Sunday, December 27, 2009

Design your own (bridal) shoes: Shoes of Prey

The only downside to buying my wedding dress as a sample is that it is already hemmed unusually short (for a wedding dress). Being a rather tall kinda lady, I can only have heels of 1.5" (about 4cm) max. It's actually very difficult to find nice evening shoes that are flat, or have a very low heel. So it was with great joy that I welcomed the news that Shoes of Prey have added ballet flats and 1.5" heels to their range!
Screengrabs of some shoes I designed on the Shoes of Prey site. I really love the blue, teal and silver combo.

Shoes of Prey are an Australian company (with worldwide shipping) who let you design your own shoe - toe shape, heel height and shape, decorations, colour and fabric (snakeskin, fishskin, patent, suede, hair and regular leather). If the size you order isn't correct, you can send them back and they'll replace them - for free! Pretty amazing, huh?

A nod to the bridal white, with a good splash of red drama

The company seems to be constantly expanding its range and design choices. One thing I'd like to see in the future is the addition of satin fabric to the range. While I adore leather, there aren't any vegan material choices currently.

Chic black and silver flats

Aside from gals like me that want a glam wedding shoe with a very low heel, I think Shoes of Prey would also be really fab if:
- you have terribly small or terribly large feet. They offer shoe sizes 4 to 12 as standard.
- you want all your bridesmaids in the same colour shoe, but they want different styles. Or, you could put them all in the same style, with different colours. That would look awesome with plain black dresses, I think.

What shoes are you planning to wear? What would your dream shoes look like?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas, and an illustrated proposal

Merry Christmas would-be grooms and brides and other peoples! I tried to find a sweet vintage Christmassy image, but this astonishing comic strip proposal trumps it. Melbourne illustrator Guy Shield proposed to his girlfriend with a tricky, fold-up, eight foot long illustrated panel. Go and read the full story, then go and remind your loved ones that they are just that.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wedding Planners; or A Little Rant

BCB suggested the other day, that as we start signing contracts and collecting Pieces of Paper That Really Shouldn't Be Lost that we might want to start a file for wedding stuff. Excellent, says I. I'll go looking for a wedding planner today. Here is what I discovered:

i) Many planners have a picture of a bride, holding a bouquet, with her head and feet chopped off. The groom does not get a look-in;
ii) Some refer to to the unattainable 'perfect day';
iii) They only use the singular - 'your day', or 'my wedding';
iv) Even the allegedly 'progressive' planners refer only to the bride;
v) occasionally you will accidentally pick up something you think is a planner, only to discover that it is in fact a bride's 'journal', with places for photos and personal reflection. Something like a baby book, except the focus is a single day of celebration, rather than a living, growing thing;
vi) Those planners that have non-offensive covers and that do not imply only a bride's involvement are invariably far larger than an ordinary ringbinder. They are simply huge portfolios to be lugged from appointment to appointment.

Conclusion? I splashed on a nice blue ringbinder from Kikki K, wrote 'Gettin' Hitched' down the spine, and chucked some rainbow file dividers inside. Done.

Monday, December 21, 2009

All I want for (my last pre-wedding) Christmas

is Judith Martin's newest tome. Unfortunately, it isn't out until the end of March. I have pre-ordered mine, though. I was introduced to Miss Manners via A Practical Wedding. If you haven't yet experienced the dry, cutting, yet eminently (and, sadly, refreshingly) sensible advice of this ettiquette doyenne, you can read a little piece on her opinion of weddings here at Utah Bride, some reassuring words over here at A Practical Wedding, and a fairly droll recounting of her own wedding here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Affordable, unique, locally-designed...

Yes please.

All images are from Hustle's Facebook page, taken at the 2009 Perth Fashion Festival

So I was in Fremantle for a meeting with The Reception Venue Guy,* when I wandered past Hustle, in Fremantle. Hustle is a kind of co-op store, where several local labels sell their wares. One of the labels, LinPin, does bridal and formal stuff, and damn is it gorgeous! It's kept at the back of the store (in a well-lit spot!) Sure, the changeroom ain't flash, but the dresses sure are! It's all very definitely got a bridal feel, but it is a little more unique (and, dare I say it, Fremantley) than other stuff I've seen. Many of the gowns had a slight Japanese influence, using floral motifs, Japanese-style brocades, and obi-like sashes.

