ICYMI: Haute-Couture Cake

We posted earlier this year with the wedding cake tasting session of bridal couple Rach and Stu at A Little Cake Place. Their beautiful rustic wedding has taken place and we’re very happy to show you the final product. See their haute-couture cake tasting here.

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Get them to the church on time – avoiding the dilemma of no-show guests

Ultimate snub or the reality of modern life – what is it with guests who don’t turn up to your wedding?

We all know that one person who never RSVP’s, always seems to arrive late or cancels at the last minute and invariably forgets to bring dessert to the dinner party, but what happens when it’s not a dinner party but your wedding day?

Perhaps surprisingly, considering how much time, planning and money is invested, not to mention how much notice is normally given, guests not turning up may be more common than you might think and they come in two distinct types – the last minute notifiers and the more insidious no-show(ers)!

It might seem inexcusably rude, not to mention costly, to receive a last minute cancellation but the simple truth is “life happens” and there will always be unavoidable, and understandable, situations that prevent guests getting to your big day. From the prosaic – perhaps sickness or serious injury close to the day – to the extreme – think volcanic ash clouds affecting airlines – there are multitudinous reasons why guests may have to pull out at the last minute. Whilst most people will endeavour top move mountains to be at your nuptial celebration, there are going to be occasions when you get that dreaded call a day out two out that throws your table plan into disarray and leaves you with the dilemma of offering an acquaintance a last minute invitation or seeing good food and money go to waste. The only upside is that those who cancel in this situation are probably as devastated as you and will try and make it up to you for a long time!

But what about “the others” – those who RSVP. the ones who chat excitedly about the big day with you at work in the lead up but mysteriously go missing on the big day, leaving an unexplained absence at a table and a hefty bill without even the courtesy of a phone call, text or email? Of course, it’s not just work colleagues who are guilty of the no-show – more often than not it is family or close friends who unforgivably do a bunk without an apology.

As Kate Moore, Wedding Coordinator at Hamilton Hotel says “It is so disappointing when guests don’t turn up, the couple spends so long planning everything about their special day to a tee and it is devastating when they have to pay for extra meals, furniture & decorations  for people who couldn’t make the effort to let their friends or family know they wouldn’t be attending.”

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So, is there anything you can do to avoid the nightmare scenario of empty seats at your reception? The honest truth is no, not really, but there are a few steps you can take to mitigate the likelihood of no-shows on the day.

1. Consider you guest list

It may sound obvious, but if you know people who are a little unreliable then it might be worth cutting them from the list early on, or perhaps have “ceremony only” invites that allow them to be part of the day but avoid expense in the event that they pull out. Children can be another big factor in last minute withdrawals, especially if you have insisted on a very definite “no-children” policy for your day, so think about how many friends and family have children and what the child-care implications and obligations for them will be. This is especially true for closer family who may have limited affordable options if the majority of the family are intent on attending the big day. The cost of attending can be a big aspect too – yes, you may be paying $250 per head for your guests, but if they have buy new outfits (who doesn’t?), drive for 2 hours to your dream venue, stay overnight at limited accommodation, as well as buy a suitable wedding present, a couple’s expenses could easily  exceed $1000. Whilst close friends and family will spend that the drop of a hat to share your special occasion, there might be some who will baulk at the costs and have doubts the closer the day that leave you with empty seats.

2. Be prepared and monitor RSVPs

The second step you can take to mitigate no-shows is through the invitation and RSVP. The more information your guests have early on, the more chance you have of filling every seat. If choosing a remote location or destination consider including a range of accommodation details and indicative pricing – the more research you do the less your guests will need to and they will be very appreciative! You should also indicate whether you are expecting gifts so be sure to include details of where to see your bridal register or let would-be guests know that there will be a wishing well on the night. You also need to set a realistic and sensible RSVP date and offer multiple ways to actually RSVP – and elderly aunt will appreciate a pre-paid envelope included whereas friends will extent to RSVP via email or possibly text! Your RSVP date should be determined by the cut-off time your venue has indicated for final numbers to be confirmed – making your RSVP date a week earlier than the venue’s should give plenty of time for even the slackest of responders to make a decision and let you know.

