Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Best Wedding Locations in Australia

Every bride and groom wants to get married in a unique and romantic location. Whilst overseas locations can be very exotic they can also be extremely costly and difficult for most guests to attend. Australia has many ideal locations for weddings, whether you fancy a wedding on the beach or in a tropical rainforests why not choose one of the many romantic locations on offer. Here are some suggestions for weddings in Australia.

The North of Queensland is renowned for some of it magical rainforests complete with beautiful waterfalls. So whether its Cairns or Port Douglas you could choose to have your wedding nestled in the rainforest or on the amazing white sandy beaches of the North. Imagine a sunset wedding on the beach in Port Douglas followed by a wedding reception in a marquee. Or for something a little more formal have your reception in one of the many five star resorts Port Douglas has to offer. For your honeymoon you need travel no further as the North of Queensland has all the elements of a romantic honeymoon destination, with the Daintree forest on the one side and the Great Barrier Reef on the other. Your choices of activities are limitless. And if you just want to relax, have a cocktail by the pool.

Why not have a wedding in the Australian outback? What better location than the famous Uluru (Ayers Rock). Imagine Ayers rocks as your backdrop and the magical colours of sunset or sunrise. The photo opportunities would be endless. And every bride would look spectacular with the morning or afternoon sun glistening off her perfect skin. Following the ceremony have a beautiful reception in one of many 5 star resorts nearby.

Getting married in a Botanical garden is another great idea for your wedding location. Australia has many botanical gardens which are perfect to host a wedding. Whether you choose to get married lakeside, or in a butterfly enclosure, by a water sculpture or secluded private garden, there are many choices to suit all tastes. The reception can also be held outdoors on one of many of the landscape gardens or if the weather does not permit then choose from many function rooms the gardens have on offer.

The Zoo is another great location to have your wedding ceremony and reception. Australia has some fantastic Zoos which have spectacular function rooms or beautiful manicured lawns for both an outdoor or indoor ceremony and reception. Not only can your guests soak up the sights and sounds of the surrounding wildlife but also bask in the tranquil garden setting. Imagine the amazing photo opportunities available in this location with the wildlife and animals as your backdrop.

Theme Parks are another unique place to host a wedding ceremony and reception. The Gold Coast has some of the best theme parks in Australia with Movie world, Dream world and SeaWorld as potential venues. Hire out a section of the park or the entire venue for a truly extraordinary experience.

Monkey Mia in Western Australia is a beautiful location to have a unique wedding ceremony. With the Sandy beaches, palm trees and landscaped garden, you could have a ceremony of your dreams. After your wedding have a reception on the manicured lawns watching the magnificent sunsets. For a more formal affair have the wedding reception celebration in your 5 star resort. You and your guests will be entertained with the numerous activities, such as swimming with the dolphins or exploring Shark Bay on one of many tours. At Monkey Mia you will always have something unique to do.

Australia has one of the most diverse and interesting locations in the world to host a wedding followed by a romantic honeymoon. Not only are we beginning to explore all the attractions Australia has to offer but so are international travelers who are choosing to celebrate their weddings and honeymoons in Australia. Surrounded by some of the most magnificent beaches in the world it is the natural destination for a romantic wedding and honeymoon.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Beside the Seaside: Photobooth Fun!

More fun from Kaite and Jordan's Hampton inspired wedding! What would the Hamptons be without a boat near the shore? We had so much fun creating and designing this photobooth!. Working with Courtney Scowby of Brightly Designed we developed the Beside the Seaside logo to carry through the theme of the event. We then built and painted the waves to sit in front of the boat that truly appeared to be drifting across the ocean. The vintage umbrellas we hand selected worked beautifully too with the custom pillows by pin cushion princess. that we used to cozy up the boat. And the best part?....Seeing how much the guests loved it!!

Our lovely photographers from the night, Amelia and Justin Lyon. Such naturals with the camera :)

My little loves and I even had time to sneak in a shot in the boat :) Finn's expression is hilarious.

