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Pre-Wedding Jitters Or Cold Feet?

by | Good Reads, Wisdom, Wise Words


meganluscombe, Starting Today Coaching

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Image by Nina Claire Photography via Afternoon Engagement Shoot In Homebush

No two relationships are the same and no two people experience love the same, and it’s this fact that most people don’t realise during the early stages of their relationships.

We’ve all experienced the ‘honeymoon’ period and have our doses of butterflies, endless back and forth text messages and the all consuming thoughts of our object of desire, however when the lust starts to subside and real love begins to develop is when most of my clients seek out my services.

Why? Because real love can be scary.

Don’t assume it’s only woman who have pre-wedding freak outs, because I can testify that nearly half of my clients are men experiencing them too.

The most common anxieties and fears that I hear from my clients surrounding their wedding (and relationship) focus on questions such as:

* What if they aren’t the one?
* What if they’re not my ‘soulmate’?
* Why don’t I get excited as much anymore?
* What happened to the butterflies?
* I want the ‘spark’ back
* Do I love them enough?
* What if one day I don’t find them attractive?
* What if I ‘fall’ out of love?
* Have I made the right choice?
* What if they change?

and so much more

Any of these sounding familiar to you? Rest assured you are not alone if they do because it’s completely healthy (and normal) to have these questions roaming through your mind when you’re going through one of life’s biggest transitions.

Part of my job is to listen to how people really feel in the lead up to their marriages and allow them to feel that way without being embarrassed, ashamed or even guilty.

I focus on relationships because it has come to my attention that most people don’t feel comfortable talking about how they truly feel in the lead up to their wedding day. This may be due to fear of the potential response, fear of judgement, fear of having to explain their feelings to friends/parents and their partner (when they might not even understand them themselves!), fear of having to let go of old beliefs and the biggest fear of having to surrender ones need for control.

Getting married is a big deal! It is letting go of single hood, letting go of yourself and entrusting your goals, dreams, ambitions and your heart into that of one person – forever. It is without a doubt (in my opinion) a time when you are expected (and most certainly allowed) to experience moments of doubt and hesitation.

If you are one of the men/woman experiencing pre-wedding jitters or engagement/relationship anxiety please remember you are not alone, and it’s a lot more common then you think.

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Ms Gingham says: Hugely normal at many big occasions in your life as a couple. Communication (which is harder than we sometimes think) is the key.

Megan Luscombe of Starting Today Coaching has just launched a workshop specifically designed for these women who might be experiencing what’s essentially a normal reaction to a major life transition. These seminars will take place nationally with the next one occurring in Melbourne on July 27 at the Rydges Melbourne.

How To Choose The Right Wedding Photographer

by | Photography Wisdom, Wisdom


Ella Otranto

BonnieLukeBlog 28 550x366 How To Choose The Right Wedding Photographer

Hi everyone! My name is Ella from Layla and Associates photography. I was asked this question from a future bride and thought it would be great to share the information with everyone here.

The question - I am looking for a photographer for my wedding but I am worried as some of my friends did not get what they wanted from their photographer. How to choose the right wedding photographer?

Well that is easy, choose me! icon wink How To Choose The Right Wedding Photographer I understand where you are coming from as I often have brides ask me questions like, are you sure the images are high res as my sister in law or whatever can’t print her pictures as they go all pixelated! My number one tip is to ask as many questions as you like and make sure you have your photographer explain their contract. Most photographers will not give you all of the images that they take on the day, you will receive a selection. We do offer all of our images in every single wedding package however I understand why lots of photographers refuse. It can be bad publicity for a customer to post a “professional” photo that has technical issues. However the reason I offer all images is because I trust my brides. I know that you want that random photo of your uncle laughing or whatever it may be, and I know you probably won’t print it, post it or add it to your album, some images like that are just nice to have, and I figure just because I don’t find it a great photo technically, it doesn’t mean you won’t love it. Make sure to let your photographer know if there are any particular photos you would love to get too!