3. Friendly reminder

The final step you can take involves a little effort on your behalf, but will be worth it in the long run if you are worried about getting a bill for meals that were never eaten and quite simply is to touch base with everyone in the week before your wedding – a simple email out to the computer savvy with a happy (or quirky) reminder notice, or a quick phone call to the technophobes should allow you to allay any fears about attendance. It’s not rude, it’s not being a bridezilla, it’s just a polite and sensible precaution, especially if you are paying a high price per head for your reception. Contacting guests just before the day also puts the pressure on them to attend – they will feel decidedly more guilty backing out if they have heard from you a couple of days out from the wedding than they would if the last formal contact was the invitation. If anyone is game enough to back out at this point then at least you have a couple of days to find a last minute replacement – no one really wants to be a last-minute invitee, but if you have a list of possibles then someone will accept – just be very wary of inviting them +1.

For the final word we’ll leave it to Leonie Clothier, owner of the prestigious Mirra Private Dining and Events in Brisbane who sums up things perfectly:

As far as I’m concerned, guests who are a ‘no-show’ at wedding receptions really have something to answer for. Unless there is a valid reason, the investment from the bride in groom in terms of both time and money, is disrespected with the guests not turning up. From a venue perspective, there are financial and layout ramifications. Food and beverage orders are placed based on the final numbers provided, with time and expense spent to prep the meals ready for service. The room is then set for a specific guest number so the impact from the missing guests on photography and table seating plan is also felt. If a guest is no longer able to attend the reception, the courteous thing to do is to provide notice to the bride and groom as soon as possible. This gives the couple the opportunity to invite new guests in their place. There are always family & friends who will accept a last minute invitation and only too willing to join the celebrations!”

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Image Credits:
Venue Hamilton Hotel | Photo Masterpieces Photography + Video | Gown When Freddie met Lilly | Hair Whisk Hair Ashgrove | Makeup Blissful Makeup | Sylist Celebrations by Alysia | Model Katz Models
Venue Mirra Private Dining and Events at Style Masters 2015

Casino Royale

treasuryshowcase001-1There are few buildings in Brisbane as majestic as the Treasury Casino and Hotel and even fewer that have faithfully retained the colonial elegance and grace of the long bygone Edwardian era. Fortunately, for wedding couples seeking something a little more unique for their nuptial celebrations, the former Queensland Treasury buildings have lost none of their charm and sophistication and are the perfect place to host a spectacular formal wedding for parties of just about any size. With a location right in the heart of the CBD, close to the river and providing a stunning backdrop for photos the Treasury really is the perfect choice for city weddings. The range of beautiful, high-ceiling rooms replete with history are adaptable to host functions in a number of ways, friendly, knowledgeable and helpful staff along a true 5-star feel means this venue should be high on your list to check out.
Our friends at Masterpieces Photography + Video were invited along to the recent wedding showcase at the hotel and captured the stunning setups created by the events team as well as the awe-inspiring courtyard atrium which would be perfect to host a large cocktail wedding.
If you like what you see, make a time to meet with Wedding Coordinator Suelin.

Exhibitors involved:
Masterpieces Photography + Video
Event Letters
In the Booth
Taso – acoustic artist
Deliberately Delicious
Yes Entertainment
Grace & Style Wedding Hair and Makeup
Brush and Blush Wedding Hair and Makeup

The Bridesmaid Dilemma

Friendship vs responsibilities and cost.

The excitement of being chosen as a bridesmaid can quickly become tarnished when they begin to consider the costs and the expectations of involvement in the planning process.

Whilst in the perfect world we’d all have a big squad of our besties to help steer us on the right course on the big day, things don’t always work out like that and it’s important for brides to carefully consider the makeup of their bridal party based on the likely financial outlay required as well as knowing who they can rely on to provide the necessary emotional support, not to mention those who can provide much needed extra manpower for essential planning and styling tasks as the day gets closer.