I'm pretty sure the dresses on the rack are samples, and that your dress would be made to order. There was, at a guess, maybe ten or twelve bridal gowns, plus some colourful long dresses, if white ain't your thang. Again, while I'm not certain, it looked and felt like many of the fabrics are silk. Only thing I noticed is that many of them were unlined - fine for a Summer wedding, but if I were getting a dress I'd ask about the possibility of putting in a lining. The dress above is the most stunning silver and white brocade. Pricewise, the dresses I picked up were between $500 and $1500. Yep, seriously. A couple of the most elaborate gowns were on models rather than hangers, and I imagine they'd be a little more again. But seriously, why would you go with a nasty synthetic number when you could have a pretty like this for the same price?

This was my favourite dress. The detail round the bust is little fabric yo-yos.

As well as dresses, they had loads of cute little boleros and capes and cover-ups. In brocade and sequins and faux fur. Really, really cute. I think I might look into getting one. Because I might get chilly at the reception, right?

Two thumbs up, and completely recommended. Hustle's website is sort of under construction, but you can visit them at 68 High St, Fremantle.

* Sorry for being so mysterious, but I want to keep the location under wraps until we've paid a deposit and all that jazz.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bridesmaid dresses

Both images from the Colette Patterns website

Sure, you could go for a godawful polyester number from a big ol' bridal store... or you could get the dresses made. Colette Patterns is a one-woman business working to create vintage-inspired dress patterns that you'd actually want to wear. As well as looking good, if you took this route you'd be supporting an independent craftsperson when buying the pattern, then (likely) another small businesswoman who makes your dresses; instead of a faceless corporation exploiting cheap labour. I think the dress above would be beautiful in raw silk. Or the dress below would be lovely for a casual outdoor wedding in lightweight cotton. Either way, unqiue, whimsical and sure as heck something I'd be likely to wear again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More sophisticated colour palettes

Colour palettes from Pantone via Apartment Therapy

(This post is to be read in a tongue-in-cheek posh accent. Because really, all this fuss over colour is a little bridezilla, non?)

Okay, I guess one of the issues I had with a colourscheme is that I like a lot of colours. All colours are fab! I'm more interested in the play between a lot of different colours than the use of two or three distinct hues.

Pantone creates big sets of colours - palettes, rather than schemes. Unfortunately, you usually need to buy the actual guides to access all their palette forecasts. But I did find a few shown on this Apartment Therapy post. Also, if you go to the Pantone Product page, each of the Colour Planners has a preview of one selected colourscheme. Not a bad start, huh?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Store review: HobNob

I have visited two big-name (as far as Perth goes) bridal stores since I bought my dress. In search of a veil, see. I was planning to review my experience at both. Given that I struggle to think of anything positive about one of them (and mama always said "If you don't have something nice to say...") I'll give a mixed review of the other. HobNob.

The range of dresses at HobNob is probably amongst the most fashion forward of the non-couture wedding places in Perth. There was a lovely Pronovia's gown with ruching and giant appliqued chiffon flowers that rather caught my eye. Unfortunately, most of the dresses looked pretty, but felt tres polyester.

As far as veils/ headpieces go, they certainly have a more interesting range. Veils of many kinds, loads of feathery-flowery headpieces, and a few hats too! Note that not all of it is on display - there are all kinds of flowers and combs kept in drawers behind the counter. You don't need an appointment if you're just going in to look at accessories, and in my experience at times I had someone helping me and suggesting things, then they'd wander off and leave me alone for a little. Which was nice.

It may have been because I was there on a particularly overcast day, but I couldn't help but notice that the back of the store was very dimly lit. This low-lighting was a feature shared with The Namesless Store, so I can't work out if it's a coincidence, or the stores are choosing 'mood lighting' on purpose. Either way, I'm not a fan. I want to be able to see myself, and the dress, properly. Most people are married in daylight, so I want to be able to see how everything will look as it will on the day.

Conveniently, if you have an entourage in tow, they have a bridesmaids dress shop right next door (I forget what it's called). A friend recently got her bridesmaid gowns there and they were really lovely. Elegant and well-fitting.

Have you been to HobNob? Did you get a dress there? What was your experience like?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Colour schemes

The announcement of Pantone Colour of the Year (yes, seriously) reminded me about our lack of colour scheme thus far... I can't decide if I should be worried or not... I just figured I'd let The Only Bridesmaid choose her dress, and work a colourscheme around that and the reception venue (mostly white, concrete, and dark wood). There's so many fabbity-fab colourschemes I want to choose from! Rust and grass green; or magenta and yellow are favourites right now. I mean really, aside from TOB's dress, the only things to colour coordinate are flowers, table runners and papergoods. Not exactly a massive stress, right?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Getting shirty: options for the menfolk

Image from the blank-label site

So I featured Duchess Clothier a while ago, but they don't have an online custom-shirt-ordering function. I have seen a couple of other such sites, but they didn't have much choice when it came to fit. A concern when you have a six-foot beanpole with a taste for the 60s and 70s (when shirts were slim).

