09 July 2015

Happily Ever After: My Wedding Update #1

Well I thought today that I'd talk to you all about something a little different from my usual beauty posts! I'm currently planning for my upcoming wedding this October, and I thought I'd share my experiences with you as well as some tips and tricks for any of you brides to be, or anyone who may be interested to know more about the process and the most valuable lessons I have learned so far.

1. Be Creative & Determine Your Theme

Sneak Peak of my Pinterest Board for my Wedding Inspo

When you first get engaged, this is definitely the best part of the entire process! I can say for myself, after being with my boyfriend for almost 7 years, when he popped the question last year I nearly fell over with pure joy and excitement. I already had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted since I had been thinking about it from us discussing it in our futures and secretly knowing deep down we would get married one day. I bought lots of bridal magazines, created a board on Pinterest and went crazy pinning ideas and looking through different wedding styles. I think it's important to develop some sort of theme that you are happy with and set this with your partner before other's start throwing in their ideas because at the end of the day, it is you and your partners special day so it should be all about what YOU both want!

2. Pick Your Big Ticket Items & Set a Budget

This is such an individual thing. But for us, our budget had to stay pretty low as we had always planned on having our wedding in Australia, with a select few of my family flying up from Canada, and then having a honeymoon and flying to Canada for a second reception to celebrate with the rest of my family and friends. This meant we had to pick out the things that meant the most to us within the wedding, allocate most of the budget towards those things, and then make the other items work with what we had left.

I chose photography as my number one priority. In my opinion, all you have left after your wedding day are your memories and the photographs that capture those memories. I am so happy with our choice in Lee Burgess from Life and Love Photography. She travels all over Australia to do weddings but is based on the Sunshine Coast in QLD. Her bright, bubbly personality and stunning scenic and natural light photos won us over and we knew we had to have her!!! 

We also decided that we wanted all of our guests to have a really fun and laid back night and have the wedding reception feel like a real party - both intimate and lively, with people chatting, drinking and dancing, so we allocated a large part of our budget for an inclusive beverage package for our guests as well as tasty food selections. This meant that things like entertainment, decor, transportation to the wedding and even my dress got allocated less in the budget. Luckily we found creative ways around a lot of things and I found a lot of amazing things at good prices! 

3. Do What's Right for You

Depending on the involvement of your family, there can be a lot of pressure on you to include certain traditions, to do things a certain way, or invite certain people. My fiancĂ© and I are both quite close with our families, so we felt that at first they had a lot of influence over our decisions. We did learn however, to negotiate decisions and do what we felt was right for us. We decided to keep our wedding ceremony very intimate and are having only 50 guests, this meant a lot of people had to be excluded from our wedding, but we opted to have a large engagement party. 

Gold Cocktail Tables with Cream and Beige Centerpieces #wedding #southernwedding #cocktails

We also decided to have a cocktail reception, without a formal sit down dinner or seating plan since this didn't suit our personalities. We opted to use our own music playlists instead of a band or a DJ so all the music selections were chosen and handled by us. I chose to have mismatched bridesmaid dresses and just chose a general colour for them to wear so they could pick out their own dresses. These choices were a little against the grain but they are all part of what we wanted and will make our day even more special!


A lot of people were surprised to hear that I will be getting a friend to do my makeup! This is also something I decided so I could take the pressure off myself on the big day. I have a feeling I will be very anxious and emotional and I didn't want the immense pressure to perform the perfect wedding makeup given that many of my friends consider me an "expert" in the area. Thank you to the gorgeous Kate from Kflowermaquillage for agreeing to help me with this!!! 

4. Lists are Key

Photo Credit: Kikki-K

The only reason I have stayed so organised throughout the planning process is because I have an awesome fiancĂ© who has done lots to help me out, and also because I had some kick ass lists to help me along the way. One of my best friends was kind enough to buy me this gorgeous Wedding Planner from Kikki-K which I used to store any of my photo inspirations, magazine clippings, vendor research, etc. There are also so many free wedding resources out there on the internet, make sure you take advantage of them! I loved using the website The Bride's Tree and they have a list of free planning tools you can check out here.

Most lists break things down into a few months at a time, so I've tried to stay on top of these things, and think ahead of time so I don't feel overwhelmed or swamped with too many decisions. If you know what you will need to plan ahead of time, you can look at starting to make payments to different people far ahead of time which will also save you a lot of stress when the wedding becomes closer. I have found writing down all my tasks and sharing this with my man has also helped to keep communication really open, so he also knows what is left to do, appointments to make and things to pay for together, etc. This avoids unnecessary confusion and ensures that responsibilities are shared.

