DIY Wedding Photography

Words: Jacinta Newbold

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, and never is this more true than on your wedding day. But while professional photography at your wedding ceremony is paramount in ensuring special moments are perfectly captured, the reception offers a great opportunity for family and friends to get ‘snap happy’ and share in the documentation of your first party as husband and wife. Here are some fun ways your guests can embrace their inner photographer and save you some cash at the same time.


These vintage-style photos are making a serious comeback! While digital cameras allow us to capture and store multiple photos, nothing beats holding a treasured moment in your hand. Polaroids are pretty much instantaneously printed and can be used as personalized décor at your wedding reception. At the end of the party, they also make for awesome take home mementoes for your guests.

Social media

All hail social media! In 2014, modern technologies are making it easier for us to share photos with both our loved ones and the world. At your reception, ask your guests to use a specific hash tag on their photographs. This way when they share them on applications like Instagram and Facebook, you can easily find them later on.

While you’re at it, invite guests to join special wedding-specific applications like snapable.  The app is $79 for the bride and groom to purchase and is free for their guests to use. Simply asks guests to take photos with the app and just like that, you’ve got your own digital photo album snapped from every point of view.
Image source:


Nothing screams fun like a photobooth. While you can hire a company to bring their booth to your reception, why not make your own? Simply set up a backdrop, provide some quirky props, place a camera on a stand (ensuring you have a remote shutter device to snap your photo at the appropriate time) and voila! You’ve got hours of guest entertainment sorted.

Digital cameras

While disposable cameras are fun, they make it hard to take a good selfie. Step into 2014 and get together a collection of digital cameras to place on the tables at your reception. If you don’t have family and friends willing to offer their camera to the clutches of wedding-happy guests, there are companies that hire out digital cameras at a reasonable price. At the end of your day, collect all the memory cards and just like that, you’ve got a collection of candid shots from each table of guests (let’s hope the ‘delete’ button can be disabled-we’re sure there’ll be some crackers!).
Image source: 2.	Unofficial photographer

Got a younger cousin or family member attending your wedding that doesn’t belong at the kiddy table, but won’t be found sipping champagne either? Give them a special job for the day and ask them to take some photos for you. More often than not, the tech-savvy youngster will love playing amateur photographer and will be grateful you’ve given them a role on your big day.

DIY guestbook

Although we should all be able to put a face to a name (it is YOUR wedding after all), it doesn’t hurt to have a picture accompany a message of well wishes. Not only will a guestbook with photos make for entertainment at your reception, it will come to be a treasured item in years to come. Ask guests to stick Polaroid pictures of themselves in a scrapbook with a message next to them, or get creative and make a book out of the actual photos with messages inscribed on the back.

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Hanging Cakes

CW talks to Regnier Cakes about the growing trend of suspending cakes

We at Complete Wedding are huge fans of hanging florals. From overhead rigging with draped foliage and pendant lights at a warehouse wedding to the Dior 2014 Spring/Summer runway show spectacle where stylists took the concept to the next level – hanging thousands of bright coloured lilanas, orchids and wisteria above the runway – creating an exotic hanging garden. We can’t get enough of this trend! When Melina from Regnier cakes informed us she was making ‘hanging cakes’ we had to learn more!

Where did the concept of hanging cakes stem from?
I try and keep up to date with current trends, by following many overseas blogs and suppliers. I have noticed a huge trend towards hanging cakes but all seem to be lavish, elegant and very glitzy chandelier styles. Over 70% of my orders are supplied to the Mornington peninsula and Yarra Valley so I decided to create a hanging style that suits these types of wedding, barns, vineyards and private gardens. At a recent venue open day for the shearing shed at Ace Hi Ranch I had a vision of hanging a naked sponge cake from the rafters, so I joined forces with local Mornington florist Lauren from poppy culture to make my vision reality. And since then together we have created many designs to fit every budget

Are the hanging cakes secured?
I’m no tradie but believe me these cakes are secure.

At what level are the cakes suspended at?
We try to position these just above waist height. They are set up like a swing and try to deter people from sitting on them.

What are the benefits of hanging cakes?
They are perfect for someone looking for something different, affordable and show stopping. I believe the cake is the centre piece of every reception and this is a perfect way to display it.

Can cakes be hung in any type of venue or do they need rafting?
I have had many venues ask me if there is a way they could have this master piece but don’t have rafters to hang it from. So we are working on a structure to allow anyone and anywhere to have one of our hanging cakes. Keep your eyes peeled this should be ready for December 2014.

What is involved in the set up? Is a site inspection prior necessary?
At this stage we are offering the cake to venues that we work with often, but we are more than happy to discuss this option with any bride and there reception. We set up the cake on the day as we do with all our orders.

What style of bride or wedding theme is best suited to a hanging cake?
We designed this cake to suit the everyday bride, you don’t need a huge budget or get married at a certain venue. We create it to suit the current styles vintage, shabby chic, rustic, beachy, industrial or winery style and have a huge range of cakes, bases and flowers to suit every theme.

