After a challenging 2020 wedding season, the wedding industry is now feeling very confident about the wide possibilities to celebrate. Being located on the Gold Coast, and with 50km of sandy gorgeous beaches very close by, what can I say? We LOVE beach weddings! Australia has most of their main cities near the beach, making this a dream theme. We make 1000's of beach wedding invitations every year for Australia and the USA so I thought to cover this theme and the relevant info you should consider when organising a beach wedding. Got ideas that you want to share? PLEASE share them in the comment box below!
Beach Wedding Locations
If it`s possible try and book a private beach then you can have your wedding ceremony, and reception all day and night. If it is not, make a list of potential sites, and visit each one.
Ask questions during your visits, such as:
There are 1000's of beach wedding styles that are suitable to wear outdoors, without dragging sand all over it. Many brides opt to have two designs: one for the beach ceremony and a more elegant or formal one for the reception.
TIP/ IDEA: An idea that can help guests to be comfortable with their attire is to buy heaps of thongs and present them in a basket or wooden box. This allows people get changed during the wedding. High heels on the sand can be really uncomfortable and getting sand in your shoes is not much fun. Bare foot attire is also an option you could offer.
Is it going to be a rustic beach day or will it be an elegant glam beach reception?
This is a key question to keep in mind when choosing all services and products for the day.
There are fabulous decorations for a beach weddings and many DIY projects that with a bit of time, can look amazing. Extend the beach theme to your menu and table arrangements. Finger starfish with guest tags located on the table to indicate your guests the seating place. Beach signs with arrows. Mesh, rope, nets are just some of the elements that reflect the beach and ocean. I have even seeing chandelliers holding, only metres from the sand... the choice is yours and I strongly suggest you visit the venue many times to have an idea of the feel you want for your day.
IDEA: Some couples opt for using big sandollars or starfish instead of table numbers and hand write the number or name of the table on each. Serving food inside seashells is a nice beachy touch and very practical too.
How many options we have here! I'll try not to get carried away because this is not supposed to be a beach invitation article!
Briefly I would say: Decide whether or now you want beach elements on your invitations, based on taste, level of formality and budget, of course!
If you love them, you can incorporate shells, starfish or sanddollar embellishments, and combine them with mesh, raffia or twine, in a neat, coordinated way. Scroll wedding invitations closed with string or jute and a shell, or fan shape invitation with a beach design, palms or sea shells, are also unique beach invitation ideas.
If you don't like beach elements crafted on your invitations: Choose the design you want, and have a ribbon or paper band in aqua or beach colours or sandy twine, mesh and raffia, which are simple and warm beachy elements.
You can also use the 'message in a bottle' idea for favours with thank you messages to your guests or even as wedding programs rolled in bottles. We do not usually recommend these for invitations Use place cards that won't blow away - names printed on shells or sandollars with a texter to keep the theme going. Check our beach invitation collection here
The Hawaiian style flowers have a very relax beach style, also frangipani, hibiscus or any tropical flower. Enquire with your florist at your wedding destination to put together bouquets with shells attached to them.
A seafood spread would be ideal for beach wedding meals: Prawn cocktail, lobster and fresh local sea food. A lot of caterers (especially abroad) will be able to make exotic sea food dishes. A signature drink is a fun, classy addition to you beach wedding, perhaps in aqua colour to complement the scenery.
Some people like having a unique shape, like a sandcastle, palm trees, seahorse, giant clam, starfish or anything that will really personalise your wedding cake. Others rather a traditional cake with a touch of ribbon in your wedding colours, usually aqua, coral or pastels.
IDEA: milk chocolate shell decorations scattered across the tables or placed in a basket. Only if weather is not too warm!
You could make or buy glass bottles with a message inside as mentioned before. Another special touch to make your beach event stand out is to get glass tubes and fill with messages or lollies.
We have seen fantastic and practical favour ideas such as: sunglasses in every single seat with the wedding date printed on the side and the couple names engraved. Great favours ready to be used if you forgot your own.
Also paper umbrellas, engraved with the couples names and ready to be opened for use during the ceremony and to take home.
Check our beach invitation collection here
Signage: Christopher Nolan Photography
Chairs: Style me Pretty
This is a question we are often asked, and we thought to write a bit about our views, to give you an idea as to when the best time to send out your wedding invitations is. Unfortunately, what etiquette and wedding “protocol” usually suggest is not necessarily compatible with reality.
IMPORTANT: This article is merely meant to inform and does not try to give advice or “a must” timing. Our intention is to just guide you with our extensive experience in the industry, making wedding invitations and stationery for the day has taught us about the timing needed.
What online “experts” tell you (and I disagree) is to:
“Send your wedding invitations 8 weeks before your wedding. If it’s a destination wedding: send them 3 months in advance to give your guests time to arrange and schedule the trip.”
For starters, some of the advice online is concerning. When the articles are written by SEO content writers who are paid to get to get a website’s rank up on google. 1000’s of people trusting an article that is trying to make sales instead of trying to inform.
What I say: "Really?"
