Top Tips for your Autumn Wedding Flowers

Roses 

Roses 

When choosing flowers for your Autumn wedding I would start with your colour palette and wedding theme.  A good wedding floral designer will work with you to create unique flower arrangements and bouquets that accessorise you the best. 

Pinterest is a good place to start to develop an idea of your theme, but nothing beats working with your floral designer to create a unique look designed with you and your wedding in mind. 

I always encourage my brides to go for flowers that are hardy, will last and will look stunning even when they are out of water for the day. 

Firstly I usually encourage my brides to use the old favourites – we can never go wrong with roses!!  And they are available all year round. The colours and types of roses may vary, but there is no doubt that they are the true bridal flower

In addition,  here in Australia we have such an abundance of beautiful native varieties that are guaranteed to make a statement.  King proteas, beautiful fragrant gum leaves, dollar eucalyptus, delicate blushing bride proteas all make for the most incredible long lasting statement bouquets.  

If your wedding is coming up this autumn I would also recommend Tulips, my favourite red Amaranthus to create those beautiful soft cascades, Carnations (yes they are definitely back in vogue and SO hardy), Daphne in pink, purple and white, strong and hardy Chrysanthemums in a range of colours, Freesias ( a little bit more expensive) Hyacinth (various colours) and the beautiful soft Snap Dragons.

Start with your colour palette, your size and style of bouquets, and then move from there into reception centrepieces, table garlands, or whatever style you most love.  

5 Top Tips to have the Best Wedding Day Memories

Want the best photos and memories of your wedding and not quite sure how to do that?  Follow our top tips for rocking a movie star look on your day.

Wedding makeup

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If you’re that gal that doesn’t normally wear a lot of makeup, remember that wedding day Flawless begins with a good skin routine and outstanding wedding day makeup.  You’re going to be under the spotlight, cameras trained on you, flashes popping, and needing to look good for at least 7 hours.  A good makeup artist will know exactly how to create a flawless effect using good products.  Invest in a trial session to get your look down pat and allow an hour or so of wearing it before you make a decision on whether it’s enough or too much – a little wear goes a long way.  Or take the advice of the French – a glass of champagne while getting ready gives you an elegant glow. 

Squinch for the camera

Image courtesy of Purewow.com and Pinterest

Image courtesy of Purewow.com and Pinterest

Yup, that’s the new term in Hollywood for the Emma Stone look – stars aren’t born photogenic – they learn it!  Squinching is a combination of squinting and pinching: tighten your eyes as if you are about to squint and then relax your top lids – basically your lower lids do all the work while you still have that lovely open-eyed innocence.  Add a hint of a smile and you’ve got it!   

Find the photographer who completely 'gets' your vision.

Find the photographer who completely 'gets' your vision.

Which photographer?

I know your best friend’s friend has offered to do your photos as a gift – whatever you do kindly decline the offer.  While your wedding budget may be under pressure, the photos are the memories you will have forever – don’t skimp and save on this one.  Find a photographer who is a wedding specialist – and who has photos for you to look at.  And whose personality fits yours!!

I don’t need a video

Yes you do!  While your photos capture moments, and angles and soft lighting, your video tells your story in the most amazing way.  Again not just any videographer – but one who is a true storyteller, who can weave magic with all the images and footage they create on the day, they don’t need to cost the earth but you’ll be watching that video for years to come.

Get Buzzed by a Drone

Drones capture the drama of your surroundings on your day before zooming in on you.

Drones capture the drama of your surroundings on your day before zooming in on you.

Getting married outdoors?  Invest in a drone pilot and get stunned at how amazing your video will finally be. Think amazing images flying in over the ocean or bushland, capturing your guests and then zooming in on you and your squad arriving.  We highly recommend looking into this.

Happy planning

Gill

 

Top 5 Tips for your DIY Beach Wedding

Beautiful unique beach bouquet using shells, corals and twigs.

Beautiful unique beach bouquet using shells, corals and twigs.

You’ve dreamed of a beach wedding forever, but cost is an issue? Well here’s our top 5 tips on making magic no matter your budget.

