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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
At WHITE RABBIT PROJECTS we have been known to get a wee bit restless from time-to-time (kids at heart much did you say?). We also love nothing more than pushing the envelope when it comes to creating new and exciting ‘visuals’ that a) excite us as producers and stylists and b) inspire you (our clients) to think outside of the square – whether it’s your Engagement, Wedding, Private Party or next Birthday Party to remember – make it count, make it unique and for god sake – dare to be different darling!
Recently (in the world of events and interiors) the world can’t seem to get enough of “Rustic”. The trend has been beautifully coveted in a plethora of wedding and event blogs and publications, why, WHITE RABBIT PROJECTS even found itself fall victim to it and boy what a ride it was and continuous to be.
The timeless trend is something we will never tire of – we still love it as if it was only born yesterday.
Now we want to turn your attention to a new trend – “Why, it’s all the rage my dear. Haven’t you heard?”. She goes by the name of ‘Industrial chic’.
If you’ve been privy to such fit-outs favoured by; The Grounds of Alexandria, Kitchen by Mike, QT Hotel, The Royal Hall of Industries, Carriage Works and our favourite haunt of late, the fabulous Canalside Interiors – this trend might be right up your alley.
For those with a little less time on their hands to research said stomping grounds; It’s like Mr Romantic met Ms Parisian Chic and decided to adopt Dame Bold Colour Palette. Still not following? Imagine Kate Moss collaborated with Kate Middleton and McQueen to create their very own Entertainment range – this would be it!
With Industrial chic being showcased on many a stage worldwide of late – we set ourselves to work for our recent shoot and changed things up quite dramatically (within reason of course!). The aim? To create a romantic setting that paid homage to the industrial trend itself. One that pushed us as producers and stylists. We certainly did step outside of our comfort zone, but boy was it worth it.
Thanks to our supreme dream team here at WHITE RABBIT PROJECTS and our three furry rabbit-friends (Yes there were real live rabbits on set this time!) – after much hair-pulling and sleepless nights spent mood-boarding and conceptualising; are now thrilled to share with you our new look and vision for 2014!
We hope you love it as much as the bucket loads of fun we had putting it together!
Production and Styling – WHITE RABBIT PROJECTS; Bree Taylor, AIanah CurbishIey and Kara AdoIfson
Photography – James Mills Photography / James Mills and NichoIas Israel
Florist – Botanica / Cate Locke
It was a sun-filled day in October 2013 at Milton Park in the Southern Highlands where Lisa-Shae and Scott chose to say their vows in front of close family and friends. Guests gathered to watch the intimate ceremony under a beautiful handmade birch-arch canopy. It was as the perfect setting for the perfect pair.
White Rabbit Projects was behind-the-scenes and enjoyed every moment of the preparations in the lead up to their big day. Months of planning went into the execution of Mr and Mrs Coulton’s Wedding Day and the end result was that which can only be described as a fairytale.
Our favourite moment was seeing Lisa-Shae and Scott enjoy their first dance under the beautiful chandelier which was transported all the way from Sydney and here we share with you a sneak-peak of the day in all it’s glory.
If we could do it all over again – we would not hesitate. All the best to Mr and Mrs Coulton and a big thank you for supporting White Rabbit Projects and sharing these beautiful images captured by At Dusk.
For more beautiful images just like these ones – head over here
This is the story of Lisa and Gidon. My version that is. The first thing to note is that Lisa and Gidon were the very first Traditional Jewish wedding planned by the team at White Rabbit Projects. To me this was such a tremendous honour and of course a leap of faith for them as client and me as the planner. Lisa and I often laughed and agreed that this was certainly a good path-way into planning Jewish weddings, and I very much look forward to many more Mazel Tov’s in the future.
Here are some beautiful traditions that I learned thanks to Lisa whilst planning this very special day. It really was just that and I feel very blessed to have witnessed this day especially.