Blank-Label seems a bit funkier, however. There is the option to customise body fit, neck size and sleeve length all independently. And their monogramming option is totally, gorgeously fab - imagine ordering these for the groomsmen, and getting their name, or some silly in-joke, embroidered on the inside collar?

The detailing options are pretty good - you can play with a lot of different shapes and contrast-colouring options (different coloured plackets and collar linings for each groomsman?). Get to choose your buttons (each groomsman in the same shirt with different buttons?). The only thing lacking, I think, is the option to add cowboy-shirt-styled back and front panels. You know, the pointy kinda panels, instead of straight across? And some plaid fabric options would be nice. Just sayin'.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Awesome, serious, hardcore bubble from Pearls Events, photographed by Amy Carroll

The modern name for those 60s style veils I like is a 'bubble veil', or, occasionally 'fountain veil'. Which made searching etsy a whoooole lot easier.

Only problem being I want a wee blusher to go over my face to start with, that can be pushed back over my already-huge veil afterwards. I haven't seen anything like this, and I can't tell if it's because noone's thought of it, it's gosh-darn ugly, or it's impossible engineering-wise. But I'm pretty tempted to find out by making my own veil. There's an excellent 'how to' here. My only additional tips are:
i) make one out of cheapy tulle first to get a feel for what you're doing and how it will look; and
ii) hairspray holds more than just hair in place. Use for maintaining super-volume on the day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


All images from Burnside Bungalows

Not sure what we're doing by way of honeymoon yet. I rather want to go to Bali, where spa treatments and cocktails are cheap, but BCB is not so sure. Poking around today I found Burnside Bungalows in Margaret River which sounds pretty damn nice.

They have three chalets on their organic and biodynamic farm in Margaret River. One of the big thrills for me is that guests are invited to pick their own farm produce to cook dinner. Yep, even on my honeymoon I'd be interested in hunting/ gathering and cooking.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Image from Collylogic, of his or her fabulous parents. Note also the bride has short hair!

I haven't, I must admit, had much joy searching for a veil so far. HobNob do have some more unique things (including a rather fab thing that is sort of a cross between a small hat and a large headband), but everything is either too short and too flat, or too long and too flat. I have decided that what I want... is a sixties style veil. In the sixties veils were all about volume, and tended to be just past the shoulders. The veil was often attached to a pillbox hat for extra volume, but I don't think I'll go that far.

This site here has some simply gorgeous images showing off wedding dress, bouquet and veil styles for each decade of the 20th century. I highly recommend it if you want some ideas on how to get away from the same-old same-old (or if you're planning a vintage-y wedding). Simply dreamy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Indulge me - strawberry lemonade

Image from Star5112

So I have a thing for Southern food (no idea why). While in San Francisco we ate at the fabulous Famer Brown's, where BCB and I had candied sweet potato and grits and succotash and hush puppies and fried catfish for the first time ever. Fabulous. So from the nearby Borders I purchased The Glory of Southern Cooking (even the title is wonderful) to recreate those wonders at home. Last night we had mac'n'cheese for the first time in my life.

But before that, I used up some slightly squishy strawberries and excess lemons making strawberry lemonade. It was delicious and easy (and not too sweet), and might be something to consider for a summer kitchen tea, or to serve straight after the ceremony. So here's the recipe:

1.5 cups water
1 cup of sugar
1.5 cups fresh lemon juice (6 - 8 lemons)
1 cup of ripe fresh strawberries, stems cut off and cut into quarters
1L club soda water

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir until sugar dissolves (about 2 minutes).

Let the sugar syrup cool a little, then stick it in a blender with the lemon juice and strawberries. Blitz until smooth. Chill.

To serve, stir the club soda into the lemonade base.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Awesome proposal

So I'm a fan of proposals involving livestock. But I think anyone would be in awe of this awesome feat - spelling out 'Marry Me Jenna' with thousands of live sheep in a paddock! Find the whole story at Studio Home Creative.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Priscilla of Boston

So Glamour Closet was supposed to be my only bridal shopping. But wandering around downtown SF I couldn't help but notice the giant, giant Priscilla of Boston sign. And online window shopping meant I knew I really liked some of their lines (Melissa Sweet especially). And they sell their own samples in store, rather than on-selling to places like Glamour Closet. So I found myself heading in, without an appointment, just for a little peek. Ha.

