5 Tips for a Budget-friendly yet Elegant Wedding

5 Tips for a Budget-friendly yet Elegant Wedding

Even if you are not planning on getting married now, chances are you will be in the future, or you will be involved in your daughter or son’s wedding. Your cousin may also consult you on a few tips to use to achieve a dream wedding.

DIY planning can save you thousands. But planning a wedding can be stressful and exhausting. Oftentimes, the bride and groom will hire a wedding coordinator to help relieve some of the burden. Your game here is the ‘Complete guide to planning your dream wedding’ by Editor Carolyn Menyes at Thedailymeal.com.

Here a few tips that you can use to organise your own or child’s elegant wedding at a budget-friendly cost:

DIY Dessert Bar

If you are close with your family members, you should take advantage of their dessert skills, if they have some. A potluck dessert bar can come in handy, saving money that would otherwise be used in ordering your dessert from caterers.

If you have aunties or grandparents that have baking skills, you can use them to share their desserts with your wedding guests. You can ask them if they can make a certain amount of cookies or cupcakes to put at the dessert bar.

Get a small cutting cake for the bride and the groom, then fill the table with some special sweets. One can then use some customised tags that shows who made the sweets or the cake.

5 Tips for a Budget-friendly yet Elegant WeddingHire the dress 

Most people who think about hiring a wedding dress think of it as downgrading the most important moment of their lives. Everyone wants to say ‘I do’ in the perfectly elegant dress and the mention of “hiring a dress” shatters that dream.

However, that should not be the case. You can easily hire a designer dress with all the details and specifications that you want. This will not only ensure you have a dream wedding, but also achieve this dream at a pocket-friendly price.  

Marilyn.nz is a wedding dress hire company with dresses starting at $500 and going up to $1,000. If you cannot afford the hire charge, you could consider taking a small personal loan! 

Buy Used Items

Many times after the wedding, the things needed at the wedding are disposed of by already-married brides. Some of the things may include décor items, candle holders and even chandeliers.

Many physical and online shops sell used wedding items that are in perfect condition that can be reused again at your wedding. These items may also not necessarily be used as some weddings are usually cancelled leaving their wedding items unused, or the previous bride may well have over-purchased!

You can buy these items at a subsidised price that will enable you to have the wedding you have been dreaming of all this time.

Avoid Favours

This is one of the most efficient ways of saving money and time. Instead of giving everyone free rides to and from the wedding, simply let everyone know in advance to cater for their transport so as to save yourself the cost of transportation.

One of the most common misconceptions about a wedding is the use of a limo. Couples should be creative and find other ways of getting to the wedding venue and from without having to hire a limo.

5 Tips for a Budget-friendly yet Elegant WeddingLimit Your Guest List 

This is the most dreaded and crucial part of wedding planning. Dreaded because it’s difficult when it comes to deciding who to invite and not to invite to your wedding. 

The guest list is crucial because you get to reduce the number of people so that you can reduce the cost of the wedding. Remember, the more people you invite, the more food and drink you’ll have to buy to serve them at the reception.

Wedding costs wilvary accordingly. In an article on Cost of Wedding, it says that about 50 per cent of couples spend less than $15,000 on their wedding, while the other half “spend between $19,323 and $32,205.” The honeymoon is usually excluded from the budget.

Be sure to always check with your your accountant or financial advisor before committing fully to any of your wedding plans and taking out a loan. You must carefully read the disclosure statement before considering taking out a loan. Quickloans.co.nz offer loans to New Zealand residents, with repayments terms starting at $20 per week.

 There’s nothing wrong with spending money on your wedding because you only marry once. However, a wedding with a tight budget does not make it any less personal or cheap. It just means the couple chose frugality over debt to save up for their newly-wed life. You can also browse the rest of our site (My Wedding) for more wedding inspirations, tips, and advice.


Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices

Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices

When packing for your honeymoon, sunnies should be somewhere near the top of your packing list. After all, who wants to walk on sparkling white beaches and deal with the glare? In fact, they’re probably handy to have around for outdoor weddings, too …. wouldn’t you rather shield your eyes in designer frames than have every image of yourself squinting?

That said, designer sunglasses often come with a huge price tag … and when you’ve already paid out for your wedding plans and long-dreamed of honeymoon, you don’t want to break the bank on accessories.

We’ve been shopping at Smart Buy Glasses and have been impressed. This year, SmartBuyGlasses celebrates ten years of delivering Expertise, Service and Passion to customers around the world, so they must be doing something right!

We love the broad range they offer, including high end designers such as Gucci, Tom Ford, Nina Ricci, Versace, Burberry and many more! Try their Style Finder to select a pair that you know are going to look fabulous on you!

