30 December 2009

Car Parking

The ABC is reporting that a shopping centre in China is opening a car park for women only! The bays will be a whole metre wider and also be better lit in an effort to reduce the number of accidents.

To top it all off it will be pink and purple. Very stylish. Oh, with cartoon figures...

Click here for the story.

Good grief. Come on ladies, lift your parking game!

27 December 2009

Decorations and fripperies

My sister E has been sending me lots of interesting items relating to weddings! I do find it a little difficult to keep up, there are so many ideas floating around, and I need to be more dilligent in recording them in this blog. Here goes...

One of the themes is that of decoration, in our case for the engagement party and for the wedding ceremony.

We are thinking that we could use decorations for the engagement party and then reuse them for the wedding. Some of the ideas require a bit of construction! There are lots of lovely ideas out there.


Jordan Ferney

Jordan Ferney Bunting

Pretty paper by Paper tie affair

Tutorial for Flower Garland via Once Wed

Free pattern for garland from Dandi.

17 December 2009

Class of 1999

Tuesday night was my ten year reunion for our graduating class at uni. It was interesting to catch up with people, and reacquaint ourselves with colleagues who we hadn't seen since we were footloose and unencumbered!

Of the approximately twenty who went, there were only three ladies there, all from my dscipline, and all of us friends who catch up. That was the percentage of females in our course when we were studying, so no real surprises there! The guys it was interesting to hear who was married, who had children and who had been travelling. One of the guys had been living in Paris, and his work had taken him around the world! Others had not left Perth. Of those in my discipline, I was one of the very few who was actually working in the field we had all qualified in. I am not sure if this shows my dedication and commitment, or if everyone else knows something that I do not!

[As a note, I do enjoy my work, most of the time!]

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed meeting people, and talking to them. True, we had a common interest, in that we had studied at university at the same time, and in the same faculty, and that made it easier to start the conversation, but it was nice to learn something about people and see where someone who had started at the same point as myself was at in their life.

It was all reasonably civilised, with a constant stream of canapes and drinks at the University Club. I remember our five year reunion being at the old University Club, a dark bar with interesting character. At that event too there was minimum turnout, but it was organised on an evening when the students were celebrating, and we ended up at the University Tavern at one of the End of Semester shows!

16 December 2009

Thank you cards!

The cards that I ordered to use to write thank yous for our engagement have arrived! I am very excited! They are from Mokoh Design Australia, a local Perth business. I first saw Mokoh products at the September Perth Upmarket. I purchased a lovely red print that I have still to frame and hang! It is currently sitting on my buffet and is a constant reminder that I have many pictures to frame and hang.

There are so many pretty designs and prints on the Mokoh website. I initially asked for a sample of a different style print, but decided upon the one that I have purchased after browsing through the website.

The string wrapped bundles of cards are so cute!!

14 December 2009

Setting a date

One thing that I wanted to organise fairly soon after our engagement was the date and venues for our wedding. I had an inkling that in order to get the venue that we preferred, we may have to book quite far in advance. I was surprised that C did not offer more resistance than he did in setting a date. We are also looking to build a house and he was much more focussed on that - had some strange concept that we could only do one thing at a time!

The date that we have ended up with was influenced by our timeline for next year, and the fact that we have three weddings already to attend! In March we are heading to Dunsborough for M&R's wedding, in April I am flying to Hobart for M&T's wedding and then in October C is best man at C&J's wedding in Collie! So we are a very busy couple next year. I had thought that I had run out of weddings to attend, but there seem to be a few people left to tie the knot.

We had a fair idea of where we would like to hold our wedding, and I only contacted a few venues. Our first choice was available for the date we wanted, so that made it all fairly simple! We are planning a lunch time reception, as we wanted something nice and relaxed, and then once the formal stuff is over we want to head out afterwards with our friends to continue celebrating! If we had wanted to book the venue for a Saturday evening then we would probably have had to wait until 2011! It does seem fairly popular!