5. Don't Panic & Ask Your Friends

There have already been a few times over the past 6 months that I've felt really unsure of what to do, confused on the wedding protocol or overwhelmed about how to plan certain aspects of the wedding so I have just been really open with my bridesmaids and asked them for assistance, especially those that have been through the process themselves! Both my mom and mother-in-law have also been really helpful and supportive about giving me lots of advice and guidance without telling me what to do. Having a supportive network around you really makes a big difference when you're planning all the small details and realising how much there is to do and plan.

taping the strings at various heights to create a wall of balloons. Instant backdrop for photos

When it came to our hens and bucks night planning, Michael and I decided to just designate this task to one of our bridesmaids and groomsman respectively. I actually have no idea what is planned for my Hen's night so it will be a massive surprise on the night. It has taken the pressure off me to plan another event, and my bridesmaids and friends can all have fun and contribute to make it a special day. Definitely don't be afraid to ask for help because a wedding is impossible to plan by yourself!

6. Remember to Have Fun!!!

This is such an important thing to remember. Weddings are a celebration of two people wanting to spend the rest of their lives together and make it official. Whenever I get stressed about working out finances, e-mailing vendors, or deciding small details, I remember that in the end, it is all about having fun and celebrating with our closest friends and family, and if one flower is the wrong colour or a stitch comes out of my dress, I won't be remembering that in 10 years time, I'll be thinking about the amazing times I had with my loved ones.

Well, those are my lessons learned so far and where I am at in terms of the planning process! I hope you enjoyed hearing more about my wedding plans and please let me know if you would like to have another update when it is close to the big day! Only 3 months to go now!!! 


  1. Yay so excited to see how your wedding turns out! I'll be forwarding this on to a friend feeling the same way for sure!

    I plan events for a living but nothing as exciting as a wedding :)

    Maddie |

  2. I loved reading about this, how very exciting! I look forward to seeing more updates on your blog. I am sure you will have the most perfect day! xx

    Daniela |

  3. Lauren Napper10/7/15 6:20 am

    I'm new to your blog! Congratulations on getting married in October, I'm sure it'll be a lovely ceremony! Having a wedding in Aus must be amazing, lovely and warm I hope? - i'm from the UK so it's always so rainy here!! Hope you have a wonderful wedding day with all the great planning youre doing :) xx

  4. YOU will be the most beautiful bride! I can't wait to see pictures of the big day!!

    Mel x || Loads of Lifestyle

  5. Aw thanks so much Melissa! I am getting so excited!!! There will be so many pictures I promise!!! xx

  6. Yes it should be quite warm it will be during the spring here in Australia. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and reading! I really appreciate your nice comments x

  7. I'm so glad you liked reading about it Daniela! I wasn't sure because it is a little different than my usual posts but I thought it would be nice to share with everyone :) I really appreciate your reading & support! xx

  8. It can be so stressful at times, but I think when you remember the more important things and see the bigger picture, it makes things easier. So happy you enjoyed reading Maddie! Thanks so much for your comment :) x

  9. Eeee, I'm so exciting too! I thought i'd share with everyone for something a little different! Thanks for reading Lena, your support means everything!

  10. Love this post! I got married a few years ago and I felt exactly as you do about the photographs. I'm so happy we splashed out on a really good photographer because, as you say, the photos are the one thing from the day that lasts! My sister is tying the knot in August so this past year I have got to relive all the planning! I hope you have an amazing wedding. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

  11. Wow, Sarah, congratulations!

    I was inspired by this post, though I'm not going to marry yet, I tried to put myself on your shoes while reading, I feel like the preparations for the wedding is such a big task..

    I'll keep in mind what you have shared here, so one day if it's my turn, at least I'll have an idea what to do.

    God bless and regards

    Jhem |

  12. Samantha Parrell11/7/15 1:14 pm

    I can't wait to celebrate with you and Michael, at home. This blog came at no surprise to me and everything you planned, although you say you did it on a small budget, is the perfect match. You'll be a beautiful bride and I can't wait to see all of the pictures. love you lady, always xx

  13. What a beautiful post Sarah! Will have to look back at it one day ;)