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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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.

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

 

The Party Planner in You!!! Part 1


Some people may find planning a wedding or an event overwhelming or they just don’t know where to start.

Over the next few weeks I will writing a series on how to draw out the party planner in you.  Each post will help you feel more confident and help you be more creative with your wedding or event planning and most of all how to save $$$.

I encourage to share you thoughts and journey with us by posting comments below and feel free to ask any questions you may have each week for me to answer I try my best to answer them all.

Part 1

All of my friends know I love entertaining and when I get the opportunity to plan any type of event, you can always count me in.

Sometimes when trying to be creative, I get a bit carried (I say a bit, my friends and family would much more than a that) with thinking of outside of the box and how I can add that extra WOW factor to the event.

I hear so many brides say…”All my friends are engaged or recently been married, how can I make sure that our wedding day is unique?”

If you are like me I am addicted all of the wedding shows, my favourite show is “My Fair Wedding” hosted by David Tutera.

From watching the show (and yes I record every single episode) and by planning events and weddings I have learnt that you need to have a concept.

To start creating your concept, I suggest you start by creating a mood board.  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 some wedding planners 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 all 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.

Mood board concept

Example of a simple mood board

As you start to progress in your planning and start to buy some of the decorations, I suggestion you set up a mock-up of your table setting as this will give you an overall concept of the design and feel.

When it comes to adding more, I always remember the Channel quote “Before you leave the house remove one item”. Essentially you can have too much.

Consider taking a photo so you can see the full effect. If you are able to, try to match the lighting that you will have on the day. So many people forget the importance of great lighting.

You can also include your concept and colour scheme into other aspects of your weddings, such as:

  • Invitations
    • So many people forget that your Save the Dates and Invitations are the first glimpse your guests get about the style and theme of your wedding. Make sure you speak to your supplier to ensure that share your concept with them.
    • You can include your colours scheme into your paper colour choice.
    • For the theme, if you are having a rustic country wedding, you could include twine or dried flowers to add that extra touch
Chalkboard Wedding Invitation

If you are a teacher you could consider a Chalkboard Wedding Invitation

  • Bridal party attire
    • If we stick with the country theme, why not include cowboy boots as part of the attire
  • Ceremony and reception venue
    • Having a venue that complements your theme is one of the simplest ways you can add that extra bit of excitement to your wedding day. I highly recommend that engaged couples think outside of the square when looking for venues. Generally every city has an untapped new venue. For example, having your reception in the auditorium of a new high-rise building or on the roof top of a new bar. There are soo many new and funky buildings being completed every year. When you have a venue that matches your concept, you can also spend less on other items such as decorations and lighting.
  • Favour (bonbonnieres)
    • Favours (bonbonniere) are one of the easiest ways you can inject your personality to thank your guests for coming. It could be a card stating you have made a donation to your favourite charity or if you are teachers, you could give everyone a toffee apple. The choices are endless.

Next week we will look at the budget. Don’t get scared as we will also share some creative ways for you to save $$$.

Examples of different and creative favours.

Engagement Shoots: Fad or Fab?


Written by Jess from Mapleberry Photography

You may have noticed your Facebook feed is suddenly filling up with photos of your friend’s engagement shoots. This may have you wondering what it’s all about. I must sheepishly admit that when I started seeing “Engagement Shoots” popping up on my feed I felt my friends were all becoming narcissists who loved photos of themselves. I thought to myself, who needs photos taken of themselves cuddling and smooching on some beach? It all seemed a little OTT to me, that was until I myself became that friend clogging up people’s feeds with my engagement photos.

On the surface it can seem manufactured and unnecessary, it’s true, perhaps a money making scheme by photographers. The reality though, is that to ensure your wedding photos are incredible and capture your wedding day as beautifully as you hope you need to have an engagement shoot. You heard right, I said need and here’s why as a professional photographer I strongly recommend engagement sessions:

Your photographer will spend more time with you both than anyone else on your wedding day. They’ll want you to kiss in front of them and be romantic in general. You want to build a relationship with them so when they turn up on your wedding day you feel like they are a friend rather than a stranger who wants to watch you kiss. You want to feel comfortable with the camera pointing at you and the only way to achieve that is by being in front of it. As you might have guessed this is where an engagement shoot comes in. It’s that chance to practice being in front of the camera before the big day.

