Complete Details for Wedding Gown Cleaning and Preservation

Complete Facts on Wedding Gown Cleaning and Preservation

Getting your wedding gown cleaned and preserved as soon after your wedding as possible helps to give you the very best possible results. You can still have your gown cleaned and preserved years later, but the delay can cause problems. Which of the three wedding gown preservation methods is best?

There are many wedding gown preservation companies that all claim their particular method is best. It doesn’t need to be confusing when you have the facts. This special report is designed to educate you, so that you can understand for yourself the three methods with their various pros and cons.

When you’ve competed this report you’ll have the facts you need to decide which method you want to use for your wedding gown preservation.

What you’ll find inside this Wedding Gown Preservation Report:

Chapter 1
The 5 Top Reasons to Have Your Wedding Gown Cleaned and Preserved:
-Remember your special day
-Celebrate an anniversary
-For use by a family member
-For a christening dress
-For a bassinette cover

Chapter 2
How should your wedding gown be cleaned:
-Dry-cleaning
-Wet-cleaning

Chapter 3
The three types of wedding gown preservation:
-Boxed method
-Sealed Boxed method
-Bagging method

Chapter 4
Debunking the myths, misinformation and out right lies:
-Boxed vs. Bagging
-“Museum” storage
-Cloth bag storage
-Boxed storage
-Sealed boxed storage
-Examining the dress
-Mold and mildew growth
-Insect infestation
-Allowing the fabric to breathe

Chapter 5
The goals of wedding gown preservation:
-Yellowing
-Permanent creases
-Brown spots and oxidation

Chapter 6
Upgrade offers:
-What’s included in an upgrade
-What’s the value of an upgrade
-Why is an upgrade offered

Chapter 7
Wedding gown cleaning and preservation summary.

Chapter 1

5 Top Reasons to Have Your Wedding Gown Clean and Preserved.

1. The first and foremost reason is obviously because it is your wedding gown. It is the most expensive dress you’ll ever own and it’s part of the celebration of the most important day of your life. It is the dress in all of your wedding pictures. It is one of the things you’ll remember most about your wedding.

Sure you have your pictures, but to actually be able to see your actual wedding dress beautifully preserved will always bring back a flood of wonderful memories.

2. You may want to wear it to celebrate your 5th, or 10th or 25th wedding anniversary. You could put it on a mannequin and display it for an anniversary celebration.

3. Wedding gown preservation keeps your dress in perfect condition so your sister or your own daughter or even granddaughter can wear it on their wedding day. (It happens more often then you may think and is a wonderful opportunity for you and the lucky girl who wears it.)

4. Many brides are making a christening dress from their wedding gown. Being able to make your wedding gown into a dress that your precious daughter will wear on this important day is something to look forward to. It can start a great family tradition and heirloom.

5. Something that is beginning to take off in popularity is making a bassinette cover made out of it. This can easily be done and provides a wonderful reminder of your special day and the special little one inside the bassinette.

No matter the reason, wedding gown preservation is important. You may not think so now, but years from now you don’t want to regret that you missed the opportunity. There will be a time when you’ll want your wedding gown in beautiful condition again.

After the wedding many brides just leave their dress in the plastic garment bag thinking they’ll get it preserved “sometime”. There is always good intentions, but that “sometime” turns into weeks or even years. By procrastinating you may be in for some serious risks to your gown.

You know your wedding gown has some stains on it. There is the dirt, grass stains, and sometimes asphalt parking lot oil on the hem of your dress. Then there is the underarm deodorant, the perspiration, the body oils, the make-up, the spray tan that gets on the dress. There may even be a wine spill or two.

There can also be stains that are not easily visible, like soda, champagne, or cake frosting. Stains caused by any liquid will oxidize over time and turn brown. The longer any stain sets, or oxidizes the more difficult it is to remove. It’s important to have your wedding gown cleaned and preserved to prevent this from happening.

Keeping your gown in a plastic bag is probably the worst storage situation possible. Plastic is made from petroleum and gives off fumes. These chemical fumes causes yellowing in your dress. That’s also why you should never take your dress to a dry-cleaner and leave it in the plastic bag it comes home in.

Hanging your dress can cause additional problems. Your wedding gown is very heavy and hanging it will stretch the fabric and the seams. If your dress has sleeves then the weight of the dress will stretch the seams in the sleeve. If it’s strapless or you hang your dress by the side-seam hanging loops the manufacturer provides you’ll stretch the fabric and the side-seams. And for those dresses with a long heavy train the same can be true of the hanging loop for the train.

Wedding gown preservation done right can protect your treasured keepsake.

Chapter 2

How should your wedding gown be cleaned?

There are two types of cleaning methods: dry-cleaning and wet-cleaning.

Dry-cleaning really isn’t dry at all. Dry-cleaning refers to not using water for cleaning. It is cleaning with a petroleum solvent as the cleaning agent. The most common agent for dry-cleaning is perchloroethylene – “perc” for short. It is an excellent degreaser and can be used on all fabrics including silk, acetate, rayon and polyester. It can cause damage to some sequins and beads. It can melt the coating on some beads and melt the glue if the beads and sequins are glued onto the fabric.

Stoddard solvent is not as popular because it is more expensive and it has more regulations for it’s use – like it cannot be used in a facility in a strip mall. It is an excellent degreaser but has the added advantage that it will not harm beads or sequins.

Exxon DF-2000 is also a petroleum based solvent. It will not harm beads or sequins, but is not as good of a degreaser as Stoddard solvent. It does have fewer regulations so it is more popular for some dry-cleaning establishments.

Cleaning should be done with what is called “Virgin Solvent”. Virgin solvent is solvent that has been specially cleaned and filtered before each use. Many dry-cleaners use the same solvent over and over which means the solvent can retain residual oils and “dirt” which can be re-deposited on your dress. Dirty solvent will also leave a “dry-clean” smell on your dress.

Wet-cleaning, using water to clean your dress has several advantages. Water is best for removing any type of sugar stain, food stain or plain dirt on the hem. It is a poor degreaser, (but petroleum solvents cannot remove sugar or food stains.) Wet-cleaning also removes the sizing in fabrics (sizing is a starch like substance that is used to give “body” to the fabric by the manufacturer). Sizing in fabrics attract mice and insects. Proper wet-cleaning will not leave any odor in your gown.

The care label inside your wedding gown should indicate which method is recommended by the manufacturer.

Experience is the most important criteria to consider in selecting who should do your wedding gown cleaning and preservation. Asking questions is the most effective method to determine their experience. How long have they been in business? Do they specialize in wedding gowns, or only clean them once in awhile? Do they examine each dress individually or just place it in with all of their regular cleaning?

Chapter 3

The 3 Types of Wedding Gown Preservation

The three types of wedding gown preservation are:
1. Plain Boxed method
2. Sealed Box method
3. Bagging method. Let’s examine each.

The Plain Boxed method. Your wedding gown is cleaned first and then is placed on a cardboard bust form. The bust form and dress are secured in the box. If the bust form was not secured properly in the box, the dress would slide and end up in a messy heap in the bottom of the box. The dress is folded and layered with tissue paper. The box may or may not have a windowed display area. The box is closed and sent to you.

Sealed Boxed method. This method is the same as the Plain Boxed method except it goes a step further in your wedding gown preservation protection. The box is sealed completely. It is sealed to keep out moisture and to keep out insects.

Bagging method. Again the gown is cleaned first and then it is hung usually on a padded hanger and then placed in some kind of cloth bag.

Chapter 4

Debunking the myths, lies and misinformation.

