March 31, 2011

Make your big day memorable: take a leaf out of Ashlee Simpson’s or Simone Harouche’s book

It’s no secret that on your wedding day you want to be in the spotlight. You’ve spent months planning your dress, which blooms will make up your bouquet and penning your heart-felt vows.

But don’t forget that while the day is about you and your partner, it’s also about bringing together friends and family.

Keeping your guests talking about your wedding for years to come should be high priority for couples; here are some novel ideas to ensure it’s a day they’ll never forget.

Theme times

By far, one of the easiest ways to make your big day memorable is by choosing a specific theme.

When Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz tied the knot in 2009 they took their cue from Alice In Wonderland, weaving references of the popular fairytale into almost every detail, from the reception site to the food, drink and decor.

“Weddings generally follow more or less the same format, but a wedding which is really fun or interesting is one with a theme,” says wedding planner Rebecca Marandola. 

“You could go with an autumn theme if you want to symbolise a time of change, or if you want something truly unique try a circus theme, with juggling acts, serve hotdogs and cotton candy and have a kissing booth.”

Say cheese!

Having a photo booth is a sure-fire way to capture memories a photographer might miss. For an extra-special touch, outfit your booth with themed props that match your wedding theme.

Stylist to the stars Simone Harouche provided her guests with top hats and faux moustaches for her photo booth at her 2010 wedding to Marc Bretter, which resulted in some hilarious snaps of guests Christina Aguilera and Nicole Richie.

Can’t afford the expense of your own booth? Arrange for your photographer to snap pictures of your guests in front of a customised backdrop.

“Be sure to send your guests a copy of their photo in your thank you note,” says Marandola.

It’s wine time

For the quaffing couple, skip the signature cocktail and host a wine tasting instead. Display your own top picks to make it personal, and hire a sommelier to introduce the wine and teach each guest how to properly cleanse their palate.

Have a laugh

Keep your guests smiling all night and hire a professional jokester to work the room. Whether they’re doing a stand-up routine or just warming up the crowd between meals, the right comedian will know what is and isn’t appropriate material for the occasion.

“A comedian could also serve as MC for the evening,” suggests Marandola.

Luxe lounging

With all the dancing and eating going on, guests can understandably get a little weary. Give them a quiet place to mingle between dance breaks by creating a lounge area.

Fill the space with plush couches and plenty of pillows to sink into. It's the perfect way to keep everyone in on the party even when they're resting. Close off the area with curtains to create a VIP vibe.

Recent bride Talia Simpson says having a chill out area was great for tired guests and small children who were in need of a quick nap.

“We got married at a country club and our wedding planner helped outfit the lounge area so that it was really inviting for guests,” says Simpson.

“It was a hit! Most of our older guests who didn't dance opted to sit in there as well as guests with babies.”

A (surprise) routine

Take a few dance lessons before your wedding, but instead of the standard waltz, kick it up a notch by learning a sultry tango or a high-energy swing routine, and then surprise everyone during your first dance.

When Megan and Damien Bell married in 2010, they practised for weeks beforehand, getting their Dirty Dancing-style routine just right.

“It was so much fun,” says Megan, “we had our guests in stitches. I even did a big lift at the end!”

The extra touches:

As your guests enter your reception ensure a fleet of waiters are on hand to offer your signature cocktail. Colourful trays will ensure the dapper servers stand out.
Reception coming onto midnight? Liven up the party with late-night nibbles that will satisfy hungry reception-goers.
Holding outdoor nuptials? Create rustic, personalised wooden signs in your wedding colours as pointers for guests, such as “This way to cocktail hour" or "Wedding this way!”
Set up a personalised wedding website to give guests an insight into the preparation leading up to the big day.

March 29, 2011

Win a Blissful Fijian Honeymoon!