Often couples can be really tense and find it hard to be themselves when there is a camera pointing at them, so isn’t it better to have those awkward moments at a shoot that means so much less than your wedding day? There is also the advantage that once you get your photos from your shoot you can see what you look like through the eyes of your photographer, talk to them if there are things you didn’t think reflected you as a couple or weren’t flattering. You will save yourself the anguish of getting your wedding photos back and thinking, I look so awkward in that position or I hate my nose from that angle. What might seem obvious to you is not necessarily to anyone else because we are all sensitive about different things that often others can’t see.

When planning for a perfect day you will have many dress fittings to make sure that dress sits perfectly, you will spend weeks debating who will sit next to who, so why not invest a little bit of time to ensure those photos aren’t of you feeling awkward or shy. Your photos are going to be handed down, they are going to be what you look at after hard week to remind yourself of the good times and you don’t want those to be less than perfect.

Perhaps next time you see your friends engagement session posted on their wall you won’t cringe, you’ll simply understand it’s just practice for their big day and who knows you too might come over to the dark side like I did.

mapleberry photo 1 mapleberry photo 2 mapleberry photo 3 mapleberry photo 4 mapleberry photo 5 mapleberry photo 6

 

 

Brooke and Paul – Real Wedding Feature


Last year I was delighted to work with Brooke and Paul to create their wedding stationery.

Brooke and Paul’s wedding stationery features a classic design and stunning artwork by Aaron Favaloro.

Just as Planned creates unique one of kind invitations for all occasions.  Contact us today for a free no obligation quote via email justasplannedau@gmail.com

Here are just some of the images from their special day as shared in Bride to Be magazine and on Wedded Wonderland.

Wedding stationery designed by Just as Planned www.justasplanned.com.au

Wedding stationery designed by Just as Planned http://www.justasplanned.com.au

Featured in Bride to Be Magazine

Featured in Bride to Be Magazine

image from http://www.weddedwonderland.com.au

5 signs you are becoming a BRIDEZILLA


Are you a Bridezilla?

Are you a Bridezilla?

Do you get the sneaky suspicion you are becoming a Bridezilla?

Wedding planning is hard and stressful and can make the nicest, calmest bride to be into a Bridezilla.

Here are five signs you may be a Bridezilla.  If any of these ring true, take a step back and reflect on why you are planning the wedding.

1.  Are your friends and family avoiding you?

The number of catch ups are dwindling.  It maybe you are talking too much about the wedding. Now we do need to face the facts that not everyone will be a thrilled as you about your upcoming wedding and you do need to ensure that you remember there are other important such as birthdays that will still occur.  Take some time out of your wedding planning and reconnect with your friends and family.  You may also consider having a wedding planning free weekend away your with fiancée.

2. Whine, wine, wine

No this is not a spelling mistake.  When you are planning your wedding are you

a. whining and

b. reaching for the wine?

It is time to regroup and enjoy the planning process.  Your wedding day goes by so quickly so the planning process should be an enjoyable time.

3. You have had a fallen out with your bridesmaid

You have sent an email 10 minutes ago and they have not responded.

This is time is also stressful for the bridal party especially bridesmaids.  When you choose your bridal party also make sure you outline any expectations.  I am not saying lay down the rules but it is important that you let them know if they will have any expenses (will they need to pay for their dress, hair, make up, etc).  This will ensure that your bridal party can start saving and will help eliminate any undue stress.

4. You have a checklist for your checklist

I am a huge fan of the checklist and I get great satisfaction from crossing off an item on the list. However you can overdo the checklist and make your wedding be a more like a drill team.

5. Your budget is out of control

You now want a firework display as you leave and you will get it, no matter what.

Your wedding day is to share your love story with your family and friends.  Will they remember the firework display, maybe but you can still have the wedding of your dreams within your budget.  When planning your wedding stick to your budget, otherwise you will find yourself stressing even more about where you will find the money you don’t have or you will start go without (remember those all important catch ups with friends and family) to find the added money.

