Lime and Coconut Themed Wedding – Ceremony

21 Apr

Byron and Courtney

Photo by Nora Devai Photography.

Throughout many of my portfolio posts you may have noticed a consistent Lime and Coconut theme; especially when it came to Save the Date Lime and Coconut Candles, chalkboard style Lime and Coconut themed invitations and a Lime and Coconut themed engagement party. These have all been leading up to the one event – the crème de la crème when it comes to planning and styling events in my portfolio – my own personal wedding!

It was a beautiful wedding and everything ended up being perfect for us on the day right down to the weather, which they were threatening to turn quite nasty. Everything ended up going so well and we had a truly perfect day.

We held at wedding in the Jervis Bay region on Friday 14th February 2014 (yes it was Valentine’s Day but before you start yelling for Hallmark Holidays this date held special significance to us) and was followed by a delicious reception at a South East Asian style restaurant in the area. However, before I make this post a million pages long talking about my wedding, I thought I would separate the design and planning aspects into two segments – ceremony and reception. So hold on for the delicious reception – I will be talking about that to you soon!

Australian Bushland

Our theme for our wedding has always been Lime and Coconut and we have tried to maintain this theme throughout every aspect of the wedding, thus the invitations and themed engagement parties. We love the smell of lime and coconut together because it reminds of a tropical paradise – namely Hawaii and since we were unable to marry in Hawaii we thought we would bring Hawaii to the wedding.

We accomplished this through the lime and coconut colour theme of lime green, white and tan/brown, but also through the location and style of the ceremony and reception. We chose to hold the ceremony on Australia’s whitest sand beaches in the Jervis Bay region, and the Australian bush land and beautiful blue jewel of the water really created a beautiful array of colours for the backdrop to the wedding.

 Bamboo Archway

To minimize stress as much as possible, we hired an event stylist and florist by the name of Jen from As A Whisper to set up the beach for us. She provided the beautiful bamboo archway that we took our vows in front of, and incorporated the lime and coconut theme with lime green material flowing off it.

We added folding white gladiator chairs and white wire signing tables to go with the rest of the decorations (white for the inside of a coconut!) and my husband Byron and his mother picked beautiful fragrant frangipani flowers to throw on the aisle. While the flowers in my bouquet were white Singapore orchids, lilies and cut limes, the frangipani’s were a great tribute to the beach and Byron’s hometown.

Conch Shell

Photo by Nora Devai Photography.

We also had many tributes to traditional Hawaiian customs throughout the ceremony, which was beautifully crafted by our wonderful celebrant Monty. He really made the whole ceremony personal, celebratory and an overall dedication of our love. You can check out some of the Hawaiian customs and traditions we held at our wedding in my blog post Hawaiian Wedding Customs. One of the more notable ones was having our awesome celebrant Monty blow a conch shell at the start of the reception to signify the start of something wonderful – and something wonderful it was!

Antique Wash Station Photo by Nora Devai Photography.

As we were getting married on the beach and chances were that in the middle of summer it would be a hot day, we served chilled bottled water in a rustic style metal drink bucket, which was available throughout the ceremony. Something that we thought was just an amazing addition as well from As A Whisper was an antique washing station, which featured neat buckets of water and towels for guests to dip their feet in after the sandy ceremony.

Antique Wash Station 2

 Photo by Nora Devai Photography.

We also arranged with As A Whisper to provide another wash station that featured spray bottles of insect repellant and sunscreen, should the guests get any nasty visitors or burns. It also had a mirror so you could make sure you looked your best for the photos. Genius!

Courtney and Byron Welcome Sign

Photo by Nora Devai Photography.

One last thing that I loved seeing as I approached the aisle was our markers for our guests. We had one large white event flag at the turnoff to the beach and the best bit was a vintage style chalkboard featuring the names of my husband and I. It filled me with hope and love and excitement for the future and for the wedding!

Lime and Coconut

Photo by Nora Devai Photography.

So in the end, next to the Australian bush land back drop, the wedding had an antique vintage style feel with the wash station and the ice buckets and the vintage dresses, but maintained the lime and coconut colour theme by having white coconut coloured furniture and one signature lime green centerpiece to make the whole thing pop. It worked perfectly in contrast to our more modern reception and worked perfectly with our own unique style as a couple, which is generally a blend of vintage and contemporary.

