Category Archives: wedding

Engagement Advice from our Real Brides 2016

Engagement Advice from our Real Brides 2016


One of the most euphoric times of your life is the short but sweet period between dating and marriage. You jump at every opportunity to call your beloved “fiancé” and you cant help but stare at the sparkle on your ring finger! It’s a busy period, it’s a joyful period. Here’s what real brides have to say about their experience and the things they wish they’d known when they were engaged.

“Have fun, don’t let the little things you’re learning about each other become annoyances, but have grace for each other and remember that you’re building a life together, not just a wedding!” – Shannon and Chris, see their sparkly and stylish wedding here.

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“This is the best time, as you have just announced your big news to the world and everyone is super excited and happy for you as a couple. Take time out to relax and celebrate with family and friends before you embark on the planning process for your wedding.” – Cindy and Justin, see their sentimental and stylish wedding here.

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“You are only engaged once, so embrace the excitement and love that you are surrounded by. And of course, wear your “Feyonce” t.shirt as often as possible.” – Nicole and Chaz, see their glamorous wedding here.

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“We were engaged for 18 months before we got married. My advice would be to enjoy that time as much as possible. I remember very early on wishing the time away because I was so excited for the wedding, my maid of honour reminded me to enjoy the time you’re engaged as it only happens once, after that I didn’t wish the time away anymore and I relished in the excitement of being engaged.” – Emma and Matt, see their urban glam wedding here.

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“Don’t over think the wedding process – your first pick is usually the one you go with. Enjoy just being engaged!” – Danika and Joel, see their elegant and rustic wedding here.

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“Although it is exciting to plan the wedding. Make sure that you focus on the relationship as a couple as well.” – Erin and Chis, see their summery outdoor wedding here.

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“Enjoy the time of being engaged its such an exciting time of your life with so many celebrations and special times to look forward too, enjoy the moment before all the wedding planning starts” – Emma and Jonny, see their destination wedding in Fiji here.

Photography + Florals + Styling: Lilelements / Cake cups: Desserts with Lynda

“Make the most out of your time being engaged. It’s the next step before you become husband and wife. Enjoy the wedding planning but don’t take everything to heart. Time is the one thing that we can never get back – just enjoy it.” – Azra and Paul, see their fairytale wedding here.

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“No advice needed – it’s a pretty fun time! Just make sure to keep your ring sparkly.” – Kristine and Nathan, see their art gallery wedding here.

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“Have fun with it! It’s a short period, but a special time! Have fun in the moment and try to continue building a deeper relationship with your significant other. Take time for yourselves and remember to stay connected through the whole process. Allow yourself time to bask in the engagement glow… it is a beautiful time to see your relationship begin another chapter together!” – Kirsten and Mickey, see their classy vintage wedding here.

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“Make it as quick as possible! More time to plan = more time to stress about little details.” – Kirsten and Cael, see their romantic Hunter Valley wedding here.

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“Make sure that you take time in your engagement to relax and enjoy this extremely special and exciting time. It can be easy to get overly-consumed by wedding planning- make sure to spend lots of time together enjoying each other’s company. My approach was to book all of our vendors and the ‘big stuff’ within the first 2-3 months of our engagement so that we had a big chunk of time where we could just sit back and enjoy being engaged. Everyone is different though. Do what works best for you.” – Fiona and Aaron, see their classic Tasmanian wedding here.

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“Don’t rush the small stuff. You will have plenty of time to organise everything, that being said, don’t leave everything to the last minute! Also don’t ask your best friends to be in your bridal party as soon as you get engaged, wait until closer to the wedding date. You never know what the future holds.” – Kiarne and Ayden, see their rustic country wedding here.

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“It’s easy to forget that you have just gotten engaged and get straight into the wedding planning, but it is important to remember you need to celebrate the commitment you have made by becoming engaged to one another and not stress about the wedding details. I would definitely say eat all your favourite naughty foods now, because you will feel guilty about it later!” – Christine and Paul, see their luxurious Sydney Harbour wedding here.

Engagement Ring: Hearts on Fire

“Don’t over-stress by thinking about the organisation of the wedding and minimise tensions as much as possible. Just enjoy life together.” – Jo and Marc, see their rustic Tahitian wedding here.