We’ve had a lengthy trawl through some of their latest designs, and list below just a sprinkling of our favourites. Check out their OPTICAL CENTRE for all the lens information you’ll ever need, shop by PERSONALITY or DESIGNER, and give their VIRTUAL TRY ON a go!



Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices









Dolce & Gabbana

Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices










Marc by Marc Jacobs

Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices










Tom Ford

Smart Sunnies at Smart Prices

The Right Fit

The Right Fit


When hiring a suit, it’s important that you get the measurements spot on. Before you start, grab a decent tailor’s tape measure, the shoes you’ll be wearing on the day, pen and paper, and have someone handy to help out.

  1. Measure around the neck, approximately where your Adam’s Apple is. Leave a finger in between 3 your neck and the tape measure. Don’t pull the tape measure too tightly.
  2. Raise your arms and run the tape measure right around your body, making sure it is sitting high under your arms and straight across your back. Then lower your arms and take the measurement.
  3. Run the tape measure next to your skin, around the top of your hipbone and below your belly button. This measurement should be taken very firmly.
  4. This next step is easier if you can get someone to help with the actual measuring. Pop on the shoes you’ll most likely be wearing with your suit, or some that are a very similar style and height. Stand straight up, looking forward, so that you don’t slouch. Measure from your waist (where your pants normally sit around your waist) to the top of the heel of your shoes.
  5. Note down your overall height
  6. Note down your overall weight

Now you’re ready to give your measurements to your suit hire company!


Wedding Etiquette

Wedding Etiquette

Wedding Etiquette

by Anita Gatley

When you saw this headline, you probably thought you’d be reading an article about who does what in the ceremony, who sits where and who says what.

However, the term “etiquette” starts much earlier than the above scenarios.

Wedding etiquette starts from the moment you say “I do” … when your planning first gets underway.

As a service provider, it is important I meet with my clients to ascertain how I help them initially and then work out how I can deliver what they are after. Whether the service provider is a celebrant, photographer, wedding travel specialist, venue or anyone else involved in the wedding industry, it’s imperative as an engaged couple that you see these folk as busy professionals.

Give them the time they need to do their jobs, and respect that you’re not their only client. Wedding etiquette means turning up on time for pre-arranged meetings … on time and ready to engage with that provider.

It’s important to remember that although professionals, these service providers also have families. Very often, they’ve arranged to meet with you outside of normal office hours to suit your busy day. They’re usually more than happy to do that, so long as you arrive on time.

It also pays to remember that your wedding day is about TWO people – this is the beginning of sharing your lives together. It’s a good idea if BOTH of you show up to meetings with your service provider. Many of the decisions you’ll be making will be costly ones. Surely decisions about the day itself or the honeymoon should be made together?

Service providers within the wedding industry want to share your vision, and this means building a good rapport with you both. If you are late or simply don’t show up to appointments, it does put a strain on what should be a relaxed relationship!

You wouldn’t dream of not showing up to a pre-arranged lawyer or doctor’s appointment as you know you’ll be charged for it, whether you’re there or not! Why should wedding industry professionals be treated any differently?

You and your betrothed have a partnership, and it would stand you in good stead to treat your relationship with your wedding service provider as a partnership, too. Give those you’ve chosen to work with ample opportunity to prove you’ve made the right decision in opting to work with them.

Show them the courtesy they deserve and you’ll likely see the rewards … treat them as the professionals they are, and they’ll likely go out of their way to make those wedding dreams of yours come true! ♥

Dealing with nerves

Dealing with nerves

Dealing with nervesDealing with nerves

by Emma Krieger

Every groom gets a touch of nerves on his big day, but some simple calming tips will be sure to keep the jitters at bay.

For many grooms-to-be the most nerve-racking experience is out of the way once your bride-to-be has said “Yes” to your proposal. As the special day looms closer, the realisation dawns that this may have been a piece of (wedding) cake in comparison to what comes next.

Standing up in front of family, friends – sometimes in a cast of hundreds – can be a daunting experience for even the most confident of grooms.And with so many things to juggle on the day – remembering the vows you’ve so carefully prepared and memorised, ensuring you don’t trip over your bride’s $8,000 Alex Perry gown during your first dance together, keeping everyone mingling and having a good time at the reception, praying that your best man omits any embarrassing past indiscretions during his speech – can all spell major stress time for grooms.

For recent groom Denis Peltier (35) who married Annette (33) in a lavish yet intimate ceremony at Riva in Melbourne, keeping his nerves in check was all about remembering why he was there.

“I was pretty nervous before the ceremony,” he admits, “but I just thought about how special Annette is to me and how excited I was to stand up in front of everyone to make our commitment to one another. Once I was just focused on Annette, I forgot about everyone else in the room.”