In our experience, it’s best to be thinking of a few aspects of your wedding, deciding the best timing for you, deciding what works for your guests and discussing timing with vendors and suppliers so it can all work together to deliver what you need when you need it.
What I ask my couples before I suggest a timing:
1) Is it a destination wedding? Do your guests need to arrange flights, accommodation and save an amount of money to make it to the event? Give them 6 months to a year if they’re interstate, more than a year if they’re overseas. Only you know how quick your friends can get organised and logistics and their finances. If you want them to come, allow them time.
2) Do you want all of them to come, or are you just fulfilling a formality? I know this can be a controversial question, but we all know that some people will not be able to come, or that you may not be that keen on inviting certain people for whatever reason. However, you may still want them to receive an invitation. If that’s the case, yes! 8 weeks is plenty of time. In On some occasions, we may need to invite others, to participate in or fulfil a formality (family relationships, business, etc, and auntie or neighbour that knew us growing up but would not necessarily attend to your wedding, the list continues.)
3) Did you send a save the date card, or are you planning to? I am not saying anyone should or shouldn’t, some send a save the date card 1 year or more before the day. The truth is that many, and I dare to say most guests, will not buy the tickets until the venue is confirmed, nor they will ask their boss the day off for it, or book a nanny etc until they receive the formal invitation. A save the date is very useful but often instead couples rather save the money and put it towards a much nicer invitation to be sent earlier. There is no right or wrong in my opinion, the choice is again yours. Bottom line, if you have not sent a save the date card, then that invitation probably should go out even earlier than planned.
4) What services do you need to organise that rely on confirmed numbers and rsvps? And what is their timing? As you may know, certain suppliers will need to know your numbers and will need to know some time in advance of the wedding or before the wished delivery date (if a product is needed before the wedding). Say for example, a caterer may not need to know the numbers or whether they are vegetarian or not until 2-4 weeks before the wedding, but perhaps you might need to hire a second nanny for the hotel as some extra kids were confirmed for the day.
Or in the case of our services/products, you may need menus, table/place cards, chocolate or personalised favours/ bonbonniere, programs or order of service. All these need numbers confirmed, and many, such as place cards, will also need the names of the guests. During busy times we (Tango Design) do need 4 weeks for production, from when the PDF is approved, plus shipping time. Whilst many couples approve their design within 1-2 weeks, some need a little extra time, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but there needs to be enough time before your wedding to cater for it. Often, there are last minutes changes, design variations, and changes of information on the invite from the venue, the caterer or the celebrant, and that’s without counting when a family or friends also want to participate in the wording for each piece. Every client, every wedding and every family is different.
So, when to send your invites?
If you want the short answer, I would say:
• If it’s a local wedding, where no accommodation or flights are required:
I would suggest 4-6 months before the wedding day to allow you to organise other services and products with vendors that require numbers or/and names (if needed).
• If it’s a destination wedding, where accommodation and flights are required, and you want them to make it to the event: 6 months to 18 months.
There are many reasons, but it’s best to decide for yourself considering the questions above.
As well as the scenarios mentioned, consider:
• Cultural background and timing. For some cultures it is unthinkable to plan too early, for others, it is a must.
• The amount of people involved in the PDF approval. Some couples are the only ones who have a say on the design or/ and the wording, however plenty get their parents, financial contributors or friends included in the decisions. Again, not right or wrong, but the more people involved, the longer it takes for everyone to agree. Please allow some time for it.
• Changes of information with third parties. Say you were given a time, but the planner or venue suggests at the very last moment a change, or maybe the photographer wants you for a few shots before the ceremony, trust me it happens. Please triple check with the venue, the planner, celebrant and any other people involved in the decision. It can take time so please allow for it.
So, to conclude this article, what I am trying to say is that the sooner you know who and how many guests are coming;
-the easier you will be able to organise other items/ services you may need
-the higher the chance that your guests can make it
-the more time you will have to ensure the invitations reflect what you want them to be
-you will also have the chance to invite a second lot of guests, if many in the first lot cannot make it (i.e. destination weddings). I will talk more about this in another article, but I am referring to guests that you would still love to come to your wedding, but they didn’t quite make it onto the first list due to a budget or spacing situation (friends you have not seen that often, or new friends/ work colleagues, etc.)
Back to browse some designs? Invitation Shop
The rustic wedding theme started blooming back a few years ago. At the time, many wedding experts and decorators found it hard to envision that mix of elements: the elegant and the rustic, the lace and the twine.
A year after, burlap and lace became the absolute star of the rustic wedding themes. You could see it featured in invitations, chair sashes, signs, table runners, etc. Today the trend is still incedibly popular (yet not a novelty anymore) and has extended beyond weddings, to bridal showers, baptisms, birthdays and coorporate functions. The rustic wedding theme is a winner, and can have luxury and a down to earth feel, all in one
Rustic weddings, sometimes labelled 'shabby chic', are becoming more popular due to the diversity of brides and grooms and their desires to have the wedding they choose, that speaks of them as people, whether that be a traditional white gown and church wedding or a rustic wedding held on a farm, or in a garden or vineyard. The point is that you are marrying the love of your life and you want the wedding to be the wedding to reflect your personality and style.
