Melbourne Spring Fashion Week 2014 – Jason Grech

One of Melbourne’s most celebrated couture houses, Jason Grech premiered its collection on the runway this week. Enchanting designs and billowing fabrics filled the stage mesmerising the audience. Jason Grech has an uncanny talent for creating breathtaking couture bridal and red carpet gowns that are both sexy and romantic.

 Photo Credits: Lucas Dawson

Posted in Wedding | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Emmy Awards 2014: Red Carpet Fashion

Words: Kellianne Wong

Last week marked the biggest night of the year for TV fans, the 2014 Emmy Awards, a night of glitz, glamour and sweeping wins. While there were certainly winners in the awards department, what’s more important were the winners on the red carpet. We saw Hollywood’s hottest celebs channeling the latest in Winter/Spring trends, from 90s-inspired high necklines to plunging V-neck dresses. Paired with statement jewellery and killer accessories, these trends will give you inspiration for a sleek and sophisticated bridal look.

Leaving their little black dresses in the wardrobe, the stars instead opted for stunning white gowns. Kate Mara wowed in an angelic J. Mendel with a pearl and crystal bodice and asymmetric pleated skirt, while Padma Lakshmi and Michelle Monaghan stayed classic in white column dresses.

Necklines are a key design feature in dresses, with the ability to flatter, elongate, minimise or emphasise. The daring, deep-V neckline requires killer confidence and careful balance between classy and trashy, but when done correctly, it creates a bold and stunning look. Hayden Panettiere, Lucy Liu and Keke Palmer stepped out in dresses with eye-catching plunging necklines.

    

On the other end of the scale, the modest yet sophisticated high neckline and flirty crossover neckline are establishing themselves as more than just short-lived trends. Michelle Dockery, Taylor Schilling and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are fans of the elegant high-neck, skinny straps design.

    

A newer twist on this trend is the crossover front dress, worn by Halle Berry in a soft dusty pink and Lizzy Caplan, who opted for a stunning two-tone Donna Karan Atelier gown with cut-out detailing.

   

A trend pioneered by Angelina Jolie’s notorious Oscars look, the thigh-high slit has been popping up everywhere, including the red carpet. A deep-V and sexy peek-a-boo slit spices up Kristen Wiig’s classic Vera Wang dress, while Anna Gunn shows off some leg in an elegant one-shoulder Jenny Packham. Dare to bare with a sexy slit that will make a strong statement.

  

Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo and actresses Angela Bassett and Julia Roberts rocked long-sleeved dresses, a stylish trend that carried over from the chilly winter months. Balance the look with sheer arms like Behati or a plunging V-neckline like Ms Roberts.

     

Michelle Dockery and Joanne Froggatt turned heads in racy backless gowns. Worn with an elegant up-do to leave the focus on the backless detail, a backless dress will make a major statement.

Posted in Wedding, Wedding Fashion | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

2014 MTV Video Music Awards red carpet arrivals

Take a squiz at the hottest looks from from last nights MTV Video Music Awards for some gown inspiration.
We’re noticing asymmetrical styles with one shoulder, long sleeves and plunging necklines.

Posted in Wedding | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Fresh is best – 7 tips to make your bouquet last longer

Jayde Ferguson has some excellent tips to keeping your bouquet nice and fresh long after your wedding.

Nothing brightens a room, and your mood, like a bunch of fresh flowers. The space is immediately enhanced, the sweet-smelling aroma lingers in the air and you can’t help but feel a little happier – that is, until they die.

Although flowers offer a mood-boosting, room-loving vibe there is nothing more depressing than when they begin to wilt. Dead petals begin to occupy your table and yet, you still find it hard to part with the once-beautiful bunch that brightened your day.

If you’re lucky, your garden may be blooming with colour making it much easier to go and pick another bunch. But for those that have received them as a gift or you’ve spent the money on them yourself – there’s nothing worse than them just going to waste after such a short amount of time.

