Monday, January 23, 2012

Are you prepared to break with tradition for your wedding?

It is your wedding! Or is it? Sometimes it can feel like everyone but you has a say about what is going to happen on your day.

                “You can’t do that! That is not what a wedding is about!”
                “You have to do it this way. We’ve always done that in our family!”
                “Where did you think that idea up from?”
                “Our family always does it this way!”

Parents of many brides and grooms want to put their five cents worth into the planning of your wedding. Family and friends may mean well with their ideas and contributions of “ideal” wedding plans but this can lead to arguments and upset.
Renaissance Wedding

At the beginning of all the planning you had a picture of how you saw the day falling into place. You want your wedding to be different. Perhaps a unique theme, change the vows, sing modern songs or have a complete break from traditional wedding music. You and your partner have been to plenty of other weddings and you don’t want to have just another beautiful but traditional wedding day.

This decision leads you into unchartered water. How will your family and friends react to your  idea? They know you are rule breakers with modern views and all you want is a day that reflects who you are as a couple.
Gothic Wedding Theme
Gothic Wedding Cake

In ancient times the bride was given to the groom’s family! The white dress signified virginity, the cake was a symbol of fertility and the bridesmaids dressed like the bride to confuse evil spirits ! The groom stood on the right of the bride so he could use his right hand to grab his sword to fend off enemies who wanted to steal his bride!

Western Wedding

Then in Victorian times we introduced bouquets of flowers for the bride. The bouquet was made from scented flowers or herbs to held to hide the smell  of an unclean society or to ward off all those evil spirits!

We carry on these traditions, mostly without even knowing why. We aren’t tied to these traditions for any of these old reasons anymore but so it continues!  Our parents did it so their expectations are that you should have a great church wedding, white dress and wonderful sit down dinner!
Western Wedding Cake

These days you can have many different themes that can be amazing fun for you and your guests. Just maybe not considered to be a great idea by your parents! Remember that it is your party and it is your wedding day. This is a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. Share with your grandchildren and demonstrates your personality to them and everyone on the day.

You can have fun being different! Be prepared for some arguments but don’t let it stop you being quirky and different! Go for it and make your day extra special!
Extreme Weddings @ Ayers Rock, Central Australia

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Perfect Bridal Gowns from Down Under

In our recent online Look Book, The Brides Gown, we had pleasure in featuring the latest couture from Karen Willis Holmes, based here in Sydney.
It is great to have such talent on our doorstep! To see her passion and focus on creating the perfect gown for each bride. Just gorgeous!
As one of Australia's leading couture and ready to wear bridal gown designers, Karen creates inspired wedding dresses with a contemporary classic style.
The video below shows you the work and love involved in each gown, to demonstrate how special each gown is to her.
This is Karen’s story told in her own words.

Enjoy! If you want to see more of her talents then you can purchase The Bride's Gown Look Book from our website!

Click here to see The Brides Gown

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Tradition of a Trousseau

The tradition of a trousseau is age-old, when a woman began sewing clothes at an early age in anticipation of her marriage. 
The word ‘trousseau’ comes from the French word ‘trousse’ meaning ‘little bundle’. 

While the concept of a trousseau is no longer practical, the idea of shopping for your wedding night and honeymoon is still enduring and relevant. The implication is timeless! New clothes for a new life!

Depending on where your honeymoon is, you might be packing bikinis for the beach or evening dresses for a European escape. Combine fabrics – cashmere, cotton, silk and lace – to create versatility.

Pashmina Shawl

For any trousseau and any destination, a few pieces are essential; a lightweight cotton robe, a cashmere twin set, a little black dress with high-heels and a neutral-toned pashmina shawl and black leggings for comfort ease and practicality.

A trousseau encompasses the going away outfit, honeymoon attire and those special pieces of lingerie you may have purchased for your wedding. 

Although it’s unseen by most, your lingerie is actually a very significant part of your trousseau, and should be carefully chosen.
Lingere Shower Invitation

You may like to hold a “Lingerie Party” or “Lingerie Shower” with your friends in the lead up to your wedding. Many Lingerie companies will come to you with a full range and create an evening of entertainment for you and your friends. This can be a fun way to browse lingerie and ensure correct sizing. In most cases the Lingerie company will give the host free goods in return for holding the party!

Have your lingerie fitted
by an expert

Working with experienced Lingerie fitters (plus your friend’s input) can ensure that you find the right lingerie for you. Lingerie can flatter your figure or give you a cleavage that suits your wedding gown, smooth your stomach, back or hips.

It is important to take into account if the lingerie can be seen through your wedding gown as some fabrics can be clingy so something plain but made of silky fabric is a good choice. You should take colour into consideration as well. Neutral colours like apricot or flesh coloured lingerie are less obtrusive under a white wedding gown.

Choose the right bra for your gown!

Depending on the bodice of your wedding gown your choice of bra will be important as you do not want to be adjusting straps all day. Strapped or strapless it is a good idea to wear the bra for a day prior to your wedding to make sure you are comfortable. Taking it to all your fittings can also ensure you have the right lingerie for the day. Most Lingerie fitters are experienced with advising you on the right style for your dress.

