Category Archives: Dry Wedding

A Wild Honeymoon Experience

When it comes to weddings, we have it all figured out, more or less. We all tend to have some idea of what our dream wedding looks like, especially women who, from a young age, are implicitly taught to obsess over the idea of marriage. We imagine the traditional white gown, for example, and floral arrangements. We make wedding playlists either in our mind or on our Spotify accounts. The list goes on. While this makes a ton of sense, allow me to make a controversial statement. Weddings are not for the bride(s) and/or groom(s), but for their friends and family. Following this logic, it is the honeymoon that is a celebration of a couple’s love by and for the couple in question. Therefore, it behooves us all to spend a bit more time planning for this secondary celebration that I would argue deserves a more primary status. Here are some tips to help you make your honeymoon the celebration of endless love and devotion that you deserve.


First and foremost, let’s look at something a little less fancy. While most honeymoons are trips to foreign locales and, often, resorts to beat all, there is something to be said for a more down to Earth (literally) honeymoon. This would take the form of an outdoors excursion. There’s nothing quite like an adventure to strengthen the bond between us, and an outdoors adventure is, I think, the epitome of this concept. Therefore, it might be the ideal honeymoon for some to try to hike a lengthy trail. This would entail camping overnight, toting the supplies to last that long, etc. It would be hard, but what better way to reaffirm “for better or worse” than by trying your head at surviving the wilderness and pushing yourselves to the limit alone together? (oxymoron intended) Just make sure to keep your Verizon smart phone on hand just in case, as you may need to contact help in case of an emergency, or you may need the maps, compass, and/or flashlight that’s built into most smart phones. However, there is a shortage of electricity in the wild, and, while most long trails have rest stops to accommodate the needs of its pilgrims, you may need extra juice, so consider the power (pun intended) of a power bank that you can charge at these rest stops to allow you to charge your phone on the go.

Our favourite Sydney weddings and what vendors they used

Having a wedding in Sydney and stuck for wedding inspiration? Here are 5 of our favourite Sydney weddings featured in our Real Weddings section, complete with what suppliers the newlyweds used so you can create something just as incredible for your big day!

Hine and Cameron

Photographed by Daniel Griffiths, Hine and Cameron said ‘I do’ at the Royal Botanic Gardens witnessed by 107 family and friends. Their guests were then treated to a reception at five-star hotel Pier One Sydney with incredible views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Lunar Park.

“I am truly a lucky girl,” says Hine. “It was an amazing wedding in an amazing city.”

Simona Janek Wedding Hair & Makeup had previously done a friend of Hine’s makeup for her own wedding – so Hine knew she had to use her, too!

Hine wore an incredible Galia Lavah design, purchased from Eternal Bridal. “I wanted something very glamorous with lots of intricate beading and lace,” she explains.

The pair were married by celebrant Adam Straney with the gorgeous Sydney Harbour as backdrop, and later took their wedding photos in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Roll Up In Style provided the luxurious wedding transport for the day, and Impression DJs kept everyone on the dancefloor all night!

Amy and Alessio

Captured by photographer Alex Marks, Amy and Alessio married at their beachfront wedding in the presence of 192 guets. Their ceremony at St Patrick’s Church Manly was followed by a reception at Orso Bayside Reception at The Spit Mosman.

“Across the road was perfect for photos and the balcony at Orso was so great for people to look out at the water and boats, and just hang out outside,” explains Amy.

Amy’s Rosa Clara gown purchased from Marry Me Bridal reflected the beachfront style with shoestring straps, a low-cut back, and a veil in her tousled wavy hair.

WOW LImousines provided a limo for the day, and a family friend chauffeured the couple in his sporty convertible.

Guests could entertain themselves at Amy and Alessio’s reception with In The Booth’s photobooth and props.

Amy and Alessio spent their first night as man and wife at Park Hyatt Sydney.

Tips for surviving a wedding expo Share View Comments

Congratulations on your engagement! Now that you have a ring on it, and may have allowed your mind to start to wander to the possibilities of what your wedding day could look like, you might be tempted by a local wedding expo or two!

