Saturday, February 13, 2021

Avoiding wedding stress during a global pandemic

Planning a wedding can be stressful enough, without the added uncertainty and confusion that Covid-19 has now brought into our lives. You may have had to postpose, reschedule or even cancel the date you planned to wed. With this imposed change it’s understandable if you’ve found yourself going through a mix of emotions like sadness, loss, anxiety and perhaps even a pinch of guilt, telling yourself, “others have it worse”. And while that might be true, what you’re going through is valid and it’s ok to be angry, cry or feel anything in between.

Here are a few tips to help you keep calm and avoid getting caught in extra stress while navigating the wedding realm through Covid-19.

Surrender and slow down

Often the stress associated with planning a wedding is brought on by the constraints of having to organise everything by the set date. Take this deadline away and you may find the pressure eases. Having an abundance of time – and for those facing lockdown, time at home – gives you the opportunity to slow down and spend however long you need on researching, considering and evaluating what exactly you and your partner want to create for your wedding day.

Keep connected as a couple

With the wedding date halted, this downtime is also a great opportunity to focus on your relationship, which can so often become an afterthought. Plan time together where your focus is outside of the wedding and instead focus on your dreams for married life together. If you need a helping hand, signing up for a Pre Marriage Counselling program can help you plan for your marriage and set you up with the necessary skills to talk honestly and openly together about any topic, in a way that brings you both closer.

Take time to relax

Whether it’s doing some yoga, getting a massage, meditating, taking a bath, reading a book, burning some essential oils or going for walk in nature, taking the time to intentionally calm your mind and nervous system is key to taking care of yourself and alleviating stress. By keeping well rested and relaxed, using whatever techniques work best for you, you’ll be better placed to manage the wedding planning process, combined with the chaos of Covid-19.

Have a backup plan

With various restrictions coming and going, and then coming back again, trying to keep certain plans in place will be challenging. If you can plan for the unknown by developing a Plan B or even C, you’re going to be better placed to manage the unpredictability that comes with having a wedding during Covid-19. Protect you and your partner’s feelings of being disappointed by considering an alternative to your original plans, keeping in mind the things that are most important to you both.

Share the Load

Stop telling yourself that you should be able to manage the stress of wedding planning and Covid-19 confusion on your own. When life gets tough, the best thing we can do is reach out and share the load with another. You and your partner are in this together – now and for the long haul. You need each other in those moments of stress, to help each other cope and co-regulate. When you can find a way to talk and share these with one another, you create a sacred space for you both to feel heard and supported. Connection, especially with a loved one, is the best antidote to anxiety.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

How To Wear A Veil With Your Hair Down

Found your perfect veil but worried about it slipping out of your chosen hair style? Don't worry there are a few tricks to help keep your veil in place.
Firstly most combs are curved metal with loops to help you secure the veil to your head. The curve should follow the shape of your head when you insert the veil. 
metal wedding hair comb
Most veils will stay in up dos pretty well but if you plan on wearing your hair down there are four options that work particularly well:
  • Back comb- lift the section of hair where you would like to wear the veil and back comb the section underneath. Drop the top layer back over the backcombed section and smooth the hair over the top. Fix the veil into the hair using two bobby pins through the loops for extra security.
  • Pin curls- create two pin curls where you would like to secure the veil- to do this grab a finger section of hair and twist it into a curl, fasten it into place with a bobby pin. Once the pin curls are in place fix the veil into the pin curls.
  • Bobby pins- lift the top layer of hair and just below where you want the hair comb to sit secure two bobby pins in an x shape. Drop the top layer of hair and fix the comb of the veil in the x shape. You may need more than two pins if your hair is very thick or super silky! 
  • Pony tail- take two sections of hair on either side of where you would like to wear the veil and create a mini ponytail that you secure with a mini elastic band. Insert your veil into the ponytail.
  • Mini pony tails (good for short hair)- lift the top layer of hair and in the section below secure tiny ponytails with mini elastic bands. Drop the top layer of hair back down and secure the comb into the hidden ponytails.
It is always a good idea to use bobby pins that match your hair colour and test out your planned method before the big day to make sure it works with your hair and feels comfortable!
Finally for added security and for a pretty finishing touch you can pin a vine over your veil comb as below.
hair vine pinned over wedding veil

