Archive for June, 2014
[Image by Nerida McMurray Photography]
Upon starting out on the wedding planning journey and prior to uncovering the budget, venue, ceremony location – the American Bride wastes no time sourcing out the one person who will ensure hers is an experience that is; within budget, logistically problem-free, perfectly timed, delegated, fun and above all stress-free.
For those Australian Brides thinking that a Wedding Planner is reserved for celebrities like Kimye and Kate Middleton – darling you couldn’t be more farther from the truth. Fact!
The idea of a Wedding Planner in Australia is to most – quite bizarre. What do you do with us? What do we do?
The reality of hiring a Wedding Planner means that you have engaged a person who quite frankly can sweat the small, medium and big ‘stuff’ leaving you to oversee the the stuff that really matters. It’s that simple. A silent bridesmaid? A shoulder to go “Help” on, that voice of reason when everyone else seems to be applying the pressure? A wedding planner ticks many boxes.
I am the kind of Planner who edges on the side of caution when it comes to advising others on how they go about planning their wedding day and where their money is best spent. I was bought up with my Mother saying “less is always more”. This mantra has served me and my clients well and ensures a happy outcome every time.
On the flip side there are some incredible and talented planners where more is MORE. This is great for Bride as there is so much choice out there when selecting the planner that understands you and can bring your vision to fruition. The possibilities are endless.
By no means is finding the perfect planner and easy exercise. If you are finding it hard to uncover your planners aesthetic and whether it resonates with you and your partner. It’s as simple as heading to their Website, Instagram or Facebook page. Very quickly you can sum up the kind of weddings they like to create for their clients and what their strengths are. No one is better and no one is worse – just different.
Here’s a check-list you must arm yourself with when shopping around for your incredible and oh-so important Wedding Planner. We are a dime a dozen and if you are wondering, yes I had a wedding planner and boy was it worth all the money in the world.
1. To whom it may concern – The initial point of contact
You’ve seen their website, you like their work or have been recommended via a supplier or friend. You set about making that initial enquiry. Whether it’s an email or a phone call. What was their response-rate like? Fast, slow, filled with loads of copy or non-existent (until prompted)? Based on this you can quickly sum up how they will respond to you throughout the wedding planning process.
The idea is that you want someone that will be there to answer your queries within 24 hours. Maximum! Time is precocious, you have a busy schedule which permits you to focus on your wedding day out of hours, therefore you want someone who is working round the clock to ensure you have all the tools necessary to attack and tick every box you need completed.
2. Tea, coffee, champagne? – instant connection?
The next step – You’ve organised a time to meet face-to-face. If you don’t get offered champagne and lots of it – forget it!!
Jokes aside. A sense of hospitality is important. Did they make you feel comfortable, did you leave bamboozled or comforted? A candid and well articulated Wedding Planner and one whom is interested in YOUR DAY is key. You need to feel as though there is that level of honesty and transparency from the minute you meet. Remember you will be working with this person for many months (sometimes years) to come – choose your Planner wisely.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a period of ‘grace’. Upon you engaging your Wedding Planner, is there a time in which you can retract the relationship? If they aren’t performing or exceeding your expectations this is a fair request. Within reason. Remember you too need to have achievable expectations. Keep emails concise. One-liners don’t cut-it. Aim for maximum outcome with minimal work. Preparing one email per week with all your queries/ concerns is understandable. This is your first time as a bride and therefore your Wedding Planner is well equipped to understanding your somewhat irrational behaviour to get things done quickly and exact.
3. It’s you and me – The roles are clearly defined
Every bride requires a certain level of assistance. Some a lot and some not so much. There are times when both parties will overstep the mark and it’s important to know from the initial consultation what you expect from your wedding planner and he/she you. Here’s an example
The Styling – most planners will assist with the sourcing and quoting for each of those individual hire items that make yours unique. Flowers, table decorations, tables, chairs, linen, stationary, candles and more. The question is do you wish to source these items yourself and have access to your planners black-book of contacts or do you want your planner to manage this entire element with your final approval? The benefits with having your planner doing most of the leg work is that he/she has done this a million times and will ensure that costs are kept to a minimum and minimise the unnecessary back and forth. Read – more emails = more opportunity for mistakes!
Suppliers – Wedding Planners have ongoing relationships that are prescious. They have a team of preferred suppliers from each category that provide them with a level of comfort and that they can rely on to make them look good. This insiders knowledge and of the market is invaluable and ensures that you are presented with a team of people that fit according to your brief and budget. From entertainment, photographer, videographers, cake artists, caterers, hair and makeup artists and more. Your planner is across their fees and their inclusions ensuring you don’t have to reach out and obtain a multitude of quotes that you may or may not entirely comprehend. In one quick phone call your planner can present you with the top line information and cut out countless question marks surrounding the many inclusions, added value that suppliers present to clients upon first point of contact.
