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Image courtesy of The Ultimate Wedding Planning Party

As an experienced event planner and publicist, specialising in planning media events for unique food products and associated businesses within the lifestyle and luxury sector, 2011 threw me a curveball, when I announced my engagement! Suddenly it was going to be about me. To be honest, I had not put a huge amount of thought into this prior to my mid 30’s. Initial thoughts were when, what, where and how were we going to pull this off! Luckily I have a wonderful fiance who has total trust in me and gave me full reins in planning this wedding, to an agreed budget of course. 😉

After agreeing on a date, finding the reception venue was not easy at first. Initially, I wanted a garden wedding out of Sydney so guests could come and stay over and we could all have a mini holiday. The place I found on NSW’s central coast called Bells at Killcare ticked all my boxes, but unfortunately could not accommodate us for a Friday in November.

Each year I conduct the ‘Ultimate Wedding Planning Party‘, a fairytale playground for soon-to-be brides and grooms at the Sydney Opera House, where everyone can learn from Sydney’s leading wedding experts during a glamourous, interactive and fun evening … then the idea clicked! Let’s host our wedding at the Sydney Opera House! Hence, venue decided and hard part done. Sydney can be unpredictable with all the elements, therefore we decided to also conduct our ceremony within the Opera House, which we hope will be lovely.

Choosing a dress designer was my next big step. Important to me and for all brides. My lips are sealed on this detail as I’m sure you can understand!

I am slowly securing all my suppliers for my wedding. I have long working associations with Planet Cake and gm photographics, so both were the natural choice for my cake and photography, but I had to get in quick, as both suppliers book out quickly, especially in November. For everyone out there planning their wedding, the things that you need to decide upon and secure quickly are your desired celebrant/church, make up artist and wedding planner, if you want one.

All in all and only due to my work contacts, I am finding it a little easier than most to plan my wedding. For those of you however doing it for the first time you should consider attending Ultimate Wedding Planning Party for ideas (and not just because I’m conducting it!). The event allows brides and grooms to mingle with Sydney’s wedding industry elite and listen as they share their wisdom.

Picture this. You walk down the red carpet and enjoy Yarra Burn wines and St Germain cocktails and canapés served by Opera Point Events. Simon Sandall is the head chef and his food is delicious! You can then stroll through the interactive and visually stunning booths and meet the suppliers face-to-face to discuss their upcoming weddings. The marquee is themed as a mock wedding so there’s plenty to look at and gain inspiration from! There’s a Bridal Fashion show featuring 5 amazing bridal designers including Lisa Gowing, VELANI by Nicky and Colette Dinnigan plus UK star, Sarah Janks who will show her first collection on the night. There’s even a Funbooth photobooth!

Afterwards, the wedding suppliers take to the stage to share their advice. To finish off the night, guests can mingle more with the industry experts and enjoy the entertainment. We have the Press Club Band playing live and you can enjoy some pampering from Jo Malone or even a Bobbi Brown make-over. With all this going on our guests last year didn’t want to leave but when they eventually did go they were all carrying their amazing gift bags and some had even won a lucky door prize. (This year’s gift bag is shaping up to be pretty amazing).

Back to my wedding planning, I am currently in the process of choosing a bridesmaids dress design with my girlfriend designer who is making them and designing invitations … its all very exciting. My best advice is to enjoy the process of planning your wedding, trust your chosen  suppliers and have fun with it. We are also enjoying watching some wedding shows on Foxtel for light hearted entertainment.

Best Wishes,

Kim xx

Ms Gingham says: I think that even the grooms will be happy attending this one and what better way to plan your wedding than at an event where the best suppliers and industry experts are gathered. Thanks go to Kim for sharing her knowledge with us! You can find out more about attending the Ultimate Wedding Planning Party here.

About Kim: “The producer of the annual Ultimate Wedding Planning Party – a glam bridal planning event showcasing all the best of Sydney’s wedding suppliers and designers. The UWPP is held every Spring at the Sydney Opera House!”

 

Polka Dot Bride Shop

Anna Campbell with models

With the pop of a cork, trays of tasty sweet treats and stunning gowns, Melbourne designer Anna Campbell launched her stunning new Boutique on Sydney Rd, Brunswick (VIC)  last week.

