Tuesday, October 26, 2010

the wedding singer

I was so excited I just had to share. BCB and I felt so, so fortunate that an old friend of his (who I actually thought he was dating when we first met!) agreed to be our all-round wedding singer. To boot, she was an absolute champ who submitted to playing covers,* along with some freestylin' ukele work. Her new single was launched today. Enjoy it, and enjoy the divine Ms Abbe May!

* Barry Louis Polisar's All I Want Is You; Nick Cave's Into My Arms, and The Darkness' I Believe In A Thing Called Love.

Monday, October 18, 2010

paper good(s).

A lovely commenter pointed out that I hadn't shown off my invites yet, which was a kuh-raaaazy oversight on my part. I think that I took some snaps, decided they were pretty terrible quality, and never got round to blogging them. But I should. So y'all can come crash the reception, non? (um, no. Please).

The invites were by HeatherJeany on etsy, based on one of her other designs (with the colours changed and a bee motif removed). They don't look so great through the plastic wrapper they're in. You can't tell that the brown-ish text is actually metallic copper (yay!) I would totally and utterly recommend Heather if you're looking for invites. Her work is reasonably priced, she is very organised and professional and her invitation design skills are just awesome.

The hand-screenprinting comes out flat, maybe a little raised where the ink is thick. There is the odd tiny imperfection which I like. Reminds you that they're handmade. As well as invites and rsvps, we got her to do thankyou cards and order of service booklet covers for us.

The 'bells' references on the rsvp ('borrowed' from this wedding here) was well worth it. We have had one guest terribly confused and concluding it means 'bring a partner' (wha? Ah well!) Someone that couldn't attend explained that 'they're allergic to bells - what are the odds?' Another guest is 'with bells' while her partner ticked 'undecided' and added 'apprehensive about bells since that incident in 2007.' And our darling MC indicated that he would be there with bells on 'and only bells on.'

Friday, October 15, 2010

$8k wedding: Food

The trickiest part of the $8k budget is definitely feeding everyone. With $4000 (according to my budget breakdown) that comes to $40 per head, including drinks. One certainly can cater one's own wedding, but I know it would do my head in. Plus it feels like cheating given that I'm trying to prove how far the money can stretch.
So I pretty much just googled caterers in WA for a bit and found that, for my town hall wedding, one can get a catered spit-roast with two kinds of meat and loads of different salad and veges for $18 per person. This was certainly down at the cheaper end of the range of prices I found, but there were a few caterers playing with this number, and it certainly wasn't the lowest price I found. Sure, it isn't the most glam option, but it's good hearty food that will fill everyone up, and it certainly has a homey, retro feel.

For the backyard wedding? What's more casual and Italian (and delicious) than woodfired pizza?

Cicciobella are a Perth-based mobile pizza oven company that offer three courses (calzone, all you can eat pizza, and dessert pizza) for a smidge over $20 per person. Brilliant!

Either options leaves you with $10 - 20 per person for drinks (depending on how much wiggle room you want to leave for contingencies). Counting one bottle of wine per person (go see the Dan Murphy's drinks calculator for a better estimate), and assuming you buy at LiquorLand or Vintage Cellars and get 30% off by buying by the dozen, you will be serving up some not shabby drinks!

Tip: Got rellies flying in from overseas for the wedding? Ask them to bring in their duty-free allowance in vodka and make up a big fruit punch for your town hall wedding, or mix it up with some red wine for sangria for your backyard (Spanish-)Italian do.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

$8k wedding: Invitations

Now that we have a venue to inform the feel of the wedding, it's time for invites! Print-at-home is your friend. Failing that (or in preference to that, if you want to print on thicker card, or want the colours to look really lush) you take your stuff to a printing centre like KwikCopy. To be honest, I can only make an educated guess about the cost of printing colour papergoods at a print centre, but I am guessing you'd be looking at a couple of hundred dollars to do your invites plus a little more (rsvps, menus or thankyou cards, maybe?).

And etsy is so very much the place to look for your invitations. There are loads of simply stunning options for pdf-downloads to print at home. I think this would be perfect for the retro town hall dance wedding:

And maybe this one for the casual-elegant Italian do?

If either of these are busting the budget, I even found this lovely monogrammed, flourished printable set for $15!

