DIY Table Numbers

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In a previous post a while back, I posted a little DIY insight into what I was planning as part of my wedding decor. Here is a closer look. I recycled different wine bottles & made them into table numbers as pictured, as well as aisle & wishing well decorations. They are completely easy to make, but they do get a little messy & tideous.
Materials:
1.Old wine bottles. The more random, the better
2.Chalkboard paint/ spray
3.Your choice of ribbon- in this case I used something really cheap like twine.
4.Chalk (if you want a really rustic look) or Chalkboard Marker (if you want a “clean-around-the-edges” & more defined result, less mess)
5. Gold spray paint (optional)
6. Small roller for the chalkboard paint. Not needed if you are using chalkboard spray paint

Method:
1. Soak wine bottles in hot, soapy water for about 10 mins to dislodge label. Most labels peel off very easily & clean- some are just a bitch, so I had to use a metal spoon to scrape & scrub off the label. Let dry
2. Cut very carefully (I used small scissors), the metal seal around the neck of bottle
3. Spray (faster method) or use the roller to colour the bottle with the chalkboard paint & let dry.
4. Give it a second- or third coating, up to you.
5. Tie it with your choice of ribbon
6. Decorate with the chalk marker & voila~

Extra: If you want to the gold neck: I used white tape halfway down the neck to indicate where I’d like it to stop. Then I sprayed gold paint on it & let dry. After, I tied twine around the neck. Or in my case, I even spray-painted the aisle runners entirely in gold & added babys breath into it.

You can wash off the chalkboard pen & change the wording to whatever you like. I had variations at my wedding like “E & G”, “LOVE” etc… Can’t wait to re-use this again when I have a house warming/party in the future 🙂

Elly + Graham

WOW! It’s been 2 weeks since our wedding and I’d do anything to relive the whole experience again – hands down, one of the best day of our lives & something we’d be sure to remember years later. It was everything we had hoped for plus so much more & we could not thank everyone enough- those who attended & those who wished us well over social media etc. Really, thank you.

After 10 years of first being introduced at a school formal (thanks Andy), we thought what better place & opportunity to show our family & friends the venue where we first met- The International of Brighton. We decided to marry in Summer on a Saturday. After a worrisome rainy week, we were blessed with a cool cloudy morning & a sunny afternoon. We wanted the date to be easy to remember in future- 20.12. 2014, just like our engagement date- 12.12. 2013 and we wanted it close to Christmas so our families will be together during this festive season. Truth be told, we planned this date ‘strategically’ so that when we are older & have children (and grandchildren), what best way to celebrate our wedding anniversary along with Christmas & having family over, no matter where they are 🙂

I spent the night before the wedding at the Clarion hotel which was close to home- thanks to one of my Bridesmaids Michelle who arranged this for us. We had a spacious 2 bedroom suite which gave us plenty of space to relax, a good bed to sleep in & get ready in the morning without distraction (before 4AM by the way) I gave my bridesmaids matching robes in different colours to get ready in from Etsy, matching bracelets from Colette, as well as Pandora rings in their birthstones as thank you gifts. I couldn’t ask for more perfect bridesmaids. You girls rock! G on the otherhand gifted his boys a set of customised leather bound flasks with their initials & customised bullet head cufflinks (all from Etsy) to signify a toast to his ‘stags’, at the same time incorporating his personality.IMG_6405 IMG_6435[Getting my hair & make up done with Michelle]

We started off the morning at mine for Chinese Tea Ceremony or ‘Teppai’ in Indonesian, but before that, my girls & I had planned games in the theme of Border Security & Quarantine for the boys. I actually got this theme idea from a wedding documentary that aired on SBS. It documented weddings from different cultures & it turned out that the Russians have similar traditions to us! The boys arrived with a beautiful Rose Pink 1959 Fleetwood Convertible Cadillac from the Caddyman (the bridal car) & a cool stretch Dodge from Exotic Limos (bridal party) I’d have to make a special mention to Heinz, owner of the Caddyman business who did a splendid job of driving us around, making us feel very special & ensuring we were very comfortable & welcome in his beautiful car. He consistently asked if we needed refreshments or nibbles, or if I needed a scarf to shield from the wind & if we needed the hood of the car up in case it was too hot, as well as giving us a red carpet to walk out on. G & I were super impressed by his gentlemanly behaviour- That nice, classic romantic charm you only see in movies 🙂IMG_6737

