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Your Wedding trend guide for 2018

Holy wow, yes, another year down and we already have ourselves... January 2018.
What an exciting year ahead full of amazing clients, opportunities and beautiful aesthetics in event and wedding design.

In mid-2017 I was honoured to be asked to contribute to The International Wedding Trend Report.
A report for wedding professionals and couples who are keen to keep their finger on the wedding pulse when it comes to all facids of tying the knot.
Trends from Decor, Traditions, Venues, Linen, Florals + More.
This year the report broadens their report with not only catching UK trends, but interviewing professionals from right around the globe to get the full scoop on how different cultures and nationalities celebrate their big day for the upcoming season.

You can view the video report here.
And sign up for your FREE copy of the full global report here.

In a nut shell, we break down our predictions for the season ahead for you.

 

SIMPLE + SOPHISICATED.

Less is more.
More stunning, more sophisticated, more healthy for your hip-pocket and more room for share plates on the table!
We're thrilled to see styling trends shift away from the cluttered, over the top designs to pulling back and keeping things neat and simple.
No more cluttering tables with oversize blooms and pieces of stationary for every single detail.
Think mixed shapes and textured tables, classic seating, beautiful textured linens, stationary that doubles the menu with the name card and carefully designed florals.

Tables are kept simple whilst couples aim for a focal point in ceiling installations which remain a hot trend for 2018 however out come the festoons which make way for gorgeous crystal chandeliers and beaded pendents. Beautiful!

Top two images via Lara Hotz Photography & She Designs
 

THE DRESS:

The runways have spoken and below we reveal the top trends for wedding gowns this season.

1. Show some shoulder.
Strapless gowns with capped sleeves are big for 2018. This moves away from the 1990's debutante strapless look we've see before and adds an elegant touch with beautiful fold in the fabric for an elegant finish to a traditional style gown.
https://www.glamour.com/gallery/wedding-dress-trends-2018#2

Top image: Rita Vinieris 'Alyne' Spring 2018 collection. POA
Bottom Image: Lola Varna gown. Via Hello May here. POA


2. Dripping in detail.
Runways are reflecting the opulent style of sheer fabrics dripping in an abundance of hand-sewn details. In particular, Pearls. Very intricate and very elegant with free-flowing fabrics that create dreamy movement in the gown.

Top image: Jane Hill 'Dolce' Gown SS17. POA
Bottom Image: Julie Vino gown, Venice Collection. POA.


3. Black detailing.
Black detailing accents the runways this season with accessories making a subtle statement in contrast to a white gown. Think belts, embellishments, pendant earrings and hair accessories.

Top Image: Marchesa Gown. Accessories unknown. POA
Middle Image: Sarah Seven Gown - The Romantics II Collection. POA. via Brides.com
Bottom Image: Samantha Wills Bridal Earrings. 'Whiskey & Roses' AU$69.99 via One Day Bridal. 
 

...And for Brides on a budget:

Top Image: Esther Boutique 'Bellflower' off the shoulder lace dress. $259.95
Middle Image: Esther Boutique 'Hyacinth' Maxi Dress in Ivory $179.95
Bottom Image: Esther Boutique 'Filia' Fringe Earrings $59.95
 

TRADITIONS: What's hot and what is not.

The first thing I always say when a client asks me... 'Is this right?' or 'Is that what we're meant to do?' is, there are honestly no more rules when it comes to your nuptials. How you say them, plan them or celebrate them.
The day is yours to design and orchestrate how ever you like. That's the fun part! Tradition is solely based on what is important to you. There are no rules, only suggestions.
Remember what is important to you and let your wedding day reflect those traits...not because someone says you have to.
In saying that, there are definitely trends appearing as more and more of our couples take on the idea of doing things their way.
Here's what's trending, and what isn't so much anymore.

 IN:
- Cutting of the Cake. Wedding cakes are still a great tradition, however couples are putting a slight spin on this one. Getting the formality of cutting the cake out of the way before the reception really kicks into gear and doubling their cake as a dessert option.
No more storing in your freezer for months and trying to palm left overs off like it's Christmas day. Yay!

- Cocktail hour between ceremony & reception. This one is goodie to keep because whilst you're off having fun with your bridal party and photographer, your guests will need to be kept entertained.. and fed.
Light refreshments and canapés are often the go-to during this time as it encourages your guests to start mingling and loosens up the crowd a little after the formalities.
Another tip of advice here; ensure you have seating available for your elderly, pregnant and guests in heels. They'll love you for it!

Top Image: The Lane
Second Image: Etc. Event Styling
Third Image: Dann Event Hire + The Eventurer
Fourth Image: The Gypsy Roma
Bottom Image: Etc. Event Styling
 

OUT:
- Spending the night before apart. Now couples are using this time for pre-wedding catch ups and having a group gathering rather than split the wedding party and staying seperate until the ceremony. Couples get ready together, and walk down the aisle together.

- Reception bridal party announcement. Couples are preferring to rock up to the reception WITH their guests rather than the usual big formal announcement. They want to get amongst the party more than ever which also translates to our next tradition that's leaving us...

- No more bridal tables! This is one we're loving. No more separation from the crowd. No more front facing table decor and if you're like us.. no more looking like you're sitting centre stage for everyone to stare at. Yes! We love that couples are now choosing to sit amongst their guests. This gives them more opportunity to mingle and is one tradition we're pleased to see slowly dwindle.

Top Image: Etc. Event Styling
Bottom Image: Gorgeous Occasions 
 

COLOURS OF THE SEASON:

A variation in colour combos are predicted to be hot for 2018 with Pantone releasing their top picks of Mauve, Coconut Milk and Harbourside mist to paint the picture.

1. Violet enters the mix this year. Don't think violet chair sashes, faux silks and actual lavender flowers on tables (PLEASE, NO!)
Cast you inspiration towards hints of violet colours. Mixed with soft apricots, duck egg blues and blush pinks. Like you were beachside at sunset when those tones set in the summer sky.

Top Image: Etc. Event Styling -Styled shoot
Second Image: Pinterest 'Seaside Sunsets'
Third Image: Nomad Styling , Melbourne
Bottom Image: Flos Botanical Studio, Melbourne
 

2. Move out Scandi and welcome back to the darker stained timbers we've seen before BUT let's add muted colours in natural/bush themed tones.
Think dark timber tables, coloured organic-styled flowers, sheer fabrics to compliment (not completely cover) and raw materials for name cards and menus.
This is all about capturing natural elements, giving them a pop of subtle colour and keeping things classy with an Aussie twist as we see boho gone.

A word for this trend?
If you were a 2017 Block addict like we were, then you'll remember Neil Wittacker's word of the season; 'Hygge' -Or as we pronounce it, 'Hooga'.
The Norwegian word adopted by the Danish that has taken the world by storm meaning "well-being." it's a feeling, an experience, a sensation. It means creating a warm atmosphere. It is enjoying the good things in life with good people.
So, naturally warmer toned colours, comfy fabrics, warm candle light and share plates go well with this style.
- Byron Bay have this style down pat!

Above two images: The Events Lounge


3. Tropics. On the contrary Big, Bold, punchy prints and bespoke neon signage are a big hit also.
Loud colours and a whole lot of fun all strung together seamlessly, of course.

Above Image: The Style Co.

Above Image: The Style Co.

Now, the trick to perfecting your colour palette isn't to go full blow with everything.
Introduce these trending colours in subtle details.
For cocktail weddings; use in accent cushions, tea light holders, signage and flowers.
For sit-down dinner weddings; The calligraphy on the name card, linen napkins, tea light holders, flowers or the odd coloured chair to add into the neutral mix.

Remember, when the space is set up you see everything on mass. Not just the one mock-table set up you create to initially visualise.
You have to remember to see the space as a whole. This will help you avoid walking in on the day to a see of a dominant colour.

 

FLOWERS A MUST:

The trend of incorporating fresh flowers is as hot as ever as couples remain true to the feeling of bringing the outdoors inside when it comes to reception blooms.
For ceremonies, florals are kept simple rather than large impactful statements like we've seen before. This is due to couples opting for natural outdoor backdrops to their nuptials this year.

To carry; Brides are moving toward smaller bouquets as a pose to the oversized whimsical look we saw last year. Bouquets are kept simple, still incorporating texture and colour but not quite as 'wild' as we've seen in the past.
Rounded posies are still in whilst the tear-drop style firmly remains a thing of the 80's.

 

OPEN AIR:

With the idea of function rooms long gone, we saw a shift towards marquees in 2016/2017 but now we're getting up close with Mother Nature more than ever with open-air style receptions and ceremonies.
Whilst this slightly goes against our inner wedding-planner's advice of ALWAYS ensuring a wet-weather back up is in place, this is taking the concept of an outdoor wedding to a whole new amazing level.
Here's how. And here's how to ensure you've got yourself covered juuuuust in case the heavens do open up on your wedding day.

Top Image: Open air chapel at The Yarra Valley Estate
Second Image: Hamptons Marquee - For Georgeous, available from Kata Lane
Third Image: Tipi - Kata Lane
Bottom Image: The 'Atrium' Marquee - Harry The Hirer

 

PHOTOGRAPHY:

Move out Photo booths, in 2018 we're leaving it to the professionals. 
Couples opt for a duo of professional photographers to capture their day as we see the trend of high quality photo albums bigger than ever as a pose to just a USB of your day.
Couples are treasuring the keepsake moments of their day and rightly so!

Photography styles that are big for 2018:
- Drones.
- First Look.
- Candid rather than posed.
- All day photography. From getting ready to breaking out loose on the d'floor later.
- Decor shots (Pre-guest arrival)
- Videography is back! ...but quality is a must. Think mini movie-style, not backyard style.

Top Image: Kas Richards
Bottom Image: Alex Marks

 

ENTERTAIN US:

With entertainment a huge must for 2018, couples are looking beyond your stock-standard DJ and going for a live-entertainment feel.
Think live bands, additional instruments such as cellos, a saxophonist etc paired with bands that get amongst the crowd and get them fired up.
Couples want a pumping party rather than a formal dance these days.

 

And that's a wrap!
We're thrilled to dive into 2018 with some amazing clients, unbelievable designs and an abundance of opportunity that we can't wait to share with you all.

A big Congrats to all the love birds out there tying the knot in the year ahead. We can't wait to see how you all celebrate.

We hope 2018 brings all that you wish for and would love to know how you're planning to celebrate in style this year... leave us a comment below!