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any questions at all- we're always happy to hear form our brides!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Health and Wellbeing

Eat, sleep, namaste, repeat: Top 3 Gold Coast wellness retreats

What do carrot sticks, spirulina and straw diets have in common?
They will all have you de-railing your detox train before it has even left the station.
Once you see what the Gold Coast Hinterland has on offer, you won’t ever want to hear the words ‘juice cleanse’ again. There is only one way to detox, and you have a first-class ticket to the top 3 wellness retreats on the Gold Coast.
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
Imagine you and Hugh Jackman, making eyes over a glass of organic wine. This is not a joke. In fact, Australia’s hottest export is a part-owner of Gwinganna and visits the retreat on the reg. Holy Wolverine!
Apart from the eye candy making its way around the 200 hectares of hinterland and rainforest, Gwinganna offers a space to relax and digitally detox from our fast-paced, technology-driven world.
Everything about this place forces you to slow down, from the strategic planning of the daily itinerary to the way the Tallebudgera Valley property is designed. The entrance to the spa is actually blocked by a sensor-operated waterfall, forcing you to enter slowly and mindfully after waiting for the waterfall to break. I’m relaxed just thinking about it.
Whether spoiling yourself for just a weekend or an extended stay, you can expect to spend your time indulging in meals designed to help support and improve digestion and liver detoxification, reduce inflammation, improve gut bacteria and balance blood sugar levels. Meals are fresh, local and organic, with the majority of produce harvested from the on-site gardens and orchard.
Your day begins watching the sun rise while practising the ancient art of Qi Gong. This is followed by a walk or hike and then a variety of yin and yang activities throughout the morning.
Have you ever heard of equine therapy? Yep, we’re not horsing around. Gwinganna has a menu of equine experiences aimed at providing you with tools and insight into managing challenging situations through working with horses. No previous horse experience required!
But back to your itinerary… After attending one of many informative wellness seminars, your ultra-delicious lunch is served, and you can rest that organic food baby during Dreamtime (from 2pm – 7pm). This is the time you’re encouraged to rest, take a bath, enjoy a spa treatment, read a book, anything that helps you to relax, unwind and take a break.
Eden Health RetreatNestled in an ancient valley known for its healing energy, you can be forgiven if you’re wary of being dropped in the wilderness at the end of the Currumbin Valley and forced to sing “kumbaya” around the campfire.
This couldn’t be further from the truth at Australia’s longest-established health retreat. Eden is a tranquil residence offering a state-of-the-art program that has guests coming back time and time again.
The Eden philosophy will take you on a transformative self-journey, with activities focused on challenging your mental and physical state.
Upon arrival, you’ll be individually evaluated so your retreat program can be tailored to suit yours truly.
Your early-start mornings (we’re talking 5am, still-dark kind of early) will see you practising Qi Gong on the beach with the sand between your toes, followed by a jog (yes jog) up the mountain to watch the sunrise over the water. Lucky the view is so spectacular.
Afternoon activities can include an Eden drum circle, Tibetan yoga, kayaking, a glow worm walk, bike riding, nia dance or a physical and mental challenge like the giant swing. Bet you never thought you’d have to face this again after Year 9 school camp, right? Wrong.
Opt for all the activities or none. The choice is yours. But if there is one definite must-do during your stay, it’s a walk through the Eden rock labyrinth – a metaphor for the journey to the centre of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are. 
Nirvana Wellness RetreatYoga mode: Activated.
Whether you consider yourself an apprentice yogi or your headstand puts others to shame, the Shanti Yoga Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary caters for all yoga levels and is calling your name.
Nirvana puts the well in wellness, with a programme tailored to relaxation and rejuvenation. Forget tangible luxuries, expensive treatments and lush accommodation. Nirvana’s simplistic, soul-cleansing experience will have you feeling at one with nature in no time.
Let’s start with the rural setting in Beechmont where you’ll be meditating above the hills of the Gold Coast Hinterland. How’s that for serenity?