Monday, October 11, 2010

$8K wedding: the venue

When you're playing with a tight budget, your choices of venue drop right down. You might need to be a little more flexible about the vibe of your wedding, and because you're going to have limited choices, I think the venue should inform the theming, rather than choosing the other way around. So, what options are there?

First, and most obviously: the backyard. Maybe yours, maybe your folks, maybe your extended family, maybe even friends (my mum's friend was so very eager to have our wedding reception in her backyard). Ask around, you never know who might be willing to put their hand up. And a backyard can be a fairly blank slate, so I'm going to run with a sort of elegant-casual Italian kind of vibe for my imaginary backyard wedding.

Sometimes, though, there just isn't the option of a backyard. Lord knows most of the people I know have nothing larger than a courtyard, if that, these days. And that is where the local hall comes in. Scout around and look at lots of local government websites. They can be a complete bargain. Like this:

Image from the Art Deco Buildings blog.

The Guildford Town Hall. A late-deco beauty that will set you back the grand sum of $256 to hire for your wedding reception. Seriously. And that includes tables and chairs. And yes, it is as pretty inside as out. The feel? A retro village dance, yes? Yes.

(for the record, I think the Gidgegannup Town Hall is also terribly, terribly cute).

(another) dress with bows

Zomg. If it wasn't like, five days until my wedding and I didn't already have a dress, I would totally get that one. It has bows. I think it's a well-known fact I love dresses with bows. Plus it's a bridal label called Princess Lasertron. Plus it's only $550. Triple-threat.

Friday, October 8, 2010

One week to go

This time seven days from now I'll invariably be rushing about trying to grab everything I need to take to the apartment where I'm getting ready to Be Married.

For both BCB and I the enormity of what we're doing has really only hit in the past week or so. It's really quite terrifying. I'm quite sure I'm going to sob my way down the aisle and through the entire ceremony.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Imaginary $8k wedding

Last Tuesday I was lucky enough to catch my first ever episode of Four Weddings (the Australian version). And while all the weddings had their goods bits and their not-so-good, the one that really stuck with me was the afternoon tea reception wedding, with a cash bar. The entire wedding was done on an $8000 budget. Now I am certainly not out to lay in to that wedding - it was a lovely idea, and the bride and groom really enjoyed themselves. But I couldn't help but think that $8k could have gone a lot further than party pies in the mid-afternoon.*

So, I'm using my Mad Wedding Planning Skillz to plan two imaginary weddings with different feels, each being for 100 guests, for $8000 (AUD). I started with a budget breakdown I found here:

Wedding Expense
Reception (venue & catering)
Attire & Accessories
Photography / Video
Flowers 10
Ceremony 5
Rings 5
Entertainment 4
Cake 2
Invitations 2
Transportation 2
Miscellaneous 10
Total %

but it needs tweaking. I think 50% on the reception is more like it. Nothing will be spent on transport, or 'entertainment' (what is that, and why is it so pricey?), giving me a little more wiggle room on attire and invitations. Flowers will be scaled right back, but that 10% will probably go towards decorating the reception venue more generally. I think realistically you won't get a celebrant or a church for under $500, so let's call the ceremony 10% of the budget, shall we?

So, let the games begin!

* Of course, I am assuming that one wants something other than party pies in the mid-afternoon. If that's your idea of the perfect shindig, please don't let my posts be interpreted as rain on your parade!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Yeah, so my bridezilla moment of madness was deciding to make all the napkins from scratch, in all different fabrics. I ordered eleventy billion Kaffe Fassett fabrics and set to. I did start out trying to manage some kind of colour scheme, but it got too hard, so I just chucked anything I fancied in the shopping basket and waited to see what would be delivered to my doorstep. Pretty, huh? Planning to roll them into rectangles, tied with a luggage label and a few brass bells, as place settings.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Urastarhouse is a star.

My little cake toppers have arrived! Man they are the coolest things ever! I've had them out on the mantlepiece to admire (next to my collection of plaster moulds of my teeth, if you're wondering what thing to the left is).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

wedding stuff2

Voila. Practice veil. Made with patterned broadcloth instead of silk. The actual veil will be fuller, but I kind of messed up all the cutting on the practice version (this is why we make a practice version, people).