Here are our best tips to keep your flowers lasting longer:

1. Cutting Time Matters

If you enjoy indulging in your own freshly grown flowers, when you cut them makes a difference to their lifespan. Garden flowers should be cut first thing in the morning – as early as possible. Avoid cutting them on a hot day as the sun draws moisture from the petals and they won’t last as long.

2. Remove Leaves

Before you put your flowers in a vase of water, remove any leaves from the part of the stem that will be submerged under water. Removing these lower leaves will keep the water clearer, thus provide a better and healthier home environment for your new flowers.

3. Placement is everything

Let’s face it – flowers look amazing when they’re set aside on a sunny windowsill. Because they are a plant, most people think that this is where they’ll be happiest but it’s not the case. Flowers that have been cut react the opposite to potted plants or flowers that are still growing in your garden and mature with exposure to heat and sun causing them to wilt. Flowers that have been freshly cut or bought thrive best in spots that are cooler and darker to keep them at their peak of perfection for longer.

4. Check Your Flowers Daily

Like us, flowers rely on water to keep healthy and replenished – and they drink a lot so it’s important you check your flowers daily. Keep the water level high to encourage long lasting flowers and make sure the vase or container is full so they don’t dry out. Large flower arrangements can easily drink all the water in the first day or two – be mindful of this when you first bring them home or cut them.

The water will also need to be changed every few days so bacteria don’t build up. Flowers are highly susceptible to germs but by a quick water change, even if it hasn’t been used up, your flowers will stay fresh for longer. A water change every few days will also help to avoid the rotten smell that can develop from leaving them.

5. Re-Cut Their Stems

A big mistake people make when it comes to fresh flowers is not cutting their stems once they’re on display. When you do the water change (every few days), remove the flowers from the design and re-cut the stems with a sharp knife or sharp scissors – about 5-10cm is good. This gives your flowers the best chance to drink the water. Using blunt scissors or not cutting the stems on an angle can actually destroy the water vessels and prevent adequate absorption. Sharp utensils ensure these stem cells are left unharmed.

6. Add Flower Food

As crucial as fresh water is for the survival of your flowers, so is flower food. There are homemade solutions you can make up but commercial flower packet food is recommended. Every water change, you’ll need to top the flower food up too – each packet is normally enough for one pint of water so if you’re buying the flowers from a florist, ask for a few extra packets of food.

It’s vital you don’t over feed your flowers as this can do more harm than good. In addition to the food, a small amount of bleach can be added to the water to help keep it clear of harmful bacteria. Again, using too much will kill the flowers so stick to the bare minimum – ¼ teaspoon per pint of water is best. Alternatively you can add a teaspoon of sugar to the water to help renew the flowers.

7. Take Note of What You’re Buying

When shopping for flowers, it’s easy to get distracted by the beautiful colours and varieties but there’s so much more than meets the eye. Don’t be afraid to touch the flowers before you buy them to feel how healthy they are. For example, roses should be firm where the petals meet the top of the stem. If they are soft and squishy, then the roses are old and you should avoid buying them.

Jayde Ferguson writes for A Touch of Class – Perth-based florists with a difference, sourcing only the freshest flowers daily with delivery six days a week. You can catch her on Google+.

Posted in floral | Comments Off

Organising your wedding from the other side of the world – tips for long distance planning

Wedding photography specialist and writer for Viva Photography Jayde Ferguson explores planning your dream wedding abroad.

Let’s be honest, wedding planning can get a little hectic at the best of times. The little things build up quickly, the running around and all the decisions and even when it’s right in front of you, it can be hard to keep everything together. But, if that wasn’t a challenge enough today’s increased mobility has given brides and grooms a brand new wedding planning dilemma – and that’s the long distance wedding.
Whether it’s to go back to your roots or to say ‘I do’ on an exotic island, planning a wedding from the other side of the world can make you want to tear your hair out. At the end of it though, when you’re sharing the special day with your spouse, family and friends in your awesome location – it’ll all be worth it. How do you make the ride there smooth though? We look into some tips to give you the wedding of your dreams, in the perfect location, with the least amount of stress possible.