Image from SF Yelp

I was sold. The salon looked so glam. There were so many beautiful gowns. They keep all their samples for sale in a room out the back, and were only too happy to show me through. They were all arranged by size, and I was only 'allowed' to look at those within two sizes of myself so that alterations would be realistically possible. I was shown each gown in turn, and said yay or nay. That done, they made an appointment for me to come back later in the day and try on the gowns I picked out. When I came back there was a whole new rack of sample gowns for sale. Because the new collections have been released, just that afternoon the salons had been told which dresses were being discontinued and thus to be pulled from the racks. So I picked out a few more! Yay!

Condition varied from 'Has anyone ever even tried this on?' to 'Oo... okay... gonna need a clean and some new buttons.' I tried on one gown, and my sales assistant told me (I couldn't see) that there were a lot of snags in the back where the train had caught on some beading, and that she wouldn't let me buy it, because the damage was too bad and irreparable. The majority would need a dry-clean (no stains, just dust/ grime), and lost buttons seemed to be the most common problem. Really close examination revealed the tiniest runs on some gowns, one had a pleat that had been untacked. Gowns at 40 - 50% off.

Glamour Closet/ A not-quite-new dress

So, I'm sure a review of a second-hand gown store in the USA isn't terribly relevant to most of my readership, but I'm going to give it anyway. Well, the focus will be more on the pros and cons of the second-hand gown market. It's not something that's terribly common in Australia, but given my exposure to US blogs, I'd already been poring over OnceWed and PreOwnedWeddingDress.

I'd first considered a vintage dress, but I own a few frocks from the 1940s onwards, and vintage invariably does mean some imperfections and greater delicacy. Well, a second-hand or sample gown isn't much different from vintage, aside from the age. It would give me the opportunity to wear a gown I couldn't otherwise afford (how great is this Vera Wang at about 75% off?). And re-using is definitely an environmentally friendly option.

So, Glamour Closet. The gowns varied, from really very, very lightly worn, to 'Oh my god, you're trying to sell this?!' (I picked out a beautiful crochet lace gown, only to find out it had gaping holes down the front). The variety was nice. I found the prices to be high compared to the online sites, but I quickly worked out that often what you can't tell from a picture, or the gown on the rack, how it will look on you. So I really appreciated to chance to shop other than online.

I did find a very pretty dress, at $2700 from around $8000, I believe. But it made me feel like an ice princess - beautiful, serene, shy. To be honest, on my wedding day, I want to feel sassy. I want to saunter down that aisle, not tiptoe. Also $2700 (+ sales tax + currency conversion) was more than I wanted to pay. So it was not the gown.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wedding stuff while on holiday

So. BCB and I are in San Franscisco right now. We went to Borders last night and I reveled in the fact that Martha Stewart Weddings magazine is $6, instead of $15. It feels a little odd looking at the ads and knowing I could actually go to the stores they advertise, if I wanted. There was also a magazine called New York Bride (or possible New York Weddings, I forget). Obviously much of it is location-specific, but the style/ feel was very much me. In fact, their invitations spread featured my second favourite invitation choice.

Sadly, the bridal departments of Saks and Nieman Marcus both closed late last year (a result of the GFC, I guess?) I am intending to check out Glamour Closet, which sells ex-sample gowns. But that's the full extent of intended bridal shopping.

We have, however, stumbled on some amazing art galleries in the area. Just before we left Perth, BCB and I booked our wedding photographer, who turned out to be about half the price we budgeted. "Hoorah for under-budget us!" we foolishly thought to ourselves... now we're trying to decide if we can blow the extent of that saving on some art for us. Like, a wedding present to ourselves, right?

Monday, November 2, 2009

nice stinky stuff

Image by Lisa

I've read a bit about choosing a special Bridal Perfume, and this always struck me as being one of the stupid things marketed to women getting married to encourage them to buy more Stuff. But maybe that's because I've never been that in to perfume.

In my adult life I've only ever regularly worn one perfume - Clarins Eau Dynamisante. But recently I've been wanting to change it up a little. I wanted, to be honest, something in a prettier bottle. But where to start? Well, Sephora have a neat fragrance finder, where you can enter your favourite perfume and it'll suggest what else you might like. Or, you might go to Fragrantica and look up your favourite, then search for other perfumes with similar notes. Or check out the reviews at Base Notes.