Let’s discuss these methods and debunk some of the misinformation, misunderstanding and out right lies being published on the internet about wedding gown preservation methods.

First, understand that the companies who use each of these methods try and get you to believe that their method is best. But let’s look at the logical and scientific facts.

Boxed vs. Bagging. The Boxed methods provide a convenient sized preservation box that can easily be stored under a bed or in the bottom of a closet. Bagging, depending on the size of your wedding gown can be very bulky and take up a considerable amount of closet space, especially if your gown was fuller or had a train. Consider where you would store your preserved wedding gown and how much storage space you have.

The Bagging method is also referred to as “Museum” storage or “Museum Quality” storage. The pitch behind this is that museums store their dresses in bags and not boxes. That is partially true. Even their own information explains that these museums also store dresses folded in drawers.

Museums do store most of their dresses in bags. Most of their dresses are thin A-lines and regular women’s wear dresses throughout the ages. These can easily be hung, take up very little “closet” space and will only need light touch-up and preparation for display.

It is different with bulky dresses, dresses with trains and wedding dresses. As mentioned before, if they are bagged and hung they take up a considerable amount of closet space. Also if they are hung the weight of the dress can cause the fabric the stretch. Have you felt the weight of some of the wedding dresses?

The dress manufacturer sews a ribbon loop into the seam of the dress and recommends hanging it from those loops. Yes, the loops can be reinforced but still the entire weight of the dress is suspended from the seams and it will cause the fabric to stretch. If the dress is a light weight “destination style” dress then this won’t matter.

If the dress has sleeves and it is hung from the sleeves the stretching can be worse. The shape of the sleeve can be deformed. The hanger can leave permanent marks in the top of the sleeves.
Other advantages this method purports to have is inspection of the dress and no folding of the fabric. When the wedding gown preservation is done with the Bagging method you can open the bag and easily examine the dress. If the dress is short with no train, then it shouldn’t have any folds. If it has a train then the train will be hung by a ribbon loop in its seam and will be folded about half way up the train, this will cause a double fold back for the last 12″-24″ of the train, from the hanging loop to the hem of the train. Remember how the train on your wedding dress was hung in the bag when you took it to your wedding. It will be hung the same way for this method. So dresses with trains will always have at least two folds in them using the Bagging method. (If they really don’t hang the train by the hanging loops then the entire train will be a wrinkled mess piled in the bottom of the bag – there is no place else for it to go).

Lastly, the cloth storage bag that is used in the Bagging method should be addressed. There are two areas of concern in regards to insect infestation when using a cloth bag for storage. Insects can get into the tiniest places and through the smallest cracks and openings. We have all experienced spiders, earwigs, pill bugs and other insects in some pretty unusual locations. The closure area, in many bags it’s a zipper in the Bagging method it is usually tied shut. This can provide an opportunity of insects entering at the ties or in between them. Second is the hole in the top of the bag where the hanger goes through. Insects can enter at this opening and get in a ruin your dress.

Cloth bags do let air pass through but that also means moisture can also pass through to the dress. As the humidity rises there’s more moisture in the air and therefore in the fabric of your dress. It really doesn’t mater much unless the humidity gets too high and that can promote mildew growth on the fabric.

Something else that can happen with the cloth bags. Cats, dogs and mice especially like to “mark” their territory. It has happened where an animal has urinated on the bag to mark their territory. Obviously it can soak through the cloth bag and onto the wedding dress. The dress would then have to be re-cleaned.

OK, now lets discuss the Boxed method. Two types of boxes can be used, one with a windowed display area in the top and the other just plain cardboard box. This is really a personal preference for each individual to decide.

With this method of wedding gown preservation the dress is cleaned first. It is then steamed and pressed. Then it is placed on a shaped bust form to fill out the top of the dress and makes it display better. The bust form is attached to the box so that the dress doesn’t slide around in the box and end up in a heap at the bottom of the box.

As the dress is placed in the box it is folded and layered with acid free tissue paper. This layering is to protect and soften the folds. If it is a plain cardboard box then a final layer of tissue paper is placed on top of the dress. If the box is a windowed display box then this layer is not used so you can see your dress through the display window.

The box can then be stored under a bed or in the bottom of a closet.

The Sealed Box method goes through the same process with the added step of sealing the entire box.

What are the advantages and disadvantages to each. The Boxed method says you can open the box see the dress to make sure it’s yours and to examine it. If it’s a windowed display box, you don’t need to open it to make sure it’s your dress – you can see it through the window.

However, there are problems if you think you can just open the box and examine the dress. First, you should never touch a cleaned and preserved wedding gown unless you have white cloth gloves on. You may or may not have clean hands, but your hands will have body oils on them and so you need gloves.

If you have white cloth gloves then when you open the box you’ll discover the bust form is attached to the box, so you’ll need to unattached it. Next you’ll need to unfold the dress, layer by layer to examine the train which will be the bottom layer in the box. Once you are satisfied you’ll need to refold the dress as it was before and reattach the bust form. This sounds considerably easier than it is.
If you actually take the dress out of the box, you’ll find it even more difficult getting everything back in the box properly.

Something else to absolutely make sure of before you open the box and try to examine your dress is the wedding gown preservation company’s guarantee. It may or may not say you can open the box and examine your dress. It may say you can open the box to examine your dress but doesn’t specifically say whether you can take the dress out of the box. If it isn’t specific then you should ask specific questions to make sure of what you can or can’t do that would void their guarantee.

Wedding gown preservation companies must protect themselves from the situation where a bride can take her dress out of the box, wear it, get something on it, put it back in the box and claim that the stain or dirt or whatever was never gotten out in the original cleaning and preservation process and demand it be reprocessed for free.

Don’t assume that just because the box is not sealed that you can open it, examine the dress and or take it out and not void the guarantee… you need to check first.

Boxes that are not sealed are susceptible to insect infestation. Insects love to get into small thin opening and into the fabric to build their nests. Just because the box is closed doesn’t mean insects can’t get in.

The same warning applies to Boxes as to the Bags when it comes to animals marking their territory. Cardboard protects better than a cloth bag but still can be ruined by an animal urinating on it.
Moisture and humidity can also vary in an unsealed box – same warnings apply.

What about the Sealed Box method then? It provides all of the benefits of the Boxed method with much more protection. You don’t have to worry about animals or insects.

What about examining the dress and the question of moisture and mildew in a sealed box? A number of the wedding gown preservation companies site these two reasons as a warning to not use the Sealed Box method.

Let’s address them one at a time.

Here’s the actual science on mold and mildew growth from a publication by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science. Optimal conditions for mildew to grow is 70%-98% relative humidity and 77-88 degrees Fahrenheit. When relative humidity is less than 62% mildew growth ceases completely.

So if your wedding gown is either boxed or bagged but not sealed you run the risk of mildew if you have high humidity and warm temperatures. If you live in an area of the country where the humidity level can be higher than 70% your unsealed exposed wedding gown can run the risk of mildew growing on it. You could also run the same risk of mildew if your box is sealed and you have sealed in that high moisture content in the box and dress.

So for optimal wedding gown preservation you want to have the Sealed Boxed method with little or no moisture sealed in the box. That would mean you need to make sure that your wedding gown preservation company dries your dress and controls the humidity prior to sealing the box.

Another objection some companies have about the Sealed Boxed method is that the fabric should be allowed to breathe. That’s almost comical when you think about it. Fabric doesn’t have any lungs – it doesn’t and in fact shouldn’t breathe. Having the fabric breathe means that air is allowed to flow through the fabric.

