Wedding Tips From A Professional Wedding Planner

Planning a wedding can be a stressful time for both you and your partner … but it doesn’t have to be! I recently met with one of Brisbane’s most talented Wedding Planners, the gorgeous Janette from Olive Rose Weddings and Events. She is a goldmine of industry know-how, and kindly has written below to help all those couples out there who are planning for their big day.

Wedding Tips Every Couple Should Know

by Janette Howell, Owner of Olive Rose Weddings and Events

Check out my easy to implement wedding hacks to make planning your wedding that little bit easier.

WEDDING EXPOS

  •  Create and print out your own sign up form! THIS WILL BE THE GREATEST THING YOU EVER DO! Print and cut out your details including *** Your name, Email, Phone number and wedding date. Most vendors will have draws and competitions instead of writing your details over and over and over just use these pre-filled out entry forms!!! GENIUS RIGHT!!!! If you only do one thing from my list make it this! This will save your hand and your sanity.
  • Create a specific wedding email address so that all your wedding information is in one place. This is such a great idea! It’s free to setup another email so why wouldn’t you? No need to sift through a million emails to find your wedding things. Make it cute like mrandmrsstafford@ or jenandstandswedding@ or weddingofthecentury@.

Have fun with it. I also recommend creating folders within your new email address and label them for each service (Wedding Planner, Celebrant, Venue, Etc) so that later on when you need to find a particular email it couldn’t be easier. 😉

RSVP CARDS

  • On your RSVP cards, put a space for your guests to request a song. This way you will know what your guests want to hear and they will get excited when their song comes on!
  • Number your RSVP cards so you can easily see at a glance if you’re missing any.

BUDGETING

Weddings can be extremely expensive and can get seriously out of hand when you don’t keep to your budget!

Firstly, work out how much you are willing to spend on your wedding. Secondly, can you afford it? Do you need a longer engagement to save the money, or are your parents chipping in? These questions need to be answered before you start planning your wedding.

If other parties are willing to help pay, organise a chat with them regarding how much they are willing to pay. Or perhaps delegate certain aspects of the wedding each party can pay for. E.g. Reception catering, bar tab, etc.

Once a plan of attack has been made create a budget spreadsheet and keep those (if any) helping pay for your wedding updated with expenses. This will avoid any surprise payments at the last minute.

BE PREPARED

  • Create a Plan B for unexpected weather. I could not recommend this any higher. If you don’t have a Plan B chances are everything that could go wrong will go wrong. So you need to be super organised and on top of this. Talk to your planner or coordinator to discuss a wet weather plan. And to be perfectly honest … wet weather weddings are my all time favourite and they make for STUNNING photos with a chance of a rainbow. Amazing.
  • Create an emergency kit! This is super fun to create and why not make it a fun scavenger hunt between you and your bridal party!!! (Wishing now I did this with my girls). This kit should enclose important lists and schedules for your day as well as health, beauty, sewing, items as well as anything you can think of.  Try searching Pinterest for lists you can use.  

THE DRESS

Make sure someone in your bridal party knows how to strap you in and bustle your dress

This comes in under being prepared but really needs its own section. No point on buying the most beautiful dress in the world and not having a single person that knows how to strap you in or bustle your dress after the ceremony. I suggest taking your mother and one of your bridesmaids to your fitting to learn how to do these two things. Don’t just rely on a safety pin and your girls knowledge of wedding dresses.

Get your seamstress to add a bustle to your gown. If you’re like me and can’t stand the thought of buying an expensive dress only to have to buy a second one for the reception so you can dance in it! Crazy right! By getting your seamstress to sew a hook or button into your gown allows you to hook the bottom of your train up to the lower outside back part of your gown so that it’s lifted off the floor and you can dance the night away.

PAWFECT ATTIRE

When dressing up your pet for your wedding you to make sure what they are wearing is not constricting or distracting for them. You want to make sure they are comfortable and not irritated. We suggest a floral collar or bow tie which can be situated behind the head or under the chin, this also reduces the chance of them pulling it off before the ceremony. Be mindful that clothing will often result in overheating your precious pet especially in Summer.

https://www.lovelenscapes.com

AND FINALLY

Just remember you can’t control everything! And if something goes wrong it’s not the end of the world and in most cases, can be fixed without any issues. But if something really bad goes wrong, well you’ll have a fantastic story to tell for years to come. If your smiling the whole world will smile with you. Have a fantastic day and just relax and enjoy all the things we take for granted because it’s your day to shine and sparkle. You deserve it.