Another part of your trousseau is the Going Away Outfit. Choose an outfit that looks glamorous and can be worn again, plus matches jewellery and accessories that you may already have. You won’t be able to wear your wedding dress again but your Going Away Outfit can be a reminder of the special day for months or years to come. 

Pre Fall 2012 Collection

Purchasing your Going Away Outfit is a great opportunity to buy something from a designer range such as Oscar De La Renta. Check out all the great outfits from him in his Pre Fall 2012 Collection below:

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Vera Wang Behind the Scenes 2012 Fall Collection

Vera Wang presents in this video her inspiration for the 2012 Fall Bridal Collection.

Her inspiration came from fashion, witches and covens and she tried to present a totally different perspective to normal bridal fashions by creating a sense of mystery and beauty using underwear colours of nude and black.

Really unique and potentially unusual designs!

Let us know what you think!
Comment here or on our Facebook.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Beauty and the Bride

As we all know your wedding day is one of the biggest day of a womans life, with so much planning all going in to just one day the pressure is on to look good!

So here a few little beauty tips, to help you look and feel great on your special day.

With all the planning that is involved things can get hectic and stressful, one thing that can really suffer under those conditions is your skin. From your skin feeling tired and dull to even worse breakouts, but never fear ladies help is at hand. Treating yourself to a couple of facials before your big day will ensure that not only your skin will look good but will clear away any stress and give you a bit of time to relax.

One of my favourite facials which will guarantee a youthful, radiant glow is Guinot's Beaute Neuve.
It combines a double peeling action using AHAs and a unique vitamin C mask especially for that healthy glow. Guinot is a french skincare brand which is always at the forefront with the latest in technology and is widely used in Europe, it is slowly creeping in to Australia and we are more than happy to start using these fabulous products.

Schedule facials into your wedding plan!

We've got the skin covered now on to the make up!
Remember you are going to be the centre of attention and in lots of pictures so its important to make sure make up is well applied, will last all day and most of all suits you.
Most brides opt for the natural look, but this doesn't have to mean hardly any make up. It is very important to have a trial make up done before hand.

Have this done when your going to be out and about and having pictures taken, something like a birthday is an ideal event.
This is good as you want to get peoples reaction and not only that but seeing yourself in the pictures afterwards will give you a clear indication on whether you like it or not.
At least then if you feel there is to much or to little make up applied there is plenty of time to make changes.

A good make up artist can do up to 20+ weddings a year and are very experienced so you'll always be in safe hands!
Take pictures along of any make up that you have seen and liked to help give an idea when trialing a make up artist!

Then last but not least, the hands!
As you will be aware of, from being engaged, one of the first questions is ''Show me the ring?!'' and what is the ring attached to? One of your fingers!
So make sure that you have a manicure before the big day as you will have another ring and no doubt everyone will want to see that too!
If your nails are in a little bit of need, more than just a manicure, there is a wide range of nail enhancements around to polish up those nails and make them look great so there are no excuses.
Book yourself in today!
Ask your Beauty professional for help and advice!
Stephanie Powell
Senior Beauty Therapist

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Unveiled: 200 Years of Wedding Fashion

From the Victoria and Albert Museum

Presented at The Museum

of New Zealand,

Te Papa Tongarewa

Te Papa is situated in the heart of Wellington, New Zealand




Dita Von Teese on her wedding day, 2005. Dress by Vivienne Westwood, hat by Stephen Jones. Photograph by and courtesy of Odessy Barbu.

On Now until 22 April 2012
Admission charges apply

If you are in New Zealand or visiting New Zealand before 22nd April 2012 taking a visit to this exhibition is well worth the effort.

Experience the evocative world of weddings through this extraordinary collection of wedding attire from the 19th century to today. See outfits inspired by tradition, practicality, fashion, fantasy – and, of course, love.

Wedding dress and coat designed by John Bates for his Jean Varon label, London, 1966. Cotton gabardine trimmed with silvered PVC. Worn by Marit Allen for her marriage to Sandy Lieberson in London on 10 June 1966. ©Victoria and Albert Museum

Embroidered silk satin wedding dress by Norman Hartnell, London, 1933. Commissioned by Margaret Whigham for her marriage to Charles Sweeny on 21 February 1933. Given and worn by Margaret, Duchess of Argyll. ©Victoria and Albert Museum / V&A Images

Highlights include celebrity gowns by stellar international designers such as Norman Hartnell, Vivienne Westwood, and Christian Lacroix. Also on show are special commissions by New Zealand designers WORLD, Lindah Lepou, and Jane Yeh.

How is it that the traditional western European white wedding dress has become the garment of choice for brides in many countries and cultures? And what do wedding dress styles say about the social and economic conditions of their day? You'll learn some of the answers from this magnificent display.

