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Wedding Reception Venues: Newcastle Highlights

Posted in Newcastle Weddings, Wedding Reception Venues on April 23rd, 2013 by HUNTER BRIDE

Waterfront Venues Newcastle

Waterfront Venues Newcastle

Choosing a reception venue is one of the biggest decisions you make when planning your wedding, and research is vital. The first step is to come up with some likely options, and contact them to find out what they offer. Do a quick visit, to get a general sense of the property. You can then narrow down your choices to a shortlist, ready for more in-depth research, or meetings.

When it comes to wedding reception venues, Newcastle has plenty of possibilities. A reception by the water is always a popular option. Or you might take advantage of Newcastle’s thriving culinary credentials, and enjoy a reception at one of the city’s newest fine dining establishments.

Style of reception

In choosing your reception venue, you’ll no doubt take into account the style of reception – formal meal, cocktail affair, perhaps dinner and dancing. You may be guided by the style of venue when you find somewhere you love, or you may have a full reception planned in your head before you even start your venue search.

Another option is to hold your reception at a restaurant, rather than at a dedicated reception venue. In either case, you’ll need to ensure the venue is suitable. Will the room size fit the anticipated number of guests? Is there a dance floor or space for dancing? Does the venue provide entertainment – or will you be able to bring along the string quartet or swing band you had in mind? Before phoning or visiting possible venues, create a list of all the relevant details – date, time, number of guests et cetera.

A meal to remember

Newcastle is a buzzing city with a laidback atmosphere, and a reputation for being welcoming. Newcastle has had something of a resurgence in popularity in recent years, which has seen an influx of fine dining restaurants – so there’s plenty of opportunity to discover wonderful cuisine.

Whether it’s a sit-down affair, or a casual cocktail function, food is part and parcel of most weddings. If you’ve found a venue that looks right, discuss the menu options. In most cases, you’ll be able to choose from a few suggested menus to tailor something for the occasion. When you send out your invitations, query if any of your guests are vegetarian, or if they have any food intolerances. Most restaurants and reception venues will be able to assist with a meal to suit. Do make a point to sample the food before booking.

Location, location, location

The location of your ceremony will obviously impact where you hold the reception. It makes sense to choose something in close proximity, with parking and good transport options (certainly easy to find in Newcastle).

Some reception venues may permit you to marry on site. If you’re interested, be sure to discuss this option early. It’s also a good idea to get in early for venues with ocean views, as they tend to book up quickly at peak times.

Other considerations

In deciding on a reception venue, there are other considerations, apart from location, style and menu options, that factor into your decision. As a guide, you’ll want to be very clear on:

- Total price and inclusions. Check if the venue is licenced only, or if you may bring alcohol.

- The start and finish time.

- If you have exclusive use of the space, particularly if the venue is a restaurant.

- Decorations – are any provided? Can you bring your own?

- Access times and options for you to deliver cake, and to decorate.

- Entertainment – can you bring entertainers? What equipment is provided; when can they have access to set up?

- Is there a microphone for speeches?

- Is there dimmable lighting?

Where to begin

The internet is a wonderful resource for wedding planning, and it can save you valuable time – and energy! If the reception is the next item on your wedding to-do list, Hunter Bride can help. Our directory listings of wedding reception venues, Newcastle, are an excellent place to start your search for the perfect wedding venue.



How to Set a Wedding Budget

Posted in Weddings General on March 16th, 2012 by Heidi Bolton

Bride and groom walking into the sunset

How to set a wedding budget

It’s time to start planning your wedding and your head is probably swimming with thoughts of dresses, cake and ceremony locations. While it is fun to be thinking about these items, there is one important thing you need to plan first: the wedding budget.

Setting a budget for your wedding is vital in ensuring the cost doesn’t get out of hand. It is far too easy to break the budget during the planning process without even realising it. The temptation of paying just an extra dollar or two per head here and there is high, but it all adds up in the end.

