Overcoming Wedding Speech Jitters

By Blossom Benedict

Speeches can be some of the most memorable and treasured moments in a wedding. They are a beautiful opportunity for the people closest to the happy couple to share memories, give their blessing and create greater closeness among the guests.

Unfortunately, the joyful candour possible is often annihilated by the simple fact that public speaking is continuously rated among the top fears in the world.

This means many of the guests bestowed the great privilege of making a special toast may spend more time worrying about their wedding speech and what they will say than actually enjoying the wedding!  Sweaty palms, nausea, forgotten words or simply being preoccupied with your speech until it is over can quickly take away the true joy of the occasion.

Here are some quick tips for overcoming fear, having ease at the mic and giving a great wedding speech!

Before Your Speech

Notice what your are telling yourself If you are saying things like “what if I forget the words?”, “I wish I didn’t have to do this”, “I hate giving speeches”, none of those are helpful, and if you are preoccupied with that energy, that is exactly what you will create.

Try replacing all the statements you are telling yourself with questions. Some of my favorites include: “What would it take for this to be fun?”, “How can this turn out better than I could possibly imagine?” or “What else is possible?”

Ask: Is this fear or excitement?  It’s so easy to assume that we are afraid of things that are actually quite exciting! Butterflies are not necessarily a bad thing before your wedding speech. They only get in the way when you conclude you are afraid. We all hear amazing stories of little old ladies lifting cars when they have adrenaline coursing through their veins. Learn to use this adrenaline and excitement to your advantage.

During Your Speech

Let down your barriers We think we have to protect ourselves in front of people so we often erect walls around ourselves. Vulnerability and authenticity are actually two of the most seductive and captivating characteristics in front of a crowd. Before you speak, take a couple of deep breaths and intentionally push down anything that makes you want to protect or defend yourself or try to get it right. It’s a little uncomfortable at first, but the difference it makes is dramatic.

Don’t take yourself too seriously When you are uncomfortable, your audience gets uncomfortable. Shake off your jitters with a bit of humor and let them know that you will all live through your speech and could even possibly enjoy it!

Forget everything you have been taught about speeches Instead of giving a speech… just talk!  The most memorable wedding speeches do not feel like speeches. Rather than writing everything down and reading it, try just putting bullet points on a note card.

If you have been asked to give a wedding speech, you probably know the bride or groom well. Your life with them has been your preparation. Why do you love this person? What are some of your fondest memories that other quests may not know? And what is your wish for them and their new spouse going forward? Tap into that energy, trust yourself and just talk to them.

After Your Speech

Don’t judge your speech during the applause  When people are clapping, it’s easy to want to wave them off or divert your eyes down, especially if you don’t think you did your best. Resist this urge. Take this moment instead to be grateful for the couple and for everyone in the room listening to you. If you stay in this grateful and confident energy at the end, people will actually remember your speech as much better than if you start judging yourself.

Forget about it The night is about the happy couple, not about you. No matter great or how terribly you feel your wedding speech went, when it’s over, it’s time to get back to celebrating. Every time anything pops into your head trying to figure out how well you did or did not do, say to yourself “how does it get better than that?”  Good or bad, you are asking to have an even better night!

Blossom Benedict is an international speaker and radio host. For more information please visit www.blossombenedict.com or www.rightvoiceforyou.com.

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Hen Party Games

Cocktails, your girls and some hen party games...a recipe for a fun night!

By Sabrina Mable

Hens have the license to have the time of their life during their hen do. Make that happen by adding some hen party games into the mix of activities. Though hen nights can be out-of-control expensive, games will add heaps of fun without adding much further expense.

Play It Anywhere

The hen party itself can take place in a pub, bar, club, restaurant, private home, hotel room, or pretty much anywhere. The location will of course change the hen party games you can play; though bashing a piñata can be a lot of fun, pubs or clubs might not be the best place to get into it!

However, there are a lot of other hen party games to enjoy in a club, bar, or pub. If the party will be held in a packed place, make sure to bring a set of bought or homemade hen party dare cards which can be done anywhere.