But you can't buy a perfume without smelling it first. Which is where The Perfumed Court comes in. They sell sample-sized vials of just about every perfume you can imagine - including discontinued and vintage ones. My first order was whittled down to, uh, eleven samples. All arrived within a fortnight, safely packaged. And it's been so much fun trying them all out. I definitely recommend the site.

And the winners out of my chosen samples? Miller Harris' Fleurs de Sel, L'eau Diptyque and Eau D'Italie's Sienne L'Hiver.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pets at the party?

So. Maybe this is just an excuse to show off our gorgeous little puppy, Lola. But I've encountered some interesting reactions since we got her. Some friends are completely horrified that we might even consider not having her at the wedding. One offered to smuggle her into the chapel in an oversize orange tote bag (until I explained that at the time of our wedding, Lola will be about 12 kilos)! On the other hand, there are people saying 'Um, why would you have your dog at your wedding. It's a dog.' And I have to admit I lean towards the latter. She's likely to jump up on guests, get my dress dirty, and pee somewhere inappropriate... but then puppies do make a cute ringbearer! But then, where will she stay at the reception? Who will feed her?

So tell me, are you involving your furry family in your nuptials at all? When? How?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Celestial Tenille

Both images from Celestial Tenille's facebook page

So. I rang our ceremony venue last week, to ask what I should do to get around to booking them. And, to my surprise, was told that certain dates for October 2010 were already booked! My! This put the fear of god in me, and I've promptly been rushing about sorting out Wedding Things. Now bear in mind we're going overseas for a holiday in a fortnight, we have a new little puppy needing vaccines and love and chew toys, and it looks like we might finally be settling on the property we've been trying to buy for a year, BCB just got back from a fortnight overseas for work... and you start to imagine how cuh-razy life is seeming.

But. Anyway. The fear of god thing. My GP (!) asked if I'd started dress shopping yet, and I said 'Nah, figure I'll do it middle of next year,' only to be told that many dressmakers require a six month turnaround! Argh! So I rushed into the nearest bridal salon, one that I walk past every day for work, Celestial Tenille.

Very, very impressed. Their sales assistant was lovely and friendly, and showed me swatches, and dresses going to other girls, and samples, and sketches. She explained that they don't need six months lead time because everything is made in Australia (nice for anyone with garment labour concerns). She explained the different kinds of fabrics, and how they prefer plainer dress cuts so that you can choose lots of different embellishment. I told her about my fear of god, and she joked that one's parents have to book the reception venue as soon as you're born these days. While they like appointments because then they can show you sketches of dresses that aren't on the rack, you're welcome any time to just drop by and try on a gown. Very relaxing.

That said, nothing there made me gasp (just not quite my style, and at around the $4k mark for made to measure/ semi-couture (you can mix and match dress parts, and change some bits slightly) it's more than I want to spend. But if you're after non-frothy and lovely service and a bit of a say in your gown, I definitely recommend them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gifty thingies

So, it seems traditional to give gifts to your wedding party. Why, I've yet to quite work out, and I must admit I'm not quite sold on it (yet?) Nonetheless, I do think a nice little piece of art is a good gift. Something from Sugarloop won't break the bank (I have two of her pretty silkscreens already hanging up in my office), and it goes without saying that you'll find something to suit any taste by doing a good'n'proper etsy search.

But if you want something (a) local; and (b) free your best bet would be to enter Bespoke Press'** awesome competition to win a set of free prints (am I just blogging this to get my five extra entries? You betcha!) Unless you have some super-sized bridal-brigade if you won you could pick out the prints that most suit your people,* then keep the rest for yourself. And if you don't win, well, I reckon they're still awesome gifts.

* Or, if you're killer selfish, the ones that least suit your own style.
** Do I need to point out that Bespoke Press are a letterpress printing business located in Australia? Awes, no?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's been a while.

Image from EatDrinkChic.

Oops. Sorry. Life Got In The Way, as it is wont to do. Part of it involved a new little puppy called Lola, most of it didn't.

But I'm back to say: Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, look at this awesome blog. EatDrinkChic.

Amy Moss is a graphic designer/ stylist in Melbourne, who blogs about Nice Things (not wedding exclusive), but has put a whole lot of really cool, really free templates up on her site. Wicked stuff like origami flower instructions to give your bridesmaids, and vintage-style soda labels and favour boxes shaped like milk cartons. Tres, tres cool. Why did I not know about her before?

