Category Archives: Wedding

A quintessential Byron Bay wedding

Want to feel the sand squelch between your toes as you wander barefoot along the tranquil Byron Bay coast, hand in hand with your love, on your wedding day? Look no further. Below are four venues guaranteed to pair that quintessential Byron Bay experience, and the celebration of love and commitment that is your wedding.

The Belongil

Located in sunny Byron, The Belongil boasts the most sought-after wedding venue in the Bay. Step inside the idyllic coastal restaurant, and enjoy a fully catered event to celebrate and welcome your new marriage. Seating up to 150 guests, The Belongil caters to intimate and medium-sized weddings alike. Enjoy the salty evening breeze while you mingle, and as the party comes to a close, step barefoot into the sand just across the road with your love. Bliss.

The Belongil also offers accommodation, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, allowing guests to dance into the night, and take a fresh dip in the ocean the following morning. The perfect weekend away.

 

The Deck at Byron Bay

Strike envy into the hearts of family and friends by holding your special day at The Deck at Byron. With panoramic views of the lighthouse and lush greenery that is Byron Bay Golf Course, this venue is simply breathtaking. The Deck caters for 60 to 160 guests sit down meal, with up to 250 guests maximum for a larger cocktail reception. Whether you desire an intimate occasion or a larger soiree, The Deck at Byron really is the perfect place to ring in a new marriage.

 

The Pass Café

Located overlooking sublime Pass Beach and surf break, The Pass Café in Byron Bay is the ideal location to hold your intimate wedding. Sip champagne and marinate in the salty coastal breeze while celebrating your love with 120 family and friends cocktail style, or sit comfortably among 60 of your nearest and dearest. Relax and enjoy the truly memorable night ahead.

Wedding makeup tips

Everyone’s their own makeup artist these days. With a little help of Youtube makeup gurus and their many tutorials, it seems possible to pull off DIY wedding makeup.  But should you do your own makeup on one of the most important days of your life?

 

DIY Wedding Makeup

Doing your own makeup for your wedding has its advantages.

For one, you’ll look exactly like yourself. You won’t feel like a different person hiding beneath layers of powders, creams and fake eyelashes.

You’ve done it thousands of times — how can it possibly go wrong? Nobody knows you better than yourself — you know what works and what doesn’t.

But where’s the fun in that?

 

Makeup Artist

The time spent in the hotel getting all dolled up with your bridesmaids while sipping champagne at obscene hours in the morning is what makes weddings fun!

You spend time primping your face every other day — why not let a talented professional do it on the most important day of your life?

Also, makeup artists who specialise in weddings are equipped with the skills to make you glow in the wedding photos. They know what works and what doesn’t work in certain lights. This kind of expertise and craftsmanship is perhaps beyond what youtube makeup gurus and their tutorials can teach you.

Makeup artists know how to ensure your base is flawless, your highlight is on fleek and that there is no dreaded makeup flashback in your professional photography.

You can also ensure you get the bridal makeup look you want by having a trial and showing the makeup artist some images to use as inspiration.

Beginning the day with applying your own makeup will only add to the inevitable stress of your wedding day. This is your day to be pampered and fussed over — milk it for all it’s worth!

Tips to make unforgettable wedding vows

So your partner has suggested it might be a good idea to write your own wedding vows and at first, you think it’s a great idea. But then, you have to actually write them! ‘Till death do us part simply isn’t going to cut it, but you are no Shakespeare or Nicholas Sparks. Romantic prose isn’t sitting on the tip of your tongue (or your pen). So what do you do?

Chances are if you were to break out in verses of ye olde English that is recognisably Shakespearean, you would probably get looks of shock and maybe even a few giggles, so looking to the master of romantic tragedies probably isn’t your answer (you do want a happily ever after, after all!)

First things first, it’s best to set the tone with your fiance and see what they had in mind. Are you going for light-hearted and funny? Or more heart-melting and romantic? Will you be writing them together? Or surprising one another with them on the wedding day?

If you need a third party to look at each of the vows and suggest some changes so that they align a little bit better, (to avoid one of you joking around while the other is more serious and traditional) you could ask your celebrant to read each of your vows and give a few tips. They have heard many amazing wedding ceremonies and tend to be amazing wordsmiths.

Once you have these finer point finalised, it’s time to start getting inspired – something even the most seasoned writers can struggle with.

Here are some writing tips to help you get the creative juices flowing and help you write unforgettable wedding vows:

 

Start early

This is the most important tip, because rushed vows will not work for anyone. You will need time to dedicate to this, even if it is 10 minutes here or there over a few weeks, so you can capture the essence of what you want to say in an eloquent way. Don’t leave your vows to the last minute unless you are creative and very confident! Keep an eye on your to-do list to keep on track.