Location, Location
The location of your wedding should be chosen carefully, from cost to guest travel and the significance of the place for you and your partner. Once you have decided on the location, consider the venue and have a wedding planner, friend or family check the place out in person and take photos. Don’t forget about your guests too; long distance weddings will require friends and family to book flights and sort out a place to stay so make sure the venue is easy to get to and near accommodation.

Know the Marriage Requirements
Once you and your partner have decided upon the location, one of the first things you need to do is check the marriage requirements. Each place has something different to consider. Some require a special wedding license and for others you will need to sign and sort out the paperwork when you get back home to make the marriage legal. It’s important you check out this information early in the planning stages (and before you start booking flights and venues).

Here or There?
Not everything you plan for your wedding will need to be done from the one location. Make a ‘here or there list’ to figure out what can be done from where you are and what can be arranged at your wedding destination. The more you can get done from where you live, the better – your dress, bridesmaid dresses, accessories, invitations and favours can all be organised from home. Catering, makeup and hair stylists will need to be booked from the wedding location or require great communication and pictures to get exactly what you are after.

Know When to Go Local
Depending on the whereabouts of your wedding, some things are just best to be done locally – whether it works out more cost effective or a better option for you and your partner. For example, some couples opt to use a photographer based in their hometown, fly them over and pay for accommodation. When there is someone you really want to work with, it can be an ideal option for many couples especially when wedding photography can be such a personal preference and tends to require meeting the photographer first. This is also a common decision with music organisation, where the band or DJ is flown over from the couple’s hometown.

Simplicity is Key
Planning a long distance wedding doesn’t need to be made any harder than it already is – so keep it simple. Minimalism will make life easier for you and take a good amount of the headache out of planning. It doesn’t mean to say though you have to opt for paper plates and plastic utensils, just be flexible with your decisions.

Plan a Planning Trip
If you have family and friends living in your chosen wedding destination, they will be able to help a lot with checking out the venue and organising things from that end. Regardless though, you and your partner will need to plan a planning trip to meet face-to-face with the venue coordinator, marriage celebrant, DJ / band and any other vendors.

Get Tech Savvy
The computer and internet will be your best friend for long distance wedding planning, especially if there’s no family or friends over there to help you out. There is nothing like face-to-face interaction during the planning stages so Skype and Facetime will be a huge help. If you have no-one to check out the venues and suppliers on your behalf, reviews on websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor will be a huge help.
Apps like Dropbox and Google Docs will be perfect for sharing large files and countless amounts of quotes, emails, pictures and ideas. They will also be a great way to track the planning process and keep everything together.

Delegate
Regardless of how organised you are it’s near impossible to manage everything yourself so it’s best not to even try. Balance decisions with your partner and delegate things to organise to them, friends, family and a point of contact in your desired wedding location. Create a wedding checklist so you don’t forget any of the smaller details and assign a person you can trust to each task.

Author Bio
Jayde Ferguson writes for Viva Photography and specialises in wedding photography throughout Melbourne and Perth. Catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.

Posted in Wedding | Comments Off

Planning an overseas wedding

Thinking of taking a trip overseas to your favourite holiday location? Why not have your wedding there too!

Many couples are moving their nuptials to an exotic location and are taking their families and friends with them for the ride. According to recent studies, Bali is one of the top wedding destination for Australian couples, followed by Thailand, Fiji and Tahiti. However, unlike planning a holiday, organising a destination wedding takes a whole lot of work, and maybe a few stressful moments.

To help couples wed overseas, the team at Cheapflights (cheapflights.com.au) have created a comprehensive and fun eBook – Getting Married Abroad.