Bedeken – Before the ceremony, the Bedeken takes place where the Groom places the veil over the Bride’s face, reciting a blessing. This ritual comes from the biblical story of Rebecca, who when she first saw Isaac across the field, took her veil and covered her face as a sign of her exclusive commitment to him. Lisa and Gidon chose to do the bedeken in the presence of only a few close friends and family to preserve the intimacy of the moment. A signal that the wedding celebration has begun.
Ketubah – The Jewish tradition of the Ketubah (marriage contract) is over two thousand years old. It can be written in ancient Aramaic, modern Hebrew or English, and it outlines the groom’s responsibility to and for the bride. Today the Ketubah is more a declaration of love and commitment.
Chuppah – The wedding ceremony takes place under the chuppah (hu-pah) which is the wedding canopy that symbolises among other things, the home the Bride and Groom are creating together. Its sides are open to and supported by friends, family, and community. One reason why there are no walls is that this openness is an expression that marriage, though exclusive and inviolable, is not a closed system. The family is part of a community, the community part of the world.
Symbolically, the simple, fragile roof reminds us “to live content with small means: to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy not respectable, and wealthy not rich”. It also shows that the marriage is the establishment of a home, an island or sanity and serenity. The chuppah is a legal instrument and the Talmud considers it biblically required for marriage.
Seven Circles – Custom has the bride, as she arrives under the chuppah, circling the groom seven times. The number seven is important in the Jewish wedding ceremony as it represents the seven days of creation. It also has a Kabbalistic (Jewish mysticism) significance. The ancient custom of the bride circling the groom seven times was seen as a means of protection, the bride creating an invisible wall to protect the groom from evils. Today, the circling may also be seen as a way to bind the couple together and symbolise the creation of a new family circle.
Kiddushin – The wedding celebration is composed of two distinct and successive ceremonies: betrothal/engagement (kiddushin) and nuptials/marriage (nissuin). Wine is the symbol of joy in the Jewish tradition and is associated with the Kiddush (the sanctification prayer recited on the Sabbath and festivals). After the initial blessing over the wine, the rabbi recites the betrothal blessing.
Nissuin – The second half of the wedding ceremony and consists of the Shevah B’rachot (Seven Blessings). The blessings cover many themes – the creation of the world and of humanity, the survival of the Jewish people and of Israel, the marriage, the couple’s happiness and the raising of the family. It puts the state of marriage into a dynamic relationship with the beginning and end of history
Breaking of the Glass – The ceremony traditionally ends with the groom stomping on a wine glass. There is a lot of symbolism about this act – It reminds us that although this is a happy time in our lives, joy cannot exist without the sadness of the destruction of the temple, times of expulsion and more recently the Holocaust. Even at the moment of life’s greatest joy, there is still great darkness in the world which we must continue to repair. It also says that just as the shattered glass can never be repaired, marriage changes a couple permanently – in their own eyes and in the eyes of the world. This is also the conclusion of the ceremony where guests shout Mazal Tov (good fortune).
Venue – Sydney Polo Club, Richmond
Photography + Videography – Starr
Entertainment – Brett Martin (Reception) and Lonely Swingers (Ceremony)
Flowers – Wilder
Catering – L’Amour
Cars – HF Weddings
Wedding Planning and Styling – ‘Us’
One of the best parts of being a Wedding Planner is helping people to develop their look and feel for their day whilst uncovering the most cost effective ways of achieving their over all styling objectives
If, you are at the very beginning of your planning journey and already found yourself in a rut and don’t know where to begin, here are a few personal tools I’d love to share with you on how to design your ‘look and feel’ for your wedding day and of course how to save money in the process.
1. Grab two pieces of A4 paper. Some scissors and glue / for those tech-savvy you might like to create two pin boards instead. The first page/board will be filled with pictures/cut-outs of things you love and the other page/board will be filled with things you loathe i.e. in a wedding. For instance, you love the colour pistachio and an outdoor ceremony archway but you loathe round tables or tall centrepieces. Include as much as you possibly can.
