Welcome to the Secret Diary of a Wedding Planner!

Within these pages you shall find...clever wedding tips from industry insiders, simply delightful photographs and oodles of inspiration.


Victoria x

Thursday, February 18, 2010

5 minutes with...Greg Cleary from Sweetums Designer Cakes

Bonjour mes amis

This week I’d like to introduce you cake designer extraordinaire, Greg Cleary from Sweetums Designer Cakes.

Greg has been designing fabulous cakes for over 30 years and his creative flair & attention to detail has cemented him as a favourite amongst brides.

I can personally vouch for the quality of Greg’s cakes as he was generous enough to create a cake for the official launch of The Little White Wedding Company, and let me tell you…the cake melts in your mouth and each bite leaves you wanting more!

Here’s what Greg had to say during our 5 minutes…

Why did you choose to make your living by creating cakes for special occasions?

I have ALWAYS wanted to make cakes, from a very early age, it was all about cake!!!!!
What’s the most outrageous request you’ve had?

The most outrageous request would probably have been 2 nude torso's on top of a wedding cake, to scale of the bride & grooms figures.....When I delivered the cake to the reception, there were nude torso's as table centerpieces, so the cake didn't look out of place at the reception.

What’s the average amount of time you spend on designing & making a wedding cake?

The time taken to make a wedding cake varies incredibly, the simplest looking cakes are always the most challenging, as EVERYTHING has to be perfect as you have no where to hide. Approximately 20 - 25 hrs would be an average time frame.

What makes a cake more expensive & what are your suggestions for getting more for your money?

The amount of hand work, eg piping, moulding, sugar flowers, decorations etc add to the coast of a cake. Everything has to be hand made and coloured, it all takes time, and labour cost are expensive, even though you never get the price for what the cake is really worth.

What is your favourite flavour & cake design so far?

My favourite flavour would be anything citrus; I love the clean freshness on the palate...but I love any flavour as long as it is fresh and made with quality ingredients.

For more information about Greg & Sweetums Designer Cakes please visit his website at http://www.sweetums.com.au.

Victoria x

Thursday, February 11, 2010

5 minutes with...Liz from Pulse Physiotherapy

Bonjour mes amis

Yesterday I introduced you to my personal trainer so in keeping with the exercise theme of the week; today I’d like you to meet Liz Quinn from Pulse Physiotherapy.

A few years ago I started doing Pilates at a practice in the city but I wasn’t very happy with the experience so I decided to change studios. I was driving home from work one evening and saw Liz’s studio and thought I’d give her a call. From that very first phone call I knew I was going to love doing Pilates at Pulse, she was easy going & incredibly friendly and one of those people you just get good vibes from.

It’s now been 3 years & I have to say that thanks to Liz, not only has my core strength improved but I’ve also had less back pain which has haunted me for years.

Here’s what Liz had to say during our 5 minutes…

How is Pilates different to other forms of exercise & what are the benefits?

Pilates varies greatly from traditional forms of exercise such as running or lifting weights. It uses your own body weight or spring resistance to tone and strengthen muscles safely and efficiently. It has a large focus on improving core strength around the abdomen and back, whilst strengthening the lower and upper limbs.

Instead of building bulk, Pilates elongates muscles in the strengthening process. This in turn improves muscular tone without sustaining any muscle damage. Studies show that this form of strengthening is extremely effective at improving not only general body tone, but bone density, flexibility and posture. It is also a great way to rehabilitate injuries and prevent any further joint or muscle damage.

How fit do I need to be to practice Pilates & how long does it take to see results?

A person of any age and fitness level can begin Pilates. Pilates caters for beginner through to advanced fitness levels and I regularly encourage those who have not attempted Pilates before due to poor fitness to come and give it a try! As Pilates engages partial resistance to strengthen and tone, a high degree of cardiovascular fitness or muscle bulk is not required.

Results are often seen quickly. Within 4 - 6 weeks a change in abdominal tone and strength is often observed. Then depending upon how regularly you practice Pilates, excellent results can be achieved within 8 - 12 weeks depending upon your specific goals. Some examples of regular goals may be a sliming of the waistline, toning of the arms and thighs and an improvement in flexibility and posture. These can all be achieved within the time frames mentioned above.