All our love, Lauren and the Etc. Events Team x


...And just real quick:

TOP 2017 trends to do-away with:

- Photo booths. Replace me with a GIF machine.
- Flower Crowns. Replace me with opulent pendant earrings.
- Oversized Bridal bouquets. Replace me with smaller posies.
- Guest Favours, or Bonbonnieres. Replace me with a high-quality food and beverage menu.

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As one (shop) door closes...

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Success.
Every one of us has our own idea of what it means to be successful.
To some it's measured by achievements. Some say wealth. Possessions.
The title under your name on the email footer. 
Late last year I made the decision to stop chasing whatever success meant
and swap it with chasing the most important things in life I value.

If you could name the top five values in your life that you use or believe in, every single day to better yourself and help govern the life you're striving to live, what would they be?

It's when I put pen to paper that I became clear that my values didn't match my actions.
My actions reflected my hobbies and because I wasn't servicing my values, it took a huge toll on my health and well being, my friendships and relationships,
my work ethic... and the ripple effect continued.

When it comes to business I know how detrimental it is to begin with
a vision, a mission and a set of values.
When you set these out you always find a close correlation to your own personal VMV.

Rewind to early last year,  I felt like I wanted a purpose. Something to do, to build and grow.
You know, something that gave me a reason to get up out of bed every morning.
And so I chased a hobby and made an error of judgement.
Our Etc. Events vision, mission and values sat framed in the store I had created
but never hung upon the walls. Every day I read them like it was almost confirmation this is what my day was going to be based around. But these were two completely different businesses
so of course those values never matched my actions.

I know how testing, timely, exhausting, happy and exciting business is. I have been through it before. But it doesn't serve anyone if it isn't serving what you value most in life.
The most important things to me are my Friends and Family, My health and mindset,
Being available and able to give and share inspiration and educate,
Freedom to wonder, and Time -to enjoy, stop, reflect, just sit.
When I opened House of Bloom, I didn't have these things in mind. I had accidentally replaced it with a routine that ultimately drained any chance of me being able to do what I truly wanted.
And so; I have made the decision to put my own values first. Above any status, any wealth, any possessions and certainly above that title on my email footer because at the end of the day none of those things are worth anything if you don't have your family and friends,
your healthy mindset, your freedom, your down-time or that genuine smile on your face
where you just glow.

This is where I close the doors to a shop that represents a jam-packed eight months of learning and growing. Meeting so many wonderful locals who supported me and genuinely loved our products and service. Having a team of people around me who embraced the shop like it was their own and rode every wave with me. To having the most lovely neighbours, corporate clients and business friendships who took a punt in supporting my new shop.
I sincerely want to thank each and every one of you for your kindness and support.
It truly means the world.

As the House of Bloom chapter closes, I am genuinely so excited for my next one to begin.
My passion for weddings and events is still as strong as ever and is still growing faster than I can keep up with so I am eager to dive back into Etc. Events full time once again. 
I'll still be playing with flowers and have some ideas around this for a time in the future.
For the first time in a while I am so excited to slow life down, enjoy it and live it instead of working in it.

2017 has taught me this:
- I am not superwomen. I can't do everything (...all at once)
- Make choices around my values. Not around quick actions.
- Slow down. 
- Sit on ideas for a little while before jumping into them head first with out any safety gear! 
- Make time for the things I want. Not excuses.
- Clear my calendar instead of filling it for routine and 'purpose'.
- Be gracious and thankful... for both the amazing days and the errors in judgement.
- Nothing is a failure if you learned something from it because there is nothing more powerful than a wealth of knowledge and education.

So, what can you take away from 2017?
And what can you implement in 2018 for your best and fullest year yet?

From the bottom of my heart. I sincerely thank you Bairnsdale.
- Lauren

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 9.52.10 AM.png

FAQ:

What this means for existing House of Bloom wedding clients:
Quotes and bookings won't be affected at all for existing House of Bloom wedding clients.
This now simply means all bookings will be under our Etc. Events brand. Still managed and created by myself.

What about future enquiries?
We ask all enquiries for events and weddings please be made via Etc. Events contact.

Corporate accounts:
Enquiries for corporate floral accounts will now be made via Etc. Events.
Floral accounts will no longer be available for small or 'daily' orders. Minimum spends/quantities will come into play as this will now fall under an 'event' enquiry.

Where will Etc. Events be based?
We will remain based in Bairnsdale and still continue to cater throughout Gippsland, Melbourne and Victoria-wide. This will remain unchanged.


CLOSING DOWN SALE:

Bairnsdale folk; we will be selling a range of glass vases, sundries, gift cards, teas to clear.
Along with our furnishings such as leather woven rugs, work benches,
emerald velvet chairs, dining table sets + more.

Closing down sale will be on a weekend, date to be announced in the near future.
Pick ups only.
Stay tuned on our House of Bloom Facebook page for more details soon.
 

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Love-stuck on V'day?

Problem solved. 
Wether you're in the honeymoon stage of your relationship,
about to pop the big question stage of your relationship
or a veteran of your own great love story...
We have the perfect gift guide for all lovers of love this Valentine's day
that won't break the bank or put you high on the 'corny' scale
but rather a sure brownie-point winner.

 

F O R     T H E     F L O W E R     L O V E R S  :

The Bundle Collective -  Melbourne   I   For Him and Her. From $50  

The Bundle Collective -  Melbourne   I   For Him and Her. From $50  

Flower Bowl - Geelong VIC  I  High Tea Cup from $55

Flower Bowl - Geelong VIC  I  High Tea Cup from $55

 


F O R     T H E     F O O D I E    L O V E R S :

The Bundle Collective   I   The Melbourne Man

The Bundle Collective   I   The Melbourne Man

The Stables Of Como    I   South Yarra, Melbourne. Gourmet Picnic Hamper from $60 per person

The Stables Of Como    I   South Yarra, Melbourne. Gourmet Picnic Hamper from $60 per person

Zumbo Patisserie, Melbourne    I    Coconut sponge, raspberry & lychee jam, coconut chantilly cream with fresh strawberries & lychee. 

Zumbo Patisserie, Melbourne    I    Coconut sponge, raspberry & lychee jam, coconut chantilly cream with fresh strawberries & lychee. 

Arbor Bar & Eatery   I   South Bank, Melbourne CBD

Arbor Bar & Eatery   I   South Bank, Melbourne CBD

 

F O R    T H E     A C T I V I T Y    L O V E R S :

Moonlight Cinema  I  Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth or Sydney. From $19 per adult

Moonlight Cinema  I  Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth or Sydney. From $19 per adult

Notel Melbourne   I   CBD Accomodation. From $395 per night

Notel Melbourne   I   CBD Accomodation. From $395 per night

Segway Geelong   I   Geelong VIC. From $80

Segway Geelong   I   Geelong VIC. From $80

St Jeromes Hotel    I    Melbourne CBD from $420 per night

St Jeromes Hotel    I    Melbourne CBD from $420 per night

 

F O R    T H E    H O U S E - P R O U D    L O V E R S :

Stoned Crystals  I  Varied pricing

Stoned Crystals  I  Varied pricing

Sally Mustang   I    Yoga Mats. From $129

Sally Mustang   I    Yoga Mats. From $129

Botanics of Melbourne  I  Cactus Garden from $139

Botanics of Melbourne  I  Cactus Garden from $139

Bonnie & Neil   I   Screen-printed Bean Bags from $230

Bonnie & Neil   I   Screen-printed Bean Bags from $230

 

F O R    T H E     B E A U T Y     L O V E R S :

Coco Daydream   I   Mandle  [The candle for Him]  from $25.50

Coco Daydream   I   Mandle  [The candle for Him]  from $25.50

Frank Body   I   Lip scrub & Balm Duo from $16.95

Frank Body   I   Lip scrub & Balm Duo from $16.95

Peninsula Hot Springs   I   Mornington Peninsular VIC. From $35 per person

Peninsula Hot Springs   I   Mornington Peninsular VIC. From $35 per person

 

F O R    T H E    A C C E S S O R Y   L O V E R S :

Sleeping with the enemy   I    Embroidered/Personalised PJ Sets. From $99

Sleeping with the enemy   I    Embroidered/Personalised PJ Sets. From $99

Emmy Lou   I   Earrings from $10

Emmy Lou   I   Earrings from $10

The Daily Edited   I   Personalised Monogram Leather Goods. From $49.95

The Daily Edited   I   Personalised Monogram Leather Goods. From $49.95

 

HUNGRY FOR MORE OUT-OF-THE-BOX IDEAS?

 Event planning    I    Visual Merchandising    I   Creative Business Mentoring  
NOW AVAILABLE HERE

L E T ' S    W O R K   T O G E T H E R .

Etc. Events   I   Paper heart installation. Visual Merchandising

Etc. Events   I   Paper heart installation. Visual Merchandising

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Best DIY Backyard Soirees

In the true spirit of Aus day, we dive into the Etc. archives to bring together our favourite backyard party ideas to feast your DIY eyes on.

Behold, a montage of the all time best of the humble 'Backyard soirees' we've had the pleasure of creating over the past 5 years along with inspiration from our fellow Australian Stylists too as well as our top guidelines on how you too can throw an awesome backyard celebration!

Hot little Etc tip 1: Put your creative cap on by incorporating recycled materials into your party, giving them a new use with a clever twist.

Hot little Etc tip 2: Get crafty and pay a visit to good old Spotlight and pick up some linen fabrics, twine, ply cut outs and craft paint and put those into swing to create bunting and signage for your party.

Hot little Etc tip 3: Spend your Saturday morning visiting your local Op Shops and Garage Sales. Keep your eye out for cool pieces of vintage or retro furnishings, rugs, and lighting to provide different seating options and quirky styling.

Hot little Etc tip 4: Ok, who doesn't know a handy tradie these days.. put those building, measuring and ute skills into action and pay a trip to Bunnings (our favourite store!) and wonder down the timber aisles to take home and build your own Giant Jenga, Naughts and Crosses or Coights games to keep your guests entertained with some old fashioned lawn games.

Hot little Etc tip 5: All those sauce bottles, jam jars and tomato tins you usually toss away into the garbage.. keep them! Use these as vessels for your foliage or blooms. See the labels on to add that extra little kick of quirk.


Wether it be your backyard lawn, the back shed, decking or a cool tent... go back to basics and inject some creative DIY elements into your Backyard styling. We promise you'll have a lot of fun doing so!

Concept and styling: Etc. Event Styling
Also featuring the talents of: Party with lenzo, The Style Co, Georgeous Occasions, WedShed, Nomad Styling.
Numerous Photographer's work featured.

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H+W Hack #ONE

It's day eight in the new year, you're feeling fresh, inspired and ready to tackle what ever life throws at you. BUT... where the heck do you even start when it comes to truly harnessing the motivation to becoming the best version of yourself?

