3
Mar

10 Hunter Valley wedding venues (for wine lovers)

10 Hunter Valley wedding venues (for wine lovers)

Dreaming of a tranquil wedding away? Below are ten Hunter Valley wedding venues guaranteed to offer a peaceful countryside wedding in the fresh air.

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Located in idyllic countryside, Crown Plaza is the perfect venue for a destination wedding. Nestled between vineyards and golf courses in picturesque Hunter Valley, Crown Plaza caters for both intimate weddings and larger soirees, with venues seating from 50 to 830 people. And, with accommodation on site, your guests can wholly enjoy the memorable event ahead.

See reviews

hunter valley

Hunter Valley Gardens

Boasting five star reviews, Hunter Valley Gardens is guaranteed to enthral your guests. Offering an all-in-one location, the location includes the ceremony, photography setting, and the reception. Celebrate your love and commitment to one another beneath the leafy backdrop, and dance into the candlelit night. Hunter Valley Gardens also offers a fireworks display, and helicopter transport, for the more gallant newlyweds.

See reviews

hunter valley

Estate Tuscany

Located beside the magnificent Brokenback Ranges, Estate Tuscany offers the perfect vineyard setting. Specialising in summer weddings, Estate Tuscany allows you to exchange vows in the sun, and later celebrate beneath the stars in the courtyard. For wetter days, rustic indoor venues are available for a discounted rate. On-site accommodation offers the cherry on top, allowing your nearest and dearest to spend the entire weekend together. A truly memorable experience.

hunter valley

The Vintage

Surrounded by fields as far as the eye can see, The Vintage offers the quintessential countryside wedding. With six wedding venues to choose from, The Vintage caters to all weddings — big and small. With a golf course, on-site accommodation, and a spa, your perfect weekend wedding awaits.

hunter valley

Peterson House

Strike envy into the hearts of your guests with a garden wedding at Peterson House. Whether beneath the cherry blossoms, or lost within the rolling vineyards, Peterson House will make your dream wedding a reality. Catering to intimate weddings and up to larger events of 140 people, Peterson House has something for everyone and is one of the most sought-after of Hunter Valley wedding venues.

hunter valley

Enzo Weddings at IronBark Hill Estate

Located in the quintessential Hunter Valley countryside, Enzo Weddings at IronBark Hill Estate offers the more relaxed and welcoming of events. Treat your guests to champagne and games in the garden, and celebrate into the night beside a rustic sandstone fireplace. With boutique accommodation on location, this venue truly has everything you could ask for.

hunter valley

RidgeView

Nestled between vineyards, bushland, and waterways, RidgeView caters to those looking for the ideal countryside venue. Catering to intimate weddings, RidgeView is the perfect place to cosy up beside family and friends, and ring in a new marriage.

hunter valley

Twine Restaurant

Overlooking vineyards, Twine Restaurant in Hunter Valley offers a truly memorable destination wedding. Walk barefoot through the grass, and meet your love beneath an altar of flowers. With three venues seating up to 140 guests, Twine Restaurant caters for intimate and larger weddings alike.

hunter valley

Potters Hotel

Located in tranquil Hunter Valley, Potters Hotel is ideal for any sized wedding — small or large. Celebrate your love and commitment to one another in the fresh countryside air — and with accommodation on-site, kick back after the reception for a relaxing weekend away with loved ones.

hunter valley

 The Sebel

Located in Kirk Park in leafy Hunter Valley, The Sebel offers pure elegance with manicured gardens and sweeping valleys. Such a venue only exists in fairytales. Catering to between 40 and 150 guests, The Sebel is the perfect venue for a true countryside experience.

hunter valley

3
Mar

Hundred of aussie couples set to get married on Valentine’s day

Hundred of aussie couples set to get married on Valentine’s day

For hundreds of Australian couples, Valentine’s Day will also be marked as their wedding anniversary in the years to come. The day dedicated to lovers and matters of the heart is the perfect day to hold your wedding.

married on valentines day

Easy Weddings, Australia’s number one online wedding resource site, CEO Matt Butterworth said more than 300 couples were married on February 14 last year, making it a popular choice with engaged couples.

