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

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

5 minutes with...Marcus Bell from Studio Impressions

Bonjour mes amis

This week we round up our series of “5 minutes with…” interviews with Marcus Bell from Studio Impressions and I can promise you won’t be disappointed!

You only have to flick through the first few pages of any Studio Impressions album to be convinced that what you’re looking at are some of the most beautiful photographs you’ve ever seen. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s not even minutes into one of their initial consults that you know they understand how important your wedding day is – something which every bride-to-be wants to be assured of. I can promise that you’re search stops here!

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

In your opinion, what goes into creating the perfect picture?

The most wonderful thing about a picture is that it can say a thousand words in any language all within one image. The most important thing that goes into creating the perfect picture is the people within the image, people that have a wonderful story to tell and share. For me I’m blessed to always have wonderful people that allow me to tell their stories.

How long have you been a photographer & how/why did you start?

I’ve been photographing now for over 15 years and for the past 10 years I have been photographing professionally. For me I was very fortunate as photography was in the blood, I’m a third generation photographer and simply has always, and always will be my life. I love it and have the best job in the world.

What advice can you give to those who are camera shy?

Ensure that you have a photographer that enables you to completely forget about the camera. It can come down to connecting more with the person behind the camera then how talented that person may be as a photographer. Even though I take great pride in my ability as a photographer and the imagery I produce, I know 99% of our couples choose myself or Adam because of who we are as people then the ability we have as photographers.

The images you produce are always so honest, how do you achieve this time and again?

The honesty in the images truly derives from the people we are fortunate to photograph. We do take extra steps to build a relationship with our clients and as a result the couples invite us in to their lives, where they are just so open and inviting that they forget about that we even have a camera. As a result we capture the most interment and powerful moments in their lives that truly reflects who they are and how they felt during the wedding day. To be honest this is also where the true beauty in people lies and this is what we get to photograph the “real them”. It’s funny everyone asks do I only photograph beautiful people as everyone I photograph just looks radiating amazing. But truth be told my answer is always “Everyone is beautiful it’s always when you photograph the soul of a person you get to se the beauty in everyone”

Do you have any tips for keeping photos in good condition?

Getting professional advice is always so important and it is always worth spending a little more to ensure you are always getting a product that will last your lifetime. With photography there is so many ways to cut corners but what will look great today may not be the same in 6 months time. There are many tips to mention, but one tip is never to place an image directly onto glass within a frame, always use a spacer like a mat board. Choosing a reputable photographer and framer will ensure your memories will last a lifetime.

Obviously, I couldn’t blog about Marcus and his work without posting some of his images so below you will find a selection of those taken in the Hermitage Museum from his recent trip to St Petersburg…jealous yet?

If you would like to learn more about Marcus and Studio Impressions subscribe to Marcus's blog at http://www.studioimpressionsphotography.com/blog/ or visit their website at... http://www.studioimpressions.com.au

Victoria x

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

5 minutes with...Cara Marie from Invitation Station

Bonjour mes amis

This week we make a return to our “5 minutes with...” series with the focus on Cara Marie, the creative genius behind Invitation Station.

On the off chance that you have not heard of Invitation Station, let me tell you it is well worth investigating for not only those of you getting married but for anyone with an upcoming special event! Keeping in mind that your invitation (or save the date card) is the first treat your guests will receive you want to make sure that it not only subtly hints at the style of your wedding or event but also reflects your personal style. To achieve this, an excellent stationer is a must and that’s why Cara Marie forged such a name for herself in the world of stationery…

…here’s what Cara Marie had to say during our 5 minutes…

In your opinion, what sets you apart from other stationers?

Invitation Station is a boutique studio and not a shopfront. Being in a studio allows us to take extra time with each customer, to really get to know a couple without any interruptions. We design per couple, every time, ensuring a unique outcome for every invitation suite. As we design and manufacture our own bases and paper stocks, we know that what leaves our studio is our design from start to finish. Quality is of the utmost importance to us, and this is reflected in all our invitations.
How long have you been creating stationery for weddings?

Invitation Station (Cara Marie) has been creating stationery for the last 10 years. Before this is a background of desktop publishing and marketing for various businesses.

Have you noticed any trends in wedding stationery?

As far as trends go, we don’t see people generally wanting the same stationery. Invitation tastes are always different. However, colour schemes do seem to be played out throughout the year. At the moment classic black and white is a definite favourite amongst couples. It is also great to see people don’t feel they need to spell out their whole bridal party colours in an invitation, but instead are giving little hints within the classics. Nude and ivory is also another popular combination for 2010, and we are seeing a welcome steer towards nice and deep charcoal’s instead of metallic silvers.

How do you ensure that the wedding stationery reflects the couple’s style?

