Monthly Archives: October 2016

Couples set to get married

Easy Weddings, Australia’s number one online wedding resource site, CEO Matt Butterworth said more than 300 couples were married on February 14 last year, making it a popular choice with engaged couples.

Today, Canberra’s Samira El Haj and Al Walker will be among them as they tie the knot after a five-year engagement in front of an intimate gathering of 30 guests in the backyard of their Canberra home.


Samira said the date appealed to them for two reasons. “Al is a very romantic guy and I have always received roses on Valentine’s day, but he has forgotten my birthday in the past, so we thought if we get married on Valentine’s day, he won’t forget it,” she quipped.

“The only downfall was that the flowers were quite expensive due to the high demand associated with Valentine’s Day.” Samira, now 47, and Al, now 45, met at a bar in Canberra in 2008 and enjoyed a whirlwind romance when Al followed Samira to Spain when she intended to move back to her native country.


“He came over for six weeks and it was like a baptism of fire for our relationship – it really was make or break as we were with each other 24/7 for six weeks,” Samira said. “And after that, I moved to Canberra to continue our romance. “Because of our ages, we had to get a move on when we found each other.”

They only started to plan their “wedding on a shoestring” in December, after they had confirmation Samira’s family would be able to travel from Spain for the event. Their two gorgeous children Aisha, 6, and Harry, 4, will have integral roles in their 3pm ceremony.

“Harry will be our ringbearer and we will find a cushion to tie the rings really, really tight onto and Aisha will be our flower girl and throw out handmade petals made by my mother-in-law,” Samira said.

“Aisha’s very disappointed that I’m not having the big white ballgown and white carriage fairytale wedding, because that what she thinks marriage is all about. But we are all very excited.”

Snapchat wedding geofilter

Wedding hashtags are reaching fever pitch and the creativity of some couples is astounding. But if you have a wedding in 2017, you might want to learn more about Snapchat Geofilters, because they are the next social media craze poised to explode.

If you are hooked on Snapchat, this is the perfect way to add some extra charm to the photos your guests post of your big day.

Geofilters allow you to create personalised filters for your wedding that are only available at a set location. In this case, it would be your ceremony and/or reception venue.

Gold glittery hearts, beautiful doves holding banners or a custom design that captures the essence of you and your partner – the options are limitless.

But, like most great things, there are some regulations. Snapchat needs to approve each proposed Geofilter design to ensure there are no trademarked images, website URLs, phone numbers, usernames or pictures of people in the filter image.

Designs also need to have a transparent background and only cover a small percentage of the screen to allow for the photos being posted to be easily seen.

You can take the bull by the horns and jump onto Snapchat and check out their templates to personalise one for your wedding, or you can employ the services of a graphic designer to create a bespoke filter for you.

Once you have your design ready, you submit it to Snapchat for approval. If you are DIYing a Geofilter, you might benefit from checking out video tutorials on YouTube to ensure you go through the process correctly, but a basic guideline of how this process works is:


Step 1 – Upload

Get onto Snapchat and upload your Geofilter design.


Step 2 – Select a window of time

Choose the amount of time you want to have the filter available. For weddings, it makes sense to base the availability around your ceremony and reception times as you do pay by the hour for this privilege. But if you have extra money in your wedding budget, you can extend this out to the entire day or even weekend. Geofilters can be live for just an hour or anywhere up to 30 days. Be sure to check the time zone that you are working with to make sure it aligns with the location of your venue.


Step 3 – Build a fence

No, you don’t have to get over this one. The geographical area of a Geofilter is defined when you use the Snapchat tool to draw a “fence” to indicate where you wish to have your filter available (your wedding venue). It can be one building or an entire block. Just remember, the larger the area, the more you will need to be prepared to pay.

Trip to Tokyo Disney

“Ryan and I got together in October 2013 and were together for about a year when I needed surgery to fix my nasal passage. After the operation had concluded, Ryan came to visit me in my hospital room while I was still coming out of my anaesthetic. I was still mildly out of it when he arrived and so I proudly proclaimed “I’m going to wife you at Disneyland!” Ryan looked bemused while I rambled.

Both of us had been planning an overseas trip together for a while, and Japan seemed like an obvious choice, the food, the people, the history, and theme parks! A few months prior to the trip, Ryan asked me to pick out a ring. So while the ring wasn’t a surprise at all, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Proceed to May 2016 to our Japan trip. After spending our first week in Tokyo, we went to my spiritual home, Disneyland, and Ryan proposed to me in front of the castle. It was nice and quiet as the crowds were all lining up for the afternoon parade so there was no fuss from other people. He had considered proposing in front of Ariel, but knowing how much I loved the castle, changed his mind last minute. What a magical day!”

Olivia and Ryan are currently planning their wedding using the Easy Weddings directory and planning tools.  If you would like to see more #RealProposal stories, check out Jamie and Mel’s here or Kaylee and Jeff’s here.

Avoid in your best man speech

There is a lot of pressure on a best man speech these days. You are expected to be laugh out loud funny, yet also charming and tasteful and all to a room of sometimes hundreds of strangers. It’s a difficult balance and the truth is, it’s a tough gig. And with all that pressure, it’s no wonder we sometimes hear the guys getting it wrong.


Don’t mention the ex

No matter how well-meaning your intentions, this is just a no-no.  If you want to avoid awkwardness and bad memories, just stay away from the ex. Weddings are about celebrating the future, there is absolutely no need to dwell on the past. Stay upbeat and focus on the moment.


The bucks party

We all have heard the saying ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’. But time and time again, the bucks party keeps sliding into best man speeches and it’s just not cool. Not only are you breaking bro-code but the audience and the bride especially do not want to hear what happened and what mischief was managed. Leave the imagery of what might have happened alone and keep it on the level.



You and the groom might go way back. Way way back. And while that is really lovely, we don’t know who you’re talking about when you call your friends Boof, Meat and Sweats. We only know them as James, Tom and Shaun. No matter how small the wedding, assume the room knows nothing. We definitely want to hear your stories and history with the groom – by all means tell us something we don’t know! But in choosing stories, make sure they’re relevant to the event and have a relevant link to the focus of the evening. Perfect examples are marriage, love and the future.



Remember guys, Granny is in the room. Would she approve? Swearing in a speech is not tasteful or necessary. An accidental slip can be forgiven, but swearing doesn’t add value to any story. Bleep it out and move on.


Winging it under the influence

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, unprepared speeches and alcohol are a recipe for wedding speech disaster. Alcohol will only give you false confidence and if you choose to wing your speech you need to be prepared for some or all of the above ‘no-nos’. If you want free drinks even after the tab has closed and plenty of pats on the back then prepare, practice and go slow before you speak.