As for the speech, says Peltier, it was a matter of relaxing and just being himself. “I didn’t prepare a great long speech. I jotted down a couple of things before the day and then just went off the cuff once I had the floor. I wanted my speech to come from the heart anyway; corny I know, but I didn’t want to be wooden and rehearsed. Plus a glass of champagne beforehand really helped!” he laughs.

For grooms really trying to battle the nerves, the key is to remember you are there to have a good time, and remember that the people attending are there to share in your happiness.

You can also try the following:

• Write down a few key points you want to include in your speech prior to the day. For grooms who are a little stuck, try retelling the story of how you and your bride first met – guaranteed to garner some “awww’s”.

• Big day jitters? Presentation skills trainer and coach Nigel Heath advises taking some big deep breaths to steady your nerves. “This is so simple and obvious that many people dismiss it without trying it. That’s a pity, because it is really powerful,” says Heath. “Just notice what happens to you when you deliberately take three slow, deep breaths, preferably in through your nose and out through your mouth. This simple exercise will bring you a deep sense of relaxation and calm.”

• Get a good night’s sleep the night before. And, whatever you do, schedule the stag night at least a week before your wedding day!

• While it may be tempting to down a few glasses of Moet for a little “Dutch courage”, don’t go overboard. You want to remember the day after all! ♥




TOP 10 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DAY1. Give yourself plenty of time to plan your wedding. Unless you’re a superstar, don’t try and organise it in a matter of weeks. Have fun!

2. Orchestrate things carefully for the big day itself. Anything more than 15 minutes off schedule and things get a little crazy for everyone. If the venue doesn’t provide a coordinator, hire one just for the day. Do remember that perfection isn’t everything. Some of the best moments happen through uncontrolled events taking place. Embrace the unexpected.

3. There’s only so much you can do – prioritise and delegate! You won’t please everyone, so don’t try – it’s your day!

4. Plan travel times. Traffic at 4pm on a Saturday is different to 4pm mid-week.

5. When it comes to hair and makeup, ensure the bride gets underway first. If things get a little crazy, it is far better to rush the maids than the bride!

6. Do you have a wet weather alternative? Let’s be honest, New Zealand’s weather can be fickle and you don’t want to be caught short. Discuss your options with your planner or the venue coordinator well in advance.

7. Take time out for yourself the day before the wedding – read a book, have a massage, perhaps enjoy a picnic with your loved one. If you haven’t organised something by this stage, forget it! If you’ve chosen your wedding suppliers carefully, perhaps using guaranteed professionals like The Wedding Associates, then you should be able to relax knowing that they’ll take care of things on the day.

8. And that leads into our next tip – remember to enjoy the day. It will fly by in a whirl otherwise.

9. Many couples choose to have their first look at each other in private. It allows you to take a deep breath, enjoy the moment together and really feel the emotion of the day.

10. And (finally) remember to eat…all that bubbly on an empty tummy is not a good idea!

Your Promises to One Another

Your Promises to One Another

promises to one anotherYOUR PROMISES TO ONE ANOTHER

By Sheryl Mungall

If there is anything you remember of your wedding ceremony, may it be love that brought you here today. It is only love that can make yours a glorious union and by love that your marriage shall endure. As your separate lives merge into one, you are taking into your care and keeping the happiness of the one person in all the world whom you love above all others. You are adding to your life not only the affection of each other but also the companionship and blessing of a deep trust. You are agreeing to share strength, responsibilities and love. You will make promises and declare your love before family and friends, so choose words that mean something to you both. Here are some beautiful vows to help you get started.

  1. I take your hand in mine. This symbolises our friendship, and I promise to be your true friend. It symbolises our union and I promise to keep you uppermost in my life. It symbolises help and caring, and I promise to support and care for you always. But most of all it symbolises our love, and love is what I have for you. I take your hand in mine, for this hour, for this day and for this lifetime. I promise to love you always.
  2. Today I take you to be my husband/wife, and my wish is that we will share our days, our nights, our laughter, our dreams. I choose you above all others to share my life. I love you for yourself and I want you to become all that you can be. I promise to honour this pledge as long as I live.
  3. I promise to love you, to remain honest and faithful to you, to be available for you when you are in pain or grieving, and when you are filled with happiness. I promise to challenge you always, to support and nurture you and be receptive to the gift of your love. I love you with all my heart and I will love you for the rest of my life.
  4. As I take you today to be my husband/wife, I promise to be your constant friend, faithful partner in life, your one true love. I promise to love and support you every day, and I promise to try to be the best man/woman I can be for the rest of our lives. I make these promises to you from this day forward. I will love you always.
  5. I take you to be my lawful wife. To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer as long as we both shall live.