A Private Affair

If you decide on a private gathering, such as a hen party in your home, there are a lot more games to choose from. Here are some simple hen party games to get your night started.

Bridal Pictionary

The organiser should write wedding-related words on pieces of paper and put them in a container. Players should split into two groups. A person from one team chooses a pieces of paper and attempts to draw the word on it. Her team has to guess what that word is. If her team fails to get the correct answer, the opposing team is given a chance to guess what that word is. Each correct answer is one point and the team with the most number of points will win.

Balloon Questions

Make the celebrant blush by playing Balloon Questions. The party’s organiser should write 10 embarrassing questions and put those inside balloons before inflating them. To play the game, the bride-to-be pops each of those balloons and answers each question.

“I’ve Never…”

This is a fun and simple drinking game for those that plan on getting a bit wild. The group just needs to gather around in a circle and take turns saying something they have never done. The first person can then say, for instance, “I’ve never slept on a sandy beach.” Those who have done should then take a shot of alcohol. It is a great ice breaker as it is a fast way to get to know something about everyone in the group.

Advice for the Bride

It’s time to get creative with a beautiful Origami arrangement of flowers and hearts for the bride filled with advice for her. Each guest should just come up with good or wacky advice for the bride and fold them creatively. Gather all those Origami works and create the bouquet. During the celebration, the bride can unfold and read out the advice given and choose the best one. The friend that gives the best advice should win a prize.

Handbag Game

The Handbag Game a great ice breaker. Each guest should get three items from their handbag and put them in one container. To play, each guest picks an item from the container and tries to guess who owns that particular item. Each correct answer is one point and the one with the highest number of points wins.

Male Model

To play Male Model, the whole group will have to be divided into different teams. Each team gets some clay to work with and a body part to work on. After moulding the body part they were assigned to make, all the parts are gathered in one area. Then, everyone will have to guess the body part based on the moulded creations. This game gets quite funny when guests make the wrong guesses on some innocent-looking body parts.

Sabrina Mable is an author and authority on planning hen parties. She currently works for www.Henit.ie (where you can find even more hen party game ideas!) and specialises in creating hen party packages for fun and memorable hen parties in Ireland. Follow her on Twitter.

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The top 5 wedding accounts to follow on Twitter:

 

5. Wedding Market  @weddingmarket  55k followers

These guys are a one-stop-shop for those who want to know, or are in, the wedding industry. Showing trends and marketing information about the wedding industry, as well as the bridal market, these folk are a great source of information and a fantastic insight into how vendors and designers interact and share their ideas.

 

4. Wedding Wire  @WeddingWire  181k followers

Based in Washington, these people provide fantastic ideas to make the planning and execution of your wedding as easy as possible. Their twitter account is a great place to wile away the hours and get inspired for your own wedding.

 

 3. Weddingbee  @weddingbee 36k followers

This account is a great way to feel a part of a huge community interested in weddings. Build your own online presence by interacting with the various bloggers who are mentioned on weddingbee’s twitter account. (Favourite post: 63% of women wouldn’t say yes to a Jumbotron proposal at a stadium – would you?)

 

 2. Ruffled®  @ruffledblog 44k followers

Ruffled’s account revolves around creative, DIY approaches to your own wedding and can be an amazing source of inspiration, from saving on just some of the smaller aspects of your wedding to designing an amazing wedding day at a minimal cost. With references to both Australian and international weddings, they are a great way to gauge wedding trends around the world.

 

1. Vera Wang @VeraWangGang 500k followers

This has to be our number one source of inspiration and general drooling. An American based fashion designer, Vera Wang has been a source of industry idolisation for decades and her twitter account is the number one place to keep up to date with her latest designs and personal opinions. (Latest post we love: “A wedding gown is about self-expression. It’s about a woman’s creativity, sense of self, intelligence and sense of romance.”)

 

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A Favourite Wedding Planning App:

Wedding Planning App Image

Having recently posted about fantastic wedding inspired apps as well as wedding organisers, here is a detailed look at one of the best wedding planning apps available on the market.

