Category Archives: Reception

DIY satisfaction.

OMG we are getting married in 2 days...

Remember my moment of DIY-fail-fear last week? The only thing I should have been concerned about is how long DIY actually takes! I definitely underestimated how long it would take to cut out 101 squares of calico and then wrap 101 bonfavs!

This project was the biggest thing on the To Do List this week, one that I should have started earlier than this Monday. It stressed me out because the time was passing too quickly. We’re lucky we both took this whole week off work.

It took around 6 hours in total, not the 2 hours I thought it might. I had one of my bridesmaids helping me with the twine and squares, and then the Groom and I wrapped them all up together. It was a fun, budget-friendly project, with each bonfav being around $1.70 – they also double as place cards (alas, we didn’t go for the birds after all). I really enjoyed doing it, it was so worth it.

It feels nice to have made something, frayed edges and all.


Filed under Budget, Reception

the transporter.

There is one wedding tradition I have no interest in (along with the garter and bouquet tosses that is). In fact I’ve always found it a little odd…

Wedding cars.

Maybe it’s because I don’t drive, I don’t have my licence at all, and I’ve driven a car twice, for about 5 minutes (when I had my learner licence). So since I have no interest in cars, or taking photos with a car (that’s the part I find a little odd… pimp my ride), ‘wedding cars’ were at the very bottom of the budget prioritising list. Our wedding as a whole is not budget; though we have definitely done certain aspects on the cheap to allow for the reception costs. There was no way I wanted to spent hundreds or more on a couple of cars, especially since our venue is a one minute drive from our accommodation (I timed it). But we still needed a way to travel to the venue…

Our wedding is on the same day as one of the Hunter Valley’s big music festivals – Jazz in the Vines. I was warned that taxis are rare up there, especially with such a big music event on. It would be a nightmare trying to get taxis for our 100 guests at midnight in the country. There is no public transport option. Most guests will be drinking so they wouldn’t be able to drive.

As a courtesy to our guests, and to ensure the beautiful wines are made the most of, we have arranged two 50-seat coaches to transport everyone to and from their various accommodations and our wedding. That’s when I had my brilliant, possibly obvious, idea of getting the coach to the wedding ourselves! We were already paying for them! Huge Budget Win!

So the Groom and his groomsmen are going to catch Coach 1 with our other guests, then after everyone has arrived at the venue it’s going to come back and pick up myself and my bridesmaids. I’ve only had one comment of “the six of you are going to arrive in a 50-seat coach!?” when I’ve been asked about our car arrangements. Damn straight we are! I’m extremely pleased with making double use of the coach! It’s not pretty, but it doesn’t have to be. I suppose my point is, if you’re not into vintage cars, pink stretch hummers, or a horse and carriage, there are other (cheaper) options – such as hiring a nice rental car and having a family member drive it there, which is budget friendly.

We’re not having a getaway car towards the end of the reception (the cans tied to the car, a just married sign… do people do that? Or is that a movie-land thing?). Instead, we’ll all hop back on the now-party bus together, and continue the festivities at the hotel bar (well, our guests probably will… we’ve got a spa suite to make use of!).


Filed under Budget, Ceremony, Reception


Sometimes too much Style Me Pretty (hereafter referred to as ‘SMP’) is a bad thing.

The weddings featured on SMP are so achingly gorgeous. Their styling is perfect. Not a detail bypassed. They are DIY (and non-DIY) wonders. Vintage suitcases, weathered couches, photobooths, bunting, delicious dessert buffets…

I have been inspired by several things I’ve seen on SMP (and other inspiration blogs like Polka Dot Bride and Green Wedding Shoes). We’re having a thumbprint tree, a birdcage for cards, a chalkboard on an easel as a ceremony program, a cake of cheese, herb centrepieces, mini jams & mustard bonfavs wrapped in calico & twine, and so on…

I consider myself detail-oriented, but I’m nowhere near the level of detail that is put into the SMP weddings (Angie at one cat per person has a very sensible post on this topic).