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Look at bridesmaid dress styles early and decide on a sensible budget range. If finances are likely to be a problem or create issues for a potential bridesmaid then at least you can work that budgetary indication into a conversation and see what reaction it garners. If there’s a sharp intake of breath it’s probably time to look elsewhere, or put your hand in your pocket. With the selection narrowed down it is important to define what you expect each bridesmaid will need to contribute. Being up front with what you are thinking will help to avoid any awkward or confusing moments. After all you have chosen your bridal party because you want them to share in the joy of the day, not to created conflicts or concerns.

Here’s are guide to what bridesmaids usually pay for:

  • Bridesmaid gown – Usually the bridesmaids would expect to pay for this, however, if you are choosing a particular style or colour, or are expecting them to be attired in couture designs then it is not unusual for the bride to pay a percentage of the cost.
  • Bridesmaid accessories (shoes, hair pieces, jewellery etc) – Bridesmaids would expect to pay for their own if they can choose within a colour/style range, but if the bride insists on a particular option then she should expect pick up the tab. Coordinated jewellery for bridesmaids can often make the perfect “thank you” favor on the day.
  • Hair and makeup – The bride should negotiate a group rate with a hair and make-up artist that covers the bridal party and MOB (and possibly MOTG), with each individual then paying their own share.
  • Hen’s night – The bridesmaids pay for themselves and treat the bride to her pampering for the evening.

This is just a guideline and where possible you should be considerate and gracious when finances are involved. Being a bridesmaid isn’t all about partying and fun. They play an important role in the wedding planning process as well as on the day, assisting and supporting the bride, and making the experience enjoyable for everyone. Keeping them onside from the get-go and being conscious of others, their feelings and their finances will certainly result in a better day for all.

Image: Masterpieces Photography + Video

 

Perfect proposal winner announced

We’re excited to announce that Leanne has won the perfect proposal competition.

Leanne and her partner will be whisked away in the ultimate luxury of a chauffeur driven classic limousine from Iron Horse Carriages to a chosen location where an elegant picnic, styled by Grande Moments Weddings and Events, a bottle of champagne and a selection of tasty treats from A Little Cake Place will be waiting.

They will then take centre stage and pop the big question while Dave from Masterpieces Photography + Video records this precious moment.

They also receive a dining voucher from Hamilton Hotel and free room hire for any event held there to continue this precious occasion.

We think you’ll agree that this is a perfect start to their journey to the altar.

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Our amazing prize contributors

Iron Horse Carriage     grandemoments_logo_vertical_RGB        ALCP_BANNER4     Masterpieces Photography + Video Logo     Hamilton Hotel

Total value of the prize – $2145. The prize is a Perfect Proposal Package featuring two hours transport by Iron Horse Carriages valued at $500. Picnic Styling by Grande Moments valued at $500. Champagne supplied by The Wedding Alley valued at $50. A tasting selection from A Little Cake Place valued at $39.90. Location photography by Masterpieces Photography + Video valued at $395, dinner voucher for two for Hamilton Hotel valued at $100 and room hire for an event at the Hamilton Hotel valued at $600.

How to keep your groom engaged in wedding planning

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In most situations, it is the groom who instigates the wedding planning process when he gets down on one knee and utters those long awaited words. But very soon after that initial thrill (and maybe a little terror), of the proposal, the admiring looks of the ring on your finger and the endless retelling of your love story for cooing family and friends, it quickly becomes apparent to most grooms that weddings are all about the bride! Like it was ever going to be any other way! The sad truth is that most blokes simply aren’t that interested in the nitty gritty of centrepieces, coordinated stationery and chair cover colours and for many the wedding planning process quickly loses it’s lustre. If your H2B isn’t in this category then you can rejoice and enjoy the choices you make together in this time. However, if you’re not quite so lucky, we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to keep your groom motivated and invested in your wedding planning.

