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.

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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

 

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

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.

Simple tips to care for your Wedding Dress


We have been searching the archives and this was one of my favorite posts.  Brides spend a lot of money on their wedding dress and it is important that you know how to care for your Wedding Dress.

Hello, I am Rosario Intelisano, my specialty, my passion, the core of my ambition is hand restoring and preserving bridal gowns. With many years in the industry, I am excited to share with you my little black book of tips to help you care for your dream gown.

image 1 wedding dress b4 repair

As well as tips, I will include some of my personal experiences from working in this industry and the dresses (plus their stories).

Here are some common questions and tips I am asked:

  1. “What do I do if I stain my dress?”
  2. The second best tip is to avoid direct heat. Heat in general weakens material causing the fabric to yellow and age. This is why dry-cleaning is thought to “torture” the fabric and is avoided when it comes to restoring bridal dresses.
  3. Lastly, I would recommend you take the garment to be professionally cleaned within a month of the stain occurring, the more time that passes, the more difficult it is to remove the stain making it harder to restore the dress to its original state.

I hope this article helps you next time you are in a state of frenzy from an incidental stain. Collect yourself and remember to leave the stain, let it air dry and take it to be professionally removed as soon as possible.

www.xpressservices2u.com.au

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.

Once upon a time…A real life Cinderella Limo


Most girls dream of their wedding day when they are young.  For me I can remember dressing up my dolls and creating my own wedding ceremony and watching the classic fairy tales such as Cinderella and Snow White over and over again.

I still love the fairy tales and when I look at most weddings I can see so many aspects of fairy tales included in their special day, from the red carpet, the ball gown and the flowers. However in reality there are just some things are just not possible such as blue birds helping with the veil and heart-shaped petals being thrown by mice and blue birds.

Now thanks to Alena and Slava from LuxCars Developments you add in one more fairy tale aspect to your wedding day with their new Cinderella Limo. This limo is dreamy and will make you feel like a princess.

Take the time to read about Alena and Slava story and see the beautiful photos of the Cinderella limo.

About Alena and Slava from LuxCars Developments

Cinderella LimoOnce upon a time, in a land filled with ice and snow, lived a young girl with dreams bigger than the cold, grey skies of Siberia, Russia. Wrapped up warm in her blankets with a book each night, Alena dreamt of a land where the sky was blue and there would be enough money for good food and nice clothes. As she grew into a beautiful, kind-hearted woman, Alena met her ‘’prince”, Slava and they were soon married.

Slava treated his bride as the princess she deserved to be but unfortunately, money was tight and a simple wedding was had to be held to celebrate their love. With not a white gown in sight, Alena married the love of her life in a red skirt and jacket – the best she had at the time – without the extravagance of a bridal procession or party.

But Alena never stopped dreaming of that magical procession.

After migrating to Australia, Alena and Slava turned their fortunes around. With the sun shining on them, Alena and Slava enjoyed worldwide travel with their successful fast food chain of stores. While in England, Alena was blown away by Queen Elizabeth II horse-drawn carriage, “The Britannica”, and thought how beautiful it would be if every day people could add a touch of magic to their special event by arriving in royal style but without the horses))

For two long years Alena and Slava fought the naysayers of government departments and financial institutions, slaying the disbelievers to make their dream of a real life motorised Cinderella carriage come true.

In January 2015, Alena was no longer a Princess; she became the Queen of luxury transport on the Gold Coast when her very own Cinderella™ Limousine (the only one in the Southern Hemisphere) took to the road for the very first time.

Since then their company, LuxCars Developments brings memories to lives of our people and customers, to create the unique experience that will be remembered and treasured forever with the of its kind Cinderella Limo.

Cinderella Limo Alena and Slava Inside the Cinderella Limo

Top 10 Australian Wedding Dress Designers


I just love showcasing our amazing Australian designers and it was hard trying to pick my top 10.  There is so much talent and I am sure you will have your own favourite.

So in no particular order here are my top 10 favourite Australian wedding dress designers.

1. Elizabeth de Varga

Duchess - Elizabeth de Varga designs

Duchess – Elizabeth de Varga designs

2. Henry Roth

Bliss - Henry Roth

Bliss – Henry Roth

3. Rapsimo

Rapsimo

Rapsimo

4. Steven Khalil

Jazlyn - Steven Khalil

Jazlyn – Steven Khalil

5. Carla Zampatti

Incandescent brocade hollywood gown - Carla Zampatti

Incandescent brocade hollywood gown – Carla Zampatti

6. J’Aton Courture

J'Aton Couture

J’Aton Couture

7. Mariana Hardwick

Etienne - Mariana Hardwick

Etienne – Mariana Hardwick

8. Wendy Makin

Daisy – Wendy Makin

10. Darb Bridal Couture

Darb Bridal Couture

Darb Bridal Couture

Images are from the designers own websites

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