using decorative glasses for items such as lollipops and musk sticks.

Scoops and spoons

Whilst out searching for your vases, also look out for some great scoops or spoons.  You may not need one for every jar as you can scatter then around the table.

Another great option is to visit your local kitchen store and purchase some white serving spoons.  White is great for any colour scheme you have chosen and you can always use them again at home.

  Favour Bags and Boxes

There are so many options available now.  Favour bags are cost-effective and are available in a variety of different colours and styles.  To add some extra flair, consider using items such as Asian take away container or Popcorn Cartoons.

 

Candy

Now for the fun part, Candy.  You can still be really creative when purchasing your candy.  Consider your style, theme and colour scheme when purchasing your candy.

When buying Candy, I stick to the brands I know.  This way you know it tastes good and your guests will enjoy.

You should allow about 250  – 300 grams of Candy per guest.  If the Candy Buffet is going to be used instead of dessert I would suggest adding just a little be more.

Some of my favourites are:

Candy Buffet - Selecting the perfect candyJelly Beans:  Everyone loves Jelly Beans.  You can purchase Jelly Beans in single colours or as a mixture of different colours.  They are very affordable and a lot goes a long way.

Strawberries “n” Creams: A classic. Great for weddings, kids birthdays and even Pink themed baby showers.

Conversation Hearts:  A great way to get everyone talking.  Printed message on delicious candy.

Milk Bottles: Another Classic, but great for any theme of colour scheme.

Lollipops:  Available in different shapes and sizes that can be matched to your theme.  Consider using lollipops to add some height and a splash of colour to your Candy Buffet.

Decorations

This is where you can let your imagination go wild.  Decorating the Vases or Jars are a great way to add some extra colour and WOW factor to the Candy Buffet.

One of my biggest tips is to go out and buy some sticky dots.  They are a small round double-sided dot which can be used to hold up your ribbon around the Vase or Jar without ruining the surface.

Here are my favourite decorations:

Table Cloth

A printed table-cloth or runner can add that extra bit of flair to your Candy Buffet.  An affordable option is to visit your local fabric store and ask them what is currently on special or for what is on the cutting floor as you don’t need a lot of fabric.

Paper Lantern

You can string them together and hang above the candy buffet or have them placed on the table.

Table Scatters

Simple and effective way to grab everyone’s attention.  Available in varies colours and themes there is one to match every event.

Telephone books and Novels

I am not going crazy.  Simply wrap in decorative wrapping paper and you can place your Candy Jars or Vases on top to add some extra height to your Candy Buffet.  They are great as they are sturdy and you can unwrap and use again for your next event.  Another great decorating idea is to visit your local second-hand book shop and purchase some classic hardcover books.  Glue a number together and use them as a feature stand for your biggest vase or jar.

Check with your local craft store as the best glue to use.

Placing

There is no right or wrong way when setting up your Candy Buffet.

The first step is to grab all of your empty decorated vases and jars and place them on the table.  Then spread them out ensuring that your guests can access each vase easily.  This is  so they are not having to lean over and potentially knock over the vase or jar.

Once you are happy with the layout, then you can place the Candy in the Vase or Jar.

Now enjoy.

Happy Planning Everyone!