We break down our first Health & Wellbeing hack for twenty-seventeen and delve into the straight-up raw reasons why you deserve the best out of this year and how to get it with our top four easy steps.

Source: Samantha Wills Instagram

Source: Samantha Wills Instagram

Step one:
Quit the excuses.

Sounds pretty simple right? But there is in-fact more depth to this than meets the eye.
A lot of the time we get caught up in a off-balanced routine where we throw around excuses like 'I don't have enough time' or 'I don't have enough money' or 'I don't know how to do that!' but rarely do we step back and take a look at the bigger picture here. Instead we manifest that little 'I can't' into a mountain of despair and we give up, throw ourselves a little pity party and go into a negative downfall. 

Let's take a look at Barak Obama for a second here.
Busy man, right? Guess what; He has the same 24 hours in his day that we do. I can bet he doesn't say 'Sorry I can't really address the nation right now because I don't time'.
What about Nelson Mandela. 'Ohhhh I can't stand up for human rights because I don't how'.
These greats used their 24 hours efficiently, educated themselves and surrounded themselves with likeminded people to help reach those goals. And they were once out of the headlines and like every single one of us.
My point being, stop the excuses because we're all human and all capable. It comes down to how badly you want it and that will determine how much time, energy, motivation and passion you pour into your own wellbeing. Mandela didn't give up after his numerous prosecutions thinking the world was against him. He believed in himself and in his cause and persisted. If he believed in himself that much then why can't we all delicate a little belief to our own selves. Aren't we worth that? Heck yes we are!

Source: The Daily Mark Instagram

Source: The Daily Mark Instagram

Step Two:
Your 100 things:

An all important piece of life is to remember to do the things that make you happy. Set goals and smash them out of the park.
The best thing I discovered was curating a list of your 100 things to do this year.
- Grab a pen, a piece of paper and number it 1-100.
- Write down 100 things you want to do, see, achieve in 2017. 

It doesn't have to be one hundred epic outrageous things, although putting the big scary goals on there isn't such a bad thing, but it can be the simple little things also. It can be creative, adventurous, silly or serious. It can be whatever you like.

For example, My twenty-sixteen list featured things like; Move to the city, Buy fresh produce from the markets, Learn yoga, Find a job I truly love, Ride a bike, Fly on a airplane, Attend a workshop....
All little slices of the things that make me happiest.

This is THE perfect time for your 100 thing list and I can guarantee this time next year when you read through your list, you will have ticked things off without even realising it. 
At new years I went through my list and ticked off what I had done over the past year and it's actually so fulfilling to read what you'd noted down and tick off those things.
Best of all, there's zero pressure to tick everything off. If you tick ten things off in the year then you're flying!
Making this goal setting list plants a little seed in your mind and you'll find subconsciously you'll start doing the things you love like it's second nature. 

Source: Lisa Messenger Instagram

Source: Lisa Messenger Instagram

Step Three:
It's the little things that count:

- Smile more
- Pay a compliment
- Show gratitude

Those three little things can be practiced daily and takes little effort but goes such a long way.

In our busy day-to-day lives amongst the hustle and bustle of work we tend to walk like we're on a mission at the speed of light. Headphone in, head tilted down at our phones or starring into the pavement and our faces so serious. Why?
Unplug and be present as to whats going on around you. Set the alarm 10 minutes earlier so you can breathe and take your time. Look up towards the sun and smile more. 

How many times have you walked passed someone, served a customer or come into the office and noticed that person's outfit is gorg!? Tell them. 
A simple, 'Love your jacket, where did you get it from' or 'Your makeup looks great today' or 'You really nailed that presentation, awesome work!' or the ultimate simple thing like wishing your retail server a nice day goes a long long way.
Pay a compliment, wish someone a nice day and the universe can only be good to you. 

Source: Lisa Messenger Instagram

Source: Lisa Messenger Instagram

Step Four:
My favourite F's:

Food - Nourish your body with the freshest foods you can get your hands on. Wether your a budding Master Chef or not, get in the kitchen and try cooking a new recipe. It's about learning what's in your food by cooking from scratch and avoiding those pre-jarred marinades etc.
Try ditching the wines, pre-packaged foods and take-out for one week and I promise your body will love you for it.
Stuck for inspiration? We're LOVING this pulled pork in vietnamese pancake recipe from the ultimate boss-babe Michelle Bidges. You can find it here in her new recipe book 'Food For Life'

Image Source: Spa + Clinic

Image Source: Spa + Clinic

Fitness - It goes without saying that endorphins do wonders for you so why wouldn't you want more of it!? Now this kind of relates back to the excuses topic at number one, but let's put a couple of easy steps in place to eliminate that devil on your shoulder.
- No time? Set the alarm 10 minutes earlier and do a mini workout before work.
- No Motivation? Before you go to bed, put your gym clothes at the end of your bed ready for when that alarm goes off. The hardest part is putting those running shoes on and just get going.
- No money for a trainer? Download the seven minute workout app here:
  Read the Urban list's blog on Melbourne's best free workout spots.
  Grab a buddy and your dog and go for a walk or run.

Friends (and family) - Surround yourself with the people that mean the most to you. These guys will support you, cheer for you, advise you and lift you. Get social, show off your new cooking skills and enjoy yourself in good company.

Source: Samantha Wills Instagram

Source: Samantha Wills Instagram

If your a Bride, A Mother, A Workaholic (that's me!) or your average Joe; Every single one of you deserve to be the best version of you. And once you jump onto that path of self happiness and nourishment, it becomes a little addictive and super contagious.

Your vibe attracts tribe!
- Lauren x

 

Read some good tips here?
Share with your gal-pals and get motivated together! 

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What's hot for 2017 - Your wedding style guide

It's the all important question on every bride's lips... what's hot and what's no longer for the 2017 wedding season ahead.
We've trotted the online globe in search of our top picks for the Australian bride's go-to style guide for the new year ahead. Stumbling across swoon-worthy details that are hitting our shores next year as well as past trends we bid farewell, strap yourselves in for our best inspirational wedding ride yet!

ONE. Crowning Glory:
Not just for the race that stops the nation anymore, we bid farewell to the beautiful fresh floral crowns and say hello to gorgeous detailed crowns designed by top Australian milliners adding a touch of royalty to your bride-style and we are swooning over this look!

Top - Bottom: 1. Vydia Instagram and De Millinery. 2. Jane Hill Bridal. 3. Viktoria Novak.

TWO. Let them eat Antipasto:
Yessss! If you're as big a fan of savoury grazing stations as we are, then this hot trend is sure to get your tastebuds excited. Fine local produce remains a high importance on your big day and is now considered a must to help keep your guests' bellies full especially during the intermission between ceremony and reception.
But wait, it gets better. Roaming plates of canapés will stick around a while longer but creating a jaw dropping grazing station is the big hit for 2017. We're taking tables covered in savoury goodness and styled to insta-worthy perfection. A gourmet centrepiece for this period within your evening and paired with cocktails and bubbles and a few fun games is sure to keep your guests entertained on all levels.

Top - Bottom: 1. Your platter matters. 2. Platter Co. 3. Love find Co.

THREE. Chancing it with Mother Nature:
Couples are living on the edge a little in 2017, and well like it!
Whilst our best advice is to always ensure you have a wet-weather backup plan, we're absolutely loving the open-air trend to outdoor wedding receptions.
Marquee framed structures without the roof and sides give a beautiful free-flowing atmosphere and if you're lucky to have that beautiful summer breeze, then you're on to a sure winner!
Styling these structures is also a Wedding Stylist's dream as the options are endless for lighting, suspended florals and gorgeous table centrepieces. This trend is perfect for those receptions with a view, allowing your guests to spill outdoors and soak in all that gorgeous scenery without having to harshly section off zones with walls and dividers.
This option also works beautifully for a sunset reception without having to swelter in the summer sunshine. Love love love this trend!

Top - Bottom: 1. White Events. 2. After the rock weddings. 3. Katie Harmsworth Photography. 4. MOD Wedding. 5. The Lane. 6. Pinterest.

FOUR. The bold lip:
In the new year, Brides are really embracing making a statement on their wedding day and truly stamping it with their own 'brand' rather than following tradition, which we love. So, makeup is no exception here. Straight off the runways, Brides are embracing these beauty trends on their own runway down the aisle. Bold lips

Top - Bottom: 1. Chantelle Baker Makeup for The Style Co. 2. Loho Bride. 3. Bridal Musings.

FIVE. Dreamy draping:
Soft, free-flowing, dreamy and elegant. All resinate perfectly with this styling trend and although it has made an appearance in 2016, we see this look ramping up in the new year and carried through from decorating to wardrobe.
This look is less of a structured and neatly pressed style and more of a 'free' style that instantly relaxes you because of the lack of harsh lines.
From ceiling draping, backdrops and wedding arches to bridal party gowns and hair styles. This look puts you on cloud nine and leaves room for fate and the imagination to take lead, instantly making your wedding experience a relaxed and a dreamy day. 
Playing with soft textures such as chiffon and silks and pairing them against beauiftul furniture and architecture really highlights this beautiful style. We can't wait to style more of this look in the new year!

Top - Bottom: 1. Anna Campbell Bridal. 2. Jane Hill Bridal. 3. One Day Bridal. 4. Nomad Styling. 5. Etc Events. 6. Georgeous. 7. The Lane.

SIX. Wild-garden inspired florals:
We're so delighted this look is sticking around for another wedding season. 
Giving the effect that your centrepieces are still growing freely as they would in the garden is absolute beauty. This style of floral arranging right throughout your wedding works incredibly well with most styles of weddings. From the dreamy draping look, to even a contrast to your structured and clean-line style, displaying your blooms how mother nature intended will continue to enhance your day as the perfect accessory... you might just have to get first dibs on taking them home afterwards because we guarantee your guests will want to keep these beauties and we certainly can't blame them. Just gorgeous.

Top - Bottom: 1. Cecilia Fox. 2. Dear Delilah. 3. The Details Co. 4. Dear Delilah for Etc. Events. 5. Cecilia Fox.

SEVEN. Bringing back Balloons:
Creative installations are still a must during 2017. Wether that be with your antipasto tables or florals and lighting dripping from the ceiling but in the new year we see the return of a party favourite - the humble Balloon.
We're not talking about the ones on a stick for the middle of your tables, we're talking cascading oversized installations upon beautiful architecture with hints of floral or metallic detailing.
If you're after a showstopping talking point or an epic Photo Booth opportunity, these beauties are a must!