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Secondly there are a lot of photographers out there to suit all budgets. Please bear in mind that to some extent you get what you pay for. Granted there are some pricey photographers out there who may disappoint but generally if you choose a photographer that is too cheap chances are it will reflect in your photos. Make sure you look through their galleries, ask to see a whole wedding, edited images, unedited images all of it. Some cheaper photographers may be students or part timers doing what they love and they may even offer all of the unedited images to you. Make sure you check out their work though before you book them. Find out if they are experienced with lots of wedding or is there a gallery from only one wedding or even a wedding workshop! Make sure you meet with your photographer and not only feel comfortable with their ability but also with them. I have met some high end photographers (in another country mind you) who were not personable at all, and this can make it very hard to capture great photos if you look like you are uncomfortable! There is no right photographer for everyone, different photographers and different styles of photography suit different people, the main thing is to pick what is right for you.

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So after you’ve narrowed your selection down, you will need to meet with your candidates before booking. Here are my top 10 questions you should ask when meeting with a potential photographer.

  • How many images do I get with this package?
  • Do I get the digital files and are they high resolution? And if they are not included can I purchase them separately and how much will that cost?
  • How many weddings have you done?
  • Can I see whole wedding? And edited or unedited photos? – note if they do not offer unedited photos they will probably not show you them.
  • How much editing do you do, for example, do they batch edit all the images or will they remove blemishes etc on all the images?
  • How do they back up your photos?
  • How quickly will your photos be ready after the wedding?
  • Do their photographers have a working with children check?
  • Will it be specifically them photographing on the day?
  • What are the hours covered and do you have the option to extend the hours on the day if things run late (and at what cost)?

Images by Layla and Associates

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Ms Gingham says: I think these “interview” questions are so spot on! Everyone should make a note!

About Ella: My name is Ella and I am head photographer at Layla and Associates. I love photography and I love weddings! Our style is a mix of candid and posed artistic photos, the kind that make amazing artwork on your wall. We are very easy going which is great for our clients as they become very comfortable with us which makes for great pics : )

What Would They Know? Cathleen Tan of Cathleen Jia Bridal

by | Fashion Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Cathleen Jia What Would They Know? Cathleen Tan of Cathleen Jia Bridal

Handcrafted bridal gowns with a vintage glam style is what characterizes Cathleen Jia gowns. Designed and made in Melbourne, each gown reflects a love of the elegant screen goddesses of the1920′s to the 1950′s, and feature beading and intricate layers of lace to enhance the female figure. With accessories and veils to match your dress, her studio really is a one stop shop for the bride. Cathleen’s excitement and passion for her chosen career is infectious. Here’s her story…..

How long have you been in the bridal business?

I have been in the bridal industry on and off for about 7 years now. I started off managing and re-branding a small business in Brunswick 7 years ago. The exposure to happy brides and the intimacy and personal approach to design and business has made me fall in love with the field.

What inspired you to set up your bridal business?

To be honest, when I graduated from RMIT I didn’t think I would have my own label. I was more interested in fashion business side of things and wanted to be a buyer.

But with a rare opportunity, I was introduced to the industry and managed a small bridal business. Before working for this bridal boutique I was always working for a large cooperation, whether it is in management, retail or visual merchandising. Unfortunately the owner of the bridal business did not want to pursue the store. I guess in a way it was meant to be, as the introduction have made me fall in love with a more intimate side of small business and bridal. I then got offered a job to be the first bridal store manager for a then small bridal designer. About 4 months into the job, I realized I can actually do this for myself and started my own brand. I did not jump straight into bridal though, I think coming from my background, I was very careful in testing the waters and figuring out what I am capable of. The first 3 collections of Cathleen Jia was cocktail/ evening wear. By the time I launched my 3rd cocktail collection in September 2012, I was already working on rebranding my label into a bridal brand. I knew that is where my heart lay. So in March 2013, Cathleen Jia bridal was born.

Cahtleen jia Kierra1 What Would They Know? Cathleen Tan of Cathleen Jia Bridal

What is the best piece of advice (business or otherwise) you’ve ever received?

