1. Tell us your story, how did you meet, fall in love & become engaged?
Brenton and I met in December of 2005, it was a fairy tale meeting, his sister had just moved across the road from me and we instantly hit it off. She asked if I wanted to come with her and her two preschool aged boys to the shops, which I obliged. I stayed out the front with the kids as my new neighbour ran into the shops to pick up a few things. While I was outside waiting for her to return, a gorgeous guy who had every physical trait I had dreamt of in my perfect partner came straight up to me and started chatting to the kids (which I thought was adorable) I couldn't say much as I was too shy at the time. My new neighbour came out of the shops and introduced me to her brother, Brenton. That night he and I hung out and realized we had a lot in common, same friends, lifestyle, values - it was just perfect. Before I left he asked me if he could kiss me and we have been together ever since. In April of 2013 Brenton got down on one knee and asked me to marry him of course I said yes!
2. How long before your wedding date did you start planning?
Being that we have been together for so long we only wanted a short engagement. So we started planning the very next day. We were hoping to have it all done in a few months, but soon realizing it was a very big job and neither of us have any experience in event planning we decided to enlist the help of several wedding services.
3. Was there any special significance on the date you chose for your wedding?
Brenton and I met on the 23rd. We thought it would be a fun little number to play with so our engagement was the 23rd of august 2013 and our wedding will be the 23rd of august 2014.
4. How did you determine your guest list?
We knew straight away that we needed to keep the wedding list to around 80 and to do that I had to prioritize the attendees. The way it all panned out was friends that I had not seen more than twice in the year leading up to the wedding would not be invited. I did however invite all of our families to be there for our big day.
5. Where is the location of your wedding & what made you choose this location?
Brenton and I had looked at more than ten venues and had not been won over until we went to Eves on the River, Brisbane. When we arrived atop the building was New Zealand written in bold, which I thought was kind of cool seeing as I grew up there. Then as we went inside we noticed the restaurant was decorated in "the bird of paradise" floral arrangements, which, fittingly so, is Brenton’s PNG national flower. So for the venue to be so perfectly fitting to both our heritages, we just couldn't say no. The owner came and had lunch with us and everyone was just so lovely. Truly has been the easiest decision yet.
6. How many bridesmaids do you have, what do they mean to you?
I have 5 bridesmaids. They all represent a stage in my life that have helped me to be the person I am today. They are my very best friends and have been so helpful throughout the wedding planning.
7. Describe some of your favourite wedding details & how you came up with them?
My all-time favourite detail of my wedding is my order or service cards, complete with handmade confetti! Eliza and I had a big chat and came up with the brilliant idea of adding a pocket of confetti to my order of service cards, to be handed out to everyone at the ceremony.
8. Tell me about your experience with Invitation Designs by Eliza?
Eliza has been integral to my planning process. Not only has she been completely available to me at any time of the day or night, she has also put me in contact with other wedding vendors who have now also become integral to the overall theme of my wedding. She has been so very approachable and has helped me to achieve my dream of a unique and memorable wedding.
9. What Invitations & Stationery did you order through Invitation Designs by Eliza? What did you love about them?
I have ordered everything from invitations, including wishing well and rsvp cards to thank you tags, love date frames, seating charts, wedding signs and more! I find myself continually adding to my order as Eliza is always evolving as a business person, she is such a creative person and is always coming up with new and brilliant ideas. My favourite piece is the order of service cards, but In saying that, everything is beautiful.
10. How long before/ or do you plan to send out your Save the Date Cards & Invitations?
I handed my wedding save the date cards out at my engagement party and announced in the speech that night that this time next year we would be all gathered again to witness Brenton and I take the plunge!
11. How far ahead did you book things for your wedding?
As soon as I knew what I wanted I went ahead and booked. Being that I didn't have an endless supply of money I looked for businesses that allowed payment plans. The freedom of being able to pay things off meant that I could lock in aspects of my wedding without having thousands up front. I think the earliest I booked was 15 months prior to the wedding.
12. Are you having a wishing well, gift registry or other?
We are an established couple with two children so a registry wasn't for us. We thought a wishing well would be best suited and anything we received could go toward buying a house.
13. What online sources have helped inspire & plan your wedding?
Google images and pinterest have been my best friend during the planning process! As well as being a member of a few bridal groups on Facebook.
14. How did blogging about your wedding planning experience help this process as a whole?
Being able to bounce ideas off other brides in similar situations has been a priceless resource for me. It has given me the opportunity to seek advice and nurture some of my own ideas to help them become a reality. Being a part of a community of like minded brides to be has been the backbone of my wedding planning experience.
15. What is your wedding inspiration? (Think decor, overall theme & feel of the day, etc.)
I didn't want to label the wedding as a certain style but if I had to I would definitely say I have themed and dressed according to the Gatsby style. Lucky I have some very talented vendors who have been able to create the style without it looking cheap or cheesy.
16. What (or who) helped you most in your planning process the most?
Throughout the process of planning my wedding I have used the Facebook wedding groups as my bible. Speaking with other women and hearing out their problems and ideas have helped me to have a better understanding of the wedding industry and also provided me with inspiration to further the finer details with my own wedding.
17. What was the most important thing to you when deciding whom to work with for your wedding?
Definitely word of mouth and recommendations. Of course price and budget had to come into the final decision as well.
18. What is something you have learned throughout the planning process you didn’t know before hand?
As a person who likes to get everything done myself, I guess like a little bit of a control freak, I have learnt to let go and trust my suppliers. Thankfully Eliza has made this so easy for me, being so flexible and approachable; she has made the whole experience stress-free by being confidant in her work and flexible with my needs!
19. What advice do you have for other brides who are starting to plan their wedding?
It's never too early to start planning! If I could have a do over and was more patient I would stretch out the whole wedding planning process over a few years so that you can actually sit back and relax and enjoy your engagement!
20. How are you going with your wedding budget? Will any decisions need to be changed to keep within your budget? Do you have a set budget or does it keep changing?
We started off with a wedding budget of about 20 thousand. Knowing that we definitely wanted to enter the wedding debt free we weren't prepared to obtain a loan. However, after crunching numbers and falling in love with more and more wedding "accessories" we knew that for the style we loved we would have to save more! We tightened the draw strings and might run a bit too close for comfort with finances, but we will have the wedding of our dreams and the marriage of everyone's dreams!
1. Biggest splurge?
The venue! A lot more than I had expected to pay, but also more perfect than I could have ever imagined.
2. Best supplier so far?
Eliza has been amazing! Helping me with more than just stationery, offering advice and personal experience. Eliza has become personally invested in making sure my wedding will be everything that I hope for.
3. Favourite purchase so far?
I love my brooch bouquets, simply stunning! Tied for first place is the order of service cards with handmade confetti!
4. Any DIY / Unique Ideas?
Avoid DIY if you want a stress free day! My advice is let it be someone else's problem!
5. Number of guests? 80
6. Wedding budget? Upwards of $25,000.00