You got engaged, perhaps had your engagement party and it’s now nearing to the end of winter and I am sure many brides-to-be are thinking, spring is the perfect time to get married. Those brides won’t be wrong as the most popular months to get married in Australia are in fact all of spring; September, October and November. The weather is balmy and the rainy season seems to have stayed away for long enough to enjoy the blue skies.
Even if you’re planning a wedding for next spring, which is still a year and a bit away (The average engagement time in Australia is 21 months by the way) you’re probably already considering a lot of details and it’s no less busy 12 months out than 3 months out, although it does get a bit more hectic.
Here are some of the things you should start considering (from experience) at around a 12 month mark.
- Save the date – you have to make sure your family and friends can attend the wedding so make sure to let your guests know as soon as you decide on the day so they can keep the date free. The most popular wedding day to get married in Oz is Saturday, so keep in mind that it will be the most expensive day to book venues, cars, DJs etc. TIP: Ask around and see if your guests could possibly attend a wedding on a weekday, or a full weekend away in the country somewhere or perhaps a destination wedding? That way you won’t have to fork out for the most expensive day, as weddings are pricey enough without having to bid for the most popular day.
- Set a budget – yes it sounds boring and tedious, but without a set budget and actually understanding what you can afford – no matter who is paying for the wedding expenses, the wedding costs can quickly blow out. Half of Aussie brides spend over $30,000 on their weddings and if you think about it, that’s a deposit on a property gone in 1 day. What’s scary is that most final wedding costs in the end are 53% higher than originally budgeted. You also want to go on a nice honeymoon, after all, with all the wedding prep and the long day that ensues, you two deserve a romantic getaway and you want to make sure you’ve got some budget for that – trust me, the honeymoon in a way is more important than a huge, expensive wedding. TIP: Track your finances using user friendly software like Xero and see where most of your spendings are. Assess your average spend and what you are willing to spend on a wedding and work from that sum. Of course there will be fluctuations and some potential surprise costs, but do your research and ask friends for recommendations on services like photography to potentially get good rates.
- Dress shopping – brides, please don’t leave this to the last minute (and even 3 months out). As I’ve found out, a lot of the salons in Australia get their dresses shipped over (Europe or Asia) when you actually purchase the dress, and this shipping process can take 3-6 months, and sometimes longer. You also have to leave enough time to get alterations done – there will be multiple fittings and almost definitely changes. TIP: Go dress shopping by yourself, with your family and with your bridesmaids on separate occasions. Don’t get bowled over with other’s opinions or latest trends and get what is most flattering for your body shape. After you selected the type of dress (A line, princess, fishtail etc), see if it’s available online as the rates are much cheaper. You can always get alterations of the dress separately if it doesn’t quite fit, but make sure to leave plenty of time for shipping!
- Fitness regime – for you and your fiancee. Love it or hate it but love handles make it hard to pick find a flattering dress and boys, don’t just hide your belly under your tux. Getting into a good fitness routine together, will not only help you get fitter and slimmer but will also give you an activity to spend time together and not just doing wedding planning. After all, with a 12 month wedding planning regime, day in day out, any couple will experience frustrations. TIP: Use your fitness time to do something fun e.g. play tennis, go snorkelling, in other words, stay active but don’t burden yourself with the thought of ‘must lose weight’ or ‘must look good for wedding’. Enjoy your time together and make it a habit that takes you beyond just wedding preparations.
- Wedding dance – all of us have been to at least one wedding where the newlywed dance is a spin in a circe with awkward movements until the song is over (thank god its over!). I am sure you’re both dreading it but if you’re well prepared and have at least some kind of routine sorted, the impression you’ll make on the guests is phenomenal and you’ll both walk away feeling like you’ve been on Dancing with the Stars! Google your local dance school and you’ll be sure to find wedding dance choreography instructors. You’ll be working with professionals, they will pick out a routine that’s right for you and with music of your choice and soon enough, you’ll dazzle your friends and family with some pretty impressive moves on the dance floor! TIP: If you can, try and go for something more jazzy than the traditional waltz or tango and pick perhaps a Latin Dance routine such as bachata, bachatango or zouk (Youtube these dances, you’ll fall in love with them in no time!) you can even do something completely unorthodox and seal the day with a bit of “Thriller” moves by Michael Jackson!