The problem with air flowing through the fabric is that the air carries dust, dirt, pollen, mold pores and bacteria. The fabric acts as a natural filter. So if the air is allowed to circulate through the dress then more and more of the contaminants can build up on the fabric. A sealed box does not allow the air to circulate and eliminates this problem. So what some companies pitch as a determent actually turns out in reality to be a benefit for sealing the box.

When it comes to wedding gown inspection with the Sealed Boxed method you simply can’t thoroughly examine the dress. You will want to choose a company that has a windowed display box so can see and verify it’s your gown. You will void their guarantee if you open the box to take your dress out and examine it.

That means you will have to “trust” the wedding gown preservation company that you use to do the cleaning and preservation right.

Check out the company. What type of reputation do they have? Read their testimonials. Are they members of the Better Business Bureau and with what kind of rating. How long have they been in business? Do they specialize in just wedding gowns, or do they do every kind of dry-cleaning? Can you call and get your questions answered personally?

Chapter 5

What do you want your wedding gown preservation to do for you and your dress?

1. You want your wedding gown preservation to prevent your dress from yellowing. Yellowing can be caused by several situations. Don’t use a plastic bag for long term storage. Plastic bags give off petroleum distillates that can yellow your dress over time. Storing your dress in a non-acid free environment can also cause yellowing of your dress. This would include a regular cardboard box, or using regular tissue paper instead of acid free tissue.

2. You want your wedding gown preservation to prevent any permanent creases in your dress. Make sure that the company you use properly cares for your dress. If you insist on using the Bagging method they should make provisions for your train especially so it does not double fold back on itself in the bag. If you use the Boxed or Seal Boxed methods they should carefully fold the dress and buffer each fold with acid free tissue paper. This buffering will make the folds gentile and keep them from creasing.

(Be aware that some companies will promote the idea that your wedding gown should be re-folded every few years to prevent permanent creases. Although this sounds good in theory it isn’t true at all. First if your gown is stored properly, buffered with acid free tissue paper, the folds will remain folds. Unless there is some force that “squishes” the dress flat, or specifically flattens the folds into creases, creases won’t happen. Folds don’t “automatically” flatten themselves into creases. The fact actually is – creases can be removed from the fabric by proper steaming and or ironing. Seamstresses do this all of the time. If a seam or hem has to be changed they can easily make the “creases” disappear when they steam and or iron it.)

3. You want your wedding gown preservation to prevent and mold, mildew or insect growth or infestation. This can only be guaranteed when you use the Sealed Boxed method – see that section under “Wedding Gown Preservation methods”.

4. You want your wedding gown preservation to prevent brown spots or oxidation spots on your dress. Brown spots usually occur when a stain in the dress was not properly cleaned. The stain will oxidize over time and turn brown. This is especially true for any sugar based stain – ones caused from soda, wine, cake frosting or food.

These stains may not be visible when you send your dress in to be cleaned and preserved. It’s important that the company you use not only does a careful visual inspection but also a black-light inspection to reveal any hidden stains. And that the company completely removes all of the stains in your dress.

Chapter 6

Upgrade Offers

Some wedding gown preservation companies offer an upgrade service. The upgrade consists of using muslin in place of acid free tissue paper, additional insurance, and a upgraded storage container. Upgrades can cost anywhere from $40.00 to $100.00 more than their standard offer.

Upgrades are a “rip-off”!

Muslin is a very cheap fabric and offers no added benefit over acid free tissue paper. It sounds great, but it does nothing to make a better storage environment or keep the dress safer or better. Acid free tissue does everything muslin can do – and saves you money.

Most wedding gown preservation companies automatically provide $500.00 of insurance on their cleaning and preservation insurance. The insurance is actually provided for and through U.P.S. (or Fed-Ex). An upgrade increases the insurance to $1,500. You can purchase additional insurance when you ship your dress for $2 per $100 value, so for $10-$20 you can get the maximum insurance.
Remember insurance is provided so that the company providing the insurance can make money. It is a huge profit center for U.P.S. and Fed-Ex. Realize also that insurance companies do not like to pay out on claims and will minimize the payout as much as they can. They will claim your dress is used – (which it is) – that it is in poor condition – (that’s why you are having it cleaned) – that it’s last seasons or older model dress – (which it is, bridal manufacturer’s bring out new dresses twice per year, creating two seasons per year, so your dress is at least 1 to 3 or more seasons old). Get the picture, insurance is for the insurance company. Oh, and as and aside, in 12 years that I personally have dealt with U.P.S. shipping wedding dress for cleaning and preservation they have yet to lose a dress. I guess wedding dress boxes are too big to lose.

The last of the upgrade items is a different storage container. Check and you’ll see that the box is exactly the same except it’s a different color. The size, shape, it’s materials are all the same, the only difference is the outside color of the box.

So is there really any significant value in purchasing an upgrade? Absolutely not. It’s just a great ploy by that particular wedding gown preservation company to get you to spend more – thus increasing their profits dramatically.

Chapter 7

Wedding gown cleaning and preservation summary.

Cleaning summary:

Determine the fabric of your wedding gown. If it is polyester then it can usually safely be wet-cleaned. If it is silk, acetate or rayon then you have a few choices. Does it have beading or sequins on the dress? Percloroethylene (perc) is the most common dry-cleaning solvent but can discolor or melt the coating on the beads and sequins and can dissolve the glue if they are glued on. The better alternative is Stoddard Solvent or DF-2000. These dry-cleaning solvents are still excellent degreasers but will not harm the beads and sequins. Stoddard solvent is the best degreaser of the two.

Read the manufacturer’s fabric care label to help guide you on your choices.

Select a wedding gown preservation company that uses virgin solvent. You don’t want your dress being “cleaned” in dirty solvent that can leave an unpleasant odor in your dress.
Select a company that specializes in wedding gown cleaning and preservation. Choose a company that has been in business for a substantial time, is a member of the Better Business Bureau and has excellent reviews.

It’s also best to use a company that carefully hand inspects your dress and then does a further inspection using a black light. The company should do minor repairs at no additional cost to you. They can fix those loose beads, replace a button or fix a small tear in the fabric as part of their service.

Carefully examine the entire wedding gown preservation method. Select a company that will provide you the peace of mind, where you know your treasured keepsake will be put in an acid free environment, will be protected from unwanted creasing, protected from mold, mildew and insects, and provides a lifetime guarantee.

Simple Centerpiece Ideas for a Wedding That Add Beauty to the Table

These unique centerpiece ideas for a wedding will leave a lasting impression on everyone that takes part in your ceremony and reception. Every bride wants her big day to be incredibly special, and creating a unique wedding that everyone remembers fondly is the ultimate goal of most engaged couples.

One of the first decisions that a bride and groom must make together is the season in which they’d like to get married. After all, winter weddings are typically much different than spring and summer weddings, so it’s important to select the time of year that’s right for you. After the season has been narrowed down and an official wedding date has been chosen, it’s time to begin selecting wedding colors!

The wedding color palette is crucial because it must be incorporated into all aspects of the wedding such as the bridesmaid dresses, the floral arrangements, the ceremony and reception decorations, and often times the wedding cake, too! Once a color or group of colors has been chosen, you should begin thinking of ideas for your wedding reception.

wedding centerpiece idea Your wedding is supposed to be a beautiful event, not one that makes you want to rip your hair out, so you should try your best to avoid stressing out! That’s why these simple yet elegant centerpiece ideas for a wedding will come in handy.

