Newly Engaged? Here’s 3 Handy Tips

Firstly, if you’re newly engaged, congratulations!

Being engaged is lots of fun and most importantly is a super lovely time to spend with your groom to be (or bride to be, Hi grooms!) plus you get to plan a wedding!

Secondly, there are a slew of articles on the web that tell you where to start when you first get engaged, a lot of these are overwhelming and can, more often than not, make you feel like you’re behind before you’ve even started. I’m two months away from walking down the aisle myself so I completely understand that taking the first steps down your wedding planning path can be the hardest. So whether you’re someone that has had their perfect day planned since they were 12 or someone who has never even considered what they want their wedding to be like, here are my top 3 tips on where to start when you become engaged.


I am so serious about this, it is the bomb. Even if you use it for nothing else other than wedding ideas, it is the number one place to start. Make that wedding board and pin like crazy! Eventually, you will notice themes and that you’re pinning similar things over and over.

Not sure what kind of dress you want? Not sure what sort of colour scheme you’re going to go for? Patterns will emerge! Decades ago women would buy bridal magazines, cut out all the pictures they liked and stick them all down, this is the exact same but with a lot less scissor and glue stick related injury.
Once you’ve pinned and pinned for a few solid months, go back through your board and delete anything that doesn’t fit with your themes/decisions you’ve been making. If it’s pretty clear you’re after a vineyard wedding, delete the pins related to beach weddings etc.
Pinterest also becomes a great sounding board for your groom/mum/bridesmaids/anyone else involved in the wedding planning because it’s basically a window into your mind. They’ll know exactly what you’re after and where you’re at and the whole process will be far more efficient.

2:: Attend Bridal Fairs

There are so many reasons why these events are ace. The most important is that it showcases your local vendors. You can read a zillion bridal magazines (which are also fantastic) but nothing beats having knowledgeable, reputable and local vendors laid out in front of you that you can chat to, ask questions and maybe even end up booking. They’re also great when you’re just getting started because they can help to guide you on your way of what sort of wedding you’re after.

When I found Love Cherish Adore (shameless plug!) I felt the asense of direction towards all the things I wanted at my wedding. You also generally get a little showbag of goodies and vendor info and more often than not the vendors run competitions for freebies or percentages off their services. They’re also a really great day out in general and it’s really fun to feel all bridey.

3:: Pick The Big Things First

Celebrant (particularly important), venues, rings, guest list, catering, the bigger things, in my opinion, are definitely where you should start. Because at the end of the day, these are the cogs that will get the whole machine moving. Unless you absolutely know that you want a specific pair of shoes or ring dish etc, then these sorts of finer detail decisions can be made later on in the planning phase (though I must admit, the very first wedding related purchase I made was our cake topper!)

Bonus tip:: Start Early

Now I don’t mean within the hour that the ring goes on! But I do promise that this will really help. The earlier you start to put some ideas in motion, jotting things down and opening that pinterest account, the easier the whole experience will be!

Love Kirby xx


Inviting kids to your wedding

To have children at your wedding or not to have children at your wedding, that is the question!

For me and my fiancé, this was a no brainer, we will not be having children at our wedding.

This isn’t because we hate kids or don’t really have them in our lives, the opposite in fact! We have twelve nieces and nephews between us and we adore every one of them. But for us, it was an easy decision and I will tell you why, for some couples though I know it can be an agonising decision and I hope that this post helps making that decision just that little bit easier.

There are several reasons why my fiancé and I decided not to have kids at our wedding, the first is that we are friends first and foremost with the adults. While we love all the little people in our lives, when it comes to who we would choose to celebrate our marriage with, it’s their mums and dads. And not only do we want to celebrate with their mums and dads, but we want the Mums and Dads to have a totally super fun time! We, like many couples, want our wedding to be a big fun party celebrating our love and commitment to each other and, arguably, this can be achieved much more easily by parents when they don’t have to look after their babies. We want them to have a night off and let their hair down and not have to worry about being responsible parents for the night. Finding a baby sitter means that our guests can stay as long as they like and they don’t have to hurry home when sleepy kids need to be in bed, they can dance uninterrupted, they can eat their whole meal without needing to feed someone else, they can totally enjoy themselves.