When setting the budget make sure you are realistic. This means being realistic with what you can afford but also being realistic with the fact that you will most likely go over the planned amount slightly. It’s a good idea to set aside an additional 5% in the budget for this overspend, and if you are lucky enough to not need it then you will have extra money to take with you on honeymoon!

Before you decide on the total budget amount, there is a conversation you need to have first. As awkward as it may feel, you need to work out who is paying for what. If your parents or the future in-laws have mentioned they would like to pay for part of the wedding you will need to find out upfront the amount they are planning to pay. A misunderstanding on who is paying for what could leave you seriously out of pocket down the track so discussing this at the beginning of planning will help you avoid any unexpected costs.

Once the total dollar amount has been agreed, divide the budget into categories. This will give you a clear picture of how much money you have available to spend on each item of the wedding. An example of a typical wedding budget breakdown is as follows:

- 50% on the reception. This includes drinks, cake, decorations and of course meals.

- 20% on photography and outfit. This includes outfits for both bride and groom and all accessories.

- 8% on flowers.

- 8% on music.

- 3% on stationery, including invites and places cards.

- 3% on bomboniere.

- 3% on rings for both the bride and groom.

- 3% on celebrant or Church.

- 2% on transportation.

Wedding dress and flowers

Setting a wedding budget

Dividing your budget into categories as above will help you keep track of, and prioritise, your spending. For example, if you happen to go over budget in one category you will then need to choose another category to take that money from in order to keep the bottom line in check. So is the extra money you want to spend on the wedding meal really worth forgoing the cute bombonieres you had your eye on?

Remembering all the smaller items and details in each category is important in budgeting. For example, if you set aside $2,000 for your wedding dress, bear in mind that this needs to cover shoes and accessories as well as any alterations needed. So you don’t have the entire $2,000 to spend on just the dress itself.

You should also take into account any trials you will need such as hair and makeup or meals at your reception venue when choosing your menu.

Once you start shopping around for quotes you may find that you simply don’t have enough money to pay for your dream wedding. This is a very common problem and the best way to tackle the issue is to try saving money where possible while not compromising the overall effect of the wedding. Here are some tips on how you can do this:

- Hold your wedding on a Sunday or a weekday as the reception venues usually have a deal on these days.

- Serve only beer and wine instead of having an open bar.

- Opt out of dessert and instead serve slices of wedding cake.

- Take the quality versus quantity approach by inviting less people.

If you follow all of these budgeting tips you will be able to start your married life on the right track by being debt free.

Written by Heidi Bolton



Two Play Strings

Posted in DJs, Music & Entertainment, Hunter Valley Weddings, Newcastle Weddings on March 3rd, 2012 by Heidi Bolton

Two Play StringsMusic and songs play a big part of your wedding day. Whether it is background music while your guests mingle or a song for walking down the aisle, you will find you are accompanied by music throughout the day.

It is because of this that it is so important to find the right band or DJ to help you, as what service they provide can help make your amazing day all that more special.

It is a tough decision for some brides and grooms on whether to have live music or use a DJ. A lot of people will get around this by having both, but at different times of the day.

Live music for the ceremony lends a very romantic, fairytale feel to the wedding, while a DJ can get the guests up and dancing at the reception after all the official parts of the day are over. Live music can also be great for when guests are having canapés and waiting for the bride and groom to arrive at the reception.

If you are considering having live music for your ceremony, you should speak to the amazing duo Two Play Strings. Dave and Catherine are both tertiary qualified musicians and their experience is evident through their performance.

Dave and Catherine play a violin and cello duo, which means their combined sound make for a romantic atmosphere for the start of your wedding day.

Through the playing of the strings, they will invoke feelings in the guests at each significant part of the ceremony. There will be expectation and calmness as the guests arrive, excitement as the ceremony is about to commence and suspense as the bride is arriving and everyone is trying to catch their first glimpse of her. Of course at the end of it, there will be joy as the bride and groom complete their vows and become husband and wife.