Round reception tables are the norm at most wedding receptions, and they typically have some sort of tablecloth or table linens. Tablecloths in a basic, muted shade such as cream or light beige will work best with these centerpiece ideas for a wedding. Depending on the size of the table, six to eight place settings will most likely be present. Set a tall clear glass wine goblet in front of each plate and stuff a cloth napkin inside each so that it puffs out and looks like a flower. Use cloth napkins that are the main color of your wedding – for example, napkins that are the same color as the bridesmaid dresses. The colored napkins will add emphasis to your table, especially since you have such basic-colored tablecloths. These “floral glasses” are simple yet elegant, and they are also completely functional because they are composed of two items that need to be on the table anyway.

Place a round mirror in the middle of the table, and set a glass bowl or vase filled with a floral arrangement that includes flowers which are the same color as your napkins. For an extra bit of “oomph” you can scatter flower petals on the table as well. These simple ideas are stylish, unique, and classy, and your friends and family will be sure to remember your special day!

Pink Wedding Table Centerpiece Ideas

Flowers and candles have always been popular wedding table centerpiece ideas, but if you can’t make up your mind between the two there’s no reason you can’t have both! There are countless ways of combining floral arrangements and candles into stunning wedding centerpieces, and with a little thought and little effort you can create some of the prettiest wedding reception table decorations that you’ve ever seen. In fact, the blushing bride may wind up sharing the spotlight with her reception centerpieces on the big day!

Pink has always been a fashionable wedding color because it’s so romantic. Pastel shades of pink symbolize youthfulness and innocence while bright pinks and hot pinks give off a trendy, up-to-the-minute vibe. Whichever shade of pink you prefer, including pink flowers in your wedding centerpieces shouldn’t be a problem because there are so many pink flowers to choose from! Dahlias, pansies, daisies, gladiolas, lilies, and peonies are just a few… and let’s not forget the all-time wedding favorite, roses!

Your wedding florist should be able to help you choose the perfect combination of flowers and greenery for your centerpieces, and you’re going to need some clear glass vases in which to display the floral arrangements. Square or rectangular-shaped vases are great wedding table centerpiece ideas! Place the pink floral arrangements in the center of your reception tables. wedding centerpiece idea Set them on top of round mirrors in order to create a bit of shine.

Now it’s time to throw some candles into the mix. You can find tea light candles and small glass candleholders at just about any discount store in town, and they’re relatively inexpensive. Place two candles on top of the mirror beside your pink floral arrangement. White candles will add a bit of contrast to all of the pink, but pastel pink candles will work as well – it’s up to you!

Providing guests with wedding favors to take home with them is a tradition that most brides enjoy, and incorporating the color pink into these little gifts can also help you think of wedding table centerpiece ideas. Place small candies, such as mints, Jordan almonds, or M&Ms into individual pink pouches or bags. You can tie them with pink ribbons and attach a small tag that includes the bride and groom’s name and wedding date. Place one of these pink wedding favors in front of each place setting in order to add even more pink to the reception table.

The use of pink floral arrangements, small tea light candles, and pink wedding favors is an easy way to incorporate the color pink into your wedding table centerpieces. Whether you follow these plans exactly or tweak them to make them your own, you’ll be sure to have attractive reception tables!

Outdoor Wedding Reception Centerpiece Ideas

Whether it’s at the beach or in your own backyard, our wedding reception centerpiece ideas will come in handy as you plan your outdoor wedding. Outdoor weddings usually take a bit more planning and effort than indoor weddings because of their location, but your reception centerpieces don’t have to be difficult to make! Even if you decide to hold your reception indoors once the wedding ceremony is over, you can give your wedding centerpieces an outdoorsy feel that goes along with the overall theme of your special day.

Weddings held on white sandy beaches automatically have a tropical feel to them, and using seashells and palm branches as table decorations are wonderful wedding reception centerpiece ideas. Place a few pieces of palm on the center of each table, beach wedding centerpiece and set a large conch shell on top. You can then scatter a variety of smaller seashells around the large shell. Surround your tropical creation with white candles in clear glass jars that have been wrapped with strands of twine. This is an easy centerpiece that can go along with a tropical beach wedding or simply add a tropical vibe to a wedding held in your own backyard.

Speaking of which, backyard weddings are growing in popularity as more and more people decide to scale down and save money by holding inexpensive weddings and receptions at home. Patio tables and picnic tables are a great place to eat dinner and socialize during a wedding reception, and you can easily decorate them with great centerpieces. Small metal buckets full of wild flowers may be all that you need, but if you’d like to skip the flowers altogether you can use food as centerpieces. Red and white checkered tablecloths and homemade apple pies can give your backyard reception tables a “country” appearance, and baskets of fruit can act as both decoration and healthy alternatives to sweet desserts.

Gardens can provide a quaint, romantic setting for outdoor weddings, and many also have adequate space for outdoor receptions. Tables can be set up among gorgeous trees and flowers, and additional floral arrangements are easy outdoor wedding reception centerpiece ideas. Vases of flowers that grew in the garden add charm to the reception, and you can even scatter additional flower petals on each reception table for an extra touch of romance.

Outdoor weddings and receptions may involve a bit of extra work, but coming up with ideas for your wedding reception centerpieces should be a fun process. Save money by creating them yourself, and work together with your fiancé to create special memories together. Be sure to remind your wedding photographer to take a lot of pictures of them!

Planning Your Wedding In Australia – Ideas For Choosing The Right Location For You And Your Guests!

Weddings in Perth, Western Australia and Beyond!

Australia’s North West from Exmouth to Broome and beyond! The Northern winter or dry season is April to September and boasts long days of blue skies and beautiful sunshine, some would say this is the perfect WA weather! However many European visitors will wait for the summer wet season where the temperatures are in the mid 30s and you can experience a balmy combination of heat, humidity and sunshine!

Below the Tropic of Capricorn in the south the weather is far less dramatic, with Perth enjoying more sunny days in a year than any other capital city in the country! Because of this beautiful weather Western Australia has built up a reputation for fine food and world-famous wine regions, and overall needs no explanation as to why it would be the perfect place for you to organise your destination wedding. Whether you are from Western Australia, interstate or abroad there are so many advantages to getting married in Perth, the internet is a wonderful place and you can do a little research to find out about Perth and WA to choose the perfect wedding venue and location for your big day!

The Coral Coast; Experience the whitest sand and the bluest ocean that plays host to some of the most breathtaking and exotic marine life in the world! You can find Ningaloo Reef, the world heritage listed site that is awesome for fishing and diving, one of the few places that you can swim with a whale shark, be sure to extend your wedding into a honeymoon – what an amazing thing to do after your big day! With a wide selection of fabulous wedding venues and accommodation to suit your personalities and number of guests you will be sure to have plenty of choice.

Australia’s North West; home to the world-famous Kimberley, a true desert wilderness that offers an outback adventure for those four-wheel drive junkies! Be sure to stop off at the Bungle-Bungle Ranges, the Karijiini National Park and Lake Argyle on your tour of this region. Maybe you will choose The Billi Resort or Cable Beach Club in the North West near the town of Broome. These beautiful venues offer outstanding ceremony and reception settings.

South West; when you hear the name Margaret River the first thing that springs to mind is top-class wineries and scrumptious local produce. The perfect location for a wedding boasting spectacular views and idyllic settings for your ceremony and reception venue.

