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Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride on January 24, 2009

  

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Cathrin D’Entremont is a Perth based wedding planner who owns CD Weddings and wedding blog The Wedding Nut. With a wicked sense of humour, Cathrin also runs workshops “The Wedding Workshop” for Western Australian brides packed full of tips and hints from vendors and suppliers to help couples plan their wedding day.

Tell me about yourself?

I was born and raised in Berlin, Germany. One day, I was bored, I packed my suitcase and arrived in Sydney. I just fell in love with Australia and decided to stay. I got bored a few more times and moved to Malaysia and Canada, but always returned to Australia and have now settled in Perth.

I created CD Weddings four years ago with one year of intensive research. It was the right time in my life to create a business in doing what I have done for most of my life throughout the world – creating events.

I also created The Wedding Workshop. Bridal expos are great but often don’t give the bride and groom the information they need to put such a huge event together. The workshops are a step by step seminar guide. 10 of the most important vendors a bride and groom need on their day will talk about the “do’s and don’ts” in their field – what questions to ask and where they can save money.

Working together with talented people, musicians, florists, caterers and many more, keeps my day to day routine interesting and creative.

I love every aspect in my business – well almost, I hate accounting!

What influenced your decision to become a wedding planner?

It was like a chain reaction of events. I wanted to create a business in event management. Organising corporate events was just not me. I thought of doing themed kids birthday parties at first, as I have 3 children of my own and I saw potential in it. Then one close friend said I should do weddings as I would be perfect for that!

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Photo by NK Photography

How has living and traveling in different countries influenced your style?

Every culture has different values and traditions. It helps me to incorporate solutions for a bride and groom even through they are not from that culture. For example: The bride had no family in Australia and did not want to walk down the aisle by herself. I suggested doing it the German way and walk together down the aisle. We ended up that the groom walked half way down to meet her in the middle. So much fun to create unique wedding!

Do you feel this gives you an ‘open-ness’ in interpreting new ideas from overseas, for Australian brides?

Being exposed to so many different cultures one has a far greater horizon.

What inspires you? How do you keep your ideas fresh for each wedding?

Blogs! I am a blog addict. I visit Polka Dot Bride every day! I love looking at wedding photos, interior decorating books, landscaping books and I shop a lot. Window shopping mostly, as I am not a very rich person! When I shop I create for my clients. It works for me!

Do Australian brides and grooms have a distinctive style?

Yes they do. They love their outdoor weddings. Of course we are lucky to have such a great climate. Australians have a very relaxed attitude and do not take things too seriously.

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Photo by NK Photography


What is your number one tip for brides?

Create a budget and stick to it! Don’t do another cookie cutter wedding. Incorporate your personality; do not be afraid to have some great entertainment at your reception.


If money was no object, how would you style your dream wedding?

I know too much! I would not be able to choose! I like everything – garden weddings, lavish ball room weddings, getting married in a beautiful resort! If I had the money I would like to get married to my husband once or twice a year with a different theme. I love my job and I just love creating together with my clients their weddings and I get to spend their money. ?

What are your favourite wedding ideas?

I love monograms designed for the bride and groom and incorporating it throughout the wedding. Later they can use it for their personal stationery.
Candy buffets. Guests absolutely love it. Never any leftovers for me to eat not even one Smartie!

What do you love about Australian Brides?

Australian brides often not so restricted through their culture traditions and have fun in creating the day they love.

What should brides start with when they come to you to start the planning process?

Cutting out from magazines or printing from the computer of all the photos they love and like to see at their wedding, no matter how wild or far fetched they are. I like to get their vision into my head so I can then find everything they need. It starts out as a huge collage which will turn into their perfect wedding.

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Photo by Samm Blake


What was your most memorable wedding moment?

Oh, there are so many, but one still sparks emotions in me. It was a groom’s speech! He started to say:” On behalf of my wife and I”, he stopped and then said with tears in his eyes ” I have waited so long to say that, may I say it again?” And he did with so much power. Everyone felt the love for his wife and started reaching for tissues.

Cleverest ideas you’ve seen?

Every time I see a product that is unique, a new one comes on the market. I love what Pink Frosting has done. They have search the world for unique items and brought them to Australia like the monogrammed parasols and Wedding Graffiti. No excuses not to personalise your day anymore!

Five things a bride must get right?

1. Set a budget and stick to it
2. Balance the budget
Don’t spend most of the money on your dress, leave some for the reception.
3. Get organized and keep a ring binder with tags. Carry it to every vendor meeting.
4. Do not leave things to the last minute and allow more time on the wedding day. Some things will take a little longer. Don’t rush!
5. Simile, breathe, relax on your big day. Enjoy it!