Top - Bottom: All images via Belle Balloons

EIGHT. Short and Sweet:
Long gone are the lengthy ceremonies of one hour or more. We see a rise in keeping your nuptials personal but short and sweet, keeping this element of the day to 20-30minutes tops.
Along with this new trait we see the tradition of the Bride arriving late, also long gone. Brides are punctual and only leave their guests waiting for her arrival no longer than 10 minutes.
Couples are eager to to start the celebration and mingle with their guests and are becoming more mindful of warm weather during these lengthy ceremonies. More and more couple are opting for a true relaxed feel to the entire day and moving away from strict traditions and lengthy speeches, ceremonies and first dances. 

NINE. What Bonbonnieres?
Throwing the celebration of the century with top company, amazing food and contagious dance floor moves seems to enough when it comes to gift-giving to your guests.
Bonbonnieres (or guest favours) are no longer considered a necessity as couples are saving their pennies on the novelty gifts and instead throwing a fantastic experience for their family and friends and we believe that your guests aren't necessarily expecting these details anymore.
A wedding is all about who you're with and the atmosphere. Those are the details that make your day a stand-out and we're so excited to see couples adopting this non-tradition along with their guests. Our tip; save your pennies and put it towards that Antipasto table ;)

TEN: Colour trend - Our pick:
There are loads of gorgeous colour combinations out there, and our advice is to always go with something that resonates with you BUT if we had to pick a jaw-dropping colour combo, we can't go past muted tones of grey, peach, pink and soft champagne with touches of metallic gold that bounce beautifully off hints of dark burgundy & burnt warm hues.

Top - Bottom: 1. Gloss Creative. 2. Sheridan J Hung. 3. Cecilia Fox for Gloss Creative. 4. Boutierre Girls.

From all of us here at Etc. we'd like to thank you for your wonderful support throughout 2016 and we wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year! 
See you all in twenty-seventeen! xx

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Five years on, I stopped and smelled the Roses

Hello to all our valued readers, Insta followers, Friends and Family (because let's be honest, I still share my OMG moments with my Mum, so she's probably reading this!)

Firstly, it's great to be back! I haven't written a solid post for quite some time and in a moment I will share my reasons but I just want to say how happy it makes me feel to reconnect with our amazing audience and get back into my inspiring groove again in hopes to nudge a little 'Aha!' moment in my readers.

I love love love writing and connecting with an audience and sharing my highs and lows and lessons in between with you all. You may have read our start-up story online or on social media and may gather that Family to me is like nothing else. Ours sick together... sometimes in a supporting way and sometimes in a 'annoyingly family' kind of way (Ok, I am the eldest of all the grandchildren and probably the blondest so I cop my fair share of smart arse comments from the younger ones haha) But through personal as well as professional highs and lows, the rocks of our family were always there for me. That being my two favourite women, My Mother and my Grandmother. 

After every client knock-back, after every businessman/high school friend /teacher/colleague/supplier not taking my vision seriously they were always there to pick me up and reassure me. They reassured me I wasn't crazy or too ambitious or not worthy enough. To them, I mattered.
From the very beginning my Mum has been a part of our team helping sew, calculate, setup, pack down and photograph all of our events and my Grandmother always there at the end of a massive hot day to greet us with Ginger Beer after work, receiving a posy of flowers from the wedding setup and asking if she dyed her hair red would that make her cool enough to join our team.

After beginning with writing the love stories of our couples online when we shared their story with our audience, I had quite a few people tell me I had a knack for writing really nice things about these couples. I was like, really!?... I mean I actually really cared about our clients and fell in love with their wedding and their story as if it were my own but I didn't ever think there was anything more to that. And thats when my Grandmother told me it came from a good place and thats what made all the difference. 
So, after having my Mum ask me to write on Birthday cards and then Grandma asking me to share my blog posts with her I was encouraged to do something more with it.
And this is when The Etc. Effect Magazine was born.

A carefully curated mini magazine that featured the kind of visuals and creative talent you just couldn't stop flicking through, backed up with actual useful content to educate our readers on topics that mattered and solved the problems that kept them lying awake at night thinking about, articles with real substance to the wedding industry all bound in a beautiful fabric cover with a hand-sewn spine. Oh the details!
My Grandmother was presented the first ever copy rolled off the press. I felt this belonged to her for all the amazing support she had given me right throughout my life.
We then launched the first Edition, on the house, at our debut at the Melbourne One Fine Day Wedding Fair.

Over two days we had 550 couples leave the Royal Exhibition Building with a copy of our hot little mag, another 300+ couples with our postcards and a further 250+ couples with our business card. We ran completely out!
I had emails asking if we had any more copies of The Etc. Effect and so we went into re-print and set up a web page to handle enquiries. It was absolutely nuts! I couldn't quite believe it and all of this excitement was shared in my Grandmother's lounge room. A pinch-me kind of moment for sure.

The next chapter for us was to make the move to the Big Smoke to pursue our market and the lifestyle we longed to live (Hello south Melbourne coffee at our doorstep!)
The week before the big move, we sadly lost Grandma to a long battle with illness. At 71 she'd left us and it tore my heart out. Family is what had kept me grounded all my life and now who was I going to go to for advice or to share the excitement of booking another client, selling another copy of the magazine, doing another interview. 
I tried, but I just couldn't bring myself to write another edition of the magazine. The words wouldn't flow, I actually couldn't put my heart into it and felt if I published it I'd be cheating my audience. Fooling them into the amazing inspiring Lauren I was trying to be again.

Eight months have past since she left us now. Every time we pack up a wedding and unload into the storage shed I still go to hand her a vase of flowers from the wedding or fall on her couch exhausted but instead I take a breath and smile knowing she's looking down on us and sharing that same excitement we used to.
I still take a ginger beer from time to time but we now donate the flowers to the nursing home my Pop now resides in, in memory of Grandma and to share that same happiness with everyone there that I used to share with her.

Our last wedding for the year was yesterday and a trip back home reminded me of why I started this company. My artistic little brother had painted our company Vision, Mission and Values which are still displayed in my parent's office where it all began. I stood there yesterday and read these and reconnected with our Why.
I started this company to share and celebrate all those amazing milestones in our lives. Some the big ones like a Wedding and some the small ones like 'I just had THE best day ever!' The point being we don't need a huge excuse or budget to celebrate with loved ones and at the time, in my community I felt like this contagious feeling had dwindled so I wanted to bring it back in a loud and creative way. 
The thing is, without those little celebrations and nudges of encouragement we often don't hold belief that we can achieve the things we want or that we are deserving of opportunities. And what better way to start off an exciting new chapter together than encompassing thee value in an amazing wedding day. 
This is why I love talking about such a topic, because who knows what spark will ignite in us all if we stopped and took a moment to appreciate and celebrate.

I drove back to Melbourne tonight chatting with a new friend who asked what my next big venture would be. I mentioned the magazine and he asked why I had stopped writing. 
I got home and realised the reason was my Grandma but the answer was also my Grandma.
Funny how life gives you nudges of encouragement like that. So with a glass of wine and a few tears I now share this little story to appreciate and celebrate.

Best wishes,
Lauren x
 

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Maintaining your Bride-chilla

How to take control of your wedding ...and your life during the planning process.

We all know how easy it can be to get swept up in the magic of wedding planning
but it can also quickly turn from excitement to 'work' but it doesn't have to be this way.

Our creative director Lauren answers your most frequently asked questions
and gives us some helpful tips in turning your Bride-zilla into a Bride-chilla.


It's all a little daunting. Where is the best place to start planning?

The best place to start your wedding planning is to firstly decide on a date for the wedding.
From here I recommend researching these top five wedding categories who are the first to be booked out during wedding season.
1. Venue for both Ceremony & Reception
2. Wedding Photographer
3. Celebrant
4. Wedding planner/stylist
5. Caterer


The best places to find the perfect vendors in these categories can be researched via our favourite resources here:
Online:
1. One Fine Day
2. WedShed
3. Ivory Tribe
In print:
4.
Hello May Magazine
5. White Magazine
6. Testimonials.
Ask your friends, venues, everyone on who they found to be a dream to work with on their wedding day and ensure you check out testimonials on these suppliers' websites.

 

 

Everyone has a opinion on my wedding. 
How do I handle everyone's input all at once?

It is only natural for your friends and family to be just as excited about your upcoming day as you are.
However suggestions and advice can quickly turn into a blunt gesture and make you question some of your own decisions.
It's been said before but it's simple and true. It's your day, and your day only.
I'm a huge advocate for branding the day with your own quirkiness, personality and humour
and making it a real reflection of who you are as a couple.
A wedding should be as unique as you are, so although friends and family can have useful advice,
and we should always remain open to learning new things,
don't feel pressured into a right and wrong way to do things based on traditions
or how your friends and family have done their own weddings.
Keep it unique and keep it you.

Now, this is all well and good but how do we communicate this to our insistent loved ones?
1. Remember they are coming from a good place. They will always have your best interests at heart and want the best for you. 
2. Just like a relationship, Communication is key.
We can't read each other's minds and therefore need to voice our love, our praise, our concern.
Simply have a chat with these people and gently let them know where you stand.
Keep is casual. No one likes an 'intervention' situation so take them out for a coffee, go on a walk together,
make an afternoon tea date (cake sweetens any situation haha) and just gently thank them for their advice,
reassure them that it is valued advice and that you and your partner want to keep it genuine to who you uniquely both are
and that it would mean the world to have their faith and support in your decision with this.
Assure them you have everyone's interests at heart but you do want the day to be just for your and your partner
and this decision backs that and gives you both such excitement in planning this day.
3. Remember to still include them in some of your planning.
Like dress fittings or tastings, so they still feel like they're valued in this process.
4. Eat more cake. Who doesn't love cake!




Is there such thing as a Wedding/Life balance?

Absolutely! Just like a work/life balance, you need to maintain
a wedding/life balance.
Most of us spend a decent percent of our lives at work therefore need to ensure we still enjoy life outside of work and take time out for ourselves in order to nurture our wellbeing.
The same goes for wedding planning. Sometimes (only if you let it) it can feel like an added job to your resume. It is a big task but it doesn't have to take over your life.
Here are my top three tips for maintaing that balance to achieve a zen Bride vibe.