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“Enjoy being engaged!! Once the planning starts things can get crazy. We had a long engagement (18 months) and it was perfect. Buy lots of planning books and create templates and put everything in there! Your bridesmaids are also there for you, so get them to help you.” – Amber and Scott, see their luxurious wedding here.

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“Time goes so quickly and it is easy to get caught up in wedding plans. Be sure you take time out to indulge once in a while to do the things you love. Enjoy your time being engaged!” – Sara and Silvio, see their Whitsundays wedding here.

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“I guess thinking back now you have a few coulda, woulda, shouldas enter your mind in regards to your wedding. With the engagement, I would suggest to do whatever makes you feel comfortable and most importantly something you will enjoy. Remember it is all about you and your significant other. If you want a low key BBQ, or a day at the beach with loved ones to celebrate this occasion then go for it.” – Rose and Jordan, see their hinterland wedding here.

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“Enjoy the moment/day together, before sharing the news. It’s such a special and exciting time for you both, and you deserve to soak it all in together.” – Lauren and Matt, see their intimate and rustic wedding here.

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“Take time to be in the moment. Continue to date each other. You’ll have to sometimes step away from all the stressful planning, hustle and bustle of family, friends and other well-wishers and just enjoy each other.” – Tanyala and Antaeus, see their timeless Chicago wedding here.

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“Just let it all soak in and don’t start getting too crazy with wedding plans too soon. Enjoy this milestone with your fiancé.” – Acacia and Luke, see their tropical winter wedding here.

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Weddings take a lot of planning, so it’s good to get as much help as you can! Take a look at some more wedding tips and tricks here.

How to create your own wedding website

How to create your own wedding website

Isolated computer display for mockup. Office interior with windo

Creating your own wedding website gives your special day that added touch of uniqueness. Think of it as an extension to your wedding invitations – updating your guests on transport, accommodation, weather and any extra links or photo galleries you’d like to share. MW chatted with wedding website designer Sophie With Love who helps couples create their very own


What exactly is a wedding website?

A wedding website is a unique “www” destination for your nuptials, which includes unlimited pages, text, videos and images. Just like a normal website, this is specifically for a couple’s big day. I offer custom websites, in which I create a unique website from scratch, or a template that the bride and groom can edit themselves.

How did the idea come to you?

I am a website designer by trade and I had always wanted a wedding website for my big day. I thought, if I want one, surely others would too! So, I started creating a wedding based website instead of my usual business based sites. I made it more focused on replacing the invitation, as opposed to a wedding business.

How does this differ from a regular wedding invitation?

The website differs in that a person can put everything on the website about the big day. The invitations are limited to whatever you can fit on the paper and fit into the envelope. The website allows you to put endless amounts of information and update the details too. Once the paper invitations get sent, it is nearly impossible to easily update your guests, so this allows you flexibility on your big day.


What can you have on a website?

Practically anything you want! That’s what I love about it. You can put text, photos, galleries, maps, links to the venue, accommodation and travel, and ways through which people can RSVP (like online forms and links to an email address). It allows you to completely remove the use of paper.

Can the website help with planning?

Yes, it can. I have created pages (in the templates) for each stage of the wedding process, so couples know what invitations and communication they need to give their guests. Telling your guests too little information is frustrating for them so this helps you tell them every little detail you want them to know.

Do brides need to know how to code to create a website?

Absolutely not! I have used a program called WIX and it is a drag and drop design suite. I also provide every bride with detailed instructions to help too!


What are some features brides can include on their site?

Videos: the program loves Youtube and Vimeo, so you can include videos of your favourite music or funny clips
Social media links to your accounts
Gallery of images: I love the idea of using the site to share pictures after the big day
Google Maps
Blog: you can post little articles and updates for your guests

What happens to the website after the wedding?

The couple have the choice to leave it up or take it down whenever they are ready. I plan to keep mine going, so that I can put up the photos from the wedding. Maybe use it to announce other big things in the future as well!

“My fiancé wasn’t sure about a wedding website. Completely unconvinced, I bought the template, used the directions and showed him the website with our images and words in it. He fell completely in love with it and now we are just a day away from sending our guests the link! SO HAPPPYYYYY!!”