 

Read

Any writer will tell you that reading helps you unlock a world of possibilities when it comes to writing your own pieces, in this case vows. If you are religious, read the traditional vows and see if anything resonates with you. There is no harm in using this to inspire the words you use or the promises you hope to make in your vows. If you have bridal magazines around, you can flip through them to see the words that pop out for you and if your partner has a favourite author or movie they love, you can use some language from there to really personalise it for them.

 

Make notes

As you read or inspiration strikes, make notes somewhere safe so you know where to find them when the time comes to write. Ask yourself questions about your partner and your relationship, like when did you realise you were in love with them? Why did you decide to get married and what you see your future together looking like. Write down the answers to all of these questions, and others that pop into your mind, and then you have already created the bones of your vows.

 

Visit memory lane

While you are in the note phase, take some time to think back to how you first felt when you met your partner and what it was about them that was so attractive to you. It could be the way they had a ready smile, or that they always took the time to see how you were doing, or knew when you were having a bad day without you having to communicate it and knew how to make you feel better. These are the things about your relationship that are unique and putting them into your vows will make them unlike any others.

 

Think of commitments you want to make

Making promises is the core of what vows are all about, so you can think in broad terms or more personally with what you want to say to your partner. Things like ‘I will always love and support you’ fall into the broad category, while ‘I promise to always offer you a bite of my dessert’ falls into the latter and will often mean the most to your partner. You will hit the jackpot if you can find a good balance between broad promises and personalised ones.

 

Get writing

With your notes on hand and some promises in mind, you can start writing. Don’t be fixated on getting it right the first time. Because you have allowed enough time, (you followed tip one didn’t you?) you will have the ability to revisit this draft and make changes until it flows the way you want to. You can write your vows in a narrative style, starting with when you first met, when you fell in love and what you hope for your future together, or you can express your love, tell your partner what you love the most about them, make your promises and finish off with your broad vow.

 

Steer clear of clichés

While you have read far and wide and drawn inspiration from all over the place, make sure your vows are written in your own style and sound like something you would say. If you read your draft and see cliches screaming out at you, rethink of ways to convey the same message in words you would use every day

 

Edit

If you go through your draft and see that it’s much too long, or you have repeated yourself a couple of times, get the metaphorical scissors out and cut, cut, cut. Hold on tight to the bits that flow nicely and best communicate what you want to say and take out or rework everything that doesn’t. If you have to do this a few times over a few weeks, not to worry, you will end up with much more succinct vows that truly express how you feel by the end of it. There are no hard and fast rules, but try not to let your vows run for more than two minutes. If you are really stuck with how to improve or what to lose if you need to shorten them, ask a close friend for help.

Are you celebrate for valentine

We all know Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to showing the one you love how much you heart them, but here are some things you didn’t know about February 14…

 

Origins

There are many versions of the history of Valentine’s Day and how it came to be. This is largely due to the fact that mystery surrounds its patron saint.

One of the more popular legends says Valentine was a priest who lived in the third century in Rome. This was the time when ruling Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men. For some reason, Claudius decided single men made better soldiers and refused to allow them to have wives and children.

Valentine began to defy the orders and performed secret marriage ceremonies for young couples, but when his actions were uncovered, he was ordered to be put to death.

It is said that hours before his execution, Valentine wrote a letter which he signed “From your Valentine.”

 

The creation of X

Have you ever signed off a letter with an X in place of a kiss? You are probably unaware that you are recreating a tradition formed in medieval times.

When people were unable to write their names, they would sign an X in from of a witness and then kiss the mark to show their sincerity.

 

To wear your heart on your sleeve

Valentine’s Day in the middle ages would see young men and women pick a name from a bowl to see who would be their valentine.

They would then wear the name pinned to their sleeve for seven days, sparking the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”

Letters to Juliet

Lovers of Shakespeare know the Italian city of Verona is the setting for Romeo and Juliet’s tale of woe and every year, the around 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet are sent there for Valentine’s Day.

 

Spend imbalance

Modern Valentine’s Day celebrations are very different to the various incarnations over the centuries, but today men shell out more than double what women spend on gifts for their partners.

Couples make on Valentine

It’s almost here. That one calendar day where people around the world declare their love for each other. Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day and whether you love or hate February 14, there are some common mistakes couples make on valentines day. We’ve compiled a list to help you to have a great valentines day with your love.