Just as Planned has created the perfect wedding day checklist and I want to share it with you for FREE

 

If you find yourself still stressed and need some assistance.

Are you at the early stage of planning a wedding or in count down mode for the big day?

Are you worried that your wedding day will turn out badly or you have missed an important detail?

Just as Planned now offers a 45 minute consultant to help you with all of your wedding planning needs.

For only $49.95 you will receive a 45 minute consultant and $50 worth of wedding planning tools.

To book fill in our contact form below 

 

 

Your FREE Wedding Day Run sheet


All of the planning over the page 12-18 months has all lead to your Wedding Day.  By creating a Wedding Day run sheet it ensures your Bridal party (maid of honour, bridesmaid, fiancée, best man, groomsmen), your 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 run sheet, print a copy of each of your suppliers and the bridal party.

At Just as Planned we have created a blank template for you to completed your own Wedding Day run sheet.

Click here to download your FREE Just as Planned wedding day run sheet

Below is an example of a run sheet and some hints and tips to make sure your wedding day goes… Just as Planned.

  • 3pm ceremony
  • 30 minute drive from hotel to ceremony
  • 45 minute drive from ceremony to reception

Day before:  If you are leaving for your honeymoon straight away, make sure your bags are packed and don’t forget your passport.

8.30am  Shower and wash your hair

Tip: check with your hairdresser first as you may need to wash your hair the night before and put on a button up shirt or dressing gown so that you don’t ruin your hair and makeup later on

9.00am Hairdresser arrives

10.00am Makeup artist arrives. 
 Tip:  Ensure you have the packed your wedding day makeup for touch ups during the day
 11.00pm Photographer arrives
 Tip:  Keep a list of the photos you would like to have done pre and post ceremony
 12.30pm Photographer departs for grooms house
2.15pm The Mother-of-the-Bride leaves with her escort  and the Groom and the groomsmen leave for the Ceremony
2.15pm Photographer heads to ceremony site
2.15pm Wedding cars arrive
2.20pm Depart for ceremony location
2.50pm Arrive at ceremony location 
 Tip:  If you are having an outdoor ceremony and the groom can see you when you arrive, scout for a location close by for any last minute touch ups
 3.00pm Ceremony begins
3.30pm Ceremony concludes
3.50pm Photographs begins with guests and family
5.30pm Guests arrive at the reception – canapes and drinks are served. 
6.00pm Guests escorted to seats
6.15pm MC to announce bride and groom arrival
6.30pm Entrée is served
6.45pm First toast begins
 Tip:  Ensure you have the set list for the DJ, band or reception venue and test the volume to ensure the guest can hear all of the toasts.
 7.15pm Main meal is served
8.00pm Speeches finish
8.30pm Cake cutting time and dessert is served
 Tip:  this is a great time for the bride and groom to being mingling with your guests before your first dance
 9.00pm The first dance
10.30pm Tossing of the bouquet and garter

Submit your wedding to Just as Planned


At Just as Planned we love a good wedding and we would love to feature yours.  We love all wedding, small, large, cute, quirky and of course ones with lots of bling.

If you would love to share your wedding, simply send us the following information to justasplannedau@gmail.com

1. A zip file of your photos.  Photos should be a mix of people shots and the details such as the rings, flowers, cake, invitations, favours and should tell your wedding day story.

2. Provide us with a list of credits of your vendors.  If you can provide us with their business name and contact such as website, Facebook page and phone number that would be great as Just as Planned is all about sharing the love and showcasing fabulous wedding providers.

3. Tell your story. There is no need to write a huge essay as sometimes a photo speaks volumes. Here are a few questions to help you get started.

  1. Tell us a little about the proposal?
  2. What was the inspiration behind your wedding theme?
  3. What was your favorite moment of the day (apart from becoming husband and wife of course! or Wife and Wife, or Husband and Husband!)
  4. Was there any family or religious traditions incorporated into your day?
  5. What does marriage mean to you?
  6. Talk to us about your dress, where is it from and why it was the perfect dress.
  7. Any funny stories in the lead up to or on the day?
  8. Advice for other couples planning a wedding?

If this sounds like you, send an introduction about the proposal to justasplannedua@gmail.com