Two Play Strings have a large repertoire of music so you will be sure to find something you like. They can play popular wedding music such as Pachelbel’s Canon and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons but of course their talent doesn’t stop there. They can also play classical, romantic and modern periods as well as jazzy numbers. Every song they play will enhance the emotions of the day.

Two Play Strings cater specifically to Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, so they are very familiar with all of the locations of the area already. They can also travel further if need be so make sure you ask about packages outside of these areas.

Imagine a gorgeous church wedding in Newcastle or a romantic vineyard wedding in the Hunter Valley with the strings playing softly as your guests arrive. Being accompanied down the aisle by this beautiful music will heighten the mood of the moment, helping to ensure it is one you will never forget.

Written by Heidi Bolton



Wedding Trends for 2012

Posted in Weddings General on February 8th, 2012 by Heidi Bolton

If you are planning a wedding for 2012, you probably already have quite a few ideas up your sleeve about how you want the day to pan out. You may have had some of the ideas in your mind for years as you dreamt of your big day.

But you may also need some new ideas and are finding yourself wondering, what are the big wedding trends going to be in 2012? Well read on to find out …

The Wedding Dress

It is still, and possibly always will be, white or ivory for the bride. These two dresses are still the most popular choice but in 2012 it looks like strong colours such as black or red are beginning to gain momentum. They have a long way to go before they knock traditional wedding gowns off the #1 spot for dresses, but you might see a few more of these appearing throughout this year.

Black Wedding Dress

Black Wedding Dress

The Bouquet

Is a coloured wedding dress a bit too bold for you? Not to worry, white bouquets appear to be on the way out while vibrant, colourful ones are in. So if you need a splash of colour put it into your bouquet instead. Flowers of choice still remain to be hydrangeas, roses and orchids.

Colourful Wedding Bouquet

Colourful Wedding Bouquet

Bridesmaids

The big colours for 2012 bridesmaids are touted as being Plum and Violet.

Hair

Feathers are trending in hair design and even in the bouquet as well. Match the feathers in the bride’s bouquet to the ones in the bridesmaid’s hair to tie it all in or vice versa.

Photos and Videos

Professional photographers are the hottest thing once again, thanks mostly to social media. Who doesn’t want a perfect profile picture or a gorgeous album on Facebook to show off to friends? This includes having professional shots taken for engagement photos as well.

On more of a DIY note, videos are a huge hit, especially with the intent to upload them onto YouTube. The first dance is becoming more choreographed in the hope of becoming the next online sensation.

Couples are also opting to send out personal videos of themselves to wedding guests as part of the invitation or a ‘save the date’.

Dessert

Out with the cupcakes and in with the cake pops. Cake pops are bite-sized cakes presented on wooden sticks (much like a lollypop) which guests can easily take a serving of without having to wait for it to be cut. This doesn’t mean the wedding cake is out though. Cake pops are only there to be served with tea and coffee while the ‘real’ cake is sitting alongside the pops and is the masterpiece to be admired.

Cake Pops

Cake Pops

Entertainment

Photo booths were a big hit in 2011 and they are back stronger than ever for 2012. Last year we saw props being used to make the photos more fun and this will still be the case. However the photo booths will also now have a green backdrop, which means you can choose or create your own background picture.

The Honeymoon

Still gaining traction from 2011, the new honeymoon is being dubbed the ‘mega moon’. Why choose one honeymoon destination when you can choose three?

Brides and grooms plan to save money here and there on different wedding items and instead pump it into a long honeymoon to glamorous or exotic destinations such as Bora Bora and Sri Lanka.

A lot of people are also having destination weddings, which will make up the first leg of the honeymoon. For example, they wed in Malaysia with friends and family, and then continue on to Africa to start the real honeymoon.