Today, Canberra’s Samira El Haj and Al Walker will be among them as they tie the knot after a five-year engagement in front of an intimate gathering of 30 guests in the backyard of their Canberra home.

valentine's day a popular day to get married

Samira and Al

Samira said the date appealed to them for two reasons. “Al is a very romantic guy and I have always received roses on Valentine’s day, but he has forgotten my birthday in the past, so we thought if we get married on Valentine’s day, he won’t forget it,” she quipped.

“The only downfall was that the flowers were quite expensive due to the high demand associated with Valentine’s Day.” Samira, now 47, and Al, now 45, met at a bar in Canberra in 2008 and enjoyed a whirlwind romance when Al followed Samira to Spain when she intended to move back to her native country.

married on valentines day

Spain

 “He came over for six weeks and it was like a baptism of fire for our relationship – it really was make or break as we were with each other 24/7 for six weeks,” Samira said. “And after that, I moved to Canberra to continue our romance. “Because of our ages, we had to get a move on when we found each other.”

They only started to plan their “wedding on a shoestring” in December, after they had confirmation Samira’s family would be able to travel from Spain for the event. Their two gorgeous children Aisha, 6, and Harry, 4, will have integral roles in their 3pm ceremony.

married on valentine's day

“Harry will be our ringbearer and we will find a cushion to tie the rings really, really tight onto and Aisha will be our flower girl and throw out handmade petals made by my mother-in-law,” Samira said.

“Aisha’s very disappointed that I’m not having the big white ballgown and white carriage fairytale wedding, because that what she thinks marriage is all about. But we are all very excited.”

married on valentine's day

The wedding has been themed around a peach coloured Zara dress with silver and bronze sequins that Samira’s parents bought for Aisha to wear in her role as flower girl. These colours have been teamed up with natural textures like hessian to create a very earthy look and feel.

Samira mused that everything had “fallen into place” with the planning, which was a lot less complicated with the assistance of the Easy Weddings website. “It’s like it was meant to be,” she said.

valentine's day proposal

Mr Butterworth said Valentine’s Day was a very romantic day to not only get married, but also pop the question. “Our statistics show that in 2015 and 2016, February 14 was the third most popular day of the year for couples to become engaged and we believe that will continue,” he said. “A lot of people will be down on bended knee on Tuesday and there will be plenty of reasons for families and friends to celebrate.”

“We can’t wait to help these newly engaged couples through their wedding planning phase with our award-winning an award-winning platform, where we connect 4,500-plus wedding suppliers with thousands of Australian brides by providing user-friendly planning tools, mobile apps, gift registry and of course, a supplier directory jam packed with industry experts.”

3
Mar

#RealProposal: Cinderella Proposal

#RealProposal: Cinderella Proposal

Once upon a time, there existed an eligible maiden named Jacquelyn. While she ran her own children’s party business, she also adored all things Disney. And, in the past, Jacquelyn even worked for Disney in America. Read on for more of Jacquelyn’s Cinderella Proposal.

cinderella proposal

Avalon Castle

Unbeknown to Jacquelyn, on December 4th 2016, her deceitful (yet lovely and well-intentioned) mother lured Jacquelyn to the Avalon Castle in Cockatoo for a photoshoot. Donned in her grand Cinderella dress, Jacquelyn stood atop the stairs while her sister-in-law took photographs, and her mother watched on. She was given only an hour before — poof! — she returned to normal-clothes Jacquelyn.

cinerella proposal disney

Suddenly in the distance, before the hour was up, a group of people began making their way up the hill toward the venue. That’s when Jacquelyn recognised the people as her and her then-boyfriend Adam’s family members.