“I love the template!! I have had so much fun putting my images in and my details in and cannot wait to share it with my fam and friends!! And thank you for the easy instructions too!!!! I would have been lost without them!”

Should You Have An Unplugged Wedding?

Should You Have An Unplugged Wedding?

An unplugged wedding encourages your guests to capture the joy and emotion of the day without the distraction of technology. Find out if an unplugged wedding is the right option for you – and how to ask your guests to go tech-free.

What exactly is an unplugged wedding?

An unplugged wedding results when couples ask their snap-happy families and guests to turn off their phones, iPads, cameras and other digital gadgets so they can be fully engaged when witnessing the bride and groom exchange vows on this very special day.

Couples would rather people simply watch, smile, shed a tear, listen and remember, not from the photos they download to their computers, but from their own memories.

The tech-savvy couple

While some couples are asking their guests to switch off for the day, others encourage their friends and family to snap as many photos as possible. There are strong arguments on both sides. A fully plugged-in, hyper-documented wedding makes perfect sense for couples who won’t feel complete unless they have digitally documented every second of the day. Couples who are on a tight budget may want to ‘crowd-source’ photos and are happy for guests to take as many pictures as possible, and thereby can dispense with a professional photographer altogether.

Be nice, turn off your device

For the couples who prefer to keep their wedding low-key, instead of banning cameras and iPhones all together, they might request that they simply refrain from taking pictures during the ceremony. Remember, if you have 150 guests there could be 150 iPhones snapping away! Another reason for couples wanting an unplugged wedding is the unauthorised images that may circulate on social media sites thereby spoiling the big reveal for the groom and guests. Also, what bride wants unflattering images posted on Facebook or Instagram of the bridal party getting ready, or inappropriate images of tipsy relatives behaving badly?

Photo-bombing guests

If you have gone to the expense of hiring a professional wedding photographer it is quite possible they will miss key shots because of photo-bombing guests getting in the way and compromising the professional pictures. This is another reason for an unplugged wedding.

Asking guests to keep mobile phones and social media usage to a minimum is not an unreasonable request especially at the ceremony and big reception moments, like cutting the cake and the bride and groom’s first dance.

Here are some ways to get your message across:

Warn guests in advance: Send a note requesting “no photos please” together with the invitation.
Put a note in the wedding program: “We ask you to kindly turn off your phone during the wedding ceremony and refrain from taking photos. We have a professional photographer on hand to capture all the special moments”.
Ask the celebrant to make an announcement: “The bride and groom have asked that you put your phone and camera away. Sit back and enjoy the ceremony!”
Put a sign on the reception tables: “We encourage you to share your selfies with #dotanddavewedding but please refrain from posting photos of the bride and groom on social media.”

In the end, this is your day and the decision is up to you. To ban all photographs is unrealistic but it is reasonable to ask guests not to post them until after the ceremony. However, if you and your partner are looking for more face-to-face connection with your guests, an unplugged wedding could be good for you.

Why You Need A Wedding Planner

Why You Need A Wedding Planner

Contrary to popular belief, wedding planners and wedding stylists are very different professions with distinctly different roles. We share the insider scoop from wedding planners Kerrie Wood at LUXE-Unforgettable Events and Kelly-Louise Phillips at Kelly-Louise Weddings.

A wedding planner takes all the stress out of planning a wedding: cue collective sighs of relief from brides the world over. “A wedding planner is a creative source, professional, good value for time and money, up to date on all the latest trends and themes, and there for you through all your wedding needs,” explains Kelly-Louise Phillips at Kelly-Louise Weddings

Planning your own wedding used to mean endless hours of research, running around and becoming stressed. Now, with the growing popularity of wedding planners, it is possible to plan your dream wedding without all the negative implications. With the help of a wedding planner the wedding of your dreams can become a reality.

The average wedding takes up to 250 hours to plan. This significant amount of time is spent sourcing, meeting and negotiating with suppliers from every imaginable wedding field, including reception venues, stylists, hire companies, florists, caterers, musicians, photographers… the list goes on. A wedding planner simplifies the process by managing every meeting and ensuring that every vendor is fully briefed prior to the wedding. On the big day, the wedding planner is the director of the entire event and ensures that every vendor successfully executes their assigned task.

