Real Wedding Planning Journey

by | Wedding Planning Wisdom, Wisdom


Fiona of Couture Wedding Planning
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory

At Couture Wedding Planning we help you plan your wedding in a relaxed and stress free way. So much work goes into planning a wedding and although not everyone can work with a wedding planner, we wanted to give you some insight into how we work with a couple, from start to finish, to plan and style their wedding. Hopefully, this insight can help give you some ideas of how to go about planning your own wedding.

Meet Teresa and Leigh. When Leigh proposed, he put on an elaborate treasure hunt around Sydney and at the final destination he presented her with an engagement ring and popped the question. Teresa and Leigh first enlisted our wedding planning services back in March 2010 for their wedding on 10th September 2011. As Teresa and Leigh live up in Port Macquarie I think they felt it was important to have someone in Sydney as their representative.

The first line of business was to lock in the venues for the ceremony and the reception. For the ceremony, Teresa and Leigh wanted a Grand affair so we asked St Mary’s Cathedral if they could be married there. Sergeants Mess in Mosman was chosen for the reception after Teresa, Leigh and I explored a number of different venues in May 2010. They fell in love with the beautiful harbour side venue instantly.

Photography by Cavanagh Photography

We selected Cavanagh Photography because Leigh and Teresa love their unscripted and candid style of photography. We also loved the cinematography style that Untitled Film Works created and decided to book them on the spot. Cavanagh Photography and Untitled Film Works decided to come to a number of pre-wedding events such as Leigh’s final suit fitting and Teresa’s final dress fitting as well as their Tea Ceremony.

With the necessities out of the way it was time for the shopping! When shopping for Teresa’s wedding gown we went to see a number of designers during the months of August and September but no luck! Teresa liked the top of one dress and the bottom of another but could not find the perfect combination. This is when I suggested we talk to Steven Khalil so he could design her a couture gown, using elements of the other dresses that she had seen. I think having a couture gown made for you is one of the most amazing experiences you can have – everything is made to fit you perfectly.

As it is very traditional for Asian brides to change during their reception, Teresa purchased her beautiful Helen English gown for the dancing part of the evening. It was golden silk with lace applique on the shoulders.

For Leigh’s suit we wanted something special so we engaged the services of Matthew Lawrence Bespoke in Paddington. I discovered during the planning process that Leigh was a big fan of transformers so we discussed this with Matthew and he suggested that he create a custom made lining with Transformer blue prints on it for Leigh’s navy Church suit. For the evening Leigh changed into a white suit also made by Matthew Lawrence Bespoke. Leigh also purchased Transformer cufflinks for all the groomsmen.

Teresa discovered her Bridesmaids dresses at George and instantly ordered them for her 6 bridesmaids. They were an electric blue colour with a lovely ruffle detail on the shoulder. The colour really popped in all the photographs of the wedding! As Leigh is originally from Melbourne he flew down there to meet up with his 6 groomsmen who all live there as well and purchased a slim line black suit for each of them from Tarocash.

We then decided to go see Huetopia the wedding stationery designers. We began by designing a simple save the date card which we sent out to all Teresa and Leigh’s guests before Christmas 2010. In the New Year we had Huetopia design Teresa and Leigh’s invitations. It was a beautiful navy blue silk mounted with silver silk and finished off with a black custom made wax seal with Teresa and Leigh’s initials on a black grosgrain ribbon. The invitations set the colour inspiration for the rest of the wedding – white and navy blue.

Teresa expressed that she would like each guest to receive a letterpress ceremony booklet for the ceremony. I suggested to Teresa that we add a Motif of the frontage of the Cathedral to the booklet, which she loved, and Bespoke Letterpress Boutique in Melbourne designed a ceremony booklet with this beautiful Motif on it for us.

In Jan of 2011 we met with our Styling Team. Firstly we engaged the talented Stylist Anthony Del Col from Staging Connections to do all the draping, lighting, staging, candles and linen for the reception. We also met with Maria Lush the floral designer who is well known for her floral installations. Teresa decided she wanted all white flowers so Maria started to develop 3 different floral centerpieces for their big day and an elaborate bridal table with white blooms.

To help gather inspiration, we ask our clients to email styling and wedding images they like and from those, together with images that we love, we create a Digital Scrapbook on our iPad. Teresa and I showed these images to Maria and Anthony for inspiration. Teresa also explored Anthony Del Col and Maria Lush’s portfolios of work and added ideas to the wedding day inspiration. Teresa and Leigh then met a month before with Maria Lush and Anthony Del Col at Staging Connections where they showed the couple what each of their three guest table centerpieces would look like. We were able to tweak the styling a little and add some pillar candles to finalize the look.

We decided to finish the tables with hand calligraphy menus tied with the place card, table numbers and seating plan created by Wills Quills.

Maria Lush also provided Teresa, at her final dress fitting with Steven Khalil, with a mock up of what her bouquet would look like to check if she was happy with it before the wedding day and to see if it is suited the gown. It was a combination of David Austin roses and ranunculus with white phalaenopsis orchids for a modern element.In the end we decided to remove the feathers for the final wedding day bouquet.

For the ceremony, Maria then added rose, Singapore orchids and jasmine to the pews of the church.

The stunning wedding cake was designed by Faye Cahill.  I was a 5-tier wedding cake with silver foil and damask elements to tie into the styling of the room. During the cutting, the cake was taken out to the balcony and then as Teresa and Leigh cut the cake a fireworks display erupted for all their guest to enjoy. The Fireworks where by Foti Fireworks who are also responsible for the Sydney New Year’s Eve Fireworks each year!

Teresa and Leigh danced the night away to the Baker Boys Band and had a bit of fun in the Flashback Photobooth that we arranged. The entire bridal party then left at the end of the night in a Manhattan Stretch Hummer (it was the only car big enough to take all 14 of them) for the after party at a city night club.

After Planning Teresa and Leigh’s Wedding for a year and half, we are so proud to take you through all the elements that made their wedding day so amazing!! We had the best time planning the wedding and would love to share their wedding film by Untitled Film Works. Enjoy!

[vimeo width=”550″ height=”450″][/vimeo]

Photography by Cavanagh Photography / Film Produced by Untitled Film Works

Ms Gingham says: Planning a wedding is a big undertaking and in this post, we get some insight into how the professional wedding planners tackle this daunting task! 

About Couture Wedding Planning: A wedding is an incredible day of love, emotion and above all a celebration for you, your partner and for all your guests to enjoy. It is our mission to mould and shape your visions so that your wedding reflects you as a couple, without the stress of planning it yourself.

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  • Australian Wedding News | Polka Dot Bride says:
    May 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    […] talks about inspiration, trends and more 2.Donna from Le Bonbon shares her vendor favourites 3.Real Wedding Planning Journey – How The Professional Do It 4.Tips for Planning An Outdoor Wedding Ceremony 5.The Wonderful Little Workshop in Western Australia […]



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