Secondly, and more specifically to wedding planning, is the cost and effort factor. Generally speaking, the smaller your wedding, the less cash you have to drop on it. By not inviting littlies, you get to save money on things like meals, bonbonniere, venue size (and finding a child friendly venue), possibly all the way down to little things like knife and fork hire (every little bit counts right?). Similarly, if you have kids at your wedding, they’re probably not going to be as entertained by an hour ceremony, an amazing meal (you may need to organise special child friendly meals), speeches and dancing as their parents. You will probably have to provide them with some child friendly entertainment such as colouring books or a big box of lego, which doesn’t sound like a lot of effort but it’s just one more thing on top of a list as long as my left leg that you already have to tick off. And to add to that, kids are unpredictable! With all of the things that can potentially go wrong on a wedding day I think it’s common sense to try and limit thevariables.


Image via Pinterest

Now, as much as the choice was a clear one for us, it certainly hasn’t been a hundred percent easy to execute. For most parents a night off from the kids is a welcome relief, others though can take it personally. My number one suggestion for bearing the brunt of any backlash regarding your decision to have a child-free wedding is consistency! Stick to your guns. You can’t bend the rules for one child and not the others unless you have a really good reason (such as a breastfeeding baby). We had a child free engagement party too and I think that helped to set the precedent for the wedding. We have had complaints and some comments, but it was to be expected and being consistent has really helped not only us but also the parents. When they realised that we weren’t going to budge they just got on with it. So if you’re thinking that maybe you don’t want to invite people’s kids to your wedding, it can be done! If you’ve just read this and you realise that none of these things matter and you in fact find it really important that the children in your life get to celebrate as well then that’s fantastic too. Most importantly (and I’m sure every bride has heard this a million times) IT’S YOUR DAY! You do what you and your partner want, nothing more, nothing less, including whether you want to invite kids or not.

Kirby xx

Choosing the Perfect Engagement Ring


A simple guide by Andrew Mazzone Design Jewellers

Selecting an engagement ring is arguably one of the most exciting and daunting decisions that you or your partner is bound to go through. There are endless designs and options when it comes to diamond shape and specifications and to make the matter more complicated when it comes to the engagement ring, there are no longer any strict rules. Furthermore, with coloured gemstones becoming increasingly popular it’s a wonder anyone can make the right decision as to what their partners dream engagement ring may be.

More and more are opting to share this special experience to alleviate the pressure from one party and ensure the prospective partners’ happiness, however, this method is not for everyone. Some people thrive in romantic situations and opt for the theatre of surprise in order to fulfil the true romantic fantasy of the “on one knee” proposal.

If you are a romantic at heart and would prefer to surprise your loved one, information can be acquired subtly – regarding basic style. For example, if you both are walking past a jewellers window maybe just stop next time and have a quick peek – I am sure your unsuspecting other will also stop and offer some helpful hints. Friends and siblings can also be invaluable spies when trying to determine a prospective design and gemstone. Proposals with the unset diamond only are also becoming quite popular – keeping the element of surprise and preserving the romance, but allowing your partner to also play a major part in the ring design – taking pressure off you!


Regardless of whether you are planning a surprise engagement or if you would prefer to design the dream ring together, there are a few things that are “need to know” when it comes to selecting the perfect engagement ring for you and your partner.

Rough Design

Do you think a plain band or diamond band would be preferred? Solitaire engagement rings are the best idea if you are unsure of design preferences, as you can focus on making the beautiful centre gemstone the main feature. However, perhaps your partner enjoys vintage style, and would prefer an elegant diamond Halo ring, which is the most highly coveted design at the moment. After all – you don’t have to be a saint to wear a halo.


Focal gemstone

Although it’s difficult to get it wrong with a beautiful diamond – some people may prefer a favourite coloured gemstone to really get the unique Engagement ring that was always dreamt of. While gemstones such as the very rare Tanzanite and beautiful Aquamarine present beautifully, they are not ideal for everyday wear, such as in an Engagement ring. This is due to the characteristics of the gemstone which affects its longevity and durability of day to day wear. The reason diamonds are the perfect gemstone for an Engagement ring is because they are the hardest compound known to man – meaning they truly “are forever”.

Sapphires and Rubies come in a range of colours and although they are not as hard as diamonds – they are much more durable than other gemstones and therefore are also appropriate for an engagement ring. Small pink sapphires are being incorporated into diamond halos or delicately placed inside the band for a more personal touch – a secret that only you and your loved one share.

