Image by Leesa Mealing

Rosie + James are an acoustic covers duo and DJ service based in Sydney, and they also happen to be partners in life, too! Combined they’ve been active in the music industry for almost two decades, which means they’ve worked very closely with countless engaged couples on planning everything music-related for weddings. Over this time, Rosie + James have become real experts at helping engaged couples to plan their weddings and today, Rosie is sharing her handy hacks on how to truly enjoy yourself on your wedding day. 

Our best advice for couples planning their day is to delegate day-of responsibilities to someone you can trust, so that all you have to do is turn up and be in love! Whether that person is the MC, a bridal party member or a hired planner, make sure they have the contact information of each vendor so that you don’t need to be bothered and pulled out of your moment and into stress!

When James and I are consulting with couples, we try to get an idea in advance of who best to speak to and how the day will run, so that we can best anticipate timing and tone, and construct our set lists accordingly. We use this time to collect as much information as we can about the venue, key contacts, the running order, style of the event and the tastes of the couple themselves, so that we know we’re arriving fully prepared! I would also suggest making requests for special songs in advance. We love the challenge of learning new songs and adding our creative touch to them, but even more, we love that we can help to make your day even more special and personal.

I am always extremely honoured when a couple asks that we perform as the bride walks down the aisle. I consider it such a huge responsibility to be part of that crucial element of one of the biggest moments of their lives. If that isn’t incentive to stay on top of my vocal game I don’t know what is.
Our final piece of advice is this; the best and most memorable weddings we’ve been to are the ones where the bride and groom are relaxed and just enjoy themselves and each other! The time flies by so quickly and before you know it the night is over. Check in with each other regularly, stay in the moment, have a dance and don’t sweat the small stuff!

While the next piece of wisdom from Rosie isn’t planning related, I love her honest account of what it is like to work with your partner… 

We’ve had the opportunity to play at events across NSW, from Narooma to Mudgee and everywhere in between. We’ve met the most beautiful couples, seen some of the most breathtaking backdrops, been invited onto the wildest dance floors and included in some very special memories, and we get to do it all with our best friend by our side.
Obviously, running a business with your partner has its difficulties. James can sometimes get stressed and solemn in the lead up to events, because he wants to make sure everything runs perfectly and on time. He is passionate about audio quality and is always researching and wanting to discuss the best and latest gear to upgrade our collection, an area which I’ll admit I have very little expertise and can struggle to keep up!

During rehearsals in our very tiny Surry Hills apartment, I can tend to get a little bossy about choosing harmony parts or deciding which songs to add to our repertoire, but James handles my moods like the seasoned professional that he is and we’ve gotten better and better at switching between professional mode and relationship mode. Going through these experiences together has taught us so much about each other, and how best to communicate and be supportive of one another’s strengths and weaknesses.

About Rosie + James Music: Rosie and James are an acoustic duo and dj services team, as well as a real life couple living and working together! We love to play weddings and events together all over Australia.

Before you put on that dreamed of and carefully selected gown, there is nothing nicer than spending a relaxing morning with your close friends and Mum being spoiled with a gorgeous makeup and hair style that enhances your individuality and ensures you are camera ready. Carla of Carla Dyson Makeup brings loads of commercial and wedding experience, an eye for enhancing your best features and giving you a timeless polished look that you’ll love. It all adds to the excitement of feeling you’re about to embark on the best day. And there’s something about feeling your beautiful best on the outside, that brings out the sparkle and your beauty from within. We chat to Carla today about all things wedding makeup and hair – and then we’re rushing out and buying those delicious looking Paint Pots – one of Carla’s favourites!

What led you to this career path?

Since a young age I have always had a love for beauty, makeup and creative arts. I knew I would end up doing something along the lines of makeup artistry!

How long have you been in the industry?

I have been working in the industry for close to 10 years now.

Image by T-One Image

Do you travel in the course of your work?

Yes, I love travel, and always jump at the chance to fly somewhere exotic for a photoshoot, or a wedding. A recent trip to Bali to work on some editorial projects was a career highlight.

What do you love about doing wedding makeup and how does it provide variety from your commercial work?