The Queenslander-style accommodation and retreat facilities are run with a focus on renewable energies so even just attending means you’re doing your bit for the environment. And that's a tick in everyone's book!

Monday, November 5, 2018

5 Unique Engagement Party Ideas

Unique  Engagement Party Ideas<

Announce your engagement in style with these party ideas

An engagement party provides a way to share your happy news with friends and family. Engagement parties vary in size and formality, but everyone invited to the engagement party should also be invited to the wedding and reception.
Picking a theme for your engagement party helps tie together different elements of the celebration while streamlining the party planning process. Themes can be inspired by favorite foods, special interests, or a clever play on words.

sophisticated engagement party invitation

Pop. Fizz. Clink.

Celebrate popping the question in style with a champagne themed party. Invite guests to attend dressed in their favorite formal wear.
  1. Display white roses in gold vases and string stands of gold beads throughout the party space for a glamorous look.
  2. Spell out the couple's names on painted champagne bottles for a cute yet inexpensive centerpiece. Alternatively, tie tags to champagne bottles and use them as table numbers.
  3. Instead of a full meal, serve appetizers such as shrimp, smoked salmon, assorted cheeses, and chocolate covered strawberries. This cuts costs while encouraging guests to actively socialize instead of sitting at their tables and eating.
  4. Send guests home with champagne glass party favors or sugar cookies decorated to look like glasses of champagne.

"I Do" BBQ

A BBQ is the perfect choice for a casual engagement party. Have the celebration in the backyard or a local park, letting nature provide most of your decorations. You can either let a friend handle the grilling or have your favorite BBQ joint cater the affair.
  1. Decorate the tables with wildflowers arranged in empty glass wine bottles.
  2. Use tablecloths and outdoor pillows in your wedding colors to create cozy spots for guests to visit.
  3. Serve drinks in mason jars with vintage striped paper straws.
  4. Have a few outdoor games on hand to play, such as oversized yard Yahtzee or a bean bag toss.
  5. Send guests home with tiny bottles of BBQ sauce labeled with your names and wedding date.

orange candy engagement party invitation

How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You

Indulge your sweet tooth with a candy-themed engagement party. This playful party theme is perfect if your guest list includes lots of young children.
  1. Fill large glass vases and bowls with associated colorful candies for guests to enjoy.  Add a few framed photos of the happy couple in between the candy filled containers.
  2. Scatter rainbow confetti on a white tablecloth for a sprinkle inspired look.
  3. Display vintage Candyland board game pieces as part of your décor.
  4. Make a balloon arch or a balloon chandelier to add to the playful feel of the celebration.
  5. Send guests home with chocolate bars featuring personalized wrappers.

banner party invitation

A Carnival of Love

The perfect all-ages engagement party theme, this celebration lets you create an old-fashioned carnival for all your guest to enjoy.
  1. Serve popcorn, cotton candy, caramel apples, and other carnival style treats.
  2. Play ring toss, balloon darts, and other vintage carnival games. Have small heart shaped puzzles, rings, and other trinkets on hand to distribute as game prizes.
  3. Set up an old-fashioned kissing booth and invite guests to get their picture taken next to the happy couple as they're kissing each other.
  4. Hire a few local teens or college students to dress up as clowns. They can provide face painting, juggle, or make balloon animals.
  5. Pass out boxes of Cracker Jacks for guests to take home as a cute party favor.

Let's Kickoff Our Future Together

While wedding showers are often parties for the bride, her friends, and the female members of the couple’s family, engagement parties are for men and women and are much less gift-oriented. If the groom loves football, a tailgating themed engagement party can be a unique way to mark the occasion.
  1. Plan your party around a big game for your favorite team, so everyone can cheer the players while celebrating your impending nuptials.
  2. Serve hamburgers, hot dogs, chili, and other classic tailgating foods, with football shaped cookies or decorated cupcakes for dessert.
  3. Sketch out a traditional X and O diagram of a play on a chalkboard, then display it next to a photo of the happy couple kissing.
  4. Decorate your table with pom poms and football helmets. If desired, add red lipstick prints to the football helmet.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Planning your Event

If you're an event planner, the caterer you choose will be a key partner in any project.