Wedding and bridal expos are the perfect way for couples to get a taste-test of what is available to them and the suppliers that they can tap into locally.
While some expos are major annual events that take in a whole region or city, others are more localised, or even focused on a single venue and the suppliers they engage with.
No matter which kind of expo floats your boat, you should make an effort to attend at least one – if for no other reason than to say you’ve had the experience. Who knows? You may come away from it having found your ideal venue or photographer!
There is no doubt that there is potential for information overload on expo day, so here are some tips for surviving a wedding expo…

Choose your team wisely

Wedding expos don’t happen every day, so when they do, they attract newly-engaged couples, halfway-through-planning couples, and couples who are just missing one or two suppliers.
When you consider that’s pretty much anyone who is engaged and yet to walk down the aisle, you can expect large numbers of people at an expo.
A small, but efficient team is what you need to assemble to accompany you to the expo. It could be as simple as you and your partner going together, but if your partner breaks into cold sweats at the thought of braving an expo, it’s best to look elsewhere for a companion for the day. You want to take people whose opinions you value, and who can also offer you good advice to help you wade through the huge amounts of information that awaits you.

Get sticky

Multiple wedding experts recommend creating stickers with your name, email address, contact number, and wedding date (if you have chosen one) on them before you head off to the expo. Print a few sheets of them! Why? Because almost every supplier will ask for your details so they can send you more information, and you really don’t want to spend a few hours writing the same details over and over again.

Some suppliers will also have special competitions with one-off expo prizes that you can enter. With a sticker, you can just grab a form, slap a sticker on and bam! You are in the draw.

Create a special wedding email

With so many suppliers asking for your email address, you just know you are going to be bombarded with emails once the expo is over. So, instead of sending it all to your everyday account, create a special wedding only email address that you can give to suppliers.

This means you will have everything you need in one place for your wedding research and communications!

Car pool

As with any big event, parking will be at a premium. If you are taking a team of two or three people with you, load up into one car and you won’t all be struggling to find a parking space at the expo.
Better still, you will all arrive at the same time and can dive right on in.

Take a bag

Chances are, almost every supplier at the expo will have something for you to take with you. From business cards and brochures to cool key chains and mint tins, they are all marketing tools designed to help you remember who they are later on.
While some expos will arm you with a goodie bag at the door, which will become handy for stowing the things you collect inside, others won’t. So be prepared! Stow a canvas bag inside your handbag so you can easily whip it out if you need it.

Our 5 fave Michael Hill engagement rings to hint to your partner

Our friends at Michael Hill Jeweller have been designing and crafting gorgeous and timeless pieces since 1979. If you’re on the hunt for your dream piece of bling, here are our five fave Michael Hill engagement rings to hint to your partner.


This ring is both perfectly simple and blingin’ at the same time.


This solitaire is the perfect choice for a bride who wants something simple but still packs a punch with its gorgeous diamond.

Certified Solitaire Engagement Ring with a 0.34 Carat TW Diamond in 18ct White Gold

Coloured stone with rose gold

This ring is the perfect choice for the alternative ‘modern’ bride. It’ll dazzle your friends and family, and embodies a twist on the traditional engagement ring. Ideal for those who like to step out of the box.

Ring with Rhodolite Garnet & Diamonds in 10ct Rose Gold

Bridal set

This blingin’ bridal set kills two birds with one stone! Purchasing a bridal set means you won’t have to go hunting for a matching wedding band later on. Winning!

Our favourite Adelaide weddings and what vendors they used

Planning a wedding in Adelaide, SA and stuck for inspiration? Here are 5 of our favourite Adelaide weddings featured in our Real Weddings section, complete with what suppliers the newlyweds used so you can create something just as incredible for your big day!

Renae and Ben

Captured by Lucinda May Photography, Renae and Ben said ‘I do’ among 87 guests at their romantic garden wedding held at Mount Lofty House in South Australia. The location was of sentimental value, overlooking Piccadilly Valley where Renae and Ben had also shared their first kiss, and where Ben had proposed.

“We made our day all about our friends and family. We personalised the ceremony so it was sentimental and meaningful to everyone around us. And we chose to have little formalities at the reception so we could spend the time celebrating with our closet family and friends,” says Renae.