 

Pretending it doesn’t exist

You may not be particularly fond of Valentine’s Day, but your partner might be a hopeless romantic, so don’t pretend like it’s any ordinary day. You don’t have to feel pressured to come up with an overly grand gesture every year, but carrying on as usual can be quite insulting to your partner so try to make a little effort.

 

Not booking in advance

If you want to take your partner out to a nice dinner or a movie, pick up the phone and make a reservation or pre-book movie tickets online to ensure you will be able to do what you had planned to do without fear of being left in the lurch when the restaurant or cinema is fully booked. You may end up having an impromptu night in if you forget to plan!

 

Not doing anything at all

You could be a new couple or recently celebrated your engagement, but that doesn’t exclude you from spending quality time together on Valentine’s Day, you just might like to tone things down. Even if you have been married for 15 years and feel like you don’t need to do anything special to mark the day, try looking past the roses and chocolates and think of something more meaningful you can do for your partner. It can be something as simple as doing a chore your partner usually does for them and it can mean so much.

 

Not discussing a budget

Surprises can be lovely, but when you present your partner with a cute stuffed teddy bear and they present you with a holiday to the Whitsundays or a solid gold necklace, things can get awkward. While it is rare to have that much of a discrepancy in gift price points, it can help to have a brief chat before Valentine’s Day to set a guideline. You can go for something small, like under $20, or even pool funds together to do something more extravagant as a couple.

Gift ideas for your beloved

Valentine’s Day is almost here and now that you are engaged, your relationship is now on another level. But rather than trying to take your gift-giving to the next level, why not consider something more personalized for your fiance and soon-to-be spouse?

Sure, roses, chocolates and a restaurant meal will always go down a treat, but we have put together some ideas that will make your partner go all mushy and won’t cost you the earth if you are budgeting for your wedding. Here are some great valentine’s day present ideas for your partner.

 

Personalised photo book or album

Nothing says “I love you and I want to remember how much” like taking the time to put together a little memory book for your partner.  A photo album with printed photos and cute captions makes a really great valentine’s day gift. Otherwise, you could do a more modern digitally-created photo book, which will go down a real treat. You don’t have to look far for inspiration. You can create one of a holiday, your engagement shoot or weekend getaway your shared, or trawl through your photos and create a timeline of your relationship from when you first met to now!

 

Edible flowers

This is a classical two birds, one stone scenario that will also save you money. There are lots of companies around that offer bouquets of chocolate flowers, or a box of sweet treats and florals. These are a creative change from the traditional roses and chocolates!

 

Jar of affirmations

Use a jar of any size to fill with your partner’s favourite lollies or chocolates and hide some notes for them inside. They don’t have to be full-blown love poems, but simply writing small comments that express your love for them, what you love the most about them and how they make you happy. This is one of the easiest but most heartfelt valentine’s day present ideas!

 

Organise a date

This doesn’t have to be dinner at a fancy restaurant. You could do something simple like enjoy a romantic twilight walk, take a picnic to a park or relax at the beach. The idea is to set aside time for just the two of you.

Valley wedding venues

Dreaming of a tranquil wedding away? Below are ten Hunter Valley wedding venues guaranteed to offer a peaceful countryside wedding in the fresh air.

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Located in idyllic countryside, Crown Plaza is the perfect venue for a destination wedding. Nestled between vineyards and golf courses in picturesque Hunter Valley, Crown Plaza caters for both intimate weddings and larger soirees, with venues seating from 50 to 830 people. And, with accommodation on site, your guests can wholly enjoy the memorable event ahead.

 

Hunter Valley Gardens

Boasting five star reviews, Hunter Valley Gardens is guaranteed to enthral your guests. Offering an all-in-one location, the location includes the ceremony, photography setting, and the reception. Celebrate your love and commitment to one another beneath the leafy backdrop, and dance into the candlelit night. Hunter Valley Gardens also offers a fireworks display, and helicopter transport, for the more gallant newlyweds.

 

Estate Tuscany

Located beside the magnificent Brokenback Ranges, Estate Tuscany offers the perfect vineyard setting. Specialising in summer weddings, Estate Tuscany allows you to exchange vows in the sun, and later celebrate beneath the stars in the courtyard. For wetter days, rustic indoor venues are available for a discounted rate. On-site accommodation offers the cherry on top, allowing your nearest and dearest to spend the entire weekend together. A truly memorable experience.

 

The Vintage

Surrounded by fields as far as the eye can see, The Vintage offers the quintessential countryside wedding. With six wedding venues to choose from, The Vintage caters to all weddings — big and small. With a golf course, on-site accommodation, and a spa, your perfect weekend wedding awaits.

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.