Here are some of their top tips for planning that all important day:

  • Get your Save the Date cards out to guests as early as possible
  • Research the country you will wed in – every country has different laws, rules and regulations when it comes to wedding ceremonies
  • Speak to the wedding co-ordinator at your destination – many resorts have a qualified event planner that can help foreign couples get what they need to plan their wedding
  • Find a gown that will be easily packed, isn’t heavy and doesn’t require too much fiddling – such as a flowing kaftan or lightweight silk dress
  • Check weather forecasts for the area you would like to marry at – this helps with the theme of your wedding and also helps you decide what to pack
  • Find out what official documents you will need to have with you. This includes birth certificates, valid passports etc. They will need to be translated to the destination’s official language.
  • Decide on your budget – this is needed for any wedding, but is especially important as you can get carried away when staying overseas. Don’t forget all your guests have to book accommodation and flights too!
  • Organise some activities for your guests to do. This is after all a holiday for them too. Maybe organise special welcome packs in their rooms that introduce them to the area.

The eBook also has great suggestions on where you should have your destination wedding, from the castles of Rome to the Island of Nevis.

It may seem daunting at first, but once you are standing across from your loved one with your feet in the sand (or wherever your heart desires!) you will know planning a destination wedding was worth the trouble.

For more information and to download the eBook, visit cheapflights.com.au/travel/getting-married-abroad/

Posted in Beach Wedding, Wedding Planning | Comments Off

Social Media: the Unwelcome Wedding Guest of #2014

Rachel Bentick, Bridal Coach from Inlighten wedding photography, explains how to navigate the murky waters of social media and weddings

With the wedding season truly upon us, an emerging new trend is showing that social media is fast becoming the greatest wedding crasher of all time. In earlier days, a wedding crasher was easy enough to spot, but thanks to social media, a single compulsive sharer can make a wedding privy to thousands of uninvited guests as they watch the event unfold in real time.

To put it into perspective, more people own a cell phone than a toothbrush. Combine this with the knowledge that more than 90% of all humans who have ever taken a photo have only done so on a camera phone, and you can see why this phenomena is becoming a major concern to modern day couples about to tie the knot.

As a Bridal Coach from Inlighten, I have been involved with over 1,000 weddings and seen firsthand the damage that can be done by shutter bug guests. I know that social media can turn a joyful day into a catastrophic one with just a single Tweet. From unflattering photos to the untimely ‘reveal’ of the bride before the groom has even seen her, the online sharing of a couple’s eternal and extraordinarily private moment is becoming an increasingly tricky dilemma for newlyweds.

So as a wedding guest, before you whip out your phone to tweet, post or hashtag at the next wedding, take a look at my expert advice:

1. Don’t post wedding snaps on any social media site before you know what the deal is. To no-one’s surprise, newlyweds often like to be the first to share their official wedding photos with the rest of the world. So, although you can’t wait to share their special moment with 2,000 of your closest friends, think twice. Find out if the wedding is social media friendly and avoid being guilty of bursting the couple’s matrimonial bubble of bliss.

2. Do think twice about what and how often you post if social media is allowed. Just because you’ve been given the green light to chronicle the wedding online, doesn’t make it okay to post a selfie while downing shots in the bathroom after the ceremony. If you’re unsure how the bride and groom might receive your photo then don’t risk offending them. The same can be said for too many photos. Posting updates as though you’re live-streaming the wedding to a major news network is a big no-no.

3. Don’t act like the paparazzi. Unless you’ve been specifically instructed or paid to document the wedding, then you’re considered a guest. You’ve been invited to experience the wedding not capture it’s every moment, so don’t waste the big reveal by watching it through an electronic screen.

 4. Do stay out of the photographer’s way. Nothing kills the romance of a wedding better than a line of glowing iPhone screens bordering the aisle. Stopping at nothing to capture the best shot not only irritates other guests; your backside certainly won’t impress the bride and groom when it features in all of their treasured wedding photos.

