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.
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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…

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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!

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?

How to Survive a Long Haul flight

 

In the past year, I’ve jumped across the pond to the other side of the world 4 times. I’ve been to Europe, Asia and the Middle East and taken my ‘countries visited tally’ up to 24.

Whilst the travel has been fun, it has also been exhausting. I’ve spent countless hours roaming around airports, sitting on planes and battling jet lag – but thankfully after a bit of experimentation I’ve found the best way to survive a long haul flight unscathed, so I’m here to share my top 10 tips with you.

1. Rest up

I’m a very light sleeper at the best of times, so I always take a sleeping pill on the night legs of my journey. I know these aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I find they make the flight go a lot quicker and I actually feel well rested when I arrive at my destination. I also always ensure that I have my neck pillow (an inflatable one to save space) and an eye mask to help block out any unwanted light/annoying fellow passengers.

2. Pack the essentials

Don’t you find it interesting how much better you feel after a shower, washing your face and cleaning your teeth? Air travel is no different – in fact I think it’s more important to look after your skin, eyes and teeth when flying because you’re more susceptible to dehydration. I generally remove my makeup when I get on a plane (face wipes are a god send!) and I double up on the moisturiser. I also pop on some hand cream, pop in a few eye-drops so my eyes don’t dry out and of course – paw paw ointment to keep those lips soft!

A few other essentials to take with you: toothpaste/toothbrush/mouthwash – brush your teeth with bottled water if you can and always use your antibacterial gel/hand sanitiser after going to the bathroom. As OCD as it sounds, I have been known to use this to wipe down my tray and arm rests when I get on board as a flight attendant friend of mine told me that these rarely get cleaned!

Some ’emergency’ extras I normally take with me include: hydralyte, tissues, strepsils/throat lozenges, some pain killers and some healthy snacks (mixed nuts are a favourite of mine).

3. Get comfortable

It goes without saying that if you’re comfortable, it’s going to be an easier flight, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear your ratty pjs in public (yes I am judging you). Invest in some lightweight trousers – there are loads of soft printed pants in the shops right now and they are perfect for travelling – plus they look great with a singlet or t-shirt and a longline cardigan, which is a must if you get cold on planes and the blanket just doesn’t cut it for you. For night flights, I prefer to wear workout leggings with sneakers or slip-ons, a soft t-shirt and a light cardigan. I often find that a scarf comes in handy when they turn the cabin temperature down too!

4. Compression is key

Now it’s not very sexy but I highly recommend wearing compression tights when travelling long haul. Pop them on just as you get on the plane and voila! no swollen feet when you arrive. I do this every single time I travel long distance and swear by it.

5. Stay hydrated

Drink Water. I know it seems glamorous to have a bunch of alcohol and sure, a glass of champagne can be lovely, but don’t go overboard before you get on board! It will dehydrate you further and I guarantee you won’t feel particularly fresh when you arrive at your destination.

 6. Relax

Read, watch movies, do a crossword. Flights are great opportunity to take some time to yourself. Sometimes I just like to look out the window and watch the world go by.

 7. Stopover

Who doesn’t love a stopover? Even if it’s only for a couple of hours, try to make the most of it. Remember when we were talking about ‘feeling fresh’ up in point 1? This is your time to have a shower and change your clothing and underwear, have a drink and a light bite to eat. Airport lounges can be pricey but it can also make a long journey much more manageable. I often book into a lounge and have a shoulder massage and I recently also got my nails done at Changi Airport during a 7 hour layover. You could also take the time to explore -whether it’s a day in Zurich or an mini-break in Bangkok or Israel.

8. Get moving

You’ve been sitting on a plane for 6+ hours so tell me why are you now sitting in the airport lounge? Get up and walk around, explore the duty free shops – heck some airports even have gyms so you can get your blood pumping! Our bodies are designed to move and I can guarantee that even just a little bit of walking in between flights, or after a long haul will make you feel much better. I always try to do some exercise when i get to my hotel as well – even if it’s just a few push ups, squats and star jumps – it’s a great mood enhancer and helps to shake off the ‘lazy’ feeling I often get when I fly.

The Weekly G&T

S&G Quick Guide to Noosa

Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast holds a special place in the hearts of both of us. You may have already read B’s wonderful guide to Maleny, which focuses on the beautiful hinterland area, but what about our infamous beaches and stunning National Park? And where can you find the best seafood and icecream? Well dear readers look no further because our Quick Guide to the Noosa is here.

Things to do and Places to see

Noosa is well known for its shops and restaurants but the beach and natural beauty are really what draw the crowds. Our favourite spots and things to do are:

  • Main Beach: Usually pretty calm and often a little crowded, Main Beach is great for swimming, tanning, and people watching. This is really the heart of Noosa. Surfers can also paddle out past the rocks from here to catch some great waves.
  • Little Cove: Just a short walk up hill towards Noosa National Park, lies Little Cove. This is a popular spot for locals and is a lot quieter than Main Beach.
  • Noosa National Park: This place is seriously gorgeous and it’s hard to believe it is so close to bustling Hastings Street. It’s a great way to get active
  • Learn to Surf, go sea kayaking or have a paddleboard down the Noosa river – you can also do a river cruise if that’s you’re kind of thing.
  • Noosa Farmer’s Market: Operating every Sunday morning, you can get amazing local produce, gorgeous fresh flowers, and a coffee to keep you going all in the one place.

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