Council permits

When it comes to actually saying I do on the beach there are a few items that are still going to add to your cost. First up is getting council permission to hold an event on the beach.  This applies to bush weddings as well – anywhere within council land requires a permit listing the numbers attending, whether alcohol will be served, details of your suppliers, how long the ceremony will take etc.  These can range in price but are generally around the $350 mark for a 3-hour window.  That allows you access to the beach to setup your ceremony props, have the ceremony, and then also time to bump everything out.  It actually serves as a protection for you as well.  Nothing worse than arriving at your beach and you have no authority to actually ask the surfers and sun gazers to leave your spot.  Well worth the money spent.

Unconventional Arbours

Who needs more than a few willow branches when you have a sunset ocean backdrop?

Who needs more than a few willow branches when you have a sunset ocean backdrop?

Your Pinterest board is full of the most amazing arbours, arches and masses of trailing florals. If you don’t have the funds to hire an existing beach ceremony setup – and there are some incredibly beautiful ones out there - then think about the beach you’re on.  Think driftwood logs draped in soft moss and seagrasses with touches of wild flowers, willow branches anchored in the sand with sunset as your accessory, there are so many natural styling elements that could be brought together to create that special altar space for your ceremony.  You already have the ocean as the most incredible backdrop, think about something simple, elegant and striking. 

Sandy Aisle

Barefoot brides beware – stones, sticks and other nasties that could be in the sand as you wend your way down your sandy aisle.  Make sure to get someone to grab a rake and give your area of the beach a thorough going over prior to the wedding to leave the sand as smooth and soft as possible.   

Leaves and Greens

Eucalypts, succulents and local leaves make for a stunning beach bouquet.

Eucalypts, succulents and local leaves make for a stunning beach bouquet.

Flowers are probably one of the biggest cost items for weddings so change it up a bit.  Use local flowers, those in season, and ones readily available in your garden.  The abundance of beautiful greenery in our native Australian trees provides so many options for a wild loose green arrangement, or simple sprigs tied to each aisle chair.  Or think shells - not too many, but simple, striking and completely appropriate.

 

Muscle on demand

DIY doesn’t need to mean that you literally DO IT ALL YOURSELF.  Especially when it comes to lugging all the chairs and arbours onto the beach, then lugging it back up to the van again after the ceremony.  If you’ve ever run in soft sand you’ll know what I’m talking about, never mind making multiple trips carrying 50 wedding chairs and an arbour back up the beach.  Invest in some reliable muscle to get your ceremony laid out, and pay them to hang around until after the ceremony for the pack down as well.  If you can’t afford to pay a wedding hire company for their equipment, consider using Airtasker to find a few reliable, strong and happy lads to assist on the day.  Throw in a bonus of something cold to drink as they leave and everything’s sweet.

Remember - less is more on the beach, have fun planning your day.

Gill

Five top tips for a great beach wedding

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Always dreamed of a beach wedding?  As incredible as they are they need to be well planned for the weather and should always have a backup option in case the Weather Gods send you blessings of rain and wind!  It’s also a good idea to do your research well to make sure your outdoor venue is totally suitable for what you have in mind. By planning well in advance you can be sure that it’s a day everyone enjoys. Here’re our top tips on how to have the best beach wedding ever.

Choose your beach

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With Australia’s amazing coastline there are so many options to choose from.  Look for one that is going to suit you and your wedding party.  A broad open expanse of beach will give you great expansive photos, and a long approach to flaunt your dress as you walk down the aisle  but also little protection from the wind and weather.  Have a careful look at whether there is protection from the wind in particular.  If not – use it to your best advantage for that wind tousled look.  A small rocky bay will be more private and has a completely different look but may be strewn with stones and it might be a bit more difficult to arrive in style.  

North, South East, West 

The direction your beach faces also impacts your day.  Check out shadows caused by mountains, trees and other natural landscapes.  Make sure that you know how your beach works at all times of the day and year, and where the sunset is going to be to look your best if you’re going for an afternoon wedding.

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Sunset and Tides

Yup – you need to look at your wedding date and download an app like Willy Weather.  Great for looking up the time of sunset and the tides for your wedding date.  You will want to be getting married at about an hour and a half before sunset as this is absolute gold when it comes to the lighting for your photos.  Your photographer will love you if you give them this time of day.  And preferably a low or falling tide – don’t want those waves encroaching on your ceremony just as you’re about to say your vows. 

Sandy toes, sunshine and insect repellent!