Oh, can I add No.6. Hire a Wedding Planner.

Thank you for sharing your advice on Polka Dot Bride Cathrin! You can find Cathrin at CD Weddings, her blog The Wedding Nut or at her workshop site The Wedding Workshop

Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride on January 16, 2009  

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Today Polka Dot Bride is joined by a dynamic, successful wedding industry pro- Leigh Taylor, who with her husband Bradley Patrick owns Sydney photography studio SugarLove Weddings and Sydney videography studio White Designs.

What was the catalyst for starting SugarLove Weddings and White Designs?

SugarLove Pictures started in early 2000 and was initially just one photographer & one agent/photo producer coming together for their work within the Arts & Entertainment industry. My husband & I worked between the USA & Australia regularly & things grew to incorporate Advertising, Editorial, Fashion and Film clients. Our wedding division started indirectly at the request of some well known celebrity clients to cover their day. The rest they say is history – SugarLove Weddings was officially formed in 2004.

White Designs was started in a similar fashion…. one bride trying to find a videographer that could produce documentary style footage with a high level of elegance & style decided to start her own business. Her desire to cater to the same level of discerning clients who appreciate the differences that professional commercially trained crew can bring to their wedding documentaries was the sole decision behind building White. We purchased White from the original owner in 2007 and merged the business with SugarLove Weddings

What is your business philosophy?

Our philosophy is based on integrity, passionate client management & an appreciation of being invited to share one of the most important days of your life with our clients. An all encompassing love for the art of making beautiful images “both still & moving” drives the SugarLove & White team.

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Anna and Nathan on their wedding day as captured by SugarLove Weddings

How would you describe SugarLove’s photography style?

Timeless, emotional & spontaneous moments captured in a relaxed unobtrusive style is often the way our work is described by SugarLove clients. Our personal business approach combined with a high level of ongoing support and “love” that starts from the very first meeting to the final collection of albums is widely regarded as one of the added joys of working with SugarLove.

What do you love about Australian brides?

Most have a great sense of humour and a fresh & candid approach to their day

What do you look to for inspiration? Do you have a ‘feeling’ about each bride you photograph and then plan the photo shoot accordingly?

No photo shoot at SugarLove is planned in the old fashioned sense. Pre planning meetings take place one month prior to the wedding day to discuss the shot list and desired locations, however if something is working better on the day between the couple & our photographer this spontaneity is paramount. The most memorable shots are those taken when in the “moment”.

Our creative inspiration comes from things outside weddings such as travel, film, food, art and music.

What sets you apart from others?

We don’t feel couples should have to purchase an album to be able to book the very best photographers in the business. For the majority of clients, our packages with albums are fully inclusive so there are no hidden extras after the honeymoon.

We keep the business & creative sides of wedding photography separate for clients at SugarLove. Each couple are working one on one with their own account manager to ensure no detail is missed prior to the day, the photographer can then concentrate on what he does best (capturing the amazing images we are hired for) and clients are overjoyed to receive their images anywhere from 7-30 days after the event instead of 3-6months.

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Lea captured on her wedding day to Matt by Sugarlove Weddings

How do you keep your product fresh and different?

Embracing new technology has always been high on the list of priorities. Listening to what clients feel is missing within their expectations of photography & video services helps open up new ideas for the future. Combining experience from our body of work in other industries ensures our work looks unlike anything else in the wedding industry

What are your number one tips for brides?

Always discuss your expectations of how you dream your wedding day photography & video to be before the big day. Be yourself in front of the camera and your natural beauty will shine through. No posing, no fake smiles, take a deep breath & enjoy every minute of the day, it goes far too quickly. Chose a studio with integrity and ensure you understand fully what is included in your package prior to booking. Read previous clients testimonials & ask to view published work which is the signature of any top studio. Lastly, an experienced photographer or camera operator with well rounded experience in other forms of photography outside of weddings will bring a fresh approach to your images.

What should a bride know about wedding videos?

We have three packages available for clients but designing something custom made for couples is quite common so brides should know this is always an option. When choosing a company to work with always follow your heart. Consider your budget but book with the studio who has the footage & images you love the most. First impressions count. Pay attention to a company who is well organised from your first phone call, first email or first meeting. They will ensure the wedding videography goes smoothly & they will be a delight to deal with long after the last shot is taken.

What are your favourite wedding ideas?

Anything with sentiment and individual style.

You film a lot of celebrity weddings-have you ever been star struck?

It is nice to meet someone you admire creatively – an actor, singer or artist but no I cannot say I have been star struck as yet.

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Most memorable wedding – and for what reason?  