2. Once you’ve got your Love’s and Loathe’s list out of the way. Next is to compartmentalise each stage of your day and break them up. First is the ceremony, followed by canapé hour then the reception and of course all of the details that go in between [invitations, cars, drinks station, kiddies area, wishing well table etc…] I often use powerpoint to do this FYI.
3. Now that you have a clear indication of your wedding day and how it will look (aesthetically speaking that is), now it’s time to lock hire companies that will suit your brief. Start making enBare in mind that sometimes it is cheaper to purchase smaller items i.e. cushions etc…]. A lot of people are more visual and if you present your mood-board to each of your suppliers whilst they might not have exactly what you are after once they have an image in mind they might know where to send you OR better have a similar alternative.
4. The one thing to do is to try and limit the amount of hire companites you engage for your wedding day. Why? Because each will have a delivery and collection fee. If you have multiple companies settting up furniture for yoru event your transport/labour costs could very easily go through the roof. Some allow a ‘Dry Hire’. This means you pick-up and return the goods yourself. Something to consider for those smaller items and or if you have a wedding out of town.
5. Lastly, do check with the venue that bump-out or collection of items has to be done that night or the following morning. Hire companies charge even more if they need to return after the event as it’s usually very late at night or early in the morning. You save a lot of money by having items collected on a weekday. If you’re wedding is on a Saturday, there’s no harm in asking the venue if a Monday collection is possible. It will save you money that you can spend elsewhere.
WHITE RABBIT PROJECTS is proud to inform you that we are currently taking bookings for brides-to-be planning on having their destination wedding in Bali, Indonesia…
Uncovering and bringing together the best possible teams from afar is an overwhelming task to embark on alone, even for us Wedding Planners. Thankfully though after ten months of research we’ve managed to find some pretty awesome people. We are always looking out for new hidden talent though… the hunt never ends!
On that note, just recently Lara Hotz (one of our favourite photographers that is) emailed me and I wanted to share this exciting news and a fabulous opportunity with all those brides-to-be out there getting married in Bali.
The good news is that Lara will be travelling for work to Bali from the 7th – 24th June 2014…
This means that for those brides whose wedding falls within the above dates that if you wish to book this incredible talent to capture your wedding day then the travel destination fees are on them.
As a destination bride-to-be myself, this is a cost that often turns most brides from having the photographer of their dreams. But now, this is no longer the case.
Contact the team at Lara Hotz Photography today to take up this fabulous offer and if you are in need of a planner or stylist then you know where to find us!
About Lara Hotz
“At Lara Hotz Photography we believe photography is a way of telling stories. It’s about capturing moments and finding beauty in unlikely places at its best when underscored by truth. An art of observation and interpretation we draw inspiration from the love, laughter, characters and atmosphere aiming to document the story as it unfolds in a natural and unobtrusive way. But most importantly, we want to get to know you. It’s your story after all. We want you to feel comfortable with us, be yourselves and have fun so that we can give you images that reflect who you are.
What are your hobbies? My ‘hobbies’ (when I get the time) include writing, reading magazines and looking at vintage books on the 60’s and 70’s, Interiors, Society and of course the Art of Entertaining. Entertaining is quite possibly my most favourite topic of conversation, that and Weddings of course…
So… it was no surprise that flicking open the freshly printed pages of Elle Australia and its highly anticipated October Issue did I find myself sweetly succumbing to its ‘Party’ pages… gasp!
Case in point. The thing I love about Elle and unlike most publications, the reader is not only privvy to the ‘Who’ but they are also informed on all those juicy details i.e. The music, food, decor and trends. Elle manages to present all this uber import-ante information to us via two crisply assembled pages. Seamlessly mind you.