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There’s nothing quite like the feel of soft sand between your toes, but there’s also nothing worse than being bothered by sandflies when you’re in the middle of your vows.  Make sure that your guests have a place to leave their shoes, perhaps a basket of beach thongs and a few brushes to clean the sand off afterwards.  Add a few containers of insect repellent and you could absolutely save the day.

Beach Reception

Beach picnic styled reception

Beach picnic styled reception

Whilst the beach wedding ceremony has been around for a while, we are seeing a move towards having more relaxed beach picnic styled receptions on the beach as well.  There is this wonderful vibe with castaway island feels – tiki torches, hurricane lamps, candles in various large lanterns lighting up a beautiful beach picnic.  And this option doesn’t need to be low-key casual – think luxurious cushions, tepee tents, bonfires and a dance floor alongside the waters edge.

Happy planning

Gill

Next time:  Styling tips for your DIY beach wedding

 

 

Top Money Saving Tips for a Winter Wedding

Winter weddings and warm wedding gowns.

Winter weddings and warm wedding gowns.

One of the frequent questions I get asked as a wedding planner is:  How much is my wedding going to cost?   It’s really a bit like walking into a restaurant and asking how much your meal’s going to cost without reading the menu and making a choice.

But if budget is an issue – and it usually is - one of the best ways to reduce your wedding costs is by getting married in low season. But you want to get married in Spring, right?  Well there are multiple benefits to a Winter wedding here in Australia. If we were in Europe I would probably say we shouldn’t – but here in Australia our winters are so mild and forgiving that unless you are specifically wanting an outdoor wedding, there is money to be saved. 

Location, location, location

Indoor celebrations for winter have endless variety

Indoor celebrations for winter have endless variety

Wedding venues, much like hotels and holiday destinations, all adjust their rates according to the demand of high, shoulder and low season.  The food and level of service are the same quality, it’s just that demand has dropped off and so you can get some pretty good deals and reduction in prices of up to 25% in some venues. 

Wedding season

Wedding in the snow anyone?

Wedding in the snow anyone?

Wedding season really starts ramping up in October, is getting quite full on during November, and we don’t call it March Madness for nothing as everyone tries to get a venue locked in for our most beautiful and mildest month. More than 37% of weddings are in March and April, with about 26% in October and November, which leaves the winter months wide open for negotiation.

Day of the Week

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Think about getting married on a winter weekday! Double whammy for cost saving.  More than 60% of couples get married on Saturdays, about 15% on Fridays, leaving Monday to Thursday great options for heavily discounted rates as well as again the availability and choice you will have as to which venue to use.

Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate

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In the slow months you have the choice of multiple suppliers who are not fully booked during the quieter months.  While this does not necessarily mean that you will have a guaranteed cheaper option, you will certainly have the ability to negotiate with them and they may even offer discounts.  Some of the hire companies for example have a minimum spend during high season which doesn’t apply at other times so you’re able to order exactly how many chandeliers you need – even if it’s one, and not have a minimum $1000 spend.

Styling ideas

Think about barns, cosy bonfires for winter weddings.

Think about barns, cosy bonfires for winter weddings.

Because you will probably have an indoors wedding planned there is no need for that expensive backup plan if it rains, or if the weather isn’t crash hot.  Think styling your day around cosy log fires, mulled wine, indoor ceremonies with a difference and wedding gowns with beautiful faux fur wraps.  The options are endless and really give you an opportunity to do something unique and beautiful for your wedding day at a fraction of the cost.

Happy planning

Gill

 

Got those wedding hue blues?

Complementary blue palette - blues and blush

Complementary blue palette - blues and blush

No, it’s not about feeling down – it’s all about the wonderful blue hues we’re working with this week:  from pale powder puff through to deep navy.  We absolutely love the creative process of beginning to create a wedding - starting with colour, moving to mood boards, and finally to styling it all.  But our starting point is always the exploration of colour, how it fits in with the brides personality, and the theme of her wedding.  

So here's a few of our tips for developing your wedding colour scheme. First thing – be sure to be adventurous when starting out and experiment with a range of palettes. There are so many wonderful resources for building wedding colour schemes – we highly recommend having some fun with this until you lock in your palette. 

CHOOSE YOUR HUE

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When you begin to build your wedding palette the starting point is having a good idea of what your main colour is going to be (a hue is really just another name for colour). This will set the scene for the various options you have.