“In short, wedding planners take care of all the logistics,” reveals Kelly-Louise. “They take the guesswork out of the process, making planning a wedding as seamless and smooth as possible.” Kerrie Wood of LUXE-Unforgettable Events notes: “For couples that work long hours, or who have little spare time available, a professional who assists with the design, planning and management of the wedding can be a god-send.”

One of the biggest concerns shared by brides-to-be is finding reputable and trusted suppliers, hence the allure of the wedding planner. Planners are your PA and fairy godmother rolled into one. “A planner will keep track of your budget and handle all the logistics,” notes Kelly-Louise.

“A good planner will also save you money, utilising the relationships they have with wedding vendors and services, they are able to get discounts nobody else would. Our aim is to save our clients more than the cost of our fee.”

While wedding planners organise the logistics of the event, wedding stylists are consumed by the aesthetics of the wedding day – the theme, colour palette, flowers, decorations and lighting. In many cases, the wedding planner will work with the stylist to ensure the wedding style is fulfilled to the couple’s requests and stays within budget. “Specifically, a wedding planner is a professional who you partner with to ensure the practical and contractual planning process is seamlessly developed and delivered from start to finish, whereas a wedding stylist works with you to assist and determine what your unforgettable day will look like.

Indeed, each and every wedding planner has a little black book of suppliers: the best in the business. Experts at efficiency and detail gurus, they’re renowned for their organisation skills. Yes, every bride needs a wedding planner. As Kerrie Wood says, she, like many other wedding planners, work for the couple and on their behalf. “We ensure every aspect of your special event is uniquely tailored for you. We work with our couples to design a custom package to suit their exact requirements and budget and personalise their wedding every step of the way, paying particular attention to bringing your vision to reality. We answer questions, brainstorm ideas, negotiate with vendors on your behalf and manage the unexpected.” Essentially a wedding planner is the couple’s aide: guiding them every step of the way, doing all the leg work, answering all the phone calls (no more voicemail alerts during work hours!) and chasing all those last minute necessities.

However, there is a misconception that wedding planners only work on big-budget weddings. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Both Kelly-Louise Weddings and LUXE-Unforgettable Events, like most Australian wedding planners, have a range of packages available, from partial planning, on-the-day management, venue sourcing and full planning, but they can offer bespoke packages tailored to suit the requirements of the client, no matter the budget. As for involvement, the level is entirely up to you. “We work with the couple to ensure that their personal input is exactly as they require,” notes Wood. “It is, after all, their day.”

Top Tips for Time-Conscious and Stressed Brides

1. Write a list of all the things that need to be done, with dates of when you realistically plan on doing them by. Keep your list up-to-date by ticking items off and amending it as you go. The biggest priorities should be at the top of the list so you can work your way down to the least important elements

2. Prepare a guest list so you know how big your wedding will be

3. Prepare a realistic budget for your whole wedding

4. Decide on the style and location of your wedding

5. Hire a planner who knows which suppliers are reliable, available and will provide you with the perfect service within your budget

6. Consider, and budget for, an on-the-day coordination service to ensure that all of the fine, last minute details are coordinated and managed on your behalf

This article was originally featured in Modern Wedding Styling Handbook, for more wedding planning advice, decorative inspiration and unique ideas, pick up a copy of the magazine in Coles, Woolworths, newsagents and online.

Tips to save you money

Tips to save you money

The average wedding now costs over $30,000 but it is possible to have your dream wedding without breaking to bank. The key is to work out your priorities and then allocate most of your budget to them. On all other items try to save as much as possible. Here’s how…
Plan and plan some more

The clearer your ideas are and the more organised you are, the more you will save. Each hour you spend planning exactly what you want before you visit a supplier the more likely you are to save cash and time.
Get the timing right

The time of day, time of week and the time of year you choose to get married will have a direct impact on your budget. The most expensive day to get married is a Saturday during peak wedding season, like Spring. You can save quite substantially by having a winter wedding on a Friday.
Cut the numbers

Fewer guests and a smaller bridal party will free up some cash to use on suppliers. Although try to keep suppliers to a minimum also to save even more. The same budget will allow you to organise an average wedding for a large number of people or an absolutely stunning wedding for a smaller number of people.

