Friday, April 23, 2010

Ceremony Elements

I was flicking through my emails earlier and saw the email from our celebrant from a while ago which has a huge word document of ceremony examples attached to help us in creating our own.
Prior to meeting with our celebrant I always figured the ceremony bit of the wedding would be flat out standard, unless of course we wrote our own vows, which just isn’t going to happen. I’ve realised now that even without being good with words it is possible to create a unique ceremony by ‘borrowing’ pieces of others ceremonies that do it for you.

Here are a few elements that I love the idea of:

Rose giving ceremony. 
Basically goes a little something like this:
"Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings. This shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love, and respect, and a public showing of your commitment to each other. You now have what remains the most honourable title which may exist between a man and a woman - the title of “husband” and “wife“.

For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.

In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing - it meant the words “I love you”. So it is appropriate that for your first gift - as husband and wife - that the gift would be a single rose.

Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife.

In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose, just as you are now. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life - one I hope you always remember - the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage."

I like the last bit where it talks about how in some ways it seems that you have done nothing at all… I think this is a great way to acknowledge that even though a couple may already essentially live like a married couple, the actual act of marriage is still special.
Non-standard vows.  
As I mentioned, we aren’t good enough with words to write our own. I personally feel that it can be just as special if you incorporate non-standard vows that have been written by others – as long as it touches a cord with you.  Here’s an example of one I like:
"I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, John Smith, take you Jane Doe to be my lawful wedded wife.
I, John choose you Jane, as my best friend for life. Together, we can accomplish anything. Through the good and bad, I want you to always know that I will be by your side. When you need someone to encourage you, I want it to be me. When you need a helping hand, I want it to be mine. When you long for someone to smile at, turn to me. I will always love you and this is my promise to you."

Involving your guests by inviting them to recommit to a loved one. 
I saw this on Offbeat Bride the other day and think it’s a beautiful idea.
"When we got ready to do our vows Victor, our officiant, surprised us by asking our family and friends to also take the opportunity, should they choose, to quietly recommit to a loved one by holding their hand and joining in on the vows with us. It was a sweet way to share our day with the people we love and so many of them told us how much they appreciated being able to participate in that way."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Florist Bamboozlement

I would love some opinions on this one. We are a bit unsure which florist to pick or whether we should just pick none and I’ll do them myself.

I like to work on a three quote rule, so with flowers we approached three florists to get quotes. We went to the florists armed with his photo: 

 We aren’t really too fussy about flowers though so, as advised by one of the florists, we made a list of other in-season (hopefully) flowers that we would also be happy with. These were carnations, peonies (have written them off though because we have been told by florists they are expensive), dahlias (apparently not a good wedding flower – too fragile), daisies and chrysanthemums (that picture is a certain type of chrysanthemum but we’d be cool with a different type).
Oh, and our quotes are based on 1 x brides bouquet of straight yellow flowers, 2 x bridesmaids bouquets which are just smaller versions of the brides bouquet, 1 x buttonhole which will just be a single flower.

Now, here are the results….

Florist A:
Were extremely rude, unhelpful and obviously didn’t want our business so after one visit and three phone calls from me they are out of the running without even having got to the quote stage. I could write an entire post about these mofos… but I won’t.

Florist B:
My fiancé has been dealing with these guys as they are under his work. From what I’ve heard from him they are extremely helpful and polite. They also came recommended to me by someone else so I know they do a good job at wedding flowers. They are unsure if at that time of year they will be able to get the flowers we have pictured but can definitely do one of our other options. We are still waiting for a firm quote from them but they have given us an indicative price of $160 for my bouquet, $130 for each of the bridesmaids and $15 for the buttonhole.
Grand total: $435 (this seems fairly standard based on what I’ve read on forums… possibly a little bit on the high side).

Florist C:
This is our local florist. She seems lovely … but she smokes inside her shop (or at least it STINKS of cigarettes and she has an ashtray inside). Isn’t this illegal? Anyhow, she seems a little too overconfident that she can get the pictured flowers in. I don’t have faith she can, but my fiancé and I discussed it later and I don’t think we’d care if she declared a few days before that we’d have to have one of our other options. My other issue with her is that we have no idea of her skill level. Then again, I don’t think what we want really requires much skill. Even she said that it was a really easy job because all she would have to do pretty much is wire the flowers and bring them into a bouquet.
Her price: My bouquet she quoted as $60, $50 for each of the bridesmaids bouquets and $10 for the buttonhole.
Grand total: $170 (less than half the price of florist B).