I was fortunate enough to meet one of Australia’s most celebrated designers at an event. She has always been my idol. We spoke for about 10mins and all her advice has stuck with me. To this day I still remember her telling me “Keep it small, don’t try to take over the world in a day. Wear your label; you are the face of your brand. This is how you connect with people these days.”

How does the design of a gown start? What is the inspiration behind a gown collection?

We normally have a particular month planned to launch a new collection. The designing process starts with fabrics, a silhouette we love, a theme or a combination of them all. For example, the last collection we launched “Roman Holiday” was inspired by the impeccable styles of Audrey Hepburn and classic necklines. The shape of a gown is very important to us. To create our signature vintage shape with soft structuring, it takes most of our time in the designing and sampling process. Even the simplest bias cut gown requires hours patterning to make it drape correctly on the female form.

Cahtleen Jia Lillian front What Would They Know? Cathleen Tan of Cathleen Jia Bridal

Is it exciting/fulfilling to design a bespoke gown for a bride, helping to bring out her personality and enhancing her looks?

Absolutely! We love designing bespoke gowns with brides. It is such an intimate process and lots of fun! We really get to know our brides well and I love hearing everyone’s wedding planning stories, styling ideas. It is an honor the bride has chosen to wear a Cathleen Jia gown on her special day.

How often do you design a new collection?

Once a year for our ready to wear and custom made collections.

Cathleen Jia Holly frt What Would They Know? Cathleen Tan of Cathleen Jia Bridal

Do you feel more brides are wanting a gown that is custom made, or are as many brides happy with an off the rack gown?

For me, it is more custom made and bespoke. I think it really depends on the brand or boutique. For our brand, it is very personal and intimate, so the brides feel comfortable talking about her ideas and trust our opinions to help her make her vision come alive. Plus we make everything in house and I see most of the brides, so they do feel more at ease having spoken with the designer.

What should a bride wear, and bring with her when wedding gown shopping?

Have some nude seamless undergarments. And just an open mind to try! On many occasions, the perfect dress was tried on as a “just give it a go”.

Is there a style of gown that is gaining in popularity?

Definitely vintage inspired gowns! While the traditional silhouettes are still popular, a softer approach to wedding gown construction is definitely becoming very popular! I believe to create the vintage look, it really needs to reflect the silhouette also, not just a little detail. And to make the style our own, and modernize it to suit today’s brides.

Cathellen Jia Bella What Would They Know? Cathleen Tan of Cathleen Jia Bridal

Do you have a favourite fabric and lace, that is a signature of your designs, or do you love to see new materials coming through to add inspiration and excitement to your designs?

I do love seeing new materials. A lot of my design process is exploring different materials. But currently I am loving chunky beaded lace. I think there is something so beautiful about the juxtaposition between delicate laces adorned with heavy beads.

If you could design a gown for anyone, who would it be? And what would it look like?

Grace Kelly. A classic boat neck gown with a lace cape in soft shades, perhaps blush, pastel blue or rose gold.

You offer accessories such as veils and beaded hair pieces. Was this a natural extension of your wedding gown design – to complement your gowns?

Yes, we love styling our brides from head to toe! Just like our gowns they are unique vintage inspired for the modern day bride.

Where can we find your design studio? 

We have some exciting news to share, you are the first one to know! We are moving to a bigger and better location mid August. This our first flagship store, where as previously we have been working from a first floor studio.

The new location will be on 27 Horne Street Elsternwick, VIC. And yes it is by appointment only to try on Monday to Saturday. With Fridays and Saturdays open to the public for unassisted browsing. Contact us at for an appointment.

We would love to show you our new space once we finish renovating.

Cathleen Jia Diana frt What Would They Know? Cathleen Tan of Cathleen Jia Bridal

What do you like to do when you have time off from your business?

Spend time with my partner and my friends. I love exploring the amazing cafes in Melbourne.

Thank you Cathleen for sharing your story with us. To find out more about Cathleen Jia visit the website.

Photographer: Leslie Truong of TRUphotography
Make up: babydolls make up
Hair: Tan Tran (Cathleen’s partner)
Flowers: lulu bird
Set styling: Ruffles and Bells

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