The Caterer's Job

Caterers can make or break a business meeting, conference, exhibition, wedding reception, or any other special event. They take responsibility for the food and beverages, as well as overseeing the staffing of servers, chefs, and others. Many caterers also handle event decoration, audiovisual equipment setup, and other key elements.
They may be independent operators or employees of a conference center, hotel, or restaurant. In either case, they handle all the logistics of food, beverage, decor, and entertainment, whether it's a cocktail hour or a formal sit-down dinner.

The Event Planner's Preliminary Work

By the time an event planner meets with a caterer, much of the preliminary work has been done.
The event planner understands in detail the type of event planned, its purpose, and its guest list. It might be serious or celebratory. It could be a business meeting or a bring-the-kids company bash. The guests might expect cocktails or vegan health drinks, a sit-down dinner or finger food.
As importantly, the planner knows the budget constraints.
All of that and more goes into choosing a venue that has the right size, location, facilities, pricing, and food and beverage services.

Deciding on a Menu

An event planner meets with the banquet or catering manager well ahead of an event to discuss the basics. A business meeting that will carry over into the afternoon may require box lunches, while a black-tie charity gala calls for a plated menu.
The planner and caterer then decide what they'll serve. An event planner needs to take into account the expectations of guests as well as the budget and should talk openly with the caterer about budget limitations. A good caterer can help create an event that looks elegant but isn't necessarily costly, with choices like using local seasonal produce.

Before the Event

While the catering manager takes care of the food, service staff and facilities, the event planner needs to keep in touch while researching and implementing a plethora of related details.
Transportation and on-site parking, the meeting agenda, audio-visual equipment needs, special menu requests, and last-minute changes all need to be ironed out before the event.

The goal must be to avoid last-minute surprises on either side. Menu substitutions, unexpected guests or drop-outs, and countless other snags can be taken care of before the big event.

Catering Lingo

Every industry has its jargon. Below are 10 common words and phrases—many of them borrowed from French chefs—that an event planner should know when talking to a caterer.
  1. A la carte: A variety of dishes priced individually;
  2. A la mode: A dessert topped with ice cream;
  3. Amuse-bouche: A bite-sized hors d’oeuvre; literally a “mouth amuser;”
  4. Apéritif: A light alcoholic beverage served before dinner to stimulate the appetite;
  5. Back of House: Everything your guests do not and should not see; the equivalent of "backstage;"
  6. BEO (banquet event order): The document that outlines the details and serves as a master plan to execute and communicate logistics to all departments;
  7. Bowl Food: Small bowls of food passed among guests during a casual reception;
  1. Canapé: Bite-sized appetizers;
  2. Charger: Also known as the under plate, large decorative plates that dress up the table and mark each diner's place;
  3. Corkage: A fee charged per bottle for opening and serving wine brought in by the client;

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Choosing wine for your wedding

ImagePlanning a wedding involves a lot of preparation. There are countless things to take care of, including what wine to serve at your reception. To ensure your big day is a big hit, you need to guarantee two very important things: One, that you have enough wine and bubbly for all your guests and two, that people will actually enjoy drinking it. After all, there’s absolutely no point planning an exquisite meal only to be let down by a bad glass of wine.

Choosing the wine to serve at your wedding needn’t be a tough decision. We’ve put together some ideas that will help make your special day an event to remember.

Your Budget
No other factor will influence your wine decision quite as much as budget. The first thing you need to do is determine the total amount you can afford to spend and prepare a wishlist of varieties and vintages you’d like to serve. If you’re buying from a local cellar or bottle store, don’t be afraid to haggle and ask for a better deal (especially if you need to buy several cases) and always keep your eye out for sales. Another great idea is to jump online. You can find some great per-case bargains that might save you money.

