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.


How to make a DIY flower crown in 5 simple steps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 1

Step 1


Step 2

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Step 3

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Step 4

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Step 5

Step 5







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



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 Sunday delight

Image via Pinterest Owner unknown

Image via Pinterest
Owner unknown

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 



Celebrity weddings 2014

There is nothing like a celebrity wedding to help you with some inspiration.

Image from US weekly

Image from US weekly

Lauren Conrad and William Tell tied the knot along the coast of California on Sept. 13. “What a perfect way to start our lives together; surrounded by the people we love most,” the couple told “Us” in a statement.  Lauren wore a Mark Badgley and James Mischka ivory gown. (details from US weekly)

Image from US weekly

Image from US weekly

Melissa Etheridge and Linda Wallemn said I do at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, Calif., in May 2014 wedding. (details from US weekly)

Image from US weekly

Image from US weekly

Kim Kardashian and Kayne West said “I do”.  After a whirlwind wedding weekend extravaganza in May 2014. The couple had their rehearsal dinner in Paris, France, followed by their formal wedding ceremony in Florence, Italy at the Forte di Belvedere the next day. (details from US weekly)

Image from US weekly

Image from US weekly

Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory actress)  wed Ryan Sweeting (the tennis pro) after dating for six months in a New Year’s Eve Wedding in Southern California. (details from US weekly)
Hollywood’s golden couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt married at the family’s magical French home, Château Miraval in a family affair. (details from Hello magazine)

Image from Hello magazine

Image from Hello magazine

Hart of Dixie actress Brandi Burkhardt, 35, donned a stunning tiara at her June 29 wedding to jeweller Douglas Kazanjian in Annapolis, Maryland. (details from

Image from

Image from

Olivia Palermo married model and fashionisto Johannes Huebl in an intimate ceremony at a Bedford, New York, park on June 28. The bride pieced together an unlikely Carolina Herrera creation for her big day: “a simple cream cashmere sweater with scattered ostrich feathers and chic white shorts with a full tulle skirt overlay that cinched at the waist in layers of satin and silk and featured a high slit in the front with floral details along the hem,” she described on her website. She finished off the look with sapphire blue Manolo Blahnik pumps. (details from

Image from

Image from

“The Bachelor’s” Sean Lowe, 30, and his winner, Catherine Giudici, 27, wed in a live television fairy-tale wedding on Jan. 26 at the Four Seasons Resort – The Biltmore in Santa Barbara, California. Lowe teared up as his gorgeous bride walked down the aisle in a Monique Lhuillier gown and as they said their vows in front of the world. Lowe’s father officiated the ceremony. Credit: ABC (details from

Image from

Image from

Ashley Tisdale, The High School Musical alum knew the look she wanted for her Sept. 8 wedding to French: rustic and romantic. While her groom, a musician, looked sharp in a dark modern suit, Tisdale evoked a fairy tale princess with a flowing white ball gown and flower crown. The idyllic theme continued at the venue, near Santa Barbara, California, where guests were seated at long wooden farm tables covered with lace runners and garden rose centerpieces. “Best day of my life! Introducing Mr. and Mrs. French,” she posted on Instagram the next day. (details from people magazine)

Image from People magazine

Image from People magazine


Neil Patrick Harris: When you wait eight years to marry your love, a simple city hall wedding just won’t do. So Harris and Burtka flew to Italy and, surrounded by their nearest and dearest, including their 3½-year-old twins, Harper and Gideon, wed in an intimate ceremony on Sept. 6. Plenty of friends helped out: Harris’s How I Met Your Mother director, Pam Fryman, officiated, and there was a special musical performance by – wait for it! – Elton John. (details from people magazine)


Image from People magazine

Image from People magazine

Jessica Simpson: It was like something out of a fairytale for the longtime couple during their magical July 5 nuptials at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California. The bride wore a custom Carolina Herrera gown and veil, while her groom donned a charcoal gray John Varvatos tuxedo. “It’s so surreal,” Simpson told PEOPLE after the event. “This has been something we’ve wanted ever since we met.” The lovebirds were joined by Simpson’s mom, Tina, and her sister, Ashlee, as maids of honor and Johnson’s father, Stephen, as the best man. But it was 2-year-old flower girl Maxwell and 1-year-old ring bearer Ace that got the standing ovation walking down the aisle!  (details People magazine)

Image from People magazine

Image from People magazine

Putting your best foot forward

Most girls when planning their wedding have already their vision for their dress, colour theme and style, however have you considered what shoes you will be wearing?

Finding the right shoes can complement your dress and most importantly you need to make sure that you feel comfortable and able to walk down the aisle in them.  My biggest fear when I got married was tripping over and forgetting my vows.  Thankfully this did not happen or this would be a completely different story.

So what do you need to know before you go shopping for your wedding shoes? I popped over to one of my favourite sites Shoes of Prey and found some great advice on selecting the perfect style.

