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.