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Dos and don’ts for wedding flowers


dos and don'ts for wedding flowers

Picture: Brides in Bloom

Flowers are one of the most beautiful and visually appealing part of any wedding. From bouquets to centrepieces and beyond, they bring a sense of style, scent and sophistication to a theme and colour scheme. That said, they can be tricky to pull off. So with this in mind, we’ve compiled a handy list of dos and don’ts to help you plan a blooming lovely celebration.

DO…

Give your florist a colour palette to work with, rather than insisting on specific flowers. This will allow them to create a stunning design that falls within your budget, since they know how to work around factors such as the time of year and the season, both of which play a key role in the availability, and thus price, of certain blooms.

DON’T…

Use floral displays to cover up less polished-looking parts of the venue, such as the fire exit. All you’ll really do is make sure they draw the eye of your guests. Instead, use your flowers to draw attention to the breathtaking parts of the room, such as the tables, the cake or even the dance floor.

dos and don't for wedding flowers

Image: Kate Dawes Flower Design

DO…

Make sure your bouquet is manageable. Larger bouquets look absolutely stunning in photos, but so do smaller ones. So be realistic about your capabilities. If you don’t have the upper arm strength to go heavy, go petite, and remember – all eyes will be on you anyway.

DON’T…

DIY your flowers if you can help it. Thinking practically, your blooms will need to be purchased and arranged the morning of the big day, which is a big job all on its own. And honestly, it’s the last thing you need to be worried about when there’s thing like hair and make-up going on. So leave it to a pro and focus on getting ready yourself.

DO…

Incorporate non-floral elements in your ceremony and reception displays. Everything from your bouquets to your reception table centrepieces can be jazzed up with non-floral elements such as lights, candles, jewellery, candy and even grasses. Alternatively, use your flowers in unexpected ways, such as to decorate a gorgeous getaway car.

dos and don'ts for wedding flowers

Image: Sally Wright Flower Studio

DON’T…

Choose flowers that are sensitive to heat if you are having a summer wedding. We all know how warm Aussie days can get, and there’s a chance they will start to wilt and lose appeal before your ceremony is even over.

DO…

Invite your florist – if they’re not already familiar with them – to make a personal inspection of your wedding venues. This will give them a better idea of what you need to bring your vision to life and will greatly aid their creative process by giving a sense of scope, dimension, ceiling heights and more.

DON’T…

Choose flowers with a strong perfume for your table centrepieces as the scent will overpower your food. And with the care – and dollars! – that went into picking your menu, you don’t want attention turning anywhere else.

dos and don'ts for wedding flowers

Image: Basia Puchalski Floral Design

DO…

Tell your florist if there are any particular flowers that mean something to you. For example, if your dad grew roses or your grandmother wore gardenia scent, they may be able to incorporate them in your blooms for a lovely sentimental tribute.

DON’T…

Be obvious. Brides can sometimes feel hemmed in by tradition and the need to go with what’s in fashion or on trend. But it’s better to think outside the box and ask for what you really want, rather than what you think you should want. Remember the golden rule of wedding planning – it’s your day so plan it your way.

Wedding night accommodation

Traditionally it is the groom’s responsibility to arrange the wedding night accommodation, but it’s always a good idea to make some suggestions and be clear about the type of wedding night you are anticipating. This will help to avoid confusion or disappointment on one of the most special nights of your lives.

wedding night accomodation

These top tips will help you to decide on the right wedding night accommodation for you:

Talk to your fiance about whether you want to party all night with your guests, and then meet them again for breakfast, or whether you want the wedding night and the next morning to be private time for just the two of you. If you agree on the first you should book wedding night accommodation in the same hotel as your guests, otherwise you might want to look for a hotel further away.

Try not to book wedding night accommodation too far from your venue. After a busy day and a decent amount of champagne you will probably be asleep before you reach the hotel if you have a long drive to get there. If you are flying off on honeymoon early the next morning you might consider staying at an airport hotel as you won’t have to get up so early the next day. Make sure you arrange transport from your venue to the hotel.

Check out any special offers your venue has on wedding night accommodation. If they have a bridal suite they may offer it to you for free because you have spent so much with them, or if they don’t offer accommodation they may have arranged discounts with local hotels. You can sometimes get a really good deal through your venue so it can’t hurt to ask.