Perth; the gateway to the west. Direct flights to Perth airport make it easy to arrive both from international destinations and around Australia, you can arrive in the western capital via rail, taking the Indian-Pacific service that spans the entire country from sea to sea, you can hop on in Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide and the whole journey would take 3 days. Might be the way to travel back after your wedding, a short honeymoon journey for the newly-weds. Alternatively, in the summer months you can get on board a coastal cruise as part of your honeymoon, much of WA including Perth, Broome and Esperance will feature on a world cruise itinerary.

Once you arrive in Perth this relaxed city spends most of its time with sunny blue skies and has so much to offer, with an exciting and young vibe you will be able to find something to suit you and all of your guests and create a truly unique experience for your wedding in Perth, WA. You can choose a beach or garden wedding and from an extensive list of venues like the Northbridge Hotel or Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club. You can also take the trip over to Rottnest Island, an increasingly popular destination for weddings as there is a Chapel or Catholic Church as well as a selection of beautiful outdoor locations for your ceremony. The Rottnest Island Lodge and Aristos Waterfront venues can cater for all your reception needs.

Maybe you will venture inland to the Swan Valley where you will encounter the oldest wine region in Western Australia, also a fabulous location for a wedding in WA.

Say “I do” in Sydney, or Regional New South Wales.

There are so many locations available to you in this beautiful state from remote outback to Sydney and all along the coast of New South Wales!

Outback New South Wales; some of the most remote towns including Lightening Ridge, Tibooburra and Broken Hill can be found in outback NSW. The rugged landscape provides some stunning scenery for any event, with outstanding Aboriginal rock art and national parks covering most of the land.

The Broken Hill region would provide a unique and romantic setting for your outback wedding, you could choose from the Broken Hill sculpture park or if you are the adventurous type say ‘I do’ from the top of a historic mountain range.

Country NSW; if you are looking for a country themed wedding or fancy getting married next to the highest waterfall in Australia then you have come to the right place. The Wollomombi Falls in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park would be a spectacular location for your ceremony. Country New South Wales has so many gorgeous locations for you to choose from, make sure you add your own little country twist to your bridesmaid outfits with the addition of cute cow-girl boots!

Be sure to check out Corowa, Deneiquin and Moama, you can hire a houseboat for your honeymoon on the Murray River, an amazing and romantic experience, or for something really different why not hire a boat big enough for all of your guests and get married on board.

Hunter Valley; if you and your guests enjoy good food, good wine and stunning views then the Hunter Valley would be the perfect place for your destination wedding! With vineyards in abundance and garden weddings becoming ever more popular you will be spoilt for venues in these wonderful surroundings.

With famous wineries such as Lindemans and Wyndham Estate offering wedding packages to suit all, you can get married on the banks of the Hunter River or amongst the vines in this picture perfect location, the ideal setting to create fantastic memories.

North Coast; the Northern Coast of New South Wales is home to some of the most popular beaches in Australia, stretching from Byron Bay to Newcastle, you can follow the Pacific Coast route and be astounded by the delights of Lennox Head, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Port Stephens! All of these beautiful coastal towns are fabulous holiday destinations and would make the ideal location for a beach wedding in Australia.

Check out the Aanuka Beach Resort perfect for an elopement package or a small wedding, they also have several ceremony locations to choose from so that you can have things just the way you wish for, they have a stunning resort chapel or you could get married on the lawn by the beach!

Snowy Mountains; this is the perfect location for the adventurous bride and groom looking for some winter wedding inspiration and a celebration that is flourishing with snowflakes, blue skies and après-ski! You could even arrive at your ceremony or reception on a husky led sleigh or even on your skis depending on how skilled you are so that you don’t get your outfit covered in snow!

The aptly named Snowy Mountains home to the well-known snow fields of Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass have so many hotels and resorts that would be the ideal, check out The Station at Jindabyne or Lake Crackenback Resort for two fabulous options for a winter wedding!

Lord Howe Island; located about 600km off the North coast of NSW this World Heritage listed haven is home to some of the most amazing species of flower, crystal clear water that is great for exploring the underwater marine life and the rare coral that makes up the island’s marine park!

This island would make an exclusive location for your wedding as there can only be 400 visitors at any one time. Consider the Capella Lodge as a place of serenity for your big day, whether you go for an intimate elopement or book the entire resort this place of beauty will be sure to provide the perfect backdrop.

Sydney; this amazing city would be a spectacular location for your wedding no matter what style or size you choose. Maybe you will have the Opera House or Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background of your ceremony or perhaps these will be the scene for your fabulous wedding photographs. This bustling metropolis has wedding planners, wedding accessories and Sydney wedding photographers in their hundreds; you will be spoilt for choice and will need to do some specific research to create the perfect occasion.

Sydney harbour and the romance that surrounds it is simply remarkable, combine that with a unique wedding venue and you will have yourself the perfect day! Sydney harbour wedding cruises are a fantastic idea for a wedding that you and your guests will never forget! You can choose from a small boat up to the Harbour Ballroom or the Sydney Showboat, both able to accommodate up to 350 guests – obviously your choice will be dependent on your budget and the number of people you will have with you on your big day!

Celebrate in Adelaide and South Australia.

The entire state of South Australia boasts long, warm summers from December to February and mild temperatures throughout autumn and winter. The state’s capital Adelaide is the gateway to the Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island, and is easily accessible by air. It is also home to a small population of just over a million people Adelaide is classed as one of the most liveable cities in Australia.

Adelaide City; with its cafe culture lifestyle and diverse mix of people the city has a modern feel and an amazing variety of cuisine. With the choice of the Hills and Beach within half an hour drive of the city and state heritage listed parklands surrounding it this wonderful place can make a fabulous destination for your wedding.

The city prides itself on the many ‘green’ initiatives and set up as Australia’s most sustainable city; this is therefore the ideal place to hold an eco-friendly wedding. Bring in some natural elements to your big day, make sure that you pick native flowers that are in season, beeswax or soy candles for your decorations and choose bonbonniere gift ideas that your guests can take home and use time and time again to minimise their negative impact on the environment.

Adelaide Hills, Barossa & Clare Valley; boasting stunning views across the Valleys the Adelaide Hills has so much to offer, known as one of the finest areas for cool-climate grapes there are charming boutique wineries in abundance. The Lane Vineyard, Bridgewater Mill and the Stirling Hotel are amongst the many places that make the Adelaide hills the perfect spot for your wedding or reception venue.

The fresh produce is just one of the things that might pull you towards the Barossa Valley for your wedding venue! You can also follow the butcher, baker & winemaker trails to check out some of the culinary delights on offer in this special place – a great excuse for a trip to SA before the big day!

Looking for a more intimate setting for your wedding ceremony, then head to the Care Valley, there are many cute bed & breakfasts in this area and some stunning locations to get those perfect shots of you in your wedding dress in the South Australia scenery.

Flinders Ranges & The Outback; perhaps for the more adventurous this will be on the list of possible destinations for your adventure honeymoon. Pack up the camper-trailer and head off into the dusty red desert. Keep your eyes open for wedge-tailed eagles and lazy lizards along your journey into the wilderness and you will be sure to get some fantastic photographs of the bush backdrop.

Maybe you are a couple that just love the country, if an outback setting for your wedding is more up your street then why not seek somewhere like the Arkaba Station, a wild bush luxury resort on the southern edge of the Finders Range National Park. Choose for your wedding in the ranges from a ridge top dinner to a woolshed venue, or boutique heritage homestead to a deluxe swag for two and camping under the stars! With 4WD trips, hot air balloon rides, viewing the local wildlife, mountain biking and many other adventurous activities to keep your guests amused this is the perfect location for your outback destination wedding.