After, we went to G’s house for another tea ceremony there. I then changed into my white wedding dress from Benjamin Roberts (with much acrobats) & walked down the stairs with my girls holding up a sign that read ‘Just Wait Till You See Her’. G was at the bottom waiting for me. He wore a custom made 3 piece blue tux from Oscar Hunt. We could not thank the team- Julz & co. enough for entirely hitting the spot on the design we wanted & to make the whole experience so fun! They listened to each of our concerns, down to Julz reading my facial expression- what I liked & didn’t like. We’ve never been to a design & suit fitting more fun than that! We were then off to take photographs at the Parliament House & Treasury gardens. Sadly we did not make it in time for Brighton beach but nonetheless we had fun along the way (though our feet tend to disagree)IMG_6620IMG_6619[Bridal party taking a break]

Soon it was time for the big walk down the aisle. The courtyard outside our reception area was set up beautifully & I was loving the lush green leaves that shaded the guests from the sun. I walked down to a classic 60s hit ‘Stand by Me’ by Ben E.King & we were married by our “Freaking AWESOME” (quote from G) celebrant Sally. Sally is a real life sweetheart who is super down-to-earth. She made an effort to get to know both G and I as a couple & her attention to detail was superb. To be honest I don’t know how anyone can be so patient with G’s tardiness, but she was 🙂 From our first meeting down to our rehearsal, she made it entirely easy for us all & was organised to the next level 🙂 I cannot recommend her enough!IMG_6659 [Our DIY welcome board. We wanted something slightly different. Thanks to bridesmaid Sandra for the easel & chalkboard pens!!]IMG_6543[Our celebrant Sally regramming a photo of our Wedding Program cards]

After the ceremony, guests were served with an impressive 3 tiered tower of fresh oysters, prawns & canapes. Drinks were on constant rotation & we had an open bar for the entire duration of the night! Because I’m a ‘dessert’ fiend (I have holes in teeth to prove it) it would not be entirely right without incorporating a Candy Buffet where guests could fill up boxes of our favourite treats to take home or scoff on the spot. Thank you to the team from Candy Buffet Co for setting up such a splendid display & customising it as per our wedding theme to a T! If the sugar high was not enough, guests were also served alternating mini dessert platters of Tiramisu, Mocha Tart, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream & Orange Blossom Panacotta, Lemon Tart with Blood Orange Sorbet. On top of that, our guests get to bring home boxes of our Chocolate Ganache wedding cake.IMG_6491 IMG_6525[We used polaroids of us kissing as our cake topper]

Instead of a ‘First Dance’ G & I wanted to play wedding reception games so that our guests could get involved & boy oh boy did they get involved. I guess we don’t kiss & tell & I’ll leave it up to my guests to remember this night with much laughter….and booty shaking 😉 The night was filled with some good & bad dance moves along to awesome tunes by our DJ & friend Kimber. Thanks for making it so fun! From the entrance songs, to the sleazy bumps & grinds!

I loved everything about our special day. Nothing can beat having your closest family and friends in the same place at the same time. To top it off with a beautiful setting, great food and drinks, the best tunes, amazing weather and the love of your life, it really was a dream come true.

Here are some of my wonderful suppliers who I cannot recommend enough:

Venue: The International of Brighton– a recently furbished chic & contemporary venue who really took care of us & our guests. We were so impressed with their quality, patience & service. We had our own server/butler? lady called Jan who was like our fairy godmother! She ensured we ate our fill, offered top ups & that our requests were fulfilled. The only negative I’d have to say was, they threw out our DIY placecard holders even though I have advised that I’d like to keep them.

Photographer: WeiWei + Gary from aWeiding (read my previous post here) These 2 work together like perfect chemistry- my Mac & Cheese of the day. Gary brings a cheerful mood & his easygoing personality makes you feel at ease- especially when taking photographs! Wei2’s professional demeanour & photo styling gives you assurance that the photos will turn out beautiful, just like those from her blog here. Can’t wait to see the final product! They took some polaroids of our day as shown below!

