How not to be a dick!

All you need is love … and to not be a dick when planning your wedding.

Weddings are stressful, and expensive and hard work. There we said it! The process of planning a wedding will probably be one of the biggest, most expensive  things you will ever do in your life, and because you’re only planning on doing it once, you absolutely want to do it right the first time.

But … that doesn’t mean that you get to be a dick!

How not to be a dick to your vendors: Yes your wedding is super important to you, and you want it to go perfectly, and you want to get the most bang for your buck, and weddings are expensive. Vendors all know this, and most vendors have been around the block a few times so will definitely have advice and maybe even tips and professional tricks to help you make your day the absolute best. The old saying “You get more flies with honey” or something along these lines, definitely rings true here. Vendors are people too, who have lives and kids and sometimes other jobs too, so they will not necessarily be at your beck and call all hours of the day and night, to answer those 3am questions that you just have to ask at 3am! All vendors ask is that they are treated with respect, that you respect that they are people too, and should be treated with courtesy and like the professionals that they are. Building a relationship with a vendor starts from that very first enquiry.

How not to be a dick to your bridesmaids: You’re excited about planning your wedding, and are just as excited that you’re going to have your girls beside you to enjoy the journey with you.  Sometimes your girls are not as excited (and/or consumed) about the wedding as you may be, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be a tremendous support and help to you, leading up to the wedding and of course on the day. Weddings can make or break some friendships, usually because the bride has very high expectations for the level of involvement they require of their bridesmaids.  You need to think carefully before you choose your girls, especially if you have friends who have high flying careers and work alot, or friends who are planning on getting pregnant or have small children, or friends that live on the other side of the world. In my honest opinion when asking your friends to be bridemaids, have a very honest conversation about the level of involvement, and cost of the wedding. If you require your bridesmaids to attend weekly planning meetings and pay for an overseas hen’s weekend and a very expensive dress (that they probably won’t ever wear again, let’s be honest), then lay that out on the table before it becomes ugly and friendships are strained.

How not to be a dick to friends and family: Sometimes your family wants to pay (or help pay) for the wedding, sometimes they don’t. And sometimes if they want to pay or at least contribute, then they may impose some conditions on their offer. They may feel as though that entitles them to add some extras to the guest list, or decide what alcohol will be provided. Once again communication is key when dealing with these issues, you need to be able to stand up to the family (as a united front), if you need to, and you need to be able to walk away from any offer if it feels like you’re going to be held to ransom. I think the most important thing is to have a clear idea of how you see your day going, stick to your guns, if you need to and be polite but fair with well meaning friends and family.

How not to be a dick to each other: Just because you’ve finally snagged your partner and promised to marry them, doesn’t give you licence to be a dick to them. After all this is the person you’re choosing to spend the rest of your life with. Weddings, and especially the last couple of weeks, can be incredibly stressful for a couple. You have friends and family giving you their two cents worth, you may have different priorities and ideas about your wedding, and there may be huge financial pressure on you both. So it’s incredibly important to communicate and be kind to each other. I’ve seen many a bride go off her nut at a groom at the rehearsal because he didn’t do what he was supposed to do when he was supposed to do it, or usually it’s because he just didn’t know what he was supposed to do.

Being a bride doesn’t mean you get to be a dick too.

 

From engaged to finally married ….. Mr and Mrs Bray!

All you need is love. That’s it, that’s all you need.

So we’ve followed the journey of Sharmain and Jeremy as they went through the process of planning their wedding day.  We saw what went well, and what was more challenging, and finally we get to share the last installment, The Wedding Day! Here Sharmain and Jeremy share how that final week was, and of course the day itself.

IMG_4557
All photos supplied by the very talented Chris Garden.

What was the week before the wedding like? The week before the wedding was a very busy one.  Luckily, we had both taken that week off work, so that helped a lot!  It was very stressful for me as our reception venue was still far from finished and by Wednesday I was nearly in panic mode no matter how much Jeremy tried to assure me it would all work out.  Thankfully, the place was finished enough for use by Thursday night and on Friday we were able to set up for the reception.  There were a lot of last minute jobs that needed done in that last week, and I’d definitely recommend to anybody to take that week off, if possible.

