5 Tips Before You Begin Wedding Gown Shopping

By George Porter

A wedding is beautiful and ethereal — something that happens once in a lifetime for most people. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows as what many people make it out to be.

Wedding gown shopping, for starters, could be one hell of a pain to the bride’s neck.

In fact, it is probably one of the pre-wedding activities that could bring out the ‘bridezilla’ in you. Yikes!

Are you stressed from all the wedding plans, especially the dress shopping part?

If so, then let’s take a look at the five tips to that will prepare you better for this particular activity.

1. Time is crucial—start shopping a year before the wedding

Shopping for wedding gowns is probably the very first thing that popped out to your mind after getting engaged.

While we cannot really fault you for not being able to contain your excitement, it is best for you to take a breather first and enjoy your engagement especially if you’re planning on marrying a year or so from your engagement day. Looking for gowns too early can cause you to have second thoughts since you have too much time to decide.

2. Look for wedding gown photos

Women fall for dresses at first sight. You don’t really say ‘Oh, I love it’ without even seeing it in the first place. So, the only way you can know what gowns you like is by looking.

You can do this by searching wedding trends of gowns online or browsing through wedding magazines. When looking at photos online though, aim for dress photos that are found on actual sites, instead of Google-generated images. This way, it’ll be easier to know the store and/or designer.

3. Be definitive on your search for wedding gowns

After looking for photos, create your top list of gown photos. When you do this, you will notice some kind of pattern based on the photos you’ve picked. It could be the dress style, its fabric, the color, or the designer. Take note of the similarities and try to define them.

Once you have figured out what sort of ‘qualities’ you’re looking for, tell your dress store so that they can help you narrow your search. For example, you originally wanted vintage dresses to match with your classic wedding car, but then you found out that you also are fond of modern-style gowns.

Photo: Supplied

Photo: Supplied

4. Create a schedule for your dress shopping

Plan out the days that you have to shop for wedding gowns. Search for all the bridal shops near you or those within an hour (or two if you want) of where you are.

Read testimonials and reviews online about their dresses. You may encounter shops that will probably destroy your shopping journey while there are also those that will be on your top picks.

5. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get to the ‘one’

Once you’ve had a list of shops to go to and have finalized the necessary appointment, you can now head over to the stores one by one.

Remember that finding your dream gown could take several dress fittings, so don’t get beaten down so easily.

Be patient, girl!

Take your time and don’t panic if you fail on your first few days of wedding gown dress shopping.

Besides, the princess once had to kiss many frogs before she found her prince charming. You never know, that may be the case for you as well.

5 Ways to Reduce Stress before your Wedding Day

By George Porter

You’ve picked out the perfect dress. Found the perfect venue. And convinced your brother not to tell that embarrassing story during his toast.

That should be all your stress taken care of, right? Wrong! 

According to recent studies, a whopping 96% of couples. say that wedding planning is stressful. 

So if your big day is on the horizon and you still feel a little on edge, you’re not alone.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t find some creative ways to relax and unwind leading up to your big day. 

Here’s how to stay relaxed with your wedding on the horizon.

Avoid wedding stress with these helpful tips.  Photo: supplied

Avoid wedding stress with these helpful tips. Photo: supplied

The Secret to Stress Management

If your wedding is coming up and you want to make sure that you can regulate your stress levels to have a more enjoyable time, it's important that you are well prepared.  

After all, this is (hopefully) the only time you’ll get married so you don’t want to miss out on soaking up a thing.

Here are some stress management techniques you can use to remain calm as your wedding day nears.

#1 - Practice meditation

If you can practice meditation before your wedding day it is possible to go into your wedding day much more relaxed and armed with some helpful  tools that you can use to calm yourself. 

Learning breathing techniques and meditation can be an excellent way that you can gain some much-needed strength and energy too. So not only will you find an inner calm to guide you through your wedding, but if you partner your meditation with some toning yoga you’ll look incredible on the big day too!

#2 - Stay connected with your partner

Communication is important in a relationship, and especially so throughout your wedding day. 

There is a lot of stress and pressure on you both from last minute planning to all day socialising.