Written by Heidi Bolton



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Supplier Etiquette – Working with Wedding Suppliers

Posted in Weddings General on February 6th, 2012 by Heidi Bolton

Supplier Etiquette – Working with Wedding Suppliers

Supplier Etiquette – Working with Wedding Suppliers

Organising a wedding is not a one-person job. And even if you are lucky enough to have your fiancé or a friend interested in being a huge part of the process, it isn’t even a two-person job. There are many other people you will be working with and relying on, and these all come in the form of your wedding suppliers.

These new names appearing on your contacts list each day will be playing a very important part of your wedding. So even though there may be some stressful times ahead, it’s a good idea to work as well as possible with these suppliers so you can achieve the end result you desire in the least painful way.

Remember some of these simple tips and you can expect the smoothest lead up to your wedding possible.

Don’t be Bridezilla

Your wedding is the most important thing happening in your life right now, but as much as it may pain you, you have to remember that your suppliers are working with a lot of different brides at any given time.

This isn’t to say you aren’t important to them, you are. And if you feel like you aren’t getting the best service possible then you may have to part ways so you can have the wedding of your dreams.

Generally though, you will find everyone wants the same outcome for your wedding, and you are all working towards that common goal. It is the supplier’s profession to help make your day perfect so there is no reason to doubt they have any other intention.

With this in mind, treat your suppliers respectfully. Basically, treat them the same way you would anyone who is doing you a service. If you need changes made, politely let them know. If they are doing a superb job, let them know that too. And although once your wedding is over it may be the last thing you feel like doing, you should consider sending a thank you note to all of the suppliers you were really happy with.

Be Prepared

When meeting with suppliers, come prepared. For example if you are briefing someone on the decorations you want at the reception venue then come armed with ideas of colour scheme, pictures cut out of magazines of things you like, thoughts on the table centerpieces etc. Any information you provide will help them come back to you with an idea that will closely match what you want.

If you honestly have no idea what you are after, then give them as much information about the other aspects of the wedding that you can. What colour are the bridesmaids wearing? Are you going for a casual or a formal feel? Is there anything that you definitely don’t want at your wedding? You’d be surprised at what they can do with this information. Remember, they work on weddings everyday for a living!

If you do want to make changes to what they have proposed, try to give as much feedback as possible. A simple ‘I don’t like it’ will not help the situation, but if you can point out the specific things you do or don’t like then they should be able to work with this.

Stay off the Phone!

As hard as it might be, don’t give in to your temptation to call your suppliers every day, or even every week in the lead up to your big day! These people are busy and have other weddings they are working on as well, ones that are going ahead much sooner than yours.

If you want to stay on top of things, call them monthly for a chat. Of course in the two or three weeks beforehand this changes and you are welcome to call them more frequently to make sure everything is tracking as planned. In fact, in the days before the wedding you may be on the phone to them several times a day!

Written by Heidi Bolton



Top 5 Celebrity Weddings of 2011

Posted in Weddings General on January 29th, 2012 by Heidi Bolton

Each year we see dozens of celebrity weddings gracing the pages of gossip magazines. 2011 was no exception with over 30 weddings to hit the headlines! They ranged from huge, elaborate affairs to smaller, private ceremonies.

Take a look at what we rated as the top 5 celebrity weddings of 2011.

5 – Nick Lachey and Vanessa Millanno, 15th July 2011

Nick Lachey and Vanessa Millanno

Nick Lachey and Vanessa Millanno

After 5 years of dating, Nick and Vanessa officially tied the knot this year.

There were only 35 guests invited, but there was nothing small about the wedding. The mysterious invitation was in the form of a plane ticket, but no one was told where they were headed.

They soon discovered the four-day affair was taking place at Sir Richard Branson’s private home on Necker Island, which is part of the British Virgin Islands.

The four days were planned meticulously with a full itinerary of activities for the guests. On the Friday, the ceremony was held at sunset in Branson’s living room. Keeping it in the family, the nuptials were officiated by Nick’s father, John.

After dinner, the party was moved down to the beach, which looked magical under twinkling lights strung throughout the trees.

