Behind The Door With....Will & Jac

We all know that whilst wedding planning can be fun, it can also sometimes be stressful and this week on ‘Behind The Door With’, I’m meeting two ladies who are on a mission to banish the stress! Catherine and Clare of Will & Jac are wedding planners and event project managers who believe that every couple should be able to focus on themselves and  just enjoy their wedding day!

Clare and Catherine met while working at the same wedding venue and conceived the idea after watching many couples have a less than pleasant experience planning their own day. “We would see so many couples who were just not enjoying the process,” says Catherine. “It was getting all too overwhelming and they were stressed at a time when they should have been excited about their upcoming celebrations!”

Will & Jac opened two and a half years ago and can help with every little detail of the planning process – from selecting a venue to locking in the right suppliers and especially making everything come together on the day.

Located in inner city suburb Hawthorn in Melbourne, Will & Jac travel near and far to suit the needs of each couple they work with. It might be meeting at the couple’s home after work, a local cafe or even the wedding venue itself. “Our aim is to fit in with the couple’s schedule and make things easier for them,” says Catherine. “Site visits are also very important and help us to understand the couple’s ideas and vision for the day.”

Will & Jac have become a wedding ‘must have’ for those couples who want to create a wedding from scratch – from in a paddock to a warehouse or maybe even in an old barn. “It can be very intimidating to bring in absolutely everything from lighting to flooring and furniture,” says Catherine. “This is where we come in and take over the role of project managers, making sure everything works together and bumps in on time.”

Being prepared for anything on the wedding day means Will & Jac come equipped with specially made “waist files” that they wear with a timesheet, phones, pens, tissues and anything else they might need on the go. Catherine tells me that they originally tried clipboards but quickly learnt they needed something they couldn’t put down! Catherine and Clare also wear beautifully made wooden name tags so everyone knows they are there to help on the day.

I love that Will & Jac can get involved and take the stress out of organising the day at any point in the planning process, from right at the start to just a couple of weeks before the wedding. I’m sure their couples see their enthusiasm, passion and attention to detail as absolutely invaluable in creating a truly fantastic day!

Images by Elleni ToumpasKim Cartmell Allsorts Pictures, Sarah Godenzi and Will & Jac.

Ms Chinoiserie Says: Will & Jac have all the beautiful details covered; how wonderful to know that everything about your wedding day is taken care of!

About Amelia Waddell of Make Your Day Wedding Styling: I’m a wedding stylist and proud store owner who loves to chat weddings with everyone and anyone! I love to talk shop with other business owners (particularly over some chocolate cake!) and am the first to try and have a sticky beak behind the scenes of any event. My free time is spent ‘investigating’ new cafes, stores and events.

How do you give your guests a glimpse into what your wedding might feel like, or set the tone of your day? The first peek for many of your guests will be the Save the Date or the wedding invitation itself. So choosing your stationery is one of the most exciting tasks in your pre wedding journey. Will your wedding invitations exude elegance, or will they have a rustic, or modern feel? Amanda of Be My Guest has a wealth of knowledge about all things design and stationery  – colour, design, the type of paper, font style, and ways to tweak an invitation to make it uniquely yours. Knowing that your stationery is just the way you envisaged it creates anticipation and is one more exciting step towards your wedding day. Be inspired as Amanda tells us her story.

Please tell us a little about the reasons for starting Be My Guest.

I initially began designing wedding invitations for friends, and friends of friends, while working fulltime as a Marketing & Events Manager. When I took time out from that job to have my first baby, I realized going back wasn’t realistic – my husband works away from home during the week, and I needed more flexibility than what my current job provided. So I took the plunge and started Be My Guest.

Be My Guest – Image by Winmill Crreative

Where are you based?

I’m based 20 minutes south of Dunedin, in the South Island of New Zealand…. Most of the time. My business is set up to be run from anywhere, so I also get away to a family holiday home in Central Otago and work from there.

What areas of the world do your customers come from?

Most of my invitation design clients are from New Zealand and Australia, but I have looked after couples in the UK and USA too. My most surreal day was sending invites to New York (population 8.49 million) and Middlemarch (population 300).

What is your design background?

I’ve always been a creator. I went through high school doing art as a subject and as a hobby outside. Then in my early career I began picking up the skills and technical knowhow to work within the graphic design programs I use now. I also have a degree in Communications and Marketing which gives me a more theoretical view of things. This year I’ve started art classes again, and have been exploring different media.

What excites you about being able to be creative?

I love the problem solving aspect – the “aha” moment as a good idea comes together.

How would you describe your design style?

I have to be a bit of a chameleon to produce what my couples would like, so I don’t have one particular style that I stick to day to day. Outside of digital design, I’ve always been a messy, abstract, paint-by-feel artist.

Be My Guest – Image by Winmill Creative

What do you love about designing invitation suites?