1. Do what you love. Weather it's going for a walk, brunch dates, catching up with friends, sewing quilts.
Just keep doing what you love. This is your way of giving back to yourself and grounding yourself.
If we work work work and don't factor in time to enjoy the things we love then we can quickly spiral into a
stressed out version of ourselves.
2. Excerise. It's a natural release of endorphins and it makes us feel amazing. 
If you love the gym, work on smashing some personal targets. 
If you love a more gentle form of exercise, take up yoga.
It lengthens you, concentrates on your breathing and strengthens your mind and your body.
If you're not really the exercise type, grab the dog or some girlfriends and walk to your coffee shop rather than drive.
Walk to get the groceries instead of drive.
Just simply getting outdoors and soaking up that vitamin D can do wonders!
3. Make time for you and your partner. Keep up those dinner dates, movie dates or even couch time to just talk to each other.
Don't lose sight of the things you do as a couple and don't replace them with wedding planning together.
Stay connected to yourself and your partner and your wedding planning will seriously be a fun process. 

 

The cost of a wedding is overwhelming. How do I manage this? 

These days, yes, the cost of an average wedding is usually more than you would expect
but there are many tools you can use to lower the anxiety around money.
1. Budget. Budget. Budget some more.
Gain quotes and price lists from your vendors to see what each one offers and their pricing.
This will give you a guide as to how much these categories will amount to.
You must ensure these suppliers genuinely get along with you. If a cheaper supplier doesn't have that same connection with you both
and passion for your wedding, then it's more likely than not that you will get what you are paying for.
2. Over budget? Communicate with your favourite suppliers on how they can help you achieve the look/feel/taste within your price range.
Don't be afraid to voice your budget either. Wedding vendors are great problem-solvers and quick thinkers
so if there's a substitute or alternative they can advise on then this will only benefit you more.
A good vendor won't rip you off if you voice your budget,
this is purely to give them boundaries when designing and quoting accurately for you.
3. Choose suppliers with friends.
Great suppliers will have great friends in the business and are often able to package things up
and score some great deals for you by binding together their services.
4. Track your spending. 
Use a excel spreadsheet to track your spendings and keep an eye on your budget.
There are also some amazing apps out there to assist you with this like 'The Wedding Budget Calculator' for $2.99.  Or Easy Weddings have made a handy template for you to follow here.
5. Maintain a good relationship with money.
An amazing read for feeling confident about your finances is this Lisa Messenger book, Money and Mindfulness $29.95.




My partner isn't too interested in wedding appointments. How do I get them involved without forcing?

Ok some girls and blokes out there don't share a common interest in choosing flowers or picking decorations like some of us do,
and that's ok. We can't combine a lack of interest of flowers to a lack of interest in marrying you. 
The key here is to know what things they do enjoy, and encourage their input or suggestions in these areas.
1.  A big important factor of the wedding is the food. Everyone loves to eat and loves to eat well. 
So this is usually a good starting point for fiancé involvement. Ask them along to some food and beverage tastings and make a fun day out of it. Even perhaps bring along some friends and make it a group day out.
2. Suits & Dresses. Guys or gals, this is always a fun group day out also when purchasing the suits and frocks. Mix in some afternoon beverages and make a un day out of it with your friends and bridal party.



The overarching theme here is to keep it relaxed and fun.
Stick to taking time out for yourself and as a couple.
Remember to keep doing the things you love and seek the right people to give the right advice and assistance.
Communicate well with your partner, friends, family and suppliers
and you have yourself a recipe for a relaxed and seamless wedding experience, I promise.


Enjoy the journey!
- Lauren x

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Autumn in the Valley

Dripping in jewel autumn florals, we created a stunning ceremony setting in the Yarra Valley.
With a feature of natural timber textures to pay tribute to the stunning surroundings of the Valley paired with rich jewel tones to celebrate the colours of Autumn.
A simple yet striking feature for the newlyweds to say I do.

A big thank you to all our contributors for this occasion.
We love elaborating with wonderful creatives
& what a gorgeous Ceremony setting we achieved indeed! x

Design & Styling: Etc. Event Styling
Florals: Dear Delilah Flowers for Etc. Event Styling
Furniture & Arbour hire: Heartwood Hire for Etc. Event Styling
Venue: Yarra Valley Racing Club, Yarra Glen VIC
Photography: Etc. Event Styling

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What a Woman.

My Grandmother is a force to be reckoned with.
How she raised 5 fabulous children and influenced 9 grandchildren to become the amazing souls we are today is beyond words.
Yesterday she sadly lost her battle with illness and we are left with a hole in our hearts that will never be quite the same again.

For those who got to meet her, my team, she always thought so highly of you all
and if she were here today she'd still be force-feeding you with Tim Tams and cans of lemonade after a wedding bump-out.

This is a tribute to an incredible lady who had such a contagious positive attitude which lifted me through my many highs and lows. 
When many doubted my grand ideas she backed me 110% and always encouraged me to be the best version of myself. 
It takes a lot of people to operate a well-oiled machine, and it's fair to say my Grandmother was a major part in the success I have had in following my dreams.

She always encouraged me to write, telling me I had a knack for stringing words together and saying I need to put them into a book.
Since she planted this seed, I have dabbled in blog and article writing which has lead me to a path of releasing our mini magazine,
which will continue to grow and be a dedication to such a humble lady.
I am so excited to write in honour of her and have the world read along with us.

Words can't quite explain the loss we feel for you Grandma.
You were truly one in a million and I will never forget the many many amazing memories you left us with.
So here is a toast to a beautiful lady.
Always smiling, always positive, always in our corner cheering us on,
always making sure our bellies were full and faces were smiling.
You will be incredibly missed Grandma.
We love you xx

 

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Q&A Industry Insider with WedShed

Our pals at WedShed invited us to a little Q&A to gather some insight into the business-side of the wedding industry and share with other like-minded wedding folk.
Founder and Director of Etc. Events; Lauren Pool shares her honest advice, experiences and insight into how to tackle life in the wedding industry.
We're sharing this feature from WedShed in hopes that it can inspire other go-getters to overcome their hurdles and band together to really shine in this industry we're oh-so passionate about.
Enjoy!

 
After Charli and Steve said 'I do'. Image: Nikita Leyshan.

After Charli and Steve said 'I do'. Image: Nikita Leyshan.


Who Are you?

Lauren. Loz. Lozza. Poolio.

 

How did you get into your line of work?

I originally studied visual merchandising at RMIT and fell in love with the event styling segment of my studies.
I pursued work experience with some of Melbourne's top companies and decided to create my own brand back home in rural VIC where there was a massive gap in the market for an event planner and stylist who puts their client's own style first… not the colour of a chair sash (eeeek!).

 

When did you launch your business?

Etc. Events launched in November 2011.
 


What skills have you taught yourself since launching
and what have you decided is best to outsource?

I've sunk my teeth into learning floristry, and entrepreneurial studies which taught me a lot about how to effectively operate my brand as we continued to grow.

For me personally; I've learnt the more outsourcing we can do, the more effective we are in exceeding client expectations and delivering a seamless experience from enquiry to post-wedding. I used to do absolutely EVERYTHING myself. From the meetings to bookwork, floristry, prop making, card writing. You name it, it was all done by hand from scratch. We now employ a full time florist, stationary suppliers and we are growing our styling team who will assist with client meetings/design concepts and proposals.

I've learnt to outsource my weaknesses and hire people who truly get you and your vision.
This now allows me to take a step back and work ON the business more so than IN it.

 

What key things did you have in place before you launched your business?

An ABN, logo, Business Name and Facebook page.
I really wish I had of gotten my finances organised and systemised earlier though.

 

Advice from the Pros talk on stage at the 2015 EG Wedding Expo. Image: Hayley Smith

Advice from the Pros talk on stage at the 2015 EG Wedding Expo. Image: Hayley Smith


Do you think there are any preconceptions of the wedding industry from people who don't work in the wedding industry?
If yes, how do you think we overcome these?

I was once told straight to my face that apparently I earned $1,000 per hour.
This guy was getting married and came up to me and just stated his case.
I replied with two questions. 1) Why do I work part time at McCafe?  2) Why do I still live with my parents?
He had no rebuttal.

So many people believe with the word 'Wedding' comes an instant markup of price. This seriously bugs me because if only they could see our bills, our wages and our tax bills would they understand how much money we actually make a profit on.

I believe the way to overcome this is to simply educate those around you on the matter.
I've shown my staff the breakdowns of our invoicing for weddings. They can clearly see the amount charged, amount we spend, amount for taxation purposes and our profit margin on each job. I did this because I didn't want them thinking what we charged is what we earned, and our team now have full respect for me and the brand and they can see just what goes into these expenses in a wedding.
I have also written blog content on the matter and continue to write articles on 'The truth about the wedding markup' to try and educate the wider community.

I am also 100% upfront and honest to our clients when they have questions about the fees we charge.
I take the time to explain the inner-mechanics of these details and this soon lowers their insecurities around the subject.
I believe in taking the time to help people understand the behind-the-scenes work that goes in to developing their amazing day.
If people don't know the industry, then how can they possibly know the truth about this topic? So, let's tell them!

 

What's the biggest obstacle you've faced in your business
and how did you resolve it?

I'm unsure if it's because I was from a small town or not but I copped a hell of a lot of bullying and rumour-spreading about me and my business right when we started kicking goals on a national level. I boil it down to a bit of tall poppy syndrome but I overcame it by staying true to myself.
I, my friends, family and colleagues knew who the real Lauren was and I just let it play out as I knew these businesses were only damaging their name by bullying us over social media.

I did have to take measures to block these people from contacting our social media pages, and then I suppose they grew tired of it all.
I just kept my head down and focussed on my goals and soon enough, we started achieving them!

Don't get me wrong, I cried, drank a few glasses of wine and confided in my mum, but you've got to pick yourself up because only then do you prove to yourself just how strong you truly are. 

 

Behind the scenes of our Boho Spring Fashion Shoot. Image: Light and Type Photography. Florals: Dear Delilah Florist.

Behind the scenes of our Boho Spring Fashion Shoot. Image: Light and Type Photography. Florals: Dear Delilah Florist.


How do you avoid getting distracted if you're working solo?

I set myself tasks. And unless it's really super important, I don't leave that task unless I've ticked it off. I'm terrible with starting one thing and then leaping over to another. I find a tick-sheet helps you feel like you're being productive and ticking things off.

 

What's the biggest risk you've taken? Did it pay off? 

Two biggest risks I've taken in my career so far would be diving into the entrepreneurial studies with The Entourage without graduating with an official qualification, having to fly to Sydney every two months and fork out a lot of money.
BUT this was by far one of the best things i've ever done as I learnt so much valuable information on how to effectively run and maximise our brand with an incredible support network that I still keep in touch with today.