Kangaroo Island; just a Kangaroo’s jump away from Adelaide this island is a true sanctuary of wildlife and tranquillity with untouched bushland and immaculate beaches. You can choose from a waterfront location or head to the West of the island to the Wilderness Retreat for an intimate ceremony. Rest assured that your guests will be well fed and watered on this amazing island, due to its location in South Australia a state that is renowned for its produce and preparation, Kangaroo Island is one of the must-do food and wine experiences in Australia that you and your guests will remember for years to come.

The Murray River; there are two river regions on the Murray in South Australia, known as the Riverland and the Murray lands both great locations to begin your adventure. Why not experience the romance of this mysterious river aboard a houseboat, you can hire your own for an intimate celebration or take all of your guests on board a serviced boat like the Proud Mary, get married and hold your reception on the Murray River!

This is such an amazing place for all of the family, consider it one big waterpark with boat ramps along the way for you to launch your own or hire a boat, jet-ski, water skis or wakeboard. For the more relaxed approach grab your kayak or canoe and drift down stream in the wonderful outdoors.

Getting Married in Melbourne.

The city of Melbourne is made up of the city centre and a number of precincts and inner-city suburbs, each with their own character and charm. Renowned for its art and culture, live music, dining variety and shopping, Melbourne has a wealth of opportunity for you and your guests when you choose this wonderful city for your wedding.

The city ‘Laneways’ are famous for their back street corridors covered in graffiti making an awesome backdrop for your wedding photography, and there is nothing stopping you from saying your vows in front of your favourite piece of art.

With parks and gardens in abundance this city welcomes the garden wedding trend, and offers a huge selection of intimate settings for your nuptials. From the rotunda in Alexandra Gardens to the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick, there are hundreds of beautiful spots in Melbourne for your garden ceremony, and hotels and venues of all different styles to carry on into the evening for your reception.

Docklands; in the early 90s this disused port and rail area was transformed into a modern urban waterfront. In the Docklands, where the city of Melbourne meets the water you will find the perfect location for your inner-city wedding. You can choose from a heap of function venues to suit your wedding, cocktail packages to formal sit down receptions, you will find all that you could wish for with the city as your backdrop.

Yarra Valley; this picturesque area surrounding the Yarra River is one of Australia’s leading wine-producing regions, with wineries in abundance you can discover a whole world of beauty from art galleries to restaurants, markets and more. If you are looking for a winery for your wedding then you have certainly come to the right place, the Yarra Valley has some amazing venues to choose from including the Yering Station Winery and Rochford Winery.

If you’re looking for an intimate venue for your closest family and friends then you could try Stones of the Yarra Valley, they offer a stunning Chapel, Dairy and Barn combination all intertwined with paths and luscious green gardens making a perfect setting for your wedding photographs.

Mornington Peninsula; to the east of Melbourne and below the eastern suburbs you will find the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, this picture perfect piece of land is covered in rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves all within a stone’s throw of the ocean.

With the pretty seaside villages from Mornington and Dromana along Port Phillip Bay and down to Sorrento if you are planning a beach wedding then these beautiful locations will certainly fit the bill, in the summer months you can expect gorgeous weather, creating some stunning backdrops for your wedding. Perhaps you would prefer to take in the views from higher ground; Arthur’s Seat is one of the most popular locations on the peninsula for hilltop weddings.

Phillip Island; connected to the mainland by bridge from the town of San Remo to the Island town of Newhaven, Phillip Island is located less than 2 hours away from the city and is easily accessible from across the whole of Victoria. Tempered by the ocean breeze the island tends to experience milder weather all year-round, making it a wonderful place for a summer wedding that is not too hot!

Great Ocean Road; travelling this famous stretch of road is one of Victoria’s greatest highlights, from Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula all the way along to Warrnambool you will see some spectacular sights and take in some breathtaking scenery.

Planning your wedding in this part of the country leaves everything to the imagination; you could consider Apollo Bay as a central point, or beautiful Lorne where you could marry in the gorgeous settings of the Lorne Beach Pavilion, this is in the perfect position to allow a beach ceremony followed by a sit down reception or cocktail event in the cafe or restaurant right on the beach front.

If you are looking for somewhere completely different then why no rent the famous Pole House, in Fairhaven, it could be a place to retreat to as your bridal suite or perhaps as a location for your actual wedding, ideal if you are only having your close friends and family.

Your Wedding in the Northern Territory

From the coast to the red centre the Northern Territory has so much to offer. With a landscape like no other stretching from Australia’s famous monolith Uluru, to the Barkly Tablelands and the Tropical North where wetlands and waterfalls cut through the national parks to create a stunning backdrop for any wedding photograph. Make sure that you take some time out to meet the locals and soak in the rich aboriginal culture and history, be mindful to watch out for some other locals like the crocodile!

Darwin & Surrounds; with its tropical outdoor lifestyle, beautiful harbour scenery, surrounded with World War II history and its cuisine heavily influenced by their nearby Asian neighbours, Darwin is a true adventure paradise for you and your guests.

Renowned for its sunset markets, if you need to pick up a last minute gift for the bride and groom, or grab some final wedding decorations then you’ve come to the right place as you can expect to see arts and crafts in abundance here! For a truly unique wedding experience you could take in a Darwin Harbour Cruise or discover the Melville and Bathurst Islands, (Tiwi Islands) on tropical sailing journey. Say “I do” on-board a private catamaran!

If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground then Darwin also has some amazing hotels and resorts that can cater for all of your needs to create the perfect wedding in Darwin! The amazing Sky City has some fantastic wedding packages on offer to help you plan your big day!

Kakadu & Arnhem Land; in this stunning location you can witness world heritage-listed scenery and outstanding rock art, Australia’s largest national park features cascading waterfalls, giant crocodiles and exotic birds! Check out the Wilderness Safari Retreat for some exclusive bush luxury, you can speak to the lodge team about arranging your wedding in Bamurru Plains, an amazing marriage amongst the wildlife.

Perhaps for the more adventurous this is somewhere to consider for your honeymoon, you could hire a campervan and takes the Nature’s Way Tourism Drive for a romantic adventure! Experience the Mamukala Wetlands, Nourlangie Rock, Jim Jim and Twin Falls along the way, what an amazing way to start your married lives together.

Katherine & Surrounds; the Katherine region extends from the Queensland border in the east to the Kimberly region in the west and is a wonderful gateway to nature and adventure. Perhaps the more remote areas like Elsley National Park would not be ideal for your ceremony but certainly your honeymoon of adventure might start with a bushwalk over the spectacular Katherine Gorge! You could hire a car and go on the drive of your life, crossing the Daley river and onto the Douglas Daley area, off into Butterfly Gorge and explore the many waterholes and hot springs that natures beauty has to offer.

There are heaps of wedding venues in the area including Knotts Crossing, secluded amongst tropical gardens near Katherine River is the perfect location for your wedding in the Northern territory.

Alice Springs & Uluru; famous for the personality of its locals, their love for contemporary art and traditional aboriginal influence along with all the natural wonders around it, Alice Springs is the gateway to your outback adventure and a true Australian wedding location.

You could consider a romantic hot air balloon ride over the West McDonnell Ranges for a unique red centre experience. Maybe you could convince your Alice Springs celebrant to go up with you and say your vows in the sky. Venture out to the spiritual heart of Australia and experience the one true gemstone that is Uluru, also known by the name Ayers rock this awesome sight is a must see. With its extraordinary display of ever-changing colours, you simply cannot miss the natural show at both sunset and sunrise, just amazing!