Making sure that you can schedule time for each other can help keep your mutual anxiety under wraps - remember, sharing is caring! 

#3 - Exercise regularly

Exercising before your wedding and enjoying hobbies that you love can be a great way to reduce stress and take a break from all the planning. 

Getting outside to take a hike, get the blood pumping, or experience some of your favourite hobbies, can be a great way to reduce psychological stress. 

Scientists have found that just 5 minutes of exercise a day can stimulate anti-anxiety effects, so get moving!

#4 - Start journaling

Sharing your feelings in a journal or even just recording your feelings in a way that is comfortable to you can be an excellent way to sort through some of the anxiety that you are feeling.

As you start journaling you can categorise some of the emotions and talk your way through some of the difficulties of planning. 

You might be surprised where your stress is coming from, but once you can identify it, you can work through it effectively.

#5 - Ask for help if you need it

So many couples in the process of wedding preparation simply forget to ask for help. 

Delegating important tasks to friends or family members can be an excellent way that you can prepare for your wedding day and prevent taking on too much of a burden that ends up burning you out. 

It’s all about taking small steps towards your big goal. You can read more about wedding prep in easy steps here.

Amy Cappola of Melbourne wedding transport company, Red Chevy, says that, “The wedding day can be a bundle of nerves and excitement. By delegating tasks in advance you can make sure all the little boxes are ticked, leaving you free to enjoy the day without worry”.

Say ‘I Do’ to a stress free wedding day

Your wedding day will be one of the happiest days of your life.

While it’s natural to feel a little stress leading up to your nuptials, if you feel overwhelmed with your schedule, try implementing some of these effective stress relieving techniques.

Then, all you’ll have to worry about is whether or not it rains on the day!


How to Survive the Speeches

By The Bride’s Avenue

This one’s for the #MAFS fanatics.

Broxy’s “best man” speech. Oh em gee.

Last night Australia’s newest episode of Married At First Sight aired and, yes, while we get it’s reality TV and heavily edited to portray alllllll the drama (and some…), we can’t go past the best man speech by Broxy, at Mick Gould and Jessika Power’s reception. And we’re using the term “best man” lightly, after that curveball! 

Which brings us to a very important topic of conversation. The speeches. They can often be one of the most nerve-racking moments of your entire wedding day, but they don’t have to be. “The original meaning of the wedding speech or toast is to wish the new couple health and good luck in their marriage. ... This, therefore, is the purpose of the wedding speech, to entertain and amuse guests. The wedding speeches are usually the bridge between the formal wedding ceremony and the onset of the reception.” But sometimes, people take the meaning of ‘amuse’ a little too literal. Here’s our top tips on how to “Survive the Speeches” on your big day:

1. Choose people to make speeches who are confident (and appropriate) public speakers. 

While it’s tradition for the best man to speak, it’s a tradition that can definitely be uprooted. Ask one of the groomsman to speak on behalf of the fellas – or even a brother, uncle or cousin not in the bridal party as a special role on the day. And we’re not taking sides, it’s the same story for the ladies too! Maybe you have someone that’s a great story teller (but not of the Viagra style…), a confident public speaker and comfortable with a microphone. Even if they’re not in the bridal party, they can definitely take the speaker role on behalf of the others. 

2. Monitor the content by providing a little ‘speech cheat sheet’.

Click to download your copy below to give to your speakers …because there’s a BIG difference between a story that’s appropriate for a bucks party, and one for the wedding reception. We’re looking at you, Broxy. 

3. Move the speeches forward.

Once again, we’re talking about changing traditions here (for the better). Try having the speeches as soon as the reception starts, or over entrée, rather than waiting for after dinner. Speeches are often better when there’s a little less time for the festivities (aka champagne) to kick in… 

4. Don’t (EVER!) invite “anyone to take the mic” (and make sure your emcee knows of this request).

When you open the microphone up freely to anyone to speak, you have zero control at keeping Uncle Peter away from making an inappropriate or inside joke that just triggers awkward silence.

Got a hot tip? Feel free to leave your ideas for “Surviving the Speeches” in our comments below! 

