The average cost of the Aussie wedding

WFML_PreLaunch114With so many reports in news and social media about the cost of weddings it’s hard to know what the average really is. In Bride to Be’s biannual Cost of Love survey we learn that the cost of weddings has nearly doubled in the last ten years. Interestingly the increases are in pre-wedding celebrations, jewellery, the groom’s outfit, beauty and the bridal party.

One element that has seen a 6% decrease is the bridal gown, with the average Australian bride spending $2,914 on her dream gown. In a definite sign of the times, one in ten gowns are now purchased online which may account for some of the decreased average spend. While in contrast, the groom’s outfit cost have increased by 14% to $718. Clearly a long way shy of the bridal attire costs, but that average is a good place to start when considering a quality suit.

The survey polls over 1000 Australian women who are engaged or have married recently. So, does this fit with your expenditure?

See more


Wedding costs – who pays for what?
Top 4 wedding essentials not to scrimp on

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


Bridal Fashion from NY to Brisbane

WFML_PreLaunch114Coming soon is one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the bridal and formal fashion year, with the Brisbane launch of the new collection from When Freddie Met Lilly (WFML).
This exciting and popular showcase has outgrown the WFML studio and this year to be held at the elegant and sophisticated Mirra Private Events and Dining in the heart of Brisbane’s party district, the Valley.
Head designer, Vanessa Hoe, will be showing a brand new range of gowns from the Indianna Collection, as well as giving Brisbane fashionistas the chance to see the full, Hollywood inspired, Hepburnesque collection that previewed to rave reviews at New York Bridal Fashion Week.
The Wedding Alley was lucky enough to have a sneak peek of some of the gowns at a pre-launch photo shoot last week and as you can see from the photos and video, captured by the talented team at Masterpieces Photography + Video, these are spectacular statement gowns with exquisite detailing.
Tickets available online. Believe me, you don’t want to miss out!


Photo Credits:
Gowns: When Freddie met Lilly | Headpieces: A Little Pack of Five | Photography + Video: Masterpieces Photography + Video | Hair and Makeup: Bella Brides | Model: Tayla

The wrap party

GoE_Wraps_Blog002-3Last Saturday our friends at Gowns of Elegance hosted an eagerly anticipated high-tea function to celebrate the launch of a new range of fabrics and styles of wrap dresses from designer Erika Coyle, who was on hand to demonstrate some innovative ways to wear these versatile outfits. As usual, Linda, Bella and their team had created a stunning atmosphere with their Chermside boutique stylishly decorated for the occasion by Annastasia from Grande Moments Weddings & Designs. The floral decorations were particularly beautiful, with fresh roses being a distinct theme. We loved the unique “rose ceiling” feature with individual stems suspended in glass tubes. Guests arrived to find the store looking exquisite, with gift bags waiting on white americana chairs and a celebratory glass of champagne on offer, together with a smorgasbord of sweet and savoury treats for attendees to enjoy.

Whilst the event was aimed at Bridesmaids, Erika’s new range includes some stunning white lace and tulle gowns that would be equally suitable for brides, especially those planning a destination or casual beach wedding. The new “uber-bling” sequin fabric range of gown was especially popular with the bridesmaids in attendance who could clearly envisage being able to wear the gowns to formal events as well as to a wedding. Wrap dresses, being so versatile, are extremely popular right now, and are available from a number of sources, but not all are created equal. Erika’s dresses have a wonderful quality and feel. The gowns can be made in different weight fabrics and are made locally in South East Queensland.

Dave from Masterpieces Photography + Video was lucky enough to be invited to capture the event and you can see some of the highlights below. If you weren’t able to get to the high-tea on Saturday then you should give the team at Gowns of Elegance a call and make a time to visit their showroom and take a look at their incredible range of both bridal and bridesmaid dresses.

Gowns that your Grandmother might not like

Your grandma might not approve but there is a definite trend towards bridal gown designs that might cause blushes amongst earlier generations. Figure hugging sheer fabrics and see-through lace are now no longer the preserve of Hollywood sirens with a daring range of plunging necklines and low backs now de-rigeur in most modern collections. Skin is most certainly in!
Are you confident enough to strut in these stunning gowns from some of our favourite


Inspiring Floral Workshop

Francescas Flower Workshop_025_blogWe had the pleasure of attending a floral workshop at hosted by Francesca Petherbridge of Francesca’s Flowers on Saturday. The workshops are a perfect opportunity for a girls get-together and could be the ideal activity for you and your bridesmaids to enjoy. After all there is tea and cake! Depending on the workshop you choose you will learn the basics for displaying your own fresh flowers beautifully.

Francesca has a beautiful boutique in the heart of trendy Paddington, filled with special little finds, along with all the flowers to create amazing floral art.

The workshop are intimate and the perfect activity to help prepare for your wedding. Try out different colour combinations, see everyone’s thought and designs, and gain valuable insight into flowers and how to make your wedding flowers amazing on your big day. You’ll also see how much skill and effort goes into each floral piece. So if you are contemplating doing your own flowers this is the perfect opportunity, under the watchful eye of an expert, to see if it’s possible. Or maybe just have fun, and realise an expert will create your dream flowers, and you can just enjoy every moment with your family and friends.