4 – Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, 1st July 2011

Kate Moss and Jamie Hince

Kate Moss and Jamie Hince

Kate Moss married Jamie in an elegant, vintage style wedding in Southrop, England. It was a “Great Gatsby” style wedding and Kate wore a 30’s-inspired John Galliano gown. For ‘something blue’ she wore blue-soled Manolo Blahniks. However, the groom was ‘something blue’ too as he sported a blue YSL suit.

The reception was held in Edwardian marquees lined up in Kate’s country home. There was also a circus tent and teepees for the children to sleep in.

Kate had two more outfit changes throughout the evening, both created by Stella McCartney. The first was an evening gown with beads, the second a backless mini dress designed to party.

The 6-tier cake had a different flavor per layer.

3 – Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell, 9th October 2011

Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell

Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell

Paul McCartney married Nancy Shevell this year, making it his third marriage. It was a small gathering of only 30 guests and the ceremony itself took place at the registrar’s office in the Old Marylebone Town Hall in London.

Not surprisingly, both bride and groom wore outfits designed by Stella McCartney, Paul’s daughter. The bride had a second outfit for the reception, a plum-coloured dress also designed by Stella McCartney.

The reception was held at Paul’s home in St. John’s Wood where a vegetarian menu was served. Paul surprised Nancy by singing to her at the reception, bringing tears to both their eyes.

They had a second wedding celebration with family and friends at the Bowery Hotel in New York.

2 – Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, 20th August 2011

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

No detail was left out in the marriage of Kim and Kris. The elaborate affair is said to have cost in the range of $10 million making it one of the most expensive weddings of all time. Not bad for a marriage that lasted only 72 days! Debate still continues around whether it was a genuine marriage or a publicity stunt, especially after it was reported that the Kardashian’s actually made a profit from the wedding through magazine and TV deals.

400 guests were asked to wear either black or white. Kim wore a strapless Vera Wang gown to walk down the aisle, one of three Vera Wang outfits she would change into throughout the day. She topped it off with a 65-carat diamond drop headpiece and a bracelet with two diamond K’s that tied in a knot.

The reception was held in a marquee with the theme: Old-Hollywood Glamour. Kim and Kris had a wedding cake that was 6 foot tall and cost a cool $10k.

As gift bags for the guests, they handed out heart-shaped Krispy Kreme donuts, jeweled thongs, Voluspa candles and Kim’s own fragrance.

1 – Kate Middleton and Prince William, 29th April 2011

Kate Middleton and Prince William

Kate Middleton and Prince William

Of course, no 2011 celebrity-wedding list would be complete without the most anticipated wedding of the year, the royal wedding.

The excitement and hype surrounding this wedding had all sorts of people tuning in to watch live as Kate walked down the aisle to her Prince. Even people who aren’t interested in the royals couldn’t help but be swept up in the fairytale romance of it all.

The formal ceremony was held at Westminster Abbey. There were 1,900 guests at the church and many millions more watching from the TV at home.

Kate’s sister and maid of honour, Pippa, almost stole the show in her fitted, white cowl neck dress by Alice Temperley.

Kate chose more classic with a long-sleeved lace dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Her Cartier tiara, made in 1936, was leant to her by the Queen.

After the ceremony, the first reception was a lunch at Buckingham Palace for 650 guests, hosted by the Queen. Later that night Prince Charles hosted a dinner and dance for the newlyweds and 350 guests, which was also held at Buckingham Palace. For this, Kate changed into a second gown, also by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.

Do you find any pieces of inspiration from celebrity weddings that you see in the magazines?

Written by Heidi Bolton



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Wedding Invitations – Buy or DIY?

Posted in Wedding Invitations on November 27th, 2011 by Heidi Bolton

Wedding Invitations

Wedding Invitations – Buy or DIY?

You are still quite a few months out from the wedding, but it is time to start thinking about your invitations.

Wedding invitations should be sent at least 6 weeks prior to the date, so once you factor in the time it takes to source your invitations or make them yourself, it is never too early to get started on them.