Set-up / Pack-down – whilst 90% of weddings are planned well before the actual event, the key attribute for having someone oversee the run sheet, supplier set-up/down times and ensure that your day runs accordingly is to ensure that you do not have to lift a finger on the day. It really is that simple. There is nothing worse than a bride trying to ‘micro-manage’ the running of their wedding day on the actual day. It’s one additional stress that no one should endure. It also doesn’t do anything for those wrinkles!!
At the end of the day – Wedding Planners are not reserved for Celebrities. They are reserved for those who wish to be a enjoy the fun and above everything be married!
All the very best with finding your perfect Wedding Planner. It’s not easy but once you find the right one – you’ll have the time of your life!
It was an idyllic setting at West Head Lookout in the Kuringai Chase National Park and underneath the handcrafted Chuppah where Naomi and Ben chose to exchange their wedding vows.
Friends and family gathered before the beautiful bride arrived. Donning a picture perfect knee-length dress and veil, Naomi walked down the aisle towards Ben to the sweet tunes of David Brubeck’s famous piece “Audrey”, who even he himself couldn’t have orchestrated a more perfect occasion to play in.
The Reception was held at nearby Cielo Restaurant at Akuna Bay where Naomi – a landscaper spread her green-thumb as best she could with live centrepieces acting as take-home gestures to their guests at the end of the night.
Ben – a muso added his own bit of rock-n-roll to the occasion and donned the most incredible pair of leopard print shoes we ever did see.
I think that my favourite part was seeing the horrah in full swing at the reception. Those who know me know I love organising Jewish weddings for this exact reason. The giant maypole splashed colour across the dance floor and the Bride and Groom were made to jump rope, dance on chairs and so much more.
Thank you to Naomi and Ben for letting us in on their fantastic day which was filled with all the “real-stuff” that weddings should be made of. Simple, understated and overflowing with ease, fun and laughter from beginning to end. As for nerves, well If at anytime in the lead up to their big day this was the case, they didn’t show it once.
We wish Naomi and Ben all that this life has to offer. Again, thank you for allowing WHITE RABBIT PROJECTS to be there to witness and co-ordinate the perfect day for the perfect pair. It was a real honour.
For more images head to our gallery page]
[Images supplied by Lucy Leonardi]
As a wedding planner one receives an enormous amount of pressure in the lead up to planning their own wedding day.
The pressure of course is completely self inflicted but as I approached my own wedding day I felt a deep need to ditch the burden and shock my friends and family with producing a wedding that was far from the heights in which I am known to produce for my clients.
With a two week extravaganza wedding in Bali; Jim and I said our vows but as their rules and regulations made it somewhat hard to be wed in a legal surround we opted to get legally ‘hitched’ upon our return to Sydney following the two week festival which I will share with you in due course on this blog.
The brief for our legal wedding was unofficially; Disorganised, off-the-cuff, small and relaxed. Not a run sheet was there in sight – those who know me were indeed shocked! My beautiful friend and photographer was engaged the day prior with a call that went a bit like this. “Hey Elise, what are you up to tomorrow? Are you free for an hour to shoot my wedding?”. She replied YES and boy was I relieved. I was beyond grateful for her presence. The images explain why.
My dress and shoes were purchased the day prior – the girls at Country Road were floored and to be honest it was refreshing and without the normal bridal “pomp”. My best friend and bridesmaid landed in Sydney the day prior by chance and she just so happened to rock up in the same dress as my other bridesmaid! – all completely unplanned but perfect of course. I drove myself with my best friend Tessa to the wedding ceremony at the Rotunda in Balmoral and I picked up my bouquet en-route and unannounced. Thanks to Matt Bisaro the floral craftsman the team (in record time) did a fantastic job preparing my bouquet as always.
I was late. I had to park illegally, I even had these terrible acupuncture cupping marks on my back from a few days prior which no amount of makeup from my terrific makeup artist Miss Molly Oakfield could not be hidden. It was chaotic but to me it was perfect beyond my wildest dreams.
What made this day exponentially special to me was that I managed to pay homage to my late Father Howard Taylor moments prior. With my hilarious and funny celebrant Elizabeth Trevan (I adored you!), my Mother and I, the three of us trekked beyond Rocky Point Island, Balmoral and in an intimate surround I bid adieu to my Father’s ashes and signed off with the release of a single yellow balloon which flew off into the distance never to be seen again. It was five years in the making but I needed the perfect setting in which to do so. This was it.
Balmoral held a special significance to me as a young child as he and I spent many a school holiday splashing around at the beach and many a long lunch at Bathers’ Pavilion. He made me feel like a princess always and I know that he would be looking down at me and proud that I had met my prince-charming in Jim. Here’s to you Howie.
I hope you enjoy this moment captured. So many laughs. Ten people and many tears shed. There is something to be said about being a relaxed and unprepared bride and I prompt many to take on this approach. It’s the best!!!!
Images Elise Hassey http://www.lisseblog.com
Dress / Shoes Country Road http://www.countryroad.com.au
Flowers Matt Bisaro http://www.floralcraftsman.com.au
Celebrant Elizabeth Trevan http://www.etrevan.com.au
Reception Bathers’ Pavilion http://www.batherspavilion.com.au
Hair and Makeup Molly Oakfield http://mollyoakfield.com
The road from Sydney to Orange is far however we fast uncovered that Perri and Simon’s Wedding was more than worth the drive.