Guests were treated to the unveiling of Anna’s stunning boutique featuring beautiful decor and styling, while enjoying some of Anna’s latest collection on models wandering through the excited guests. The roving models allowed guests to view each gown up close taking in Anna’s design style and seeing the movement and grace of her gowns.

The new Anna Campbell boutique is located at 238 Sydney Rd, Brunswick and houses the full Bridal, Bridesmaid and Consumer collections and will now be open Wednesdays 10am – 5pm, Thursdays and Fridays 1pm – 7pm and Saturdays between 11am and 3pm.

Photos by Anna Campbell

Ok, so nobody really wants rain on their wedding day, do they?

We all imagine a perfectly bright, sunny, blue sky under which to say our “I do’s” or exit the church. We want to enjoy sunshine while we have our photos taken. We can choose almost every part of our wedding day and we spend months, sometimes years, planning it all down to the very last beautiful detail, but Mother Nature has a habit of changing everything. The weather is the only part of your day that you can’t control …

Even if your heart is set on a garden wedding, or a ceremony on the beach, it’s best to be practical, and plan for just in case. Because sometimes it does happen, even though you’re hoping it won’t.

None of your guests will be terribly happy if they have to stand out in the rain. Not only will they be getting wet, they will be entirely distracted by it. They won’t be listening to the ceremony. They won’t be watching.  They’ll only be thinking about their wet clothes, ruined shoes, frizzy hair. You get the idea …

You simply can’t give your guests the experience you were hoping for, standing in the rain. The string quartet you hired to accompany you down the aisle will not play in the rain. Your photographer and videographer won’t risk damaging their equipment in heavy rain.

So look for a back-up venue. If yours is a beach wedding, hire the nearby surf club and use their balcony, if rain is on the horizon. When looking at garden venues, look for the ones that have pavilions, or large rotundas, or consider a marquee with sides. But remember that most rotundas are open sided, and that strong wind will more than likely bring the rain in sideways!

Ask your reception venue if they are available as a backup plan for your ceremony. Do they have the space? Can they accommodate your guests? Will timing be an issue? Don’t automatically assume that you can have the ceremony at the same time – it may need to be later in the day. Make sure you check the timing with all your suppliers, too. Some of them may have other bookings for the same day.

If the forecast is for “showers”, be smart and organise umbrellas for everyone. Enough for all your guests. And the bridal party. And the celebrant. You can hire them for the day. Get the cute clear plastic bell shaped ones for the bridal party – (they look fabulous in photos) – and black or white golf umbrellas for the guests.

In spite of all the best advice, I have performed weddings in awful weather. I have been freezing cold and shivering. Soaked to the skin. Shoes sloshing, squeaking and full of water. I have conducted guests to sing dum, dum da dum, to get my bride down the aisle, when musicians couldn’t play. I have co-ordinated and created umbrella walls. I have stood whilst every other person was covered by an umbrella and the drip, drip, drip of rain went down the back of my neck – and my front! There’s pretty much nothing I haven’t married through!

Your guests will thank you for considering their comfort. Your ceremony will be performed the way you hoped. Your dress will not get muddied and ruined. There are so many reasons why it is better to plan for all possibilities.

And when it all goes wrong, and out of nowhere comes a downpour that wasn’t even on the radar, right in the middle of the vows, I remind my lovely wet couple that if this is the worst thing that ever happens to them, then lucky, lucky them.

If Kim and Chris had not had a backup plan, this flash flood would have been disastrous. As it was, we had to run for our lives, get 100 people undercover and into the parking lot at Jones Bay Wharf, hide Kim and her beautiful dress from Chris and all the guests, get everyone into the restaurant, through the kitchen and then start all over again. Kim did make her entrance. They did have a beautiful wedding, we managed to laugh about it , later, when the sun reappeared, it was smiles all round.

Photography by Matthew Reed

Ms Gingham says: Outdoor weddings + Australian unpredictability of climate = BACKUP PLAN! Thanks to Robyn for this wonderful advice … and she knows her stuff because as a celebrant, she has attended many more weddings than I have!

Robyn says: I am quite possibly the happiest marriage celebrant in Sydney! Weddings are my thing! Nothing makes me happier than a really happy couple – every time.

Follow Robyn’s blog for more happy wedding moments!

Read more from Robyn here.