Vivien from Bundaburg, attended with her daughter from Gladstone, and a friend from Brisbane, “I knew nothing about floral arrangements, but I feel confident to attempting some floral arrangements at home. the workshop was very interesting, and the process was relaxing. I’m definitely glad we came along today.

The course we attended was aimed at novices, but even those those with a little more experience will still get some gems out of Francesca’s workshops. Jo had attended a workshop a year ago. She was attracted by the idea of coffee and flowers together. “I love that you choose you own flowers to make the bouquets. I would highly recommend attending any of Francesca’s workshops.”

Styling Love

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same” said icon Coco Chanel, and that is so true when it comes to wedding styling. Your look might have touches of boho, or vintage, or perhaps Gatsby glamour, but the overall style and the feeling it creates will be what people remember. That’s where a Wedding Stylist can be such a benefit by ensuring that all the elements come together in one seemless experience. We so loved our Hamptons inspired stand at the recent Ideal Bride Expo that was created by talented stylist Alysia Bridges of Celebrations by Alysia.

Here’s some vision captured by the team at Masterpieces Photography + Video.


Moving on up at EDV

Exciting times are afoot at Elizabeth deVarga Exclusive Fashions! One of our favourite suppliers is relocating and for some lucky local Brisbane brides this will be a huge windfall. The relocation sale has started and will continue until the end of May. Personally, I wouldn’t wait. Pop into their Stones Corner store for offers on floor stock, jewellery, veils and shoes. The best buys won’t last long.
Don’t stress if you’re not quite at the point of ordering your dress yet. Tammie Nitschke, head designer, and her fabulous team are available for consultations and fittings right through the move and will be on hand to give their usual expert advice. We can’t wait to see their new location and I know that brides will continue to appreciate the style, quality and love that Tammie and her team give to every client.
The relocation sale starts today – 6th May – be sure not to miss it!

So you’ve taken the plunge …

You’re in the euphoria of engagement. You’ve found your perfect life partner, but now you also have a wedding to plan! So where do you start? Our advice is to enjoy your engagement for a little time! Take at least a week or two, perhaps even a month or more if you’re in no rush to the alter to really enjoy the moment. Let it fully sink in and give yourself some time to ponder the future before you start your wedding planning in earnest.

TWA Wedding Rings smlThe most critical thing is the date. Spring, summer, autumn or winter? All the seasons have their unique benefits and their drawbacks and will influence many of the other decisions about the day. We always recommend trying to finalise your date about a year in advance – this gives plenty of time for planning, but also should guarantee your first choice of ceremony and reception venues and your most critical suppliers. Once you have your date set the next choice is your overall theme or style. This might define your venue too. Are you an outdoor couple that must get married on the beach, or in a stunning mountain valley. Or maybe you are all about luxury and the reception venue and a traditional church is the answer. Or perhaps you (or your fiancé) are a car nut and the transport is the critical first choice (not to mention ensuring you don’t clash with Bathurst weekend).

Whatever you’re into, that’s where to start. Your unique and individual choices are what makes your wedding all about you and where the multitude of options really begins! Don’t be put off too much by other people’s opinions and get inspiration from a range of sources – there’s nothing worse than setting small details in place early and then finding something that you love even more – you don’t have to be impulsive (unless you want to).

Most importantly though is to enjoy the process and don’t sweat the small stuff. Get the big ticket items out of the way early and choose experienced professionals who you trust – they will take so much pressure off you as the day gets closer – and the rest will fall into place as the planning progresses.

Speak to our amazing contributors for professional advise on your wedding day.

Begitta Pop Up Perfection

We were lucky to be invited to an intimate high tea at Begitta’s Pop Up at Marina Mirage on Saturday 13th December.
“Begitta is a label that was born from the dream of love, passion, romance and fairytales”, said owner and creator of the brand, Begitta Stolk. On viewing her newest designs, the romance and fantasy are evident. The latest collection has been inspired by ballet and by doves and comes to life with a tutu styled gown and a range of pure white feathered headpieces.
There is a whimsy and freshness to the designs of Begitta.  The first garment worn by model Ayla was a lace bodice with a blue tulle skirt, perfect for a bridal tea, or an elegant high tea at a luxurious hotel.
Begitta talks of the ‘Begitta’ girl and has an enchanting sweetness that draws you into the couture fantasy. From our morning at the Pop Up we imagine the Begitta girl loves pretty handcrafted gowns adorned with quirky and romantic embellishments.
You’ll have to be quick to enjoy this Pop Up experience.  Begitta will be at Marina Mirage until the end of January.
Event Styling and Props: Moments in vintage
Flowers: Nina Angela Photography and Flowers
Invitations/Stationery: Invite with Style
Cupcakes and Cakes: Cake Ninja
Calligraphy: Ally Dunlop Stylist
Hair and Makeup: Velbella
Model: Alya, Katz Models