If you think a diamond is the right stone for you, you still have a few things to consider. You will undoubtable have heard about the “4 Cs”, which is the process of evaluating a diamond based on four keys factors: cut, colour, clarity and carat weight. The 4 Cs are a wonderful starting point to choosing a beautiful diamond, however evaluating a diamond merely by the 4 Cs is like describing your beloved on the basis of height and eye colour! Two diamonds can look the same “on paper” but can actually be very different when viewed in person. The beauty of a diamond depends more on how well it has been cut than anything else. Understanding the cut of a diamond begins with the shape of the stone eg Round Brilliant, Princess Cut or Emerald Cut. However, in determining the value and beauty of a diamond, the “cut” refers to the stones proportions, symmetry and polish – not shape.

Although nature determines a rough diamonds clarity and colour, the hands of master craftsmen release its fire, brilliance and scintillation. When a diamond is cut to exact proportions – neither too deep or too shallow – light reflects inside the stone from one mirror to another and reappear through the top of the stone, making it seem to radiate from within.

Such diamonds are cut to exacting proportions that maximise the beauty of the diamond – such precision often requires sacrificing some of the rough diamonds carat weight, but truly creates a brilliance that is second to none, or the “Ideal Cut” Diamond.



Come on guys, this is an easy one! While some people have an exact budget and others may be slightly vague, it is a great idea to let your consultants know as soon as possible what you were hoping to spend. This will help us narrow down options such as diamond specifications and source the most beautiful gemstones that are going to suit your budget. When it comes to diamonds, sacrificing carat weight over diamond cut is always gently recommended, as mentioned before these are the diamonds that truly display beauty and brilliance.

Finger size

It’s possible that this can be estimated, however if the ring is being custom made it is best to know the finger size before manufacturing begins so no further adjustments need be made and your loved one can show off her perfect engagement ring straight away.

Equipped with this information prospective fiancés can walk into their manufacturing jewellers and have a dream ring created within the shortest time possible. However, obtaining this information is not always that easy and subtle hints can quickly evolve into a conspicuous interrogation if you aren’t careful. Nevertheless, if you are concerned that you can’t acquire this information without giving the game away, there’s no need to fret, as that is what the experts are for! Andrew Mazzone Design Jewellers is a family owned and operated business, and has been offering expert advice on Engagement rings and gemstones for over 50 years. Whether you have some idea or are completely clueless – the friendly staff have seen it all and are more than happy to offer advice, organise hand sketches or computer aided designs so you have every opportunity to wow your fiancé.


Andrew Mazzone Design Jewellers

21 Pulteney Street


(08) 8223 5447

Rilda Welcomes You!

When a newly restored vintage caravan and a group of creative and passionate wedding vendors get together for a photo shoot, something magical happens….. Last month a fabulous collaboration of vendors and suppliers from across SA got together in the Barossa within the grounds of Chateau Tanunda for a shoot inspired by the transformation of Rilda the caravan. The vibe of the shoot was to capture some flirty girly wedding fun with pretty pastel hues to give a nod to Rilda’s heritage. The shoot was made possible with thanks to a fabulous line up of vendors and kind permission from Chateau Tanunda to use their land. So meet the team!

Little Vintage Bar & Van

Rilda, the Brides Trailer is the brainchild of Kathy Elliott of Little Vintage Bar & Van.  Named after Kathy’s Grandmother, Rilda has been a wonderful labour of love involving many, many hours of restoration. With her husband Ross, they set about bringing this 1968 Harris caravan that had spent quite a few years out in the weather back to life….. Rilda has a serenity about her and when people step inside they inevitably start to whisper. For that reason Kathy decided to offer Rilda as a Brides Trailer for hire. The perfect haven on a Wedding Day for a Bride to have her wedding photos, pre wedding glass of champers or simply a retreat between ceremony and reception.. Rilda can be custom styled for any occasion and will bring many smiles and memories to those she meets..

Cake Bites

Based in the Adelaide Hills, Cake Bites has over 8 years experience of cake designing and it’s worth noting that  all of her stunning cakes are  made from scratch with love using local ingredients. Cake Bites made and provided the gorgeous naked cake, biscuits and scones which were the perfect addition to the shoot and enjoyed by all after the shoot nom nom nom!

The Eclectic Bride

Our super models Jess and Lauren wore bespoke vintage inspired gowns designed and hand made using vintage materials by  The Eclectic Bride, a business that’s about to launch in the Barossa.

