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.

French Inspired Wedding Style Look


This week I was inspired by the gorgeous gowns from Anna Campbell in particular this stunning “Trish” Gown from the Gossamer collection.

The Gossamer collection is inspired by French romance and features a classical elegance.   Combined with some Just as Planned style and some beautiful accessories we are sure you will love this French inspired look.

You can view more of the Anna Campbell bridal range here

Anna Campbell Bridal Gossamer Trish back view

Anna Campbell Trish Gown from the Gossamer Collection

Anna Campbell Bridal Gossamer Trish

Anna Campbell Trish Bridal Gown from the Gossamer Collection

David Jones Lancome Tresor in Love

Lancome Tressor in love perfume from David Jones

Jodie Florist Sydney Wedding Flowers

Flowers by Jodie McGregor

Badgley Mischka Scarlett shoe

Badgley Mischka Shoes “Scarlett”

Tiffany and Co Fleur Earrings

Tiffany and Co Fleur Earrings

Images from the website of each vendor.

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.

Celebrity Wedding: Vanessa Williams + Jim Skrip


At Just as Planned we love a unique and beautiful wedding and the wedding nuptials of Vanessa Williams and Jim Skrip on the 4th of July is no exception.  What I personally love is Vanessa and Jim chose an Australian company to design and create their wedding invitations.

The Egyptian-themed wedding was held in Buffalo USA.  The wedding ceremony was held at St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church and the reception at The grand Statler City. Complete with belly dancers and drummers, this wedding was filled with music and love.

Giant Invitations were personally contracted by Vanessa to design her Egyptian-themed invitations for her wedding that took place in Buffalo on the 4th of July.  Vanessa was so pleased with the outcome of her invitations that she has given Giant Invitations access to her exclusive wedding photos.

I am extremely excited for Just as Planned to showcase these fabulous invitations.

The Briefing:

The team at Giant Invitations first needed to understand the tone in which Vanessa wanted to set for her wedding day. By gaining an insight for this they were able to capture the formality and ambiance needed in order for them to begin our creative processes.

Giant Invitations asked Vanessa to create a Pinterest board where she can pin all her wedding inspirations. The pins consisted of her desired styling, wedding theme, décor, etc. All these elements were essential in contributing to the designing and outcome of her wedding invitations.

After initial communication between Giant, Vanessa Williams and Jim Skrip, we finally locked down the colour scheme. Implementing some burgundy with a gold contrast to match their Egyptian floral theme; our designs were set to match their nuptial celebration. Giant came to learn that their romantic Egyptian floral theme was actually a representation of their international love affair where the couple met in Egypt three years prior to their wedding. With this in mind, we were adamant that this needed to be a very special design.

You can read more of the design process here from Giant Invitations.

See the wedding video of Vanessa and Jim from Shutter Dream Studio Cinema here

Vanessa Williams Wedding Invitations by Giant Invitations Vanessa Williams Wedding Invitations by Giant Invitations Vanessa Williams Wedding Invitations by Giant Invitations Vanessa Williams Wedding Invitations by Giant Invitations Vanessa Williams Wedding Invitations by Giant Invitations Vanessa Williams Wedding Invitations by Giant Invitations

 

Emerald Green and Gold Style Look


With only a few weeks left of winter I am so ready for the warmer months to come our way and I am looking forward to adding in some colour into the wardrobe. I was inspired by the fabulous gowns from Weddington Way, to style a perfect summer date outfit.

To start I could not go past this beautiful emerald green halter full length dress in lux chiffon featuring a shirred bodice and a set in waistband.  We have added some Just as Planned style and accessorized with dazzling gold.

You can check out other fabulous chiffon gowns and bridesmaid dresses from Weddington Way here

sx-6613-pantone-emerald-front

Weddington Way After six collection

OPI Gold from David Jones

OPI Pineapples have From David Jones

Jimmy Choo from David Jones

Jimmy Choo Louise 85 Glitter Shoes From David Jones

Hardy Brothers Yellow Gold Earrings

Hardy Brothers Yellow Gold Earnings

Gregory Ladner Lucy Glitter Clutch from David Jones

Gregory Ladner Lucy Glitter Clutch From David Jones

Hardy Brothers Yellow Gold and Emerald Ring

Hardy Brothers Yellow Gold and Emerald Ring

Images from David Jones website and Weddington Way

How I turned my passion for sewing into a wedding dress designer dream job


Hi! I’m Jane Yang and I’m a wedding designer and dressmaker in vibrant Brisbane!

The passion for creating beautiful gowns and dresses has been in my family for generations – mine, in particular, handed down to me by my mother.

One of my fondest memories of this blossoming devotion to dressmaking was when I began sewing my father’s trousers at the age of 14. I was a young girl, just learning the trade, but I was quick to make clothes for everyone in my family – as well as the entire neighborhood!

