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

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

 

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

Wedding dance en pointe

TWA_Mirra_103Graceful elegance, flowing beauty, floating on a cloud. They’re all phrases we associate with wedding gowns, but they’re also words that apply equally to that most exquisite of art forms – ballet!
Ballet and weddings have a unique kind of synergy that appears to link them intrinsically. Perhaps it is the style of the dress, with many wedding gowns resembling ballet tutus, or is it the commonality of fabrics – lace, chiffon, tulle? Maybe it is the way ballerinas and girls in wedding gowns move, with a magical, flowing or floating appearance that draws similarities. Or it could just be that both demand perfection to achieve maximum impact. During our recent shoot at Mirra Private Dining and Events in the Valley we put a ballet dancer in a range a stunning, balletically inspired gowns and let the magic happen.

Photo Credits:
Gowns: When Freddie met Lilly and Darb Bridal Couture | Photography: Masterpieces Photography + Video | Venue: Mirra Private Dining and Events | Hair: Whisk Hair | Makeup: Jess Brailak Makeup and Tanning | Models: Laura Herden, Sharon (Boss Models) and Billy

Perfectly paired

A wonderfully fresh and natural approach to styling from the exceptionally talented team at Sugared Style incorporates fresh fruit and florals. The luxuriant surrounds of Mirra Private Dining and Events is the perfect backdrop for this fresh approach which utilises real pineapples as vases and pears as unique place card holders. When combined with stunning gowns from Darb Bridal Couture and Elizabeth de Varga Exclusive Fashions the end results are wonderfully modern and vibrant.

Photo Credits:
Backdrop: Sugared Style
Photography: Masterpieces Photography + Video
Gown: Darb Bridal Couture and Elizabeth de Varga Exclusive Fashions
Suit: When Freddie met Lilly
Hair: Whisk Hair
Makeup: Jess Brailak Makeup and Tanning
Venue: Mirra Private Dining and Events
Models: Laura and Billy

 

See more in the latest issue of The Wedding Alley

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.

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The Gold Edit out now

The latest issue of The Wedding Alley is out now. Get your golden inspiration online, and view for free.

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Gold Fever has hit the Wedding Alley this edition and we’ve been inspired by every shade of this most luminous of precious metals. From super sparkly yellow-gold through to burnished old-gold, there’s a colour, fabric and style to suit any bride-to-be on the coming pages.

Happy {ever after} Hour at Spring

Spring is here, and so on Thursday evening Spring is where we were! Spring Food and Wine that is, in the heart of the Brisbane. We were sharing the experience with an intimate group of couples who had the pleasure of previewing a taste of this stylish venue as we head into wedding season.  Happy {ever after} Hour was the perfect opportunity to experience the venue and to sample some of it’s finest canapes and desserts, all while sipping on a glass or two of bubbles.

The evening’s wedding trivia was educational for a few, and lots of fun. Questions included:  “Do you know the thoughts behind why the ring is finger is the ring finger?” and “Who started the tradition of the bride wearing white?” For those who answered correctly it was a very worthwhile evening, with one lucky couple winning a $1000 voucher from Spring.

This inner city sanctuary in the CBD hosts beautiful weddings with the flair and creativity only a restaurant can provide. Spring’s paddock-to-plate philosophy incorporates a showcase of local Australian produce.  A commitment to sustainability and ethical ingredients is not only commendable but evident in the delicious range each couple had the enjoyment of sampling.

If your wedding planning is at the stage of venue selection I can recommend a visit to Spring. The lovely team are very flexible and happy to cater to the most discerning demands.

Spring Food and Wine
26 Felix Street, Brisbane
Ph: 07 3229 0460