Wedding 101 – Dos and Don’ts of Dress Shopping

In my quest to find a dress for our wedding, I explored a lot of avenues – from CosmoBride editorials to personal recommendations from friends. I cut out pictures, pinned things and had a mental catalogue of what felt like hundreds of dresses in my head.

The only problem was, that the thought of trying any of them on petrified me – especially in front of my Mother, Sister and 4 Bridesmaids. Overwhelming much?

I got engaged in June and was too scared to set foot in a bridal shop until December and even then it took a bit of convincing. It was only after I spilled my fears (what if everything looks awful, what if I don’t find anything, I am a hideous, ugly monster…bla bla bla) to one of my old friends who is also a Bride that things changed. She made me set a date, and pick 3 Bridal shops to go to –  just the two of us – to look/shop for both of us.

Together we picked the three shops we thought would be best suited to our style and figures – Karen Willis Holmes, Paddington Brides and Wendy Makin – and away we went.

The big day came and I was a bundle of nerves but I had no need to be, to my surprise, the whole experience was heaps of fun and I had nothing to be worried about.

We kicked things off at Karen Willis Holmes (KWH) where I fell in love with the first dress I tried on. It fit like a glove and I didn’t want to take it off – a pretty good start to the day!

That dress became my ‘benchmark’ dress, against which the 7 or 8 other dresses I tried on were compared. At the second stop – Paddington Brides – I found a dress I loved equally as much as my benchmark dress and after lunch at our final stop (I Wendy Makin) I found the dress that I have since chosen to be my wedding gown. There wasn’t really a wow moment if I’m honest. On that day I found a number of dresses that I adored, I just wanted to take some time to think about which one I preferred the most and what felt the most ‘me’.

Going shopping with just one other person (and a bride at that), really took the pressure off and I would highly recommend it. It allowed us to voice our concerns without judgment and to make up our own minds without our decisions being colour by too many other opinions.

About a month after our dress shopping expedition I took my bridal party and family back to the same three shops to make the final decision on my three favourite dresses. On this occasion I did try on a couple more gowns I had missed on my previous visit and I somehow managed to find another two that I loved but one of my original choices really stood out, so I picked it.

I would still be more than happy – ecstatic even – to get married in any of the other dresses I tried on and fell in love with as they were all gorgeous and what I ultimately took away form the experience is that in the big picture it doesn’t really matter. Whatever I wear is the outfit that I marry the love of my life in and that is the most important thing.

It’s easy to get caught up and overwhelmed by wedding dress shopping. I could have gone to at least another dozen bridal shops in Brisbane if I had the time and energy to do so…but it would have made the decision much harder and I just didn’t want to. Some things to remember are:

  1. There is a LOT of choice and it looks very different on the hanger – DO try a few styles you normally wouldn’t go for and you might surprise yourself.
  2. DON’T try on so many dresses you confuse yourself. Choice is great but it can muddy the waters.
  3. DO look online and choose just a handful of dress shops that you think might work for you. Spend about an hour at each – you can come back again if you want more time.
  4. DON’T let others opinions sway your decision. It’s great to get feedback but ultimately it’s your gown so pick what you want.
  5. DO wear nude, non-sexy, Bridget Jones style underwear and take a strapless/convertible bra. They will make the dresses look a lot better!
  6. Do buy a gown that suits your figure and personality…rather than purchasing something that’s in fashion but doesn’t really suit you.
  7. DO consider the type of wedding you’re having when purchasing. A low-cut dress with a thigh high split might be perfect for a modern city wedding but could be considered a little too revealing for a traditional church ceremony.
  8. DON’T settle for a dress that is uncomfortable. This is your wedding day, you want to feel relaxed and not have to worry about nursing a potentially broken rib after being laced into a too-tight corset structure.
  9. DO talk to the shop-girls/designers/seamstress about things that you like and dislike in the gowns you try on. They know their stock better than you and can recommend things you might like.
  10. DON’T stress about the dress. In the scheme of things it isn’t a huge deal and you’ll look beautiful no matter what you wear.

Our Top Ten Long Weekend Getaways from Brisbane

We’ve just gotten back from a lovely 3-day weekend and with the Easter long weekend almost here it’s got us thinking about where to next?

Brisbane is in such a good position for weekend getaways it’s not even funny. We’re super close to beaches, the bush, rainforest, reef, mountains and wine country. And on top of that we’re just a couple of hours flight from the hustle and bustle of some of Australia’s wonderful southern cities. If you’re overdue a much-needed break it’s time for you so get your butt into gear and book yourself a long weekend away. Be inspired by our list below!

These are our Top Ten favourite places for a long weekend getaway…

Continue reading

Wedding 101- Wedding Fever

As I prepare for my wedding in October this year, I thought I’d bring you all along for the ride. This is the first of a few posts on my wed-ventures and planning – with the hope that it assists a few of you out there in engagement land or at least gives you a giggle. Enjoy!

Many women dream of their wedding day for years, conjuring up images of the perfect dress, flowers and cake in their minds.

I was never one of those girls. So when Tom proposed to me last June aside from feeling deliriously happy I also freaked out a bit.

What style of dress would suit me? Where would we have the wedding? What about Bridesmaids and Groomsmen? I had no idea where to start! Unsurprisingly, in my quest to find answers, I descended into a crazy wedding induced fever.

I devoured bridal magazines with fervor and spent hours pintrest-ing my life away. I meticulously compared  venue after venue and vendor after vendor.

I’m not going to lie, there were (and maybe there still are) spreadsheets involved.