IMG_3793 (1)

What surprised you the most about the wedding planning process? Overall i did find the wedding planning enjoyable.  There were a lot of hiccups along the way and many stresses that came with it, but I think knowing that in the end, after it all, I’d be marrying the man of my dreams, made all those little glitches worth it.  I honestly can’t describe the excited feeling I’d get every time I thought of a new idea or something for our wedding.

IMG_4981

How did you feel the day before the wedding? The day before the wedding I’ll admit, I think I was a mess.  My Mum took me out to get my nails done for the wedding and all I could think about was how the venue was going to look and why wouldn’t it stop raining.  When we returned to the venue and I say how everything looked I broke down in tears.  Jeremy’s family and my litte brother had spend the last few hours placing everything exactly where I’d wanted them to and how I’d wanted it and I was so overwhelmed with how everything looked that I couldn’t hold back my emotions.  Everything was perfect.  Later at the rehearsal I saw how badly the rain had affected our ceremony venue and almost broke down again, for a different reason.  There were puddles everywhere and I went in to a panic about how it would be the next day.  Thankfully it, somehow all dried out overnight and was perfect.

IMG_4096 (1)

Did things go well on the wedding morning? On the wedding morning I swear there as just a blanket of calm over the both of us.  I was up early making breakfast for the bridesmaids and Jeremy fed the dog and checked into our hotel for that night.  There were no hitches and I just couldn’t wait to see my soon to be husband.  Our photographer commented that he’d never had a couple, or wedding party in general, be so calm on the morning of their wedding.  We were too excited and too happy to be nervous.

Do you remember what you were thinking as you walked down the aisle? As I walked down the aisle everything was a blur, all my focus was on Jeremy waiting for me at the end.  There were people at the ceremony that I didn’t even realise were there until looking at photos weeks later.  The world felt like it stood still and he was the only thing that mattered in that moment.  All Jeremy could think was simply ‘wow’

IMG_4162 (1)

What were some of the highlights of the wedding day? Jeremy’s biggest highlight of the day was seeing me walk down the aisle.  I think my biggest highlight was seeing his face once I reached the end.  I swear I’ve never seen that man so happy.  Overall though, I think the entire day was amazing, the best day of our lives so far.

Any thing you would have done differently? I think if I could’ve done anything differently it would be to practice our first dance before performing it, preferably in similar clothing to what would be worn on the day.  As we found out, on the night it wasn’t as easy as we thought it was going to be, as I couldn’t step backwards in my dress because of the train, which was not something I’d thought about until I stood on it.

IMG_4160 (1)

Advice to other brides/couples? Our advice to other couples would be to try not to stress.  As difficult as that sounds at the end of the day all that matters is that you’re marrying the love of your life.  Throughout our entire planning process and wedding day and everything Jeremy was very laid back and easy going, it was me who stressed over every little thing and at the end of it I look back and just wonder why I ever let some things get to me. Also remember, it’s your day, so have it the way you want it, not everyone else.

IMG_4065 (1)

Would you recommend your vendors on the day? We were very happy with all of our vendors for the day.

  • Michelle and her team from Just Essence Catering did an amazing job, and were more than happy to work with every requirement we threw at them. Including setting up a children’s buffet table to keep their meals separate for the adults food.
  • Kate and the team at The Dessert Room were amazing too and worked with us very well. Plus they were far more reasonably priced than we expected.
  • Hirepool was one we didn’t expect to use but ended up needing to hire the tables and chairs for the reception from, they were very easy to work with, and allow 3 day hire which was definitely easier than trying to set up and clean up all in the same day.
  • Our photographer Chris Garden, was great! We had a lot of communication with him leading up to the day and he was happy to do whatever we asked of him, and his photos are amazing.
  • And of course our amazing celebrant Angela Port.  She worked with us so well, and helped out with everywhere we needed it.  She was happy to give us any advice we needed and help with vow writing, and we both love her ceremony and working with her.

What was your biggest surprise on the wedding day? Our biggest surprise on our wedding day has to have been the weather.  For the days leading up, it was absolutely pouring with rain, right up until 2am that morning (yes I was still awake) and then on the Sunday it again was pouring down.  But you couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day on the Saturday, it was absolutely stunning.