I love doing bridal makeup – it’s lovely to spend the day with the bridal party and making everyone look and feel amazing. I also really love to do mature makeup (usually mother of the bride/groom), I feel this gives you extra job satisfaction, as mature clients don’t often have their makeup professionally done.

Image by Jessica Abby Photography 

Do you suggest a hair and makeup trial before the wedding day?

Absolutely. I think it is important to meet the makeup artist prior to the wedding day. The bridal trial is a perfect time to get to know each other and the styles you love. After all, this is your face on your wedding day – don’t go in blind!

What should a bride take into account when discussing her wedding day look with you?

I advise my brides to do some research into what styles they love and what styles they don’t love! Being able to show me images and break down exactly what you love about an image, helps me to get an idea of what styles they may like on the day. I also really like to understand how brides usually wear their hair and makeup. Seeing a picture of something and loving it, is very different to having this style on yourself. Every bride is individual, and when a hair stylist or makeup artist is planning a look, we need to take the inspiration images shown, plus face shape, skin tone, eye colour etc into account.

How do you makeup a bride so that she looks natural, yet camera ready?

I strongly believe skin should look like skin. My signature looks are based around perfecting the skin without using layers of full coverage foundation. I then use very sheer powders to achieve a shine free, yet glowing base. I also use subtle hints of colour, to enhance each bride’s natural beauty – this will help the eyes pop on camera.

Image by Katie Grant Photography

Are there any special tricks with bridal makeup that you like to use?

The trick to creating perfect bridal makeup, really is in the prep work. Making sure the skin is perfectly cleansed, and primed before application to ensure the look stays perfect all day. I also love to use cream eye bases which ensure the eye shadow does not crease. Longevity is the key!

What products are favourites and you use time and again?

What are the essentials in your toolbox?

  • Kevyn Aucoin lash curlers – curling lashes makes the eye appear much larger and wide open. Even when applying false lashes, the natural lash should always be curled prior.
  • Small fan brush to ensure mascara is applied right to the root of the lash (mascara wands don’t always cut it!).
  • Beauty blender to add liquid highlight to the face with a natural finish.


Image by Katie Grant Photography

Does the style of makeup you create depend on whether the wedding is more formal than casual, or outdoors rather than inside?

I will always ask where the location of the wedding is, and what vibe they are going for. However, the only thing that really matters is the bride feeling like the best version of themselves. The only specific addition for an outdoor wedding would be to add SPF – the Australian sun is crazy!

What features do brides like you to emphasize? Is it all about eyebrows and eyes in makeup now?

Yes, eyes and brows are always a feature. I find most of my clients comment on their brows after I have done their makeup, more than anything else!!

Is it ideal for you to do both hair and makeup to create the most cohesive look for the bride/bridal party? Does it look better if they look similar (does this matter)?

I enjoy doing both hair and makeup for the bridal party, however, I have a close knit of amazing hair and makeup artists that I work with regularly. If my bridal party is large and I am unable to do all services myself, we can work together to create cohesive looks for the bridal party.

Does a bride’s hairstyle influence the makeup look you create?

I always try to create styles that compliment each other. For instance, a Hollywood waved hair would look great with a red lip.

We have had questions from girls with dark skin about finding a makeup artist who understands their needs. Are you able to provide some tips?

I would advise researching artists that show different complexions in their portfolio. Most experienced artists will have a strong knowledge of colour theory, therefore should be able to make any skin tone look amazing.

Image by Lusy Productions

Do you have some pre wedding tips to help brides to look their most radiant on the day?

I would certainly advise a series of hydration facials that will help the health of your skin prior to the big day, although, it is extremely important to plan ahead, and start treatments well in advance. The worst thing to do is try something new right before the wedding

You live in Melbourne after having relocated from the UK. What do you love about living in Australia?

I love the lifestyle of living in Melbourne. Also I live in a very central location here in Melbourne, which makes working much more accessible than in the UK.

What discoveries have you made that inspire you?

I am inspired by many different things; fashion, travel, nature.