Videographer: Euwing + Win Nee from With Love Videography.

Make Up & Hair Stylists: Michelle, Yuki & Jojo

Grooms Tux, Vest, Bowtie & Pocketsquare: Oscar Hunt

Grooms shoes: Aquila

Groomsmen Suit: Andre J

Groomsmens Shirts: Saibu no Akuma. Tony & Paul are the nicest guys you’ll meet out there! (read my previous post here) They helped G customise the groomsmen shirts, from the fabric, the type of collar, to the pattern/colour inside the collars & under the buttons. The groomsmen shirts also had initialised cuffs to personalise each shirt to each owner. Definitely check them out!

Bowties & Pocketsquares: The Tie Bar

Brides Dress: Brides of Melbourne

Brides Reception Dress & Bridesmaids Dresses: White Runway

Brides Shoes: Miu Miu

Bridesmaids shoes: Range from Aldo, Nine West & Forever New

Centrepieces, Brides Bouquet & Buttonieres: Balwyn Events. The only negative was, our centrepieces were missing their crystal hanging beads (shown in picture). Not sure if this was the neglect from Balwyn Events or the International. IMG_6654

Cake: House of Elegant Cakes

Candy Buffet: The Candy Buffet Company

Celebrant: Sally Hughes

Photobooth: Photoyolo These guys were awesome. The design process for the printout was a little slow & frustrating though, since it took multiple times to re-iterate to the designer (all over email as well) what you want in your photo printout. The photobooth side of things were great since you can fit 6-8 people into the booth. Photo quality & lighting was also great! Guests could also have the option to leave video messages! At the end, they gave us a beautiful big album to store all photos + 2 CDS with soft copies & videos.

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Cars: The Caddyman & Exotic Limos

Stationery & Accessories: They were either DIY, sourced overseas, or from Etsy, Ebay, Typo & Wedding Paper Divas etc

Wedding Favours: Pink Frosting

Below: A couple of polaroids shots from Wei2 & Gary. Loving how the photos came out so vintage like our parents wedding photos.

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3 Wedding Essentials

I had pledged silently to myself before that I wouldn’t overwrite my blog with wedding posts. Yet it’s hard not to when I am filled with so many ideas & excitement for arguably one of the most important days of my life. So if you are sick of wedding talk, please skip this long post.

Almost every girl out there must have at some stage of their childhood fantasized about their wedding day. Mine was triggered at a very young age when I first read those Disney princess books. At the time, I pictured that my wedding dress will be a similar massive glittery ball gown- like Cinderella’s . The expectations & lists of things I want grew significantly during my teenage years -especially when you add girlfriends in the mix with similar dreams. We were constantly trying to emulate celebrity weddings or ideas from movies & even played this out with dolls, make-up & pretend dresses.

Cinderella-Kids-Disney-Story-with-a-Moral-Lesson1Today my tastes have changed & budget played a determining role to my wedding plans. I no longer fantasized about having a grand wedding, but appreciated a more personal & intimate one.  I concluded that there are 3 essential things you DEFINITELY need in a wedding before others especially if you are on a budget.

  1. The most obvious- Reception/ Ceremony venue

cf78cee3dd2c240eeab5ed8575a38c51Set THE date. This will make everything else so much easier to plan. Then do some research into venues & visit the place. Check out magazines or bride forums like Easy Weddings for recommendations. If you love it, book it. The date can determine the cost as well – for example, is it on weekend (higher cost) or a week night (budget friendly) Is it during the day for lunch (budget friendly) or dinner (higher cost) Is it during Autumn/Winter (budget friendly) or Spring/Summer (higher cost) Booking in advance is also especially crucial if your wedding is during peak season & on a weekend – typically mid Nov – March if you live in VIC Australia.