IMG_4910

What is your favourite memory of your wedding day? I don’t think we’ll ever forget our wedding day, but I think my most favourite memory would be learning Jeremy’s reaction as I walked down the aisle, more happy tears were shed then. Jeremy’s favourite memory is seeing me, at the end of the night walking around cradling my baby cousin in my arms.  I absolutely adore babies and Jeremy says I looked so peaceful and happy in that moment.

Anyone you would like to especially mention for their help? So many people helped us out in so many ways.  Friends giving advice and support, family giving advice and helping us out financially.  I don’t think we could really thank one person in particular without listing many, many names.

IMG_4948

How did you feel the next day, once it was all over? The day after the wedding, we had to go clean up the reception venue and start returning hired things back to the companies.  It was a very busy day and felt like we’d just had a great big party, but we didn’t feel any different.  However it was a very stress free day, like a great weight had been lifted from our shoulders.  And I know I saw Jeremy playing with his ring, just as much as I played with mine.

IMG_4620

At the end of the day I believe just do what makes you happy.  We were both so happy with how everything turned out for us, we couldn’t have asked for it to be better.  The day definitely does fly by though and I think the best piece of advice I could give to any couple is to try take a moment for themselves out of their wedding day, away from the guests, and just enjoy each other.  It’s something we didn’t do and in the end we didn’t really see a lot of each other once we got to the reception.

I wish you a life time of happiness together, and thank you for allowing me to share a part of your special day with me – Angela Port 

Engaged to Married – August/September

All you need is love and … and update on Sharmain and Jeremy.

We’re now on the home stretch, we have less than 100 days to go, so everything is ramping up. The last two months have been very busy with lots of organising, and finalising, but there’s still the little details to go.

Bridesmaid dresses have been purchased and they have arrived, and the girls will all be together to try them on in the next couple of weeks, with possible alterations being scheduled closer to the wedding date.

dsc00734
Wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses.

The cute flower girl and ring bearer outfits have also been purchased.

There will be gorgeous wedding favours (which have now been paid for) for the guests and other little bit and pieces to personalise the day.

The table centerpieces are being finalised and finished, just need a bit more tweaking to make them perfect.

Wedding rings have been chosen and paid for, and are now tucked away in a safe place away from the dog.

dsc00752
Ring boxes minus the rings, that have been tucked away for safe keeping.

I spent some time transferring everything into clear plastic tubs, so it’s all together in one place and easily transported, and more importantly away from the dog.

dsc00743
Plastic clear boxes are a life saver for keeping everything together.

We had our second meeting with our awesome celebrant, we now have a better idea on the structure of our ceremony. She asked us a lot of questions, which she will use to personalise our ceremony, that’s what we love about her style of ceremony. We also have some ideas for writing our own vows, which we will keep secret from each other until the ceremony, something to look forward to on the day. She also gave us information on obtaining our marriage licence (an essential part of the day!!) and we are nearly  within the 3 month time period to obtain this. (Awesome celebrant has just about finished your ceremony, you should have it in a couple of days, whoop, whoop!!)

dsc00738

We have our final meeting with our photographer in a couple of weeks.

Invites have been sent, and we are now just waiting for the RSVP’s to come back in.

It feels good to have all the big things ticked off, but now it’s time for all the finalising (caterers, RSVPs) and all the fiddly little jobs (centerpieces, finishing DIY projects)

It’s getting really exciting now it’s less than 100 days to go.

 

The most over-looked part of wedding planning.

All you need is love and … a great wedding ceremony.

“It doesn’t really matter” “Don’t make it too long, I don’t want the guests to get bored” “It’s not the most important part of the day” “Just make it short, so we can start drinking”

All statements I’ve heard or seen when talking about planning the actual wedding ceremony. Which kind of breaks my heart a little bit every time.  Now I’ve said this before, and, I may be slightly biased based on the fact that I’m a celebrant and am lucky enough to help couples on their wedding planning journey. But time and time again I hear about people who have the entire wedding planned out, either in real life or on Pinterest, but have not had a single thought about the actual ceremony.  And to a degree I get that. Often when I meet couples we establish that they are in the camp of “we’ve never done this before and we don’t know what we’re doing” and that’s cool, because that is where a awesome celebrant will hold your hand (figuratively, not actually, well maybe if you’re really nervous) and explain the options and the process and the importance of your wedding ceremony.

