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/

Planning An Aussie Wedding From Afar

Are you dreaming of a wedding down-under? Fancy marrying on the beaches of Bondi, or within the lush tropical forests of Queensland? Whatever your vision, you may be wondering ‘What do I need to do to marry in Australia?’

Photo Lee Calleja

WHO CAN MARRY IN AUSTRALIA?

No matter if you’re an Australian citizen living overseas or a non-Aussie, the process is still the same. Anyone can marry on Aussie soil, and many non-Aussies do. The only real restrictions are you:

  • can’t be married to someone else
  • must not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister
  • must be at least 18 years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between 16 and 18 years old
  • understand what marriage means and freely consent to marrying
  • both use specific words during the ceremony
  • must give written notice of their intention to marry to their authorised celebrant, within the required time frame
Photo: Figtree Photography

WHAT’S A CELEBrANT, AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

In Australia, a Celebrant is a suitably qualified and registered person who solemnises marriages under the Marriage Act 1961 and Marriage Regulations 2017.

They conduct the legal elements of your ceremony, and some (like myself) work with you to write and deliver something very unique and specific to your likes and vision for your wedding. Celebrants can be described as a party-starter, a story-teller, a calming influence, and, quite often, by the time you’re married, they can feel like a friend.

Marriage celebrants must also submit all the signed legal marriage paperwork to the registry of births, deaths and marriages in the state or territory in which the marriage took place within fourteen days of the marriage.

Once they have done this, you can then get your Marriage Certificate from that BDM. Your Celebrant can give you advice on this.

YAY! You CAN GET MARRIED IN AUSTRALIA. WHAT NOW?

You’ll need to decide where and when you’d like to marry. There are Celebrants in nearly all cities and some towns in Australia, and many of us travel. Australia is a big country, and it’s not unusual for me to jump in my car on the weekend for a round trip of three or four hours.

If you’re not 100% sure of specific places, you may want to talk to an Australian wedding planner, use Instagram for inspo, or have a chat to me as I can offer suggestions for places which may fit your vision.

You’ll also need to organise your Notice Of Intended Marriage (NOIM). This needs to be submitted to your Celebrant in Australia at least one month before your ceremony date.

Photo Andrew Jarvine

WHAT’S A NOIM AND WHERE CAN I GET ONE?

To marry in Australia, you need to submit a document called the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) with your Celebrant at least one month, but no more than 18 months, before you marry. This document is basically stating that you intend to marry, and once it’s submitted with you Celebrant, they will keep hold of this until after the wedding. They’ll send this, along with the paperwork which will be signed on your wedding day, to the Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State or Territory where you marry.

So, chances are, you will be filling this out before you travel over to Australia for your wedding.

You can find a NOIM and guidance here

WHO CAN WITNESS THE NOIM?

  • If a party signs the Notice outside Australia, it needs to be signed by an Australian Consular Officer, an Australian Diplomatic Officer, a notary public, an employee of the Commonwealth authorised under paragraph 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, or an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorised under paragraph 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955.

Note: For the definitions of Australian Consular Officer and Australian Diplomatic Officer, see the Consular Fees Act 1955.

OKAY, I’VE GOT IT SIGNED. WHAT DO I DO WITH THE NOIM?

When I work with a couple from afar, I ask them to scan me a copy of the NOIM once it’s signed by a qualified witness. Then they have the option of either

a) posting the original NOIM to me

b) handing me the original NOIM when they’re in Australia

I will also need to see a form of ID – as you’re travelling, passports are perfect. If you’ve been married before, I will need to see evidence that this marriage is no longer valid. I can advise on this.

Photo Love Lenscapes

EXCELLENT! PAPERWORK IS ALL IN ORDER. ANYTHING ELSE YOU NEED FROM ME?

All Celebrants work differently. When I work with a couple overseas, I usually suggest a Skype so we can discuss what kind of ceremony you’re looking for. This also gives you a chance to see if I’m the right Celebrant for you. Usually I’ll meet via Skype before you do the NOIM, but some couples will already have this prepared. It’s up to you – I’m flexible and can work with you in the way that works best for you.

If you go for my Full Works package, I’ll then work with you to write a ceremony which really resonates and feels right. I’ve worked in the UK as a Celebrant for a number of years, and understand how weddings there can feel when led by a registrar. In Australia we have a lot more flexibility than registrars though we do all the legal side of things like they do.

Australian weddings can feel very different from those in other countries, and a Celebrant like myself or one of my colleagues at the Celebrant Society can talk you through the hundreds of options to get a top notch ceremony for you and your guests.

THIS ALL SOUNDS GOOD. HOW DO I CONTACT YOU TO CHAt FURTHER?

I’d love to talk to you about all of the above, or anything else wedding-y. Please don’t hesitate to contact me on +61 478041227 or at roxy@roxyrocks.com

Brisbane’s Top Five Celebrants

I’m one of Brisbane’s Top Five Celebrants!  I was super-honoured to have recently been placed in the Easy Weddings Editors Choice of Top Five Celebrant List.

In the past I’ve won awards for my work in the UK as a Celebrant, but this is the first time since moving to Australia and setting myself up as a Celebrant in late 2016 that I’ve been officially recognised within the industry.