  1. Book a meaningful venue. Make sure your groom is happy with the ceremony and reception venues. A mutual choice will mean so much more to both of you on the day. The reception usually takes up the largest portion of the budget so being on the same page will definitely start the planning off in the right direction.
  2. Book into food tasting opportunities. Enjoy the fun that comes with planning a wedding together. Book in to taste your wedding cake, and your reception menu and, with most guys loving a feed, they will find the time to fit it into their schedule.
  3. Choose the right wedding events. Attend smaller more intimate wedding open days or expos with your fiancé, and leave the large, full-on, wedding expos to enjoy with your bridesmaids. There are a growing number of events for grooms too. So if he’s into whisky tasting, or learning how to tie the perfect bow tie, this could be the perfect opportunity to introduce a new venue option.
  4. Don’t sweat the little things and compromise. What’s important to your groom should be important to you. So if he prefers a certain wine to be served, or band to play, then make sure you consider his suggestions. The wedding you’ve dreamed of now has the most important element, your perfect partner, so all the other things should be open to compromise. A little latitude with the big ticket items will make it much easier to push through your smaller choices.
  5. Guest list and seating plans. Who gets invited and where they sit is a huge part of enjoying the celebrations. So make your groom’s life easy and consider his family and friends, just as you do yours. Both of you will be much more relaxed if you avoid contentious issues raising their heads at the reception.
  6. Photos! Guys are much less likely to enjoy having their photo taken, so make sure your partner is comfortable with the choice of photographer. Consider booking an engagement or pre-wedding shoot so he has the chance to get to know your photographer and becomes more relaxed with the idea of being in front of the camera for the day.

Most of these points are relevant even if your partner is 100% interested in the planning process. As you join your lives together consider your partner and how you can both enjoy the day with your family and friends.

Image: Masterpieces Photography + Video

WFML Glamorous Collection Launch

When Freddie met lilly Collection Launch

Hollywood-style glamour came to Brisbane last night with the glitzy launch of the When Freddie met Lilly Indianna Collection in the Valley. The night was filled with stunning gowns and equally gorgeous people, many wearing When Freddie met Lilly creations.

A full-on red carpet experience greeted the attendees with paparazzi snaps (by Masterpieces Photography + Video) on the stylish media wall (by Watermelon and Soda Design) outside Mirra Private Dining and Events. Attendees could get a wonderful dose of the ultra-hip vintage vibe at the Gathering Events caravan just outside the front door. Inside live music was being played by Savvy, while canapés and drinks were being served at a number of locations around this most flexible of venues, whilst fashion films projected in the courtyard, and guests could have the evening’s fun remembered at one of the two photo booths.

The standing room only parade commenced with a relaxed introduction by the beautiful and ever-so-accomplished Giaan Rooney, setting the scene for an evening of exquisite and sexy gowns.

As the lights came up the runway show was a veritable feast of sexiness with divine lace, luscious fabrics, sparkling embellishments along with lingering glimpses of décolletage, deep splits and low backs, all complemented by the spectacular headpieces from The Little Pack of Five. The luxurious green backdrop of the catwalk was highlighted by sparkling lights and lusciously draped with fresh native foliage by Kate Dawes Flower Design. The guys weren’t forgotten with suits, accessorized with bowties, and in a variety of seasonal colours. As always the flower girls managed to steal the show in the cuteness of frills, feathers and flower crowns.

Designer Vanessa Hoe should be justifiably proud of this collection, elements of which featured strongly last year in New York and at Sydney Bridal Fashion Week earlier this year. The When Freddie Met Lilly brand is an absolute powerhouse that continues to go from strength to strength and with standing room only this year, it’s exciting to think what next year’s collection launch might bring.

Photo Credit: Masterpieces Photography + Video

View Social photos on Masterpieces Facebook page.

Event Contributors:
When Freddie met Lilly | Mirra Private Dining and Events | Masterpieces Photography + Video | Watermelon and Soda Design | The Little Pack of Five | Kate Dawes Flower Design | Bella Brides Hair and Make up | Beautiful Wedding Australia | Event Letters | Gathering Events | In the Booth | Cakes by Judy C | Summer and East | Sofi Spritz | Enchanted Empire | We are Twine | Slow Motion Photo Booth | Tracey Moyle

 

Style Masters brings Christmas early

StyleMastersCorporate001-1Christmas came early last night at the Mirra Private Events and Dining Corporate Style Masters. Following the success of last year’s Wedding edition, seven of Brisbane’s best event stylists competed in a styling showdown. Each of the stylists had 45 minutes to style and present a table or area showcasing their products and talents. The theme this year was corporate end-of-year parties and Christmas events.

