5 tips to help you stay sane in your wedding planning

You don’t normally associate the topics of getting married and mental health, but it’s Queensland Mental Health Week and planning a wedding can be a huge stressor for many couples. If you’re beginning to feel the strain, it’s important to take a step back and think about your mental wellbeing as you plan your future life together. While that one milestone day is important to celebrate your love and commitment to each other, it is essential to minimise stress and anxiety before the big day.

Here are the top five tips we recommend to reduce stress on your wedding day:

Ask for support

This is a special day that you will remember forever, however, you’re not the only ones who are going to be enjoying a wonderful day – your family and friends are as much a part of the day as you and your partner so don’t take on all the work yourselves. Ask for help and support where you can. If you have one of those awkward family dynamic situations that doesn’t work well together then plan for this early – don’t leave it to the last minute. You know everyone’s personalities, so choose carefully who you rely on and make sure your requests for assistance are reasonable too. You can’t expect everyone to be quite as committed as you are either, so give people realistic deadlines and be appreciative of the small things.

Plan ahead

Do as much as you can before the big day and if your budget allows, use professionals. If your budget is more modest then ask your family and friends to help set up on the day and pick someone completely trustworthy to act as coordinator on the day. You don’t want to be worrying about the chair covers or floral centrepieces before you walk down the aisle.

Make sure you get your wedding dress with enough time to make any last-minute changes if required and make sure that at your final fitting you try the dress on with the underwear you plan to wear. Some things, like the cake and the flowers, have to be collected at the last minute, but most items you need can be collected days or weeks in advance and the more things you tick off the list early the better. If items need to be moved around on the day, or positioned at specific places make sure you have detailed someone you trust implicitly to make sure it happens, maybe even do a dry-run in the days or weeks before to practice.


Communicate your priorities

You can’t please everyone, as much as you might want to. From the very start of the planning stage it is good to understand your own expectations, along with the expectations of other people who play a key role in your lives and will be essential to your wedding day. Avoiding discussions about big items, such as the budget, can create significant problems as you approach your wedding day. So be clear in your priorities and plan around the key components and people, being upfront and honest is usually the best policy, with family, friends and vendors.

Photo credit: Masterpieces Photography + Video

Trust in the professionals

If your budget has allowed for a team of professionals, utilise their skills and services to the fullest extent. Set clear expectations and ask questions early in the planning stages. It can be very hard to alter plans once the day is in progress, and even harder if the plans were ambiguous to begin with. So be kind to your vendors, meet with them, fill in their forms and ask questions. They want to make your day magical, but they need you to help them do that. Trust their skills and experience, and be in the moment on your day, not counting seats, or worrying about how bright the lights are.


 Let it go

Sometimes things don’t go to plan, but how you react to unplanned events can be the difference between a good celebration and a bad one. We have attended so many weddings where the bride or groom gets upset about something that the guests haven’t noticed. All the guests see is a bride or groom who doesn’t look like this is the happiest day of their lives. This isn’t the lasting impression you want to give to you friends and family. In contrast we have attended weddings where so many things have gone wrong – massive storms, people running late, bouquets falling apart, ripped bridesmaid dresses in inappropriate places to name but a few – yet they have been some of the best celebrations we’ve seen because the couple took things in their stride and just made the most of the day.

So, take stock. What is really important to you about your big day? That is your priority in the planning and on the actual day.

If things get on top you, it might be time to talk to someone. Maybe your partner, your BFF, your mum, or your mother-in-law. Whoever you feel most comfortable with to raise your concerns. You’ve heard the old saying about a problem shared. It really does work. A different perspective might be the calming conversation you need.

And if you don’t think that’s going to work, for someone completely independent and unbiased to talk to about a personal crisis you can contact Lifeline

Photo Credit: Masterpieces Photography +Video

Do you feel lucky?

If you’re newly engaged then you’re not going to want to miss out on an incredible offer from our friends at Masterpieces Photography & Video!

If you love adventure, have a great sense of humour and are comfortable being affectionate in public then you could win one of 10 incredible engagement packages valued at $395.


The team at Masterpieces are passionate about capturing every precious moment of your wedding journey and that starts with your engagement.

If you don’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity then enter the draw here.


Get your bride tribe kitted out

Make sure your bride tribe look the part on your journey to the altar with our fabulous new range of apparel and accessories.

Rosey Bride TShirt

We’ve teamed up with the folks at Redbubble to bring you an uber-cool collection of T-shirts, tote bags, mugs and so much more.