Renae’s gorgeous ballerina-inspired Wtoo by Watters gown, sourced from Jenny & Gerry’s Bridal Centre, was nothing like she’d imagined herself in! “I expected a fitted dress with delicate lace and a long train – and ended up with the opposite!”

Renae completed her bridal look with help from professional make up artist Danika Maree. “Danika takes so much pride in her work and it really shines through. I was blown away.”

Ben and his groomsmen looked impeccable in their Peter Shearer suits. While Ben completed his look with a black bow tie, his groosmen wore blush pink to match the bridesmaids.

Civil Marriage Celebrant Amy Harrison officiated the pair’s ceremony. “We worked with our amazing celebrant, Amy, to personalised the non-legal parts of the ceremony. It was beautiful,” says Renae.

How to ensure your vendors are LGBTIQ friendly (before you enquire)

With marriage equality still hanging in limbo in Australia, it can be hard to determine which wedding suppliers embrace same-sex marriage.

Planning the perfect wedding can be stressful enough without having to navigate which suppliers are open to working with same-sex couples to celebrate their love and commitment.

There are some easy ways you can covertly scope out suppliers you would like to work with before you make contact to get a feel for whether they have the creative ability to think outside the square of tradition and bring your ceremony ideas to life.

Using these handy tricks means you can potentially avoid the awkward conversation that essentially involves you coming out again.

Check their gallery

Every supplier will have a gallery that shows off their past weddings. Have a scroll through and check it out to see if they have worked with same-sex couples in the past. This is a sure-fire way to know that they are equality-minded.

What language do they use?

You can tell a lot about a supplier by the way in which they address couples on their website and social media pages. Do they speak directly to brides and talk about grooms? Or are they using more gender-neutral language?

If there are online forms to fill out, have a quick read through to see if they have designated the details section to a bride and groom. All of this is not a reason to steer clear of a supplier, unfortunately it is still very much the norm, but if the supplier openly speaks in neutral terms that embrace all types of relationships, you know you can make contact with them without fear of awkwardness.

Have they featured in Real Weddings?

Check out the same-sex weddings we have features in Real Weddings. It’s an easy way to seek out suppliers who are supportive of marriage equality and also have experience with creating unique ceremonies that are all inclusive.

Check their social media

Because weddings are such a highly visual event, most suppliers have a heavy presence on social media, which is great news for couples who want to do some covert browsing before they reach out. As with their gallery, you can have a quick scroll through their images to check for any same-sex couples they may have worked with before.

Keep an eye out for little elements like Mr and Mr signage or Mrs and Mrs cake toppers. You can make a shortlist of suppliers who show they are willing to go above and beyond to source special elements for a same-sex wedding.

Research blogs

Check out blogs dedicated to same-sex marriage and you will be sure to see some name-dropping of suppliers that other couples have worked with before and can recommend. You will also find suppliers who may have expressed an unwillingness to work with same-sex couples on a ceremony and this will be an easy way for you to discount them from your list of potential suppliers without having to go through the awkward exchange yourselves.

Ask your friends

You are no doubt well connected in the LGBT community and there is no better form of advertising than word of mouth. Check in with them and see who they have either worked with themselves, or who they know is great to work from speaking to their acquaintances.

Start looking early

The absolute key to securing the best suppliers to help you bring your dream ceremony to life is to begin looking early.

Should you invite someone to your wedding

Whittling down your friends, extended family, colleagues, school, and university friends into a guest list that you can afford (or fit into your dream venue) is one of the toughest parts of planning a wedding.

You may have already been invited to several weddings and had a great time celebrating with the newlyweds, but now that it’s your turn to walk down the aisle, do you have to repay the favour and invite those couples to celebrate with you?

Let’s stop right there and think about the word favour for a moment. It sounds so… transactional! So why do so many couples feel like there is a tit-for-tat expectation that if they attended someone else’s wedding, they automatically should be invited to theirs?

It is hard enough to decide whether to go more family-heavy, focus on friends, or to go totally intimate with just a handful of guests, so remember this – you are only obligated to invite two people to your wedding as your witnesses.

It is something couples so easily forget in the rush to make sure they have invited everyone that they should.

When it comes to couples who have invited you to their wedding, the short answer is no, you don’t have to invite them to your wedding. Consider the following things to help you decide if you will include them in your wedding guest list.