I had a moment over the last week (FYI: 11 days to go!) where I thought “OMG what if all this DIY stuff we’re doing looks awful and random aargh!”. I realised quickly though, that it doesn’t matter. All those things we’re copying, we’re doing because we love them, not because it’s cool. We saw these ideas and said “YES!”. It’s not going to be styled and coordinated to the max, and that’s ok. In fact, that’s a good thing. Because we’re not uber-cool or original, we just like simple stuff like food and plants, and our wedding is going to reflect us – as random as some things may be.

i love our herbs - before & after potting


Filed under Ceremony, Musings, Reception

leaf your thumbprint.

I love these thumbprint trees as an alternative to the standard guestbook. I think it will look lovely in its frame, hung on the wall.

image from style me pretty

You can find these on Etsy, but they can be expensive and also we’re running out of time. The Groom is going to design and print the tree – I just need to get a frame, ink and something for guests to clean their fingers with! A container of Wet Ones isn’t pretty… Hmm. Any suggestions?

kikki-K has a great option for standard guestbooks – the ‘Klassisk’ Guest Book Questions. I love questions; I think it would be fun, and easy, to fill in!

kikki-K 'Klassisk' Guest Book

Would it be overkill to have both guestbooks?? Maybe the tree can be set up on a table with the birdcage, and the kikki-K book could float around the reception…


Filed under Etsy, Reception

nom nom nom.

Wow, what a beautiful weekend we had! I’m so in love with the Hunter Valley.

It was our last trip to Wine Country before the wedding – we finalised our Notice of Intended Marriage form (yay!), had an amazing, relaxing couple’s massage at The Golden Door Elysia (an early wedding gift!), sampled some excellent beers on the brewery tour at Potters Brewery, tasted a little bit of wine and cheese, and, of course, we had our much anticipated menu tasting!

The Groom and I were extremely impressed with the food and the matching wines, and with the service. We were in heaven. We’re so excited to share this dining experience with our family and friends – choosing this venue might have made our budget multiply (just a bit), but after this tasting I have no regrets.

Another thing we loved was how professional Megan (who owns Muse with her husband and Chef Troy) and her team were. I tend to be a control freak, and I had prepared myself to be asking a million questions about the details of the set up of the ceremony and reception, but once we spoke to Megan I didn’t even need to ask. I felt so at ease, and I really think I won’t need to worry about any of those details on the day! We just drop off the centrepieces, place cards, bonfavs etc on the Friday rehearsal and it will all be set up on the day. I didn’t know it would be this easy! I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders.

The only thing we spoke about changing was the lentil and speck component of the duck main, which seemed a little dry paired with the duck. We love lentils, but we’re not sure if everyone else will. Megan suggested adding Chinese cabbage… Thoughts? Do you love a lentil? 😀


Filed under Reception

timeless paper.

I fell in love with these gorgeous place cards from Timeless Paper many, many months ago…



Filed under Etsy, Reception, Stationary

say cheese.

I am eagerly awaiting the day of our menu tasting next weekend! I’m looking forward to sitting down with the owner / coordinator and working out the finer details like ceremony and reception setup, schedule for the night, etc. I think I’ll feel relieved and on track with it all after we’ve done this.

We’ll also be discussing our cake. Our package includes dessert so there was no option to serve wedding cake as dessert instead (to save money, or tummy space). I love baking and eating cakes, but I often see so much cake left uneaten at weddings that it pains me – what a waste, I cry! My table guests often give me their unwanted fondant, but then I feel sick from the sugar rush… Enough rambling about cake memories!

We’re going to have a Cake of Cheese. Why? Because we both love cheese, I love the look of wheels of cheese, it will be a type of supper later in the evening, and it saves us from having 2 dessert courses. I’m thinking maybe 3 or 4 wheels of cheese (perhaps some aged cheddar, creamy camembert, sharp blue vein… *drool*). The Chef is going to order the cheese and construct it into a ‘cake’, and it will be served with figs and lavosh. So when we’re hungry again from all the dancing, we’ll have platters of cheese. That’s the idea anyway.

images: (left) and (centre and right)


Filed under Cake, Reception


The bonbonerie / favours come under the budget area for us. We don’t want to spend a lot on potentially useless gifts that tend to get left behind!

