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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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