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Wedding Budgets and Bothers

by | Bride, Finance


frangipani bouquet Wedding Budgets and Bothers

Issy’s wedding bouquet captured by Angela Higgins Photography

One of the first things people ask me when they get engaged is “What do we do now?”. The first thing I always say is “Enjoy it!”. I think so often we rush too fast past these precious moments, without sitting there and just relishing in the fact that they’ve happened, celebrating without too much thought of the next event.

The money for the wedding and all that it entails can be a tough reality hit for many engagees. With what can seem like endless costs associated with a wedding, you can start to understand the people who have really, really long engagements!

How do you decide where and on what to spend those precious dollars (and how many dollars to spend)? My first suggestion is to give yourself some time to sit down with your fiancé and talk about what is most important to you both.

There is no need to hurry this process – it may take hours or even weeks of discussion. Your discussion should encompass all aspects of the wedding down to the smallest detail so that you don’t get hit with surprises.

You can make lists as detailed as possible – for example:
– church – large arrangements
– aisle
– boutonnieres
– bridesmaids’ bouquets
– bride’s bouquet
– flowers for parents, grandparents
– tables etc etc

Or simply figure out “Yeah, we want our guests to have amazing food and wine but really, we’re not fussed about the cars” or “Oh we love cake! Actually all we do is eat cake, but really, I don’t mind what flowers we have, as long as they’re pretty!”

Then decide which of the things on your lists you can do without, amend, or do on a budget. Ask yourselves what aspects of your wedding you just cannot live without. What would you regret not having done, when you look back at your wedding on your fifth wedding anniversary. Those are the non-negotiable things that you will need to find the money for, and will give you the greatest pleasure when they are done beautifully, just as you’d hoped.

There are ways vendors are able to flexible as well- a dress designer may use a cheaper lace rather than the pricier French lace, you may forgo dessert at your reception venue for your wedding cake, your photographer may offer a package without an album. It’s always worth asking vendors if there is flexibility in meeting your budget.

If you need to put a savings plan in place, you can choose to cut back your spending in little ways. Have more cosy meals at home, just the two of you, have two drinks at the wine bar instead of five, find free entertainment, and before you know it you will have saved the amount you need. Who knows, this saving bug could catch on and continue throughout your life together!

How did your prioritise for your own wedding? Where did you splurge and where did you save?

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Beautiful DIY Projects

by | Bride, DIY


One of the biggest myths around weddings is that DIY is cheaper- isn’t. It can be more stressful, take up oodles of time and resources. But it can also be incredibly fun, a chance to personalise something and a chance to get really creative. If you just want something fun, there are stacks of down-loadable freebies created by amazingly talented designers available around the blog world.

This week is lacking pretty pictures, because when talking dollars, they don’t tend to come out. So here’s a little light relief, a little beauty and hopefully a little inspiration of some of my favourite recent DIY projects around the web.

paper flower garden Beautiful DIY Projects

Recycled Paper Flowers from Maya Made

SouthernRomance Fans Beautiful DIY Projects

Printable Wedding Fans from Color Me Inspired

52 Beautiful DIY Projects

DIY Lighted Paper Pennant Garland from Once Wed

fortunecookies9 Beautiful DIY Projects

DIY Fortune Cookies from Benign Objects

vintage hankie save the date1 Beautiful DIY Projects

Vintage Hankies Save The Dates from The Wedding Chicks

diy moss letter3 Beautiful DIY Projects

DIY Moss Letter from Ruffled

dolce 01 Beautiful DIY Projects

DIY ‘La Dolce Vita’ Party Candy Cup with Carry Handle from Eat, Drink, Chic

vials Beautiful DIY Projects

Hot Cocoa Vials From The Inspired Bride

100lc diygarland1 Beautiful DIY Projects

DIY Cupcake Liner Garland from 100 Layer Cake

What are your favourites? Do you have any to share?

Antonia Kidman on Being Money Confident

by | Bride, Finance


antonia kidman febusave005 Antonia Kidman on Being Money Confident

An Australian journalist and TV presenter, Antonia Kidman is never far from the spotlight. She’s presented two TV series, The Little Things & The Bigger Things on issues surrounding raising children and is currently appearing on Foxtel’s Lifestyle You channel.

As the ambassador for Febusave, a mum, an engagee and someone who has recently taken charge of her finances Antonia Kidman is joining us today on Polka Dot Bride to share her thoughts on money!

Why did you become involved with ANZ’s Be Money Confident Program and subsequently Febusave?

A couple of years ago I experienced change in my life and realised that I needed to have more of a plan in place when it came to my long-term finances. It was an area that I wasn’t too confident about. The language and terminology of finance can be daunting and sometimes it’s easy just to put it to one side and deal with it later, which of course is never. I decided I needed to tackle it head-on and so I began to educate myself and learn as much as I could. I also made a commitment to take complete responsibility of my money. It is a wonderful feeling, very empowering!

What have you learnt about money and finances since you joined?

So much, where to begin? The most important lesson is to take the first step. No matter how small just writing down some goals, seeking help on how to achieve them and then implementing that advice can be wonderfully reinforcing. Once you know you can do it then it grows from there.