Another would be recently exhibiting at One Fine Day Melbourne.
We did spend a truck-load and put ALL our cards on the table to get our name out there in Melbourne.
We designed a stand that went completely against what is currently on-trend in order to show our diversity (To be even more daring, I actually wrote a article on these trends a couple of months earlier) and when I realised how much we stood out, I admit I was shaking in my boots. I thought we've either smashed this or completely shot ourselves in the foot.
Coming out of this experience, I can say it has been one of the best risks we've taken. We received so many amazing compliments from other vendors and the Melbourne public and are now growing our team just to keep up with our enquiry demand.

 

Our design for One Fine Day Melbourne wedding fair 2016. Image: Nicholas Joel Photography via One Fine Day

Our design for One Fine Day Melbourne wedding fair 2016. Image: Nicholas Joel Photography via One Fine Day


Your most awesome business moment to date?

Oh there's been a few! From hiring my first official team member, to being accepted into One Fine Day, to having famous people follow our work online and now we're about to embark on a new exciting milestone which is relocating our office from rural VIC to Geelong.

I always said when we did this, we'd get a office coffee machine and a golden retriever puppy haha! 
So I shall keep you updated in the coming weeks ;) 

 

Can you share your main do's and don't's with running a small business? 

Do: Number 1, above all, TRUST YOUR GUT.
Your intuition is a powerful tool and it is vital to listen to it. No matter how good something looks on paper, no matter how much money they're offering you; if your gut says no it's probably right.

Do: Take risks, try new things, be adaptable.
The companies that aren't willing to collaborate and evolve are the ones who sadly fall behind.

Don't: Be too open to over-sharing your ideas.
Build trust before you share your new awesome marketing campaign or your new amazing idea.
Be patient, wait, and then launch it with a bang!

Don't: Say yes to every single opportunity that lands in your lap.
I fell victim to this because I didn't want to regret 'wasting' a good opportunity.
But I've learnt to be smart and selective in which paths you choose to travel down.
This builds exclusivity, ensures you have a sound consistent brand message, and doesn't drain your bank account.
By all means, be open to new opportunities; just don't go crazy and do them all.
You'll only run yourself into the ground.

 

How do you manage your time effectively? 

Task lists. I have to schedule it in. Even 'Me' time. If it's scheduled in the diary and written on our tick list, then it must happen.

 

What are some of the ways you ensure exceptional service to your brides?

We have thorough attention to detail ingrained in our DNA meaning every team member is trained to meet our expectations on every single element within our customer's buying journey.
From the way they respond to an email, liaise with suppliers, conduct the setup and dismantle and everything in-between.
It is paramount that we nail this every step of the way because this is 'Etc. Events' and what sets us apart from others.

 

Styling our display at the EG Wedding Expo 2015. Image: Hayley Smith

Styling our display at the EG Wedding Expo 2015. Image: Hayley Smith


What do you think are the best and worst things about working in this industry?

The best things are honestly meeting some amazing couples and forming fantastic friendships.
I love seeing the look on our client's faces when they see our design concept or enter the styled room.
For me, this is just priceless.

The worst thing would be trying to convey just how much money, time and effort goes into pulling off a successful wedding.
Time and time again we hear first-hand (more so from DIY brides) how shocked they are at the physicality, organisation and sheer pressure that comes with the job.
It certainly isn't a walk in the park, but it is our profession and we love it and we do have to pay our staff and suppliers accordingly so of course this figure does add up. It's simply a factor of the industry.

 

Congratulating our fabulous couple Ashlie & Josh on their wedding day in Dinner Plain. Image: Alice Campbell Photography

Congratulating our fabulous couple Ashlie & Josh on their wedding day in Dinner Plain. Image: Alice Campbell Photography


Do you have a morning ritual?

Coffee and emails.
One day it'll be yoga on the beach!

 

What are you not really very good at? 

Finances. To be brutally honest, it bores me to tears! I hated maths in high school and it just frustrates me.
Of course, this is such a fundamental part of a business, so I've enlisted a business advisor who is also our accountant and she is absolutely incredible. She's set us up online over various financial platforms, assists us is making big decisions and has helped me understand my numbers.
I now get excited when it's time to review our data and stats because it allows us to make so many fantastic decisions that will grow and drive our brand even further.

 

How important is social media?

Social media is essential in today's day and age. Everyone is guilty of a Google or a Facebook stalk if they're wanting to suss-out a brand before they buy. Having an online presence is beneficial to your brand's exposure and allows you to communicate your message to your ideal clientele.

Etiquette: Definitely credit your source and your contributors on the work you're advertising online.
Not only will your collaborators love you for it; it forms the basis to make new friends in the business, picks up in Google search ranks and links you to other brands that your ideal client may be searching for.

The team soaking in the amazing view at Tara & Seb's Reception set up. Image: Leni Lee

The team soaking in the amazing view at Tara & Seb's Reception set up. Image: Leni Lee



How do you develop and maintain your motivation?

By knowing my goals and working on achieving them.
I love motivating my team also, so this instantly gives me a boost too.
When you can pave the way for your team to become the best versions of themselves; well thats truly magical.

 

What have you spent $100 or less on lately
that's made a significant impact on your life and/or work?

Definitely our Xero membership. $50 a month and it makes our quoting, invoicing, payroll and so much more a million times easier and more enjoyable.

 

Are there any insecurities in yourself or your business
that you're working on overcoming? 

Charging what we're worth. That has been a challenge for me from day-dot. But I believe when you are truly in sync with your vision, mission and values, this echoes through absolutely everything you do and say and excites the people you deal with.

I am very much a team player and I 100% credit my whole team on our work.
A lot of people only credit me, which I don't like. I've never been one to step into the spotlight and 'woo' a crowd.
I prefer to blend in but I'm slowly learning when I'm given a compliment, to politely say thank you and accept it rather than shy away. 

 

Selfies with our amazing photographer at the 2015 EG Business Awards. Image: iPhone 

Selfies with our amazing photographer at the 2015 EG Business Awards. Image: iPhone 


Are there any apps or programs you'd recommend to other small businesses?

Instagram has been a huge success for us.
We're now also on Xero which has so far been amazing!

 

Most influential book - and why?

Money & Mindfulness by Lisa Messenger. Remember how I said I wasn't good at finances? Well, this book spoke in a language I could understand. A great guide to build up the guts to turn a fear of finances into a beacon of opportunities.

My Year in Shining Life by Leonie Dawson. This is a workbook. It looks a little like a kid's colouring book but trust me, it is a powerful tool.
This allowed me to get everything out of my head and on to paper. From where I personally visioned myself to be this year, and all the goals big and small I wanted to achieve. It gives enormous clarity over the important things to you and this is what you need to hone in on through your brand language. Amazing.

 

Any ideas on the horizon?

Yes, to launch Edition #2 of our mini magazine The Etc. Effect.
I have so many ideas for this and so many interviews and collaborations in mind.
I'd love to take it to a bigger level.

 

Edition #1 of The Etc. Effect brought to life by Design Umbrella. Image: Design Umbrella

Edition #1 of The Etc. Effect brought to life by Design Umbrella. Image: Design Umbrella


What's one thing you'd tell your younger self?

Don't take it to heart.
There are great days and there are not-so-great days in business, and in my earlier days I would take a 'no' personally.
Now I just say, Cool what's next for us!
 

Setup of Tarryn's Bridal Shower. Image: Leni Lee
 

For further info on these fabulous interviewers; Check out WedShed here.

 

An ode to the magnificent people who have helped me, supported me and believed in me right from the very beginning.
Without you all, Etc. Events simply wouldn't be where it is today and I am beyond grateful for encouragement and friendship throughout the years. To our suppliers, Vendors, Team, Family, Friends, Partners, Clients and Communities; I truly truly thank each and every one of you.
Mum, Grandma, Kate, Matt, Hayley, Charli and Steve, Ema, Brodee, Donna, Louise and The Little Alice Team, Jemma and James, Judith and Peter, Marg, Belinda, The Van Berkel's Team, Fliss and Richard, The Riversleigh Team, Jess S, Karinda, Candy, Emma F, Sheree, Jo, Jason and Vicki, Nikita, Sue B, Jodie, Carol, Bobbie, Stace, Gabby, The Entourage Team, Kerrie, Bobby, Gina, Tanya, Loretta, Jamie, Eli, Jordan, Ali, All our Suppliers and many more of you.
You all believed in my vision when many wouldn't take me seriously. 

Big Love to you all, Lauren xx

Blast from the Past: A clip with my Mum, Sister and Bride-to-be at our very first (and nerve-wracking) Bridal Fair in 2012. My how times have evolved! Image: Bairnsdale Advertiser.

Blast from the Past: A clip with my Mum, Sister and Bride-to-be at our very first (and nerve-wracking) Bridal Fair in 2012. My how times have evolved! Image: Bairnsdale Advertiser.

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One Fine Day it is

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One Fine Day it is

Did you or someone you know get engaged over the recent festive season?
Well, we're sending a big Congrats your way!
This year is going to be a fun journey for you full of love, amazing menu tasting and gorgeous details!

Why not get the inspiration-ball rolling, gather up some friends, family or your partner and have a great day out in Melbourne, all in one!

Etc. cordially invite all Couples, Friends of Bride-to-be's, Wedding dreamers and Lovers of love to the One Fine Day Wedding Fair in Melbourne on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st February 2016 at Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.

Our creative team will be weaving their magic for a gorgeous stand next month
and are so excited to meet and greet all you lovely Ladies & Gents!

If you're after the ultimate wedding and event inspiration, advice and insights;
you must pop this event in your calendar and see what Victoria's best Wedding industry experts have to showcase.

One Fine Day are offering FREE General Admission tickets for registrations before January 15th 2016.
Click here to reserve your booking.
General admission is $20 per person after this time.
For all ticket inclusions and further info, view the OFD booking page here.

"One Fine Day is a refreshing alternative to the traditional bridal fair, showcasing a handpicked collection of sought after vendors in the wedding field. 
Not only is One Fine Day the perfect outlet for creative couples to gain inspiration from unique vendors in the planning of their big day, but a fun way to spend a Saturday or Sunday with your friends/family/bridal party."
- One Fine Day.
 

See you all there! Yay!
- Lauren and the Etc. Team x

All information and imagery credits: One Fine Day.


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What's Trending for 2016 Weddings

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What's Trending for 2016 Weddings

Well, it's almost the end of one year and already we're seeing some hot trends emerging for the new year.
We take a closer look at our top 9 wedding trends for 2016, and even add in a couple of trends we're not so keen on, too.

1. No more Rustic.
In 2016 we'll move away from hessian and mason jars and say hello to deep bejewelled tones with an enchanted/woodland vibe for the new 'rustic wedding' look. Giving it a pop of colour and a much more elegant feel to the decor.
Lots of warm lighting and candles mixed with fine linen and close attention to detail.