Then, noble and handsome Adam materialised from within the castle. He wore a suit and carried a tiny red box in his hands. Jacquelyn burst into tears — suddenly realising what was happening.

cinerella proposal disney

Meeting her at the top of the stairs, Adam fell to one knee and asked: “Will you make me the happiest man in the world and marry me?”

In shock, all Jacquelyn could do was nod and cry. “Yes”.

cinderella proposal

The newly engaged couple’s relatives met them at the bottom of the stairs to cheer, offer their congratulations, and cry.

All family members were in on the surprise, of course. Adam had planned the entire thing perfectly.

The ring was entirely designed by Adam and his jeweler cousin. The ring has a cushion cut sapphire, a band of diamonds, and, on the sides, two sets of three tiny diamonds — arranged in the shape of Mickey Mouse. A proposal fit for a Princess.

cinderella-proposal-4-900x675 (1)

“Once in a while, right in the middle of ordinary life, love gives us a Fairy Tale…”

3
Mar

13 Picturesque Yarra Valley wedding venues

13 Picturesque Yarra Valley wedding venues

Dreaming of countryside charm and a leafy backdrop to frame your perfect wedding? Look no further — below are 13 Yarra Valley wedding venues we guarantee will create exceptional lifelong memories (and photos).

yarra valley wedding venues

Zonzo Estate

See reviews

Situated among the rolling vineyards of the Yarra Valley, Zonzo Estate offers an award-winning wedding venue guaranteed to impress. Priding itself on its traditional Italian ‘shared table’ custom, Zonzo Estate offers a truly unique and welcoming experience for guests of all ages to enjoy. The venue seats 130 guests and tailors any of your requests to make your special day reflect you as a couple. With a plethora of wins in the Restaurant Reception category of the Australian Bridal Industry Awards, both National and Victorian State, Zonzo Estate is the crème of the crop.

yarra valley wedding venues

Yarra Ranges Estate

See reviews

Nestled among magnificent gardens and vast vineyards, Yarra Ranges Estate is the go-to venue for rustic romance. Exchange vows beneath a gazebo, or in the idyllic Bluestone Room Chapel, and wander hand-in-hand to your reception. Catering to intimate weddings of 30, and larger guest lists of 150, Yarra Ranges Estate has something for everyone.

yarra valley wedding venues

Killara Estate Winery

See reviews

Located within 80 acres of magnificent vines and sloping valleys in the Upper Yarra Valley, Killara Estate caters to couples dreaming of a quintessential vineyard wedding. The reception venue seats up to 120 guests — perfect for the more intimate affairs. A boutique venue, Killara Estate Winery offers only one wedding per week, enabling the creation of a unique experience that reflects the couple, and fulfils their wants and needs.

yarra valley wedding venues

Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa

See reviews

With breathtaking views of the central highlands and the sprawling Yarra Valley vineyards, Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa is the perfect setting to ring in a new marriage. With on-location ceremony setting, reception venue, accommodation, and spa, Balgownie Estate provides everything you and your guests require for a relaxed weekend away.

yarra valley wedding venues

Wild Cattle Creek Estate

See reviews

Set in idyllic Yarra Valley, Wild Cattle Creek Estate prides itself on providing couples ‘the ultimate wedding in the Vines’. This venue caters to both intimate and larger seated events, as well as cocktail soirees. With on-site ceremony, celebrant, reception venue, and accommodation, Wild Cattle Creek Estate is one of the most sought-after of Yarra Valley wedding venues.

yarra valley wedding venues

The Little Vineyard

See reviews

Set on the cusp of Yarra Valley, The Little Vineyard provides an affordable yet exemplary vineyard wedding experience. Family owned and run, this venue offers simplistic beauty with a seasonal menu. Catering to 80 guests seated, or 120 guests cocktail, The Little Vineyard will tailor wedding packages to suit and fulfil your wedding dreams.