Developed for the iPad by Createful, designers had user experience at the forefront of their minds when creating Wedding Planner.

This app puts all the little things you would need to keep in check into the one app.
You can manage your seating plan within a designated section of the app, adding tables, rotating them, adding guests from your guest list and managing more than one template if you want to see how different arrangements work or if you have multiple rooms in use on the night.

As mentioned, the guest list is covered, including those that are there for the whole day
or an evening only guest, plus their RSVP status and any other notes you wish to add.

Colour schemes are covered, as well as To-Do lists and quick post-it style notes
that you can drag around your home screen.

But there are three major faculties of this app that will make it that much less stressful to organise your wedding.

1.    A Budget Planner: forget about countless spreadsheets and lost pieces of paper under    the couch; your entire budget can be planned and adjusted within this app.
2.    A Vendors List: you won’t be able to create your budget if you don’t have a clear idea of the various company’s you will be using to service the success of your wedding. You can track costs, what you have paid and what you have yet to pay and get an overall idea of what your spend will be.
3.    A Day Schedule: you can have the entire wedding day planned to the minute (though we know how impossible this can be). But there is no doubt that you will be able to plan out the major events of the day, and finally export this timeline for your bridal party and family so they know what will be going on.

This app is a great mix of creatively led design with considered substance: unlike some other similar apps, this has everything you need to keep your ideas and plans in order.

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10 Wedding apps you’ll fall in love with

10 Wedding apps to fall in love with
By Samantha Little 

Get tech savvy with your wedding planning with these helpful weddings apps in the palm of your hand. There’s an app for everything from planning to speeches, here’s our pick of the 10 wedding apps you’ll fall in love with;

1. Wedding Party App
Price: Free
System: iTunes, Google Play
Why we love: Bride and Groom can sign up their wedding and use the wedding name as the secret password. Connect with guests of your wedding party wedding, to share photos, notes and memories.

2. Lover.ly
 Price: Free
System: iTunes
Why we love: Wedding inspiration mixed with online wedding shopping. Search, save, shop and share weddings inspiration and products. Create bundles of inspiration from hundreds of photos. This is an American based company, which means most shop items are from the U.S, check for international shipping options.
Lover.ly iTunes 

3. Eversnap – Wedding Snap
Price: Free
System: iTunes, Google Play
Why we love: Share photos instantly from your mobile, or upload later on the website. Eversnap allows instant sharing between guests of your gorgeous wedding shots. Great to create albums to share for the engagement and bachelorette too.
Wedding Snap – Google Play
Wedding Snap – iTunes

4. Wedding Speech Creator
Price: $2.99
System: iTunes
Why we love: Learn tricks of the trade of giving speeches at wedding. Whether you’re the bride and groom or the hilarious maid of honour (at least you think you are) the perfect speech will be written for you will all of the sentimental details.
Wedding Speech Creator – iTunes

5. Appy Couple
Price: Free
System: iTunes, Google Play
Why we love: An ultimate wedding planner with quirky touches. Everything from alarms and planning management to interacting with guests and photo sharing on the day. Add design themes to match your wedding.

6. Tiffany and Co Ring Finder
Price: Free
System: iTunes, Google Play
Why we love: Spend endless hours browsing through the Tiffany and Co collections to find the perfect engagement and wedding rings. There is also an engagement notice  to send out notes to friends and family, announcing your happy engagement.
Tiffany and Co Ring Finder – iTunes
Tiffany and Co Ring Finder – Google Play 

7. iWedding Deluxe
Price: $4.99
System: iTunes
Why we love: iPhone users will love the iWedding Deluxe, with easy to use iPhone features. Easy to export info from the app by email to move information lists around easily.

8. Wedding Plandroid
Price: Free
System: Google Play
Why we love: Simple to use wedding list planner for android users. Allows brides and grooms to follow budget planners and track the progress of planning, counting down to the big day. Keep track of RSVPs and keep contact details of vendors and caterers.
Wedding Plandroid Blog 

9. Pro Wedding Planner
Price: $5.49
System: iTunes
Why we love: Simplify your wedding by keeping all your information linked in one app. Import your own seating charts, control thank you notes and set reminders so that everything is covered.

