Our regular blog covering all aspects of our work helping couples plan their Antipodean wedding from the UK

Match your veil to your dress with Wedding Veils Australia

25 February 2011

I recently pointed a bride to be in the direction of Wedding Veils Australia, a Melbourne based company that specialises in exquisite custom made, hand crafted veils to match your wedding dress.   They have a gorgeous range in many lengths and colours, adorned with delicate edgings, crystals, diamantes and pearls and they even make mantilla veils for brides looking for something different.

Just email an image of your wedding dress and they do the rest.

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Cadbury's Cocoa House

23 February 2011

I have a few passions in life - travel, new world wine, shopping, weddings, family ... well you get the picture, but one passion I've had since I was a little girl that only strengthens with age is CHOCOLATE!!  Dark, milk or white, melted, cold, chunks or button, nutty, fruity, you name it, I love it!

Which why I simply must tell you all about my recent find - while shopping in London's Bluewater with a girlfriend and looking for a place to re-feul we literally walked into a sign that said 'Cadbury Cocoa House' and found a chocolate-coloured leather booth to sink into.  We were served a gorgeous afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, pastries and scones with clotted cream by a super friendly waitress in a french maid outfit all for only £12.50 pp.

I was so impressed that I took the hubby the following day AND have planned a spa day at Bluewater for my friend's hen day out just so we can all follow it up with an afternoon tea at the Cocoa House.

The menu also boasts choc'tails, hot and chilled chocolate drinks, knicker bocker glories, cakes, traditional rustic lunches and champagne.

It turns out Bluewater is the first of this chain.  Several London openings are scheduled for 2011 with UK wide roll out expected within five years.  So exciting!!

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Cocktail Craze

Cocktail parties have really made a come back and thank goodness coz they're my fave type of soiree and not just because they're a convenient way to entertain any kind of guest from neighbours to business associates. 

If you're a busy girl, like me, the typical time-frame for cocktail party is usually only two hours.  But of course the most important part is the liquid!

Whether you're an experienced cocktail party host, or just experimenting, here are some useful tips to help make your next party a successful event.

Stock up on plenty of ice. You'll need it for chilling as well as serving in drinks. Plan to have 1 pound of ice per guest.

Be prepared with an assortment of glass styles to cover the type of drinks you plan to serve.  Wine glasses for wines, juice and water, straight-sided highballs for tall drinks, tumblers for spirits and martini glasses. Try to have more on hand than you need.

For a 2 hour party, have one bottle of wine for every two guests and ensure you have a mix of white and red varieties.

For a basic bar you'll want to stock up on vodka, whiskey, wines and beer. If you're going the full hog, add gin, tequila, rum, bourbon, sherry, and brandy. Don't forget to stock up on mixers including orange juice, soda, tonic, ginger ale, cola, tomato juice, tabasco, lemons, limes, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce.

Consider hiring a bartender to mix the drinks for your party.  It will allow you much more time to socialise with your guests.

Have coffee available for guests that may need a little assistance at the end of the party. Your local taxi company phone number should also be handy and offered to any guests that shouldn't be driving.

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Vintage Couture

It's one of my fave themes and hugely popular these days so if you’re planning a vintage-themed wedding, it goes without saying that first on your list should be to find the perfect vintage wedding dress. 

Fashion is heavily influenced by eras and vintage fashion from as far back at the 20s is the hottest thing in bridal couture at the moment.

One of the best things about vintage wedding dresses is that they suit women of all shapes.  Back in the day, fashion was all about women with curves and distinct femininity (think Marilyn Monroe & structured corsets).
Vintage dress designs include lace, applique, beading and shawls, while headbands and fascinators are the perfect alternatives to a veil to complete the vintage-inspired look.

Stores like American Rag and Circa Vintage Clothing in Melbourne, The Vintage Clothing Shop in Sydney or La Bella Donna and Endo’s in Brisbane are brilliant for true vintage wedding dresses.

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What does a wedding planner do and do I need one?

17 February 2011

When it comes to planning a wedding, the devil is in the detail.  Wedding gowns, invitations and venues are usually the first order of business for brides-to-be, but what about all the little things that make the day truly special?

If planning your day seems like an overwhelming task, then it might be time to call in the experts.

Wedding planners offer different levels of service, from planning the entire event to organising just a few aspects. But what do wedding planners actually do and how will you benefit from having a professional help you plan the most important day of your life?

Wedding planners are like the perfect best friend – they have all the contacts, ideas and experience to help you plan your dream day.

You can hire a planner to organise a few of the big ticket items, such as sourcing a space or providing creative inspiration, or you can hire a professional to handle all the finishing touches such as directing the crowd and ensuring the band plays the right song on cue.