About Janette:

“My passion for weddings showed itself to me when my handsome husband proposed to me. I had always loved weddings but had no idea of all the little details that tied such a beautiful day together.

This is when the obsession started.

I will tell you now Pinterest will be your best & worst friend! There’s so many amazing ideas that it can become a little overwhelming. That’s where I come in. Let me help you blend all your stunning ideas and dreams to make a day not to forget.” Janette Newell, Olive Rose Weddings and Events

Photo https://www.jesstookthis.com/

Insider Tips from a Wedding Photographer

Introducing an Amazing Wedding Photographer

I work with some amazing wedding photographers, and one of my absolute favourite togs is the talented Kirsty from Wildflower Weddings. We first worked together on a mutual friend’s wedding in January 2016, and since then we’ve become close, meeting up every couple of months to chat all things wedding.

Recently Kirsty came to the House of Hotten to hug Valentine McFarty and share with me insider tips from a wedding photographers perspective. Below is everything I learnt, and I hope you find this helpful too.

Timings for your ceremony

Firstly, when thinking about the timings for your ceremony, it’s a great idea to discuss with your photographer what time they suggest it should start.  They have lots of experience on how long everything will take, and can advise how you should take into consideration the time of year and location you have chosen.  For example, in South East Queensland and Northern NSW, sun sets around 5pm in Winter, whereas in Summer you’ll have an extra hour and a half to play with.

Photo: Wildflower Wedding

You may want to consider how much time you would like between your ceremony and your reception starting, and whether you’re going for a short, simple ceremony, or a full Catholic Mass wedding.

SUGGESTED TIMINGS

Winter wedding in Brisbane with a sun set of 5pm, and a half hour ceremony

3.00 to 3.30pm: CEREMONY

3.30 to 4.00pm: CONGRATULATIONS FOLLOWED BY GROUP/FAMILY PHOTOS

4.00 to 4.30pm: BRIDAL PARTY PHOTOS

4.30 to 5.00pm: COUPLE PHOTOS

Things to consider:

  • If you need to travel to your photo location, allow extra time for this. 
  • If you have a large bridal party (more than six members), allow extra time as well.

Summer wedding in Brisbane with a sun set of 6.45pm, and a half hour ceremony

4.30 to 5.00pm: CEREMONY

5.00 to 5.30pm: CONGRATULATIONS FOLLOWED BY GROUP/FAMILY PHOTOS

5.30 to 6.00pm: BRIDAL PARTY PHOTOS

6.00 to 6.30pm: COUPLE PHOTOS

Things to consider:

  • If you don’t want to wait until 4.30 to start your ceremony, you can still do it earlier. You might want to arrange an afternoon tea, nibbles or a grazing platter for your guests
Photo: Wildflower Weddings

Ceremony Lighting

You may have fallen in love with a particular area at your venue where you would like your ceremony to take place. However when holding your ceremony outside, it’s important to consider what the natural light is like. 

During the ceremony, if one of you is in dappled light, or one of you is in the light, and the other in the shade, this can result in less than ideal circumstances for a photographer to get the best possible shots of you.

From a photographers perspective, an ideal ceremony location is one that under full shade.  Direct sunlight plays havoc with facial expressions and really, who wants their wedding photos to be mainly of them squinting?  Plus it can be pretty uncomfortable for those standing within the direct rays.

Photo: Wildflower Weddings

Unplugged Wedding

When a photographer is taking shots of your ceremony, a good opportunity can be missed when Auntie Beryl is in the way, recording every moment with her brand new iPad. Kirsty is the kind of photographer who loves taking shots of guests reactions during the ceremony, and if they’re looking down at their phones, this is something she can’t capture.  Her preference is for your guests to be engaged and in the moment but if you have your heart set on your guests taking candid shots, then she, of course, is not going to stop you.  It’s your wedding, and Kirsty is the kind of photographer who is very flexible and will do whatever works best for you.