Voyages and Ayers Rock resort offer a choice of apartments, a luxury wilderness camp, hotel, backpacker rooms or campground accommodation! You can choose whichever style suits your needs, and your guests, however the Longitude 131° offers a truly wonderful experience for your nuptials. In 5-star luxury you and your guests will have private views of the sunset and sunrise over Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, what an amazing way to start your married lives together in awe of Australia’s most amazing rock.

Getting Married in Tropical Queensland.

With sunny days in abundance and a year round temperate climate, Queensland really does have so much to offer and countless places to visit! No matter what type of adventure or Queensland wedding you are seeking you will be sure to find something to suit your style. With a variety of terrain from rainforest to ocean, outback to reef you can be sure to tailor a fantastic package to suit you and your guests anywhere in QLD!

Cairns & Great Barrier Reef; this is Queensland’s Tropical North where you will find thousands of locations for a wedding and discover a place that is full of natural wonders and beauty! Cairns City, gateway to some spectacular scenery from rainforest to the Great Barrier Reef with the village of Port Douglas offering a more sophisticated, low-key escape. This is an extremely popular place for couples looking for a more intimate wedding to elope to and there are so many amazing deals available in this part of Australia.

Perhaps you are looking for a unique spin on your wedding, and well this is one of the most renowned places in the world for scuba-diving. You could even go completely different and say ‘I do’ amongst the coral, you would have to hold up cards of acceptance to your vows at an underwater wedding but what a magical and unusual way to get married!

The Daintree Forest is also a must see, the oldest surviving tropical rainforest on earth is home to an astounding amount of plants and species of animals. You can get an indigenous guide to give you a tour to find out more about the culture and history of the surrounding area and its people.

Townsville; this beautiful coastal region has such a diverse terrain, with the ocean reefs in the east and the outback in the west the opportunities for exploring are simply endless. The town of Townsville is at the centre of all that is on offer, you should take a trip up Castle Hill to take in the views of the city and the nearby Magnetic Island. This tropical island offers some outstanding resorts and is a wonderful destination for a beach wedding with the perfect setting for a unique escape. Getting to the island is only a short 25 minute cruise across the bay, a beautiful way to begin our journey.

Be sure to think about your honeymoon in this area too, perhaps the more adventurous might take the Great Tropical Drive, a self-driving route that will take you from Cairns and Townsville to some amazing places in Tropical Australia. Take in Charters Towers and sample outback life at a cattle station farm stay or see the historic gold milling site at Venus Battery. Ravenswood is another old gold mining town well worth a look.

The Whitsundays; the 74 island wonders that make up the Whitsundays are mostly uninhabited and provide the perfect setting for a day of exploring or simply relaxing on the secluded beaches and coves.

Airlie Beach is the gateway to these stunning islands and the epitome of a beach town, with a carefree vibe and packed full of palm-fringed beaches, waterfront parks, restaurants and bars. The after dark backpacker and travelling vibe is full of energy and most will party to the early hours before embarking on a party boat or organised cruise.

Be sure to take in Whitehaven Beach, this 4 mile stretch of pure white silica sand has been voted one of the best beaches in the world. If you have a little more budget to play with then why not take a romantic flight over heart reef, a stunning collection of coral that has naturally formed into the shape of a heart and looks amazing from the sky above.

The resort islands include the Hayman Island, one of the top luxury destinations for weddings and honeymoons. Hamilton Island, this is the largest inhabited island and has an airport making it easily accessible for both families and couples. Daydream, Lindeman, Brampton, Long, Hook and South Molle Island are scattered across this beautiful ocean, all offering an array of resort accommodation to suit your personal preference.

Fraser Coast; this wonderful region is filled with some of the word’s greatest attractions and beautiful scenery. If you can plan your wedding between June and November then the perfect treat for you and your guests would be to venture to Hervey bay and take a trip on the water to see the humpback whales that frequent this water during this time.

Just a short ferry ride from Hervey Bay is the outstanding Fraser Island, you can arrange your own way across or join a tour to take you along the highway of sand and the tracks that lead you to some spectacular lakes and waterholes including Lake McKenzie with its crystal clear freshwater.

You will also find the eco-friendly resort of Kingfisher Bay, if you are planning a wedding with them then they offer discounts on guest accommodation, advice about hens and bucks nights on the island along with a special wedding package and honeymoon visit all in one.

Brisbane; this cosmopolitan city has some top-notch restaurants, cafes and bars. From the river to the coast this green city has the perfect climate, with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year you would be unlucky not to have the sun shining on your wedding day. From the Brisbane River to views of the Storey Bridge there are so many places to visit in the locally known ‘Brissy’.

If you are looking for something alternative, then why not hop on board The Kookaburra Queen from Eagle Street Pier, this beautiful paddle wheeler boat is an icon of the Brisbane River and will offer you an experience you will never forget! You can also check out the Brisbane Powerhouse, with their rooftop terrace offering a unique space for a memorable event. Or the XXXX Brewery has a wedding package to suit any beer lover and their guests.

The Sunshine Coast; just north of Brisbane, this beautiful stretch of beach from Caloundra to Noosa has so much on offer with sparkling water and breathtaking scenery what more could you wish for to create your perfect wedding. Noosa Heads is one of the most popular destinations for a wedding in Australia. With pristine beaches and stylish settings, it is the perfect spot for a beach ceremony or your wedding reception.

Often weddings held in the region will bring family and friends from all over Australia and the globe to help you celebrate in style. After the wedding celebrations are over, your guests may wish to extend their stay and take advantage of this holiday haven. With resorts like Oceans Mooloolaba and Out-rigger Noosa you will be spoilt for choice!

Now that you have picked the perfect location and venue for your wedding you can start to organise the fun stuff! Whether you are based in Australia or overseas there are so many resources available to you locally for your wedding dress choices, decoration ideas and of course your bonbonniere personalised gifts – be sure to check out ideas that offer a direct postage service so that if you are travelling you can arrange for your wedding gifts to be there when you arrive.

Happy planning!

Wedding Plans in 2015

It helps to visualize your desired wedding. Women have long planned their ideal wedding day, but with the strong influence of celebrity marriages the modern fashion for weddings has spread far and wide, and is no longer limited to the vastly rich. The choices you now have are amazing, and many old traditions are being ditched or refined for more modern day ones. So where do you start?

Well, there have been plenty of movies to watch for inspiration or ideas; The Knot, Love actually, My Best Friends Wedding, even TV hits like “Friends” had its share of weddings. These are great, but these weddings are about particular characters and personalities. They are fine to poach ideas that you can build on and refine, but ultimately…

Start it with YOU! That’s right, think ‘huge ego’, ‘no limits’ and start at the top! Pretend for a moment you have a bottomless pocket and go ahead and draw up your ideal wedding because you are about you!

So design it all on your pad, look and learn from the best weddings that inspire you- from the wedding dress to the ceremony and on to the reception(s). Yeah that’s right, you can have more than one and it does not even have to be one day either as some weddings go on all week. It’s a one-off special day for you and there will be no others to match it.

So now you have a rough ideal wedding planned right? Well, maybe your budget is a consideration, so time to start making your dream wedding work for your realistic wedding. Keep in mind your dream wedding though as it may be possible for to overlay some of it onto your realistic one. Hopefully, you have months until the big day so maybe think about starting with the easier stuff first; things you can go and find right now and work into your budget. In a wedding there are things you must have, things that should be there (but not essential) and things that you can easily afford to lose, especially if it does not work for you.