After much messing around, I discovered/ decided:
i) blusher + bow + veil is too much. So long, blusher.
ii) the best bubble veil is 20 inches long, with the folded edge cut to a curved corner.

Excuse my slightly blotchy skin and damp hair. That photo was actually taken the morning after my hen's night, so frankly I think I'm looking pretty damn fine, circumstances considered.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cake Stands

Can't remember if I talked about this yet or not? Anyway, I was moderately horrified at the cost of Wedding Cake (that is, cake made by someone who professes to make wedding cakes). Not to mention it was important to me that only free range eggs, and actual real food (not the anhydrous doozamewhatsits of packet mix) be used. So we're running with three cakes from Sherbet Bake Shop instead. I asked Sherbet if they could stack their cakes, and they said (quite reasonably, with an explanation) 'no.' So I figured tiered cake stands would work well enough.

I initially enquired with local cake shops about buying a stand, only be quoted 'about $400' for what I wanted.... So then I bought a three-tier model off ebay. It was advertised with the image above. Just allow yourself a moment to fully appreciate the ghastliness of that image.

Add $40 worth of hobby store spray-lacquer in Pearlescent Red (thanks to the lovely guys at Stanbridges who not only helped me pick the right kind of paint, but kept a fairly straight face when I came back in red-handed, asking exactly what product would get the stray paint off my palms...).

Et voila. Not bad, hey? Imagine them laden with lusciously frosted white layer-cakes. Excuse any wobbliness in the stands - I couldn't be bothered to properly straighten them for their glamour-shot. So, $120 of cake, about $100 of cake stand and spraypaint. About half the price of the Wedding Cake quotes I got. I win.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


So... did I post about the cake palaver? I don't think so. Suffice to say, I was horrified at the price of wedding cakes, and decided to just get some 'regular' iced white cakes from a fabulous bakery (at a quarter of the price, no joke). But then I decided to spend part of the money saved on the coolest cake toppers in the entire world. Mm-hm. From Urastarhouse. And here they are! Ta-da! Don't we look grand? I love the idea of having these little mini-us figurines to keep. And yes, those are our fur-kids sitting on our heads (it's okay, they'll just sit next to us on the cake).

Friday, July 30, 2010

The most beautiful bridal accessories ever.

I'm just in love with the stunning butterfly jewellery by etsy seller Jewelera. It's made by transferring images of actual butterflies onto organza fabric... so delicate and ethereal. She has a video showing how the wings flutter in a breeze.

I would snap up the headband in an instant if I could at all get away with it. Unfortunately, my style is much more bold and structured, and I just don't think this would go. But someone else should get it, wear it, and send me the pictures! Let me live vicariously!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Maybe it's not too late for bon-favs?

I just stumbled across an American site called Beau-Coup which stocks all kinds of little party favour bits (wedding and otherwise). Unique ones (no, like actually stuff I haven't seen elsewhere, not 'unique' in the way it gets thrown about these days). Classy ones. That picture above? That's herbal cocktail infusers (add your own liquor and fruit juice). Yum!

And, most importantly, they actually ship to Australia! Well, everything except those gorgeous custom fortune cookies. Which is probably just as well. Because I don't think I could help myself. My other favourite is the personalised biscuit mix.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Excellent Underthings

Right. Trying to keep this SFW. Yesterday my goal was to find a torsolette thing that was strapless and low-backed and comfortable, to go under my dress. Myer and DJs do not stock such things, it turns out. So I had to try find a speciality store.

Problem with googling 'bridal lingerie' (or even searching the yellow pages), is that the same term is used for the formidable, structural, suck-you-in, lift-you-up, invisible-under-your-dress stuff and also for the (usually really naff) racy honeymoon sets. Eek. Cue memories of Kath & Kim and the episode with the snap-crotch teddies.

To top it off, I hate underwear shopping. I really, really do. Such a hassle.

Anyway, I made a list of potentially suitable places. First on the list was Silk Elegance Lingerie in Leederville. My mama (coming along for moral support) was sceptical. She had seen the storefront before, and thought it looked a little dingy and weird.

Oh man was she wrong. I adore this place. They had a whole wall of bridally undergarments that were both pretty and sculpting. They had a massive range of brands (they import some labels especially). They keep all their white and cream nundies in the same section, so it's easy to pick out a set.