2011 Bride Tasmania Wedding Exhibition

The 6th Annual Bride Tasmania Wedding Exhibition promises to be bigger and better than ever. Come along for your chance to win a blissful honeymoon at Castaway Island, Fiji, courtesy of the Travel Studio, Level 2, 29 Salamanca Square Hobart. There will also be presentations from two of Australia's top bridal gown designers from Hills in Hollywoodand Jean Fox Bridal, as well as hair and make-up demonstrations from Imola Hair andStudio E. Spectacular European-style fashion parades begin at 12.00 noon and 3pm.

Hosted by Bride Tasmania Magazine, the event provides contacts, ideas and solutions for couples who are planning for a fantastic wedding celebration. As well as boasting aisles of displays from over 80 leading wedding specialists from across the state — fashion boutiques, reception venues, marriage celebrants, jewellers, cake decorators, hairdressers, makeup artists, photographers...and more. Virtually everything a couple needs to plan their wedding at the one venue, saving both time and money.

For brides and grooms-to-be who live outside Hobart, why not make a weekend of it? Mention the Bride Tasmania Wedding Exhibition when you book at either Mercure Hobart, Grand Mercure Hadleys Hotel, The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel or Lenna of Hobart and Salamanca Terraces to receive a bottle of bubbly on arrival, as well as the best available room rates.

Sunday 15 May, 2011 • Derwent Entertainment Centre • 10.00am – 4.00pm
Entry – $8.50 • Fashion parades begin at 12.00 noon and 3.00pm.

March 28, 2011

Celebrity wedding: Reese Witherspoon & Jim Toth

Reese Witherspoon, 35 and LA-based agent Jim Toth, 40 tied the knot over the weekend at the film star's $7 million ranch estate in Ojai, California. 

The glowing bride wore a custom-designed gown by Monique Lhuiller, while 80 white doves were released after the duo said their "I dos."

Guests included Renee Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire, Salma Hayek and Robert Downey Jr.

Wedding planner Yifat Oren, known for her eclectic style, reportedly handled the Southern-themed event, which took place under giant white tents set up on the property.

They newlyweds photographed at the lavish yet private San Ysidro Ranch just outside Santa Barbara, a 30-minute drive away from where the nuptials took place.

Toth and Witherspoon became engaged in December after he proposed with a US$250,000, 4-carat diamond ring.

“I now propose a toast!” A history lesson in Champagne houses

Your first toast as newlyweds should be done with some seriously luxe bubbles. We give you a brief history lesson on some of the world’s top champagne houses.

Moët & Chandon 

Claude Moët, a wine trader from a family that has resided in the Champagne region since the 14th century, founded his house in Epernay in 1743. In the 19th century his grandson, Jean-Rémy Moët, helped the house expand significantly by opening it up to foreign markets. Jean-Rémy Moët then handed the house over to his son Victor and his son-in-law, Pierre-Gabriel Chandon de Briailles: thus known from then on as Moët & Chandon.

Today, thanks to inherited tradition and know-how strengthened over the generations, Moët & Chandon is numéro un in the champagne stakes.

Veuve Clicquot 

The remarkable Madame Clicquot is often considered the first businesswoman of the modern era. Born Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin, she was widowed in 1805 at the age of 27. Veuve Clicquot – veuve meaning widow in French – defied every convention of the day to take the helm of her late husband’s small Champagne house. She enlisted help wisely, took astute risks and made important technological innovations (including the invention of remuage or riddling), leading the house to world-renown.

One of her most significant triumphs was sending a secret shipment of her Champagne to Russia in 1814 in defiance of Napoleon’s blockade.


Champagne Bollinger was founded in 1829 and is still 100% family-owned. Somewhat unusually for those helming a Champagne house, members of the Bollinger family have been growers and producers from the outset, with 70% of Bollinger’s grape supply comes from its own vineyards. This percentage is a minimum, set out in Bollinger’s Charter of Ethics and Quality, which was first published in 1992. This Charter confirms the house’s commitment to true standards of excellence and reinforces its steadfast determination to maintain the standards that have made Bollinger a watchword for quality Champagne.