The wedding ceremony was perfect thanks to the combined help of Byron’s family and groomsmen, Jen from As A Whisper and Monty the celebrant, as well as the many others involved. My only suggestion is that if you are thinking of having your own beach wedding you need to think about a few things, and in the case of being an event planner I would suggest:

  1. What is your wet weather back up? Weather can change on you at any time and while we were lucky on the day you need to arrange a wet weather plan (or a plan if it’s too hot, or cyclone has hit, or anything) to ensure that your day doesn’t get ruined. We used an event stylist, so we ordered some marquees to be put up on the day if it was too hot or too wet and made the call on the day. We also bought lime green umbrellas for the bridal party to walk around in if it ended up being too wet. Get your options in place, but hopefully you won’t have to use them!
  2. Is the beach clean and free of people? You don’t want a man in Speedo’s playing Frisbee with his children through your reception so have a designated person to try and keep the beach clear. Most people will steer clear of the wedding anyway, but it’s a good thing to watch out for. If you have an event stylist like we had, they generally clear people out of the area while they are setting up. Also, beaches bring in nasty things like seaweed and dead creatures that can really mess up your photos you spent a lot of money on, so designate someone to clean up the beach as well! It will be well worth it in the long run and Byron did a great job at ours!
  3. Think about your guests. Is it going to be a hot day? It’s all well and good for you to get out of an air conditioned car, walk a few feet and say your vows for 20 minutes, but your guests generally arrive about half an hour to forty minutes before you do, and yes they will be socializing, but if they are in the blaring sun you might find a few incidences and accidents happening amongst your guests.

Give them something that will make the experience more relaxing and enjoying, such as cool air fans, water bottles, umbrellas for shade etc. Our original idea was to print labels with our names on water bottles to give out to the guests, so you can put your own personal spin on the items too. It doesn’t have to boring!

I hope this quick little checklist is helpful to you in getting into the headspace of planning your own beach wedding and if you need any more help in regards to risk management or getting the little bits together you can email me for some suggestions at thepartyconnection@hotmail.com. I truly had an absolutely perfect beach reception and it was everything that I had dreamed about since I started planning it and I hope you enjoy it too.

Stay tuned for the next post: Lime and Coconut Themed Wedding – Reception. It’s going to be delicious!

xx Mrs Courtney Carr xx

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Gifts

16 Apr

Giving your bridal party a gift on your wedding day is a customary way to say thank you for sharing in your special day. They can be completely different, or all the same, and don’t have to match your general theme of the wedding at all. You can really run with your imagination and give whatever you want, as long as it pays homage to the guys and gals that are spending the day putting up with your stressing and nerving.

I thought I would share with you the gifts we ended up giving our own bridesmaids and groomsmen at our wedding, because if I do say so myself, they were pretty fantastic gifts!

Bridesmaids Gifts

Firstly comes the bridesmaid’s gift. I went with a Limoncello theme for the gifts, which has absolutely nothing to do with our Lime and Coconut wedding theme but I love the romantic notion of the yellow and white together and was set on the theme. I wanted it to be a gift they could use after the wedding, and would go with a pampering style present that I wanted to do the day of the wedding but unfortunately never organized due to time constraints.

The first piece of the puzzle was a Honey and Oat Face Scrub that you can get at The Body Shop. It is my favorite item in the entire store and makes me sigh in pleasure whenever I open the jar. As one of my favorite items, I wanted to share it with my bridesmaids so it was the first element that I purchased for them and built from there. I went on a hunt for honey and oat soap to match, but as I had time constraints getting them in, I went for the new Honeymania soap at The Body Shop, which gave the box an amazing floral fragrance.

To end the pampering session I bought lemon yellow face towels and rolled them up, placing them in cute white boxes I got from Meyer. I finished the whole thing with a mini bottle of Moet to enjoy while pampering yourself in the bath.

I am super proud of this little pampering pack and would definitely recommend something similar for your own bridesmaids gift. It gives them something that is for them, instead of something that is about you.

Groomsmen Gifts
 The grooms dudes open their gifts. Photo by Nora Devai Photography.

Secondly comes the groomsmens gift, and Byron thought really hard and long about these amazing gifts. He wanted it to be a reflection of the total manliness that was his guys and went with a chocolate brown colour theme instead.

He bought his groomsmen each a bottle of his favorite spiced rum with an awesome branding design on it, and purchased matching chocolate brown stained wooden boxes with customizations on them. The boxes were each personalized with the groomsmen’s initials and while they were bigger than he thought they were, it turned out well because Byron filled it with classic Old Gold dark chocolate and chocolate brown tissue paper.

The whole thing was such a beautiful and touching way to say – in the manliest way possible – “thanks for being there dude!” and Byron really had outdone himself with this kind of gift. Going classic is definitely a great way to say thank you to your groomsmen!