yarra valley wedding venues

Chateau Yering Historic House Hotel

See reviews

Located within manicured, heritage listed gardens, Chateau Yering Historic House Hotel offers pure elegance when it comes to Yarra Valley weddings. Wander down a rose-bordered driveway and into the 1854 Victorian Mansion to your reception. Priding themselves on ‘creating the wedding of your dreams’, Chateau Yering Historic House Hotel is the perfect setting for a Fairy Tale wedding.

yarra valley wedding venues

Vue on Halcyon

See reviews

With magnificent views of rolling vines, Vue on Halcyon offers a boutique experience for those chasing a vineyard wedding. With on-site ceremony settings, you and your love need not worry about transport between venues. Wander among the vines, enjoy canapes and pre-wedding drinks in the cellar, and celebrate into the night with 100-150 guests in the Vue. With the property exclusively yours, Vue on Halcyon is ideal for your unique wedding.

yarra valley wedding venues

The Eastern Golf Club

See reviews

Situated on a 120 acre Nature Reserve, The Eastern Golf Club in Yarra Valley provides an idyllic leafy backdrop for the perfect vineyard wedding. Within the range of function rooms, capacity reaches up to 150 seated guests, and 250 for a cocktail reception. The Eastern Golf Club has something to suit all weddings — and with boutique accommodation on-site, why not make a weekend of it?

yarra valley wedding venues

Yarra Valley Estate

See reviews

Offering rustic romance and charm, Yarra Valley Estate is the ideal location for a relaxed wedding. With garden and indoor ceremony settings on-location, there is no need to jump between venues. Catering to the more intimate weddings, this venue seats up to 100 guests in the main dining room. Perfect for those chasing simplistic charm.

yarra valley wedding venues

Inglewood Estate

See reviews

Nestled in secluded Kangaroo Ground valley, Inglewood Estate offers lakeside weddings surrounded by magnificent gardens. With a chapel on-location, your entire day from start to finish can take place at Inglewood Estate. Reception capacity ranges from 60 to 120 guests, and both seated and cocktail events are available. Inglewood Estate is perfect for couples dreaming of antique elegance.

yarra valley wedding venues

Yarra Valley Lodge

See reviews

Set among manicured golf courses and charming bushland, Yarra Valley Lodge offers a picture-perfect location for your wedding. This venue caters to intimate events and larger weddings of up to 300 guests. And, with complimentary wedding night accommodation for the bride and groom, what more could you want?

yarra valley wedding venues

Immerse Winery

See reviews

Located within the quiet beauty of Yarra Valley, Immerse Winery prides itself being ‘the ultimate Yarra Valley wedding destination’. The on-site ceremony setting overlooks an ornamental lake and stunning rose gardens. With award-winning wines, Immerse Winery will deliver a truly memorable wedding experience. Rated five stars, Immerse Winery is one of the most popular of Yarra Valley wedding venues.

yarra valley wedding venues

3
Mar

Trend: Bridal jackets you need to see

Trend: Bridal jackets you need to see

Lace, fur, feathers and bolero-style jackets have always been a stylish way for brides to stave off the chill when they choose an autumn or winter wedding, but jackets are now taking an edgier turn since Kimye’s “Just Married” leather jackets.

bridal trend bridal jackets

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West rocked these unique jackets thanks to personal friend and Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci

Thanks to this, bespoke bridal jackets are becoming more and more unique, with brides experimenting with denim and leather.

Those who want an even more personalised look are having their jackets embroidered with quirky words and statements that are becoming a feature in their wedding photos.

 bridal jacket bridal trend jackets

Image: Memento Photography

Denim jackets

Denim is one of those versatile looks that grooms and groomsmen have been using for rustic, country-style, beach and Boho weddings for years.

Brides are increasingly jumping onto this trend, pairing a dark-stained or washed look denim jacket with their beautiful wedding gowns.

This fusion makes for a stunning combination and adds another level of casual beauty of a ruffled, mermaid, vintage or Boho dress.

The only thing to consider is how the cut suits the dress. Ideally, a princess or a-line dress suits a cropped bridal jacket, while a longer style can be worn with a mermaid or trumpet dress and relaxed fits.