And the staff are extraordinary. They are kind, helpful, patient and make getting your kit off in front of them seem completely normal. They are so careful when it comes to fitting. And they do alterations! Yes! Lingerie alterations! Because they want stuff to fit you perfectly. I cannot recommend them highly enough. We didn't even end up hitting any of the other places on my list. Silk Elegance Lingerie in Leederville. Checkit.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Struggling to find a hair person

While makeup people abound, it seems like it's really hard to find a hair stylist to come out and fix us up all pretty like.

What's with that?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Statement necklace with a strapless gown.

This post is serving double duty: first, I adore Jess' big necklace with her strapless gown. I've been pondering wearing a big ol' vintage neckpiece, but wasn't quite sure it would work. Evidently, it does. Though I am still thinking that veil + statement necklace might be a bit much.

Secondly, I adore Jess' photos. Jess is a very popular knit-blogger, which is how I stumbled on her photos. I love, love, love how happy everyone looks in all of them, and how natural. No forced, cheesy 'we're quirky and having fun!' shots here. The photographer was Jenny Jiminez (based in Brooklyn), and you can see a few more shots over here. I'm definitely showing these to our photographer for 'inspiration'.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Surprise! It's my birthday.

I've been showing off a lot of inspiration, recently, rather than talking about my own nuptials. So I figured, now that everyone important to me has seen The Dress (yes, BCB, my family, all my girlfriends, the in-laws... I'm no good with secrets) I'd show it off here. It's my birthday gift to you, dear readers!

When I started gown-shopping I wanted modern, unusual, maybe some lace or beading, and most importantly - not strapless. My, how things change! I did, however, get the thing I secretly wanted but refused to admit to anyone. Bows on my butt. You'll have to go here to see the awesome back.

Everyone that's seen the dress has appropriately gushed, and agreed that it's very 'me'.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Edwardian wedding dresses - for a garden wedding?

One thing I noticed while wedding dress shopping is that most dresses today have beaded lace, and also have cut-out lace applique, rather than being all-over lace.

One of the beautiful things about Edwardian gowns is that they feature lace all over, incorporated into the structure of the dress. Like the one above. Being mostly made of light cotton they're beautiful and feminine and lacy, but still quite casual. The casual nature of these dresses on a modern bride would (unless you're fairly petite) be enhanced by the fact that most Edwardian dresses would only hit mid-calf on a modern girl. So no muddy train to stumble about with.

Edwardian silhouettes tended to have a loose, blousey top, a cinched waist and free-flowing, fairly narrow skirt (compared to the wire-hooped, horse-hair bustled confections of the Victorian period). So an Edwardian gown would be perfect if you want to show off your tiny waist, or if you wanted a more modest bodice.

Okay, this one needs a slip - imagine a powder blue slip! Pretty! From TimelessVintageVixen.

Best of all, these white cotton lace gowns are in relative abundance on ebay and etsy. Unlike other eras, white was an everyday staple for the Edwardian lady, meaning that there are more bridal-coloured gowns floating about. Or, of course, if you wanted something really different, you could dye one of those white gowns whatever hue your heart desires.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mad Men Marriage: Christina Hendricks has style

How fab is the train on Christina Hendricks' gown? Love it. Just love it.

Plus big earrings, pale skin and red hair? Hello, wedding inspiration. Okay, except I don't have Ms Hendricks'... endowments. Also completely digging her groom's outfit.

By the way, if you fancy Ms Hendricks' gown, it's by Carolina Herrara, and you can buy it second-hand for the paltry sum of $1500 (US) over at Pre Owned Wedding Dresses.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Etsy finds: vintage wedding veils

Cute little 50s cage veil, from 13 Bees Vintage. There seems to be a tear in the netting, but you could use your mad DIY skillz to replace the net. I like how flat this sits on the head, and the fact it doesn't rely on a comb to keep it in place.

A beautiful Victorian-era bridal veil with a little pair of lovebirds on the back. Modern veils are so sheer and diaphanous that the weight (and consequent drape) of this lace veil make it a really unique choice. Considering its age the colour has held up well, too. No overt yellowing. At the aptly named Antique Lace Place.