A resourceful planner can point you in the right direction and help you find exactly what you want with the minimum of fuss and provide sound advice. A good wedding planner is also equiped to handle more delicate tasks, such as calming frayed nerves and smoothing out any hiccups that may pop up.

Hiring a planner may even save you money, as most planners have strong relationships with suppliers and are skilled at negotiating lower prices. They are also aware of all the hidden costs associated with big events, such as security, bottle removal and cake-cutting fees, which can help you avoid a budget blow-out.

When it comes to deciding on a planner, it is crucial to do your research and hire an experienced operator you feel 100% comfortable with.

When it comes to researching planners, websites will give you a good first impression, but you should make appointments and meet potential planners in person to make sure you are comfortable with their approach and style of work.

For brides who want to work with a planner, timing is reasonably important. Consider employing a planner eight to 12 months before your wedding date. The more time you have, the more choices you have when it comes to suppliers, especially if you’re planning to wed in peak seasons, such as spring and summer.

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Ballet-Inspired Bridal Fashion

15 February 2011

I'm still a performing, whirling, twirling princess ballerina at heart (and behind closed doors) so anything dramatic and dance related inspires me.  Indulge over thse fabulous ballet inspired wedding images.

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Textographer - immortalising your favorite photos

Everyone loves a unique way to immortalize their loved ones, and this is a stunning idea!
Textographer uses your photos and any text you can dream up to create personalized art. Select your photo then add your text to finish the design - it could be a favourite song or a love letter, the possibilities are endless.
Love it!

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e+k charms

10 February 2011

e+k charms transform your most treasured keepsakes into timeless, personalised jewellery.  A shell from the beach you explored on your honeymoon; a leaf from your from your wedding bouquet; a shell from the spot where he proposed. 

Head over heels!!

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Loving Rhonda Hemmingway

9 February 2011

Can't get enough of Rhonda Hemmingway's gorgeously feminine bridal gowns.  It's no wonder why her designs have earned her a reputation for being one of Sydney’s finest couturiers.

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Top 10 Australian Honeymoon Destinations

8 February 2011

• Broome, Western Australia
A tropical oasis, Bromme is the southern gateway to Western Australia’s spectacular Kimberley region and is located right on the doorstep of the Indian Ocean.  Be captivated by the stunning turquoise waters, red sandstone cliffs and endless expanse of white sand on Cable Beach.

• Byron Bay, New South Wales
Beautiful, laid-back and brimming with natural romantic beauty, Byron Bay has been a long-time favourite with honeymooners. 

• Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
The Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair World Heritage National Park provides a stunning setting for your romantic getaway.   In winter, the area is transformed into a white wonderland where you can snuggle with your partner in front of a roaring open fire while sampling the best of Tassie’s gourmet food and wine.

• Margaret River, Western Australia
A town nestled discreetly amid ferns, palms and native Jarrah trees and boasting spectacular surf (the best in WA).  Take in the sumptuous delights of this famous wine region, wander through gorgeous national parks or, if you want to get the adrenaline racing, try skydiving.

• Marysville, Victoria
Located in a beautiful mountain setting is this sub-alpine resort town that’s a winter base for the cross-country ski fields of Lake Mountain.  Offering bushwalking, scenic attractions and old-fashioned timber guesthouses.  The highlight is undoubtedly a moonlight walk to see the magnificent Stevenson Falls; track and falls are lit up every night from dusk until midnight.

• Noosa, Queensland
Noosa has long been regarded as one of Australia’s premier honeymoon destinations.  Pristine beaches, superb food, great shopping and astounding natural beauty make it a magnet for newlyweds looking to escape and unwind.

• Orpheus Island, Queensland
If you’re looking for something a little different, consider this exclusive island adult getaway.  Orpheus Island is situated south of Cairns and offers the discerning couple premium service, fine dining and total seclusion.  The island is surrounded by tropical fish coral and white sandy beaches and is committed to eco-tourism.

• Whitsundays, Queensland
Cool cocktails, warm days, tropical fruit, succulent fresh seafood and the best sunsets – this group of some 74 islands bordered by the Great Barrier Reef has it all.  There is a vast array of activities to engage in or why not charter a chopper and spend an unforgettable day marooned on an atoll!

• Central Australia, Northern Territory
What could be more romantic than a desert holiday in the heart of Australia?  Alice Springs is a perfect base from which to explore the Red Centre, allowing easy access to all its natural wonders.  A hot air balloon ride over the springs offers unrivalled views of the desert scenery.  Watch the colours of Uluru wax and wane in the sunlight before spending the night in the ultimate desert oasis.  Ride camels through the red dirt at sunrise and enjoy the clean air and sheer magnitude of the outback.  The territory has got everything from ‘five star’ to ‘under the stars’ accommodation.