Is Pilates good for those who want to target a specific area of their body?

Pilates is excellent at targeting either specific areas or even specific muscles, and it achieves this whilst activating your central core. For example, whilst you are toning your triceps or inner thigh, you are continually working on your tummy tone and shape. You can imagine that after a 60 minute full body workout your tummy muscles, which have been working throughout, are very fatigued. What an efficient and safe way to shape your abdominal region!

Are there any people who shouldn’t do Pilates?

There are no limitations as to who can attend Pilates. At Pulse we have a wide spectrum of clients ranging in all ages and all fitness levels. We cater for those who want a general workout to clients requiring specific injury rehabilitation and advice. As Pilates does not exclude any particular body type or fitness level, its worldwide population has grown substantially over the last 10 years. We would recommend however that if you are suffering from acute or chronic pain, that you consult your physiotherapist before attempting Pilates.

What’s your opinion on group Pilates classes at fitness clubs? Are these beneficial?

Group Pilates classes at fitness clubs can be beneficial. I know many people who have attended group gym Pilates classes and thoroughly enjoyed their experience. There are however several differences between attending a group gym class and for instance a class at a specialised Pilates studio such as Pulse.

At Pulse we employ only the highest trained professionals. Our instructors have taken many years to achieve their respective qualifications in Pilates and Physiotherapy and are required to undergo intensive ongoing professional development within the studio. In addition, class numbers are always kept to a minimum to allow for individual attention. Each client has undergone an individual session with one of our trained staff prior to their first class, ensuring their Pilates technique is effective and hence, safe! There have been many occasions in group gym classes where poor technique combined with inadequate supervision has resulted in injury. I would always recommend that if you are considering joining a Pilates class that you look for a specialised Physiotherapy based studio in your area.

For more information about Liz & Pulse Physiotherapy please visit her website at http://www.pulsephysio.com.au.

Victoria x

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

5 minutes with...Krysia Child from Dash! Spot on Fitness

Bonjour mes amis

This week the focus is on personal fitness & getting into shape for the big day so I’m introducing you to two incredible women who can not only help you achieve your weight & fitness goals but also change the way you approach exercise.

First up is for this week is my very own personal trainer Krysia Child from DASH! Spot on Fitness. My mother is actually responsible for introducing me to Krysia after running into her at a park during her morning walk and ever since then I’ve been a huge fan of her work.

At the beginning of our "relationship" I challenged Krysia to a 2 month challenge to whip me into shape for the official launch of The Little White Wedding Company & even though most of my sessions were filled with complaints about how much my body hurt (all due to my natural tendency towards the “less is more” approach!) I have to commend her for not only putting up with me but for also transforming my body.

Krysia & I are also in the process of putting together a Bridal Bootcamp for those of you who would like to challenge yourselves before your wedding day but until then…here’s what Krysia had to say during our 5 minutes…

What are the best types of exercise to lose weight?

One of the best types of exercise to lose weight is anaerobic interval training. Anaerobic interval training consists of periods of intense work followed by periods of rest. Anaerobic interval training can be performed on a bike, out on the road running or walking, swimming, boxing or skipping.

An example of an anaerobic interval training program is:
Warm up of 5 minutes at about 50% of your maximum effort, followed by 10-20 minutes of 90seconds at 100% effort (sprinting) with 90 seconds to 2 minutes of 75% effort (recovery) followed by a 5 minute cool down at 50%.

What would you recommend for the Bride & Groom in terms of diet & what are some common mistakes?

I would recommend that both the bride and groom see a nutritionist who will be able to help them in making smart and balanced nutritional choices leading up to their big day.

How long does it take to see results?

It all depends on how motivated and determined the individual is to get results.

If your wedding is close I would recommend the following training program:
The Ultimate Bridal Boot Camp – this is aimed solely at the bride-to-be and consists of 4 sessions per week over a 4 week program where everything is geared towards ensuring the bride is looking fabulous as she walks down the aisle.

Or if you have a little more time up your sleeve why not treat yourself and your bridal party to the Royal Treatment?