The wedding dress and the venue are the first to arrange. Put yourself in an imaginary white room and visualise your dream dress appearing on you. Next imagine the white of the room turning into your venue. So which one looks better, cheaper, and functional in your mind? A Church or a registry office… ?

WEDDING THEMES

Themed weddings are a current trend in 2014, and from what I am seeing as a photographer there are also popular colour and food themes. If a favourite colour is important to you then this could be start of your theme. Since the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William, a new traditional style benchmark was set and also since the movie “The Great Gatsby” there has been a definite move towards the 1920’s look.

Now themes do come with a price tag, but will certainly stand out for years to come. For theme inspirations take a look online and see what catches your eye.

THE DRESS & THE SHOES

wedding shoes
The choices out there are more varied than ever before, and ultimately you your dress and shoes are going to be the centre of attraction and remembered. Your photographer bases the wedding images around you. Everyone else who brings their cameras are going to be pointing them at you as well. Therefore, one thing to keep in mind: place your dress and shoes at the top of the budget list.

So what’s current right now? Functional dresses that can be used again and again? Or something that sparkles glamour and taste?

“Less is More” 1855 poem “Andrea del Sarto

Wedding dresses in colours other than shades of white are certainly something different – creative and bold. They can be used again and again. Blush colours, like pink or peach are making a comeback. A stylish, pale, shimmering pink is certainly something to consider but in my opinion you cannot beat white. The classic white dress still sits at the top and has done for hundreds of years.

Wedding portraiture

Depending on where you have your ceremony, there are some considerations to keep in mind. A church wedding traditionally means hiring a special car to get you there. You should also think about the time you have in the day as well; how long will the journey be from A to B and then to C. If you’re having a professional photographer, make sure you plan with him/her where, how long and what type of photography you would like.

What’s hot right now is total coverage, and I find the most interesting photos are the pre-wedding ones: the bridal prepping photos of the make-up artist at work, the hair being styled, the wedding dress hanging up ready to be worn, the shoes, the brand new sparkling jewellery. As a society, we are now, more than ever interested in the who, how and what went into making a big event. Look at any popular movie on DVD and Blu-ray today and you will often find the making-of documentaries are actually longer than the movie.

Preparation
Preparation

We like seeing the leading actors in between takes, behaving naturally and offering a little insight into their real personalities. The same applies to you, your bridesmaids, the Groom and grooms men. You really are going to be a celeb for the day and seeing the bridesmaids having a little fun getting ready is exactly what you are going to want to look back on… no matter how old they are.

A ceremony in a hotel may mean no car is required, and you can relax a bit more because everything’s central; all roads point to one venue for everyone involved. Also guests can book rooms for the night so your reception does not have to have a set finish time.

Now let’s not forget some key details either, have you thought about how the ring gets presented during the ceremony? A favourite at the moment is a decorated pillow with pins on the rings, or the family dog carrying it down the aisle on call. Just be creative, it’s the little things that add that speciality.

Some churches and registrars have rules you need to be aware of and this is made clear when you are booking with them. They usually insist on only one official photographer being allowed to photograph the event. This is not intended to be mean or too controlling but it is a data protection issue and in some cases a copyright issue as well with regards to the venue. For example, when it comes to the signing of the official register no photography is allowed – full stop. This is a policy all officials will follow. But once this formality is completed the photographer is free to capture the happy couple signing a fake book instead.

Respect and Social Media

Something to consider is the release of guest photos onto social media on the night of the wedding. You may or may not have an opinion on this, but some couples ask their guests to hold back their photos and not post them straight to social sites till the official ones are released to in order maintain their ‘exclusive’ quality. What I suggest is to ask everyone on their invites to send their photos to the bride and groom afterwards, and let them be the first to see their own wedding.

Now I must point out a few facts here: amateur photographers are everywhere and most people own some pretty good cameras that can rival the photographers own equipment. Does this mean that uncle David is going to get the same photos as your hired photographer? Do you really need a photographer at all?

I can honestly say I have never been wowed by these snaps. People do get lucky sometimes with maybe 1 in 50. I have however seen most of them end up online in social media sites with titles like; top 100 worst wedding photos though.

The point is, you need a professional for quality and peace of mind. Like Jamie Oliver cooking a Wedding Breakfast or Maggie Sottero designing a special dress, professionals in their field have the correct equipment and skills to deliver. A professional photographer knows what to look for and where to be. You cannot expect a family member or friend to take on such a responsibility. The professional brings back-up facilities so no image is lost. He/she has the skills to process your images and store them properly afterwards. Your hired photographer will have be versed in adjusting your images, sharpening and cropping them to fit industrial print standards ready for printing.

DETAILS OF THE RECEPTION

Hunger – After a ceremony, most guests are hungry and thirsty. When planning your wedding reception it might be wise to offer canapés/appetisers with any reception drinks. These will revive any flagging guests, and potentially prevent any early inebriation.

Wedding reception

Cake – The wedding cake is a tradition that people seem to be re-vamping and modernising. Recent weddings I have attended have seen the cutting of the traditional iced fruit cake take a backseat and sometimes just not appear at all! This can be seasonal choice, for example, winter tastes veer towards chocolate and rich flavours, whereas in summer I have seen light sponges, lemon cake or even just a good old cheesecake. Wedding fairs are currently promoting ice-cream cakes that double as a dessert for the Wedding Breakfast, or layered tiers of frosted cupcakes that can be distributed on the big day without the need to cut the cake.

Messages – The traditional way is a guest signing book, it’s a great keep sake to take home. But there are already new ideas out there. How about a wishing well that guests can put little notes into? Once you’re finished with it after the wedding, stick it in the garden and let nature grow around it.

Presents – A great way to make the speeches more interesting is giving out presents to those that have helped and been there for you, you could even try a fun raffle or give out lottery tickets.

Kids – If there are children present, you can be sure that they will be bored and ready to start running around, having fun and generally getting under your feet. You can plan for this too, by having bubble blowing bottles available to hand out. It looks good on the photos too and is such fun even the adults join in!

Staff – If you’re having a large themed wedding, it’s worth checking with the caterers if they have some form of uniform. A suggestion here is request staff wear white gloves, they just look classy and clean.

Food – The modern take on the Wedding Breakfast is less traditional with more spicy cuisine on the menu. Styles vary but, over the years peoples tastes have certainly changed. The more creative your food the more memorable your day will be, and depending on how much time and money you have, how about trying an 8 course meal? It’s all about the taste.

Music while you eat – If you go to any wedding fair you will find some great musicians to choose from. They can accompany your meal playing the piano or harp and will often play anything you request. At one wedding I covered recently the theme was rock, so the pianist was playing hits from ACDC, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Queen, Slip Knot and many, many more. It was different and cool!

Up lighting effects – Hiring some lights for the evening is a great way to completely change the mood of your event and give it an amazing look. Up lights point at the walls and ceilings and can be set to a colour to match your theme. White fairy lights can create a pretty background on your night photo’s and are particularly effective after dark.

Night Music – Cover bands are popular at the moment and there are some great groups out there that specialize in weddings. They will play your favourite tracks on request. Disco’s, well do you need a disco? Technology is good enough now for you to pretty much create your own custom playlist that blends into each track from a laptop or iPod/iPad. Just plug that into the band’s amplifier and click play. You can alternate your own music with the band to give them a break. By the way… don’t forget to feed the band!

Flowers – Real or Fake? its a tough one to decide upon, and it can be quite nice to have flowers to hide parts of hired halls. For others its something to maybe forgo and forget altogether. It really matters on how much importance it has for you.

By James McConnachie
(c) 2015