Monochromatic or Complementary

Yup, it sounds confusing but actually it’s a lot of fun once you get started. You have your basic colour, next decide whether to go with a monochromatic scheme – different shades, tints and tones of the main colour; or whether you use a complementary scheme – bringing in the hues that are opposite your main colour on the colour wheel. 

SOFT AS FEATHERS

Soft as feathers - flowers, ribbons and shades of palest blues

Soft as feathers - flowers, ribbons and shades of palest blues

For our monochromatic blue palette we started with delicate baby blue as our main hue, and combined it with blue grotto, aquamarine and navy.  Using the various shades and tones of the main hue resulted in a chic combination.   This palette has both masculine and feminine appeal – think bringing variations of the hue into both the bride and groom’s outfits, and blending them into a beautiful creative composition for your wedding ceremony, reception and florals.  Bringing in touches of greenery, white and black will accentuate your palette very well.  Perhaps your dress is pale blue, your groom’s outfit is navy blue, and your bouquet flowers range all the way in between.  Accented by white and oodles of greenery – we just love the softness of this elegant scheme.

Glacial greys

Or we could have used icy blues and greys, contrasting warm greys with cool glacial blues making for a dynamic colour scheme that’s very visually interesting.  Using shades of warm grey, ice and glacier blue, think icebergs and blue sea, and soft puffs of grey clouds.  Groomsmen in warm grey outfits, bridesmaids in glacial blue, and the bride in icy white with accents of soft grey tulle overlays.  Again a sleek and elegant look.

COSMOPOLITAN

Who knew this would be the result when starting with blue!  A peak at our Cosmopolitan palette

Who knew this would be the result when starting with blue!  A peak at our Cosmopolitan palette

Our complementary blue palette is altogether different.  Starting with blue grey as our main hue, we combined it with steel, pewter and blush resulting in a surprisingly warm and strong palette.  Bridesmaids dresses in combinations of blush and blue grey, steel tones for the groom and antique pewter guiding the bride in her choice of glorious gown. This is a vibrant and upbeat palette with stronger colours that has a warm and upbeat energy.

Whatever your style, choose a palette that pops for you, and own it completely.

Happy planning!

Gill

 

 

 

Choose your wedding dress to suit your silhouette

Empire style dresses suit all body shapes

Empire style dresses suit all body shapes

What’s not to love about spending hours swooning over the endless array of wedding dresses available?  And imagining yourself floating down the aisle in a diaphanous gown?   Nothing, the key is to know what your silhouette or body type is before you begin.  Whether you are an hourglass, apple, pear, rectangle or inverted triangle, there is a dress for every bride!

Worried about which shape to choose?  Well there are two that pretty much suit all body shapes: A-line and Empire.

A-Line

This wedding gown is fitted at the hips and gradually widens towards the hem, giving the impression of the shape of a capital letter A.  This style has only recently come back into vogue, with the term first being used by French couturier Christian Dior for his Spring 1955 collection, described as the ‘most wanted silhouette in Paris”.  It has had a big revival in popularity since the early 2000s.  I would describe it as the Most Flattering Silhouette for All Body Types!

Empire

We have Josephine Bonaparte to thank for popularizing this gorgeous shape.  This dress has a fitted bodice ending just below the bust, giving a high-waisted appearance, and a gathered skirt which is long and loosely fitted but skims the body rather than being supported by voluminous petticoats.  The outline is especially flattering to pears wishing to disguise the stomach area or emphasize the bust, also helping to lengthen the body's appearance which is great for those of us who are a bit shorter!

Everyone except the Apples!

The classic ball gown is a style almost everyone can wear unless you have an apple or round body shape.  We are seeing beautiful variations on this theme with many off the shoulder designs emphasizing feminine décolleté necklines.

And then there are the less forgiving styles – mermaid, trumpet and sheath.

The mermaid and the trumpet

Whilst it sounds like the title of a children’s fairytale, the mermaid, as the name suggests, is a wedding dress that is shaped like a mermaid’s body. It is form-fitting at the bodice, and the skirt is designed to resemble a mermaid's tail in silhouette.  If you’ve ever tried on one of these you will realise how difficult they are to walk in – so take your wedding theme into account before taking the plunge with one of these beauties.  The trumpet is another variation of this style with the dress tightly fitted until just below the knees when it flares.  As difficult to walk in, but oh-so-beautiful to look at.