Are you a budgeter or do you just cut down on your spending?

I’m a total budgeter. I always have been. I guess I’ve inherited that from my parents. I’m very capable of sticking to a budget. I’ve always been able to manage my day-to-day budgets my lack of knowledge relates more to the long-term stuff like investments and putting strategies in place to ensure my future financial security.

Do you feel more confident in dealing with your everyday finances?

I’ve always been pretty good at that. I can cut down when necessary and put money aside too. It is great to ‘set and forget’ by having your savings automatically transferred into another account so you don’t get tempted to spend it – and then get a pleasant surprise when you see how much it has grown over time!

Do you have your own financial advisor or are you relying on your fiancés?

I have my own financial advisor.

Do you have an estate plan in place to look after your children if you become incapacitated or pass away?

Yes, I do. I have all that stuff up-to-date which gives me great peace of mind. It is so important.

As someone who has been married before and is planning her second marriage, what is the greatest lesson you have learnt about money and marriage?

I think no matter what situation you are in married, dating, single or widowed it’s important to be part of the decision making process.

Is it important to maintain this during a marriage/relationship? Why?

I think it’s important for both people in a partnership to share responsibility for most things and money is one of those things.

How do we maintain it – some practical tips?

I’m no expert but I guess it’s like anything communication is critical.

How have your perceptions of money and weddings changed?

Weddings are very personal so it’s important to set a goal that reflects both party’s desires. Above all they are occasions that should be full of love, happiness and hope.

Did you set a budget for your wedding?

Like planning for anything setting a budget is a good idea, and keeping track of all expenses as they occur.

antonia kidman febusave003 Antonia Kidman on Being Money Confident

How did you prioritise what was important to you (with wedding spending)?

Categorizing items or tasks helps determine what is important and it’s also a good way to manage your time.

Where have you splurged?

Some of the best weddings I’ve been to have been very simple affairs. What have made them so unique are the people, the love, the speeches, the dancing!

Where have you saved?

It’s important to remember…”don’t sweat the small stuff”.

How do you think we can empower ourselves with wedding spending?

Set a goal and a budget and work out the most effective way to marry the two.

What discussions do you think are important to have about finances with your fiancé? What discussions have you had?

Talking about finances can be difficult it’s not an area many people feel comfortable discussing. It’s about trust, honesty and sharing responsibility.

Thank you for joining us today on Polka Dot Bride Antonia!

So the question to you dear readers is – have you talked about finances with your fiance? Was it something you needed to do or did it just happen? Have you talked about future planning? Is money uncomfortable for you too?

Febusave and Polka Dot Bride

by | Bride, Finance


 Febusave and Polka Dot Bride

When I was first approached late last year to be a blog ambassador for Febusave I was a little apprehensive. I tend to stay away from money on Polka Dot Bride (as mentioned previously) because I believe inspiration is not dependent on budget. It was like a big white elephant in the room though I know it’s an issue for so many of you and one that is swept under the carpet, or discussed heatedly.

My belief has always been that inspiration is not about the money spent, but the ideas presented and that somehow if you want a little piece of that look, translating it into your own day in a way that is comfortable for you.

Febusave is an initiative by the ANZ Bank to encourage saving. After doing research, the bank found that less than 51% of Australian women have enough savings to last three months out of work, 1 in 3 women believe they wouldn’t last longer than a month if they lost their job tomorrow and 1 in 4 women are not at all confident about their future financial security.

I know this topic isn’t going to be relevant to some of you. I know it’s a little uncomfortable (to the point I feel tense while writing this). However I am a part of Febusave because I believe in empowering not just women, but everyone in saving. In having financial plans, in talking about financials before you get married, in planning for the unexpected and expected financial hiccups, in staying in control of our own finances. I struggle with money- I am fearful of it and I am determined to change my thinking and get empowered. (My pledge is to give up snacks and treats for the month!)

Febusave 3 Febusave and Polka Dot Bride Febusave 2 Febusave and Polka Dot Bride

I know this month of Febusave is supported by a big bank. I know it’s a corporate and they can afford to advertise instead of promoting through word of mouth. I however, am choosing to address what I believe is the bigger issue. That people (and women to be specific for this blog and this month) owe it to themselves to be empowered and knowledgeable about their hard earned money. Simply put, how much peace of mind will you have when you take control of your finances, instead of checking your account and wondering, yet again, where and on what, your money has gone? To us, it is not a question of where you spend your money (that is always an individual decision), or of not having fun with your money. It’s about not letting your money control you and planning for a robust financial future together.

We have a week of posts lined up – an interview with Antonia Kidman (the ambassador for Febusave and ANZ’s Being Money Confident program designed to empower women to be confident in issues surrounding money), posts from fun bloggers, some addressing an issue that completely frustrates me and some just purely focused on really thinking about our attitudes to money.

I hope you take some time in your busy day to read these posts (they’ll be a bit more wordy than usual!). You might find an idea that really inspires you to save, invest or free you from debt.

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