We’ve got products that make perfect favours for your bridal party, stationery to plan with, streetwear that gives your Hens party the edge and for the all-important girls-night-in before the big day.

You can view and order from our catalogue here and Redbubble will deliver direct to your door.

Not a bridezilla  Brides Squad TShirt  Oh my Deer  Wifey  Rosey Bride iPhone


MBFF is back

After much disappointment last year, we are excited about the return of Brisbane’s premier fashion event, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane. This event features some of our favourite local designers, naturally the bridal and formal wear is our absolute favourite.

Tickets will be available from 1 June, so make sure you’re where fashion is and get your tickets. Find out more.

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


Wedding costs – who pays for what?

MoneyAs the average age of marriage increases, with many couples living together for long periods of time before getting hitched, today’s wedding has changed with many couples paying for their own nuptials rather than relying on the family.

There has also been an increase in cost sharing between families, with the contributions from both sides, together with the couple.

The expenses can be divided in many ways. The most important factor is that each party should only be expected to contribute what they can afford.

Some modern ideas for cost sharing include calculating the per-head cost for the entire wedding, with each side paying for those guests that they invite. Another option is that if the bride and groom pay for their own wedding, then the parents wedding gift may be to contribute a portion of the wedding cost, or for certain items, such as their daughter’s wedding gown, or perhaps the honeymoon for their son and wife to be. Alternatively the total wedding cost could be split down the middle and each half be paid for by each family. A practical way is for each family specify an amount that they can afford, and the couple to make up any shortfall.

The more traditional path is as follows:

The Bride pays for

  • Bridesmaids bouquets and headdresses
  • Presents for the bridesmaids
  • Gift for the groom

The Bride’s Family pays for

  • Newspaper announcements
  • Bride’s wedding gown, veil and accessories
  • Bride’s trousseau
  • Fees for ceremony soloist or musicians
  • Ceremony decorations
  • Photography
  • Transportation for the bridal party to the church and to the reception
  • Cost of the reception

The Groom pays for

  • The engagement and wedding rings
  • Gift for the bride
  • Bride’s bouquet
  • Celebrant, Clergyman’s or other presiding official’s fees
  • The marriage license
  • Flowers for the two mothers
  • Boutonnieres for men in the wedding party
  • Gloves, ascots or ties for men in the wedding party
  • Gifts for the best man and ushers
  • Gifts for the parents

The Groom’s Family pays for

  • The engagement party
  • The honeymoon

Bridesmaids pays for

  • Purchase of gown and accessories.
  • Individual gift to the couple
  • A hens night, shower and/or luncheon for the bride

Groomsmen pays for

  • Bachelor party
  • Cost of hire or purchase of wedding attire
  • Individual gift to the couple

Issue 7 out now

Style and Grace is the theme of this edition, with styled shoots that showcase the very epitome of elegant, modern Weddings.

TWA Issue 7_cover_web

Your wedding day timeline

We see a lot of questions from B2Bs asking about the running order of their wedding day and what to do when. So we’ve created a little cheat sheet to help.

The first thing to remember is that it is YOUR day, and you can choose to do things anyway you want!

Wedding Timeline

You do need to consider your guests and how you are going to manage them at various points of the day.

Next think about your locations or venue(s) and what restrictions that may place on your planning.

And the final thing to remember is that there aren’t actually any hard and fast rules because weddings are so varied in different countries and cultures. You can take whatever traditions or trends you want and turn them into your perfect day.

Although none of that helps if you don’t know where to start, so here goes.

One of the most important factors to consider with your planning is the time of day (and time of year), that you choose for your ceremony and reception.

Groom waiting for his brideIf you want a sunset wedding then you need to check what time sunset will be at the venue on that date and what direction it is in, especially if you want to incorporate sunset into your photos. The second thing to consider is that the best light is actually about 15 minutes after the sun has gone down so do you want that to be in the middle of the ceremony or be finished so that your photographer can make the most of that light for your location photos? A sunset wedding will also limit the amount of time you have for other location photos, and whilst twilight light can be wonderful, you won’t have those stunning romantic, sun-kissed images of you and your newly betrothed.

Keep in mind too that many ceremony venues, especially churches, will restrict the timings of ceremonies and may have multiple weddings per day in the wedding peak seasons.

If you are choosing one location for both your ceremony and reception you will save time travelling, especially if you are able to get ready there as well.