- Looking your best – We all want to look our best on our special day. Of course it doesn’t have to be your wedding day, but that day is ranked pretty high on the happiness scale. There are certain things that can help us look and feel our best and the top examples of these services are:
- Hair: Having the right hair can make you feel like a true hollywood star. TIP: Do your research and go with the hairstyle that suits you and you feel comfortable with on the day. Don’t go with anything that is completely new without trying it out at a salon first.
- Tattoos: Many of us have tattoos we got in our younger years, thinking that it was the coolest thing in the world, but if you’ve got a spring wedding, chances are your dress will be sleeveless and showing off your shoulders and back. An old tattoo coupled with a gorgeous wedding dress for many brides is not the ideal look for the day. Tattoo regret can be caused by many things, and wanting to start a new chapter in life can definitely be one of them.
Luckily you now have tattoo removal services that use laser technology to help you get rid of unwanted tattoos. TIP: If you’re thinking about tattoo removal, it is recommended to start as early as possible and some tattoos take longer to remove than others. (At least 6 treatments are usually required to fully remove a tattoo, and sessions have to be spaced 8 weeks apart.)
The friendly tattoo removal specialists at Sydney Clinic Fade To Blank will be able to help you with any queries. If you’re thinking about tattoo removal, read this article on why Winter is the Perfect time to get your tattoos removed.
-Teeth: Teeth whitening is a popular service for any occasion and is ranked very high on wedding preparations list. I recently blogged about tips on keeping your teeth white here but if you’re after a no fault service call up your dentist and ask if they provide in chair treatments. I used whitening gel with custom trays – not only did I find that it took a long time to whiten teeth, but it was also a very painful experience. In chair treatments are almost instant, work with sensitive teeth and get your teeth 4-6 shades whiter.
Yes there are many more things to consider before getting married, such as choosing the right venue, picking a photographer, deciding on the music, flowers, cake… the list can be forever expanding. However, I listed the things I thought about when getting married and that I thought took a bit of prep time, rather than a decision in booking or purchasing. Looking our best can take a bit longer but in the end its all worth it because it’s not about the one day, it’s about the memories and a start to a happy and hopefully long life together with your partner.
Most importantly, enjoy every moment of the day as it goes by so very quickly!
Good luck with your wedding preparations!
Statistics from Easy Weddings Annual Survey of Weddings in Australia (2015)
Photos: Julia Kim Murphy personal wedding photos (2012)
I get stuck every winter on what to wear and there’s a ski trip coming up. Apart from the obvious ski gear that I’ll be wearing in the snow, I also wanted a couple of outfits to get me through the days when we’re not skiing and most options available when you search ” What to wear on a ski trip” are these:
After some more searching I decided to have a look at what style icons wear in the winter – a ski trip outfit when you’re not skiing should be both stylish and warm. I am going to Queenstown, NZ for the very first time ever to ski so it’s very exciting and I hear that the ski village is full of restaurants and bars. Super excited also to try the FERGBURGER which everyone seems to be talking about every time we mention Queenstown!
Here are some winter outfit inspirations from New York socialite Olivia Palermo:
The key takeaway here is skinny jeans or leather pants, with heels/flats or even sneakers + 1 big fluffy coat or poncho with faux fur.
Faux fur is in ! There is no need to get animal fur any more because there are so many alternatives that will keep you equally warm and stylish.
A light vest out of faux fur is all the craze.
Another option to wear with leather pants and a black zipped skivvy
After some browsing, I wanted to get a couple of outfits that were versatile to wear in Sydney and when I go to Queenstown. I am looking forward to skiing but for those days when I am not trying to remember my plow stops to save me from plunging into the snow, I want my outfits to be both stylish and warm for all kinds of weather ( hopefully snow!) and restaurant and bar visits + sightseeing.