March 24, 2011

Paris: A honeymooner's guide

Deciding on a honeymoon destination? It's hard to go past the City of Light. Honeymooners from all over the globe flock to Paris every year for its impeccable cuisine, designer shopping, art, museums, sightseeing, and of course, romance.

For the truly eclectic Parisian experience head to Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement. This area boasts some of the city’s best patisseries and boulangeries, the stunningly stark, alabaster Sacré-Coeur Basilica, the famed Moulin Rouge, a heritage flea market, where you are guaranteed to find authentic French mementos, and even a small vineyard in the Rue Saint-Vincent.

The Rue de la Paix meanwhile is dubbed the “richest street in Paris” and is where you’ll find the world’s most up-market jewellers like Cartier, Van Cleef & Apels and Tiffany & Co, as well as a plethora of designer boutiques.

It is also a mere stone's throw from the most elegant landmarks of the city; Place Vendômem, l’Opéra, the Tuileries gardens and the Louvre are all nearby.

A gastronomes’ delight, Paris has plenty of fine-dining restaurants, but it’s hard to go past the famed L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

When to visit: The summer crowds and long queues can often be frustrating. Time your visit a month shy either side of the peak season to enjoy moderate temperatures and less tourists.

Must-do: If there’s one attraction on every tourist’s itinerary it’s undoubtedly the Eiffel Tower. While you can catch a glimpse of the iconic monument rising up above the city’s skyline from almost every vantage point in Paris, it’s not until you’re ascending the iron lattice tower’s hydraulic lifts, that you realise the beauty and majesty of Paris’ most treasured landmark.

Must-buy: Ladurée macaroons! Of all of the delightful, delectable treats you can sample in Paris – from sweet vanilla Mille-feuilles to rich moelleux au chocolat – no sweet is more perennially Parisian than the macaroon. And no one does them quite like Ladurée. Founded in 1862, the now-famous patisserie allegedly churns out over 135 tons of the biscuity treats every year, with flavours like ‘Madagascar chocolate’ and ‘blackcurrant violet’, while the pastel and ornate packaging make for a charming keepsake.

Stay at: Hotel Daniel, 8 Rue Frédéric Bastiat 75008 Paris, France.

Elizabeth Taylor: The consummate bride

I'm a huge Elizabeth Taylor fan. Always have been. Anyone who has a "love affair with jewellery" gets my tick of approval. And anyone who can do as she pleases, say what wants and marry who she likes (as many times as she likes), all with grace and panache, is a woman worth championing in my book.

So it was with great sadness that I learnt of her passing this morning. Aged 79, Taylor died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles from congestive heart failure.

As a tribute to the violet-eyed, untamed, bastion of beauty, we look at the many loves (and weddings) of this truly great lady.

Conrad "Nicky" Hilton (May 6, 1950 – January 29, 1951)

Michael Wilding (February 21, 1952 – January 26, 1957)

Michael Todd (February 2, 1957 – March 22, 1958)

Eddie Fisher (May 12, 1959 – March 6, 1964)

Richard Burton (March 15, 1964 – June 26, 1974)

Richard Burton (October 10, 1975 – July 29, 1976)

John Warner (December 4, 1976 – November 7, 1982)

Larry Fortensky (October 6, 1991 – October 31, 1996)

March 23, 2011

Finding your wedding's signature cocktail

Brimming with expertly crafted cocktails and a couture-clad guest list, cocktail soirées are fast becoming a popular option for modern couples who want the emphasis of their reception to be on celebrating and socialising.

Free from table settings and structured serving times, guests can mingle for the duration of the night, allowing for a truly festive and sociable atmosphere.

To personalise your cocktail party reception include a signature tipple for the night. You can ask your venue organisers to create something special to mark the occasion or come up with your own recipe.