So I hope this puts a good idea in your mind about what gifts you should give to your bridal party. Remember, make it reflect you and your relationship with the members of your bridal party and don’t make it about giving out a cheap keepsake.  Make it something to remember!

Xx Courtney Carr xx

Hawaiian Wedding Customs

30 Mar

Palm Trees in Hawaii

Hawaii is a diverse place filled with many different cultures, religions and traditions. You can generally find the main populace to be made up of traditional Hawaiians, Americans and all their diverse ways of thinking, and the Japanese with their traditional yet modern heritage. It’s quite a mix, which makes focusing on just one series of wedding customs quite difficult because like all weddings, it does really depend on what you want and who you are marrying.

My newly minted husband and I first fell in love in Hawaii five years ago and seven months into our relationship. When we discussed getting married we discussed eloping to Hawaii with our closest friends and family, but when this rang through with disappointment we had to rethink the idea. In the end, we decided to have our wedding in Jervis Bay (Australia’s whitest sand beach!) and just incorporate some Hawaiian traditions into our ceremony. The good news was that we had such an amazing celebrant that he tailor made the ceremony for us and we decided to use the more traditional Hawaiian ideals in the wedding.

In the vein of my International Wedding Customs posts, I thought I would share with you some of the fun Hawaiian wedding customs we used in our own personal wedding, plus some different ones we didn’t use and also noticed when we were on our Honeymoon. I hope you enjoy it, but remember a lot of research and love went into this and it’s super personal to me, so treat it well!

Signing The Paperwork

This first custom I want to mention was something we used to signal the start of our ceremony and it was the blowing of the conch shell. If anyone has seen a conch shell, it’s a beautiful ornate shell that has been “conked” or broken at the tip to create a hollow in the base of the shell, so that you can play it like a horn.

Blowing the conch shell is not only used on sea vessels in the past and the present, but it is a way of signaling that something special is about to happen (ie. our wedding!). The celebrant (or in Hawaiian, the Kahu) blows the conch four times to summon the land, air, fire and sea to be witnesses to the ceremony and approve the union of the couple.  The conch shell can also be blown three times to invite the ancient Hawaiian guardian spirits of the earth, the sea and the sky to join the couple in celebration and act as a sign of respect to the forces of the universe.

This particular part of our ceremony was a beautiful tradition and worked really well for us because the day was just absolutely perfect down to the weather, which is the most uncontrollable notion for a beach wedding. The Hawaiian spirits were certainly with us for our wedding!

Chloe and Nick's Wedding

Photo by Chloe Moore Photography.

Another uniquely Hawaiian custom is that of giving leis to people, especially when you first arrive in Hawaii (you’ll find this everywhere at the airport!). Leis are used as a beautiful gift to give from the bride to the groom and the groom to the bride, as well as to the parents and the bridal party. In the lei, each blossom represents the bride and the groom united into a circle of eternal and unconditional love (ie. The lei itself) and that it will never end or break.

It’s a beautiful symbol of love that would be a great representation of your Hawaiian spirit in the wedding. Just remember that when you think of leis, it doesn’t have to be the cheap plastic colourful flowers you get from the local dollar store. You can get really nice long green leaf leis for the groom and beautiful white lilly leis for the bride, so think more on a natural side. They can even be a great alternative to bouquets!

Japanese Style Bridal Photos in Hawaii

One thing we noticed which was very popular amongst the Japanese bride and grooms in the Waikiki, Honolulu area, was spending hours getting their photos taken around the more populated areas. I found this very surprising, as most wedding photos take place with the bridal party and really only last about an hour.

In these cases, the bride and the groom go off with the photographer and the photographer’s assistant and end up at very touristy areas of Hawaii for their photographs. This included the Waikiki beach (designed for Elvis Presley’s movie Blue Hawaii and one of the most famous and populated beaches on the island of Oahu) and the densely packed sidewalk outside expensive stores such as Armani Exchange and Prada. During your wedding photos you generally want to be as romantic and alone as possible, but if you want to follow in the vein of Hawaiian tradition, you can always go along with this. Who knows, perhaps their photos were amazingly artsy anyway? If you see any, let me know!

Pele Lava Rock Ceremony

A lovely custom that my husband and I did in our own wedding was the offering of a lava rock. In a Hawaiian wedding ceremony, the lava rock is offered to please Pele, the goddess of fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes. My husband and I took this small lava rock that we found on the beach and threw it into the ocean, which was also a great chance for us to reflect on the day and take a moment to just be with ourselves.

Now some of these customs and traditions are very purely Hawaiian in their nature, and our celebrant did a great job at turning them into a very personal tale of our own love. I would highly recommend utilizing an international custom or tradition for your own wedding, because it really personalizes the experience for you, especially if you choose a custom or tradition from an area that you both love as a couple.