And, although awards and recognition are lovely, I also have a real sense of pride in my work.  I aim so hard to deliver personalised, solid, open-minded, thoughtful and sensitive celebrant services to couples I work with.

I believe that one of the reasons I was chosen because of the positive feedback of many of the couples I have worked with.  You can read reviews either here (Google reviews) or here (Facebook Reviews) or read some of my testimonials here.

So, if you’d like to have a no-obligation chat with me, please don’t hesitate to contact me at roxy@roxyrocks.com or on 0478 041227

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Ceremony at Spicers Peak Lodge

Roxy Hotten Celebrant

My Husband and Our Wedding

In 2017 it’ll be my 10 year anniversary of being married to Mr HB, and when I look back on my wedding, it was the happiest day of my life.

One of the things I was most happy about was how easy and stress free it all was and I think this was down to the fact that all I wanted on the day was to be married to Mr HB and for my friends and family to have a hoot on our wedding day.  We were living in Battersea, London at the time, and Mr HB and I had barely two pennies to rub together.  I was working for a disability charity and had a job which didn’t pay very much, and Mr HB was trying to establish himself as an actor.  And, as you probably know, London is an expensive city.  roxydanwedding

Our wedding was held at Wandsworth Registry Office, where
Mr HB’s Parents and Grandparents married, following by a big, messy party at our local pub (which was sadly demolished a few years ago).  My dress cost £68 (approx $120AUD) and our wedding meal was a self-serve BBQ.  Mr HB’s parents secretly paid for the BBQ for us, so we used the money we’d saved for this to put behind the bar so our friends and family could have some drinks on us.

If we had have had more money, we may have done some things differently, but we didn’t, and so we did what we was the most affordable and fun at the time. And it was fun.  Oh my gosh, was it fun.  Our friends were amazing, so kind, and they took the whole day in the spirit it was meant – as a celebration of Mr HB and my relationship and our friendship with all of them.

Nearly ten years on, I look back at that day with fond memories.  I also look back at my relationship with Mr HB with the same.  We’ve done a lot, and had many adventures.  We’ve adopted the Best Dog in the World, Valentine, and we’ve traveled to Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Indonesia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Holland, Germany, Poland and now have made Australia our home.  We’ve suffered hard times, but we’ve suffered them together.  We’ve learnt how to support each others ambitions and passions.  And we’ve celebrated our achievements together, like the time I rode my bike from London to Paris or Mr HB made an appearance in Eastenders.

So, I guess in a way, this post is dedicated to my husband, Danny Brown, and to say ‘thank you’ for being you.  I’m just the luckiest girl in the world.

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The Stupid Questions…

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I had a groom ring me the other evening and he was very apologetic about what he referred to as ‘his stupid questions’ (incidentally, and this may surprise some people, at least a third of my initial contact calls are with grooms).

His stupid questions were not stupid.  Let’s face it, many of the people I marry have never been married before.

His questions included;

Who should I book first, the celebrant or the venue? Answer: The venue if it’s one which requires booking.  If it’s at home or at a venue which doesn’t need to be booked, and you have your heart set on a specific celebrant, then check their availability first.

Who does the paperwork?  Answer: The Notice of Intended Marriage is a joint effort (the initial document completed by law to your celebrant), but your celebrant will provide guidance on what you need to fill in when.

Do you decorate the ceremony area? Answer: Sadly, no.  I have access to my own supply of lovely things, but they aren’t necessarily your taste in lovely things, so therefore decoration of the ceremony space needs to be arranged by you.

Do you stay for the reception?  Answer: No, I don’t.  It’s really kind when people ask me and I’m always up for staying for a congratulatory glass of something and a photo with the couple.

Can you help me write my vows? Answer: Yes, I can help.  I can’t write them for you, as they are your words, coming from your heart, but I can give guidance and read over them to offer suggestions.

Now, none of the above questions are stupid, are they?  I mean, how many times in your life do you get to organise a wedding (maybe once, or even twice, or if you’re Elizabeth Taylor, eight times)?  So please, please, please, feel free to ask me anything and never worry that you’re going to sound stupid.  You won’t, you’re not, and I’m here to help you navigate a whole new experience.

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Who cries most at a ceremony?

Let’s face it.  Weddings are pretty emotional.  There’s the arrival music, the vows, the readings, the kiss, the rings, and sometimes there’s grooms crying and sometimes there’s brides crying and sometimes everyone is having a bit of a boo hoo hoo.  And that’s totally totally fine.  If there’s ever a free hall pass to cry, it’s at a wedding.

In my view, I love it when people cry.  In fact, I practically demand at least one crier!  I’ve had weddings where the couple provided a pack of tissues per guest as they knew there’d be a lot of criers.

As far as the bride and groom are concerned, I would estimate that the crying ratio is 65% grooms, 35% brides.  Yes, you read that correctly.  More grooms cry than brides.  And why is that?

I believe it’s because the brides run through and visualise the ceremony many times in their head, so when it actually happens they’re more prepared.  Whereas for many grooms, they haven’t prepared themselves emotionally.

I have no problem with brides or grooms crying.  It’s a genuine reaction to a genuine moment, and I always have a spare tissue or two on hand, just in case.   All part of the service…

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