At Bride Tasmania we love 'Wedded Bliss':

30ml Wyborowa Rose vodka
10ml crème de violette
30ml pink grapefruit juice
Top with Mumm Champagne

Serve ice cold in a champagne saucer with a rose petal garnish.

March 22, 2011

Helpful bride hint #2: Pick a romantic scent

Your wedding day calls for a seriously romantic scent, so stick with a perfume from the floral family to evoke that lovin’ feeling. These six fashion powerhouses have you covered.

Stella McCartney Sheer EDT: Yes, the girly bottle is part of the love affair, but Stella McCartney Sheer also delights the senses with an enchanting fusion of Bulgarian rose, English Celestial rose and peony.
Missoni Acqua EDT: Guaranteed to turn heads, Missoni’s Acqua is a luscious mix of floral, fruity and marine notes – sophistication in a bottle from the Italian fashion house famed for its colourful patterned knitwear.
Bvlgari Rose Essentielle Rosee EDT: Evoking the romantic season of spring, this scent blends Ottoman and Prélude roses with a fruity blend of orange and jasmine.
Hugo Boss Femme by Boss EDP: Tantalise your groom with a fruity blend of tangerine and blackcurrant, with a burst of Bulgarian rose petals.
Marc Jacobs Daisy EDT: Fashion-forward brides will love Marc Jacobs’ feminine Daisy fragrance, mixing strawberry, violet, vanilla and gardenia.
Chanel Chance eau Fraîche EDT: Beauty types describe this as the lighter incarnation of its original namesake. This pretty fragrance is a fresh combination of citrus and floral notes.
Scents and sensibility:

Heat brings out scents, so for a summer wedding, stick with lighter fragrances.

Make sure your bridal party wears a fragrance from the same family (ie. floral).

Spray your fragrance and let it dry before dressing to avoid marking delicate fabrics.

March 21, 2011

Kate Moss makes Dior Addict Lipstick a must-buy for brides

The beauty world has been eagerly awaiting the full ad campaign for Dior Addict lipstick featuring Kate Moss, which launches in April. Video teasers were released about a month ago, and a full version, directed by Jonas Ackerlund, was leaked last week.

For brides-to-be searching for the perfect pink lipstick for their wedding day, this could very well be it.

March 18, 2011

Helpful bride hint #1: Buy yourself a notebook

If you're anything like me (who's more than a little obsessed with girly stationery) cracking open the spine of a fresh, candy-coloured notebook and scrawling in a fat felt-tip pen across the unblemished paper, is enough to induce a little pleasurable thrill.

For the busy bride, having a notebook listing the myriad of tasks you need to tackle – from booking your dress fittings to planning cake sampling appointments – is enourmously helpful.

I'm a fan of Kikki K's Wedding Notes (pictured) which includes helpful checklists, budget sheets and appointment trackers, or you can simply purchase a pretty notebook from Papier d'Amour, Pink Paris Paperie or Snow & Graham and map out your own checklists.

Tell us, did you use a special notebook to keep track of your wedding 'to do' list?

March 17, 2011

An ode to royal brides: Grace Kelly, Mary Donaldson, Lady Diana Spencer et al

With the long-awaited and eagerly anticipated upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the world has gone “royally mad”. 

A slew of would-be brides went crazy over the Issa electric-blue jersey dress Kate wore during the announcement of the pair’s engagement, while the oval sapphire ring that belonged to the late Princess Diana, which Prince William proposed to Kate with, has fuelled a replica storm by jewellers the world over.

With all this talk of monarchs and marriages we look back at some of the most famous royal unions of the past few decades.

Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark and Mary Donaldson

After meeting in a Sydney pub in 2000, sparks flew between the down-to-earth couple. A long-distance courtship ensued, with the pair eventually tying the knot on May 14, 2004 in Frederik’s native country of Denmark. Upon their marriage the Danish Parliament passed a special law (dubbed Mary's Law), granting Mary Danish citizenship.

Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly

The already regal Hollywood actress married her prince in Monaco on April 18, 1956. The 600 guests included silver screen legends Gary Grant and Ava Gardner, while the ceremony was watched by an estimated 30 million people on televisions worldwide.

Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer

While at the time their union seemed the stuff of fairytales – the English prince marrying the virginal young bride, Charles and Diana’s union unfortunately did not hold true to the popular idiom “and they lived happily ever after”. Married July 29, 1981 the couple divorced in 1996 amid an exhaustive media frenzy, which sadly followed Diana to her death in 1997.

Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece and Marie-Chantal Miller

Crown Prince Pavlos married American heiress Marie-Chantal on July 1, 1995 at St Sophia's Cathedral in London. Attendees included many European royals and the ceremony was televised live in Greece, leading to a notable rise in public support for the restoration of the monarchy.

Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden and Daniel Westling

Heiress-apparent to the Swedish throne, Princess Victoria wed unassuming personal trainer and gym owner, Daniel Westling on June 19, 2010. More than 1,200 guests attended the nuptials, while more than half a million Swedes joyously waved Swedish flags and cheered the couple during their ceremonial procession from the church to the royal castle.

Crown Prince of Japan, Naruhito and Masako Owada

Heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan, Prince Naruhito married Masako Owada, a former diplomat in the Japanese Foreign Ministry, on June 9, 1993. The couple were married at the Imperial Shinto Hall in Tokyo before 800 invited guests and an estimated media audience of 500 million people worldwide.

Mick Jagger and Bianca Macias

While technically not royalty, no one could dispute that during the 1960-70s, Mick and Bianca Jagger were rock royalty. The pair tied the knot on May 12, 1971 in St. Tropez in the south of France. Bianca donned a white Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo jacket for the affair, sparking a frenzy of replicas all across the globe. While the pair stayed married for seven years, Bianca later said of their union, "My marriage ended on my wedding day". She filed for divorce on the grounds of Mike's adultery with model Jerry Hall.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

Falling in love on the set of Cleopatra, Hollywood royalty Elizabeth and Richard (or “Lizzie” and “Dick” as the papers dubbed them) were a dynamic and volatile pair. Prone to drunken theatrics and overt displays of passion, they married not once, but twice. Their first union, on March, 15 1964 lasted nearly a decade until their divorce in June 1974, while their second marriage, on October 10, 1975, lasted a mere eight months. Of Richard, Elizabeth later said: "I love Richard Burton with every fiber of my soul, but we can't be together."

John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier

American political royalty, John and Jackie were married September 12, 1953 in Newport, Rhode Island. While reportedly Jackie’s family initially disapproved of “JFK”, due to his playboy and man-about-town reputation, the couple did receive a special blessing from Pope Pius XII on the day of their wedding.

March 16, 2011

Raise your glasses to the new Bride Tasmania's blog!

Greetings, and a very warm welcome to the official Bride Tasmania blog!

As this year marks the 25th anniversary of Bride Tasmania magazine, we decided to celebrate in style by launching our very own blog, dedicated to you – the beautiful bride-to-be.

For any newly engaged woman planning their big day, gathering helpful, practical advice is paramount, as the myriad of choices and tasks can often seem overwhelming.

Throughout this blog we’ll help you take the guesswork out of your 'to do' list, interview industry experts to reveal their insider advice, keep you abreast of what’s new in the wedding world and provide simple ‘how to’ advice on planning every crucial element that goes into your wedding day – from choosing the right reception venue to finding your dream dress.

We’ll also showcase plenty of inspiration from couples that have tied the knot with our regular Real Life Weddings section.

We hope you find this blog helpful, inspiring, but most of all, that you simply enjoy delving into the romantic world of weddings as much as we at Bride Tasmania do.

Should you have any queries, questions or simply want to say a quick hello, feel free to email me on 

Best wishes,
Online editor