You see, the little details are what keeps us Planners and Stylists super-inspired and loving what we do every day. Creating and being inspired. Without having instant access to what’s hot on the global-stage via a VIP Invitation, which let’s face it, unless you’re Anna Wintour or Karl Lagerfield who does. Thanks to Elle for bringing us along for the ride…
Look, I have always been very aware of how the other half lives and well, here’s a secret. They’re still living exactly how I had imagined… fabulously that is!
Want to read a ‘How-to’ guide on throwing a party that’s quote: ‘Part French, part Italian and part Snoop Dogg?’ Head to pages 375-376 now.
[Todd Fiscus, Event Director at Todd Events]
White Rabbit Projects plans exciting weddings and events all-year-round. Our creative and planning process is very simple. It goes a little something like this…
First we get an enquiry then a brief of what the client requires from us. Next we get to work on providing a proposal and quotation and if we are lucky we win the job. Then we get to work on mood-board preparations, budgets and sourcing items for our clients special day.
Throughout the briefing process we request our clients send through visuals. This is the BEST and ONLY way we can ensure that everyone is on the same page. Managing peoples expectations is paramount. Avoiding disappointment is key.
Creativity is open to a world of interpretation, therefore it is really important that we get this part right. Alot of time goes into this and often goes unnoticed. The things is that there is no dress-rehearsal for an event. Therefore to avoid disasters on the day and phrases like; “This wasn’t what I envisaged”, we rely heavily on clients sending us to sites like their Pinterest pages/ Blogs and Magazine clippings so we can get an idea of their style and taste.
Opening Pandoras box cue Pinterest can cause a world of conflict though. You see, when someone brings us an image of an event that took place overseas like in the USA or in countries where it’s a lot cheaper to get your hands on gasp-worthy decorations and flowers this is where things start to get a bit tricky.
In the USA; Venues, Suppliers and Hire Goods are infinitely cheaper than they are here in Australia. Fact. Clients need to understand that we essentially are not comparing apples to apples and this even for us is quite difficult to get our own heads around.
It goes without saying that we ourselves often reference American Event Designers i.e. Preston Bailey and Martha Stewart for a world of inspiration. We just love how Americans plan their events. They’re bigger, more colourful, often themed and perfect for the guest whose ‘seen it all’.
Unfortunately though the Wedding industry happens to charge a fraction of what we do here in Australia and hence there being a greater demand for Wedding and Event Planners in the USA.
Whilst Australia brides-to-be in Australia are still warming up to the idea of hiring a Wedding Planner for their big day. We are still deemed a ‘Luxury’ item and sadly an unnecessary expense when planning a wedding. It’s a hurdle that we are slowly overcoming and people are gradually warming up to the idea that we are on their side and want them to get the most from their well earned cash.
Still some unfortunately think that a Wedding Planner is reserved for those individuals who own a wallet the size of Packer. The truth is that, well this is just not true.
Organising and Event here in Australia is actually one of the most cost-saving items you can engage in ahead of your big day.
Recently we had a prospective client who we managed to save her a small fortune. She was about to spend an unnecessary amount on a particular supplier who should have known better. Luckily she met us just in time and prior to booking this supplier and in that moment our fee was totally negated due to this cost saving activity meaning we cost her literally nothing.
You see, the age old adage of spending money to save money is more apparent in our industry than ever. Whilst many would beg to differ, we open people’s minds and present them with valuable ways, tricks and tools on how to shave thousands of dollars of their wedding.
Recently we came across this fabulous interview on Martha Stewart Weddings with Mr Todd Fiscus. Fiscus is a Texas based Event Director and Founder of Todd Events. Fiscus clearly has flamboyancy running through his veins and we just love his confident and colourful eye. In this candid interview he shares with the reader how they too can save money by hiring a wedding planner. We couldn’t agree with him more…
If you are considering planning a wedding and going it alone, contact us first for a complimentary consultation. See how we too can end up saving you cash and spending time having fun!
Read and be inspired!