Dedicating ourselves to each couple we meet and really getting to know their likes and dislikes is the easiest way to make sure we are meeting the couple’s expectation of ensuring their stationery reflects their style. We start from scratch, discussing colour, base types that best suit the wording involved, what the couple like as far as adorning their invitation. We offer a wide variety of colours, ribbons, embellishments and print styles. If we don’t have it, we will definitely go in search of that particular item that will make sure each customer is as happy as the ones before them. We want our brides and grooms’ guests to be talking about their wedding from the moment they open their invitations.
What has been your favourite creation to date & why?

Favourite creation to date…I can’t actually answer this question by narrowing it down to any single invitation. We aim to be excited by every invitation that leaves our studio. If it hasn’t thrilled us and been a joy to work on then how is it going to impress anyone else? I can honestly say that I get quite excited for every invitation suite we work on, and of course the couples we work with add to that excitement too. I really like pushing the boundaries, and if I have to admit it, I am a fan of patterned stocks and unique textures, with the former not being something used in stationery all the time, it does give me an extra buzz to create patterned stocks.

If you would like to learn more about Cara Marie & Invitation Station please visit her website at: http://www.invitationstation.net.

Victoria x

Monday, March 08, 2010


Bonjour mes amis

I know that we’re in the middle of the “5 minutes with…” interviews but I have to interrupt the series to introduce an amazing new website, Portobello Bride.

Portobello Bride – The Boutique Wedding Market only went live recently but it is already becoming the one-stop website for brides-to-be. After you explore it for yourself you’ll understand why.

Complete with a boutique wedding guide, wedding markets, a bride’s style guide, exclusive events and a blog, everything you could ever need or want to know is only a click away.

The boutique wedding directory is a great place to start no matter what stage of the planning process you are at and you can rest assured that those found on the website meet the high standards of Portobello Bride’s creator, ensuring that you will find only the best suppliers in each field…“We like to think of our wedding guide as a boutique directory, small in size but abundant with quality and style. All our wedding service providers are invited, recommended or accepted because they offer beautiful, edgy, unique, customised, creative and simply special products or services.”

My personal favourite though, is the boutique wedding markets. There are so many “expo’s” around and very rarely are do they live up to our expectations. The boutique wedding market however, will be set in gorgeous venues, provide guests with the opportunity to experience local produce and will even allow those looking to purchase and/or order any treasures that may be found directly from the exhibitors there and then. Sydney & Melbourne market dates will be announced soon so be sure to keep your eyes and ears open!

Of course it goes without saying that I am delighted to be featured on Portobello Bride & I hope you enjoy exploring this incredible website as much as I do.

If you would like to experience Portobello Bride click on the following link http://www.portobellobride.com.au. You can also subscribe to The Boutique Wedding Blog at http://portobellobrideblog.blogspot.com/

Victoria x

Thursday, March 04, 2010

5 minutes with...Margaret & Michelle Williams from MXM Couture

Bonjour mes amis

First of all, I must apologise for not finding the time to bring you an interview last week. There are weddings to plan and last week was spent creating run sheets and putting the finishing touches on some upcoming weddings.

This week the focus is on Margaret & Michelle Williams from MXM Couture. These women are incredible to say the least! The dresses they create are so unique and the detail that goes into the lace and bead work never ceases to amaze me…see the pictures below.

What I love most about their dresses though, is that they can transform your body & make women feel beautiful which is what we all want on our wedding day.

Here’s what Margaret & Michelle had to say during our 5 minutes…

What makes your dresses different from the others on the market?

What makes MXM dresses different is our unique construction. For example, our dresses are constructed differently for each client and are comfortable. Our application and utilisation of fabrics is also a point of difference.

When designing a wedding dress which fabrics do you prefer to work with & why?

We don't have a real preference of fabric - all fabric is unique and exciting to work with. The fabric choice is dictated by many things when we’re designing.

Which styles of wedding dresses best suit which body shapes?

Styles of dresses are dictated by shape, proportion etc....we work hard on every construction to perfect the body. It takes too long to explain all the tricks and illusions that go into creating the perfect dress for individual body shapes. .Our clients are often amazed at how we can get the body looking so good with shape in the areas they never thought possible.

What makes a good wedding dress?

What makes a good wedding dress is the last fitting when our Bride is standing in front of the mirror in their dress saying “I don't want to take it off!” We achieve the perfect dress when we have the design right i.e. fabric, colour, fabric suitability, suitability for the location, and of course the fit has to be perfect and comfortable. The dress needs to bring out the best in the body and personality of the wearer for her to really shine.

Is it helpful for Bride’s to get their inspiration from magazines or does that lead to unrealistic expectations due to differing body shapes & skin tones, etc?

It is great if the Bride gathers inspiration from magazines of things she likes as it gives us an insight into the brides personality. At the consultations we do a lot of listening as it’s important to capture the real essence of visualising and getting direction into design. Brides also see us without bringing magazine pictures as they like to leave it to us that’s fine too.

For more information about Margaret & Michelle & MXM Couture please visit their website at http://www.mxmcouture.com.

Victoria x