Photo: Wildflower Weddings

Confetti Toss

If you’d like your confetti to make maximum impact, ask your guests to toss the confetti nice and high, and not all at once, as you walk past them.  You can ask your Celebrant to make this announcement, or get the person or people handing it out to ask.

And, another tip: the bigger the confetti, the better it will look in the photos.  Rice is fairly indistinguishable in a photo, whereas a larger petal, such as those from roses can look the best.

Photo: Wildflower Weddings

Framing the Ceremony Space

If you’re wondering whether to have an arbour, plants, or décor to focus your ceremonial area; do!  Giving this focus to where the action is happening always results in better photos.  And, if you can remember to do so, try to stand in the middle.  Don’t worry if you forget though. As your Celebrant, I’ll always be keeping on eye on things and will gently help guide you into place if you do start to wander off.

Photo: Wildflower Weddings

Thanks a million Kirsty for these great tips. Some very good advice from one of the top professionals in the industry.

To read more wedding tips check out the following list.

Please feel to contact me at roxy@roxyrocks.com

How to make your vows rock!

Writing vows

Do you want to make your vows rock but unsure how to get started? Swayed by the gazillion examples out there in Google-Land?

The most heart-felt and beautiful part of any wedding ceremony can be the moment the couple share their vows. However, this is one area couples seem to get most concerned about.  What to say?  How to say it?  What happens if one is full of lengthy heartfelt sincerity and the other is a quick witty ditty?

Argh!  Panic not though – read these handy tips on how to write your vows and hopefully this will ease your vow-writing-pain to help you wow your partner and express what it is you really want to tell them.

Where to Start

You’ve got the blank piece of paper, you’ve got the pen…. and you’ve got total mind-blank.  So, take a deep breath, pour yourself a beverage (alcoholic or otherwise depending on your preference), ask yourself the following questions and write down your answers:

  • Why do you love your partner?  What do they do that makes them different to anyone else you’ve ever been with?
  • What do you want to promise them you’ll always do throughout your relationship?
  • Do you have some flaws that you will try to improve?  
  • Do they have some flaws you’ll promise to overlook?
  • If in the future you have hard times, what do you promise to always do during this period?
  • Where do you see yourselves in your future together?
  • What support will you give them to help them reach their goals?
  • Does your partner have children, or do you have children together (of the fur or non-fur variety)? If so what kind of parent/step-parent do you promise to be?

If you answer these questions, you have your vows!

Forget Your Audience

Try to forget your audience. Write your vows for your partner and not for your guests.  This may sound obvious, but I think it’s easy get hung up on ‘will people laugh’ or ‘will my friends and family think these romantic enough’.  Imagine it’s just you and your partner, and you’re getting one chance to really explain to them exactly what you promise to do throughout your married life together.

It is also worth writing your vows as close to the ceremony date as possible. This might sound a bit ‘what the ….?!’ but writing your vows too far in advance can lead to over-editing and ending up with something which sounds insincere or over-written.

I also provide the option to couples of sharing their vows with me prior to the ceremony.  Getting a second opinion can really help and can give you the assurance you need that you’ve written the right words.

If You’re Completely Freaking Out…

You don’t have to have personalised vows.  If you find that the thought of sharing your feelings about your partner in front of your friends and family excruciating and it’s going to outweigh any enjoyment of your ceremony, then don’t feel pressured to do it.  

If you want to omit this part of the ceremony, you may wish to consider other alternatives, which could be

  1. Share your personalised vows with your partner after the ceremony when it’s just the two of you
  2. Opt for something more standard and less personal. I have a few standard options which can be tweaked to make them feel right for you
  3. Write something yourself but ask your celebrant to read them out as a series of questions, eg: ‘Do you [name] promise to not put the empty milk bottle in the fridge. Do you vow to make them a cup of tea every morning, no matter what?’ etc. You can then just say ‘I do’ or ‘I will’ once they’ve been read out.

Although the sharing of personalised vows can be one of the highlights of the ceremony, don’t let this part of your day overly stress you.  A good celebrant will make this aspect of your ceremony a truly magic aspect of your day and will support you through the process.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to discuss this or anything else weddingy further by contacting me at roxy@roxyrocks.com or on 0478041227.

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