Often formal weddings are more expensive, so if you opt for a more casual affair you will find that there are savings to be made.
Be original and creative

You don’t have to follow the age-old traditions and rules. The more original and creative you are the more opportunities there will be to save – you will also have a personal and different celebration that friends and family will talk about for years.
Tone down the biggies

The biggest expenses you will come across are the reception, engagement ring, wedding gown, photography and video and the honeymoon. These normally make up 75% of the wedding budget. If you keep these under wraps the rest should look after themselves.
Pay attention to reception details

Taking up around half of the budget, the reception is the biggest area you can save on. Take at least a third of your organising time choosing the reception location and which package is right for you.
Sweat the small stuff

The old adage that if you take care of your pennies the pounds will look after themselves has never been truer than when you’re organising a wedding. Pay close attention to every cent of your budget. Each small saving you make in one area will help you achieve the bigger picture and the wedding of your dreams.
Speak up!

Now is not the time to be timid! Try to negotiate a discount where you can. You may not get what you want every time, but a beautiful bride is hard to resist. Also now is the time to cash in on all those lovely offers of help. Your friends and family will be flattered to help and be a part of your big day.

You may not be able to have all you’ve ever dreamed of at your wedding and still stay on budget. It will come down to priorities. Which three elements of the wedding matter to you most. With your top three you can then cut back on the other areas. Your own priorities are what makes your wedding unique and special to you and your groom.



You are engaged and still riding on a bubble of excitement, dreaming of planning the best day of your life with your new fiancé. Then people come out of the woodwork just to burst that bubble and tell you how expensive weddings are. You may hear that as soon as you mention the word Wedding the cost will double. Relax, it is not true.

First things first, you need to be clear about exactly what you want, who is paying for what, what your budget will be and then start making lists and planning.
Tips to set your budget

Ask yourself these key questions before deciding on your budget:

What can you (and your families) can afford to pay?
What priority do you want to give your wedding compared to your mortgage or other financial commitments?
What sort of wedding do you want? A large formal wedding is going to cost more than a smaller casual wedding.
What style of wedding does each family have in mind? Are the families willing to financially help to achieve the wedding they envisage? Often two families will have different ideas on the sort of wedding they want for you, based on their own traditions and experiences. If one family is dreaming of a five star hotel ballroom and the other expects a casual beach wedding, then you need to have a discussion early and then decide what you and your fiancé want.
What parts of the wedding are most important to you? If the photo album you are left with is the most important element of the day then you need to allocate a large percent of the budget to that. The best way to get this sorted is for you and your fiancé to separately write down your top three priorities and your bottom three priorities. These lists very rarely match up, but a good bottle of wine and a healthy conversation should help you come up with a joint list. Think of it as good marriage training in the art of compromise.

A wedding budget to suit us

A wedding budget to suit us

Alicia, our guest bride blogger, is back on the Modern Wedding blog for installment 3. Her big decisions over the last few weeks have been about the wedding budget! Something we can all relate to.

In my last post I was ‘bloganising’ over the hard decision of selecting our guest list. We felt as though we were caught in a tug of war; wanting to invite everyone versus sticking to a wedding budget.

Prior to becoming engaged our focus was to save a deposit to purchase our own little piece of Aussie real estate. We were getting pretty close. However, with our wedding on the horizon, it has become apparent very quickly that much of our savings will need to go toward the wedding.
Married couple walking

Not wanting to give up on my Pinterest inspired ‘dream home’ just yet, I decided to set myself a challenge of a ‘wedding on a budget’ so I could try to have it all. This was ok in theory because as a long-term poor student I had always pictured myself having a simple barefoot wedding. However, the problem is that that poor student is long gone and I, somewhere along the way, have developed a weakness for fine things!

Added to this, fiancé and I LOVE to entertain, and so in our wedding planning we have pictured lots of friends, a festive bridal party, a big fun car, stunning photos, a venue with a view, fabulous entertainment, a gastronomic dinner, wedding-night luxury and, here comes the pièce de résistance, a honeymoon in Europe!