Bridal jacket trends

Image: Charlotte Hu

Leather jackets

Edgier brides are donning leather jackets to bring a grunge look to their weddings instead to replace the need for a long-sleeved dress.

Brides who go down this rock ‘n’ roll path often wear the jackets slung over their shoulders, for a more casual style that also allows them to keep warm.

Bridal jacket trends

Aimee’s custom jacket

Bespoke jackets

Custom-made jackets are not new, Brides have been commissioning their dressmakers to create shrugs and lace-detailed jackets that match their wedding gowns for decades.

But, the latest trend taking the industry by storm is jackets emblazoned with quirky messages.

Easy Weddings bride Aimee Riley inscribing her jacket with the word ‘Taken’ when she wed Ben Jarvis in Sydney.

Other popular choices are to embroider ‘Mrs (insert married name here)’ or ‘Just Married’. You can even get one for your spouse as a keepsake.

bridal jackets

Image: L&L Style

 

 bridal jackets

Image: Land of white deer

3
Mar

How to tell someone they won’t be in the bridal party

How to tell someone they won’t be in the bridal party

bridal party elyse and marcs

The bridal party at Elyse and Marc’s wedding. See more here.

You will have a lot of fun and make many precious memories with your bridal party as you navigate your way through planning towards the big day. But choosing just who will stand beside you can be a challenging task, especially if you have multiple close friends or a large family who would all like a coveted role in your wedding.

This can be made even trickier still if there are friends or family members who automatically assume they have the role of bridesmaid or groomsmen – even though they didn’t make your final list.

The important thing is to discuss bridal party size and make-up early on with your fiancé.

You may choose to have all family members or no family members, evenly match friends so there is balance or allow each other a choice of numbers so they can include their nearest and dearest.

Whichever way you go is totally fine, it is your celebration after all.

But if there are some people who are talking like they are on your bridal party and you haven’t asked them to be, here are some tips to let them down easy.

Tell them early

There is a school of thought that believes you shouldn’t have to tell someone if they AREN’T in your bridal party, because you would have extended an invitation to those who you wanted – and clearly, they weren’t among them.

But it is cruel to let someone continue to build the excitement about their non-existent role and the longer you leave it, the harder the blow is going to be.

Meet with them

With news like this, it is best to do it face-to-face as it’s more personal and there is no danger of misinterpretation. Go for a lunch or a coffee date and you can bring it up there.

If the person lives too far away to catch up in person, schedule a Skype or Facetime chat so you can talk things through rather than sending an email or text message. These can come across as impersonal and may add insult to injury.

bridal party alex ian

Alex and Ian’s bridal party. See more of this wedding here.

Be honest, but not brutally

There is no doubt this will be an awkward conversation, but there’s no need to beat around the bush when telling them they are not in your bridal party.

You can soften the blow by explaining your reasons why (you wanted to include just family or no family, you wanted even numbers etc).

Let them know this is not a reflection on the strength of their friendship and you still value and cherish them.

Be prepared for a potential backlash

People handle disappointment and upset in very different ways. While some may quietly accept the news, others might get visibly upset or even angry with your decision.

Chances are, you know this person well enough to know what kind of reaction they will have, so you can prepare accordingly.

Consider another role for them

If there is no room for them on the bridal party, you could consider asking them to do a reading during your ceremony or having a special role, like MC, at the reception. This articles suggests some other ways you can include loved ones in your wedding.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other wedding planning questions our experts will answer them here.

3
Mar

10 wedding guest dos and don’ts

10 wedding guest dos and don’ts

10 wedding guest dos and don'ts kayleigh and theo wedding

Image from Kayliegh and Theo’s rustic wedding. See more here.

Whether this is the first wedding you have been invited to, or this is your seventh one in the past year, it is important to remember that as a guest there are some etiquette guidelines that remain steadfast and you should remember to follow.