For a while it was quite fun curling up on the couch and pouring over Polka Dot Bride and Style Me Pretty for inspiration. But ultimately, it became exhausting and led to a bit – ok a LOT – of overthinking.

Thankfully, I snapped out of it before my fiancé had to stage an intervention, but what I took away from those few weeks of craziness (aside from the fact that wedding videos are EMOSH) was that I wanted my wedding to be easy.

Spectacular, fun,  bursting with love and easy. Not too much to ask right?

I didn’t want to have to organise a million suppliers or feel stressed when thinking about the big day. I just wanted to feel excited and happy and relaxed.

But hooooooow do we do this? I mean we are organizing a WEDDING! We need a bunch of money, and ideas and white doves and a horse and carriage and…well actually, all jokes aside it can be quite easy. We are just under 7 months away and we’ve pretty much got our sh*t sorted. From our celebrant to our photographer to our DJ, it’s all done and now it’s just the fun stuff like cake tasting and dress fittings to enjoy…oh and that whole writing vowels thing but that will happen in time. Stay tuned for more Wedding 101 over the coming months (it will culminate with wedding photos I promise!) and in the meantime why not tell us about your wedding planning experience? Was it six-weeks of quick decisions like B’s or did you spend a lot of time and consideration on all the elements? Feel free to share – we’d love to hear for you!

Merriweather Cafe and a drive to Mt Nebo

Is there anything better than a lazy Sunday? Sleeping in, going for a delicious late breakfast and having a super relaxed day…just thinking about it makes me feel calm and happy.

A couple of weekends ago, I had a particularly chilled out Sunday. Tom and I ventured to South Brisbane with a friend of ours to start our day with a late breakfast at Merriweather cafe.

We’d been to Merriweather before for a light snack and coffee but hadn’t ever sat down to breakfast there so it was well overdue.

Merriweather has built a solid a reputation on using locally sourced, sustainable and organic ingredients to create unusual and delicious food so we expectations were high.

One arrival, the place was busy so we waited outside for about 15 minutes until a table became available. Once seated service was swift and we ordered our coffees, shortly followed by our meals. I  ordered the Local Mushrooms with flatbread, goat’s cheese, duke and poached eggs and a banana smoothie. Tom ordered the smoked mackerel and eggplant special and our friend Meiks went with the Yoghurt and Rye Pancake with whipped vanilla ricotta and raspberries (substituted for poached pears). Quite an array of food!

Continue reading

National Meat Free Week

We aren’t vegetarian by any means (who can resist pulled pork) but when we heard that Meat Free Week was happening across Australia on March 23rd it got us thinking – Why not try going meat free for 7 days?

Meat Free week is designed to make us think about how the impact that eating meat has on our health, the environment and of course animals. It’s not an attempt to force vegetarian or veganism down your throat- quite literally – rather an exercise in awareness. AND it’s also a great excuse to try out some fresh new recipes and some of Brisbane’s best vegetarian meals!

Eating in

For some veg-spiration why not check out the following blogs and website:

  • Not Quite Nigella is one of our favourite food bloggers and she’s created an entire page of delicious vegetarian recipes for you to explore! Just look ta how amazing her Cauliflower and Spiced Lentil Salad looks!
  • Elsa’s Wholesome Life – this gorgeous blog is focused on creating delicious whole food plant-based recipes. I can personally vouch for Elsa’s raw slice recipes after making my own version a couple of months ago. Oh and her veggie burgers are next on my list to make – they look amazing!!
  • No doubt you’ve heard loads about eating Paleo since Pete Evans returned to our television screens and while the diet advocates eating a fair amount of lean protein, there are loads of great Paleo recipes for vegetarian food. A go to cookbook in our household is Eat Drink Paleo by Irini Macri – it has some great vegetarian recipes and you can find even more on her blog – like the delicious Baked Eggplant stuffed with tomato salsa – filling, hearty and super yum!
  • One of the original and best vegan bloggers is Angela from Oh She Glows. Her recipes are super delicious and there is literally something for every occasion and meal. Green smoothies, cakes, side dishes…look no further, Angela has the answer.
  • The Detoxinista has hands down the best recipe for cauliflower pizza on the web and if you consider peanut butter a food group you will love her many, many recipes including her Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake (seriously OMG YUM).

Eating Out Continue reading

Floral Fun with Francesca’s Flowers

This past weekend, we had a super girly day out. After breakfast at Mondo and a spot of dress shopping we headed to Francesca’s Flowers at Paddington to chill out and take part in one of their Floral Workshops.

Our workshop focused on learning how to create an autumn bouquet and it was simply fabulous! It kicked off at 1pm, with Francesca demonstrating how to prepare the flowers and strauss a bouquet while we enjoyed tea and cake and some champagne we may have brought along with us – hey it’s the S&G way!

Once Francesca had finished her demonstration we got to pick our selection of gorgeous foliage and autumn blooms and get started on making our bouquets. Francesca helped us all along the way, encouraging us to get creative and guiding us where we struggled. She also gave us a bunch of tips for preserving our bouquets – did you know that sugar and bleach is the best way to ensure your flowers bloom and stay alive for longer? And that when making a bouquet it’s best to stick with odd numbers of flowers and use a mathematical sequence to place them?

Our workshop was 3 hours and oodles of fun – we are already looking at her upcoming dates to do another one. If you’re looking for a relaxing and fun afternoon where you’ll learn a couple of fun new skills, why not sign up for one yourself?

The Weekly G&T