So you see the problem! Other people I have spoken to about this have recommended many ways to manage a tight wedding budget, however, many of these advice givers have also admitted to spending up big on other things for their wedding!

What I have found is that the budget decisions all come down to identifying what is most important to us. This week, fiancé and I realised that friends and family are the biggest thing for us. We have lived in multiple cities and have met, bonded, relied on and kept in touch with lots of people.

We were sad and torn by the idea of having to select only a few of these friends (and how do you choose?) and we also wanted our own parents to be able to share their proud day of seeing their son/daughter marrying their soul mate.

We decided that the memory of having all our favourite people with us on our wedding day is more important than the $5,000 or $10,000 we’d save toward our future home. It may seem frivolous and it may not be the same justified decision for other people. No one is right or wrong. Some, like my sister included, may make a vastly different decision (like getting married in a registry). Others may not have to worry about it.
Bridal party at a wedding

So last week we said ‘To hell with it, let’s invite everyone!” And you know what, it felt GREAT. We sent out a bunch of save-the-date messages and were hit with a flurry of excited replies… questions about accommodation and hens parties flooded in, and everyone was really excited. And for those who don’t give a toss, well they won’t come anyway.

In the end, like all apparent dilemmas in life, our guest list and wedding budget challenge has helped us to frame what is most important to us: family, friends and experience over possessions. It feels so good to do what’s right for us.

So here’s a snippet of our budget and some ‘wedding on a budget’ ideas:

Things we’re DIY-ing: Invitations, bonbonnieres and reception décor. We’ve also decided to go with a garden venue that needs no further embellishment.

Things we’re keeping simple: The cake, reception package, my dress, shoes (no ‘Choos’ for me!) and jewellery.

Things we’re laying on thick: Guest list, bridal party, photographer, reception venue, live music, wedding night luxury and, ahem…the right lingerie to round out the day. 😉
Band playing at a wedding

Natalie Howe Photography

What about you? How are you setting out your wedding budget and are you going to go extravagant on some things and compromise on others? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Modern Wedding has an online wedding budget planner which might help you too. All the best with your budgeting!

Alicia x

About Alicia: Alicia is a water scientist by day and a blogger/jogger/home cooker by night. She is madly in love with her fiancé Shane, Pinterest and her fitness program. Check out her Pinterest board and lifestyle blog.

Alicia is guest blogging for the Modern Wedding blog leading up to her wedding day. She resides in Manly, Sydney, and is a Victorian country girl at heart. Swing by Modern Wedding Facebook or Twitter and ask Alicia a question.

Tips For Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress On A Budget

Tips For Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress On A Budget


No matter where your wedding falls on the scale of grandeur, we all want to wear something a little special on the big day. The problem is that your big day will often come with a big cost. Even a simple wedding will need to be budgeted for and budget savvy brides can struggle to justify spending big on a dress that will only be worn once.

The multitude of inspiration and choice only makes the decision harder! It’s not uncommon for women to develop the taste for couture gowns only to discover that these dresses are out of their price range. Madeline, the owner and designer of the bridal boutique Bridal Envy (and a recent bride), found herself in this very situation. While looking for her wedding dress she often found that the prices would mean giving up her dream honeymoon. To help brides overcome this dilemma, Madeline offers different services at Bridal Envy, such as carefully picked second-hand designer wedding dresses, the option to sell your wedding dress and a selection of gowns at an affordable price. She also gives us her top-tips for finding your dream wedding dress on a budget!

1. Know your budget and find designers and retailers with gowns that fall within it!

I believe that if you have set a budget for your dress it is important to try and stick close to it. Your budget should determine the types of dresses and boutiques you are booking into from the start. I think brides have to be realistic in their expectations of what their budget will allow them to buy. You may not be able to buy a hand-beaded couture gown if your budget is less than $11,000. Shopping beyond your budget can only result in heartbreak!

At Bridal Envy we believe that it is important for brides to have a budget for their wedding day, as the expenses can suddenly become overwhelming and costs can be overlooked. We carry a collection of new gowns by Turkish designer Tarik Ediz and we have also created our own collection of gowns to allow brides to personalise their style whilst not blowing the bank.