Here’s my take on the Faux fur vest outfit :
Faux Fur Gilet by River Island from ASOS
High Neck Ribbed Dress by Boohoo from ASOS
Shoes – Pointed Heeled Loafer by Warehouse from ASOS
Pants – Wetlook Ankle Grazer by Decjuba from The Iconic
Watch by Cluse
Cuff Bracelet by JWLZ
Faux Fur Poncho - and my favourite snuggle blanket for the winter:
Good ‘leather’ or as we call them ‘pleather’ pants are a great option to have in winter because they are slimming, comfortable and warm, not because of the bulk of the material, but because they are absolutely wind proof!
Faux Fur Collar Cape by Dorothy Perkins from ASOS
High Neck Ribbed Dress by Boohoo from ASOS
Shoes – Pointed Heeled Loafer by Warehouse from ASOS
Pants – Wetlook Ankle Grazer by Decjuba from The Iconic
Watch by Cluse
Cuff Bracelet by JWLZ
I really love winter because you can wear warm and cozy clothes. It can be hard to make an outfit versatile and stylish with all the bulky coats, so for that, have a look at ponchos, capes and sleeveless vests and faux fur to spruce up your winter wardrobe! My cape can also easily accompany me on the plane for my short flight to NZ as it doubles as a warm blanket too.
Photography by Leo Loreto
From breezy dresses to light outerwear to feminine silhouettes, the best part about spring fashion is its ability to transition seamlessly into cooler or warmer temperatures. So, whether you’re staying put in Australia or setting off on a global adventure, these statement styles from the spring runways will fit right in with any climate.
When the seasons begin to shift, transitional pieces are a must for any wardrobe. And just because you can finally pack away your heavy coat (or don’t need to pull it out of storage just yet) doesn’t mean you can go sans outerwear. For those in-between days, try a lightweight anorak. As Refinery29 points out, the shape and material will come in handy for the occasional rain shower or chilly morning, and a louder shade (like bubblegum pink or the on-trend sherbet orange) will help brighten those gloomy days.
Equal parts feminine and flirty, this spring’s ruffles aren’t the frilly, purposeful accents we’re used to seeing. This season, the romantic detail is more subtle and casual—and a lot more wearable. If ruffles aren’t really your thing, you can still rock the trend by looking for a style that features an understated ruffle sleeve or hem. On the other side of the spectrum, embrace the trend by going with a silhouette that offers layers of ruffles. To easily transition this trend into cooler weather, choose a material like leather or wool, which will create more structured ruffles rather than the expected light and airy tiers.
Plaid is a timeless staple that spans the gap between seasons effortlessly. And while there are many variations on the pattern, this season, plaid is anything but subdued. The Fashion Spot writes that for spring, the look is bold, blown out, and worn head to toe. So, go ahead, wear that statement-making plaid midi dress or jumpsuit with pride, and don’t be afraid to bring it into the next season (and the next, and the next).
Though quite skin-baring (and undeniably sexy) when worn alone, spring’s slip dress can easily be adapted to other seasons with a few simple layering tricks. Pair with a basic T-shirt and slip-on sneakers for a casual ensemble, or top with an oversized knit sweater for cooler days. To find the best slip style to add to your rotation, Lyst’s collection showcases a slew of different dresses to choose from. There are soft pastels, rich and luxurious hues, and everything in between on display on their extensive edit.
Normally thought of as a fabric more suitable for the fall or winter seasons, velvet has made a surprising appearance for spring. Fashionista’s take reveals that some designers, like Philip Lim, gave the timelessly luxe fabric a refreshing spin by combining it with a printed silk material. Others, however, have experimented with lighter, spring-inspired shades, such as blush pink and olive green.
It’s time for another giveaway! We haven’t run one for a while on the blog so here is a really cool prize pack.