The Menu
Choose the wine for your wedding like you’d choose a bottle to accompany any meal. Think about balance, establish the textures and flavours of each dish and mirror these flavours with your wine selection. Pay particular attention to the alcohol content of the wines and the seasoning and spiciness of your meal choices. If you’re in doubt, have a trial of your menu and your wine choices before the big day.

Champagne and Sparkling Wine
Traditionally the most popular wines to serve at a wedding, Champagne and sparkling wine are perfect for pre-dinner drinks and toasts.

If you’re having your bubbly pre-dinner, you should aim to serve something dry (brut or extra dry on the label). Dry Champagne and sparkling wine tend to go well with a wide variety of savoury appetisers. For after dinner toasts, a demi-sec (which is medium dry and sweeter) is the best choice.

Price can be a big factor when choosing Champagne or sparkling wine. Our advice is to look towards New World regions (like Australia and New Zealand) for some fantastic examples at very reasonable prices.

How Much Wine is Enough?
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll get about 4 glasses from a bottle of still wine. A bottle of sparkling wine or Champagne will contain about 6 – 8 glasses, depending on the size of the flute. As a starting point, allow half a bottle of sparkling and half a bottle of still wine per person. Of course, this amount may vary, depending on the guests you’re inviting, but it’s always better to have too much wine than not enough.

Other Factors to Consider
Other factors that will influence the type of wine served at your wedding are the time of the year and the time of day of your reception. Refreshing and crisp whites are definitely more popular in summer, while winter receptions tend to favour heartier, full-bodied red wines. The time of day will also influence your wine choices. Guests are less likely to drink as much if your wedding and reception are held earlier in the day.

Chat to a Wine Expert
Not sure what wine to choose? Chat to an expert, either online 
or at your local wine shop and ask their advice. Make sure you have a copy of your menu handy so they can see the food you’ll be serving and get an overall feel for your event. 

No special occasion is complete without wine, so spend a little time researching and planning the wines you want to serve at your wedding. Your guests will thank you for it!

Thursday, September 13, 2018



You’ve already put so much thought into the details of your wedding — from your dress to your flowers to your vows— so don’t let the bar become an afterthought. Keep the beer and wine flowing, but when it comes to making a real “just married” statement, it’s all about the signature cocktail. With clever names and seasonal flavors, these cocktail recipes might just be the personal touch you and your groom have been looking for.
1.Watermelon Refresher: If you’re hosting summer nuptials, think about using seasonal fruit like watermelon in your cocktails. This recipe calls for a strawberry-watermelon combo, healthy splash of vodka and hints of basil, ginger and lime. 
2. Drink Tags: “If you liked it, then you shoulda put a tag on it,” said all smart DIY brides everywhere. Once you’ve made your signature drink, bottle it up and add festive “Just Married” tags that describe the drink of choice. 
3. Champagne & Fruit: Sometimes a signature drink is more about the garnishes than the booze, like in the case of this champagne cocktail with slices of soaked pears in glass and skewered blueberries on top. 
4. Magarita Madness: Throw the fiesta of all fiestas by making you and your grooms’ signature drink the ultimate in tequila-infused sippers — a margarita. We can’t think of one guest who could complain about that! 
5. Blueberry Mojito: If you’re not into blue shoes and jewelry for your “something blue” make it about your drink instead. This twist on a classic mojito is fruity from fresh blueberries and just as refreshing as the minty classic. 
6. His and Hers Drinks: Just because you got hitched doesn’t mean you suddenly adopted his passion for a good Scotch on the rocks. Make the bar just as much about you and your main man as the rest of the wedding with two go-to drinks, his and hers style! 
7. Personalised  Glasses: Whatever you decide your signature drink is, like this berry-infused lemonade, serve it in a glass guests can take home. To make yours, have your calligrapher write names on each glass. 
8. St. Germain: Give this St. Germain cocktail, made with lime, white cranberry juice and vodka, the name it deserves — The White Wedding. 
9. Lavender Infusion: Getting married in the spring? Infuse your champagne with floral lavender by adding a sprig of the purple stuff to each flute. If those lavender sprigs match your bridesmaids’ dresses, bonus points. 
10. Champagne Mojitos: This is one of those two-in-one cocktails you’ve been dreaming about. The maid of honor and best man can now make their toasts to raised glasses of sparkling mojitos instead of boring ol’ champagne. And those cute umbrella-topped straws are just the best. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