2. Lace, Lace and more Lace.
An elegant lingerie look is hitting the runways hard for 2016.
Lots of sheer, feminine and floral embellishments for Bridal gowns next year with an emphasis of free-flowing movement with light weight fabrics and sleeve detail. Simply gorgeous!

Above & Below: Reem Acra 

Above & Below: Reem Acra 

3. Prints out. Hand-written & Foil In.
Customisation with a hand-made touch makes it's way into all things stationary with personalised messages and letterpress foil detailing.
Taking the humble invite & name card to new heights acting as a little keepsake, too beautiful not to take home with you!

4. Non-boring Venues!
Yay! We're so thrilled about this one!
It's now considered 'trendy' to break away from traditional function centres and wedding venues and instead, go for quirky places with significant meaning to you as the couple.
Going for old Barns, old Town Halls, Warehouses, Full Outdoor Receptions, Heritage buildings and Studios to name a few.
Our pals at WedShed pride themselves on quirky Venues (and vendors alike) Check it.

5. Out: Alternate plate drop. In: Grazing Stations/Shared Platters/Food Trucks.
(Another one that's got us excited!)
Gone are the days of choosing Chicken, Beef or Fish as alternate dishes for your guests' main affair. Now, more than ever, guests are personalising their menu a little more and presenting them in a grazing station or shared platter style.
Encouraging guests to interact and start conversations. -Just like Christmas dinner with the fam!

Food trucks are also becoming popular, adding a bit of quirk to a relaxed style wedding.
Pizza and Taco stations are a growing trend and Ice-pop stands after your summer ceremony are a big hit too!

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

her campus.com

her campus.com

6. Full on Florals.
Flowers will depict more bold jewel tones with loads of texture and foliage making a come back in both Bouquets, and Table centres.
A romantic feel to your blooms will be amplified with a 'just picked from the garden' look and we'll move away from the clean-edge/structured dome look.
Dramatic floral arrangements and garlands will also be a key look for 2016.
Truly making these a breathtaking accessory.

Belle The Magazine

Belle The Magazine

7. One Colour, taken to new heights.
No more pastel pink mixed with pastel lilac mixed with pastel yellow mixed with pastel blue.
We'll now start to see one colour, in many shades.
Mixed hues of the same colour paired with textured linens and hints of metallic. Taking your colour pallet to new, bold heights.

8. View from above.
Aerial Photography will be a big one for 2016.
An amazing perspective that can capture the most wonderful moments.
And; definitely a talking point for the photo album.

Blog.joyus.com

Blog.joyus.com

9. Full Weekend Weddings. Heck Yes!
Wether you're having a destination wedding or are staying close to home; why does it only have to be the one day?
Now we're seeing guests start a couple of days before-hand with low key celebrations, then the main event next, followed by a chilled-out after party over the next day or two.
Brides and Grooms are sticking around longer to continue the celebrations before jetting off on their honeymoons.
More couples are choosing to stay for the whole event also, saying goodbye to the 'traditional' send-off and often leaving when last drinks are called and with their guests.

A couple of Trends for 2016 we're not so keen to see:
1. Selfie Sticks.

Really, need we say more?
Just promise us you won't spend half the night 'peace and pouting' and missing out on the true experience of the whole reason why this event exists. The newlyweds!

2. Recharge Stations.
Earlier we mentioned food stations. Massive tick in our books!
Now, we're seeing power/recharge stations emerging in the new year.
Yes, people are including stations to recharge their phones!!
Whilst technology can be awesome, it can also be distracting. If you can't bare to go without a snap chat check or a swipe of tinder for a few hours, then you don't deserve to be attending the party of the century. Put the phone away, reconnect with the people around you and celebrate the night away! No need for 'power stations' in our opinion.

Share your trend predictions below and let us know how you're planning to celebrate in style.

And to all you love birds out there tying the knot this New Years Eve, a big congrats from all of us here at Etc.
Thank you for your support throughout 2015 and we shall see you in the new year for a bigger and brighter roller-coaster wedding ride! Yeah! x

Pinterest Top Header image via Victoria Whitelaw Flowers

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Emma + Ben

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Emma + Ben

An absolute delight styling a simple cocktail reception
for such a bubbly, relaxed Melbourne couple, that is, Emma and Ben.
 

Gorgeous Metung played the ultimate backdrop for a weekend away from the big city for these two and their loved ones.
Staying at The Moorings Apartments on the water's edge in preparation for the day ahead.

With a beautiful ceremony by the water's edge on the Village Green of Metung, full of friends, family and smiles all around.
A perfect setting to exchange their vows.

Emma and Ben's Reception captured a relaxed feel with hints of pink and peach against the crisp white linen and glowing fairy lights and candles at The Metung Yacht Club.
Lighting played a significant role in setting the ambience for the evening with balconies adorned in fairy lights and candles to compliment indoors.

"It's hard getting married somewhere that is so far from home so it was great being able to trust someone else to organise evertything so we didn't have to stress about it.
The set up was awesome and you guys were a pleasure to work with.
You made my life so much easier and helped make our wedding day a stress-free one. 
hank you."
- Emma Green, Married 10/10/15 Metung, VIC

Congratulations to you both. It was an absolute pleasure to get to know you
and transform the Yacht Club into a stunning reception for you to dance the night away.
Thank you for inviting us along on your wedding journey with you.
- Lauren & the Etc. Team x


Chat with our Creative Team today to find out how we can create your ultimate wedding,
just like Emma & Ben's!



Design, Styling, Signage & Flowers: Etc. Event Styling
Bridal Flowers: Van Berkel's for Etc. Event Styling
Reception Venue: The Metung Yacht Club
Catering: The Metung (Galley) Crew
Cake: Family Friend
Photography: Sherise Flemming 
-Special thanks to Sherise for allowing us to share her beautiful work!
 

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The Cake Edit.

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The Cake Edit.

Who doesn't love cake, right? And who doesn't love a bit of Instagram food-stalking?
Well; We've combined two of our favourite pastimes to bring to you, The Cake Edit.

A collective of our favourite sweet treats for your Birthday, Wedding, Event, or Friday-fun-day-vibes
(Because we all know calories don't count on a Friday) with of course; some handy wedding-cake tips from one of our favourite bakers.

You're welcome!  x
(no apologies for the sugar cravings!)
 

TRENDING:
- Cascading cakes drizzled with decadent sugary goodness.
- Baked goods adorned in fresh florals.
- Colourful parade of bright hues teamed with Donuts, Chocolates, and Meringue.
- Simplistic natured cake with neutral tones, marble patterns and subtle hints of colour.

We had a chat with Lismi Wong of Bitez NZ and asked her to share her top 5 tips to consider when it comes to your Wedding Cake. 

As a bride you have a lot do. Lots of planning, organising and researching.
But when it comes to cake, let me make it easy for you. 
I have five tips that will help ease the task of ordering your special cake!

1. Budget.
The baker usually has a price list for wedding cakes and depending on the complexity involved; costs can be added on to these prices.
If you have a budget in mind, let the baker know first-hand and they will work with you on accomplishing this requirement and also provide options for you to choose from.

2. Theme & Style.
What is the theme of your wedding? Retro fun? Classic elegant? Country garden?
Once you have decided on your style, it is easy to pick a cake design that fits well with your overall look.
If you have collected photos of inspiration, ensure you share these with your baker. 
Stationary, Wedding gowns, Flowers, Stories etc. are all great sources of inspiration.

3. Weather.
If you're having a summer outdoor wedding, keep in mind that buttercream, whipped cream and meringue-based frosting can melt in such conditions. Liaise with your baker on alternative options such as naked cakes or fondant cakes to adjust to the elements Mother Nature may throw at you during wedding season.

4. Food Allergies & Preferences.
Mentioning of any allergies or food preferences to your baker early-on is of high priority.
Factors such as Gluten Free, Nut Free, Egg and Dairy Free, Vegan etc need to be considered and mentioned to your baker in order to comfortably cater to you and your guests appropriately.
These factors may limit your flavour choices, but less choices make decision-making all the more easier!

5. All About You.
Some couples choose 'safe' flavours so their guests can enjoy the cake with them. 
Common flavours are Vanilla, Lemon, and Chocolate.
These are all fabulous flavours, however if I could suggest this; If you have a favourite, or find an unusual flavour off the menu, go with it! It is your wedding, your day and your cake, so enjoy every single element of it and ensure your cake is a representation of you!

Enjoy! - Lismi x

Find Lismi's creations on Facebook here, on the web here or on Instagram here.

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Styled Shoot: Spring Racing

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Styled Shoot: Spring Racing

Like a kid in a candy store we were when we were approached to collaborate with the finest creatives in East Gippsland to pull together a Spring Racing styled shoot inspired by our beautiful landscape with a boho vibe.

With bright pops of colour and hand-made details, we teamed up with Nephelle, Sherridan & Team, Nic and our amazing floral lover; Donna to create a stunning showcase of what the 2015 Spring Racing season has to offer.

Our toughest job was to decide which images were our favourite, so apologies in advance…. boho spam coming at ya! 
- Enjoy!

Thank you to the dream-team & our models for forming a wonderful collaboration.
Just goes to show that five creative minds are better than one.
Cheers to the boss-ladies we are! x

Photographer: Light & Type Photography
Photo-Styling & Props: Etc. Event Styling
Floral details & Peacock feather neck-piece: Dear Delilah Florist
Hair, Makeup & Barbering: Envy & The Barber Shop
Clothing & Accessories: The Gypsy and the Captain Store
Models: Amy + Ross
Location: Private Property, East Gippsland

Behind The Scenes:

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Bairnsdale Ladies Day Cup

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Bairnsdale Ladies Day Cup

The launch of Spring Racing Season started off with a bang this year.
We were so delighted to be invited to style the VIP function room for Ladies Day Cup at the Bairnsdale Race Club.

Our team of creatives designed a subtle yet colourful display to celebrate a wonderful day out for a great cause.

A canopy of coloured streamers lined the balcony ceiling and tables were adorned in bright fresh blooms with copper horse details and chic champagne sequin table runners.
The ceiling held the feature for the day with a large floral chandelier in complimenting colours making a true statement for the design whilst embracing the warm welcome of the Spring season.

A big thank you to the Bairnsdale Racing Club for inviting us to weave our magic for you and your distinguished  guests. It was a glorious day and a wonderful start to the new Racing season ahead. A pleasure to work with.