So much work went into making Kaite and Jordan's dream wedding a reality. Thank you to everyone, including my family,who are always willing to help where they are needed (husband I am talking to you!) as well as a big thank you to Mike Cunningham from The Digital Orange who manned the photobooth for us and did a great job! We couldn't have been happier with how the pictures turned out!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fabulous Wedding Locations in New Orleans

Planning a destination wedding in New Orleans is no easy task because of the myriad gorgeous locations to choose from. Fragrant bubbling courtyards, historic parks, grand hotels and churches and even the Mississippi River are the kind of venue options you can expect. There are also intimate locations with old New Orleans charm for a small ceremony as well as accommodations for hundreds of guests.

Here is a sampling of popular New Orleans wedding destinations hot spots:

* City Park

The oldest city park in the country is filled with live oaks draped in moss. History abounds in this botanical wonderland. Enjoy the magnificence of history, picturesque statues and fountains, along with a wide range of sites and facilities to host a picture perfect wedding.

* Audubon Park

Located in the Garden District and sitting pretty on the banks of the Mississippi River, you can have graceful geese and swan swimming in the lagoons as a peaceful backdrop to the bubbling fountains and lush foliage.

* Plaza d'Espana

Spanish tiled benches and fountains decorate this lovely courtyard. Make your wedding a magical day. Feel the blessed spray of the fountain and watch the river traffic pass on by as a perfect backdrop for the wedding.

* Steamboat Natchez

Savor the beauty and the romance of the New Orleans skyline aboard a cruise. The captain of the steamboat can marry you right on the Mississippi. And what's more! Twirl away to happiness to the sounds of smooth jazz.

* Elms Mansion

For an antebellum, old New Orleans themed wedding, this mansion is a popular choice for its architecture and period furnishings. Let the magnificent historic Van Benthuysen-Elms Mansion and the beautifully landscaped garden add that old world charm to your nuptial setting. Lend the European grandeur with a southern charm and make your wedding a memorable affair not just for you, but for your guests as well.

* Royal Garden Terrace

This elegant hotel offers spacious ballrooms and beautiful courtyards for your ceremony. Their rooftop terrace is also a romantic spot to look over the French Quarter and say your "I dos".

* French Market Inn

Built in 1722, the inn offers a charming courtyard with fountains and fragrant gardens and can accommodate up to 65 guests.

There are many other beautiful locations available around the city for your nuptials. Think about what backdrop you want for your special day-the lovely outdoor landscape, the culturally diverse streets and buildings, classic Old South or ornate elegance. A New Orleans destination wedding offers all of these and more.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sterling Silver Pear-Shaped Cubic Zirconia Lever Back Earrings

These elegant leverback earrings feature pear-shaped stones of crystal clear cubic zirconia, mounted in platinum-plated sterling silver. The prong-set stones rest just below the earlobe and have a pretty sparkle and shine, especially when they catch the light. Platinum plating gives the silver setting a rich sheen that's also tarnish-proof and hypoallergenic. These graceful earrings are featured on curved posts with easy and secure leverback closures. Detail

Sapphire & Diamond Bangle Bracelet

This slender, curvy bangle bracelet cradles a faceted oval of deep blue sapphire between diamond-studded bars. Fashioned in shiny gold-dipped sterling silver, it adds sophistication to any outfit and makes a very classy gift. The bracelet is hinged for an easy on and closes with a tongue-in-groove clasp. Blue sapphire is September's birthstone, and a popular and versatile gemstone for any season. Detail

a vintage hampton style affair: Kaite + Jordan

I was so excited when Kaite came to me to help her plan her wedding and it seemed only fitting to create a vintage Hampton inspired theme for her and Jordan. After meeting at college and spending some time together in Huntington Beach, careers took both Kaite and Jordan to New York where their incredibly romantic relationship really began. Spending time on the beaches in the hamptons, the pair often had sand in their toes and it was truly "Beside the Seaside" that they fell in love, not only with one another but with the east coast.

OK, so I know there are a few different ring shots here...but we just couldn't pick our favorite. Amelia Lyon did such a great job of getting some truly creative and beautiful shots. We especially love this one of the rings on the corks from the glass bottles which sat at every place setting holding Hampton sand.