Two venues that I did contact were The Bellhouse Cafe and Coco's in South Perth. They were very good in getting information to me, and also sent a follow up email a few days later to see how I was going with the information. The Bellhouse had special significance to us as well, since it was the site of our first date and also where we had dinner when C proposed! Unfortunately the size of the venues counted them out of our consideration. The Bellhouse was good for around 60 people seated, and Coco's had a minimum of 130. The menu's for Coco's that I received looked divine, C is a keen fisherman and there was definitely a good selection from the sea!

There was a third venue that I submitted an equiry to through their webpage. That seemed to be the way to approach it, there was no phone number to contact them, just an online form. That was back in late October and I have yet to hear from them!

11 December 2009

The dress rehearsal...

We are organising an engagement party with our friends and immediate family. It will be great to catch up with everyone and share our excitement!

It would have been nice to have the party closer to when we were engaged, however C works on a roster and Christmas was getting closer so we ended up postponing it until the new year. Even then we were constricted, we are invited to a wedding in early March and had to adjust our party date to work in with celebrations involved with that wedding.

Hopefully everyone will be able to make it, most of C's friends live out of town so will have to find accommodation for the evening. We will have room for some but not all, we shall see how many we can fit!

Invitations were sent out this week, and we have already had RSVPs from friends looking forward to the party!

For the invitations I wanted to do something simple, and we have ended up with silver paper, black ribbon and black writing. I will try and get a picture to upload.

I have started to put together the menu for the evening. We would like to do food that is tasty but also minimal effort on the evening to prepare and serve. I have some great cookbooks for party finger food, so we shall see how we go! One of my favourite sites for recipes is Exclusively Food, and I might use a recipe or two from there. I will have to experiment a bit, but there should be a few parties coming up over the next few weeks so I can guinea pig people there!!

Bridesmaids' dresses

It is important to me that my bridesmaids like the dresses that they wear, and also preferably that we choose something that they would wear again. Many of my friends have asked me what colours I have selected for my wedding, and to be honest I do not know! There are so many pretty colour combinations! I would be happy to find a dress (or dresses) that the bridesmaids are happy with and pick the palette from that.

I like the pictures from weddings where the bridesmaid dresses are not always exactly the same. They may be the same style and different colours, or the same colour but different shades. There are quite a few options to choose from, and I am keen to find something that we all like soon! [find some photos]

My favourite colour is blue, and C is happy with blue (as long as it is not baby blue). So there should be a few shades to play with! Pinks and reds also look lovely. So much choice!! Still at the moment we have a bit of time to try and organise things.

Bridal outfit

I love clothes, and I love buying clothes that are made locally to where I have bought them. I have actually visited Melbourne three times this year, twice to visit my friend N, and we have had great success shopping for locally made clothing and homewares. The first trip over I bought three cushions, luckily I had brought over a soft bag with me so I stuffed them into that and there were no problems getting them home! Five years ago my wardrobe was a mix of clothes from all different countries, as I tend to buy clothing as a souvenir! I realised a few weeks ago that most of my clothes were made and bought in Melbourne! I shall have to try a bit harder to support the local industry here in Perth, and mix up my wardrobe a bit.

I have given myself a budget for the bridal outfit, and will try my hardest to stay within it The budget is to cover dress, shoes, veil (if I decide to wear one) and underwear. I haven't thought about bridal jewellery! I was a little heartened when we went to Post Emporium (Aurelio Costarella) and learnt that the gown I liked best there was well within the budget. It made me think that getting an outfit within budget was not going to be as difficult as I had imagined.

For my wedding dress, I am definitely keen to get something locally designed and made here in Perth. So far E and I have visited three local designers/shops, including Aurelio Costarella, Hustle and Ashe. I have to confess that I already had a preference towards Lin Pin, I have a Lin Pin dress in a teal blue that I love, and was hoping to find something similar! Still, I am open to suggestions, and there are many more designers out there. All three of the places we looked at had dresses that would suit, so early next year I will need to make a choice and order my dress.