For tickets to the Bairnsdale Cup (Melbourne Cup Day) on 3rd November 2015 please visit
www.countryracing.com.au/bairnsdale-racing-club

As always, a special mention to our team for their extraordinary efforts in corporate occasions for this event. Hayley, Brodee, Donna, Jason and Lauren -Thank you.

We shall see you all there in a few weeks time for some Fashion, Flowers & Champagne!

Event Design, Styling, Table details: Etc. Event Styling
Floral Chandelier: Dear Delilah Florist
Photography: Leni Lee
Location: Bairnsdale Racing Club

- The Etc. Team x




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Unlocking our beauty within

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Unlocking our beauty within

We've all been stressed, we've all searched for something to help us feel amazing inside and out and, let's face it we all love tea right?

Lauren chats with Sarah Hadgkiss, founder of Tea With Me as she talks about her journey with the Tea With Me brand, the detoxing benefits of organic ingredients and how this little bag of brilliant helps with breakouts, energy levels and puts us women back on top of our game again!

Tell us about the concept behind Tea With Me Australia, how did it all begin?
The Tea With Me journey started when my skin began breaking out in my late twenties, I tried every single treatment, procedure, cream and medication with little or no results.
Coming from the modelling industry, this proved to be extremely frustrating as I needed my skin to be as clear as possible to book jobs.
Ready to give up, I then had a blend created by a nutritionist for my skin that actually completely clear it back to my skins original state, giving me back my confidence.
This made me really excited and eager to share with other women across the world.
I truly believe that when a woman feels confident, she is unstoppable. 

What is the most common use for your teas?
Our most popular teas are: Skin Elixir; assisting to clear skin from conditions such as eczema, blemishes, and mild acne.
Lady Elixir; Assisting meopausal symptoms such as mood swings, hot and cold flushes.
And our Skinny Elixir; Assisting with proper digestion, increasing energy and reducing unnecessary cravings.

What is the greatest thing Tea has taught you?
When your body needs to tell you something, it will show you on the outside.
After experiencing such positive results, I am a strong believer in herbal remedies and now ensure it is in my care and medications.
 

How can Tea With Me enhance the lives of Brides and their ladies prior to their big day?
You want to feel beautiful on your big day, we can get so wrapped up in our venue, guest lists, make up and dresses and forget to look after ourselves from the inside. This is by far just as important.
I personally recommend these teas in preparation for your big day:
- Skin Elixir. This is not  only to assist with clear skin but glowing skin also..
- Calming Elixir: Trust me, I know how stressful the lead up can be!
You need to take time and just relax, stressing constantly can have a snowball effect, only making things worse, this is supposed to be a beautiful and exciting journey for you.
- Skinny Elixir. By looking after your digestion and cravings, you will feel better about yourself; you will have more energy to get through the tasks without feeling sluggish and demotivated.
Yerba Mate, which is a main ingredient in this blend, is an Argentinean herb that has the strength of coffee but with the health benefits of tea.
This particular tea provides lasting energy throughout the day rather than a quick boost that results in  crashing within an hour. It also feels a lot cleaner for your body.

What are your top 3 tips for women wanting to stay on top of their game?
Exercise! Not just for your body but for your  state of mind.
Also don't stop just because you day has passed, you deserve to feel your best all the time.

What is your favourite Tea and why?
Skin Elixir, I do  not leave the house without it!
It has become like a security blanket!

What's next for Tea With Me?
We are constantly innovating new blends to help women look and feel their best.
We have been receiving letter from husbands thanking us for restoring their wives confidence.
We love that! That's why we do what we do. 
We also have new Hair Elixir blend, which is high in Silica -a mineral that is vital for healthy hair growth.

Want to jump on board the Tea wagon?
Sarah has so kindly offered our readers 15% off their purchase.
Simply use 'bride15' at the checkout. 

Get in touch with Tea With Me:
www.teawithme.com.au
www.facebook.com/teawithmeaustralia
Instagram/teawithmeaustralia
Twitter @Teawith_me

An absolute pleasure to chat with you Sarah. Thank you for sharing your experience and insight into a new lease on life for many who strive to feel their amazing selves all over again.
We know we'll be heading straight for that Skinny Elixir!!

Enjoy rediscovering your beauty from within ladies! 
- Lauren x
Founder; Etc. Event Styling

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Hayley + Hamish

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Hayley + Hamish

Once Hayley & Hamish found their perfect location, they couldn't wait to start planning and neither could we!
Guests were invited to a weekend away through the windy roads and mountain tops to a gorgeous backdrop at Dinner Plain to escape from the city and watch these two tie the knot!

JB Hut blanketed in snow made for a true winter wonderland feel for their cozy ceremony.
A burlap aisle with baby's breath lining the edges and a statement alter of a hand-crafted arch from their friends, styled in fresh blooms set the mood for this intimate affair.
Fire pits and blankets to keep guests warm a bar carved out of snow to begin the fun festivities of the evening ahead, all ensured everyone was comfortable, had a drink in their hand and sharing lots of laughs.

After canapés and bubbly were served at the newly-weds' chalet, guests were treated to a homely reception with long testing tables adorned in neutral floral arrangements, crisp white linen, glowing candle light and of course some fun table-games all underneath a canopy of fairy lights with a cozy fireplace to make guests feel comfortable and right at home.

Thank you to Hayley & Hamish for allowing us to style one of our favorite destination weddings yet, for you both.

It was an absolute pleasure to meet you, your family & friends during our wedding journey with you. We hope your future as Mr & Mrs is as glorious as the weekend that was.

- Best wishes, 
Etc. x 

Wedding Design, Styling, Stationary & Flowers: Etc. Event StylingWedding & Styling Photography: Leni Lee Photography

Wedding Design, Styling, Stationary & Flowers: Etc. Event StylingWedding & Styling Photography: Leni Lee Photography

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The truth about 'The Wedding Markup'

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The truth about 'The Wedding Markup'

We hear it all too often. That "as soon as you mention the word Wedding, the price goes up!'
So today, We're going to set the record straight and tell it how it really is.

Don't get me wrong, there are unfortunately companies out there that will drive their price up because the margin is much higher for a wedding for them. That action is on them, not the whole wedding industry. This really saddens me to be honest because there are some fantastic companies out there working their butts off for a lesser pay-cheque and all to better you. It upsets me how it is tarnishing the industry.
Us wedding planners & Stylists want nothing more than to exceed your wedding dreams and we always always treat your day as if it were our own. We don't get practice runs on how your day will turn out so of course we put 110% in to ensure it's amazing.

Now there are several factors as to why a wedding costs so much.
We'll detail some of these reasons from our experiences in the industry in hope that we can shed some light on the topic for our readers.

Consider the differences.
If your wedding requires extravagant ceiling draping, guest tables adorned with centrepieces, pressed linen, glowing fairy lights and backdrops then it is going to cost 'x' amount.
If your bar mitzvah or debutante requires extravagant ceiling draping, guest tables adorned with centrepieces and pressed linen, glowing fairy lights and backdrops, then chances are it will probably cost you just the same.
In our experiences; the only price difference that could occur here in this example would be travel fees, venue size, guest numbers and booking availably. In some cases, we're already booked and do require additional staff for these functions.

We charge what we're worth.
It's no joke that planning a wedding can seriously take over 200 hours. 
If you consider how much furniture, catering, beverages, linen, florals etc cost + times your hourly wage by 200 hours, then you're going to get a high figure.
Our days aren't between 9-5pm. We're up at the crack of dawn, and head to bed when the roosters crow.  We often miss our weekends with our families, and toss and turn brain storming elements for your wedding day through the night.
We commit ourselves 110% to you and your day, and this takes time -a lot of it. 
We do it because we love it, and for that indescribable feeling of joy we get when we step back, exhale and soak in all the wonderful creations we've just installed whilst we wait for the bride to meet her groom at the alter. That feeling, is why we do it. But we do deserve a fair pay for our time.

Things take time.
Sometimes a wedding can take far longer to install than a engagement party or birthday. Hence why the price becomes higher. A lot of other factors may also contribute to the price such as whether you require staff to stay during the event, guest numbers, duration of the event, location of the event, and in some cases that date of the event.
These are all legitimate factors that can fairly contribute to a more expensive event or wedding.

Is it custom?
Wether it's a gown, a cake, a flower or a alter. If it's custom made just for you; chances are the price is going to increase. If deadlines aren't met and things need to be especially ordered in a express timeframe then prices are going to increase.
Giving your supplier ample time to order these things tends to ease the price tag. 
And if you feel you can get a little handy on some things, why not give building it yourself a go. We love incorporating hand-made items from our clients into their day. It still means they can be involved without having to stress about absolutely everything, and within reason, we're more than happy to set these items up for you on the day, complimentary!

Florals:
If you stop by your local florist and pick up a bunch of roses, get them gift wrapped and pop them in a vase at home, then yes they are going to be cheaper than a wedding bouquet.
Whenever us Florists arrange a bouquet or centrepiece, each flower is carefully considered.
From the moment we design your arrangements and then submit your order to our growers, the selection goes through a strict process of seasonal availability, colour schemes, bloom size and many more factors.
Once the flowers are in our possession, each and every stem is carefully trimmed.
Every petal is plucked and primed ensuring no bruising or natural defects are shown. From here, foliages are stripped and some flower varieties require wiring. This means every single stem is individually hand-wired so it can sit perfectly in your bouquet. Then the careful and often strategic arranging occurs finishing with hand-binding in your chosen ribbon or twine.
And it doesn't stop there. We then have to ensure these arrangements last until we deliver them to your doorstep. This includes temperature monitoring and ensuring they get plenty to drink and safe transport. 
Flowers are a delicate and perishable item and they go through quite a lot from when they're picked, to when they end up in your hands down the aisle. This requires a lot of detailed planning and handling, and therefore the cost does increase.

We ask that you please take from this, an udertsaning of the sheer time and effort that goes into ensuring your day, in every element, is absolutely perfect.
From polishing glassware, to ironing countless linen table cloths & napkins, to the 5am starts and 2am finishes. We do it with genuine love and we at Etc. can honestly say we charge fairly based on these factors. 
When determining how much things cost for your wedding, of course naturally compare pricing and ask your suppliers questions. A difference in your cost should be the level of service you receive.
Take into consideration the client meetings, liaising, planning, site visits & extra behind-the-scenes stuff. If one supplier can't promise a certain standard of execution & availability compared to another, you have your price difference answer there.

Good luck!

Etc. x
 

Photography Credit: Samantha Wills Bridal, J'Aton Couture, Jane Hill Bridal, Georgeous, Claire Aristides Jewels, Pinterest, Luke Lornie & our own Etc. Archives.



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