Kate Spade Iphone 6 case
Kate Spade Battery Pack
Kate Spade Laptop Case
1. Go to @LIVESHOPTRAVEL INSTAGRAM PAGE
2. Follow @LIVESHOPTRAVEL on INSTAGRAM
3. Share the FEATURED Competition image on your INSTAGRAM Profile
4. Don’t forget to #LIVESHOPTRAVEL #WeHeartKateSpade
If you want to read more about the accessories, please see below:
These accessories are designed by Incipio. So far I’ve been using my iPhone 6 case from Kate Spade and have been super happy with it. The material reminds me more of a resin texture on the sides, giving your phone the cushioning it needs and the back is hard plastic. If you’re like me, you’ll drop your phone at least a few times a week, on every surface, so I simply can’t have a phone without a case. The one time I had my brand new iPhone 6 without a case, it dropped and shattered on concrete, so not a great experience for me!
The iPhone 6 case in this pack is super colourful and is guaranteed to brighten your mood!
Another useful item in this giveaway is a battery pack for your phone/ipad. Kate Spade design are very pretty, elegant and bright in most cases, so you might ask whether they have the tech capability to create something that is supposed to act in a very functional way. I can give you a little insight into that question – Kate Spade partner with Incipio on all their phone/laptop accessories so you can be assured that each party does what they do best. Kate Spade provide their funky and well-established designs and requirements and Incipio produce the sturdy, functional and UX designed accessories.
This stylish battery pack is:
- Impressively slim and very light
- Charges tablets and smartphones
- Provides up to 3x more smartphone battery life
The final item in the prize pack is this laptop case. This is a SAFFIANO SLEEVE for 13″ MacBook.
It’s got the signature pink lining on the inside, a really good zip and the Kate Spade label badge.
Winner will be selected randomly on INSTAGRAM.
Competition runs for 2 weeks.
Start date: 12 March 2016
End date: 26 March 2016
Winner will be selected on the 26th of March 2016 and contacted by Direct Mail on INSTAGRAM.
Qualitfying prize winner needs to have an AU postal address or the winner will be re-drawn.
The prize is not sent out by LIVESHOPTRAVEL. We will select a winner but the prize is sent from the agency HQ.
Prize cannot be replaced with monetary value, prize items may vary in design.
I signed up to receive an annual Box of Style subscription from Rachel Zoe. This means I will receive 4x boxes starting Autumn 2015, or in American – ‘fall’.
I didn’t remember signing up for the 4 boxes until I received an email the other day, advising me that my 2nd box is now on the way. I am kind of disappointed that I signed up to all 4. The price in US dollars is $107 and now the Australian dollar vs the US is much worse. We’ll see what happens with the other 2, I’ve written the Zoe Box of Style team an email. (This is why subscriptions to anything can be painful).
I’ve so far received the fall edition Box of Style so here is the recap:
And here is the box
I can see if you live in the States, this box is very good value for the products. Rachel Zoe personally endorses this product because it’s an extension of her brand so the contents are of high quality.
For those outside of the US – me! I live in Australia, I had to use the MyUS postal services and that added another $70 on top of the box price itself. In total terms, the contents of the fall box do add up to what I ended up paying, but that’s not really the point. The point is that you pay less and receive more value for the goods in the box in combination. Especially because you don’t know what those products are until the box has been shipped out to you.
Opening the box for you
I am happy with what I received but I wouldn’t think this was enough for me to want to get it again (if I wasn’t on an iron clad subscription) just because the shipping becomes so expensive and the exchange rate is terrible. Once again the Australian consumer is left purchasing power-less.
All of the items in the Box of Style, Fall Edition
The main item (biggest item) was the fedora hat from TOPSHOP. I like the look of it but it didn’t suit me so if anyone is looking for a seaweed-basil-crocodile coloured hat, please let me know!
I looked up green colours in order to describe this shade and the closest I got was Seaweed.