It’s true that modern weddings are a lot more bespoke, often laid back and do away with a lot of traditions that our parents and grandparents included as that was what was expected. But a little common sense and manners go a long way when you have been fortunate enough to be invited to share a couple’s special day.

Here are some wedding guest dos and don’ts to follow to be the perfect wedding guest.

DO RSVP in a timely manner

The beautiful invitation has arrived in the mail and you have three weeks to confirm your attendance. Avoid the temptation to put it aside and risk it being buried underneath a stack of other paperwork if you already know if you will or won’t be attending.
RSVPs are not just about the couple having a collection of cute cards with the names of their guests on them, they are also an important strategic wedding planning tool as suppliers need to know the number of guests attending a wedding weeks out from the event to adequately plan for food, drinks, and table placements.

DON’T assume you have a plus one

You may be single or newly dating, but if the wedding invitation arrives and it only has your name on it, do not take the liberty of inviting someone to accompany you.

Couples are usually on a strict budget and even one unexpected guest showing up can blow out their budget by a couple of hundred dollars by the time you add in their foot, an extra table setting, bomboniere and other elements.

It is best not to even approach the couple to request your new love join you, as this will place them in an uncomfortable position. It is just one day after all, so respect their wishes.

The same applies to children. If the invitation does not expressly include the word ‘family’ or name each of the members of your family, the couple have decided to go kid-free so it’s best to start making arrangements for a babysitter.

wedding guest dos and don'ts ruby and alex boho wedding

Image from Ruby and Alex’s boho wedding. See more here.

DO be on time

Weddings can, and often do, run late. But the only person that has a green pass to be as late as they want is the bride.
Guests should plan to be at the ceremony 20 minutes to half an hour earlier than the ceremony start time on the invitations. This will allow a buffer for any traffic hiccups, last-minute petrol station visits and trying to find a car park at the venue.
If the worst becomes a reality and you arrive after the ceremony has begun, keep a low profile at the back of the venue and don’t scurry around trying to find a seat, your disturbance will be noticed and might upset the couple about to be married.

DON’T bring a large gift to the wedding

It can look impressive to lug in the largest box and place it onto the gift table, where it towers above the rest. But it could pose a logistical nightmare for the person who is responsible for collecting the newlywed’s gifts and other reception keepsakes at the end of the reception.
If it is a gift you have ordered online, you can consider having it sent directly to the couple’s home, or you can leave a card on the gift table and let the couple know you will drop the gift by before they head off on their honeymoon or when they return.

DO adhere to the dress code

If the couple has asked you to wear something yellow, do everything in your power to respect their wishes. It doesn’t mean you have to turn up looking like a buttercup, but simply adding a yellow belt to a men’s suit or a yellow headpiece to your outfit will show that you have made an effort.
Where the dress code is much more generic, follow the request to ensure you don’t end up being the odd one out who is either totally under-dressed or looks like they are ready for the red carpet when everyone else is in much more casual attire. Dress codes are included on invitations so you can avoid these kinds of embarrassing situations.

Also, keep the venue in mind. You don’t want to wear killer stiletto heels in a garden setting, where you will be sinking into the turf all day.

DON’T wear white

Even if the bride herself is going left-of-center and has chosen a hot pink gown to wear – no guests should wear white or shades of light ivory.

wedding guests at emma and tom's wedding

Image: from Emma and Tom’s country wedding. See more here.

DO congratulate the family

You may have only ever seen the couple’s parents sitting quietly in the corner of a birthday celebration five years ago, or never have met them at all, but it is respectful to seek them out and introduce yourself to them during the wedding.

If their names were on the invitation as the hosts of the wedding, this is your opportunity to thank them and tell them how much you enjoyed the celebration.

DON’T forget to turn off your phone

No one wants to hear a muffled version of the Crazy Frog emanating from the middle of the ceremony venue right when the couple are exchanging their emotional vows – Don’t be that person!
Not only are phones a ringtone hazard, but more and more couples want a ‘switched-off’ wedding, where they can look out at their guests and see their faces rather than dozens of phones and the backs of iPads trying to get photos of them to post onto social media.