We had a lot of great feedback from our guests in saying that the ceremony was beautiful and unique and suited us as a couple to a tee. Everyone was interested in the significance of why we chose the customs that we did, and it makes for a great talking point at the reception and for time afterwards as well. I highly recommend it, and I hope this piece gives you the inspiration to try a different heritage for your own wedding. If it did, let me know! I would love for you to email me at thepartyconnection@hotmail.com and tell me about it.

Until then,

xx MRS Courtney Carr xx

Tips to Tackle your Wedding Morning as Stress Free as Possible!

20 Mar

Leading up to my own wedding I was an extremely stressed bunny. It wasn’t so much wedding related, as it was life in general being quite stressful, but when we hurriedly crammed our car with wedding items on the Wednesday beforehand and started driving to Jervis Bay, I could feel the stress of general life melting away with the road behind us. I learnt a lot leading up to the wedding, and I came up with some tips that you could definitely use in celebrating on the day of your wedding that really worked for me:

Origami Creatives Getting Ready

Photo of getting ready for my friend’s wedding. Photo by the wonderful Origami Creatives.

 1.    Get a run sheet together. Get all the information you need in one easy to read location in regards to arrival times for everyone. And when I say everyone I mean EVERYONE.

Detail what time the wedding starts, when the guests will get there, when the hairdressers will get there, when the florists get there etc. Map out rough times for how long it will take for each bridesmaid to get their hair and make up done, as well as how long it will take to get to the ceremony and take photos etc. Over-estimate and guess the times, but research the times with your hired guns as well. Make sure that you include everything, no matter how small it is and no matter who the person is that is doing it.

Put everything together and give it to everyone of importance involved in the day, along with a contact sheet for all the suppliers as well. I gave my mother a folder of map set outs, drawings and photos for the ceremony hall, run sheets and contact lists of people like the celebrant, the photographer, the MC,  family members involved in the set up etc. It makes it easier for everyone else to see when things need to happen and gives you an idea of when to start the day.

I estimated my hair dresser would take about an hour to do everyone’s hair each, but she was a total gun and was out of there by 11.30am! It was so relaxing to know that she was on the ball and that everyone was semi ready that we could just stop and breathe. Over estimating the time was a real saviour for my sanity and it will be for you too!

Origami Creatives - FoodPhoto by Origami Creatives.

2.    Don’t forget to eat. When I don’t eat, I tend to get angry and sour and nobody wants that in a bride! Also, if you go straight into reception mode on an empty stomach, you can run the risk of downing too much champagne and getting too drunk, and nobody wants to be a drunk bride at their own wedding!

Even if your nerves are fraying you on the day and you feel like you can’t eat anything, you still need to eat something light, as well as arrange food for everyone else as well. Go for something light and plain like a salad or a sandwich. You will feel better when you do!

Origami Creatives Champagne

Photo by Origami Creatives. 

3.    Have some ginger ale and sea salt chips on hand for a nervous tummy. On my wedding day I had two glasses of champagne and a salad and quiche for lunch and when they all mixed together with my nerves (nerves of messing up my first dance – not of marrying my husband!) it gave me a bit of a queasy tummy. A good cure is always ginger ale and plain salty chips and it really helped me, so make sure you stock up! If your kind of cure is something else, like Alka-Seltzer or lots of water or a coffee or tea, make sure you stock up on whatever it is. Even if you don’t use it, you know it’s on hand just in case!

4.    Get an Emergency kit together. I made one for both myself and my groom and it featured everything you may possibly need to fix an emergency or a forgotten item on the wedding day that you may not necessarily have easy access to. Some of the items I included in the emergency kit were:

  • Spare Tissues
  • Panadol for headaches after crying so much
  • Jelly Snakes to keep your blood sugar levels up
  • Barocca to kick start my groom’s Vitamin C levels
  • Small sewing kit for emergency repairs including buttons!
  • Notepad and pen for any last minute vows
  • Sunscreen and insect repellant
  • Perfume or deodorant
  • The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Face Spray to stay refreshed
  • Spare lipsticks
  • Gum or breath mints
  • Eyeliner and Mascara
  • Bobby Pins
  • Nail File, nail clippers and emery boards
  • Nail polish remover and spare nail polish

Hopefully you won’t have to use these items, but if any disasters strike, at least you know you have everything you need on hand! While my girls didn’t end up using it, apparently my groom used everything in his kit except the jelly snakes, so that’s definitely a win!