Sheath

As the name suggests,  this dress is designed to fit the body tightly.  Beautiful, stunning, and gracing many of the fashion runways, this dress is not for the fainthearted, and really works well on hourglass or rectangular body types.

Get your basic shape sorted and then go for gold in designing your perfect dress.

Happy planning!

Gill

 

 

 

Turn up the heat: Spring Wedding Trends 2

It’s Spring and we’re inundated with breathtaking images from the bridal runways of New York and Israel.  Couture wedding gowns worn by graceful models.  New takes on old themes, so we thought we’d share a few more of our top takes on wedding trends this season.

Dreamy Dresses

 
Marchesa And Notte Bridal Presentation Spring 2017 - NY

Marchesa And Notte Bridal Presentation Spring 2017 - NY

 

The holy grail of weddings – the Wedding Gown – is constantly evolving, and with so many variations today’s bride has endless choices. Less structure, having a 1940’s feel, beautiful Chantilly Lace and unusual silhouettes. Trending at the moment are the to-die-for dresses with billowing gossamer skirts for those oh-so-dreamy ceremonies, teamed with a sneaky removable skirt so that you can kick up your heels and own the dance floor.  Effectively two dresses in one! How clever is that?

Palette first – Venue second

Reversing the thinking on booking your venue and then only starting to think about your wedding palette, the gurus are suggesting that deciding on your palette first is key – after that’s done then find a venue to suit your style.  Booking a ballroom in the city and then finding out that your palest hues are lost amongst the gilded walls and dark carpets adds expense and doesn’t complement your palette at all.

Guest games

Croquette anyone? Boules or Giant Jenga? There’s a fantastic move to good old-fashioned fun at weddings with creative icebreakers and garden games making a big comeback. It involves your guests, breaks the ice and really gets everyone letting their hair down early.

Beach Casual to Ocean Elegance

 
Beach weddings will always be a favourite

Beach weddings will always be a favourite

 

Casual beach weddings will always be a favourite for their relaxed feel and incredible natural backdrop. But what we are seeing is a move to a more elegant and sophisticated take on this setting. While the beach ceremony still has that sandy toes feel, the vibe really amps up when the party starts. Venues are elegantly styled and the ‘shells and hessian’ table styling is being upstaged by crystal vases, amazing light installations, and awesome florals.  

Ethical Weddings

 
The Freedom Hub in Sydney's Waterloo - ethical wedding venue

The Freedom Hub in Sydney's Waterloo - ethical wedding venue

 

Think reducing your carbon footprint, teaming up with ethical suppliers, and making do with less in order to focus more on the meaning of the day. More and more venues are offering exactly that – an ethical supply chain starting with their venue.  Great for DIY weddings with the venues typically supporting a worthwhile local charity. And hey – the majority of couples nowadays already have 2 of everything – who needs another two toasters or large platters that don’t fit into an apartment kitchen cupboard. Awareness is growing to give back to a cause of your choice vs the traditional gift registry.

More on our take of what’s happening in the world of weddings next time.

Happy planning

Gill

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Wedding Trends for Spring 2017

Oversized bouquets, mauves and neutral palettes are big trends this wedding season.

Oversized bouquets, mauves and neutral palettes are big trends this wedding season.

The world of weddings is an exciting, creative and fast moving one.  Taking inspiration from weddings around the world, this is our take on the top trends for this spring wedding season.

The All White Wedding vs A Splash of Signature Colour

Colour will be making a huge comeback this year.  While the all-white wedding will continue as a classic, the move towards using a signature colour adds drama and individuality to your wedding setting.  Bright floral accents set the scene and splashes of colour are woven through the décor to highlight the best of the white.  

Greenery is king

Think garden inspired florals, garlands and bouquets.  Greenery is still a huge focus this season.  It is lush, abundant, modern and classic all rolled into one.  Whether it is hanging installations framing the bridal table, or abundant wreaths flowing over the sides of reception tables, we can’t get enough of the wild garden inspired theming we are seeing.

Oversized bouquets

Single giant proteas framed by marsala coloured roses and deepest burgundy tulips, set amongst a literal forest of greenery, the abundant bouquet is fast becoming the centerpiece accessorizing modern brides.  Seeming at times to dwarf the bride, our only concern is how on earth do you throw one of those things?