The rules are somewhat more relaxed when it comes to reception time, but phones are a definite no-no during the ceremony.

DO shake your groove thing

Many couples spring for a DJ or live entertainment of some form to create a real party atmosphere once the official segments of the reception are complete and there is nothing worse than seeing an empty dance floor when you have gone to all of that effort.

It may be early in the evening, but get on your feet, mingle with friends, and meet new people on the dance floor and have a good time. It really will lift the atmosphere and the newlyweds will relax when they see people having a good time and not sitting static in their seats.

DON’T get wasted

Open bars are a great perk of weddings, but do not abuse the privilege. Pace yourself, drink a glass of water for every glass of alcohol and make sure you eat so that you don’t be that person who throws up and makes a fool of themselves. It is a sure-fire way to be remembered for all of the wrong reasons and can take the shine off the day for the newlyweds.
3
Mar

Wedding budgeting: Items you can do without

Wedding budgeting: Items you can do without

Planning a wedding is an exciting adventure and it is easy to get swept up in all of the possibilities available to you. But there are some things that your wedding day can simply do without.

Considering that the average total wedding cost in Australia is $30,985 (according to the Easy Weddings annual survey 2016) and the average original budget is $20,913, there is a big gap between what couples want to spend and what they end up spending on unplanned costs.

Personalised napkins

They are cute and add a nice touch to your wedding, but at the end of the day, a napkin is a napkin. They are designed to stop condensation from taking over the table, collect crumbs and wipe up messes. A napkin of any shape or size will do the exact same job, so why go for the added expense?

wedding budgeting

Mr & Mrs letters

Wooden, metal or back-lit boxes, these babies come in all shapes and sizes. While they do add a nice touch to your bridal table, consider hiring rather than buying. It will save you money and then you won’t have to worry about where to keep them once the wedding is over.

wedding budgeting

Guest books

You can spend a fair amount on a flash-looking guest book with the intention that it will be a great keepsake of your big day. But the reality is that not all of your guests will get around to signing it, while others will have a few too many drinks and sign it three or more times (with the contents getting more questionable as the night progresses.)

wedding budgeting

Bathroom baskets

If you haven’t heard of these before, they are a convenience item some couple choose to include in the bathrooms at their venues. They include toiletries like travel-sized deodorant, tampons, extra bobby pins and other items that your guests may have forgotten to bring with them for the day. These items are useful, but most guests probably have a similar stash in their car. These items are a lovely gesture but often go relatively untouched.

wedding budgeting

Welcome bags

It is a nice touch to give welcome bags to your travelling guests, but chances are, they would have done all of their homework before they hopped on a plane to get to your destination. If you design a personalised wedding website, you can include everything they need to know on there so they will be even better prepared.

wedding budgeting etsy

Etsy

Signs

Unless your ceremony or reception venue is tucked away in a hard-to-find spot, there is no need to purchase signs for the wedding. Although, signs can be quirky and add to the charm of decor, so if you like the idea of signage, consider hiring these instead of buying them. It’s as it’s not likely you will need them again in the future.

wedding-budgeting

Fancy cake server sets

You may have been lucky enough to have been given a nice cake serving set at your hen’s party, or had one loaned to you from a friend or family member. But if you didn’t, don’t rush out to buy a set. You will use it for all of 30 seconds to cut your cake and then it will sit in a box gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere. Ask your venue to supply a knife and if you want to add a little something, you can wind a ribbon in your wedding colours around the handle so it looks a bit more special than an ordinary kitchen knife.

wedding budgeting

After parties or brunch

After spending the day or evening together with your guests, you really don’t need to continue the party on after the reception finishes. There is no need to hold a brunch the next day either, unless you really want to! Don’t feel pressured to add to your wedding budget if you don’t want to.

wedding budgeting

3
Mar

Five mistakes to avoid in your best man speech

Five mistakes to avoid in your best man speech

There is a lot of pressure on a best man speech these days. You are expected to be laugh out loud funny, yet also charming and tasteful and all to a room of sometimes hundreds of strangers. It’s a difficult balance and the truth is, it’s a tough gig. And with all that pressure, it’s no wonder we sometimes hear the guys getting it wrong.

