Crazy in Love - Wedding Planning Workshop @ Monday, September 01, 2014

As people fall in love, the brain releases a certain set of chemicals…which act in a manner similar to amphetamines, stimulating the brain’s pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. Which is the 'Crazy in Love' feeling you get from being in love, the world just seems like a better place - and when I'm in that mode I mark easier than usual. ;) Probably not the best thing as I met le beau at work.

The other week I was delighted to find out I won tickets to a wedding planning workshop! The first of its kind I think - admittedly we haven't researched them at all as we're still on the inspiration stage, as we plan to book out venue/photographer/mains by mid 2017, and get married 2018 - with the condition that I've finished my masters by then. 

Pre-purchase stage we set expectations, I expect to learn things I don't know. Reading the itinerary I felt a bit stressed/overwhelmed as it's one of the first time we've looked at the wedding as a whole and not just elements. 

It first started at 9.30am with a fresh glass OJ in hand and a folder filled to the brim with great tips and plans in the other. Yes I know that's the wrong picture, but I didn't take all the pictures as I wasn't going to blog about the event in detail. We did a full day workshop (8hrs including breaks) designed for the DIY Bride.

Introducing Annie, the founder of 'Crazy in Love' with a background in accounting (budgeting is very important after all) and project management. After many years in different careers she has pursued her dream of creating these workshops to guide and de-stress DIY Brides like myself. Yes I did create that picture, got carried away and soon she was princess, with a big Cinderella skirt. 

This is 'The Wedding Planner Folder' an essential, the reference book for everything, with spaces to add your own notes. I would back-up every month, yes I back-up paper files too.

Why is there two sets of holes? The one on the right was the printing company, they went in too far so that messed up the folder. I redid them all (100-ish pages) because if I didn't I wouldn't actually use the folder. No I'm not the most attention to detail/anal person I have ever met, I met another girl, who might end up being my day coordinator. 

There's a main menu where every element of the wedding has been divided/sorted into five categories. Isn't life wonderful all organized? I'm someone who has draw dividers, clear plastic boxes and jars to organize my draws.

Here's one category *click to enlarge* we're including the groomsmen in the bridal party, and there's more flowers under 'Celebrate Us' aka the reception - I think. That would go under decorations, but try to minimize flowers as deco though, they're $$ and die fast.

Checklists and timelines/suggested ones were included in the folder, it reminds me of the one that's in the scene when the girls in Bridal Wars go to visit New York's most famous wedding planner, Marion St. Claire, who gives them a folder and then disspears till the day of the wedding.

Topics we discussed.... 
      -    Planning – how to stay on track with planning and avoid leaving it all to last minute 
      -    Budgeting – how to get your dream day within your budget and learn cost saving ideas
      -    Team building – how to get the best out of your bridal team and avoid the dramas 
      -    Decision making – how to make better decisions and avoid procrastinating 
      -    Stress management – how to contain the bridezilla when it all gets a bit much
      -    Suppliers – how to negotiate and manage your suppliers and avoid costly mistakes

Team building was a bit alien to me as we (I) am not having a bridal party like you typical wedding, well actually I might have just Lily as she volunteered. It's not that I have no friends, I didn't not ask them cause they're all guys, it's because a. everyone has their own busy lives b. they're not organized & reliable, I'm the planner.

Also if one of the groomsmen declares he ain't coming unless he can bring his fling of the month or child when we said no to plus ones (who know others there) or children (other than the flower girl and ring bearer) he can suck it. Unfortunately le beau mightn't agree, so this part was more for him than me.

Lots of tips were in the folder, though I will be adding much more.

Lunch is served. Sadly not possibly to get a bird's eyeview shot.

Savories, that's a pumpkin and caramelized onion tart.

Pancakes Zucchini Fritters 

Lunch was fantastic. I love food, I think I may have a problem. As it was lunch rather than high tea there was lots of savories, rather than sugar.The vegetarian quiche was the best I've never had good ones before, the savory pancakes were great too. We had the opportunity to try everything which I did. I had the best Chantilly cream I have ever had! It tastes like heaven and white chocolate.  

After lunch (my notes are out of order btw) they bought in the experts as they do at conferences we had a make-up artist, photographer and baker come in and give us a little FAQ about their role in your wedding.

Daniel from Djb World Photography has been to 38 countries and through 86 cities. How amazing is that? And he's not even old! Oh and he's very very tall and smiles a lot. We covered the basics, styles, packages and poses. He was quite good actually and definitely considered for our wedding like the make-up artist, though we haven't checked out prices yet.  

In wedding photography there's two styles, posed & glam, and journalistic a more story telling approach that you see when they feature real-life weddings on blogs. That's Daniel's style. We went through a checklist of things to look for in a photographer and posing tips! I am not good at posing, no examples required. :P

Two great tips are to do this thing called squinching (not the same as squinting), where you lift your lower eyelids so that you appear self-assured and smoldering. And to avoid the double chin in photos, jut your head forward, emu-style, with your chin slightly dropped and your forehead slightly forward. Turtle!