Many years later, I found myself working in the fashion industry. I had an eventful career and moved on as a pattern maker in some of Australia’s most prominent fashion houses.

I thought I was on top of my ambition but soon I realized I wanted to be as hands on as I could… to give my clients a chance to wear couture pieces without the couture prices. And so, Bluejade was born. In my joy to clothe uniquely beautiful women of all shapes and sizes, I finally took the courageous next step in my life and created my very own wedding dress boutique.

Bluejade is my playground where I create elegant wedding gowns that integrate classic and contemporary styles for the bold modern woman.

It wasn’t just THE dream job. It was MY dream job.

And I finally did it because I was inspired and looked ahead.

I never would have expected that little 14-year old Jane would give me the life I wanted. And with her, I am forever grateful.

formal-dress by Blue Jade

Blue Jade

Italian-wedding-dress by Blue Jade

Blue Jade

Wedding dress by Blue Jade

Blue Jade

 

BIO:

Jane Yang, owner of Blue Jade and designer and dressmaker in South Brisbane.

She specializes in elegant wedding gowns and dresses of the highest quality materials and created with the most intricate details. She values each unique client’s personal style and aims to customize each gown to flatter the bride best on her special day.

Blue Jade also offers ready-to-wear formal and evening wear, free wedding consultations, made to order wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses and mother of the bride dresses.

 

Website: http://bluejade.com.au/wedding/

Fb: https://www.facebook.com/bluejade.seamstress

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bluejade_89

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/bluejade89/

 

All photos are courtesy of Carrie Xu Photography

Top 5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue


Like most elements of planning a wedding, choosing the right venue can seem like an impossibly overwhelming task. Add in the fact that the location makes a huge impact on the overall tone of your ceremony and reception, and there’s a lot of pressure on one decision.

So how can you make sure you get it right? We’re glad you asked!

Here are 5 of our pro tips for choosing the perfect wedding venue…

1. Enquire about availability ASAP
Spoiler alert for when you start looking at venues: there are a lot out there. Researching and trying to nail down a shortlist can be the source of one inescapable headache.
That’s why enquiring about availability on your special date from the get go can be such an advantage. Most popular venues have quite a waitlist, so knocking out the ones that aren’t going to be practical due to unavailability can make the decision process a lot easier. It also ensures you won’t get your heart set on somewhere only to have your world come crashing down due to a calendar clash.

2. Think about the amount of work involved
A major factor that couples consider when booking a venue is cost, for obvious reasons. What they might not consider is how much that cost can influence the effort you’re going to have to put in.
You’re already busy planning every painstaking detail of your wedding and reception, so chances are you don’t want to be too hands on when it comes to making your venue look great. That’s why sometimes it’s better to resist the temptation of booking a function hall lined with felt walls and white trestle tables under the pretence of “we can spruce this up!”, and go for a venue that’s already established with a décor that you love.
Besides, we all know how those “easy looking” DIY Pinterest projects actually end up in real life…

3. Carefully consider location
This might seem obvious, but there are some really key factors you should consider when it comes to the location of your wedding. It’s not just about where is going to have a beautiful setting for your photographer to capture (although that’s important obviously).
The main thing to consider is how accessible a location is. As in, is there enough public transportation around? Or, if most of your guests are going to be driving, are there enough parking facilities? Can you budget in providing a shuttle bus from a nearby location? Your friends and family enjoying your special day is most likely important to you, so considering these factors ahead of time can really save you some drama and grumbling guests.

4. Visit at the same time that your wedding will be held
Once you’re past the initial research phase and are starting to physically scout out venues, it’s important to make sure you visit at least once at the same time of day that you’ll be getting hitched. Things like lighting, foot traffic, surrounding noise and more will all be different depending on the time.

5. Inquire about other bookings
Some venues will try to fit as many weddings in one day as possible, which means you could have another booking due before or after yours. It’s important to inquire about this and consider the ramifications when you do; what if the wedding before yours runs over time? What if yours is running over? What’s the maximum time you’re allowed to be in the venue?

The better equipped with answers you are, the better you can narrow down the never-ending list of wedding venues there are to choose from.
If you want somewhere that ticks all of these boxes and more, speak to Karyn at Melbourne’s The Manor On High. The Manor is inspired by 18th century French-Georgian styling and has three luxurious rooms to suit events of all sizes.

Manor on High

Manor on High

The Party Planner in You!! Part 2


Budget and saving money

Setting your wedding budget and how to save moneyKnowing your budget is critical to ensure that you know what you have to work with and gives you some idea how creative you may need to get to stick to your budget.