If you want to strike the right balance and win the crowd with your best man speech, start here with Silvertongue Speeches top five list of things to avoid.

mistakes to avoid in your best man speech

Don’t mention the ex

No matter how well-meaning your intentions, this is just a no-no.  If you want to avoid awkwardness and bad memories, just stay away from the ex. Weddings are about celebrating the future, there is absolutely no need to dwell on the past. Stay upbeat and focus on the moment.

 mistakes-to-avoid-in-your-best-man-speech

The bucks party

We all have heard the saying ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’. But time and time again, the bucks party keeps sliding into best man speeches and it’s just not cool. Not only are you breaking bro-code but the audience and the bride especially do not want to hear what happened and what mischief was managed. Leave the imagery of what might have happened alone and keep it on the level.

mistakes to avoid in your best man speech

In-jokes

You and the groom might go way back. Way way back. And while that is really lovely, we don’t know who you’re talking about when you call your friends Boof, Meat and Sweats. We only know them as James, Tom and Shaun. No matter how small the wedding, assume the room knows nothing. We definitely want to hear your stories and history with the groom – by all means tell us something we don’t know! But in choosing stories, make sure they’re relevant to the event and have a relevant link to the focus of the evening. Perfect examples are marriage, love and the future.

mistakes to avoid in your best man speech

Swearing

Remember guys, Granny is in the room. Would she approve? Swearing in a speech is not tasteful or necessary. An accidental slip can be forgiven, but swearing doesn’t add value to any story. Bleep it out and move on.

mistakes to avoid

Winging it under the influence

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, unprepared speeches and alcohol are a recipe for wedding speech disaster. Alcohol will only give you false confidence and if you choose to wing your speech you need to be prepared for some or all of the above ‘no-nos’. If you want free drinks even after the tab has closed and plenty of pats on the back then prepare, practice and go slow before you speak.

mistakes to avoid in your best man speech

3
Mar

#RealProposals: Magical Disney proposal

#RealProposals: Magical Disney proposal

It’s not everyday that you tell your boyfriend while drowsy that you are going to “wife” him. But for Olivia, that’s exactly what happened! Ryan proposed to Olivia in May 2016 on a trip to Tokyo Disney, a location that Olivia had only dreamed about. Read on to learn the full story behind this magical Disney proposal.

disney proposal

Olivia and Ryan

“Ryan and I got together in October 2013 and were together for about a year when I needed surgery to fix my nasal passage. After the operation had concluded, Ryan came to visit me in my hospital room while I was still coming out of my anaesthetic. I was still mildly out of it when he arrived and so I proudly proclaimed “I’m going to wife you at Disneyland!” Ryan looked bemused while I rambled.

Both of us had been planning an overseas trip together for a while, and Japan seemed like an obvious choice, the food, the people, the history, and theme parks! A few months prior to the trip, Ryan asked me to pick out a ring. So while the ring wasn’t a surprise at all, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

disney proposal

Olivia’s engagement ring

Proceed to May 2016 to our Japan trip. After spending our first week in Tokyo, we went to my spiritual home, Disneyland, and Ryan proposed to me in front of the castle. It was nice and quiet as the crowds were all lining up for the afternoon parade so there was no fuss from other people. He had considered proposing in front of Ariel, but knowing how much I loved the castle, changed his mind last minute. What a magical day!”

Olivia and Ryan are currently planning their wedding using the Easy Weddings directory and planning tools.  If you would like to see more #RealProposal stories, check out Jamie and Mel’s here or Kaylee and Jeff’s here.