We have one final option which is that I will do the flowers myself. We went up to Northwood St, Leederville (heaps of wholesale flower shops are here and some sell to the public) on Saturday to get an idea of how much would this cost. Doing it this way we would probably have to have roses because they have good solid stems so will be easier for me to work with.
My rough guestimate: $45 for my bouquet, $30 for each of the bridemaids bouquets, and then say another $15 for the buttonhole and some extra flowers. I would also need to do a practice run so I reckon another $30 for that.
Grand total: $150 (almost the same price as Florist C. I think this is probably because this is roses versus a much cheaper flower).

My concern is that Florist C just seems too good to be true. Any ideas why she might be so much cheaper?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wet and Wonderful Winter!

The rain is here! I love winter so much. We actually did consider having a winter wedding, but that idea got pushed aside pretty quickly when we realised that we want to get married outdoors and I want to wear a dress without having to wear a little coat over it.
After my last few wordy posts I'm going to let the pictures do the talking with this one. I know this has nothing to do with my wedding planning but sometimes I feel like I need to defend poor ol' winter because everyone hates it so much.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Natures Bonbonniere

I used to love gardening but I find that I never have time these days and the worse the garden looks the less I am inspired to go out there and make it beautiful. Occasionally we are forced into action by big, bad, ugly rent inspections. This weekend just gone we found ourselves once more forced into action and pruned, de-weeded and swept our little patch of nature. Seeing the garden looking nice-ish (apart from all the barren spots) has got me wanting to pop down to Waldecks and once more take on the gardening world.

Now, as much as I’m sure you’d all love to hear me drone on about my not-so-green thumb some more, I’ll get to the actual wedding part of this - bonbonniere. I hate bonbonniere in general. They are usual stupid little things that you put money and/or effort into that no-one really appreciates, or they say they do and then just shove them in a drawer for all eternity. Having said that, I would like our guests to take home something from our wedding (other than good memories of So what can we do? I like the idea of lolly buffets… people will eat them, if they don’t I will. My fiancé isn’t really keen on this though and that is totally fair enough. When I take off my giddy bride-to-be hat on put on my sensible Engineer hat I completely agree with him, the cost to benefit ratio is crap.

So how about bonbonniere that also double as something else? Ages ago when we booked our reception venue we talked about having live plants as our centrepieces (This thought is back in my head now after all the gardening on the weekend). We aren’t extravagant people so simple decorations are right up our alley, plus our reception venue doesn’t need too much decoration. We were also thinking of maybe rather than one plant at each table, have little seedlings and these can double as bonbonniere. I really love this idea because it has a dual purpose and they won’t go to waste because if people leave them behind we’ll plant them out ourselves.

My only issues with this idea are; 
  1. The centrepieces wouldn’t be the flowering kind.
  2. Some people wouldn’t want them.
  3. Some guests will be from out of town and a seedling would just be a pain in the bum.

My current thought to resolve these few issues is to do the centrepieces/bonbonniere like so (I haven’t discussed this one with my fiancé but he reads this… so let me know what you think of this Justin!);
  • Have a potted flowering plant in the centre of the table. Yellow daylilies I think would work well - and they are hardy and easy to grow (plus I want more in my garden so I’ll be planting out those afterwards).
  • Have little seedlings of different varieties around the main plant. For a table of ten, we would have five seedling pots.
  • Have either in seedling pots (clean ones obviously), or in other little containers/boxes lollies. So for a table of ten we would have five of these also.

This way people get to pick their bonbonniere and because they are doubling as centrepieces the cost to benefit ratio makes it completely justifiable (well, other than the lollies)!

As a guest what would you think of this? 

 Yellow Daylily

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pre Ceremony Photos, 'First Looks' and Why They Rock!

Over at Getting Hitched there is talk about photographers at the moment as they have just booked theirs! In the post, it mentions that they will be having photos before the ceremony so that they can spend more time with their guests. This has me excited because it is what we are doing also! I couldn’t express my excitement enough in one little comment so I thought I would do an entire post about pre-ceremony photos… this also allows me to digress and share my excitement about what they call a ‘first look’.