I'm totally trying to work out how to fit the Thankyou Flashcards into the wedding palaver. Just flat at the table settings? Write people's names and table number on the reverse? Enlarge and use as our thankyou cards?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vintage wedding gowns

I'm adoring some of the gowns available at Timeless Vintage Vixen on etsy. The one above is my absolute, absolute favourite. That chiffon around the neckline turns into these great sweeping drapes at the back that imply 'train' without actually dragging on the ground. Tres cool. Unfortunately, it's miles too huge for me, to the point where I'm not sure it could be taken in without reconstructing the whole dress.

I also think there's a sweet charm about this dress, and I don't normally go for flapper-style dresses. I think it's bold metallic floral.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Another lead?

Chatting to the Best (wo)Man and her Man last night at a party. About wedding stuff, in part ("I don't want to wear a suit anymore," "Okay, don't. Wear what you want," "But you have to tell me what to wear!" "But I don't really care very much," "Should I wear the same dress as the bridesmaid?" "NO! That would be awful!"* "Can I wear an inversion of the bridesmaid's dress then?" "Um... what? Okay. Sure. Whatever.")

Anyway, just as we left, I had a sudden brainwave. Best (wo)Man and her Man both have fine arts degrees.
"Best (wo)Man, you don't own a gocco press, do you?"
"A what?"
"For silkscreening."
"I can silkscreen, but I don't have the stuff to do it."
"Okay. But ohmygod - you could design the invites, right?!"
"Nuh. But Man can. It's like, what he does. He's done invites before."
"Man? You can do invites? Without big floofy roses on them? Because if I see another invite with nineteenth century floral illustrations I'm going to throw up.** What I'm really into is good typography. Can you do good typography?"
*Man smiles*
"Yes. That is my thing. I love typography. I could totally do your invites."
Thus followed a discussion of whether the typewriter font was 'over' (all agreed yes) and the merits of turning our own handwriting into a font.

Now just hope Best (wo)Man and Man stay together for another year or so, when we'll actually need the invites.

* I have nothing against matchy-matchy bridal party in general, except that the bridesmaid is very girly, very buxom, very feminine. The Best (wo)Man is not so girly, unco, and built like a teenage boy. There is no dress on the planet that will suit them both.
** Again, just a personal preference. I have nothing serious against floral invites.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Reception Venues with Decent Chairs and Wooden Floors

While I've heard many a person claim that they will not have their reception at a venue where the chairs need covering, my needs are more pedestrian (in the walking-on-the-ground sense). I completely and utterly refuse to celebrate my wedding at a place with carpet on the floor. Hate the stuff. Tiles are also out. It's just an easy way to quickly vet venues - if the place has carpet or tiles, it just isn't going to have the feel I want. While floorboards are the ideal, the venue we're ultimately going with is part floorboards, part concrete, part pavers (yes, inside). I don't mean to be mysterious, but I'll reveal our too-awesome venue when we actually make a deposit on it.

In the meantime, here is another non-80s, be-boarded place to party: Maria's on the Terrace. The food is pretty simple, and I can't vouch for it, but I can point out that the place is in Freo and owned by Italians. And I can't think of an Italian place in Freo where I haven't had a good - albeit not nouvelle cuisine - meal.

The place looks awesome, and they do some nice packages that mean you don't need to worry your pretty head about centrepieces and linen. It's on the first floor of a place on South Terrace, so your guests can hang out on the balcony and watch the crowd at Gino's and the Saturday night boglappers (I say this with all affection for Freo and my own wasted youth). An excellent choice if your guests are likely to party on once the official festivities are over.

I've found the perfect florist

Pity I'm not living in Scotland.

Snapdragon seems to specialise in growing the things that aren't terribly popular or common in bouquets (wedding or otherwise). I love how the bouquet above is such a wild mix of colour and texture. And I love the inclusion of mint. I think it's pretty clear I'm keen on herbs in my floral arrangements.

This one has herbs in it too - rosemary. And eucalypt leaves, which would be perfect for an Australian wedding. And I like the size and shape of the arrangement generally. It looks nice and manageable. It could work with flannel flowers instead of the narcissusesesesses (oo, that word is hard to spell) maybe... but where will the big, blowzy roccoco tulips that I'm currently adoring fit in?