These talented stylists didn’t disappoint, and all the teams produced stunning spaces which showcased some of the hottest styling trends, all wrapped up with a little Christmas edge. The winning design went to Brandition who, along with Mirra’s chef, combined to provide a fresh take on the carvery. It might only be August, but last night’s fabulous event has us looking forward to the party season already!

 

 

A taste of haute-couture

ALCP_2Right now, here in Brisbane, you can enjoy a taste of the luxury experience usually reserved for A-List celebrity parties when you choose an incredible haute-couture cake created by Caitlin Mitchell at A Little Cake Place.
We were lucky enough to be invited to join one of Caitlin’s couples on the start of their journey to cake-heaven with a tasting and consultation at her studio in Annerley.
Caitlin creates a real experience for her clients, with a very select range of premium teas served in elegant china to accompany the mouth-watering tasting platter.
Caitlin usually leaves her clients alone to try the flavours by themselves, but we were there to experience just how many times the word “yum” was used and it was quite obvious that Rach and Stu would have been more than happy to go “around-the-clock” of flavours again.
ALCP_3Once they had narrowed down the choice (clearly a VERY difficult process), Caitlin came back into the room to discuss ideas for decorating. This was where you could see why Caitlin describes her work as couture because she took the time to listen to the client and take in the details of theme, colour palette and inspiration. She then began to sketch some ideas, gradually refining the design until the clients had everything they wanted in an elegant and unique piece. When you see the stunning sample cakes all around her studio you know that Caitlin creates truly outstanding masterpieces of cake art and we can’t wait to see the finished article at Rach and Stu’s wedding in September.
Watch the video to see what happens at a tasting with A Little Cake Place.
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Photos and Video: Masterpieces Photography + Video

Real Life Wedding: Sarah and Peter

PeterSarah035-35A chance meeting at the dog park led to love for Sarah & Peter who married recently in a surprise wedding at Eaton’s Hill Hotel.
This fun loving couple soon realised they had much more in common than just a love of Staffy x Ridgeback dogs and, in a romantic moment in a spa in the Whitsundays, Peter took his chance and popped the question to a delighted Sarah.
Of course, that meant it was time to plan the perfect wedding day, however, Sarah quickly realised that the big dream wedding wasn’t going to be her thing and the couple decided to think about alternative options. As Sarah rightly says “it’s all about you and your fiancé making a promise to each other for life”. The couple made the bold decision to hold a surprise wedding at what they had planned to be their engagement party with just a handful of their closest family and friends and then hold a big party for everyone else a little down the track.
As you will see from the gorgeous photos from the talented team at Masterpieces Photography + Video, the day turned out to be a massive success, with everyone having an absolutely wonderful time at Eaton’s Hill Hotel. Whilst a few people were in on the surprise, Sarah and Peter did a great job in keeping the majority of guests guessing until the very last minute. Sarah even jokes “Pete and I caught an Uber to the hotel and told the driver we were getting married in an hour but even he didn’t believe us!”.
The couple plan to honeymoon at Caloundra in early spring and are holding a big party to celebrate their nuptials at the same time. Sarah’s advice for other brides-to-be is quite simple “get married exactly how you and your partner want to and don’t listen to anyone else”. Sensible words we think!

Marriage means to us

Spending the rest of your life running amuck with your best friend.

 

Wedding suppliers

Wedding Location: Eaton’s Hill Hotel Brisbane
Bridal Gown: Alfred Angelo
Bridal Shoes: Guess
Bridal Makeup & Hair: Bek Robinson Makeup and Hair
Stationery: Kristen Dangerfield
Flowers: One Stop Wedding Shop
Celebrant: Louise Thompson