Embroidered silk wedding dress by Christian Lacroix, Paris, Autumn/Winter 1992-93 Haute Couture. Given by Christian Lacroix. Photograph by Guy Marineau © 1992

Silk brocade shoes purchased from Peter Robinson, London, 1914. Worn by Phyllis Blaiberg for her marriage to Bertie Mayer Stone at the Bayswater Synagogue, London on 9 September 1914. Given by Mrs B. Rackow ©Victoria and Albert Museum / V&A Images

Francis Hooper, Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, and Benny Castles discuss their inspiration for the outfits that appear in Unveiled. Plus, we peek backstage as the dress is prepared for its debut at New Zealand Fashion Week. 

More pictures, videos of interviews with designers, recordings by the curator of the museum and much more is available on their website. Even if you can't make it to Wellington to see this exhibition it is definitely worth a visit to their website:

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Fit Healthy and Fantastic!

Looking for that healthy and fit look for your wedding day that will have all eyes on you?

An early focus on increasing fitness or beginning your path to a realistic and sustainable weight management plan can optimize your health and ensure you are looking fit, healthy and glowing on your wedding day.
Developing a good fitness level does not start or stop at the gym door, it involves being more active.

In general such as climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, moving around instead of sitting still, sitting up instead of lying down as well as showing some excitement and enthusiasm instead of boredom. Every mile starts with a step.

Now that we got our first step right, lets move on to the next one. This preferably involves a personal health assessment with your naturopath or doctor, then a visit to your personal trainer for an exercise plan & goal setting session. A personalized approach rather than a generic one is most likely to bring successful outcome.  A lifestyle counselor or life coach can also be of help with goal setting and positive reinforcement. 

If you think you can achieve your goal using those ‘fancy’ starvation diets as a way to control your weight, think again. People who diet without exercising often gain weight with time. Although your weight may initially drop while ‘dieting’, such weight loss consists mostly of water and muscle. When the weight returns, it comes back as fat.

The right way to avoid gaining weight over time is to increase your metabolism by exercising regularly. When you exercise especially during long low impact sustained activities such as walking, your body creates a fat-breaking enzyme called “hormone sensitive lipase”.

Studies have revealed that this fat breaking enzyme is active for up to twelve hours from the moment it has been triggered. The same enzyme is also involved in cleaning all blood vessels of fatty plaques and deposits. So, no amount or type of dieting will produce all the positive results you are looking for, unless you exercise.

Start a fitness & diet journal to keep track of your food intake and exercise schedule.

Do not skip meals - skipping meals lowers your metabolism, decreasing energy, slowing weight loss and also decreasing your ability to use food to your advantage, you may even gain weight by skipping meals. Regularity is the key here, your body likes rhythm.
Make food fun and exciting; eat fresh, small regular meals. Breakfast on sensational ‘energy smoothies’ with fresh fruits or ½ cup of porridge.  After breakfast give your self an half an hour break than head to the gym or local park for a high energy/power or tone/muscle focused workout, start your day with power!

Lunch on salads, fruits or soups, eat fresh cheese or nuts for protein, try to avoid breads and pastries, for beverages use water (your body is 75% water), fresh juices and supplementation. Seek support for your weight management journey, whenever needed use your team of professionals - no need to ‘go it alone'.

Late afternoon or evening, go for a walk or jog, attend a class or visit your personal trainer before preparing a healthy dinner with plenty of fresh vegetables.  Dinner is a great chance to share achievements of the day with a friend or chronicle them in your fitness journal.

Regular exercise will not only have you looking good at your wedding today but it will have reaching effects right through your life as it will prevent
·               Obesity          
·               Mental IIlness                      
·               Breast Cancer                                 
·               Injury
·               Cardiovascular Disease
·               Colon Cancer
·               Osteoporosis
·               Early Death

Daily group classes can fast track results - Utilize a combination of aerobic, resistance & yoga exercise.

Flexibility training (stretching) helps balance muscle groups that might be overused during exercise or physical activity or as a result of bad posture. Flexibility is a joint's ability to move through a full range of motion, include cardio-aerobic workouts, martial arts for increased coordination, power & stamina.

Resistance based exercise (weights)  for toning and strengthening tired muscles – suitable for all levels of fitness and strength.

Make sure you have a rest day each week for your body to recover and power through the following days….

The motto is flexibility, agility, strength and balance.

Fun and active outings and exercises like bike rides and walks at the beach, decrease boredom and time available for snacking or grazing during the day.

At the completion of your pre-wedding program, you will benefit from the increased energy & have the skills & motivation to keep moving forwards towards your long term Health & Fitness goals & stay looking Fit, Health & Fantastic into the future.
When it comes to good health and weight loss, exercise and diet are inter-related:

More muscle = more active metabolism.

Higher metabolic rate reduces the chance of weight gain.
Exercising without maintaining a balanced diet is no more beneficial than dieting while remaining inactive.
Gregory Damaskos is a Naturopath, Analytical Counselor, Public Speaker, Health Educator and a Writer for several national and international publications.  He has appeared on TV and radio programs on health matters and is the Director of Authenticity Health & Wellness Retreat, Port Elliot SA.  His work is based on the merits of Nature Cure (Naturopathy) Yoga, Philosophy and Psychotherapy , with food, life style and a state of emotional and mental well-being the main means by which he aims to balance and restore the natural functions of the body mind and spirit.

Gregory would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Just send your question to us at

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