If I were in the Scottish Perth, rather than the Antipodean one, Snapdragon would most certainly be my florist of choice. As it is, I'll just have to continue to slavishly follow her blog, and use it as inspiration.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tsunami Sushi

Images from Tsunami Sushi

One of the nicest looking restaurant venues I've found in Perth is Tsunami Sushi. No dated '80s interiors - it's all sleek and magical. Their food is pretty awesome too (expert tip: squid ink risotto makes your lips black. Use napkin often). The wedding packages are kind of French-Japanese fusion (as is much of their menu), so it shouldn't be too weird for Aunt Beryl and her strictly anglo taste buds. An ex-wedding photographer acquaintance rated it as one of the best metro reception locations she'd been to.

They're in Mosman Park, in a small strip of shops, so plenty of free parking about and not too far for your guests to travel from a ceremony in Freo or King's Park.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I heart kraft paper

From Twig&Fig, via RitzyBee

These invites were apparently inspired by the film Juno. While I query letting a comedy about teen pregnancy dictate your wedding styling, I adore the results. Like, loads. I'm all about the kraft paper and hand-lettering right now.

I haven't really noticed an Australian letterpresses doing much in the way of really interesting typography - they seem to concentrate mostly on graphic elements. I wonder if this is a customer-driven thing, or a personal thing?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I want this wedding

It's not actually a real wedding, it's a photo shoot. Boo.

Sans the cigarettes, and the kids (cute, but I don't know any kids).

I've always detested wedding photos of the groomsmen all wearing (invariably) wraparound mirrored sunnies, but this 'groom' (and his 'bride') are rockin' their shades. I've also been dying to get BCB some totally awesome pointy boots, mostly because his friend has some and they look rad, and so do Nick Cave's (the Nick Cave exhibition on at the WA Museum right now has fostered a bit of extra lust for the handlebar 'tache and the pointy boots).

From Cory Kennedy, via East Side Bride.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We might have a lead...

On a venue. I'm still waiting for their function package (I think they might have forgotten, and need a reminder call. I was a teeny bit concerned when they just scrawled my e-mail address across a blank notepad and stuck it next to... something in the kitchen). All we know is they can seat up to 120, serve full sit-down meals, charge $4 a head corkage (!), we can use the courtyard till 9pm, we have to have soundproofing batts in the windows, and last weekend they had a 60s-jazz-club themed reception. And we have no choice as to the art on the walls, but can find out ahead of time what it will be...

Put on your beret and your best po-mo stare - we're lookin' at galleries, people. Galleries.
Although all the dress posts might have you thinking otherwise, the thing I'm most excited about wedding-wise is the food (the phrase 'micromanage' has come up in conversation with BCB in reference to my 'excitement'). Like a Greek mother, I'm living in eternal fear of people not being fed enough. Nothing will convince me that three courses is enough. I've been thinking recently that it might be more cost effective to put out cheese platters after dessert, rather than have canapes before the entree. Those that are full from three courses can abstain, but cheese and crackers is quite the hearty snack for those that need more.

This is the most stunning cheese platter I think I've ever seen. Whoever ends up doing the food (restaurant or caterer) is going to be shown this picture as a reference. I love how wild and rustic it looks. And abundant, with the food piling up. Just gorgeous. It's from the same wedding as the bride with the fantastic butterfly dress too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Colleen Quen couture

I adore this butterfly print dress. I'd forgotten until I saw it that I'd always thought that a print on a white background would be a lovely way to be bridal without being Bridal. The dress is from a spread-thing on, and the food looks pretty damn fine too. It might get its own post, I think.

The gown is by Colleen Quen, who does some amazingly beautiful stuff. I love this big obi-like sash-train. Unfortunately, it seems Ms Quen only sells through her salon in San Francisco. Such a pity. I could really get excited about a gown by her.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Akira Bridal

Seems Akira Isogawa is formally moving into bridal wear. I love the idea - I like the minimalism and beautiful use of fabric print and pattern of Akira's stuff, but I'm not quite positive about how it will translate to bridal wear. Mind, if the the tiny photo accompanying this article is anything to go by, his bridal wear may well be more traditional.

Here's hoping Elle (being the only stockist of Akira in Perth) decide to add his stuff to their little bridal alcove.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cakes with wild flowers

Both cakes are made and photographed by the amazing QuintanaRoo.

I mean wild in the 'awesome' sense, as well as the not-formally-arranged and not-formally-cultivated sense too. Aren't these (vegan) cakes just the most beautiful things you've ever seen? I think I'll be showing these to the Caker.