10. How to tie-a-tie
Price: Free
System: iTunes, Google Play
Why we love: An app that the boys will love. Step by step instructions to tie special knots including Windsor knots and pocket squares.
How to tie-a-tie – iTunes
How to tie-a-tie Google Play 

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Wedding Planning Helpers

Organisation is the key to a successful wedding. Here are our favourite little wedding planning helpers. By Tahlecia Love

We’re not going to lie; planning a wedding can become just a *little* bit stressful with so many elements involved. Many brides prefer to plan their special day by themselves, however it can become quite daunting if you haven’t done it before and you may not know where to start, so here are a few helpful organisers to assist you in your planning. Documenting it all will mean you can look back on it later and relive the special moments that you created.

The kikki.K Wedding Organiser, $39.95, is in a folder form and consists of seven divider tabs with helpful prompter sheets including a wedding countdown checklist, guest list, budget checklist and allows you to add in and keep together your various receipts, price quotes etc.

 

If you’d prefer more of a journal format, kikki.K also have their Wedding Notes journal , $29.95, which is a more compact size and includes helpful checklists, appointment trackers and budget sheets.

 

Papier D’Amour offer a flexible leather Bride’s Notes book, $60,  that can be used as journal for thoughts or notes while planning.

 

Pepe’s Paperie also offer a variety of wedding organisers on their website, ranging from $19.95 to $54.95. The featured wedding planner has eight dividers and lined notepaper, $24.95.

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Kitchen Tea Party – Themes

By Samantha Little

A kitchen tea party traditionally celebrates a bride being hitched to the kitchen. Female friends and family of the bride bond over tea and cakes, sharing recipes and bringing kitchen presents. But if your bride is already a domestic goddess, why not host a themed kitchen tea for the adventurous, cute or quirky bride to be?

candle in a teacup

Floral Kitchen Tea

A typical kitchen tea party with arrangements of flowers, floral tea sets, paper doyleys and a large selection of sweet treats.

Location: Garden or patio

Time: Afternoon tea

Tea: Floral tea, rose tea, camomile, earl grey, green tea.

Food: Savoury bites, sandwiches, sweet biscuits for dipping. Set up a sweet and savoury popcorn bar for guests to flavour their own bags of popcorn, provide flavoured salts, rocky road, caramel and butter toppings.

Guest Gifts: Coloured cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes or coloured kitchen items such as wooden spoons or egg whisks.

Activities: Get crafty; create personalised teabags from coffee filters or make you own teacup candles.

High Kitchen Tea:

Ever dreamed of sipping tea with a royal? Set a decadent dining table with cake stands and vintage fine china plates.

Location: Kitchen or dining room

Time: Afternoon tea

Tea: Earl grey, English breakfast with cream and sugar on the tables.

Food: High tea stands with pinwheel sandwiches, scones and jam, petite fours.

Guest Gifts: Silver spoons

Activities: Create a cupcake bar – customise your cupcake with icing, sprinkles, glitter and sugar art flowers.

Raspberry and Vanilla Sundaes - Martha Stewart

Breakfast Brunch Tea:

Perfect for an early kick off, piles of pancakes and mimosas all round.

Location: Kitchen

Time: Breakfast/brunch

Tea: English breakfast of course.

Food: Breakfast bar of savoury or sweet options, oatmeal cookies, make you own muesli, pikelets and egg and bacon mini muffins. Some make sneak a cheeky champagne cocktail.

Guest Gifts: Tea or jam gift packs.

Activities: Get guests to share sweet and savoury recipes and create a book of secret recipes for the bride!

Mad Hatter’s Tea party:

Bring out the magic of a childhood tea party with an Alice in Wonderland or Mad Hatter’s theme. Think green grass and playing cards, dozens of roses and white rabbits.