11 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained

11 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained at Weddings

Entertaining children at weddings is up there with one of our most asked about bridal dilemmas. Many couples planning weddings with little guests on the list panic that the kiddies will be bored silly, drive their parents insane, or worse, run riot. The secret to having a stress-free reception for both the parents and the couple when having children at weddings is to be prepared and provide lots of kid-friendly fun. With that in mind, we've come up with a list of 11 Ways to Entertain Children at Weddings, because a happy crew of kids will make life so much easier on your one fab day...
Entertaining Kids at Weddings |

1.  Fair Weather Fun - Outdoor Games

If you are having your reception in a venue which has a garden or decent outside area why not provide old school outdoor games in good weather? Fun lawn games such as hopscotch, lawn bowling, Twister, outdoor Jenga and Connect4 will keep them occupied for hours. Simple kites, skipping ropes and hula hoops are also great options.

2. Rainy Day Drinks Reception Entertainment

If the weather is not on your side, why not set up an area full of boardgames or jigsaws? Retro favourites such as Guess Who, Monopoly, Operation or Hungry Hippos will keep them busy and encourage kids to mingle. This is also a great option for the older kids on the guest list.

3. Arty Crafty Occupation

Kids love to make and do, so a mini area with pots of crayons and craft supplies like stickers, pipe cleaners, playdough to get creative with will go down a treat. Wedding themed crafts like decorating a cake, designing a wedding dress, making cards for the bride and groom or even making DIY masks for a photobooth would create hours of fun for little hands.
Entertaining Kids at Weddings |

4. Kids Table

If there's a number of children of the same age attending (and they're old enough for it), then make it more fun for them by seating them all together and let to have their own fun over dinner.  Set a particular menu for them, and add a few games and entertainments (see below) and consider hiring a baby-sitter or minder to supervise.

5. Freebie Fun - Table Games

Create an I Spy or  Scavenger Hunt list to put on the table for the kids. A typical list could include items like a white dress, a person in a funny hat, a delicious dessert, something blue (you get the idea!) and provide a printable and disposable cameras so they can record and snap their finds! Some of our favourite free printable table games include
Entertaining Kids at Weddings |

6. Hire professional entertainment

If the budget allows you could consider hiring some professional children's entertainers such as magicians, clowns or balloon modellers. 

7. A Movie Room

Keep kids happy by setting up a quiet area set up for a movie. Add comfy pillows and cushions, beanbags or kiddie chairs and pop on a movie. You could even provide mini bags of popcorn! This is also a great idea for wind down time later in the evening before putting the kiddies to bed.

8. Professional Minders 

Hire Babysitters to look after the children during the wedding. They both entertain & supervise the children in a designated area in or near the wedding reception before and after your wedding meal. It will help you and your guests relax and enjoy the wedding reception knowing the kids are staying out of trouble but most of all having fun!
Entertaining Kids at Weddings |

9. Ole Ole! Get a Pinata!

Pinatas are a great idea to involve all ages, young and old. Both kids and adults can have fun hitting and collecting what comes out! 

10.Kids photobooth

Stock your photo booth with tons of dress-up items and photo props. You can even have a separate kids-only photo booth. Include items like funny hats, tutus, feather boas,  and the ever-popular mustache on a stick. 

11. Lots of Treats - Personalised Goody Bags

 Fill up little goody bags for each of your little guests with age-appropriate treats. Pop them at each child's place setting at the reception to keep little people happy. These don't have to cost a bomb, you can find lots of great bits and pieces in the Cheap as Chips shop or stores like Ikea. Heres a sample of what ca be included
  • snacks and juice cartons
  • mini puzzles and toys
  • bubbles
  • glow sticks
  • crayons or colouring pencils (markers and paints are a big no no!)
  • colouring and activity books