  6. I take you to be my husband/ wife, my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our friendship and love you today tomorrow and forever. I will trust you and honour you and I will laugh with you and cry with you. I will love you faithfully through the best and worst, through the difficult and the easy. Whatever may come, I will always be there and will love you always.

Tying A Tie

Tying A Tie

tiesTying a Tie:

The right tie, properly knotted, can make or break an outfit. An immaculately cut suit, polished shoes, dapper hairstyle and impeccable grooming will all be let down if your tie is wrong!

A few decades ago, every man and school boy worth his salt could knot his tie to perfection. Wearing ties was a way of life. These days, thanks to our more casual outlook in the men’s fashion stakes, ties aren’t a daily occurrence for the vast majority. And isn’t it a funny quirk that many men will ask their woman to straighten their tie, or even make the knot!

With the aid of Victor at Dorset Suit Hire and Chris at Dillon Photography, we’ve put together this simple guide to the most common knots so that you can truly look the part on your big day.

The Four-in-Hand (Schoolboy) knot:
The most common knot. Good for heavier fabrics. Best with collars that have a smaller spread.

  • Hang the tie around your neck, allowing the wide end to extend at least a ruler’s length (30cm) below the narrow end.
  • Cross the wide part firstly OVER then back UNDER the narrow part.
  • Bring the wide end back OVER the front again, then pull UP through the loop.
  • Hold the front of the knot with your fingers and slide the wide end down through the front of the knot.
  • Hold the narrow end and tighten by sliding the knot up towards your throat.

    The Windsor knot:
    A wide triangle knot that works in formal settings. Best with a wide-spread collar.

  • Hang the tie around your neck, allowing the wide end to extend at least a ruler’s length (30cm) below the narrow end.
  • Take the wide end around and behind the narrow end, then pull it up through the loop formed by your collar and the tie and down to the front.
  • Bring the wide end behind the narrow part, to the right, then push it through the loop again, forming a triangle in the knot area.
  • Wrap the wide end around this triangle, moving from left to right.
  • Bring the wide end up through the loop for the third time and pull through the knot at the front.
  • Use both hands to tighten and centre.

    The Half Windsor knot:
    Works with lighter fabrics and wider ties. Best with a standard collar.

  • Hang the tie around your neck, allowing the wide end to extend at least a ruler’s length (30cm) below the narrow end.
  • Take the wide end around and behind the narrow end, then pull it up through the loop formed by your collar and the tie and down to the front.
  • Bring the wide end behind the narrow part, to the right, then push it through the loop again, forming a triangle in the knot area.
  • Pull the wide end through the loop again and then pass it through the knot, tightening with both hands.

    Bow ties:

  • Drape the tie around your neck, extending the right side about 5cm lower.
  • Cross the long end over the short end – cross near the neck so that the loop is just large enough to work with.
  • Pass the longer end up through the loop forming a simple, loose overhand knot.
  • At this point, tighten if necessary.
  • Flick one end over your shoulder.ties
  • Pull the dangling end to the left, then fold it back over itself to the right. Hold this fold between your shirt’s collar points – it makes the front loop of the completed tie.
  •  Drop the end over your shoulder over the front of the bow.
  • Grab the left and right sides of the previously folded end and  pinch them together in front of the dangling end.
  • Feed the middle of the dangling end back through the knot you made – it now forms the back half of the bow.
  • Tighten by pulling on opposite sides and halves simultaneously– pull the front right and back left apart to loosen; pull the front left and back right apart to tighten.
  • Repeat until the bow is the desired shape and tightness.


    • To make a dimple, hold the top blade on both edges. Pull it down gently until the top blade starts to tighten. A slight convex will appear close to the knot. Use your thumb and forefinger to press the bottom of the knot into a V and the convex will deepen to form the dimple.


    Practice on your thigh – easier to see than working in a mirror! Just above your knee is usually about the same thickness as your neck. For bow ties, think about how you tie your shoe laces – just imagine your head poking out of your shoe where your ankle usually does!



It’s okay to say no

It’s okay to say no

It’s okay to say noIt’s okay to say no, even to the bride.

When you walk into the florist’s office, and the sample table she’s set up for you is covered in pink taffeta, topped with a bejeweled pink cloud of peonies, accented with fluorescent pink votives, it’s perfectly acceptable to say, “No, this isn’t going to work.”

Just remember that the key to compromise is offering an alternative, like “perhaps some white to offset the pink” or “if you get this, I get a man cave.”

Brian Leahy

Service with a smile

Service with a smile

Service with a smileThe groom will often be delegated the drink, and sometimes even the catering aspect of planning a wedding.

If this is the case, you need to ensure good service, not just great food!

You should have one waiter and one wine server for every ten guests. This is not an area to try and save money. Good service is very important and something your guests will remember.

Unfortunately, they’ll remember even better if they could never get a drink or canapé!