Definitely my own day on November 10th 2001 in the Blue Mountains, NSW.Leigh Taylor Wedding

We chose a weekend getaway, a gorgeous intimate location, a small guest number, and made choices about styling, menu and music all based around our 1920’s theme. Heartfelt vows, vintage prints, a moonlit cake cutting and the crisp scent of spring in the air are just some of the memories that make those moments feel like yesterday.

Leigh Taylor Wedding Photo

What lifestyle habits do you suggest for brides in the run-up to their weddings?

De-stress, De-stress, De-stress… it will pay off in the photos & video, we promise!!

Thank you for joining Polka Dot Bride today Leigh! Check out SugarLove Weddings and White Designs for more delicious work!

Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride on January 6, 2009

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Bringing in the new year is a lady who I’ve been lucky enough to come to know over the past few years. Kathryn Porritt! Kathryn has not only been an event planner in Canberra, but she now runs one of Australia’s most gorgeous online wedding stores Pink Frosting and writes the delightfully gorgeous blog Australia Entertains. Kathryn is taking the Australian wedding industry by storm with her great ideas and amazing array of products!

Tell me about yourself, your background?

I am the owner of Australia’s favourite online wedding and celebration store, Pink Frosting and the blog, Australia Entertains, and have spent almost 15 years as an event manager in Australia. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing people including Harry Connick Jr and Alicia Silverstone (yes, I am name dropping!).

How did you get into the wedding industry?

I’d spent years organising big events for the corporate and entertainment world, but I honestly enjoyed working on smaller celebrations more. They were more challenging and fun. I opened Pink Frosting in Canberra as a wedding planning company so I could focus on my first love. We’ve recently closed the event management arm of Pink Frosting because our online store has become so popular. This was a bittersweet moment for me – I miss wedding planning but I am so delighted that we’re bringing exclusive, gorgeous wedding decorations and accessories to Australian brides through our store.

What do you love about this industry?

That every couple has a unique vision and a unique story. No wedding need is ever the same. I love creating and finding decorations and accessories to match their vision. Every day brings something new.

I also love buying. I am really enjoying traveling around the world to find new and unique wedding and celebration ideas to bring to Australia. Every time I travel, I come home with brilliant ideas and inspiration. It’s a matter of containing them all!

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You have a website that is detailed and intriguing. What is your aim with the website?

Pink Frosting’s website is about providing inspiration, ideas and beautiful accessories for Australian brides and anyone interested in entertaining. We aim to bring the best wedding ideas from around the world to Australia because we know how frustrating it can be to find beautiful things overseas and not be able to get them shipped to Australia.

What inspires you?

Beauty. I just love that everything I do, everyday, has a beautiful aesthetic. I never tire of beautiful things. I am also inspired by beautiful art, photography and design. I suppose anything with a beautiful aesthetic makes me happy. I am in the right business!

What sets you apart from others?

I have an innate entrepreneurial spirit, so I’m not scared of asking the big questions. When a company that makes a beautiful centerpiece that I think Australian brides would die for but can’t be shipped to Australia, I just have to make it happen!

Do you see a particular incoming trend in weddings for the next 12 months?

Definitely. Green weddings are big (and so they should be!). I’m finding that many couples also want to use their weddings to “give back” to their favourite charity. So, we’re organizing lots of “pink ribbon” or local charity –themed weddings. I really think this says a lot about the Australian spirit.

Other trends include more intimate weddings where the couple has less guests but treat their guests to a really luxurious day (or week as the case may be). Budget weddings are also a big trend and necessity as the economy slows. We’re seeing some really lovely personal, DIY weddings where the family pitches in with cakes, stationery, bombonniere and decorations.

How do you keep your website and products fresh and different?

I travel and read as much as possible about events, fashion, design and art. I find if I have my finger on the pulse of anything to do with fashion and design, I can generally keep ahead of celebration and wedding trends. This is important for bringing unique ideas to Australia through the Pink Frosting website.

Where do you see Pink Frosting in 5 years time?

I see Pink Frosting as the one-stop celebration shop for anyone interested in entertaining and weddings in Australia. I see the website as the ultimate space for beautiful ideas, galleries and planning tools for Australian brides and hostesses (and hosts of course!), with the store still bringing the very best in decorating and accessories to Australia from around the world.

What is your number one tip for brides?

Be the very best version of yourself on your wedding day. Oh and please indulge me with a second tip: don’t get so caught up in the planning and details that you forget what the day is all about. Ok, and thirdly: hire a wedding planner. It will mean you can relax and enjoy the day rather than worrying about whether the caterers have turned up on time.

Tell me about your wedding or your dream wedding?

My wedding was in Byron Bay (close to home for me) in May 2007. Most of my family and my husband’s family didn’t need to travel, but for those who did, Byron is a beautiful location for a holiday.