Wedding accomodation

Be prepared to splash out on your wedding night accommodation as it is a once in a lifetime occasion and you deserve a little luxury and comfort. Don’t forget that you will only be there for a short time if you are leaving early the next day, however. There’s no point in paying extra for unlimited use of the spa if you are arriving in the middle of the night and checking out before lunch.

If you are only staying one night try to find a hotel that will let you check out late. You want your first morning as newly weds to be a relaxed and romantic occasion so you shouldn’t be worrying about getting breakfast in a hurry and leaving before 10am.

When you are looking for wedding night accommodation, ask what the hotel can do to make your stay just that bit more special. Many hotels offer extras for newly weds including fresh flowers, chocolates, music, champagne, strawberries, or fancy toiletries including massage or bath oils.

Don’t leave it too late to book your wedding night accommodation. Many couples spend hours researching local hotels for their guests to stay in, and even get reduced rates for those attending the wedding, but when they come to book something for themselves they find that everywhere is full of wedding guests. Try to book something before you send out your wedding invitations if wedding night accommodation isn’t available at your venue or included in your wedding package.

How to take the perfect engagement ring selfie


Image: ListWithAmy via Instagram.

Image: ListWithAmy via Instagram.

Despite gaining popularity as the 2013 Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year, not everyone’s a fan of the ‘selfie’, but even the haters will appreciate a pout-free self-portrait when your partner puts a ring on it.

Make sure your engagement ring selfie stands out on Instagram and doesn’t fade into the Facebook feed with these tips for taking the perfect post-engagement selfie:

Preparation

Your ring might be the biggest, whitest, sparkliest diamond known to mankind, but if your nails look like you just finished weeding the garden and your hair looks a mess, it will seriously detract from the overall effect. Give your nails a tidy up; file evenly and splash a coat of polish around for added glam. If they require professional attention, hold off until after the salon. Even if the news breaks, social media will wait for the ring selfie, so make it a statement!

Image: xoxo_rje via Instagram with the lovely caption, "Pinky promises."

Image: xoxo_rje via Instagram with the lovely caption, “Pinky promises.”

Lighting

According to the Selfie Brush – yes, such a thing exists – using flash can flatten your features, so it’s best to use natural light. Head outdoors or perch beside an open window and let the sun shine brightly on your brand new rock. *TIP: avoid fluorescent lights at all costs.

engagement ring selfie

Source: Instagram

Backdrop

Before snapping, look at your surroundings. The whole world doesn’t need to see your messy bedroom or hair spray collection in the bathroom vanity. Whether you’re getting your pearly whites in the pic or taking a hand-only shot, make sure the background isn’t going to detract from the photo’s focal point. Solid coloured walls and bench tops work a treat.

Go-to glossary for wedding cakes

wedding cake glossary

Photo: Momentous Occasions and Events

The language of wedding cakes can seem like a very strange beast indeed. Fondant, sugar flowers, ganache, petal dust … they’re all terms you’re going to come across in choosing your perfect cake. But what exactly do they mean?

Don’t stress if you don’t know, as that’s where this glossary comes in – with a crash course in common terms that will guide you through the process of ombre, over the top and more. Let the sweetness begin…

Dragees

Dragees may sound like something that’s vaguely Scottish, but they’re not. Far from it in fact. They’re actually the little sugar balls used to decorate cakes. They commonly come in silver or gold but, as with anything modern weddings, bespoke creations can cover the full gamut of hues and of tastes.

Buttercream

Just like the name suggests, buttercream is a delicious blend of butter, sugar and eggs, which can be used as a delicious filling or as a rich type of icing. One of the drawbacks of using buttercream is that it does not withstand heat particularly well. That means you need to consider your venue before placing your order. Otherwise, you could end up with a melted wedding cake guaranteed to melt your good mood. But if you do have access to good air-conditioning, it’s rich, creamy and looks especially beautiful with a tint.

wedding cake glossary

Photo: Create Cake by Sharon Brideson

Fondant

Fondant is a type of sugar dough which is fairly elastic and can be used to cover cakes to ensure a beautifully smooth finish. It can also be embossed to create texture or to add draping and moulded elements across tiers. Best of all, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, making it perfect for outdoor weddings.

Ganache

Ganache is a rich chocolate filling which is not quite as dense as fudge but is slightly thicker than a mousse. It is most often used as a filling in between the layers of a wedding cake but, if you’re looking for a real taste sensation, it can also serve as the icing.