There is a lot of decision making surrounding the wedding invitations, such as theme, colours and how much information to include, but the first thing you need to decide is: will you buy or DIY?

DIY is the pinnacle of personalisation. The first real personal touch from the bride and groom to the guests they wish to be at their wedding day. Made from the heart, a DIY invite can create excitement amongst the guests. However, DIY invitations sometimes may not have the same sophistication or elegance that a bought invitation can have.

For some people, DIY isn’t even an option. For starters, you might hate arts and craft and know you can’t do a good job on them. Or perhaps you value time over money and think it is definitely worth every penny to have your invites taken care of for you.

Or like the majority of brides, you might not be sure either way and are currently weighing up the pros and cons of both options. To help you, we have listed some things you should consider when making this big decision.

Money

One of the main purposes behind DIY invitations is the fact that they should save you money – a rare occurrence when planning a wedding! After all, you are not paying for someone else’s design and you are printing and assembling the invitations yourself. This means you are cutting out the middleman and the professionals, therefore saving you money.

However, if you don’t have all the right tools that a professional would have – such as cutting, gluing and embossing tools – then you will need to factor in the purchase of these in your overall costs.

Also factor in the cost of printing. Often, a professional wedding invitation company will have a good deal with a printer due to the amount of business they give them, and an individual usually cannot compete.

Make sure you work out your DIY costs and then get a quote from a company to see how much you really are saving.

DIY Wedding Invitations?

DIY Wedding Invitations?

Time

Another huge factor to consider is time. If you are planning to DIY, make sure you factor in time to create a design you like (you will probably need to experiment with this a bit before settling on the final design), do a test print and assembly and then of course time to do the real print and assembly. This should all be done so you can have the invites in the mail at least 6 weeks prior to the wedding.

Personal Design and Theme

Another big reason for having handmade invitations is that you can create your own personal theme and style. If you have something specific in mind for your wedding, you may find it hard to come across a ready-made invitation that suits you.

If you DIY, you can then use this same theme and design throughout the whole wedding. Place cards, order of service books, menus etc can all be made from the same materials and with the same font for an overall matching theme. Of course, this would mean those things all need to be handmade as well, so factor that into your timeline!

Finally, you need to remember that DIY is just not for everyone. You need to have time, patience and be able to put fiddly things together neatly enough to send out.

You might have a fantastic idea, but can you really create what you have in mind? It might not be something you’d like to admit, but it does need to be considered that perhaps you can’t do the job as well as you’d like it done. In these cases, it is best to leave it to the professionals so you end up with the perfect invitation.

Hopefully some of these points have helped you to decide on whether to make or buy your invitations!

Written by Heidi Bolton



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Waterfront Venues Newcastle

Posted in Lake Macquarie Weddings, Newcastle Weddings, Wedding Reception Venues on November 19th, 2011 by Heidi Bolton

North of Sydney, New South Wales has some amazing places for brides and grooms looking for a special waterfront wedding.

Newcastle and Lake Macquarie are among those places and both offer some breath-taking areas that will help make your wedding day even more perfect than you imagined.

Newcastle is the second largest city in New South Wales so it’s no surprise that there are so many gorgeous places for you to choose from when searching for that right wedding venue.

Once known as primarily an industrial area, Newcastle has grown into a city of art and culture. The local artists, and there are many, have plenty of places to draw inspiration from. Surrounded by eye-catching surf beaches and dense bushwalking tracks, Newcastle can be a visual delight. A wedding on one of these beaches is very romantic and always impresses bridal parties and guests on the day.

Lake Macquarie offers a different type of waterfront. As the lake spans over 170kms, there is plenty of space along the foreshore to find the perfect location for your day. If you don’t want to hold your ceremony at the same place as your reception, you can find ample amounts of parkland and scenic areas along the waters edge to have a wedding with unparalleled views of the water. The photo opportunities are endless.