Does a particular style of cake or flavour work best to be hung?
You can have any flavour cake with any type of icing but there is a limit on size, 3-4 tiers depending on icing and weight. Make sure you finish it off with heaps of fresh blooms and foliage.

Can a desert buffet be suspended?
Funny you ask this as I have some ideas to start suspending dessert jars, treats and desserts as well. Watch this space

Does Regnier Cakes offer a styling service, if so what does this entail?
We work with Florist Poppy Culture and offer very affordable packages, Lauren is a great stylist and florist, and when it comes to all things pretty she is my go to person. With the new structure on its way, we will sit down and discuss styling, floristry and cake packages. All inquiries are welcomed.

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Steal the spotlight

Rosa Novias’ new line of dresses combines elegance and femininity with a touch of fantasy. The lightweight fabrics flatter the female silhouette and feature draping in all the right places -perfect for a bride who’s looking for a dress that is romantic and a little bohemian.

The dreamy dresses have been meticulously constructed in chiffon, silk, satin and organza and feature lace, silk flowers, sequins, diamantes and other glamorous details.

For a twist on tradition, consider a gorgeous blue gown. Featuring both light blue and white, this pale blue wedding dress is soft, romantic and unique.

Show off your gorgeous back with a sensual, classic and romantic low v-back.

Dresses available through Rosa Novias


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Oscar de la Renta: The bridal industry looses a legend

The fashion industry lost a legend today, with the passing of world-renowned fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. Carrie Bradshaw’s favourite designer was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and passed away today at home.
Designer to the stars, Oscar de la Renta created many wedding dresses for Hollywood’s biggest names including Katherine Heigl, Kate Bosworth and most recently Amal Clooney.

Oscar de la Renta’s most admired bridal gowns


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This week we got a chance to chat to bridal designer and Project Runway Australia’s resident judge Henry Roth to discuss his exciting project in partnership with Sealy Posturepedic

Hello Henry, tell us about this project you are doing in collaboration with Sealy Posturepedic in support of Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon.
Hello and thank you for throwing light on this phenomenal, inspiring initiative by Sealy and the Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon day. This is a fresh, unique approach by Sealy Australia to commission six Australian designers in the pursuit of creating ‘one of a kind’ designs that have been prepared for auction. The proceeds of the auction will go directly to Pink Ribbon. It is a creative and human way of drawing continual attention to the fight against cancer and it is a phenomenal undertaking by Sealy and a “give back to the community” initiative.

When you were first asked to participate in this project, what were your initial thoughts?
Initially I thought Sealy, Cancer Council, and Pink Ribbon day, this is a huge honour and collaboration. My head started to explode with a combination of challenge and humility. I felt emotional about this project because it hits home to so many people on a global level. It also made me feel proud to be an Australian because it is such a warm, real and proactive programme. I also thought this is fantastic because it is unusual and I think it is important to highlight the need to raise funds to keep the fight at the forefront.

How did you find it designing a bed with your personal style in comparison to your usual bridal gowns?
This project has come to me at the perfect time at this juncture of my professional career. I have expanded my brand catapulting my bridal designs into Henry Roth Presents.

Additionally I have now expended into Wedding MC, Wedding Planner, Mentor and host. For me being part of such an extraordinary team of designers and the expansion of my brand, I felt a surge of freedom and creativity that I applied to my design which I call “Floating on Cloud 9, Counting Sheep with Sealy”

Being a TV personality these days as well as a well-known designer – how do you find the time to do it all?
I actually think I am not unusual in being a multi-tasker. This is the decade of focusing on not only just one, but on many skills as the world becomes a global marketplace via the web and social media. When you are passionate about something then you have all the time in the world. Conversely when you are not passionate about something somehow there is never enough time in the day, don’t you agree?

When you are designing each gown collection, how important is it to be in touch with current trends?
My brand has now morphed into bespoke couture wedding gowns out of Melbourne – The Fashion Capital of Australia. To be honest I don’t look so much at trends, rather the personality and the individuality of each client. That is the trend that is the inspiration that is the creativity that becomes the gown.

Where do you draw your main inspiration from, and how do you keep your collections fresh and exciting?
Life is my inspiration, brides are my inspiration. I have always designed with the location, where the bride decides to get married, in mind. I design from the beach to the ballroom, from tiara to stiletto. Believe it or not, especially in Melbourne if I may say so, the streets are a runway of fashion and that is my excitement and keeps my designs fresh, additionally I bring MC-ing and Wedding Planning into the picture now so my involvement is much more three dimensional.

Who would be your dream bride to dress?
To be honest, on last count there is about 7 billion people on the planet, about 3.5 billion are females so each one would be my dream to dress. It’s never been about who you are but what lives in a person’s heart. I believe in a literal respect across all countries, races, religions or sexuality.