MintCloud Makeup Styling

Our MUA for the day was Lauren from Mintcloud Makeup & Styling who has over 10 years experience in the industry.  Lauren really loves making people feel their best with a strong belief in providing a personal touch. Ensuring her clients are completely comfortable and happy is of the upmost importance. The makeup Lauren used for the shoot  was designed to give a soft romantic look.  A light golden shimmer eye  along with some extra lashes for a touch of glamour.   Cheeks were given a peachy pink highlighted hue and Lips were given a soft peachy/pink and a peachy brown colour to ensure that the models natural beauty shone through.

Miss Maggies Flowers

Based in the Barossa, Miss Maggies Flower believes the flowers for your wedding should be unique. With this in mind they don’t offer pre-prepared packages, preferring to discuss your individual requirements with you and tailor your wedding  specifically to your needs and budget. They also have one of the largest range of vintage and eclectic vases, original pieces and props to personalise your wedding day including table flowers, ceremony flowers, table numbers, runners, vintage props, lolly bars, suitcases, drink stations and other general styling.

 High Tea at Home

High Tea at Home can set you up with everything you need to host a fabulous High Tea party.  For the shoot they provided authentic vintage chinawear, cake stands and serving wear along with some gorgeous champagne flutes. These ladies will develop your event concept, arrange catering and provide you with all the infrastructure, service items and decorations you need for an ‘Instagram-worthy’ High Tea party.  They’ll even deliver, set up and style your event and at the end of the day, will come and collect all of the items for you. With affordable packages, stunning service items and award winning event managers on their team, it’s no wonder the ladies from High Tea at Home have developed the reputation as Adelaide’s ‘go-to’ High Tea supplier.

Bridget Quain Photography

Our outstanding photographer for this shoot is Bridget Quain Photography.  Bridget runs her boutique Wedding Photography business in the beautiful Adelaide Hills and prides herself on her ability to provide a very personal level of service. This enables her to create a clear understanding of your Wedding Day and what it is you wish to illustrate.  Her natural style of photography, and relaxed approach to the day, will quickly put you at ease.  This is ultimately reflected in your resulting images, with many a happy client in her collection.


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Photographer: Bridget Quain Photography

Van:  Little Vintage Bar & Van

MUA:  Mintcloud Makeup Styling

Cakes:  Cake Bites

China: High Tea at Home

Flowers:  Miss Maggies Flowers

Gowns:  The Eclectic Bride – 0421253901

How To Find Your Make Up Artist

Ruby is getting married this Spring and wrote this blog post about how to find a MUA.  Based on her experience so far she has some great tips and questions to ask before you book.


So far I’ve spent many hours looking at Facebook pages and websites to try and find the perfect Makeup Artist, but it is not as easy as it seems, especially if you don’t know anyone who does it as a profession. My wedding will be at the start of  wedding season, so that added to half the problem as a lot of people get booked out over a year in advance. I found someone who was perfect and whose style I loved. She had also done my makeup previously for a friends wedding however she was already booked on the dayof my wedding so I had no idea where to start next as my budget also played a big factor.

My experience so far is that I value not only a make up artist’s experience, skills and quality tools to do the job but their personality. I really think it’s important therefore if you can to meet your makeup artist before booking,  for example at a wedding fair like Love Cherish Adore.

So if you are on the hunt for a makeup artist, try to not hunt for that perfect makeup image. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and have a reality check as usually the most beautiful makeup is done on an already beautiful girl, so you almost have to visualise the makeup on it’s own. You may also not find the exact look you are after in someones photo gallery as perhaps they haven’t had the chance to do that style yet, so give them a chance and ask some questions first, or better yet send them some pictures and ask if they are able to create the look you’re after.

Some questions you may want to ask and actions to take:

Are you available on my date?

There is no point getting caught up on your new favourite MUA if they aren’t available and many get booked up very quickly.
How many weddings do you do a day? This is particularly important if you have a big wedding party and you want to ensure everyone gets equal time spent on them to make them feel special.

How much per person (including individual lashes)?

This one is a no brainer, you need to know how much you are spending. I really didn’t want to spend more than $80 per person originally, but now I think anything up to $100 is reasonable. You have to allow for the cost of their time, their experience and training, their makeup and their tools. These things can all be quite costly, so you are not just paying for the on the day expense.

Ensure you get a written quote

I found that often the prices weren’t on the websites as I guess the MUA possibly change their prices often, so they may not want to be caught out with an out of date price from their website. It’s a good idea to have this in writing, so you can compare prices and know exactly what needs to be paid, and this is also the stage they should include your details on the quote so they have it for their own information.