So that was some of the tips I learnt leading up to my own wedding, through personal experience at my own wedding and my friend’s earlier in the year, as well as through bridal magazines and event studies. I hope this list helps you on your wedding day because it really helped me and the best way to learn is through experience. Let me know if you utilized any of these methods and if it worked for you! Email me at thepartyconnection@hotmail.com

xx Courtney Carr xx

Be Back Soon!

15 Mar

With this ring

Hey guys!

You have all probably noticed that I haven’t been blogging for awhile, but I don’t want you to despair! I have taken some time off to go and get married to the man of my dreams, and turn my brain off for a little R&R in Hawaii.

While I have been away though, I have written some excellent posts that I am sure you will find insightful and interesting. I am currently waiting on some certain photographs to come back from our photographer in order to upload the first of my planned posts, but while she is backlogged at the moment, I am taking the time to plan and write out more posts for you and take a leaf out of The Blogcademy’s book to plan my blogging schedule.

I am also looking at updating my blog and changing the branding, so I am doing some work on that at the moment with my new husband. I just wanted to let you all know that I’m not going anywhere and will be back online with regular posts and updates super soon!

Hold out for me! I promise it is going to be worth it!

Love the new Mrs Courtney Carr

How To Make Your Event Sparkle!

25 Feb

While traversing through the many wedding websites online trying to come up with ideas for bonbonieres for my own wedding, I came across some amazing ideas that really glitzed up an event! I thought that since it was too late to somehow incorporate them in my own wedding, I would instead share it with you so your own wedding or event would be full of the magic and sparkle you deserve!

Jars of Sparkle

Photos by Chad Hansen of First Mate Photography.

The first way you can add a bit of sparkle pizzazz to your event is to add in a Confetti Bar like BRKLYN Bride did for The Cream Event in New York City. It sounds like it could be a messy idea, especially if you wanted your guests to make their own confetti mix and then throw it on the bride and groom ala rose petals once they’re married, but it would certainly add a lot of fun and a lot of sparkle to your event that your guests may never have seen before.

Confetti BarPhoto by Chad Hansen of First Mate Photography.

The idea is to get a series of long glass vases and fill them with heaps of different coloured confetti pieces and put them across a table for easy usage. You can even make a more interesting effect by putting small coloured pom pom balls in the mix, or confetti that comes in different shapes such as love hearts and stars. Add some glitter spoons and something to put your confetti in (coloured paper bags or cellophane bags would be great!) and you have a perfect confetti bar!

Don’t forget to lay out some instructions for your guests as well and as an example, BRKLYN Bride used a letter banner in black bold writing to announce the existence and uniqueness of the Confetti Bar in a contemporary style. Add an instructional guest sheet in a cute black plain frame and some additional decorational pieces like flowers in vases and you will have a guest gift table that will be talked about for years to come.

Modern Design TablePhoto by Joilala. Designed by Jesi Haack Design 

Another way to add sparkle to your event or wedding is to have a glittery dance floor and glittery backdrop like what was featured on 100 Layer Cake. Designed by Jesi Haack Design, the wedding of Palm Spring’s couple Kate and Jon Paul’s was a shiny beacon of light that incorporated hundreds of different sparkly gold decorations to have a modern yet romantic touch to the theme and the day.

Glitter Dance FloorPhoto by Joilala. Designed by Jesi Haack Design 

While the table held beautiful sparkly centerpieces such as gold sequin table cloths, small gold boxes containing flower centerpieces and gold votive candles, the dance floor reflected the shiny uniqueness of the event design by having large glittered squares laid out in a checkerboard pattern over the dance floor. It really tied the dance floor in with the rest of the decorations around the event  and gave it a unique spin that made other guests want to have a spin on it too.

Sparkle ArrowsPhoto by Joilala. Designed by Jesi Haack Design 

Using the same material as the checkerboard dance floor, Event Designer and stylist Jesi Haack created a series of shiny gold arrows to mark the way from the ceremony to the reception. It was hard to miss and was a lot more of a unique way to direct your guests than a series of chalkboard signs or balloons.

So there you have it! Some fun, shiny new ways to make your event sparkle and add a little bit of glitz and glamour to your day! If you have any queries about any of these items you can email me at thepartyconnection@hotmail.com and I will direct you to the designers, but I would love to know if you utilize any of these ideas for yourself and see what sort of sparkly spin you took to your own wedding or event.

Because every event deserves to be magical!