While I was in Melbourne recently visiting N, a couple of my friends mentioned a designer Gwendolynne. N and I took the opportunity to visit her store, as we were in the area on the Saturday. The dresses were gorgeous Such delicate detail and styling, magical gowns that definitely do not look off a rack and Made in China. We questioned the designer, and were told that the dresses were all made on the premises. I was in heaven! Unfortunately the cost of the gowns are far above my budget for the bridal outfit. Not to mention the cost of flying over to Melbourne for the fittings!

How to choose a photographer...

After the reception cost, the cost of photography for a wedding is generally the greatest cost. At least for me, I am not planning to spend big dollars on a dress! With this in mind, and also since the photos will be the only memory of the date when you are old and dribbly you want to make sure you choose wisely.

We had dinner with G&T on Saturday. We hadn't see then for ages, and it was not until we actually saw them that I realised how long it had been. They were married in 2007, and at one point during the night I had asked them about their photographer. Not wanting to go into detail, they were not too happy with the experience, and I came away with some tips on what to look out for.

  • Ask to see a whole album of their work before you sign on the dotted line. The photographer may only capture one or two good shots from a wedding, and you can be sure that this will be what they put up on their website

  • If you are going to be getting the photos on CD/DVD, make sure that the photographer is going to give you the native, unedited files. It is difficult or maybe impossible to reverse photoshop effects!

  • Be comfortable with your photographer, and be happy! You are expecting them to capture one of the most important days of your life, and you should feel relaxed around them and confident that they are going to do you justice!

We have yet to choose a photographer, so more on the experience once we have gone through the process.

The beginning... or is it?

I guess I should start at the beginning, but does that mean when C & I met? My intent was to start at the engagement, so I shall start there!

C & I have recently become owners of a block of land, and as we got close to settlement date he was very keen to organise dinner to celebrate our joint purchase! I suggested that we eat at The Bellhouse Cafe on the South Perth foreshore, the location for our first date together! Dinner was nice, and afterwards we wandered onto the Mends Street Jetty to enjoy the sight of the river and the city.

It was a fairly windy evening, and after a while I started to get cold. I said to C that we should leave and go home, and he said that I had to wait, he had something to ask me. What could that be?? He said that he had something burning a hole in his pocket, me being a smarty pants asked if it was his mobile phone, something that is always running hot with mates and work calls! He said no, and then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! It was so sweet. Of course I said yes, gave him a kiss and pulled him up. "Show me, show me", I said, wanting to see what was so hot in his pocket. Luckily for me it wasn't what some of you were thinking; it was a lovely diamond solitaire ring that he had picked out on his own... okay maybe with some assistance from his sister K2.

I was very excited! The initial buzz lasted for at least two weeks, although some of my friends thought that I was a little too calm and collected when I told them. I was - and am - happy on the inside!!

The Subi Street Festival

Last night E and I went to Subiaco to check out the Subi Street Festival. It was great! Face painting and street performers and painting of umbrellas and heaps of stalls selling locally made and designed products. I love to go to the markets, and see all of the wonderful products that people have made. There are so many things that I would like to buy, sadly I don't have enough house to keep them all in!

Some of the lovely stalls that we visited included Mitchell and Dent, Katy Jane and Champ+Rosie.

I was well behaved at the market, and didn't spend anything. I did however part with some hard earned dollars at Ginza. It was very unlike me, I bought three pairs of shoes all at once. I usually hate shoe shopping, I find it difficult to find shoes that fit and are comfortable, and I managed to find three pairs all with a medium heel. I am reasonably tall (172cm) so do not feel the need for extra height.

E was feeling a bit light headed due to lack of food. Most of the venues we wandered past looked packed, and we found ourselves at a Japanese sushi bar Satsuki right on top of the Subiaco train station! It was a pretty good location for making sure that we didn't miss the train. The food was very yummy, and beautifully presented! I will definitely have to make the time to go back there!