2019 Wedding Trends at a glance

By The Bride’s Avenue

We’re kicking off the New Year with  a look into the hottest trends of 2019 to give you a big dose of juicy inspiration for your wedding planning journey!

Photo: Blair Schluter Photography

Photo: Blair Schluter Photography

Photo: via Elegant Productions

Photo: via Elegant Productions

Photo by Luna de Mare Photography with floral design by Jenn Sanchez

Photo by Luna de Mare Photography with floral design by Jenn Sanchez

1. Bring the outside, in.

Think greenery, grasses and LOADS of foliage. Dry foliage in particular is proving popular!

Photo: Figtree Pictures // Floral design: The French Petal

Photo: Figtree Pictures // Floral design: The French Petal

2. Linen. Linen. Linen.

Beautiful, textured linen has made a huge comeback in the fashion world, and we’re expecting to see loads of it on table décor this year – think table cloths, napkins and table runners…. Someone hand me an iron? 

Photo: offbeatbride.com

Photo: offbeatbride.com

3. The rise of the bridesman and groomsgirls.

It’s all about having your nearest and dearest by your side, right? We’re seeing a huge trend in breaking down the gender barriers with brides and grooms having ALL their besties involved (including siblings) – regardless of gender. What a breath of fresh air!

Photo: Grape and Fig

Photo: Grape and Fig

4.  Grazing tables.

We can’t see this trend backing down without a fight. We saw a LOT of grazing tables (savoury, sweet and everything in between) in 2018, and it’s definitely looking to continue this year. 

5. Minimalist stationery.

From wedding stationery to on-the-day signage, it’s all about minimalist designs, soft colour palettes and intricate details like vellum and wax seals.

Dress: Cushnie

Dress: Cushnie

Photo: Jodene by Sassi Holford

Photo: Jodene by Sassi Holford

6.  Simple, classic and streamline wedding dresses make a comeback.

Minimalists rejoice! You can thank Meghan Markle for the comeback of the simple and traditional wedding dress - think clean lines, without embellishments.

Photo: via bridemagazine.co.uk

Photo: via bridemagazine.co.uk

 7. Three piece suits.

Super stylish, three piece suits are making a huge comeback for the fellas. It’s all about the sharp details with an impeccably tailored and flawlessly fitted design. 

8. Textured Cakes and traditional whites.

There’s a fair bit of variation happening with cakes at the moment – texture is BIG, along with bringing back the traditional, all-white cake with loads of intricate details like regal piping and opulent sugar flowers. So there’s a fair bit of personal choice swaying this one - looks like you can have your cake and eat it too! 

8. Coral.

Pantone’s colour of the year “Living Coral” - is a bright, pinky-orange colour bursting with character. We’re expecting big things and feature flowers to pop with this colour against soft, pastel pallets. 

Resources // https://www.bridesmagazine.co.uk and http://www.hamptoneventhire.com

Traditions: take them or leave them

By Sharon, for The Bride's Avenue

Traditions are great, and wedding traditions are the stuff of nostalgia. Whether you are a modern day rebel of a bride or you are a more traditional woman, the decision to stick to tradition or veer off is a difficult one to make.

While some traditions might be really meaningful to you, others not so much. So how do you know which to keep and which ones to ditch? Well, most times that is where a good wedding planner comes in. However before speaking to your wedding planner, it makes sense to have an idea of what you want. So let’s explore.

Photo: https://www.fairygothmother.co.uk/collections/floral-bridal

Photo: https://www.fairygothmother.co.uk/collections/floral-bridal

Photo: https://www.fairygothmother.co.uk/collections/floral-bridal

Photo: https://www.fairygothmother.co.uk/collections/floral-bridal

A white wedding dress or not?

Well the white wedding dress is certainly traditional and if you have your heart set on wearing one, then by all means go ahead. However, if you are not so keen on this colour, it is okay to leave out this tradition. The more modern take is to go for a colour of your choice. And if anyone gives you trouble, just remind them that the white wedding dress only became popular with Queen Victoria who wore it to her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. Before then, people just wore their best dresses.