How long have you known them?

There is always a place in a wedding guest list for friends or work colleagues that you have known for many years. There is a reason why you have kept them in your social circle and regardless of whether they have invited you to a past wedding or not, it will be special to have them celebrate with you.

Is there potential for a strong future?

You may not have known them for too long, but you have a strong connection to the couple. They must have seen the same in you to have invited you to their wedding already. But think about whether you see your friendship lasting for many years to come before you consider extending a wedding invitation.

How long ago was their wedding?

If you attended their wedding within the past 12 months and your relationship is still going strong, consider inviting them to your wedding. If it has been a couple of years and you have fallen out of touch, there is no need to use your wedding as a means to reconnect when their seats could go to people you hang out with regularly.

Were you surprised to be invited to their wedding?

You may not have been that close when you received an invitation to their wedding, but look at how you are now. If you have become tight-knit since, consider them in a good friend category. If it was a one-off and you attended their wedding to be polite, don’t invite them.

Was their wedding huge?

Different couples have hugely different wedding budgets, which can dictate the size of the wedding and number of guests you can invite. If the couple invited 250 guests and you were among those who may be on the outer of their social circle and were fortunate enough to get an invite, don’t feel like you have to squeeze out close friends from your guest list of 90 to be able to fit them in.

why one lucky Melbourne couple will receive free wedding photography

Andrew Harrison of Passion8 Photography has decided to pay it forward. He is offering one lucky Melbourne couple free wedding photography for their wedding day in 2018! The award winning photographer runs his own wildly successful wedding business but wants to help out a couple that may be going through a tough time.

“Everyone had their ups and downs in life”, Andrew said of his motivations for this competition. “Over my 18 years of photography I have come across many people with their own stories and as I have been very successful in my business, I thought I would help out someone who is going through a tough time.”

Andrew is celebrating 18 successful years in business and just thought he “would make someone happy” and pay it forward. What an amazing gesture!

Andrew and his team are offering his wedding photography services to one very lucky Melbourne (or South Gippsland) couple who otherwise might not be able to afford them.

To enter, simply email with the subject line as “Paying it forward submission and (your names)(wedding date)”. The wedding date must be held on a date that Andrew isn’t already booked and take place in Melbourne/South Gippsland.

The Perth beach wedding venues you should visit this weekend

Located in Perth and on the hunt for a waterfront venue to bring your beach wedding dreams to life? If you have time this weekend, here are 10 Perth beach wedding venues we recommend you take a look at! Why not grab your partner and make a day of it!

Bathers Beach House

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Fremantle, Western Australia

Providing 180-degree panoramic views of Bathers Beach and the ocean, Bathers Beach House could be the perfect place to host the wedding of your dreams! Dazzle your guests with a spectacular sunset, amazing food and wine served by professional staff, and a wedding location they won’t forget in a hurry! Visit Bathers Beach House this weekend!

Tradewinds Hotel

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East Fremantle, Western Australia

With sweeping views of the Swan River, Tradewinds Hotel is the perfect venue for your waterfront wedding. Offering two reception spaces to choose from, this venue can accommodate intimate weddings of 40 people, up to lavish soirees of 200 guests. Check out their spectacular rooftop this weekend – you won’t be disappointed with Tradewinds Hotel!

COAST Port Beach

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North Fremantle, Western Australia

Featuring unrivalled ocean views and modern cuisine in their brand new beach house style venue, COAST Port Beach is the perfect place to host your beachfront wedding! Offering barefoot ceremonies on the beach, brilliant sunsets, spotlights on the ocean at night, and an exclusive reception area, COAST Port Beach has everything you need to bring your beach wedding dreams to life! Check out their storefront and give COAST Port Beach a visit this weekend!

Sea View Golf Club

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Cottesloe, Western Australia

Located just 15 minutes from the city in the iconic beachside suburb of Cottesloe, Sea View Golf Club offers a sophisticated backdrop to your special day. Catering to both intimate weddings and lavish soirees of up to 250 cocktail style, there’s something for ever wedding at Sea View Golf Club. Check out their gallery and visit the functions team at Sea View Gold Club this weekend!