From Naked to Drip cakes

Picking out your wedding cake is one of the most important parts of your wedding planning, and they are becoming more inventive. Whilst we still love the naked and semi naked butter cakes, there is a move towards the luscious Drip Wedding Cakes.  Stacked high with figs, fruit and berries, trailing flowers flowing over their decadent sides. Elegantly drizzled with caramel or chocolate glaze, topped with crystalline creations, these oh-so-edible confections are simply to die for.

Nude and neutral

Neutral is probably the biggest trend we are seeing – grey, touches of brass and heritage crystal vases.  Team this with elegant nudes and hints of palest pastels, with molten silver topping gilt this season.  Neutral tones with unusual accents, dreamy palettes of greys, nude and gold teamed with metallic, crystal and sparkles.  This creative palette works for the formal sit-down wedding as well as absolutely popping in an avant garde cocktail style setting.

Mauve is the New Blush

Mauve in all it’s soft, subtle and dreamy hues is fast becoming our new wedding colour obsession! Explore the palette fully – from lavender, plum, violet and amethyst, to aubergine and imperial purple.  A colour usually associated with our grandmothers and their lavender scented hankies, we are loving the sassy modern bride who uses this palette for vintage inspired modern weddings. Planning a muted tone wedding? Then get inspired by mauve!

But hey – at the end of the day it’s YOUR wedding and who cares whether you are following a trend or are setting a new one with your unique ideas and style.

Happy planning

Gill

 

A good wedding planner will save you money!

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“What do you mean,” I can hear you saying.  “That’s another cost item on my wedding budget that could be avoided”.  It’s a misconception that I come across frequently – that Wedding Planners cost the earth, In my experience, a good wedding planner is probably the ONE budget item that should be mandatory if you wish for a wedding that sticks to plan - all the details at less the cost.  That has to be worthwhile! 

Let me explain what I am talking about:

You’ve just got engaged, you're flying high on Happiness Hormones, and then the planning starts.

Budget vs Wish List

The first big reality check will usually come when you realise that your wish list exceeds your fiancee's annual salary!!  If you have not planned a wedding previously – and not many engaged couples have  – there are some big mistakes made as emotions drive your decisions!

Most Australian couples expect to spend up to $30,000 on their wedding. Unfortunately most weddings end up costing a whopping average $65,500 - that's almost a 200% budget blowout. Gone is the honeymoon fund, the deposit for your home, or that overseas holiday.  Why and how does this happen??  No clear wedding project plan - as boring as that sounds, it's probably the one thing that will save the day.  Second - you have no idea how much suppliers should charge you and what to do when they overcharge.  

So how is a Wedding Planner going to save you money?

Insider Knowledge

They KNOW the industry, they know the good suppliers, they should recommend how to work your wedding within your budget, and they should keep a tight reign on spending.

We've had couples come to us after they had started booking suppliers, only to find out that we could have saved them a whopping 25% on most items including venue. A recent couple could have saved almost $15,000 off their venue and catering bill if we had been onboard earlier. 

No Kickbacks from other suppliers

You should also be looking for a wedding planner who takes NO kickbacks from suppliers.  Someone who only works on your behalf - your agent.  By entering into a fixed fee contract with your planner you are assured that their services are secured on your behalf. 

The final comment regarding budget and wedding planners – back up options if things go wrong are usually expensive if booked at the last minute:  If the cake doesn’t arrive, or its raining and you need a marquee for your outdoor ceremony – it’s always possible to have a plan B turn up – but it will cost a fortune.  A good planner will usually have a few of these up their sleeve to save the day and the budget.

Not the fun police!

Your wedding planner will only do what you want them to do - they are not there to take the fun out of planning your day.  Bringing on board a professional planner to help and take some of the workload off your hands definitely makes sense and really frees you up to focus on all the other fun, creative and lovely things needed to be done:  The Dress, your styling, your bridal party, Hen’s and Buck’s nights – in short – the creative fun stuff.

Consider contacting a few wedding planners to see if they Get your vision.  It will cost you nothing, but could save you thousands. It's an investment that should give you peace of mind, a happy planning process and an outstanding wedding day. 

Happy planning!

 Gill