Setting off to Orange at 6am from our Headquarters in Alexandria, the WHITE RABBIT PROJECTS truck was filled to the roof with flowers, a mini kids table and chairs, buckets of chalk, 300 pieces of crystal glassware, mix-matched timber ‘big-people’ chairs, the finest of linen and more spirit than a Carnivale festival!
With rain imminent our spirits were not dampened. Not for a second. Upon our arrival to Mayfield Vineyard, we were welcomed by one beautiful aspect; lush greenery surrounds and rolling hills with a giant marquee positioned patiently nearby – a setting that would see guests party well into the wee hours. Despite the rain making a brief guest appearance, guests weren’t fussed and were quickly ushered to the marquee where the festivities continued.
Something about this wedding made us feel very humbled indeed. The surround was picturesque – as the sun went down and the moon shone above with the string quartet entertaining guests there was a sense of genuine magic in the air. Perhaps it was the laid back nature of the Bride and Groom or was it the country charm where the hustle and bustle of Sydney was just a distant memory?
Venue Mayfield Vineyard
Photography Justin Stent
Vintage Crystal The Vintage Kitchen
Cake Red Chilli Deli
Entertainment Orange Conservatorium of Music
Catering Michael Manners
Furniture Adors, A little Character and Vintage Patina
Styling and Event Planning WHITE RABBIT PROJECTS
Alcohol Mayfield and All In Brewing Co.
Transport Blue Ribbon Cars
Distance did not ruffIe the feathers of these love birds in the lead up to planning their wedding from abroad and WHITE RABBIT PROJECTS felt sincere gratitude that this special couple had no qualms in trusting us to produce the goods for their big day.
Since our inception we have co-ordinated more than our fair share of weddings where our clients have been based all over the world – thanks to Skype, email and phones – Planning a wedding has never been easier. Fact.
To say that Zoe and Josh were one relaxed couple, and quite possibly the most we’ve worked with EVER would be an understatement. What made them even more special was that they trusted the team at WHITE RABBIT PROJECTS to both plan and style their wedding; From the styling, florist, photographer, cake, celebrant to the entertainment. Zoe and Josh took on-board all our suggestions with the kind of confidence that gave us sheer appreciation for what we do.
We were of course thrilled to see Zoe and Josh’s special day featured in Bride to Be Magazine recently and a heartfelt thanks goes to the talented team at SugarLove Weddings for capturing this relaxed and fun affair that will be remembered forever.
Venue Bathers’ Pavilion Balmoral Beach
Photography SugarLove Weddings
Cake Athena Cake Shop
Styling / Planning WHITE RABBIT PROJECTS
Celebrant Elizabeth Trevan
Entertainment Lonely Swingers / Above and Beyond DJs
The team proceeded to unveil its usual box of tricks – on display an opulent table-scape, terrarium place settings, floral garland headpieces modelled on waitresses, flower gifting station and even a french market basket filled with The Grounds of Alexandria jams and coffee beans – no detail was amiss.
The guest of honour and reason for said occasion was to launch none other than the Holden SUV range – and what a setting for the revved up beauties it was. With Sydney’s mediaratti in attendance the setting was superb.
Capturing the hearts of the ‘almost all female guest list’, Melissa Doyle was fabulous as MC and presented a candid recant to guests of her childhood adventures in her Father’s SUV. Holden presented the pros of their new SUV range and even those childless attendees were sold on its safety benefits!
The peace de resistance – a beautiful feast-style brunch presented on a bevy of quaint props and vessels included rhubarb porridge in terracotta pots, smashed avocado and chilli on rustic chopping blocks and Jack Hanna aka famed Grounds Barrista and Co-Director was busy brewing behind-the-scenes producing guests with a caffeine fix that would see the remainder of their day seem like a walk in the park.
Images by Esteban La Tessa
Why, did you know what makes the team at White Rabbit Projects tick? One way to our hearts is the aromas of a beautiful and enchanting cup of tea. Just like every girl deserves to be adorned with nothing but the best at every occasion, so too should a beautifully brewed cup of tea!
So when The Babushka Ballerina boutique commissioned White Rabbit Stylist Alanah Curbishley to conjure up a magical and feminine inspired table-scape for The Anna Campbell ‘Forever Entwined’ Trunk Show recently, she dutifully responded by unveiling the kind of Tea Party that Marie Antoinette herself would be proud to sit at.
Playing on the beautiful country french charm that the boutique provides in spades Alanah indulged The Babushka Ballerina femme with a palette of pink and gold hues, effortlessly mismatched antique teacups, seasonal and oh so ripe for the picking roses care of Merci Bouquet and those “don’t dare go home without me” macarons from Sweet Art .
Currently on display at The Babushka Ballerina boutique – 180B Oxford St Paddington
What can one do next but say in the words of Marie Antoinette – “let them eat cake”.
Images courtesy Lana Ivanova Weddings