Xx Courtney xx

Country Strong With A Colour Pop

6 Feb

As you already know I had the fantastic honour of being a bridesmaid in a wedding for one of my oldest friends Nicole over the Australia Day weekend. Now while I personally didn’t design this wedding for Nicole, my fiancee and I (my partner in crime also being in the groom’s party) helped Nicole and her groom Jarred set up the wedding decorations with the other members of the bridal party . Many of Nicole’s plans were kept under wraps for the majority of the wedding planning, and the mystery certainly paid off because on the day the sheer beauty of it certainly wowed the guests!

Barn

The wedding took place at a rustic style berry farm, complete with little cottage to get ready in and bricked up barn for the reception. The ultimate style of the berry farm and barn had a beautiful vintage nature to it, with white washed barn doors, weeping willow trees and thousands of berry bushes just behind the cottage! It was a perfect setting for a classic wedding and the added watercolour touches made a real pop against the brickwork and white washed venue. The watercolour features were utilised not only in the homemade flower centrepieces, but the wedding cake had a splash of mint green swirled in it’s icing and the invitations all reflected the burst of watercolour against a classic rustic design.

White paper ball lanterns

Thousands of strings of fairy lights lit up the roof and created a romantic atmosphere that enveloped guests into the beautiful relationship we had all come to celebrate. White paper ball lanterns and white pom pom decorations were hung up amongst the fairy lights above the dance floor and area where the band played, making a beautiful decorated area guarded by symbolic clouds and stars!

Lanterns and Fairy Lights

A series of glass jars holding tea light candles and jars of random coloured flowers in jam jars covered the white linen covered tables. Scattered amongst the flowers and tea lights was a random selection of lanterns and camping jars to add to the classic vintage look. Brown bakers twine was a huge feature, wrapped around all of the lanterns and jars, as well as attached to photo frames and chalkboard signs. It kept the vintage feel alive amongst the burst of colourful flowers.

Baby's Breath

A running joke amongst us bridesmaids who had a hand in making the flowery centrepieces was that you could never have too much of the flower Baby’s Breath – because that’s of course what we had too much of! Nicole’s idea was to mix the extra Baby’s Breath amongst lanterns on the tables that didn’t have any tea light candles in it, spilling out of the lantern’s open doors create a romantic overgrown look. It was a beautiful and simple idea that made a romantic notion of all the extra flowers we had!

Signing Table

Last, but not least, was the simple but beautiful table that held the funky style guest book and pastel coloured birdcage wishing well. Flanked by antique ornate white frames with chalkboard instructional hearts this stark white table really popped out against the brickwork and old fireplace within the barn. Just to add a touch of colour, a beautiful bouquet of rich purples and greens was placed in the centre for contrast. It worked wonderfully and tied in well with the continuous theme amongst the reception.

All in all this wedding had such a classic vintage feel to it but the bursts of colour really made the decorations go that little bit further and give it a special touch that the bride and groom were looking for. It was a beautiful design that Nicole and Jarred planned for their wedding and it was such an honour to be apart of it. Let me know what you think; email me at thepartyconnection@hotmail.com

xx Courtney xx

Suspended Flower Archways

27 Jan

Suspended Roses

I recently went to my friend Nicole’s beautiful wedding on the weekend, and it was a beautiful rustic feel with a pop of watercolour throughout. I was one of the bridesmaids, and my fiancee was a groomsmen, so we helped our friends set up their wedding over the weekend, and there was one particular decoration that I thought was just so inspired that I simply had to share it with you!

Myself, the bride and the other bridesmaids stayed up until midnight the day before the wedding making beautiful suspended roses to hang over the archway of the ceremony. It created a little burst of colour in the ceremony, and still maintained the vintage rustic feel that was present throughout the event. The girls went to the flower market in the morning and bought a series of different flowers in different colours, such as light green lilys, dusty pink roses and white carnations.

Suspended Flowers 1

The first step to making suspended roses is to cut the roses off at the tip, just under the green stub of the bud. Thread about a metre of fishing wire through a needle and tie a knot in the end. Next thread the needle through the stem stub of the flower and pull it out from the top.

Suspended Roses 2

Once you have pulled the full amount of fishing wire through the flower (make sure the needle goes through the middle of the flower), tie another knot a couple of centimetres from the flower you have just threaded and repeat the process. If the knot has stayed, then the next flower will rest on that knot and not fall down. This gives the effect of roses and flowers being suspended in mid air and if you hang it over the archway by tying it at the top of the archway, you will get an absolutely beautiful effect for your wedding or high tea event!

A huge thanks to my friend Nicole for introducing to me to this beautiful decorational element and I hope she has a wonderful honeymoon and wonderful life with her new husband! You will get some wonderful photos from the set up very soon – stay tuned!

Love,

xx Courtney xx

DIY Events: Host a Dreamland Party for $50!