Most reception venues in Melbourne on average cost about $120 per head for a 3-4 course menu, plus your standard 3 table drinks – beer, white & red wines and soft drinks. The cost would also typically include a standard table centerpiece in the mix (usually a simple candelabra) Some venues charge a little extra for chair covers & sashes though, but you can ALWAYS bargain this down. If you are having your reception at a restaurant, they might not include any table centerpieces for you, so be prepared to spend more dosh to outsource table centerpieces/flowers if you find this necessary. To make it easier for guests & bridal party alike, some venues already have designated areas where you can also hold your wedding ceremony before reception (if you don’t know, the ceremony is when you get legally married & sign the docs etc) Again, you may be charged by using their courtyard, or garden or foyer- but always negotiate this. Compromise. Otherwise you can pay a small fee to have it at a separate location like a public garden or the Marriage registry.

  1. Make it Legal- Book a Celebrant/Priest

e523c90f295510d1e3c41dd5db08abecYou definitely need a celebrant or a religious leader as they will be the one legally marrying you.  They provide you with the legal paperwork needed to be ‘officially married’ & say the right things needed to be said in a ceremony.

I’m not quite clear how much a priest/church charges (if someone can kindly clarify) as I am using a celebrant for my wedding. Celebrant prices range from $300 to about $900+ (won’t be surprised if there are higher) & they are hired for an average of 30mins of the Ceremony. ABIA winners & nominees are usually about $600+ which should typically include rehearsals. Meet a couple, determine the difference & find the connection- but remember, you get what you paid for! If you want someone who is very engaging to your guests, who can dress well to go in theme with your attire, charismatic, speak in a comforting tone (very important to me personally) then be prepared to pay the bigger bucks. I have been to a wedding where the Celebrant talked like a Horse race commentator & pretty much rushed the ceremony. The celebrant is also the one your guests will remember & be in the videos if you are having a videographer! Alternatively, you can get married at the Victorian Marriage Registry at the Treasury Building too.

  1. Photographer/Videographer

6370c9d6757d4ecf10c2707434ea8521Not all of us can have beautiful weddings overseas, or at grand hotel ballrooms, or have rich parents who own an acre backyard. So even if your venue is lacklustre, a good Photographer can make  your wedding  look magical in the photos which one day you will perhaps show off to new friends & your kids. Photography is one of the biggest, most expensive, and competitive- but extremely essential element for weddings, so be sure to invest good money into them amongst others first. There are tons of freelance photographers & agencies alike providing this service so fear not that you won’t find ‘the one’, but it is like finding a needle in a haystack. Ensure they show you what they have personally done for other couples previously. Bridal Magazines like Bride-to-Be & Real Weddings really helped this aspect for me. I looked at other peoples wedding shots & if I liked the style of their photography, I look up their photographer then search them online to see if they have a website & liaise away!

So why do you need a photographer? (A good one at that) You plan so much for your wedding & for it to go in a flash in the one day without documentation is such a waste. Photos are for great memories & to keep as a reminder of the little details that you may have missed on the momentous day. Good photographers have the ability to make your wedding look beautiful -even if you don’t have that crazy flower chandelier, or that great pergola backdrop, or those over the top table centerpieces etc. So even if your wedding is a low budget one, as long as they capture the right ‘moments’ ie. your bridal party having fun (if you are having one) or those little DIY items you may have made, your wedding is bound to LOOK beautiful in photos, and in time when the memory fades of the day, the photos won’t. Once again, meet a couple both freelance & agencies alike. I personally love freelance photographers compared to agencies as I feel they work harder to gain street credit & personalise their services. With agencies, it felt like I was just going to get assigned a random photographer who happens to be free on that day- they might not be the one who took those beautiful shots shown in the albums in the studio! You can have more ‘connection’ with freelancers & I believe this is essential to capturing you both well on one of the most momentous days of your lives.

Hope this helps! I would love to know what you feel is essential in a wedding.

*Photos are from Pinterest

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The Engagement

For our engagement party, we opted instead for a small get together in our backyard with our family, bridal party, their partners & several close friends. We wanted a small & intimate gathering to reflect the overall theme of our upcoming wedding in December.

I didn’t want it to be the conventional type of ‘backyard BBQ’, instead I wanted to inject it with some elements of our wedding but without breaking the bank. Our backyard also looked very lacklustre (and jungle like before) so I really wanted to spice up the place a bit to make it look more elegant & aesthetically pleasing. I figured that even if it doesn’t turn out looking like something out of ‘Vogue Wedding’, at least something wedding-like rather than just a boring backyard.

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[Picture from Pinterest]