There's some other nice, bright fresh flower numbers here and here, and a rocking sugared fruit cake (and rocking groom) here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More on cake

You know how I was talking about cake that looks like food? I think this cake, covered in toasted coconut thread, achieves that. I like to think that the top of the cake is dead flat white icing though. It'd be even better in tiers, mind.

And I'm liking the almost-smooth-but-not-quite-perfect icing on this poppyseed number. And those cute little blobbets. Meringues? Biscotti kind of thingies?

These both come from the Sweetness website, which is under construction. If you live in NSW, however, the sweets themselves are available already. I'd be looking into them as my caker, if I were not on the isolated side of Australia.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vendors aren't as scary as you think

One option we are considering for the Best (wo)Man's suit is seeing how a hire suit might work out. The girl is fairly straight-up-and-down, and I'm thinking she could probably get away with a teen boy's suit (with a woman's shirt). I was a little concerned about how suit hire places might react to the idea.

Well, one decent thing to come out of the Bridal Lair was a chat with a lady at Spurling. She said quite bluntly that they don't have women's suits. Then cheerfully added that they do do some men's jackets that are very tapered at the waist that might work out, and to come by sometime and try them on. "The worst that can happen is that you work out that you can't put her in one of our suits, and you go look for something else."

That's the worst? Seriously? Awes. With an attitude like that, we're definitely testing the waters.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Awesome Caker

I'm not sure where this is from now... possibly Martha Stewart?

I realised I nearly forgot to blog about The Awesome Caker* I met at the Bridal Lair. Kaylee was dressed in a polka dot New Look dress, with lace gloves and a bouffant. She had tasty, tasty cakey samples. Nothing was too hard (not even choc-mint flavoured red velvet cake).** She was friendly and bubbly and enthusiastic. Without being pushy. When I admitted that I found it hard to get excited about cake she looked at me agape and said "But cake is the best part of a wedding!"

Kaylee is the Wedding Cake Lady at the Cake Box, and she has her own blog here.

Neither I nor BCB are sure what we want in a cake yet, but my growing thought is that I want it to look like food. Seriously, most wedding cakes don't really look like something that could or should be eaten. So I'm thinking maybe something a little bit home-made and organic by way of icing, and fresh fruit... or else embrace the fake and just have loads and loads of huge icing flowers.

* I've decided Caker is the verb for someone that makes/ decorates wedding cakes.
** "Well, Red Velvet is really more a colour than a flavour. It's just a whole lotta food colouring. So if you really want choc mint red velvet it can be done." I loved the honesty.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dresses at the Grand Social

I just found the Grand Social the other day. It's a site where designers can list their wares for sale directly to the public - a little like an Australian etsy only for fashion. It has some pretty big names, and it has a couple of dresses that would do nicely for a walk down the aisle.

This, the Petal Dress (deeper links not possible), from Nicola Finetti, is advertised as being suitable for a wedding (I'm starting to secretly suspect that all designers that make a long-ish white dress are shooting for brides, without having to announce themselves as a 'bridal designer').

I really like this Principessa gown by Jayson Brunsdon. Tres chic. There's lots of shorter white dresses in the range (see 'em peeking out behind?), in really interesting shapes too. But this was my favourite.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dressing the Best (wo)Man Part II

Sophia Coppola rocks a suit hard

Some vintage menswear from Circa Vintage (I'm only a little bit obssessed...) is modelled over here. I'm digging the ruffled pussy-bow blouses.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hell has chair covers and ice sculptures, or The Value of Bridal Fairs

I went to a Bridal Lair-I-mean-Fair last weekend. I went because my mother was dying to go, and I was mildly curious. On the whole, it was fairly depressing. I came out particularly uninspired with bridal fashion and invitations. I dodged flyers from forceful videographers.

BUT it was not an entire loss. I discovered that wedding cars are much, much cheaper than I thought they'd be, and that if BCB wanted, we probably could get a couplea vintage Mustangs or Cadillacs (turns out BCB doesn't want).

I had an awesome chat with a cake-maker (baker? Cake vendor? I dunno). Frankly, within reason, I don't care what her prices are. She's fun (everyone in her booth had bouffant hair, New Look dresses and lace gloves), she's friendly, she's young, she gave me cake samples, and you'll hear more about her later.

If you needed a celebrant, it would be a great place to quickly meet and greet a whole bunch.

So, in all, better than I thought, (but I don't think I need to do another).