Location: Garden

Time: Afternoon tea

Tea: All kinds, mix and match teapots and coloured cups.

Food: Tea party foods, Tic Toc cup biscuits, Spoon cookies, Drink Me potions and Eat Me cakes.

Guest Gifts: Packs of playing cards or red roses.

Activities: ‘Lolly Lane’ – use lolly jars and custom gift bags. Lolly bags for the child in all of us.

Chinese tea ceremony

Drinks of the World:

For the adventurous bride, take a trip around the world.

- Oriental tea party: Drink jasmine tea out of china cups or have a Japanese tea ceremony.

- Mexican: For the non-tea drinkers, strap on a sombrero and hang some paper flowers for a Mexican fiesta party with sweet quesadillas.

- Tiki: Pineapple punch and flower leis for the bride who’d rather have a fruity cocktail out of a coconut.

Charity Kitchen Tea:

With all the wedding gifts from the engagement and reception, Why not host a charity kitchen tea? Sip tea and give to a good cause.

- Pink Ribbon Tea: Everything pink! Iced vovos, pink lemonade and fairy floss machines to support breast cancer research.

- Daffodil Day Tea: Drink camomile tea with lemon and spread daffodils all around for The Cancer Council, send guests home with daffodils seeds to plant.

Picnic in the park

Picnic Tea Party:

Laid upon a grassy flat, spread some picnic rugs with a delectable array of baskets and breadrolls.

Location: Grass area, picnic area.

Time: Lunch, afternoon tea.

Tea: Green, peppermint, fruity tea.

Food: Picnic baskets filled with sandwich supplies, fresh fruit, cheeses plate with quince paste and a picnic punchbowl.

Guest Gifts: Mini gift baskets

Activities: Lawn rounders, bat tennis, hopscotch, rope ring toss.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Have an Awesome Hen’s Night on Any Budget

By Elly Klein

As a hens’ night entertainer (I have a humorous and somewhat educational show called the Men Are Like a Box of Chocolates Hens-travaganza), I know one of my clients’ main concerns is price. They want to organise something fun and memorable without breaking the bank.

Hen’s nights can be out-of-control expensive. It shouldn’t cost a small fortune to get together with the gals and celebrate a bride-to-be’s last big night out as an unmarried woman (unless everyone’s agreed they want to splurge). Hen’s nights are a great bonding experience, so it’s important for the bride to have as many of her female friends and family members there as possible. It would be terrible if half the invitees couldn’t afford to attend.

So, I’ve compiled a list of over 69 ideas to get your party started. There are four categories: Tight Budget, Moderate Budget, Big Budget and Any Budget. The Any Budget ideas are games and goodies you can incorporate into your party to create a true hen’s night experience.

TIGHT BUDGET

If you want to keep things as inexpensive as possible, the hen’s night will need to be held either in someone’s home or a public place, such as a park or beach. This way, you can ask guests to contribute a small amount or bring along a plate and/or bottle. Ideas:

  • Slumber Party: PJs, cocktails, chocolate and chick flicks. What could be better?
  • Naughty Trivia: Search online for ‘naughty trivia questions and answers’, and create a fun, girly trivia night.
  • High Tea: Cupcakes, macarons, finger sandwiches, exotic teas, bubbly, fresh flowers and tiered plates make for a lovely high tea at home.
  • Singstar Party: Bring your Singstar DVDs and best karaoke voice!
  • Picnic/Beach Party: Add a theme, such as Hawaiian, and have an outdoor hen’s party.
  • Topless Waiter: For a nominal amount per head, simply add a topless waiter to turn any party into a hen’s night.
  • Shoulder Massage Party: Search online for ‘hen’s night massage’ or ‘corporate massage’, and enjoy a little pampering while you party.