What is in store for you next – do you have any upcoming projects under your belt?
There is a plethora of projects currently given the green light under I am now based in Melbourne. I have been commissioned by Women’s Day to create the Clooney wedding dress for a national competition. For the winning bride this will include the dress all of your MC and wedding planning services. I am the MC and host of the forthcoming APEX Teenage Fashion Awards here in Melbourne, the MC and host of the business seminar in Darwin NT Fashion Week, and I am currently negotiating a few major secret projects that excite me just to think about. And of course right at the top of the list is the event of the Sealy Pink Ribbon day which is truly a ‘give back to the community’ that I love and am passionate and proud about.

For more on Henry Roth

Bidding starts on Friday 17th October

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Is this the most glamorous wedding ever?

George Clooney and British human rights barrister, Amal Alamuddin tied the knot in romantic Venice. We’ve captured the out-of-this-world elegant moments, from how they met to details of the ring. 

Words: Kellianne Wong

On September 27, Amal Alamuddin wed longtime bachelor George Clooney, a man who never seemed he would settle down. The romance began when George sent a tongue-in-cheek message to the lawyer after meeting her through a mutual friend at a charity event, when she reportedly refused to take his number. The couple have been dating since last October and became engaged this April when George presented Amal with a stunning seven-carat diamond and platinum engagement ring.

The Ring

The ring made its first public appearance in April, at a party for Cindy Crawford’s husband, Rande Gerber, in Santa Barbara.

George and Amal pictured at Rande Gerber's birthday party in April.

The estimated seven-carat engagement ring features an “ethically mined” emerald-cut diamond flanked by two tapered baguettes set in platinum, very fitting for the human rights lawyer and activist.

The huge emerald-cut rock is said to be worth $750,000.

A close up of Amal’s wedding band.

The Dress

The British barrister wore a beautiful ivory off-the-shoulder gown custom made by Oscar de la Renta. The wedding gown featured ivory tulle appliquéd with fourteen yards of Chantilly lace, its bodice hand-embroidered with beading and crystals, an off-the-shoulder neckline, “to highlight Alamuddin’s Parmagianino neck and poitrine,” and a full circular train. 

Amal at a final fitting, with Oscar de la Renta (right) and head tailor Raffaele Ilardo, in the designer’s New York studio.

We love the cut, the volume, the minimal beading and the subtle ivory hue!

Amal’s bridal look was accessorised with pearl and diamond earrings, while her long brunette locks were topped with an embellished veil. Like the dress, the cathedral veil was adorned withChantillylace and bead-and-crystal embroidery, running all the way down the back of the dress almost to the floor.

The Tux

The 53-year-old actor wore a custom Giorgio Armani tuxedo from the Made to Measure collection, consisting of a wool and cashmere blend with a white shirt, black bow-tie and oxfords. Clooney accessorised with an impressive Omega De Ville Trésor Master Co-Axial peeking out from under his customised cufflinks (a gift from Amal) inscribed with “George” in Arabic.

The Hollywood star in his custom Giorgio Armani tuxedo.

The Wedding Celebrations


George and Amal began their wedding festivities in Venice on Friday with a boat ride down the Grand Canal. Accompanied by their wedding guests, the couple headed towards the Belmond Hotel Cipriani, where they hosted a welcome gathering for their guests and friends.


Amal was dressed in a black and white striped dress by Dolce & Gabbana, which she paired with black Dolce & Gabbana sling pumps and a big pair of glamorous Prada sunnies.


Later that evening, the bride and groom separated for his-and-her parties, where Amal was pictured wearing a stunning red patterned Alexander McQueen dress.



According to People Magazine, the pair “exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony at the Aman Canal Grande luxury resort in Venice, Italy, on Saturday.”

The two were married by Clooney’s friend Walter Veltroni, the former mayor of Rome, and surrounded by family and friends including Cindy Crawford, Rande Gerber, Anna Wintour, Matt Damon, Bono, and Bill Murray.

Supermodel Cindy Crawford (left) and actors Matt Damon, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt (right) board a boat for George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's wedding celebrations.

Clooney’s father, a journalist and former TV news anchor, gave a heart-warming speech: “The loveliest, most intriguing city on the planet. Check. A glittering assembly of accomplished people. Check. A beautiful bride. Check. A nervous groom. Check.”


On Sunday, Amal looked stunning in a lace long-sleeved Giambattista Valli haute couture dress dotted with bright flowers.



Following the amazing three-day Venetian wedding celebration, the marriage between the British-Lebanese lawyer and the Hollywood A-lister was finally made official in a 10-minute, €600 civil ceremony held at the historic 16th-century Cavalli Palace along Venice’s Grand Canal.

Amal chose a stylish, cream-colored, tailored Stella McCartney trouser suit with a matching wide-brimmed hat.


The Photos

The couple’s official wedding photos have been featured on various magazine covers – People in the United States, Hello across Europe and Vanity Fair Italy.


All profits from the couple’s wedding photos will be donated towards charity, with the bulk of the proceeds going to the Satellite Sentinel Project.

Even though Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor is off the market, at least we can look forward to seeing more of his stylish wife’s sartorial choices on the red carpet.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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+.

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