Do you charge a travel fee, and how much?

My wedding is down in the Fleurieu, so for a few of my vendors I am having to pay a travel fee, but if it means you get what you want then you are going to have to pay it. My MUA is charging $1 per Km of travel, which seems to be the general deal.

What time on the day do you arrive?

Not knowing our on the day timeline yet, I’ve asked my MUA, for 5 faces what time will she need to arrive to get all the makeup done in time for the ceremony start time. As she knows how long each face will approximately take her she gave me a guideline to work with, that will be useful for timing with the hairdresser.

What brand of makeup do you use?

I’m not going to pretend I know which brands are the best, but there tends to be a liking towards certain brands. You may also have an issue with your skin on certain brands so it doesn’t hurt to know. You could also buy some of it yourself to see how it goes on your skin before hand, and if you are happy then it can always be used for touch ups.

Table Planning Dilemmas


I would wage a large bet on most couples having a difficult time when it comes to arranging their seating plan.  I know I did.

I clearly remember the phone call my Mum made to me, in tears, asking me why my Great Uncle Arthur wasn’t sat on the same table as the rest of the family.  Our tables sat 10 and to include him would mean seating 12 at the table which simply wasn’t possible. I could seat him and his partner at the table but then I’d have to move another couple therefore creating another dilemma!  I was never going to win…..

Sound familiar?!

Family fueds, divorces, step parents, warring siblings, the list goes on. The fact is that you’ll never, ever, please everyone. Once you’re able to accept that then you’re halfway to shrugging of the stress of organising who sits where.

However here are some possible solutions to your table planning dilemmas.

Top table seating arragements can easily cause issues when there’s not enough room to have everyone you would like there or if relations are strained following a divorce or separation.

Traditionally the top table is for the Bride and Groom, Bestman, Bridesmaids and the couples Parents.  This is however tradition and these days anything goes so there’s nothing stopping you seating your Best Man and chief Bridesmaid only at the top table leaving the family to mix with the rest of the guests or host their own tables.

If  you’re feeling like you can’t accommodate everyone at your top table then you could also consider a sweetheart table where only the Bride and Groom sit.

The next thing to consider it whether you go for round tables or long straight tables.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages and your decision is largely based on the venue and the space that it affords.

Consider also who gets on with who and if you’re aware of any issues then you may decide to mix tables up with a mixture of guests from both the Bride and Grooms side.

Then once you’ve nailed the table plan you can move on to the fun bit of styling it and in the meantime, just remember, you’ll never, ever please everyone.

Susie x

5 Reasons Why a Winter Wedding is a Good Idea


[ Image Via Pinterest ]

My own wedding was early Springtime in the UK almost 10 years ago and whilst it wasn’t a Winter wedding, I won’t lie to you, it was absolutely freezing that day! Around 8 degrees with a wind chill factor thrown in just to make it even colder.

Once the formalities were done at the church then we all headed off to a gorgeous hotel in the Cotswolds where a beautiful log fire awaited us all.  The weather was no longer a factor and we all concentrated on celebrating  until the wee hours. I can’t imagine enjoying myself any more that day than if we’d celebrated in the Summertime.

Whilst most people will choose not to get married in the Winter time in Australia, there’s plenty of good reasons why a Winter wedding may be a good idea.


Since many wedding vendors and venues go into semi retirement over the Winter period, it doesn’t mean that they are unavailable.  Some choose to take this time off to recouperate before it all gets crazy busy again, however some may be willing to discount their  costs making it a better time financially to get married.

Choice of Vendors

I’ve already mentioned that some suppliers and vendors take Winter as a time to down tools and get some well earnt rest, however it may mean that you may be able to commission a particular vendor that’s already booked up during the busy season.


There’s so much going on over the Spring, Summer and Autumn seasons with Christmas, Mad March, January holidays and everyone else getting married. With this in mind, you may be able to ensure that everyone you want is available to attend your big day.


So we all know that Winter weather certainly here in SA can be chilly and wet however if you assume this is going to be the case then you can plan around it.  Furthermore, it means that your flowers, hair and make up will have a better chance of lasting the duration if you’re not sweating through a 40 degree day.


From a photography perspective, with the sun being lower in the sky then the light at certain times of the day can be more flattering than harsh Summer light. Plus Winter means you can go crazy with lots of candles to create some soft romantic lighting for your reception.

Love Susie x