The Royal Treatment package gets the job done. This package is 2 sessions per week over 8 weeks and is designed to help the bridal party get themselves fit and healthy in time for the wedding.

It is important to realise that if it is weight loss that you’re after you need to burn around 9000 calories before you lose 1kg of weight!

This is easily achieved if you are working with a personal trainer and are monitoring your intake of food and output of energy. To see results in the fastest time possible you need to workout at least 3 times a week with 5 times a week being optimal. Include weights training and interval work in your workouts to boost your metabolism. Set realistic goals and stick to them!

Remember - Personal trainers are expert body transformation specialist.

What is a common weight loss myth you encounter?

The Biggest Loser fa├žade which peaks when the show airs – this is where people believe that they too are able to lose between 10 and 15kg a week.

People forget that to be on the Biggest Loser the contestants are removed from their family, friends and daily commitments. Although the show serves as a great motivator it is unrealistic.

Aim for a healthy loss of 1 to 1.5kg of fat each week and you will be removing weight in a healthy and sustainable environment. Focus on removing weight, that way you will be keeping it off for good.

Are regular sauna visits & massages useful when trying to lose weight?

Absolutely – they help with the recovery process. Sauna visits and massages can help you recover from your personal training session and in doing so will keep you motivated, attending your training sessions and on track to achieving your goals.

If you would like some more information about Krysia’s personal or group fitness training please contact her on 0421 187 226

Victoria x

Thursday, February 04, 2010

5 minutes with...Sandee from Always Fabulous Flowers

Bonjour mes amis

This week I’m shining the spotlight on Sandee Newton from Always Fabulous Flowers.

Sandee and her husband Dave have been very supportive of my business from the very beginning & were even kind enough to provide me with some gorgeous floral arrangements for the launch of The Little White Wedding Company! If you would like to see these, visit the gallery on our website…they really are to die for.

Here’s what Sandee had to say during our 5 minutes…

How long have you been working in the floral industry & how did your career start?

About 20 years. I starting doing girlfriends weddings and it just grew from there by word of mouth. I then did a few courses but basically just love flowers and am self taught.

What are the most affordable & most expensive flowers to use in bouquets & floral arrangements?

Often it's not the type of flowers but the amount of labour involved. In large displays obviously bigger flowers such as hydrangea, disbuds and peonies go further than smaller headed roses or tulips. For bouquets smaller individually wired flowers (such as hyacinth and stephanotis) would cost more than something as simple as a few bunches of roses tied with a ribbon. The myth that using greenery instead of flowers to bring the cost down is gradually being dispelled. Foliage such as Dusty Miller can cost as much per bunch as roses or tulips. The right foliage/berries can add another dimension to bouquets and arrangements by incorporating different textures.

What are the most popular arrangements?

For bouquets the posy style is always fashionable - easy to hold and suits most dress styles and is usually less expensive than trailing/teardrop style bouquets. For receptions glass vases with the flowers in groups or submerged with floating candles are one of the latest looks. Also LED lighting is becoming more popular - replacing candles in modern, minimalistic venues or buildings where no naked flames are allowed. These can uplight a whole vase from the base or as in the case of battery operated fairy lights, be wound through willow branches.

Are there any flowers to avoid?

Maybe just ones you don't personally like, or are perfumed (if you have allergies). Tulips in warmer months need to be supported and also fixed so they can't open like a poppy. Brides are best using flowers their florist knows how to work with.

Do I only need to pick flowers that are in season - is it possible to have them brought in from other regions?

Because Australia is so vast we're fortunate to have tropical flowers (from northern QLD) and also winter bulb flowers (Victoria and Tasmania) and many natives (Western Australia) for most of the year. While orchids such as dendrobium (known commonly as Singapore orchids) are sent weekly from Asia, most flowers are not imported. You almost need to bring in a shipping container of flowers to make the cost viable. Many flowers have long seasons (10-12 months of the year) and some like Peonies or Lilly of the Valley have a short 5-6 weeks.

If you would like to book Sandee for your wedding or would simply like to learn more about Always Fabulous Flowers please visit her website at http://www.allfabflowers.com.au/.

Victoria x