Surprisingly modern looking, this little vintage floral headpiece is made (in part) of pipecleaners! How rad! Totally mouldable to the shape of your head (or hairstyle). Available at Dakota Vintage.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wedding Day Jewellery: the statement ring

A cocktail ring on the right hand is a nice piece of wedding bling, I think. A friend wore her mama's sapphire cocktail ring on the right hand, as her something blue. For something a little more modern (and not blue), I love these coupley rings by DonMoti. The one above is a couple in conversation.

And this gorgeous one is an elderly couple looking back on their younger selves. Aaaaw. Nice symbolism, non?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Choosing the bridal accessories that go round your face.

Volume or length? Volume or length? Hmmm...
From the fabulous Okinawa_Soba's photostream. Seriously, go check it out. There's some awesome non-wedding stuff in there.

You know, veil, earrings, hairstyle, that kinda thing.

I'm not 100% necessarily convinced by all this 'how to dress to suit your proportions and colours' stuff, but these blog posts do seem remarkably thorough (and explain what to do when, like me, your features are squashed into the middle of your face, leaving vast deserty expanses of chin and forehead. Seriously, my forehead is outright Elizabethan*).

First, you wanna work out what your basic face shape is.
But, it's not that simple. 'Cause you got to work out whether your features are actually where they should be, or if you would have been a natural beauty in Elizabeth I's court. So, facial proportions need to be considered.

Now you can consider an appropriately flattering hairstyle, and earrings to suit your face shape.

And, my personal favourite, how to choose a hat to flatter your face. I'm taking a wild guess and saying that the same principles can probable be adapted to choosing a veil?

* What? What is she on about? In the Elizabethan period a high forehead was considered aesthetically pleasing. So much so that women used to pluck their hairline, to create an even higher forehead.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wearing a hat: Channeling Bianca Jagger's Wedding

Someone really should get this hat for their wedding. Someone wearing a rock'n'roll pantsuit. It's available at AudraJean's etsy shop.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pretty nature-jewels

Strong yet organic earrings. I'd like something like these for the wedding day.

Isn't this delicate and alive? I love the assymetry. Maybe if not for the bride, pretty on the bridesmaids/ groomsmaids. Oo, actually, I think the artist does a few variations on the hydrangea petal necklace - you could get a different one for each lady in the wedding?

All from Patrick Irla Jewellery on etsy (of course).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Never mind the veil, try a headband

A pretty sequinned number from CarononCaro's etsy shop.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Etsy find of the Day - vintage bridal shower games

While on the search for the perfect bedside lamps I found these, and couldn't help dropping them in my cart too. Cute, huh? They're like little popsticks with a charade topic on them. The one photographed was 'Song Title - Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining'. Kind of hilarious in the context of a marriage, non? I figure they should get a laugh, then I'll pass them on to some other lucky gal for her hen's night.

Anyway, my point is, don't neglect the 'vintage' search on Etsy. Just as good as the 'handmade' search function.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wedding Gown fabrics in Australia (Recherche)

If you know what you want by way of a dress, getting your gown made is a tres awesome idea. You can get some amazing beaded lace to rival Collette Dinnigan, but have exactly what you want. I always imagined I'd get my gown made, as most times when I try on readymade clothes my thoughts are along the line of "Nice, but I wish *insert change to garment here*"

Recherche Fabrics are an online supplier of really fabulous lace and beaded fabric for dance costumes and weddings. They're based in Australia. The beaded tulle above is from them. I just adore the way it looks like feathers, or water flowing, or flames. I think it would make a stunning overlay on a sort of hippie, drapey, Grecian-style gown. Worn with loose hair and bare feet to get married in the bush. You'd look like some ethereal woodnymph.

Ugh. Enough flowery language already! Go check out Recherche!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Last New Year as a Sort-of Single Gal

Happy New Year and all that!

I have three resolutions for 2010, none wedding-related. They are, as follows:
i) Eat leafy greens every day;
ii) Always have fabulously painted toenails; and
iii) Wear in the work shoes I keep buying because I need new ones, then not wearing them because they're not as comfortable as the beat-up ones I already have.

Tell me, do you have resolutions? I want to know what they are.

I realised that the New Year just gone (and the Christmas, for that matter) are the last I'll spend as an unwedded lass. In fact, the Christmas was the only Christmas I'll spend as an unwedded lass! Didn't feel any different, to be honest.