Your wedding ceremony should set the tone for your entire wedding day. It is in fact the party starter.  Way back in the day, wedding ceremonies had to follow a certain script, and they were all pretty much the same.  You said exactly what the officiant wrote for you. I can imagine that not a lot of brides and grooms can even remember what they said to each other. But times have changed, big time. Couples have so much more say in what they want to include as part of their ceremony, and I for one am excited about this.  There are so many different ways you can structure your ceremony, and so many different elements you can include. It definitely gives a couple more control and choice to help their celebrant create their perfect ceremony. If you are serious and believe that a wedding should be a restrained and solemn occasion and want a ceremony that reflects that, then great, you can absolutely have that, and you need to choose a celebrant who can deliver that. If the two of you have any interesting, quirky or fun elements to your relationship then I believe it is your responsibility and right to roll in that direction.  A ceremony should reflect your different personalities and your relationship together. I believe if you do not have a ceremony that reflects you two together then you are doing a dis-service to your guests, and to yourselves.  You do not want your guests to walk away from your ceremony thinking “what on earth was that. I don’t even know who the celebrant was talking about!” So in saying that no two wedding ceremonies should be the same, (except for the legal parts that have to be done) and if your celebrant is just going to ‘cut and paste’ your ceremony then find another celebrant.  You, your guests and your love deserve a personalised and original wedding ceremony.

Yes I understand the wedding ceremony, can be uncomfortable, and for most people it is the most nerve-wracking part of the day. Of course it’s not everyday that you share a piece of your heart with your loved one and your friends and family. And I know that public speaking is not every-ones cup of tea.  But in saying that how many times in your life will you be able to make such a grand gesture and acknowledge all the reasons you love  your partner and share your promises for the future, to them, and your friends and family?  I believe it’s an extremely memorable and emotional act of love, and should be treated as such.

Yes wedding planning can be fun. It can be so exciting to choose the dress and the colours, and the table decorations and share the experience with your girlfriends or your mum.  I also know for some people (mainly brides) it can become all consuming.  It can literally take over your life.  It is also really easy for a couple to lose sight of what the day is really about.  It is about celebrating your love story.

When you are getting married you are committing to your loved one  for the rest of your lives.  You are making declarations to each other in front of your family and friends that you will love each other, despite the fact that she wears leopard print a little too much, and he always leaves his shoes in the middle of the doorway. You are becoming a team, where you know the other person will always have your back.  And if that is not worth focusing on and totally celebrating then I don’t know what is!

 

What’s in my celebrant “bag of tricks”?

All you need is love and … a bag full of essentials.

So those of you who have met with me, in my capacity as a wedding celebrant, and have had me officiant your wedding day know that I lug around a huge black shoulder bag. It’s my bag of tricks. It has everything that I or possibly the bride or groom could need for the before and/or during the ceremony.  This is a carefully curated list/bag of items that has been collected and added to over previous weddings.

Here’s a list of what’s hiding in the big black bag.

20160628_114238-2.jpg

1 Rescue Remedy – If you haven’t heard/used this before, it’s awesome. It’s a homeopathic spray that you spray on your tongue to help calm you down. Works perfectly for anxious grooms.

2 Wipes – Perfect for hands and for men’s suit/shirt shoulders, which always get make-up on them from all the hugs and kisses they get before the ceremony starts. Helps smarten them up for photos.

3 Lipstick – For me not, the groom.

4 Water bottle – I get a dry mouth when I know I have to do a lot of speaking, so water is essential. Have also had nervous grooms take a swig as well. Side note: it is definitely water and not vodka in there. Yes, it is a sponge-bob square pants bottle!

shannon and sean
Shannon and Sean

5 Heart shaped rocks – For holding down the paperwork before and during the signing if there’s a breeze.

6 Vehicle Log Book – for recording the km’s for yucky tax.

7 Business cards – you never know when an opportunity exists.

8 Hand cream – dry hands make rings harder to slip on.

9 Tissues – I always have at least 2 tissues in my pockets, for either the bride or groom during the ceremony.

10 Compact mirror – to make sure I look presentable before everything kicks off.

11 Matches – just in case someone forgets the matches for lighting a candle of remembrance.

12 Spare battery – for the microphone.

13 Comb – kinda goes with the compact mirror and lipstick.

14 Microphone – so everyone can hear all the lovely words, the couple say to each other. I always have a spare in the car, just in case.