And for the bride and groom, I recommend:

1. Don’t tell people they can’t take photos of themselves at your wedding. While ‘unplugged’ weddings are becoming very common, telling guests that they can’t take photos of themselves is border-lining Bridezilla. Instead, ask guests to take pictures but embargo them until after the wedding.  For ease, make this clear on your invitation.

2. Do provide guests with a hashtag. It’s becoming increasingly popular for brides and grooms to provide guests with a ‘wedding day hashtag’. Not only can it help you to monitor what’s being put online, it also means you can crowd-source candid snaps for yourself – just make sure no-one else has used the same hashtag!

For more expert wedding advice on social media wedding etiquette, click here

Posted in Photography, Wedding Photography | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Weddings: Just Desserts

Jean Michel Raynaud, award-winning Patissier from Baroque Bistro in The Rocks, gives his expert advice on catering for your sweet-toothed guests on your wedding day

“Firstly, a wedding dessert has to be in line with the rest of the meal and event. We need to have a clear understanding of what the style of the client is and take a holistic approach. You aren’t going to serve something fruity if you have had a heavier offering at the front. We work with the chef to makes sure it is aligned with the rest of meal. Sometimes I put incorporate an ingredient from the main meal. For example, if it is Duck a l’Orange I make sure I have the tang of orange in the dessert.

People used to have big weddings with a big fluffy dress but they are a lot simpler now. It is the same with the food. We used to overcomplicate things with multiple textures and flavours but now we have gone back to simpler food, focussing on quality ingredients. It doesn’t make it easier at all to do but I think it is much better food.

For example, I am making a Saint Honoré cake for an event which has been made for hundreds of years but making it modern. Or I might make éclairs but instead of with custard, I will make a chocolate emulsion with freeze-dried lime. They are classical desserts with a modern twist.”

For more wedding dessert and cake inspiration, visit the Cake Bake & Sweets Show taking place on the 21-23rd March 2014 at the Sydney Showgrounds. The event will host the likes of Jean Michel Raynaud, Adriano Zumbo and British Pâtissier of the Year, Eric Lanlard.

Posted in Wedding, Wedding Planning, Wedding Reception | Tagged | Comments Off

Wedding Trends 2014

Interior designer and TV presenter Tara Dennis shares her wedding styling tips

Make the wedding theme yours with ‘handmade’ touches for a unique celebration. Crafting allows you to get involved and include beautiful, considered details and fun elements which all add to the party atmosphere.

Bunting, garlands and tissue paper pom poms are some of my favourite ways to add instant life to a room and are all easy to make. Photo booth backdrops are always a hit and on a smaller scale a decorated picture frame is a cute idea to hand around for guest photos.

Recent wedding trends have centred a lot around typography — that is, the art of written words. Whether it be calligraphy or a handwritten sign, typography is everywhere. It’s a really nice way to demonstrate the style of your wedding theme right from the word go with save the dates, invitations, and finally place cards, and signs on the big day.

Get your friends involved and organize a “crafternoon”, or, if time is short and you still want the handmade look, shop online at fabulous sites such as Etsy.

For the truly romantic wedding theme, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Heirloom tableware from Nanna such a vintage floral plates, condiment sets, pressed and cut glass and old-fashioned cakes stands can look stunning paired with modern pieces. For this look, avoid overdone floral bouquets and opt for small, simple arrangements in anything from tea cups to jam jars. Places to shop for vintage include op shops, garage sales and Gumtree.

Keep it simple. If fuss is not your thing, take inspiration for your wedding décor from Scandinavian style which focuses on clean lines, classic materials, plenty of white and pops of colour. I’m loving this season’s Scandi pastel palette which includes sherbet yellow, mint green, powder blue, soft coral and blush pink.

Shiny metallic accents add glamour and style to any wedding theme and silver and pewter have always been popular. This year thought they’re being given a run for their money by warmer metallics like rose gold, yellow gold, bronze and copper. Pair any of these with blush pink details and plenty of pearly white for a divine wedding palette. I love the metallic patty pans which are easy to find and if you want to add your handmade own touch, try creating cake toppers from toothpicks and pretty cardboard, Cut out hearts, little flags, stars, or whatever shape you prefer and glue to the top of the toothpicks. These can be personalised with names, and really do add an individual touch.