So what time should you start the reception? A lot will depend of the packages the venue offer and your budget. Most receptions start with an hour of pre-dinner drinks and nibbles that helps keeps guest occupied whilst you get those all important bridal photos. A professional photographer will have you back to the reception venue at least 15 minutes before your official entrance to ensure you can freshen up. Once you are seated then it is time for the reception formalities to begin. The order of these is very much at your discretion , but again, needs to be negotiated with the venue and other suppliers. Depending on your photography package you may elect for a mock cutting of the cake (sometimes real if using the cake for dessert), and a quick spin around the dance floor can be staged before entrée is served. Depending on the time of sunset and the venue’s kitchen timing, there may be time for sunset or twilight photos between entrée and the main meal.

Once main is cleared it’s usually time to get into the speeches with your MC starting things off with a toast to the Bridal couple – this traditionally was the duty of the host (usually the Bride’s father), but now often changed with modern weddings. Modern etiquette is to have the Best Man go first, toasting the Bridesmaids, before the Matron-of-Honour takes over with a toast to the Bridal couple. The Bride and Groom will then respond, often together, thanking their friends and family and toasting their parents or significant family member  before the parents of the Bride and Groom are invited to respond. The Groomsmen, sometimes with the Bridesmaids, round out a modern set of speeches with messages and telegrams.

Depending on the nature of desert, this may be served after the speeches or more informally once all the official activities are complete. The real cutting of the cake normally takes place after the speeches and the bridal waltz or first dance is usually announced immediately proceeding it, with the Bride and Groom allowed the first 90 seconds of the song by themselves on the dance floor before being joined by the rest of the bridal party, and then remaining guests after a further minute or so. Dancers should stay on the floor until the second song is complete, with the third song often being reserved for a Father/Daughter dance. This is considered the end of the formal part of the day and it is usual for elderly guests, or those with young children, to leave after this point. The bouquet toss (and garter if required), usually happen just before the end of the reception and the DJ or band lead singer will often control this part of the night.

There are so many variables on your wedding that it is important to talk to your wedding suppliers. They have done this many times, and will advice on what they have seen works well.

Of course all of this can change, and frequently does on the day, but if you have a plan it’s easy to work around and make adjustments.

Most importantly though, enjoy your day because it will go so fast!

Graphics: LaPapeterie Stationery and Design
Photo: Masterpieces Photography + Video

Valentine’s Day Printables

It’s the time of year for love, and for all of those happy in their relationships, a time to celebrate your coupledom, partnership, togetherness or general loved-up status.
If time has gotten away from you though, and you’ve forgotten the importance of this special day, or perhaps are just a little bit slack, we’ve got an easy option to rescue the situation and keep you in the good books with your other half – downloadable Valentine’s Day cards!
Our friends at LaPapeterie Stationery and Design have created two great designs that you can download and print out at home – you just need to put some paper (or light card if you have it), in the printer and press PRINT. Then just fold it in half, write a little message inside (or an essay if you feel the need), and hey-presto, kudos restored, relationship saved and the rest is up to you…
Good luck…
Free Valentine’s Day Printables

Valentine’s Day Love Card

XO Valentine’s Day Card


Begitta at Unveiled Brisbane

Late Sunday afternoon may have been sweltering but we found relief in the heart of Brisbane’s entertainment district at one of the Valley’s most iconic locations, Cloudland, for the Unveiled Wedding Showcase.

Advertised as a luxury wedding showcase, the event was also doubling as the catwalk launch for the new bridal collection from Begitta, one of the city’s most unique couture designers whose work we have featured before. The Sirromet bubbles on arrival went down nicely with the accompanied gift bag.

As venues go, Cloudland certainly stands in a league of its own in Brisbane, with dramatic eclectic architecture that juxtaposes open space and private little nooks to perfection. The venue had dressed a selection of tables with suitably matching décor and beautiful floral arrangements. The ante-room towards the back of the venue was dressed for a wedding ceremony in a much more simplistic and elegant style and would be perfect for smaller weddings of 50-75 guests.

The main event kicked off promptly at 7pm, with Begitta’s new collection gracing the runway. The Forgotten Garden launch boasted a range of styles and fabrics with an overall floral theme. This was a comprehensive collection that featured the full gamut from elegant to whimsical gowns that would suit a variety of modern brides and bridesmaids.  We loved the sparkle applied to the hair and face. These touches caught the light as the models walked the catwalk. Our most favourite gown was Grecian inspired with a short train from the shoulders that came to life on the strut down the runway. While the dusty pinks created a soft romance to the collection, the plunging bold pink sequin gown and sexy red ruffled gown provided an exclamation point to the event.