• Port Douglas, Queensland
A favourite escape for the rich and famous, Port Douglas is the closest gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.  It’s a rare blend of relaxed seaside village ambience and sophisticated tropical paradise.  Browse exclusive boutiques, experience fine dining, play golf or explore the nearby world heritage Daintree and Cape Tribulation rainforests.

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An Australian Beach Wedding

7 February 2011

Are you planning to get married on the warm sand dunes of an infamous beach, or tie-the-knot ankle deep in crystal clear water in a tropical destination?  Or if the sand between your perfectly manicured toes doesn’t do it for you, why not exchange vows in one of the many beautiful waterside restaurants and function centres with sparkling views?

The beauty of planning a beach wedding is it’s relatively straight-forward.  Decide on the venue or beach you prefer and apply to the local council for permission to use the space.  Most council’s charge a minimal fee for use of public spaces, which covers insurance costs and reserves the spot for your use; but there are few things to keep in mind.  Here’s a brief checklist:

• Some beaches and public places require permits.  You should always check with the local council prior to your wedding day to make sure you follow all the correct procedures.

• If you’re planning a beach wedding, or any outdoor wedding, a wet weather plan is a must.  Monitor the Bureau of Meteorology’s website for a four-day forecast. Marquee hire companies need at least 24 hours notice if you need some last-minute shelter.

• If your wedding falls in the middle of summer, keep your sweltering guests in mind and have bottled water and sunscreen on hand to keep them cool and protected.

• Consider the time of year.  Keep a close eye on the calendar when booking your wedding ceremony to avoid being drowned out by nearby swimming or surfing competitions and remember, Aussie beaches get pretty crowded in the summer months!

• When booking your ceremony location find out whether other wedding parties have also booked the same venue, as there may be time restrictions on wedding ceremonies in public places.

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Overcoming Tricky Wedding Planning Issues

Negotiating makes me nervous – If this how you feel, you’re not alone. Finding the right team to fulfil your vision takes a bit of groundwork and while options are geat, too many can be overwhleming, so after researching your vendors, only meet with your top three and then be honest and up front with what you need.
There’s no sense in investigating suppliers with rates that’ll blow your budget, but you’ll have more room to negotiate if you explain how much you have to work with and ask for advice on how their service can fit your budget.

The parents are too invloved – Some parents, even with the best will in the world, get in the way rather than actually help out so set the boundaries from the beginning. Communication is key here. Discuss the level of involvement, assign tasks and pick your battles. If you let everyone feel like they’re contributing it will make your planning much easier.

Adults Only – Consider your reasons for wanting an adult only affair. Is it cost related, venue restrictions or because of burgeoning guest numbers? Is the style or location of your celebration unsuitable or unsafe for children? Or is it because you feel that little ones could be disruptive or steal the show? Once you've defined the rationale, clearly explain your decisions to those of your gests with children. Having a conversation is always better than simpy stating ‘no children’ on your invites.

Cant stand the pressure – Make a list of all the tasks you have to complete in order of priority. Note how long each will take and its deadline. Then, share the load. Delegation will make your life so much easier so don't feel rude about spreading out some of your tasks among family and bridesmaids. There’s no better or more appropriate time to ask for help. When it comes to doing things yourself, use your time wisely, take your laptop with you to work on the train or a diary to scribble notes when you’re out and about.

Seating plan problems – Before deciding where to seat guests wait for RSVPs to come in, then create a diagram to illustrate who knows who – everyone shoul have at least one familar face at their table if at all possible.

Family fued issues – You cant control who does or doesn't get along among your wedding guests but you can control how you handle it.
If you’re aware of any strife among family members, such as divorced parents, you and your fiance should discuss the issue prior to the big day and set some boundaries. It may also help to give a list of special insructions to your photographer.

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about ididjeridoo

Aussie girl heads to London in search of adventure and soon falls for Kiwi boy. The pair begin to plan their Sydney wedding from across the globe and quickly discover a distinct lack of help available for UK based Antipodeans returning 'home' to tie the knot. How many couples are struggling with their long distance wedding planning just like us, they wondered ...

more about ididjeridoo here

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Shadan of ididjeridoo

Shadan is the Aussie girl who married a Kiwi boy, and discovered first hand the lack of help available for UK-based Antipodeans returning "home" to marry.

After more than a decade of customer focused roles, including personal assistant and events coordination, Shadan longed for a new challenge, doing something she was truly passionate about.

From a genuine desire to put her knowledge and love of all things wedding-y to good use, sprung forth a unique concept that makes long distance wedding planning special and simple for brides just like Shadan...

Read more about Shadan here

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