But outlining your budget into each category (see our budget spreadsheet below), helps you understand if you can afford to bring in additional help such as hiring a catering company or if you will need to rope your friends into help you cook.

When you have your budget outlined, consider thinking about how much you are willing to spend on each item. Be realistic. It may also help if you have had a friend of family member who has recently been married to give you an estimate on what they spent. This will help you confirm that you have allocated enough in your budget or that you need trim some of the items.

 

Here is a mock up on a simple budget spreadsheet you can create in word.

To create a table:

  1. Open up a new word document
  2. Click on insert and select table.
  3. A pop window will open. In the number of columns enter 3 and for the number of rows you can enter 2 and then click ok.
  4. When the table is inserted to add more rows, press the tab key in the last column on the last row
Wedding item Estimated cost Actual cost
Dress $1500
Flowers $500
Boys suits $400
Reception venue

($75 per head x 55 guests) does not include drinks

$4125
Drinks $3000
Wedding cars $800
Wedding photographers $2200
Rings $1500
Wedding night accommodation $350
Hair and makeup $450

Once you have your budget locked down, make sure you stick to it!

This is extremely important. It can be easy to get carried away and keep adding more money into the budget, to have the best of everything however remember you are starting a new life together and you don’t want to be drowning in debt before your marriage starts. It also creates additional stress that you don’t need.

Now for the fun part, how you can save $$ on your wedding.

Some people think that as soon as you mention the word “WEDDING” the cost goes up. Well that maybe the case in some aspects but you must also remember that the some vendors specialise in weddings and experience sometimes will cost extra.

However there are a number of ways you can save if you are prepared to think outside of the box.

  1. Consider hiring a student or less experienced vendor

Photographers, florists and beauticians all start learning their craft in school and are always looking for ways they can refine their skills. You can contact your local school such as a Tafe or beauty school and ask if any of the students would be interested. You can always ask for a trial or to see some of their work.

For example by hiring a student photographer you may only have to pay for their transportation costs and other expenses such as editing time. Most students would then use your wedding day photos as part of their portfolio or towards their credits. This could save you hundreds to thousands of dollars

Photo from Pinterest

  1. DIY

Now this can also turn into an expensive trial as you need to take into consideration trial runs and the cost of the materials. I suggest speaking to all of your family and friends and see if anyone has any hidden talents. You can have a working wedding bee and supply some drinks (be careful not to have too many as it may look good through rose coloured glasses) and nibbles and create your own favours or invitations.

There a number of sites and computer programs you can use to create custom invitations. To be even more cost effective consider sending e-invites. Yes electronic invites. It will save you money on the cost of postage and printing.

Making your own favours such as home-made cookies is another great way to save money. You can also consider giving every some seeds of your favourite flower and attach a hand written note “Watch our love grow”.

Image from Pinterest     3. Decorations

 

This is where you can start to think outside of the box and have some fun.

 

When Jaime King wrote some advice for our followers, Jaime mentioned that you can save money on decorations by choosing a venue that has lots of natural beauty. This is such a fabulous idea and I think it is one area that is overlooked that most. If you think of a ceremony venue such as rose garden, on the beach or in the botanical garden. The list is endless. Make sure you check with your local city council as their maybe a small cost involved or require you to book the space.

 

When it comes to the reception you can add impact, and mood lighting with candles. Candles are cost effective and help create some romance. Before you start buying lots of candles, check with family and friends as they may already have some that you can use on the day. You can also use a scented candle which adds to the ambiance.

 

Another option is using old book pages as a table runner. I love this idea as it creates a taking point for your guests and you can find old books from book exchanges and second hand stores. It will require you be a bit creative to put it together but the best part is it can look rustic so you don’t need to be a crafter to make it.

Image from Pinterest

  1. The dress

 

Now before you start to say “there is no way I am compromising my dress” there are still a lot of ways you can save money.

 

Start by contacting the major wedding dress suppliers and find out when they generally have their sales. During sales you can save over $1000 on your dress. You must be prepared to buy an off the rack design and there may also be an additional cost for any alterations. This can also be a great time to pick up the bridesmaid dresses.

 

Think about hiring. This can be a great way to save money. This should also be an option for the mens suits especially if the groom and/or groomsmen don’t generally wear a suit. Save having all the money just sitting in a closet.

 

  1. Pre loved

 

There are a number of wedding buy, swap, and sell sites on Facebook that you can join.

 

Items are either new or used. You can pick up a items from decorations, candy buffet supplies (glass ware etc) to the dress. You must be prepared to check in each day to see what has been added and popular items will go very fast.

 

Make sure if you say you will buy an item you commit to it.

 

Remember to have fun and think outside of the box and the amount of savings are endless.

 

To see more DIY inspiration follow us on Pinterest and Instagram

 

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.