We wanted to ask more about the timing and lighting though didn't have time.

Next was hair & make-up with Deb from Perfect Bliss Beauty And Makeup, based in her home salon in Glen Waverley (end of a train line). What's the significance of someone working from home? They're generally much cheaper than any place you find at DJ/Myer.

Deb does airbrushing (yes just like how they paint a car) and it feels like a second skin, I've always wanted to try it, even since I came across it. It's $85 for that, with a $50 deposit for the trial. Not sure if it's $85 in total for the trial + day or $135... But I can check if anyone requests it. Deb also does tanning, nails and eyelashes that lasts for three weeks $85. She also does normal individual ones for $15 for a full set. 

It was recommended you spoil yourself and buy a high-end lipgloss/stick for your special day from e.g. mac, np or chanel. Is np high end? Because it isn't expensive.  

I'm suprized by how cheap make-up is, though as I said we haven't researched it yet, that and I'm not big on make-up, it actually makes me look worse when I do it myself, we have seen some make-up artists though it looks nice but nothing amazing.

An important question to ask your potential make-up artist is how many weddings she will cover in a day, because if they do more than one they will rush. Deb does up to two a day, if they have small bridal parties. Also make sure your MUA comes to you, it's just easier. Plus your photographer ain't coming to Myer to take your picture. 


Lastly was the baker, Jessicakes, on Sydney Rd from that location alone it indicates that it's going to be expensive. As most wedding cakes are covered in fondant to look nice the cake itself needs to be stronger than a light sponge (my favourite type of cake). So I expected something of a fruit cake (we have one buried in the backyard back home, wonder if it's still there) density or mud cake, fortunately it was nicer than that. It was slightly lighter and very moist - but not in a wrong/wet/soggy way. 

I learnt so much about the cake! Costs, style and that mud cakes can be nice - there was taste testings. Nothing blew me away, but the caramel was nice. I was very suprized about serving sizes! There's two sizes coffee and dessert, coffee is half the size, it is served when you have other desserts. I personally don't recommend this as I want the wedding cake to be the highlight served with ice cream and Chantilly cream. The dessert size is around the size of a bar of soap, but because it's dense it's not too much. 

Coffee Size: 1 inch x 1 inch x 4 inches (2.5cm x 2.5cm x 10cm)
Dessert Size: 1 inch x 2 inches x 4 inches (2.5cm x 5cm x 10cm)

Costs. Your classic 3 tier will start from $400 with no deco. It's 6" 8" 10" going down. That would serve 260 (coffee size) or 130 people as a dessert. Works out to be $3.07 a serve for the later. To cut costs have only the top real and the rest foam, also use a sheet cake (think Costco style) to serve. Should we save the top tier? No, it will not taste the same and isn't designed for that purpose.

Afternoon Tea.

A few more previews of the folder.

An activity! Maybe I jazzed it up too much... 

Thanks for the reminder that a tampon can kill you... All we're missing is mints & chocs.

To conclude the day we played a game and our team won :P I received a weekly planner, Cristina Re designed for Officeworks (making it affordable IMO) and my plus one got an emergency kit - which I have always wanted one of! Just never remotely high enough on my list of wants to buy though.

Guess what's in the box!

Those tealight candles smell amazing! Berries, cranberries maybe?

The workshop was held upstairs at 'Lucky Penny' in South Yarra with Vanessa doing catering. Great food, do try it if you're in the area. While I'm not into cafes and bunch, what am I into? O.O Other than sugar I'm not actually sure!... I'd like to come back and try this place sometime, before work.

I think these are salted caramel. The staff were very friendly, though there a relationship between their behaviour and the camera in my hand? Not sure.

There's a room in the back if you prefer somewhere quieter for a meetings. Why can't we have meetings here for work? It's because we have a cafe on-site (where only newbies eat, it's $$) and a ballroom for big meetings.

I like the styling of the place, with an emphasis on natural materials, and warm inviting lighting. The top right picture was taken at the bar upstairs, the room up there you can hire for small functions. 

Feedback - A workshop designed for couples would be cool. There was no soap in girl's bathroom, more of a venue thing. And I think it would be better to do a morning tea instead of afternoon, as you'd still be full from lunch.

Thank you so much for hosting this wonderful workshop Annie and Rachel! I have learnt so much and yet did not feel overwhelmed, perhaps as we have done years of research (started in 2011) and this has given me the opportunity to build upon that knowledge. 

Also I'd like to comment on Annie's excellent back-up skills aka Plan B. The projector failed and she was locked out of her office (no whiteboard) and yet she did an amazing job and was prepared with print outs and all.

Tickets are $300 for brides and $150 for +1s. Definitely worth it as you get so much information, and it's a great alternatively to hiring a wedding planner to go though each element with you. For more information, here's a link.

Will you be hiring a wedding planner for your big day?

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