21 Jan

Dreamland Party

For some strange reason that I can’t really explain, I have a thing about wizards. I’m not talking about Harry Potter or Gandalf, I’m talking about classic cookie wizards you would see in cartoons in blue starry robes, matching pointy hats and long flowing white beards. I have no idea why, but this image is in such a fore front in my mind I have always wanted to dress up as one of these characters for a party. But the question is, what party will this costume work for?

After consulting with my fiancée, he told me that this image is something he would think of more for the “Sandman” – the character who helps people get to sleep at night using dream dust. This realization had us come up with the idea to have one of the most comfortable parties in the world – a Dreamland party!

Now a Dreamland party is probably the best kind of theme for a slumber party with movie watching and random board games, the kind you had as a kid. You could put a grown up twist on it by playing adult games or drink some dreamy cocktails while your at it, but I would highly suggested that whether it’s a children’s party, or a fun adult romp, you all dress up in appropriate Dreamland costumes – think a character from your favourite dreams or if your not feeling up to it, just come in your pyjamas. Just make sure there’s a sandman amongst you in a wizard robe!

Here are some ways you can decorate and design your very own Dreamland slumber party, and all for under $50!

Movie Watching Night

Movie Watching Zone:

Dreamland is supposed to be the most comfortable place in the world, so you might as well make it so! Raid your bed and linen closet for a pile of your most comfortable doonas, sheets, pillows and blankets and set them all out in a super comfortable pile around your TV. You can even bring out a mattress for guests to lie on, if the couch isn’t as “Dreamland” as you would like it.

Set up a pile of fun DVD’s to watch (depending on the preference of yourself and your guests) and get watching! I guarantee, it will a comfortable time!

Stars in my eyes and stars on my wall

Starry Night Dessert Table:

To get started in putting together your dessert table you should start with the decoration behind the table that is going to draw your guests in. I went with blue and silver stars that were cut out from cardboard that I bought at the local art store.

I stuck these up behind the dessert table using sticky tape, but if you want the blue and silver star theme to resonate throughout the venue, you can punch a hole in one of the corner points of the stars and tie some streamers or bakers twine through the hole and stick to the ceiling. With the stars hanging down, dancing in the light they make a great dream like quality to add to the party – after all, what’s a dream without it’s night sky?

Starry Snacks

Next, you can put your dessert table pieces together. You can follow the design I mentioned from my Pink Lemonade High Tea party, or from Amy Atlas’ blog post about how you can set up your own dessert table but I bought a few extra elements then last time for this Dreamland party.

The first item I laid down was the sky blue tablecloth (blue like the sky!) and then I sprinkled silver cutout stars all over the table to follow with the blue and silver star theme. These cutouts are available from craft stores and even newsagencies, and they made a great addition to a table without going too overboard.

The food that was served on the dessert table was items that could be easily shared during a movie, such as popcorn, malteasers, lollies and drinks with lids that could easily close to avoid spillage. And cupcakes of course, because I will never create a party without cupcakes!

Glow in the dark stars

Mood Lighting:

Since your watching movies in the dark, you don’t want too harsh a light shining down on your party goers, so set up some cute mood lighting around the venue. You can use tealight candles, lamps covered in fabric (a light pillow case or even dress will do!) to create a soft glow and add to the ambiance of a Dreamland party or you can do my favourite – glow in the dark stars!

Glow in the dark stars are available from cheap stores or science stores like Australian Geographic (I got mine from the local science museum for $2.00 each!) and you can either stick them to the roof, stick them to your furniture or simply sprinkle them around the venue area to give you the appearance of sleeping amongst the stars. Super cute!

Make Your Own Sleeping Hat:

Perfect as a bombonniere or gift to give to your party goers, my fiancée has always wanted one of these old school sleeping hats, so I thought it would be a great idea to get people wearing them!

I found the method for creating your own sleeping hat online at EHow. You will need the following items to make 4 sleeping hats. If you have more guests coming, this might increase your budget, but it’s up to you. This is how I did it:

Things You’ll Need:

  •  1 metre silk cloth in chosen colours
  •  Sewing thread in appropriate colours that match the cloth
  •  Needle from your sewing kit
  •  Tassles to put at the end of the hat – make sure this is in appropriate colours to match the cloth.
  •  Measuring tape from your sewing kit.
  •  A white pen or pencil
  •  Scissors

Sew Your Own Sleeping Hat

Instructions:

1. Measure around the circumference of your head with measuring tape and mark this distance in white pen or pencil on the underside of your material, adding an extra two inches or so to each end. The method from the original website said to add only an inch, but I found that once I hemmed the edge of the hat, it made it too small for my fiancee’s head, so add a couple of extra inches or so just in case. This length, plus an inch of seam allowance, will be the width of one side of your cap.