Tiers

Chances are, you already know what this one means. But just in case, let’s recap. A tier equates to one level of a wedding cake. They shouldn’t be confused with layers, though, as there can be several layers joined with filling in a single tier.

wedding cake glossary

Photo: AB FAB Cakes

Pulled sugar

Pulled sugar is an incredibly intricate decorative technique which takes lots of patience and practice. It involves pulling and twisting hot sugar into such designs as ribbons and bows. As you can imagine, the final result is incredibly fragile, so it’s definitely one you need to handle with care.

Piping

Piping is a very delicate art needing a fine touch and plenty of patience. Needless to say, the bakers and decorators who are skilled at this art can create breathtaking designs. Their work involves using a pastry bag filled with royal icing to ‘draw’ various designs, including flowers, lace, borders and more. The end result is always spectacular.

Dotted Swiss

Dotted Swiss is another style of piping, which is particularly popular for wedding cakes. It replicates the appearance of dotted Swiss fabric by using lots of tiny dots of icing. These can be particularly striking in monochrome or if you have coloured tiers with white dots.

wedding cake glossary

Photo: Cake Atelier

Basketweave

Basketweave is one of the most common decorative techniques you will see on a wedding cake. As per the name, the design features interwoven lines which, you guessed it, resemble a wicker basket. You most often see basketweave created in white on a white cake to add texture to a restrained and simple wedding cake design.

Royal icing

This type of icing is made from egg whites and sugar and forms a thick and sturdy frosting that is ideal for intricate piping. The only thing to watch for is that as it dries it becomes harder and more brittle, so you need to treat it gently.

Sugarpaste or gumpaste

Sugarpaste, also commonly known as gumpaste, is a type of sugar dough used to create decorations such as ribbons and flowers. It seems very similar to fondant, but the main difference is that it hardens when it dries, making it better suited to decorative elements.

wedding cake glossary

Photo: Studio Cakes

Latticework

With the same principles as latticework in the garden, this involves strips of icing being crisscrossed in order to create a regular pattern of open spaces.

Petal dust

Petal dust is a shimmering powdered pigment which can be used to add lustre, sparkle and shine to a cake. It is often used to create realistic shading in sugarpaste flowers or leaves, and is one of those little details which can really take a wedding cake to the next level.

Cornelli

This is an elaborate piping technique which helps to give cakes a more vintage feel. The pattern it produces has almost a lace effect and, like basketweave, it is often fashioned in white on white.

Pillars

Pillars are a handy tool for people who don’t want to just rest the tiers of their wedding cake on top of each other. Not only are they a practical way to give the tiers breathing room, they also add height to the confection and, usually being made of wood or plastic, can be styled to suit the theme of the cake and wedding.

Vintage wedding car hire

The romance and charm of vintage wedding car make them a popular choice with couples the world over, especially with those having a traditional or classic themed wedding. Vintage wedding car hire can be more complex than hiring a modern car, however, so here are seven tips to make sure you get the ride of your life:

vintage wedding car

Look for a significant make or model

If you want to hire a vintage car, try to find one that has special meaning to you. Perhaps you could hire a similar car to the one your parents used at their wedding, or you could find a model that was built the year you were born? If your father or grandfather used to drive a particular car you could hire one of those.

Check out the replacement policy

Most wedding car suppliers will have a policy whereby they will replace your chosen car with a suitable alternative if it should break down or be unavailable for another reason. If you are hiring a vintage car it’s more likely that you will need the replacement service than with a modern car, so it’s a good idea to check out the supplier’s replacement and make sure you are as happy with that as with your chosen car.

Confirm parking arrangements

Check parking arrangements with your venues to make sure there is somewhere suitable for your wedding car to wait. Vintage cars are often larger than modern cars and can be harder to manoeuvre, so check that your chauffeur will have enough space to park.

vintage wedding car

Practise a graceful exit

When you arrange a time for your chauffeur to pick you up you should allow plenty of time to take some initial photographs, and get to the ceremony. You may also want to allow a few minutes to practise getting in and out of the car in your bridal gown as a vintage car will be a different shape and size from the cars you are used to, and you will want to be sure you can make an elegant exit.

Use your car as a photo backdrop

Vintage cars are beautiful and full of character, so make full use of your wedding car by including it in the wedding photos. If possible have it parked against a beautiful backdrop and have your group photos taken next to it. At least make sure you have a number of couple shots taken with it, and that your groom has at least one photo taken behind the wheel. Vintage car shots can look great in black and white or sepia, so discuss possibilities with your wedding photographer beforehand.