MODERATE BUDGET

A hen’s night at this price point is the most common, as it usually includes one activity. Again, if you host the party in someone’s home or head back there afterwards, you’ll be able to keep costs down. There are so many fun and unique bonding experiences to choose from. Here are some favourites:

  • Entertainment: Men Are Like a Box of Chocolates Hens-travaganza, male strip show/dance troupe, burlesque show, a play, musical or comedy show, a Gold Class movie experience, tarot card reader/clairvoyant…
  • Fun Lesson: Wine (and cheese) appreciation, cocktail-making, cupcake-making, jewellery-making, art class (with nude male model), theatresports…
  • Tour: Winery tour, shopping tour, ghost tour, chocolate and/or coffee tour, pub crawl…
  • Dance Class: Lap dancing, pole dancing, 80s dancing (with costumes), hip-hop dancing (with costumes)… There’s also ceroc, tango or salsa dancing, but it’d be nice to have some hot guys there to partner up with.
  • Sport: Horse-riding, surfing, ice-skating, rollerblading, hiking, ten-pin bowling, lawn bowls…
  • Outing: Amusement park, expo (such as Sexpo or the Mind Body Spirit festival), karaoke, paintball, something that’s unique to your city (such as jet-boating on Sydney harbour)…
  • Pamper: Massages, manicures, pedicures, facials, other treatments… in a day spa or by using a mobile spa service.
  • Purchase: Party plan sex toys, lingerie, shoes, jewellery, clothes… Pitch in to buy something for the bride.
  • Dinner: Degustation with matching wines, three-course meal with pre-dinner cocktails… In this case, adding an activity might make the whole hen’s night too expensive, so perhaps just stick to a lavish girly dinner party.
  • Big Night Out: Forget dinner. Meet at a bar, club or casino and have a big night out!

BIG BUDGET

Occasionally, there will be a hen’s night where everyone agrees to splurge. In this instance, here are some ideas that are a little pricier than your average:

  • Ski/snowboard trip: Sharpen your edges and hit the slopes.
  • Tropical resort trip: Lie in the sun, read trashy books/mags and flirt with cabana boys.
  • Road trip: Hire a house for the weekend, jump in the car and off you go.
  • Vegas (or equivalent): Sip cocktails by the pool, gamble, go to a show, go clubbing, have a blast!

ANY BUDGET

Regardless of your budget, it’s probably worth throwing in a few traditional games and goodies for an authentic hen’s night experience. Suggestions:

  • Goodies: Search online for ‘hen’s party supplies’ or head to your local cheap & cheerful store to stock up. Just don’t go overboard, or it’ll look tacky.
  • Bride & Groom Trivia: How well does the hen know her fiancé? Ask the groom a list of questions ahead of time. For every answer the bride gets wrong, she has to do a shot or take a sip of her drink. Ask questions like: What’s his middle name? What’s his favourite movie? Besides you, who would he turn to in a crisis?
  • Wedding Dress Design: You will need lots of white toilet paper rolls, plus scissors and sticky tape. Each team must design a wedding dress with the materials they’ve been given. One model per team. The hen chooses the winner.
  • Post-it Memories: On a Post-it, guests have to write down a memory they have of the bride and stick it to a wall. She must then take each one down, read it out and say who she thinks wrote it. For every one she gets wrong, she has to do a shot or take a sip of her drink. Give her something nice to keep the Post-its in.
  • Hen’s Challenge: Purchase a lovely gift for the hen, but make her earn it. Give her a short list of cheeky challenges to complete, such as: get a single man to buy you a drink, get a piggy-back ride around the bar, wear your bra on the outside of your clothes (in public!) for five minutes
  • Naughty Sculpture: Out of Play-Doh, guests must craft a life-like sculpture of a penis. The sculptor of the appendage the hen finds most appealing wins a prize.
  • Pin the Willy: Remember Pin the Tail on the Donkey? Well, this is the grown-up version – Pin the Willy on the Hunk. Purchase a Pin the Willy kit online or at a cheap and cheerful store.
  • Womanly Advice: On a nice piece of stationary or in a journal, guests need to write one piece of marital advice for the hen. Once everyone’s finished, they can stand up and read out their piece of advice. It’s also a lovely keepsake.

There. Over 69 ideas to get your ultimate girly party started. Happy hen’s night!