We worked with Courtney Scowby of Brightly Designed to create all of the paper elements for the wedding, including vintage style post cards which sat atop each plate. The back side allowed for all guests to leave the couple a message, which Kaite's mom offered to mail to them throughout their first year of marriage and on anniversaries. The front side featured various engagement pictures (also by Amelia Lyon) as well as several love and beach quotes such as, "If you want to know how much I love you, count the waves."

We turned to Twigg Botancials to bring the vintage Hampton's feel to life. The flowers were absolutely incredible, but I think my favorite piece she did was Jordan's boutonniere. The tiny sea shell, succulent and orchid created such a beautiful textural look!

I am head over heels in love with her bouquet. I loved the soft pinks and creams Twigg used with the garden roses, orchids and stalk. The lace wrapped stems and vintage brooches were the perfect feminine addition.

With the girls in navy dresses and the boys in light tan suits the look was beautiful and fresh! I loved the contrast of the navy dresses and vests with the light creams of the flowers in these pictures. We of course also had to put the boys in Topsiders to truly complete the Hampton look.

Kaite and Jordan's eyes just happen to be appropriately as deep and beautiful as the sea! I can't wait to see their little ones one day! Can you imagine the incredible eyes they will have!!!

This is just a sneak peek of the photobooth pictures to come! We picked out several umbrellas and had pillows and waves custom made for guests to enjoy throughout the reception. You won't want to miss the rest of these pictures!

We really had so much fun creating all of the details for this wedding. We brought in tons of seashells and starfish to decorate the entire venue. When we saw this crab bread, we just couldn't resist bringing it in for the reception as well. :)

We created this custom cake stand for Kaite and Jordan using their colors of blue and teal. We also selected the traditional blue and white striped ribbon to adorn the cake. Twigg added the royal blue hydrangea to accent the cake as well.

The ceramic wicker vases that we found too really added some unique texture to the table. When I think of the Hamptons, hydrangea and wicker immediately come to mind. I think the combination kept the venue playful but still completely elegant. We of course couldn't use just plain glassware, so we selected this baja glass that had a bit of a bluish green hue to it.

The clam shell was brought in by Twigg Botanicals. It weighed a few hundred pounds, but was well worth the hauling! We placed it in the center of the room as a statement piece.

I loved, loved, LOVED their color palette. We knew we wanted to incorporate a classic striped canvas into the linens but pairing it with a Tiffany blue made it even more fun! Sometimes when we come up with color combinations, people look at us like we are crazy, and it takes some convincing of our brides to really visualize it. Luckily, Kaite completely trusted us and the overall look really came together! I loved the unexpected combination and they were so happy with how it turned out and that always makes me happy. :)
The venue allowed for both indoor and outdoor seating. The weather was perfect and we had a great view of the ocean. It felt like we had been transported to the east coast.

Each place setting not only had a custom-made postcard, but also a message in a bottle with Hampton's sand that read "Beside the Seaside we Fell in Love," which was repeated on the backdrop of the photobooth (pictures of this to come!). Guests also were given favors of salt water taffy in the same Tiffany blue as the linens of course!

I love all of the colors in these next shots. The bright, spring green and the crispness of their outfits created a beautiful fresh look that comletely reminds me of the Hamptons.

Kaite's family gently coerced her into singing a song she had written for Jordan at the reception, and we were all so glad they did. She has an amazing voice, and her brother played alongside her with the guitar. The song was truly touching and incredibly special; I didn't see a dry eye in the entire room.

We brought in a vintage getaway car to sweep the couple away from their reception. Guests showered the couple with rose petals as they left. I loved the feel it gave the wedding, and the black and white photo below is probably my favorite picture from the entire wedding. It looks so incredibly vintage; straight out of a magazine.

Kaite and Jordan, you two are so incredibly beautiful and gracious. We were so privlidged to be part of your big day. Thanks agian to Amelia Lyon and team for shooting such amazing pictures! We definitely have more to share from this wedding. Stay tuned for all of the pictures from their amazing photo booth we custom built, including a real row boat, umbrellas, starfish and more!