As they are both by the water, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie are perfect locations for a wedding with sparkling views. So if it is waterfront you desire for your wedding, then you should check out Waterfront Venues Newcastle.

Waterfront Venues Newcastle is a collection of some of the best wedding venues Newcastle has to offer. All of the venues can host not only the reception but the ceremony too. As they have more than 30-years experience in the restaurant, banquet and catering business, you can relax knowing your wedding is in good hands.

No matter which place you choose, you will have a coordinator dedicated to that venue that will help you. With assistance on the food and wine selection, as well as flowers, lighting and music, you will be able to just relax and enjoy the moment!

Choose from one of three gorgeous locations and venues:

Dixon Park Surf Lifesaving Club

Dixon Park Beach is the perfect place for a beachfront ceremony, followed shortly after by a reception that is just a stone’s throw away. Dixon Park Surf Lifesaving Club is the ultimate waterfront destination in Newcastle with its uninterrupted views of the sand and the surf. Treat your guests to a spectacular view up the coastline to Port Stephens and down south to Redhead Beach on the large verandah. Inside, there is room for dinner and drinks and of course space to dance the night away.

Dixon Park Surf Lifesaving Club

Dixon Park Surf Lifesaving Club

Awaba House

If you are looking for a wedding venue that is nothing but pure class and elegance, then look no further than Awaba House. This amazing venue is set amongst 15 acres of parkland that is right on the waterfront of Lake Macquarie. No two weddings at Awaba House are the same as you get to choose where to hold the ceremony from several locations on the grounds. The reception will be held in the Awaba House function room where there is a glass conservatory with a silk lined ceiling, giving it a stunning and romantic marquee feel. Even your arrival will be impressive if you choose to make use of the deep-water jetty and arrive by boat.

Awaba House

Awaba House

Caves Beachside

Just 30 minutes south of Newcastle, the new Caves Beachside Resort is positioned to look over the unspoiled shoreline of Caves Beach in Lake Macquarie. With three function areas within the resort, Caves Beachside can accommodate large weddings, or more intimate ones. Wedding guests can stay in the same location as the wedding meaning you will get an entire weekend of quality time with your guests instead of trying to see them all just on the wedding night. With the amazing view and the new facilities, your wedding will be the talk of the town for months after the event.

Caves Beachside

Caves Beachside

Written by Heidi Bolton



First 5 Steps to Take When Planning Your Wedding

Posted in Weddings General on October 25th, 2011 by Heidi Bolton

Planning Your Wedding

First 5 Steps to Take When Planning Your Wedding

Congratulations on your engagement! You’ve bought the engagement ring, announced it to your friends and family and you may have even had an engagement party by now … but where to from here?

You might have an idea about the type of wedding you want, but which steps are the most vital to take first when planning it? We have listed below the first five steps that all soon-to-be bride and grooms should take. Once these have been sorted the timeline and planning process will naturally start to fall into place.

1 – Buy a Journal or Scrapbook

This is a nice and easy small step for a newly engaged couple to take. And the best part is this simple step will fast become your best friend during planning. Use the scrapbook to store pictures you have cut out of magazines, write down notes to yourself when inspiration strikes and even paste in some past wedding invites and place cards that you have received before. But the most important part, keep a list of names, phone numbers and other contact details of all suppliers you are planning to use for your wedding. Even keeping each supplier quote you are given in this book will be handy so it is all in one spot for ease of reference. Write down your appointment times and your thoughts on a place as soon as the appointment is over. You will be so grateful to have all of this information in one place that can easily be lugged to work, appointments and pulled out on the sofa in the evening.

2 – Set a Budget

Set yourself a realistic wedding budget and stick to it. Try to be as thorough as possible by allocating money to all of the major areas such as: Reception, photography, invitations, food and beverages (if they are not already included in your reception package), cars, decorations and of course the outfits.

When you are tempted to break the budget on one of these aspects, take a look at which category you can ‘steal’ the budget from to pay for it. It makes it much easier to prioritise when you look at it in that way, i.e. is better invitation stock really more important than that dress you have your eye on?