Indiana, Cottesloe Beach

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Cottesloe, Western Australia

Rising effortlessly from the sands of iconic Cottesloe Beach, Indiana offers uninterrupted views of the sparkling Indian Ocean and spectacular seaside sunsets as backdrop to your wedding. Best suited to contemporary-style weddings with its high ceilings, vast windows with several stained glass panes, crisp white walls and timber floors, this venue exudes character with its modern interior and heritage listed exterior. Check out Indiana and its gorgeous function spaces this weekend!

Royal Fresh Water Bay Yacht Club

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Peppermint Grove, Western Australia

Located in one of Australia’s most prestigious suburbs, Royal Fresh Water Bay Yacht Club could be the place to host the wedding of your dreams! Featuring manicured gardens, timeless surrounds, a five-star dining experience, and breathtaking surrounds, Royal Fresh Water Bay Yacht Club is sure to leave a lasting impression on your guests! Visit them this weekend!

Cottesloe Beach Hotel

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Cottesloe, Western Australia

Located on one of Australia’s most famous beaches, the Cottesloe Beach Hotel is the ideal venue for the quintessential beachfront wedding. With packages combining award-winning cuisines and premium beverages in a breathtaking location, the team at Cottesloe Beach Hotel are willing to go that extra mile to make your wedding day truly memorable. Put Cottesloe Beach Hotel on your list and visit them this weekend!

The Breakwater

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Hillarys, Western Australia

Award-winning The Breakwater is the perfect location to host the beachfront wedding of your dreams. Featuring Swarovski crystal chandeliers, stunning decor, and incredible views of the harbour and the Indian Ocean, your guests are unlikely to forget your wedding at The Breakwater anytime soon! Check out their gallery and visit them in Hillarys this weekend!

Hillarys Yacht Club

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Hillarys, Western Australia

Overlooking the pristine water of the Indian Ocean, Hillarys Yacht Club is the ideal venue for a harbour side wedding! Offering the ability to have your wedding ceremony and reception in the same location, Hillarys Yacht Club can cater to both intimate weddings and more lavish soirees of up to 300 guests. Check out their storefront and visit Hillarys Yacht Club this weekend!

The Marina Mindarie

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Mindarie, Western Australia

Perth’s newest water-front wedding venue, The Marina Mindarie is the perfect location for your special day. Designed using neutral colours, this venue will work with any colour scheme or theme you envision for your wedding. And, with the ability to house a formal banquet of 250 guests, there’s something for weddings of every size, shape, and style at The Marina Mindarie! Check out their storefront and visit them this weekend!

Alternative bridal party trends you should consider

Sometimes bridal parties are more effort and expenses than they’re worth, and often couples are left disheartened or disappointed when the bridal party don’t meet their expectations. So, if you’re thinking of mixing it up with your bridal party, here are 7 alternative bridal party trends you should consider!

Children only

A great way to avoid bridal party drama is to only include those who aren’t capable of creating drama – children! The innocent nature of children will only make your wedding more endearing and happy, and the children themselves will be honoured to have a special role in your wedding day. They won’t fuss about with bridesmaid or groomsmen expenses or complain when you put them in a dress that doesn’t particularly suit their usual style. They’re children – give them a cute outfit, a special job, and a lollypop and they’ll be happy!

Swap gender roles

Instead of having a groom’s best man and a bride’s maid of honour, why not change up the gender dynamics and have a ‘best woman’ and a ‘man of honour’. Dictation your bridal party via gender roles may constrict who you choose, and choosing someone of the opposite gender may actually be a better choice in the long run. You never know, a ‘man of honour’ may be more helpful than a maid of honour anyway!

Include your grandparents

A really sweet idea to side-step bridal party traditions is to include your grandparents. Instead of having a gang of bridesmaids, you could instead have your cherished grandmother walk ahead of you down the aisle.

Grandmothers also make fantastic flower girls, as seen below!

Have you furry friend as your maid of honour or best man

Dogs are commonly known as ‘man’s best friend’, so why aren’t they immediately considered when choosing your bridal party? While they might (heaven forbid) take a leak on your dress, they won’t give you strife over what they’re meant to wear, how much they’re spending on your hen’s night, and most importantly, won’t disappoint you! (Plus you get an exceptionally cute companion to walk ahead of you down the aisle).