Thank you Carla for sharing your story. I love that beautifully applied makeup by a professional, can make you feel so special and your radiant best. To find out more about Carla Dyson Makeup visit the website.

Headshot by George Ganio

Welcome to the wonderfully exciting, deliciously detailed and perhaps occasionally slightly daunting world of wedding planning.

To put your mind at ease and get your wedding planning off to a great start, the Brisbane City Celebrants duo have lifted the veil on the most common misconceptions they encounter when it comes to the logistics of wedding ceremonies and marriage paperwork.

  1. You don’t need to time your walk down the aisle song. Instead of practicing your pace down the aisle with your bridal party and praying that the flower girl and page boy walk on cue without getting distracted, while worrying about taking your first step on a set note, how about instead you have the music work around you. If you are using a DJ or the Celebrants PA System for your ceremony music, the person in charge of the music can simply fade the music out as you both take your places. Likewise if you have a string quartet or live music, they are professionals at what they do and are highly skilled at wrapping up the song at an appropriate point when they see you take your spots. A much easier and stress-free way to make your grand entrance.
  2. You don’t need to memorise your vows – that’s best left to the movies! You do NOT need to memorise your vows and unless you anticipate being completely free of nerves and enjoy a great stage presence, we wouldn’t recommend it. The beautifully spoken vows you see on TV and on video highlight reels, have usually been edited to remove the Celebrant prompting the wording that they repeat. Keep your day relaxed and stress-free by arranging to have your Celebrant to have these printed and ready on the day for you to read, or repeat after them.
  3. You MUST have your signed NOIM form to your Celebrant/ Minister no less than 1 month before the date of your marriage – You MUST complete and sign the marriage notice form (known as the NOIM) and have this to your Celebrant (or Minister) no less than 1 calendar month before the date of your wedding. In Australia this is a legal requirement.
  4. Guests don’t usually bring their own confetti If you dream of walking back down the aisle together to an eruption of bubbles or a burst of rose petals, you will need to arrange these in advance and let your Celebrant know so they can cue the guests when to shower you with these.
  5. The brides last name doesn’t automatically change to the husbands last name when you marry – Brides, it is completely optional if you would like to take your husbands last name, their isn’t a formal name change process as such, it’s more a case of updating your name with every business and government organisation that have you on record (e.g. banks, Drivers Licence etc), by showing your official registry issued marriage certificate as evidence of your marriage.
  6. If you are honeymooning overseas straight after your wedding, book everything in your maiden name – As romantic as it is booking your entire honeymoon as the new Mr & Mrs Smith, unfortunately airlines simply won’t let you on the plane if the name on your plane ticket doesn’t match the name on your passport. Given point 5. Above, the process of applying for your registry issued marriage certificate, then using this as evidence of your marriage to then apply for a new passport with your new last name, could potentially take 6-8 weeks or even more. Booking everything in your maiden name will eliminate this potential concern at the airport and ensure you come jump on the plane together to enjoy your well-deserved and anticipated honeymoon.

Ms Zigzag says: Oh, I wish I had read these awesome wedding tips prior to tying the knot earlier this year – ha! Such practical, handy advice that all engaged couples should know. Thank you Brisbane City Celebrants. 

About Brisbane City Celebrants: Brisbane’s most highly recommended Marriage Celebrant duo specialising in modern, simple and meaningful, sweet happy weddings. With a choice of an experienced and passionate female or male Celebrant, our couples describe us as warm, friendly and calming. You can find Brisbane City Celebrants on the Polka Dot Bride director here.

Photographer: Wendy B Photography / Ceremony Officiant: Brisbane City Celebrants / Wedding Planner: Olive Rose Wedding & Events / Styling: Brisbane Wedding Decorators / Flowers: Miss Popsy / Invitations & Stationery: Paper Alphabet / Hair & Makeup Artist: Lainie Hogan / Wedding Cake: Cake My Day by Jo / Bride's Dress: Jordanna Regan Couture / Bride's Dress: Valentine Bride / Groom's Attire: Black Jacket Suiting / Jewellery: Wendy Louise / Model: Amanda Vos / Model: Joe Somers