2. Buy second hand.

The other option is to buy a pre-owned dress. Wedding dresses are going to be one of the most beautiful pieces of clothing you own. They are intricately structured and well-made but, they will only to be worn once. Purchasing a pre-owned dress opens up the doors to high-end designer brands for a fraction of the price. This is to be said for accessories as well.

We are scrupulous about our dresses and hand-pick dresses that are in pristine condition. All dresses must be dry-cleaned and future brides are made aware of any defects (if any) before purchase. The beauty of a pre-owned dress is that most women are not a stock size and sometimes prior alterations are perfect to the future bride! If alterations are needed, dress makers tend to leave extra fabric in the seams of an altered dress in case of size changes, so they can normally be taken out to the original stock size if needed. Browse our collection here.

3. It’s worth paying for important dress elements.

There are something things worth paying for! Don’t skimp on the style you love. It’s a reflection of who you are, so don’t buy a dress that “isn’t you” just because it falls into your price bracket. Also pay close attention to the structure if the gown. You want to feel comfortable and confident on your day and an ill-fitting bodice or straps will just get in the way! Which means that you should also invest in an expert dress maker to fit your dress to you. There is nothing worse than a bride tripping over her hem that is too long or revealing too much with a hem that was cut too short! A dress tailored to you will always look the best!

4. Try on a variety of styles but don’t be afraid to make the decision early.

Try a variety of styles to love and lose. Once you try a style that doesn’t suit you, don’t keep trying the same style over and over. Narrow it down to the shape and looks that you love. It’s also important to not stress about trying on every dress in the world just in case! If you feel like the second dress you tried was the one then it’s probably is!

5. Sell your dress!

It’s understandable that brides are attached to their gowns, but the reality is it is something that will most likely never be worn again. Selling your dress allows you to have the funds to remember your day with something more practical or meaningful – perhaps an eternity ring or a second honeymoon! It is also a chance for that exquisite dress to help another bride shine.

How to Save for Your Wedding (the smart way!)

How to Save for Your Wedding (the smart way!)

Fact: weddings cost money. In Australia the average wedding now costs $38,179 so for most of us we probably have to start saving well before the big day. Fact: Money does not fall from the sky nor does it grow on trees. Whether you’re planning a casual soirée or a black tie ball it’s likely you will have to undertake some careful financial planning before organising your party of a lifetime. We’ve teamed up with ANZ to find out how you can save for those bigger things like your dream wedding!


The thought of sacrificing that amazing couture gown, the tiffany chairs or an extra week in the Maldives is often enough to kick-start your saving side. ‘I have to admit I’m not a great saver, but it was the motivation of having this amazing perfect day that really spurred me to action,’ says recent bride Stacey Bremner.

‘Everyone wants their wedding to be an unforgettable experience and a big part is avoiding the money worries that come with it by being smart about the way you save leading up to the big day,’ says Macaire O’Brien, ANZ Product Manager, ANZ Online Saver and ANZ Term Deposits.

If visions of wedded bliss are enough to convince you of a need to save, then how do you save and get the most out of your hard earned dollars?

Stacey and her partner Scott saved for 12 months in the lead up to their December wedding last year. ‘We wanted that dream wedding so saving money for the wedding became a determined goal. Scott and I put together a list of all the expenses and from there we would put money away to ensure we were able to pay for everything.’

ANZ recommends setting a budget. ‘We set our budget and gathered quotes from several wedding suppliers,’ says Stacey. ‘Make sure you and your fiancé are on the same page about how much you want to spend and put your savings in a joint account that you can both see and contribute to. A dedicated wedding bank account definitely helps to see how much money you have saved.’

Macaire suggests an ANZ Online Saver account. ‘With ANZ Online Saver you can set up multiple accounts so you can dedicate a different aspect of the wedding budget such as the rings, dress and reception to each account. This will make it much easier to track all of the bigger costs of a wedding and interest is calculated daily and paid monthly so you can still earn while you budget!’ says Macaire.

A top tip is to try and spread out payments early on so you’re not hit with one big cost at the end. A savings account that has no withdrawal fees makes it easier to make payments in a staggered way. Plus accessing your money using your mobile phone and internet banking makes arranging down payments and organising on the run totally stress free!