I do love bonfavs. From stubby coolers, coasters, cocktail glasses, to photo frames and candles. I just love trinkets. I’m very easily pleased.

I especially love edible bonfavs. Almonds, chocolates, mints, mini bottles of alcohol, cookies, cupcakes, macarons, chocolate coated strawberries… There are so many options! It’s also extremely likely that guests will enjoy them, and they’ll be used (i.e. consumed).

How cute are these cookies that double as place cards?

At around $5 each, cookies were out of our budget. Making them yourself could be a fun project. I briefly considered it, but cookies are my kitchen nemesis so I didn’t want to DIY them.

I was newly inspired by gorgeous little jars of jams…

One of our favourite short-break spots is Berry on NSW’s South Coast. The Berry Treat Factory makes delicious jams, which are only topped by the best. mustard. ever.

As a ‘nod’ to our trips down there, we ordered 55 mini ‘three-berry’ jams and 60 mini honey mustards. They are VERY budget-friendly – their mini jams are $1.00 each, and the mini mustards are $1.20 each. Including the $10 courier, the total for 115 bonfavs was $137. Plus we get to enjoy the leftover jars (which is why I ordered extra mustard – I am ridiculously excited by how good it is) 😉

It’s such a relief how everything is coming together. I just need to add the fabric over the lids, tied with twine. I was going to tie a little ‘thank you’ note to each jar, but is it necessary?


Filed under Budget, Reception

fred + ginger.

The Groom and I had our first wedding dance lesson on Thursday night! I have grand visions of spins, lifts, dramatic footwork… I don’t think we’ll quite get there. But we’ll have fun trying.

It was so hard trying to choose a song. We don’t have “our song”. We wanted something not overly romantic or slow. I turned to Disney for some inspiration, and we liked A Whole New World from Aladdin, but luckily Wikipedia told me it had been done by Jordan & Peter Andre, AND Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey. Awful.

It became a decision between Feeling Good by Muse, and Edge of the World by Faith No More.

We chose Edge of the World, and decided to ignore part of the lyrics. The music itself is just too perfect. After all, the first dance song doesn’t need to be the ultimate expression of our relationship, right?? It’s just 4 minutes…

So over 4 or more lessons, we’re learning a choreographed, slow cha-cha-cha style dance to Faith No More. I love it.

Now to the hard part. When is the right time to dance the first dance? Do we wait until we’ve filled ourselves with food and wine? I’d rather dance it at the start of the reception, but the dance traditionally signals the start of the actual party, doesn’t it?


Filed under Music, Reception

the dining table.

I dislike it when reception tables are full of stuff. So much stuff all over the tables that I feel so cramped, shuffling around the many different glasses, plates, cutlery, napkins, butter, wine bottles, favours, place cards, menus, candles, table scatters, tall vases… aargh.

so much stuff.

What I love about our reception venue is how spacious and minimalist their dining room is. We don’t feel the need to add much to it. We’ll be having long tables, probably 5 or 6 tables of 20 (with the bridal party & partners table in the centre of everyone). Table centrepieces / decorations will simply be small glass votive candles, and 2 pots of herbs per table. I love living centrepieces – no, not like living fish (ick), but plants.

so much space.

We’re going to DIY these – and give them to family members after the wedding. Good ol’ Ikea has a wide range of pots, and The Groom loves gardening so he’ll pot the herbs – we’ve left it a bit late though so we’ll have to buy pre-grown herbs! I’m thinking rosemary – it’ll smell so good, it will tie in with the bouquets & buttonholes, and it works with our foodie/ rustic/ garden/ etc ‘theme’!

luscious herbs - by


Filed under Flowers, Musings, Reception