We hired a huge home in the Byron hinterland which overlooked the ocean and the rolling hills. Our bridal party and immediate family stayed with us over a few days, so it meant our families really got to know one another well before the big event. I would highly recommend this to anyone!

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We were married with the beautiful Byron view in the background by an incredible celebrant who really understood our vision. We then had a cocktail reception for our 80 guests in the tropical gardens of the home we hired.

The most important parts of the day for us were the location, the food (I wish we’d actually got to eat some! It looks amazing) and the photography. We felt that if we splurged in these areas, we could scrimp a little in the others to create the feel we wanted.

The details that I loved were that my girls wore black tuxedo pants (they looked so chic and perfect for the location), my Dad’s incredible speech and his love for my Mum, and the big, fat white lilies everywhere.

We used a local wedding planner, Claire from Divinity Byron Bay, which was the absolute best money we spent. She WAS divine!

What are your favourite wedding ideas?

• Use a wedding planner – a good one will save you their fee in one negotiation with a vendor and they will make your day stress-free;
• Start with an inspiration board and keep it with you everywhere you go so you never lose sight of your vision. The process is fun to go through and will mean you can tie all of the elements together;
• Spring Bulbs as bombonniere – what a beautiful, living, inexpensive favour;
• Parasols and hand fans – I love, love, love parasols for weddings. They look amazing in photos and the couture ones available through Pink Frosting are worth every penny. Oh, so divine.
• Monograms as motifs. Fantastic! You can personalize your day with “graffiti” motifs on your cars, your toasting flutes, your dance floor and church entrance way with your monogram, as well as stamping the more traditional route with stationery, place cards and napkins.

What do you love about Australian brides?

Their fun-loving attitude, their creativity and charitable spirit. I am really delighted to meet our customers and hear their wonderful stories. I think Australian brides are used to being more creative because they haven’t had a lot of the more directional accessories available to them. The concepts they create inspire me!

What should brides start with when they’re planning their weddings and receptions?

An inspiration board, a budget and a wedding planner! Always start with an agreed budget and stick with it. If you can afford it, hire a wedding planner to help you create an inspiration board and bring it to life and stick to your budget. If you can’t afford a wedding planner, then you can certainly do it yourself. I would recommend buying every wedding magazine you can get your hands on, read some great wedding blogs and gather pictures of everything you love. Agree on a theme and a budget and you can go from there.

What are the biggest mistakes you see brides making?

Not sticking to their budget and losing sight of what the day is about.

I see some brides getting over-zealous about the details and coming to blows with their family about little details. I have often had to sit down with a bride and remind them that the day is about them celebrating their marriage to their lifetime love – it isn’t about the shade of pink their mum wants on the napkins. These elements are really important, but in order to have a truly wonderful day, there are just some things you need to let go of!

Particularly with the economy slowing down, setting a strict budget is also really important. I recommend you think about the things that are most important to you and be prepared to scrimp on some other areas so you get the most “bang for your buck.” Don’t overspend – your wedding day is really important, but don’t get yourself into debt for it. You don’t want to be paying off your wedding 10 years down the track.

What are 5 clever ideas to create a stylish wedding?

1. Hire the best vendors you can afford. I would start with a great wedding planner, a photographer (after all, this is your reminder of the day forevermore), a good caterer, a florist who shares your vision and a celebrant who you connect with. Obviously your other vendors are important, but this is your “essential” team.
2. Shop online and browse the globe. Online stores will bring you inspiration and ideas you may never have thought of. Incidentally, online stores can usually afford to sell their products at a better price because the cost of running an online business isn’t as high as a “bricks and mortar” store. My favourite online wedding shops are www.pinkfrosting.com.au (of course), www.etsy.com, www.bridalsurvival.com.au, and www.annawhitford.com.
3. Personalise your day. Use a monogram as a motif. I really adore this new trend and hope it stays around for a long time yet. You can “graffiti” your cars, your toasting flutes, your dance floor and church entrance way with your monogram, as well as stamping the more traditional route with stationery, place cards and napkins.
4. Parasols. You may not swan around with a parasol on a normal day, but a parasol for you and your bridesmaids (and guests if you can afford it) makes a beautiful decorative element for your day and looks amazing in photographs. They are also very sensible for Australian weddings, whether outdoors on the beach or simply for your photographs. You don’t want to get a sunburn before your reception!
5. Make your day about you. I really think the most stylish and enjoyable weddings are when the couple celebrates their own unique style. It’s important for brides and grooms to be the best version of themselves on their big day, not an imitation of someone else.

Thank you for joining Polka Dot Bride today Kathryn! Be sure to visit Kathryn at her online store Pink Frosting and her blog Australia Entertains