2. In the middle of your chalk line, draw a second line going straight up that measures to be about 18 to 20 inches tall. This is how long your hat will be and remember, the floppier the cuter!

3. Complete the triangle shape by joining the top of the 18 to 20 inch line with the ends of the line that is the circumference of your head.

4. Following the lines you have drawn, cut out the triangle shape with scissors and fold in half, wrong-side out. Your fold line will be the 18 to 20 inch chalk line.

5. Sew along the side of the folded triangle and hem the circumference line.

6. Turn the hat inside out, and use needle and thread to secure the tassel to the tip of the finished cap.

And viola! You a ready to snuggle into bed – Scrooge style!

Movie Watching Zone: Blankets, Pillows, Sheets – Free

Starry Night Dessert Table: Cardboard – $4.50

                                    Blue Party Tablecloth -$2.00

                                    Silver Star Scatters – $2.00

Movie Food:              Malteasers – $2.50

                                    Popcorn – $1.00

Mood Lighting: Glow in the Dark Stars – $4.00

                           Lamps and Fabric – Free

Make Your Own Sleeping Hat: Party Satin Material – $14.00

Tassels – $16.00

                                     Thread – $4.00

TOTAL: $50 Exactly!!!

So there you go, some awesome ways that you can host a very radical slumber party, taking the plain old movie watching party over the edge. If you decide to do any of this yourself, I’d love to hear about it! Email me at thepartyconnection@hotmail.com

Until then,

“Mr. Sandman! Bum bum bum, Send me a dream! Bum bum bum, Make it the cutest that I’ve ever seen!”

xx Courtney xx

Balinese Wedding Customs

15 Jan

As my second post in my International Wedding Inspiration segment, I thought I would do a focus on Bali, Indonesia. Now Bali is special to me, and it’s not for the party hard generations that flock there for cheap alcohol and a good time. In February 2012, my boyfriend and I went to Bali for a holiday and he proposed to me under the Git Git waterfall in the Ubud area. It was such a magical moment and because of this it sparked with me a desire to tell you all about the wedding customs of Bali, especially since my wedding is fast approaching.

Bali Easy Going

Now I got information and help from our good friend Wayan, who runs a tourist business named Bali Easy Going. He has been with his beautiful wife for eleven years now and their home, which we were welcomed into, is such a beautiful reflection of their lives together. They have two gorgeous boys and are just as happy today as they were back then.

Now Wayan has informed me that their wedding experience took place in two different venues – one at home and one in a temple, which was led by a priest and lasted a week. They had three days to prepare everything and then the ceremony itself lasted one day.

If you’re thinking of actually getting married in a Balinese temple yourself, unfortunately you will not be able to unless you are marrying a Balinese national and are of the Hindu faith, but you certainly can have all the Balinese trimmings for your own wedding. You can feature your own enchanting temple décor and can utilize typical Balinese settings that include Balinese prayer flags, traditional Balinese umbrellas, flowers and bamboo ensembles. These items are apart of what is commonly known as a Balinese blessing ceremony and in doing so, your union will be blessed by a Balinese priest.

Like in Cambodia, weddings held in Bali can have numbers well into their hundreds, and Wayan has told me that his own personal wedding had more than 150 people attend. Attendance and response to the wedding invitation is a huge part of the Balinese wedding, as it shows you respect the people involved and that you honor the family and the relationship of the newlyweds.

Wayan's Wedding Day

A Balinese costume called Payasan Agung is generally worn by the bride and groom and if you have ever seen a traditional Balinese performance you will get the idea of a similar style of dress. It is beautifully ornate, with intricate and traditional patterns woven into a lovely silk style dress. With bright coloured material and shiny gold pieces, this Payasan Agung style is sure to impress on any wedding day and is a great addition to your own Balinese style wedding.

If you need some ideas on how to go about putting a Balinese style wedding together, or if you are thinking of having your own wedding in Bali itself, you should definitely have a look at the Bali Wedding Blog and Bali Weddings International.  It will certainly help you piece together your own event.

Love heart

I can definitely say that a Bali wedding becomes a harmonious relationship and marriage. Wayan expressed his happiness by saying that “It was our greatest day. We are all very happy and now we have 2 awesome boys from that marriage.”

I can also strongly recommend that if you want a driver or an excellent tour guide for your trip to Bali, get in contact with Wayan at Bali Easy Going. You will have a fabulous time!

Love,

xx Courtney xx

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