15 Pen – for signing the paperwork, in case the couple don’t have a special one they want to use.

16 Cellphone – the cellphone is loaded with the couple’s playlist for their ceremony, and is definitely switched onto meeting mode during the afternoon.

17 Red folder – the meeting folder, this contains the couples file, with all their contact details.

18 White folder – the folder I use during the ceremony. It holds the ceremony and the couples vows and any readings they are having.

19 Lollipop – used to give to flower girls and/or ring bearers when they have made their walk down the aisle and are about to take their seats.

There is a lot in there (believe me, I have to lug it around) but it is everything I could possibly need for a wedding ceremony, to make sure the groom looks and feels his absolute best (I spend more time hanging with the groom and his boys on the actual wedding day than the bride)  and to make sure I perform the best ceremony I can.

People We Love: Laura Giddey – Wedding Celebrant

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “People We Love”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

Meet: Laura Giddey – Wedding Celebrant

laura giddey1

Business Name: Wedding Celebrant – Laura Giddey

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: A few years ago, some close friends of mine got engaged and asked me if I would take their wedding.  It was completely an honour to be asked and so I went about getting my licence to marry them.  Every wedding I’ve done has been special but that first wedding was EXTRA special as they are still good friends of mine, have been big supporters of my business, and it was so beautiful to watch them say their vows. And to choke up as I announced them as husband and wife! Since then I’ve done nearly 100 weddings and I’ve loved every single one.  I get to write a personalised ceremony for each couple and meet them in a really cool time in their life.  I feel very lucky to do this job, and to work with other celebrants and vendors in the industry that are cool, creative, and open minded.

What do you love about your job? What don’t I love!  Obviously I love love, and I love weddings otherwise I probably wouldn’t do this job.  But a couple of specific loves; 1) hanging out with the groom before the ceremony starts and the bride arrives and watching him tear up a bit when she comes in, 2) being able to marry Australian gay couples and celebrate their union when it’s not recognised at home. I also love the dresses and the vows and all the tears.

laura giddey2

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests?  I house and pet sit so that keeps me moving house every few weeks and making numerous furry friends.  I do some nannying, cleaning, and help in a food truck as other sources of revenue.  I love weird films, documentaries, true crime stories, reading, and podcasts.  And chocolate.

What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? That you can do pretty much anything to celebrate your wedding.  The legal requirements are so few, and any good celebrant will make sure they happen smoothly, so the rest of the day is totally up to you! There are no rules.

laura giddey3

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? I ask all of my couples if they want to get their wedding rings tattooed on during the ceremony, and if they want an eagle to fly their rings down the aisle.  I see  these things in blogs and would love to tick them off the bucket list.  I love mismatched colours and genders in the bridal party, and both parents walking both people getting married down the aisle.  I don’t want to call anything out that I’m sick of in weddings, so I’ll tactfully say that I would love people to only do things in weddings that are meaningful to them!

Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? One 8 year old ring bearer wept through his uncle’s vows.  A bride said she appreciated how her soon to be husband loved her despite her farts, in her wedding vows.  Another couple wanted to do something memorable and symbolic of the awesome union of them coming together in marriage.  So we did a science experiment called the “elephant’s toothpaste” which foamed in a colourful mess.  You Tube it for more details.

elephant-toothpaste-ceremony
Elephant’s toothpaste science experiment

 At another wedding we surprised the two witnesses by putting two lollipops under two chairs in the ceremony space before all the guests arrived.  The two lucky people didn’t know they’d be signing the paperwork until we got to that part in the wedding, and I got everyone to look under their chair.

What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? At each decision point, ask yourself if what you’re doing is how you want to celebrate your day, or if you’re being dictated to by your friends, peers, parents, or Pinterest!  Invest in a videographer or just a friend who can set up a video.  The day will pass so quickly and it’s lovely to have a record of the ceremony which will feel like a blur.

laura giddey 4
That one time the bride arrived on a donkey!

One insider tip/trick to pass on?  When your wedding starts, ask your celebrant or minister to invite you and your love to take a moment and a deep breath and look each other in the eye, pausing for a few seconds.  Again, the day passes so quickly and it’s nice to rest in the moment and acknowledge what’s happening, before we rush ahead to the next things.  Pausing is ok! You’ve got time!