Before meeting with photographers my fiancé and I had talked about the idea of doing pre-ceremony photos to allow us to spend more time with our guests. In our opinion our wedding day is really a celebration with our family and friends and well, you can’t celebrate with them while you’re off elsewhere having photos taken. We weren’t too sure about it though because we didn’t really want to see each other before the wedding. We decided that we’d at least discuss it with our photographer and see what her opinion was on the matter. Once we’d talked to her, I was sold (and my fiancé was too after a day to think about it)!

She explained to us the concept of a ‘first look’. It goes a little something like this:
  • The groom meets the photographer at the location at an agreed time (his groomsmen can hang out in the car drinking or something until it’s bridal party photos time).
  • The bride rocks up a little bit later and meets up with the photographer around the corner (the bridesmaids can sit around sipping champagne).
  • The photographer makes sure the groom has his back turned and gets the bride to walk up behind the groom.
  • The photographer tells the groom to turn around… and there you have it, the first look.

I am so very excited about this for many reasons:
  • As previously mentioned, the guests don’t have to hang around or start the party without us after the ceremony.
  • The first time we see each other will be a much more intimate moment. It’ll just be me, him and the photographer.
  • We can take our time to enjoy the moment because I won’t be walking down the aisle trying not to trip over.
  • We can express how we feel with words because we will be close, not at opposite ends of the aisle.
  • We will have time to really let it all sink in!
  • It provides the opportunity for some amazing photos with raw emotion showing through.
I think it’s something that every bride and groom should at least consider. I know some people wouldn’t want to do it this way, but there’s so many benefits that it’s at least worth a thought!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Yummy Scrummy Cake

We were originally going to do our own wedding cake because we both love baking and decorating cakes. How awesome would it be to say 'yeah, that's our work' when someone commented on your kick arse wedding cake?!?

Sadly we have decided that it could be a bit too much stress to do our own though. We could easily pre-bake the actual cakes and freeze them (they keep well), but we'd have to do the decorating the couple of days or the day before (and cake decorating is no easy task... it takes aggges if you're not doing a rough job) and then deliver it to the reception venue on the day ourselves.There's just too much room for it all to go wrong in my opinion... even if we didn't stuff the decorating, I'm sure whichever one of us delivered it would either take a corner too fast (resulting in people having to take their spoon out to the car if they wanted dessert), or we would drop it on the way in... because we are like that.. we are clumsy people.

So now here we are getting cake quotes... I actually don't mind letting someone do it that much. They will (in theory) do a much better job... and it's their problem if it lands on the ground during delivery!
After a bit of googling we found what we wanted. I'm so glad we agreed on something so easily! Ours will be a bit different to the picture below. Ours will have yellow instead of red and will be only 2-3 tiers. We will also obviously have a different cake topper.

 Do you love it? I do! :p

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Too Cute!

"Too cute". I never thought I would say that about a cake topper but hell, this wedding planning has had me getting excited about things I never would have cared about in the past - fabric, flowers... make-up.
We haven't actually even got cake quotes yet so a cake topper is miles down on the to-do list but started looking at them after me lovely fiancé asked me the other day how much a cake topper that we saw at an expo cost. I love that he has something in mind that he wants and so we'll probably just go with that... but I still had to have a bit of a google and a look on Etsy to see what was out there.
Here are four of my favourites (including the one from the expo - bottom left hand corner).

Top left: Made by Etsy seller, maderasytrapos.
Top right: Every cake topper store seems to sell this one. I just like it because my fiancé rides a motorbike.
Bottom left: From minikinmania. You send them a photo and they put your faces on the cake topper.
Bottom right: Made by qtiff, another Etsy seller. This one is way too expensive for us but still adorable and worth sharing.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Budget Section Added

They say that sharing is caring so I have added a page to this blog where I have added our budget and actual costs. I did this on the basis that it could be a really useful tool for others. I’ve tried to give as much description as possible for each item of what that price gets us and who our suppliers are but feel free to ask any questions you may have. I realise that this has left us completely open to judgement from people that think we’re spending too much or too little, but a) those people seem to judge without seeing the actual $ figure anyhow, and b) they can go get stuffed. As I’ve mentioned on the page, my only request is that after we have committed to paying for something you don’t tell us how much cheaper we could have got it for – sometimes it’s better just not to know! I am more than happy to hear any tips or advice for items that are not yet finalised though!