Firstly, lets look at the style of the shoe – flats or heels.  Shoes of Prey have the perfect way for you to select the right heel for you.

Flats – If you are like me and clumsy and scared that you will trip over whilst walking down the aisle you could consider wearing flats.

Heels – However if you need a little bit more height, consider a kitten heel.  If you need (or love) the your heels than the 6 inch platform is for you.

No matter what style you choose my best advice is to wear them in as there is nothing worse than on your wedding day to have blisters and be uncomfortable.

Now lets shop!

As an alternative, what about having your shoes to be your something blue?

As an alternative, what about having your shoes to be your something blue? Image by

So devine, Image by

So divine,
Image by

All that glitter Image by

All that glitter
Image by


Wedding on a Budget

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

The Dress

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

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

Other Ideas

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



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

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

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

The App is free and can be downloaded here

Check out Gift Club on Facebook here
















Wedding traditions may be a thing of the past

Mary-Anne Lowe from The Riverstone Estate shares her advice on getting to the Ceremony.

wpid-img_15003378950191.jpegLong gone are the days where brides were obsessive about having something borrowed or blue, modern bridal couples are creating their own traditions.

Most bridal couples simple do what they want on their wedding day to satisfy their personal tastes and lifestyle.

Weddings are now viewed as a huge party without the rigid order of getting engaged, getting married, buying a house, having children.  Many couples have their order!

Not all bridal gowns are full length or even white, with most brides not wearing a veil.  Traditional fruit cake wedding cakes have been replaced with separate cupcakes or chocolate sculptures.

The traditional weekend wedding has now extended to any day of the week which couples are flocking to.

The only real tradition that seems to stay is the bride changing her name but there is a significant number who keep their maiden name.

Even bouquet throwing at the end of the reception has been tweaked.  The bride often hands over the bouquet to the couple who have been together the longest.

Brides are also opting to have both parents walk them down the aisle.

Whatever the changes, bridal couples are really personalising their big day that makes it right for them.


Australia’s first bridal expo for 2014 is January 4-5, the Ideal Bride’s Ultimate Wedding Spectacular, will sashay into Melbourne Crown Palladium for two days, complete with over $1 million dollar giveaways and jaw-dropping bridal exhibitions.

Australia’s first and finest bridal expo will be giving $1,000 “Ideal Bride Money Vouchers” to every bride- to- be that attends this unique wedding expo.

Extra Prizes are valued at over $50,000 as there will be dozens of prizes on offer including a choice of a $13,500 wedding ceremony and reception package for 80 guests for a formal and sit down reception at Bram Leigh Reception in Croydon or a cocktail party for 120 people at Riverstone Estate Wines, Yarra Valley.

Just some of the extra prizes on offer throughout the weekend are:

*  $4900 photography and video from Front Cover Photography
*  $4000 Wedding Gown from Eva Tamala Couture.
*  $1000 Wedding Cake from Montease Creative Cakes
*  $4,900 Photography from Alex Pavlou Photography
*  $1200 Photo booth from OMG Photo Booth 
First Aussie Bridal Show for 2014

First Aussie Bridal Show for 2014

The Ideal Bride Ultimate Wedding Expo Spectacular, on from 4th January to 5th January, will showcase more than 100 exhibitors, four world class fashion parades, featuring world-class fashion designers, Darb Couture, Eva Tamala Couture, Nifi Bridal, Arlene D’Monte Fashion etc. There will be hire car and limousine displays plus a suite of bridal exhibitors, set to whet the appetite of all Melbourne brides and making it one of the largest bridal expo in Australia.

With more than 1,500 brides-to-be expected through the turnstiles, the Ideal Bride Ultimate Wedding Expo Spectacular will simply be a show stopper.

According to founder and Managing Director of Ideal Brides, Mick Bentham, this bridal expo is the ultimate bridal experience, against the backdrop of the luscious grandeur of the Crown Palladium.

“Being the first bridal expo in Australia for the calendar year, we have got to be the best. And with such a premium mix of exhibitors, Melbourne brides will need the two days to get fully ensconced in the Ideal Bride expo in all its glory.”

Mary-Lowe, Managing Director of Bram Leigh Receptions and Riverstone Wineries, and one of major exhibitors of the expo, believes that bridal expos are still loved and needed by contemporary brides.

“Despite the internet being an important information source, brides still crave to wholly experience and research in a more organic and hands-on approach,” she said.

“As a business, it is fundamental to be seen ahead of the pack, so we at Bram Leigh and Riverstone, had to be part of the Ideal Bride Ultimate Wedding Expo Spectacular.”


DATE: Saturday 4th January to Sunday 5th January 2014

TIME: 10am to 4pm

VENUE: Melbourne Crown Palladium

ENTRY: $15.00 for a two-day pass


call 07 3821 0188