If you think Laura is awesome and would love to get in contact with her, here’s where you can reach her:

Email:          laura.giddey@gmail.com

Instagram: @celebrantlauragiddey

Facebook: Wedding Celebrant – Laura Giddey

Website: lauragiddey.co.nz

People we love: Nicola Wall – Celebrant

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “Tradie Tuesday”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

Nicola Wall  – Marriage celebrant

13466468_588719947976704_7233703327068383496_n

Business Name: Nicola Wall – Celebrant

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business? I am married to Tyron and have 3 children aged 7,5 and 1 1/2 . I’m trained, registered secondary school teacher (social sciences) who is currently at home running after no3 child and starting to look forward to picking up some part time teaching. I applied to become a celebrant initially because I had previously mentioned what an awesome job it would be – my little sister told me I had to do it as she could not find an available celebrant for any of her choices of wedding dates, and I have continued renewing my registration because I love it.

What do you love about your job? Absolutely no two weddings are the same.  I get to share in people’s most happiest of days and have a good stickybeak at the fabulous dresses, decorations and family dynamics!

nicola wall

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? I have 3 children – what spare time?

What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? Grooms need to try on their wedding trousers prior to the day.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? I wish people didn’t care so much what their families/tradition says – it’s good to a point, but the best weddings are the ones where the couples choose elements/elaborations that are uniquely ‘them’.

Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? Do you mean like the time the butterflies wouldn’t leave their cage at the conclusion of the ceremony? Or the bride that was 45 minutes late because of stock on the road and no cell phone coverage? Interrupting a wedding because the thunderstorm hit 2 minutes too early? The couple that nearly couldn’t get married because they’d not collected their licence in time?

nicola wall2

What 2 pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Don’t be scared to ask questions and think outside the square.

One insider tip/trick to pass on? There is no ‘right way’ for a wedding ceremony nor one size fits all.

Think Nicola sounds like ‘the best celebrant ever’? Then contact her here:

email: nicolawallcelebrant@gmail.com

Phone: 0272317174 or 4544277

Website: www.nicolawall.weebly.com

 

 

 

How well do you know each other?

All you need is love and … a cute/fun (I can’t stress the fun bit enough!!) quiz.

 

I saw this cute little questionnaire on social media a few weeks back, and I thought it would make a great post. So ask your partner these questions and record the answers. It’s supposed to be fun, so don’t punish the other person if they can’t answer the questions or you think their answers are wrong. And I take no responsibility for any arguments that may or may not happen as a result of any answers to  this quiz 🙂

Who knows you may learn something new about how your partner sees you!

 

1 What is something I always say to you?

2 What makes me happy?

3 What makes me sad?

4 What was I like as a child?

5 How tall am I?

6 What is my favourite thing to do?

7 What do I do when you’re not there?

8 What am I good at?

9 What am I not very good at?

10 If I became famous what would it be for?

11 What do I do as a job?

12 What makes you proud of me?

13 What is my favourite food?

14 What do you and I do together?

15 How are you and I the same?

16 If I was a cartoon character who would I be?

17 How are you and I different?

18 How do you know I love you?

19 Where is my favourite place to do?

20 How old was I when you met me?

Feel free to let me know how you got on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Tradie Tuesday” Be My Guest

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “Tradie Tuesday”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

2015-03-19 17.26.35

Be My Guest

Business Name: Be My Guest

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business? I’m Amanda, and I design wedding invitations and stationery. I believe wedding invitations should communicate exactly what your wedding day is all about – whether you’re going for a fun and relaxed day, something more sophiscated and elegant, or anything in between. I work out of my home office in Dunedin, but as I’m an online business I get to work with couples worldwide – I am about to send some invites to New York!

Navy Wedding Invitation with Gold Bellyband for Grandview Gardens Wedding

What do you love about your job: I love getting to problem solve – being given some ideas from a couple and then having an ‘a-ha!’ moment when an idea clicks into place that I know fits them and their wedding day perfectly. It’s such a high! I also love picking up the printed invites from the printers. The texture, lustre and colour cannot be replicated on the computer screen, so it’s very satisfying finally seeing the physical result, after working on it on the computer.