I love making things match, I love hearing someone’s ideas and visions and taking them to the next level. I love seeing everything come together.

How important is your stationery in communicating the flavor of the wedding day?

Your wedding invitations are the first indication of what your wedding day is all about (and often the only indication, until the wedding day itself!). So you’re relying on the design to convey the style, tone and formality of your wedding day. Whether you specifically say something, or rely on the design to implicitly state it, the wedding invitations are the primary means of communication with your guests.

What inspires or influences your (new) designs?

My custom clients have always been a source of inspiration – hearing what their vision for the day is, and their initial ideas. But in the last year I have been learning more and more about the printing and production of invitations – taking on the finishing of my items and gaining more experience – and as I learn more about the capabilities of the presses and paper, I find more ideas I’d like to try and boundaries I want to push.

What elements of the stationery suite can be personalized to set it apart?

You can personalize most things about your stationery suite. With all design and printing, there’s often many ways to achieve a particular look or idea. If you’re open to different ideas or ways of doing something, then you can make something uniquely your own (rather than just copying straight from an idea on Pinterest that you thought was cool).

How long does this service take from first contact to delivery of the final product?

The timeline for wedding invitation design varies between couples, but can take anywhere from a week for a pre-made design, to eight weeks for a custom design. I can end up working with some clients for months though, depending on how much information they have at hand when they first get in touch, and what stationery pieces they want/need.

Be My Guest – Image by Winmill Creative

What is the design process?

For the Be My Guest Wedding Collection (my ready to order designs), you simply select your wedding invite and place an order on the website. Then send through your wording and design notes. For custom design, couples get in touch and we arrange a time to meet, either via Skype or in person at my home office. I take lots of notes and a draft is produced from there.

The process from here is similar, any route you take – we share emails back and forth with drafts and once the couple is happy, the invitations are printed!

Is it wise to order sample packs of your preferred ready to order invitations if you’re unsure?

Ordering a sample pack is a great idea. Wedding invitations are such a tactile, physical thing, that it’s really hard to understand what you’re getting without seeing something physically first! Plus what I’ll call grey might be what you’d consider silver… so having something physical for us both to reference cuts out any miscommunications. The cost of the sample pack from Be My Guest is redeemable on your future order of wedding invitations so it’s a pretty low risk and excellent peace of mind.

What elements may be changed on a ready to order design?

Couples are often surprised what they can achieve with a couple of tweaks to a ready to order design! You can change the colours and fonts – these two plus picking a different card choice can completely transform an invite from elegant and glam to rustic country chic.

Other than invitations what other paperware do you offer the bridal couple?

I design guestbooks, bridal party proposal cards, engagement party invitations, Save the Dates, seating plans, wedding reception stationery like menus and order of services, plus stickers and tags.

What new ideas have you released – that excite you for the future?

I’ve been exploring vinyl stickers and decals – got a few things in the pipeline that I know my couples will love! There’s so much you can do with them.

Beautiful Peonies Save the Date – Be My Guest – Image by Winmill Creative

How do you see stationery design evolving – what are some new trends you see emerging?

I love when couples integrate the use of their stationery throughout their wedding day, in elements that aren’t traditionally paper based. For example, check out this incredible cake and biscuits which use the imagery from my popular Beautiful Peonies wedding invitation

Photographer & Stylist The Little Hire Company  Cake The Cake Eating Company

What do you love about living in New Zealand?

I am a bit of an introvert, so I love the quiet pace and being able to get away from it all with only an hour or two drive.

Any secret places or things in New Zealand that you’d like to share?

If you’re looking for a short adventure, cycle the Otago Railtrail. A keen cyclist can traverse the 150-ish kilometers in a day but if you’re doing it with friends or your spouse, take some time and plan for multiple stops along the way. There’s amazing food, wine and scenery to be had – and you can do it guilt free since you’re burning it off when you cycle between stops!

Photographer & Stylist The Little Hire Company  Cake The Cake Eating Company

Thank you Amanda for sharing your story. What a stunning idea to use your invitation design on your cake and  sweet treats to give your wedding a beautifully cohesive look! To find out more about Be My Guest visit the website.

Headshot – Be My Guest – Image by Winmill Creative


At Sorrento Weddings, we absolutely loved capturing Asha and Damien’s day and watching the highlight film brings back all the emotions and fun from the celebrations. Asha looked stunning in her Jane Hill gown and the day was absolutely perfect with blue skies and a perfect sunset. There was so much fun on the dance floor – this group really knew how to party and had an absolute ball!

Ms Chinoiserie Says: The sunset was perfect wasn’t it – what a beautiful way to end such a happy day!

About Sorrento Weddings: We understand the best way to capture your special day is with the perfect image! That’s why, at Sorrento Weddings, we are dedicated to creating bright, beautiful wedding photographs and captivating videos that represent each couple’s special day.