You need to be realistic about all of the costs associated with a wedding including post-wedding costs such as the honeymoon! For those who need a dose of discipline and structure to help them start saving, Macaire recommends an ANZ Progress Saver account. ‘An ANZ Progress Saver account is perfect for people who need a structured plan in order to save for their dream wedding. One of the best things about this account is that it rewards you for disciplined savings, which can be a great way to keep your savings on track!’

The account will help your dollars go further by paying bonus interest in addition to the current base interest when you make at least one single deposit of $10 or more in a month and make no withdrawals or debits in that same month. You can also keep a close eye on your progress with a savings graph on each statement that will help keep you on track and let you know whether you might need to drop some of the ‘nice to haves’ to make sure your remain within your wedding budget. Or if you’re doing well, maybe you can even splash out on a few extras – crystals, couture and imported peonies here we come!

Special thanks to the team at ANZ for sharing their latest money saving advice with us! If you’d like more information about how ANZ could help make your dream wedding a reality head to ANZ Online Saver or ANZ Progress Saver.

Happy Saving! MW x

P.S We’ll be hosting a LIVE Q & A on the Modern Wedding Facebook page where you can ask budget and saving related questions directly to Macaire. Stay tuned on Monday 24th March 4-6pm!
Any advice does not take into account your personal needs and financial circumstances and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) ABN 11 005 357 522 recommends you read the Terms and Conditions and the Financial Services Guide before acquiring the product

Top Tips For Having a Thrifty Wedding

Top Tips For Having a Thrifty Wedding

Take a deep breath. A wedding doesn’t need to cost your life savings. Especially with these thrifty wedding tips!

The wedding of your dreams can be a cost-effective affair; it’s entirely up to you how much you spend. Just make sure you don’t scrimp on the important stuff! It’s not a good idea to compromise on quality; after all it’s the day you and your partner will remember for the rest of your lives! To help you keep to your wedding budget, we share our top tips for having a thrifty wedding!
1. Know Your Budget

That means outline how much you are willing to spend on each aspect of your wedding! It’s great to have an overall budget, but breaking it down will help you decide what is important to you.

The engagement ring will most likely cost you a bit. After that you’re likely going to want to spend the most money on the reception (food will be your main expense) and the honeymoon. Our budget breakdown will give you an idea of where the majority of couples’ money will be spent. Just remember, think about what is important to you and your fiancé and adjust your spending to reflect that.

2. Have Realistic Expectations

Don’t be a control freak and expect everything to be perfect. You may have planned your dream wedding on your secret pinterest board, but you were most likely looking through that inspiration without your budget in mind. When you look back at what you’ve pinned, remove what is completely out of your budget to avoid disappointment. Also try to think of ways you can DIY some of your inspiration or how you can achieve the same look or ambience on a smaller scale.
3. Use Your Imagination

There is so much you can do with humble everyday items like empty glass sauce bottles, wine bottles, jam jars, tin cans, gift wrapping paper and ribbons. These materials can be repurposed into useful items such as tea light holders, candle sticks, vases, table numbers and bunting! Even if you don’t plan on a complete DIY wedding, there are little bits and pieces that you can create yourself to add to your look. All of these little things can add up to potentially save lots of dollars or enable you to allocate your funds to something else.
4. Be resourceful

Ask family and friends if they have any items such as furniture, pot plants, ladders or old school cases that they want to dispose of and which might fit in with your theme. Often people are keen to have an opportunity to put to good use pieces that have been sitting in their garages gathering dust. Having additional help will relieve some of the stress and there is no harm in asking family and friends to help or contribute in some way to your wedding – just be sure that whatever you ask them to do won’t take away from their experience of your big day. For example, your bestie might be a photographer, but you’ll need to weigh up whether it is worth saving on photography by using her rather than having her by your side.
5. Try DIY

You’d be amazed at how easy it is to create beautiful things for your wedding! Even if you don’t consider yourself artsy! There are so many tutorials available online and in Modern Wedding DIY Magazine to help guide you through each step. Even just doing a DIY for one or two aspects of your wedding will help you save and DIY wedding projects will help add a touch of personality to your day. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the enormity of a project, ask friends and family to help out! They’d be thrilled to see the products of a fun-filled crafternoon come to life on your big day.