Next up a Cluse watch. I really like this watch actually. The face is bigger than my other (Fossil) watch and the straps it came with were the grey one and the black one. This is the most expensive item in the fall box valued at RRP $132 (USD)
My favourite item in the box and most used
So far I’ve only worn the watch with the grey strap and many people notice this watch
These SHASHI earrings are not too bad. I looked up their retail value and they are $55 (USD). I also just realised that I’ve been wearing them wrong.
What’s the right way to wear these? Oh right, not the way I have been, oops!
The other useful item is the One Love Gardenia+Tea body serum which comes in a spray bottle. I love moisturising body sprays because they are super fast to put on and keep your skin hydrated for a long time. I use this one every day, especially right after a shower. It’s also organic. I haven’t tried the fabric freshener spray yet, although it comes highly recommended. I might throw it into my gym bag or keep at work.
The body serum and fabric freshener are the liquid items in the fall box.
You also get stationery – 2x notebooks from Sloane stateionery. RRP for both $40 (USD). These were custom designed for Rachel Zoe Box of Style. I think they’re too slim, I prefer the thicker notebooks, but these are pretty cool. I haven’t used them, maybe they’ll be a good addition to a gift for someone who loves stationery.
“Shut it down” and “it’s everything” notebooks by Sloane stationery. Shut what down and what’s everything? I haven’t figured out yet.
A part of me can’t wait to see what’s in the Winter box of style which ships 1st of December. Another part of me is kind of happy that it’s my last box. I am still indecisive when it comes to subscription boxes for everything because I feel that at minimum 50% of what comes in a subscription as a ‘surprise’ you don’t actually need or want but will use or store if given. I think it’s better to de-clutter than to collect clutter and when you’re subscribing to boxes monthly, the amount of ‘stuff’ you accumulate adds up significantly. I can’t deny that there is a piece of excitement when it comes to getting the box and opening it up to see what’s in it – it’s like Christmas! For now I am going to wait till my Winter box arrives into the Australian summer and I’ll blog more about it once it’s here.
If you want to see Rachel Zoe’s review of the Fall Box of Style, you can view it on The Zoe Report website HERE.
Spring has sprung! There is a certain scent in the breeze which whispers ‘spring is here’ everywhere you go. It’s the first echo of summer, just at our doorstep and I couldn’t be more excited about entering the warmer months. Sunshine, how I’ve missed you!
UNIQLO enters this season with a new linen range. Linen is a fabric that personifies the relaxed elegance of summer – it’s nonchalant, casual and lightweight. I love linen for spring and summer because it’s so light and natural. For this I did an interesting shoot with LL Photography. We found an abandoned railroad just outside of Sydney and as the sun was setting, got to capture some uniquely colourful shots. I loved wearing my linen inspired outfits. I have been dying to wear this lace skirt for a while and thought I’d try this pairing with black pointy mid-heel boot. My fedora hat came along for the ride and felt quite comfortable with both outfits.
The blue dress was an easy outfit to pull together. I needed a belt thought to match the boots and had to borrow my husband’s I thought in the end it completed an outfit in an interesting way. The belt is obviously a bit too big for me so I just tied it around my waist and let it loop around the front. What do you think about that?
I am glad to collaborate with UNIQLO on this giveaway with really awesome prizes! I have 5x $100 Vouchers to giveaway to my readers!
Entry is simple.
In the Giveaway widget or blog comments below vote for the outfit you prefer by mentioning why you like it.
UNIQLO would love to hear what styles of linen wear you most would love to wear so be as creative as you can in your answers
OUTFIT 1: White shirt
OUTFIT 2: Blue dress
Once you’ve commented below, you’ll go in the draw to win one of 5 $100 UNIQLO vouchers. You’ll be able to redeem this value when shopping online with a special code which I’ll send to winners.
The $100 credit voucher includes a free shipping offer. The credit will be valid for 6 months from the date of issue (so you can still pick something up when we’re full swing into Summer!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
T&C: Entry open to Australian residents only.
Competition opens on the 22nd of September and closes on the 29th of September 2015.
5x Winners will be drawn and contacted on the 30th of September.