Success with succulents: For table centre pieces with a difference, consider succulents instead of flowers. They make fantastic and original table decorations, and can even make it into the bridal bouquet! As an alternative to traditional wedding favours, use small ceramic or clay pots and plant them weeks ahead of the big day to save time.

Be inspired by the seasons: Choose key colours and textures and incorporate them into your plans.

Wedding cakes have been changing over recent years. From the traditional tiered fruit cake, to the iced mud cake, now more popular than ever is cupcakes! You can even have your guests personalise their own cupcake by having an array of decorations to add to the already iced cakes.

Do it yourself dessert bars are so popular at parties of any kind and really fun for modern weddings too. You can even theme your dessert bar so that it goes with the colour scheme for your wedding. Chinese noodle boxes make convenient alternatives to plates and bowls. Simply choose lollies and sweet treats that match with the rest of your decorations, and let your guests do the rest.

Say cheese!  With so many of us having smart phones you can be sure that any big event such as a wedding will have your friends’ social media accounts going berserk. Have any guests wanting to take photos on the day set up an Instagram account, and personalise any photos they take with your own unique hashtag, that way, you’ll be able to look at the range of photos that everyone has taken later on, and it’s a great way for everyone to feel that they have made a contribution!

For more of Tara Dennis’ great styling tips, see her at Reed Gift Fair Sydney, February 15-19, 2014.

Posted in Ceremony, Wedding, Wedding Planning, Wedding Themes | Tagged , | Comments Off

Find the perfect engagement ring

The guy’s guide to engagement ring shopping by Larsen Jewellery

You have finally found “the one” and you have decided that is time to get down on one knee and put a rock on her finger. All of a sudden you might be feeling completely overwhelmed at the prospect of choosing the engagement ring that is going to win her heart!

Grooms-to-be, there is no need to panic. This is just a small obstacle in the road and with a bit of savvy detective work you will be back on track with confidence and excitement with your choice. Here are five helpful tips on how to find that perfect engagement ring for the love of your life.

1. She may already be dropping hints.

It’s time to wake up gentlemen, because it is quite likely that if you have come to this decision, then she has probably been patiently waiting for you to propose, leaving little hints right there in front of you. Keep an eye out for magazines or websites she might leave open on a certain page or comments she might make on friend’s engagement rings that she loves or loathes.  

2. What is her style?

This is so important. You are not going to choose a fine floral vintage-inspired engagement ring if she loves big, bold and modern jewellery. Take a note of what kind of jewellery she normally wears. Doe she wear white or yellow gold-coloured jewellery? Does she wear fine and elegant pieces or big ostentatious statement pieces? Is her style more modern, clean and sleek or pretty and feminine?

3. Does she have a favourite gemstone?

Diamonds are not the only option for an engagement ring. She might have a favourite coloured gemstone. I suggest only going down this road if you are absolutely certain. If you are unsure, you can’t go wrong with diamonds.

4. Ask her family and friends

In this time of need, friends and family are an invaluable resource. So do not be shy to ask their opinion! There is a very good chance that her best friend will know in detail exactly what she wants in an engagement ring and may even be your moral support at the jewellers.

5. When all else fails…

 If after all this detective work you are still not confident that you will choose the right engagement ring, then there are two choices:

Option One: a classic diamond solitaire engagement ring – timeless and elegant.

Option Two: simply propose with a diamond. This is a fantastic option, you get the best of both worlds; the dream proposal with that dazzling diamond and she will get the ring she has dreamed of. Together you can enjoy the process with your jeweller; designing and bringing to life a ring that you both love.

Posted in Accessories, Bridal Jewellery, diamonds, engagement, Wedding Fashion | Tagged , | Comments Off