Same style bridesmaid dresses?

If you have ever been a victim of a bridesmaid dress that made you cringe when you thought of it, then you might want to leave out this particular tradition. Bridesmaid dresses do not have to be the same style and they don’t all have to be in one colour. Actually they can each wear different colours, just be sure to work with an experienced planner who can help you coordinate things by making sure the colours belong to the same palette.

Matching Wedding bands

The groom and bride’s wedding bands don’t have to match. Yes, it is cute to have your wedding bands match, but if you both have different tastes in metals or in wedding band styles, there is nothing that says you can’t each have the sort of wedding band you want. You could personalize your bands by engraving your names or initials or something that is meaningful to you both. If the groom is partial to platinum and the bride prefers yellow gold and you really can’t seem to agree on matching wedding bands, then this is one tradition you absolutely should leave.

Getting married in a religious institution

Well, we all have our dreams and if getting married in your religious institution has been a childhood dream of yours, then you should definitely take this tradition. However, if you are ambivalent, or you just want something fresh that represents who you are, then skip this. My best friend got married in a beautiful garden surrounded by flowers and nature. Everyone who knew her and her groom admitted it was just perfect for who they were.

There are other options you can explore. A very good friend of mine had a destination wedding at an exotic island in another country. If you are not certain that you want your wedding ceremony to take place inside a religious institution, then work with your wedding planner to find a location that is just perfect for you and also to ensure that your wedding celebrant is comfortable officiating outside the traditional venue.

Photo: Maria Lamb Photography

Photo: Maria Lamb Photography

Don’t see each other before the wedding

So this is just a carryover from medieval culture where the bride and groom saw each other for the first time during the wedding ceremony, by which time it was too late for the groom to change his mind if he did not like the look of the bride. Seriously, I would say ditch it. But just in case you are looking for the perfect reason, I’ll give you one. The first look photo shoot. This is a private moment just before the wedding begins when you can meet with your groom for a photo shoot that involves just the two of you. Some professional wedding photographers insist that you get your best pictures then probably because you are not under pressure and everything (including your makeup) is still fresh. Food for thought!

Styled Shoot // Country Charm

A group of talented Central West creatives got together recently to create an inspiring styled shoot at the super-chic Curban Community Hall.

"Looking for a venue which radiates the tranquil charm and romance of the bush, yet has contemporary appointments? The Curban Community Hall offers the rare appeal of a rustic, authentic mid-twentieth century country hall, with its corrugated iron cladding and tin roof.
... Located approximately 21 kms north of Gilgandra NSW, this venue sits comfortably within its rural landscape, amongst the grazing stock and seasonal crops surrounding the hamlet of Curban. It is within an hour’s drive of Dubbo, and ample accommodation is available in both Gilgandra and Dubbo. ...
The Curban Community Hall is unique and is the complete package. It has more special features, inclusions and genuine character than alternative rural wedding venues, at a fraction of the price."(Source: Wedshed).

Photography // Jade Thompson Photography
Venue // Curban Community Hall
Stying & HIre // The Rural Bride
Catering // Megan O’Connor Catering
Native Florals // Denise’s Flower Studio
Coloured Florals // Shiralee Archer by Appointment
Tiffany Chair Hire // Adors Hire Dubbo
Hair // Halo Hair by Bronte
Makeup // Sarah Jade Makeup Artistry
Models // Tori Anderson and Hannah James
♥ = a premium #TBAsupplier

Wild Romance - A Styled Shoot

If you’re looking for a fresh, romantic theme for your big day - this is it! Set amongst the gum trees, a team of suppliers got together recently to put together this glamorous, inspirational shoot for your viewing pleasure!

Read More

2018’s Loveliest & Luxe Wedding Trends

Are you recently engaged or planning to get married in the new year and still unsure of what kind of wedding theme you’re going to go with? We've got you covered with our style overviews for EVERY season in 2018!

Read More

Guest etiquette

So you’ve been invited to a wedding and you want to be a good guest, how do you go about it? From social media etiquette to what colour NOT to wear, here's our top tips...

Read More