3 – Set the Date

A good place to start is to begin by agreeing with your fiancé on some vital points such as whether you want a summer or a winter wedding. Once you have narrowed down to a month that you are happy with, try to be as flexible with the date as possible. That is because once you find the reception or ceremony location of your dreams you may have to compromise on the date if yours has already been taken. So unless there is a specific date you must be married on for whatever reason, try to keep an open mind on this point.

4 – Ceremony and Reception Venue

Venues often book out a year in advance, so it is important to secure this before anything else. Once you have found a place you love, lock it in. This means you have now cemented a date, a time and a location and everything else can be planned and worked around this. Your timeline can now be worked out based on a real end date and when planning flowers and cars etc you can get a solid quote, as you know the specifics of the date and location of your wedding.

5 – Choose the Wedding Party

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen aren’t there just to turn up on the day. Choose them early, as they can become a huge help with the planning and preparations in the lead up to the big day. Don’t be afraid to set them to work!

Finish these five steps and you will already be well on your way with your wedding planning. Good luck!

Written by Heidi Bolton



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Pre-Wedding Beauty Routines

Posted in Hair & Makeup, Health & Beauty on October 14th, 2011 by Heidi Bolton

Beautiful Bride

Pre-Wedding Beauty Routines

With all of the fuss and excitement that planning a wedding can bring, it is no surprise that many brides forget about themselves in the lead up to the big day. There are just too many things to do and complete to take time out for some pampering, isn’t there? No. There is always time to make sure you are looking your best!

There would be nothing worse than hosting the wedding of the year only to have the bride look like a zombie walking down the aisle, with flaking dry skin, dark circles under the eyes and dull hair. Luckily, with a bit of planning you can avoid this look completely and instead be the gorgeous, glowing bride you should be.

All it takes is a plan. Even with your wedding, you have a full appointment book and a strict checklist so why wouldn’t you make your beauty routine part of it? Once it is written on the list, in black and white, you are far more likely to stick to it. And while it may feel indulgent at the time while having your facial, you will thank yourself on the big day when you are looking radiant.

Beauty planning can start as early as 12 months before the wedding day. It may sound extreme, but it will be worth it in the end. Try to follow this guideline to help you plan your beauty routine in advance:

12 Months Out

- Plan your beauty budget upfront so you know what can realistically be achieved. Some brides like to have a monthly facial in the lead-up to the wedding as skin renews itself every 28-days. But if this won’t fit within your budget, simply buy a good exfoliator to keep in your shower.

- If the work you are planning on doing is more intensive than just a facial, such as a face-peel or laser hair-removal treatment, then now is the time to do it. You still have time to experiment with new products and procedures without the worry of having to look perfect and fresh in just a few weeks time.

- Begin an exercise routine – it is never too early to get into good exercise habits.

- If you were considering a change in hair colour for your wedding, now is the time to start experimenting. It will give your hair a chance to grow out if you find you don’t like the new look after all.

3 Months Out

- If you haven’t already started a diet and exercise routine now is the time to really get stuck into it. Hit the gym, go for jogs and swap those French Fries for a healthy salad.

- If you are planning on applying fake tan, or having a spray tan, you should practice now. Test out a few salons to find the best one for you or if you are applying it yourself try some different products to make sure you find the best shade and get the application process down pat.

- Even though this might be a fairly stressful time for you, it is unfortunately time to kick the nail biting habit. Stop the chomping now so nails will be in top form in three months time.

1-Week Out

- Go to the hairdressers to have your hair touched up by getting rid of any roots, but don’t try a new colour.

- Have a manicure and pedicure and while you are at it, ask them for the works with a foot scrub and deep moisturising treatment to relieve any dryness.

The Wedding Day

- Pack a little kit of supplies such as gloss and nail polish to take with you in case of emergency.

- Relax and enjoy!

Written by Heidi Bolton