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? I’m a wedding nerd – in my spare time I run www.southernbride.co.nz – but I’m also Mum to Henry who is 3, so my days with him revolve around going swimming, grabbing a coffee with friends (not particularly relaxing with a pre-schooler) and tidying up after him … I’m not pariticularly glamorous! My husband works away from home during the week, but in the weekend I try to help him restore a beautiful old ’69 VF Valiant which I want to claim as my car!

pink pocketfold wedding invitations nz

What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? Don’t send your wedding invitations out too early! Your guests will lose the invite, you’ll change your mind on who you’re inviting, guests will procrastinate on RSVPing, they’ll RSVP and then change their mind – it’s not worth ‘being organised’ and sending them out months and months in advance.  Send a Save the Date if you’re worried and hold off till 3-4 months before to send your formal wedding invite.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? As much as I love Pinterest, it can promote some really unrealistic expectations, and be overwhelming if you don’t reign it in and keep focused.  It’s common for people to email me a photo or screenshot from Pinterest and ask ‘how much to get this invite’ Recreating someone else’s designs is illegal and unethical, and it’s an awful conversation to have with a couple, because 9 times out of 10 they don’t mean to put you in that situation.

rustic nz - tui wedding invite

Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? I have been really lucky to make some amazing friends – both former clients and wedding professionals. I’ve had coffee dates five times this last week and two of them were brides I have become friends with and the others were friends I’ve made who work in his industry. How cool is that?! I have a lot of people say ‘wow, you must get a lot of bridezillas’ when I tell them what I do.  I’ve been really lucky – I’ve never had one! There’s been some couples who are really particular about certain aspects of their wedding day,and perhaps some guests might see that as demanding or rude, but when you get to know why a couple might want things a certain way, it’s justified.

What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Start with a budget, and a guest list. If you don’t know how much you have to spend, or how many people you need to feed, you’re going to have a hard time making decisions on everything else down the track.

Also – just do one thing at a time. Yes, wedding planning is overwhelming – but I promise you it’s doable! Just pick one thing and work on that. Then worry about the next thing! If you’re really struggling, reach out to your wedding professionals for help, even if it’s not in their area of expertise. They have the answers or know people who can help.

One insider tip/trick to pass on? You don’t need one invite per guest it’s one invite per house-hold.  So if you’re having 150 guests, you’ll probably only need 80-90 invites.  It’s not uncommon to hear of couples who didn’t realise this till after they’ve sent out the invites – and buying too many invites is a waste of money! Also (ok this is sort of two tips, please forgive me) unless you’re hand delivering all your wedding invites, make sure they’ll fit within the ‘medium letter’ (1 stamp) size with NZ Post. Any larger and you’ll double your postage costs.

AE9E1374

 

 

From Engaged to Married – May Update

So the wedding planning train is still chugging along and slowly gaining momentum. There have been many stops this month, but now it’s full steam ahead, to destination: married. Here’s May’s update from Sharmain and Jeremy and their journey from Engaged to Married.

This month they have finally received a written agreement for use with their reception venue (woot woot) and have negotiated the terms on what they can and can’t do for their wedding. They have booked a caterer, which obviously couldn’t be done until after the confirmation with the venue, and now just have to work out menu options and prices with them.
They have a booked a meeting with a baker to look at cake options and pricing
.
They have also started designing the wedding  invitations and are currently working through the stressful task on finalizing the guest list.
The biggest struggle at this point in time is being able to arrange meetings with suppliers/vendors or to go look at things together as they both have only one full day off work a week, and it’s not the same day of the week.
Another thing they are going to have to work on is their  time management, as they get so far and then just stop and forget for a while. (I’m sure you are not the only ones that have that issue, I think when something feels like it is so far away, it is easy to think, “Oh, we have all the time in the world” editors comments ) The countdown is on, they only have 233 days to get this sorted!
They are at the point in their planning process where all the major things have been pretty much sorted and now they’re getting into sorting out the nitty gritty stuff and making sure they  get it all done with plenty of time to spare. The plan in the long run is to not have to do any major last minute jobs in the last three weeks leading up to the big day, so they have time to relax beforehand and not feel too stressed on the day. Hopefully!
Plus that way we have everything sorted before places start shutting down for the Christmas holidays.
Still currently looking for ceremony and vow ideas, there are soooo many!!
The next few things are, starting to look at suit and dress styles for the wedding party as well.