Elly Klein is a professional writer, author and humorist. She’s the author of Men Are Like a Box of Chocolates, the most delicious relationship advice book ever, which is now a decadent hen’s night event running in multiple cities. For the full free seven-page version of her hen’s night guide, simply email her on elly@ellyklein.com.

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Eternal Bridal VIP weekend

If you’re ready to start the dress hunt, Eternal Bridal is having a VIP weekend next weekend at their Brunswick boutique.
Bring along your family and friends, indulge in fine champagnes, canapés, and macaroons upon your arrival. You will be treated with a mini makeover, before being styled by their bridal stylists in a gorgeous collection of bridal gowns.
Furthermore, attendees will get the chance to win attractive door prizes valued over $500. Prizes include facial treatment voucher by Natskin, guest book package by Cailin Alainn, nail shellac package by Jet Nail and bottle of champagne by Balgownie Estate.
You will also walk away with a bridal goodie bag, worth over $70 in value, which includes a copy of Complete Wedding Melbourne magazine, spa vouchers, perfume, a box of premium chocolates¬¬ and more.
When: Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th of October
Where: Eternal Bridal Boutique, Sydney Road, Brunswick
VIP event is strictly by appointment only, and is limited to 30 bookings. To reserve your VIP experience, call 03-93802662.

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DIY Destination Weddings

Destination weddings

Don't forget the logistics when it comes to your destination wedding

A personal, DIY wedding is still possible when you get hitched overseas. By Narrelle Williams, Director and Wedding Planner from Global Weddings

As specialists in destination weddings, brides come to us at Global Weddings all the time to co-ordinate their dream weddings in Bali, Mexico, Thailand and many other exotic locations. Brides usually have a real vision for what they want their day to look like but don’t realise the resorts don’t have most of what they’ll need to create that vision.

With most brides wanting to personalise their weddings with DIY touches to help create their vision – chalk boards, jam jars, fairy lights and candles on the beach – we work with them to figure out the best way to do this as we’re about making sure our clients have their dream destination wedding.

Destination brides often forget to factor in the logistics around sourcing and shipping of these items on to their to-do lists and into their budget, so the effort and money that goes into these details isn’t realised until the last minute. These logistics need to be considerations from the get go when planning any destination wedding.

Destination weddings have much more to plan for than people think, so here are my top tips to help make your day everything you dream it to be:

» Pre-plan the planning – you may think yourself one laid back bride for going the destination wedding route but you know deep down that you are a bridezilla, so avoid unnecessary stress and think about every aspect of you and your guests’ travel as well as the day itself to ensure it’s all on your to-do list.

» Budget – for the shipping of items overseas and decide what details are important to you for the day. If it’s not worth the hassle, forget about it. There is so much to remember which is why an overseas wedding planner will assist and ensure you don’t forget anything.

» The dress – it’s big, it’s beautiful and how the heck are you going to get it on a plane? Unless you’re willing to wear it on the plane you’ll need to wear a non-traditional and easily packed fitted dress for your destination wedding or you’ll need a special dress box freighted to your hotel – check your dress maker to see if they have one otherwise you can discuss your boxing needs with your shipping company. Full service airlines will allow you to take the dress on board and hang in their business class cupboard even if you are flying economy. You run the risk of your wedding gown getting squashed but if you’ve got a steamer at destination it should be okay.

» The details – The likes of Thailand, Fiji and The Cook Islands don’t specialise in crafty DIY items – no, mason jars, fairy lights or craft and vintage stores for your finishing touches and if there are any for hire, be warned prices will be very high ($12 per medium-sized candle)! You need to think about how you’ll get the goods to your destination wedding safe and sound.

» Shipping – Do your research and cost comparisons to decide on your shipping company now. There’s a ton of great companies such as PACK & SEND who specialize in sending delicate items to exotic locations. Your other option is to carry whatever you need with you, so move those new bikinis and shoes aside and pack it all in! Look at whether checking additional bags or paying for extra weight there and back is cheaper than shipping.

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