A rustic wedding can be both down to earth, shabby and rugged as well as chic, elegant and sophisticated as long as it reflects who you and your groom are. Whilst some would say that lace, pearls and bling do not belong at a rustic wedding, it really is up to you. If used sparingly, they can add the chic to the shabby.
Rustic wedding invitations may feature recycled or handmade papers, hessian or burlap, raffia or twine, corrugated board, typewriter or handwriting fonts and may be dressed up with ribbons or string, maybe add some pearls for a chic touch. Burlap and lace is the most popular wedding invitation trend for rustic, shabby chic and bohemian weddings. Country lace for a cosy look or french lace with beads for an elegant glam rustic celebration,
Locations for a Rustic Wedding
Many locations are suitable, but there is usually an outdoors element, where nature is second in beauty only to the bride and groom. Some of these places include a mountain top, a farm, barnyard, a vineyard, a lake, camp setting, the city park or garden, the beach, backyard, national park, or a resort. If you prefer to have it inside in case the weather changes, try inside a mountain lodge, a winery or brewery, or a clubhouse. Rustic weddings can be most anywhere you want them because it has a great deal to do with the decor.
Rustic weddings held outside can also be much less expensive because you can use the beauty of the surrounds as part of your decor.
You can set up candles to light the way down the aisle and string white fairy lights up in the trees for an evening wedding or reception. Rustic weddings can take on many themes, shapes and sizes depending on what you want and what your budget will allow, the possibilities are endless.
You can add plenty of rustic chic to your wedding, with chairs and tables draped with hessian table runners. Other rustic theme items include:
If this is your first wedding, you may want to wear white. Even brides who wear a beautiful white gown can have a rustic wedding. Picture a beautiful bride walking down the aisle, through a path in the woods, or a barn breezeway wearing a great pair of cowgirl boots and carrying lovely bouquet of wild flowers mixed with straw and wrapped with a piece of hessian or cheesecloth.
Favours or Bomboniere
As mentioned in the decor section above, once the wedding and reception are over you can give away the preserving jars filled with jams, honey, fruit or whatever as wedding favors. You could do the same with any special candles that you've used, like the ones wrapped in cinnamon sticks pictured.
Browse our rustic wedding invitations
Mason Jars: Studio Larsen
Jars: Lindsey Gomes Photographer.
Bride Dress: Morilee By Madeline Gardner.
Cinnamon Candles: Welke.
We all would like to know how to have the wedding dress of your dreams, and not pay 5 figures for one night's wear, right? It requires time, a bit of thought, and research. With prices as low as $500 for a wedding dress and beautiful photos all over the internet, the option of buying online is pretty tempting, However, like everything else, you need to consider the pros and cons before making this decision.
Same as us, you have probably heard plenty of stories over the years. Sometimes it goes great, with over the moon results. Sometimes it finishes in lots of tears. Hundreds of tales of poor workmanship, ill fitting dresses, or simply receiving the wrong design. Brides searching frantically for a local dress vendor, at the last moment, to try to fix or adjust the dress. I guess this situation can happen with anything bought online. Without seeing, trying, or measuring it first, there's always a risk.... but the wedding dress can't just go wrong, can it?
If you're thinking of buying your wedding dress online then it's important to do your research. Below are a few tips that might help,
1/ Know whether the dress you're buying is used, off-the-shelf or custom made, and try to buy a style where it won't matter too much if your measurements aren't exact. (Basically, the more fitted the dress, the more exact the measures needed.)
2/ Make sure you know where the dress is being shipped from. Some sites that appear to be Australian or US based are Chinese companies. Take particular caution if buying on eBay, where this information can be even harder to ascertain.
3/ If buying from overseas, make sure you know the drill when it comes to refund or fix-it policies. You won't be protected under Australian (or United States or other country as applicable) consumer law if you buy from off-shore.
4/ Try to find out where the dress is made. Many Australian based retailers are just reselling Chinese made dresses. At least though, you'll have the protection of Aussie consumer law and the seller will presumably have checked the dress for quality before offering it for sale.
5/ Regardless of whether you buy your dress online, or from an overseas or Australian supplier, write down your body measurements at the time of purchase, and take a screenshot of the ones you submitted to your vendor. You wonder why...?Often brides try to loose weigh or get toned at the gym before the big day, and you may change your body shape over the months close to the wedding. If that's the case, and you bought your dress slightly bigger than needed, you may be able to find a local vendor to adjust it and make it fit. Losing weight can be great, but maybe not so much when buying a dress online.....and it's definitely not the vendor's fault. However, in other situations it could be, so writing down the measurements can help with certain disagreements. We have heard through our clients that some local suppliers buy their dresses overseas. No surprise or issue there... But sometimes they also receive the wrong size from their manufacturers, and try to convince you that your measurements have changed. Its not good at all., and hopefully is a very small minority of stores. Either way, write down your measurements and take a photo of the ones you submit to them. Online or not, if bought from an Australian business, you are at least protected by the Australian Consumer Law.
6/ Have realistic expectations. When you buy locally in person, you have several fittings for the dress to ensure it's comfortable and hangs properly. You miss out on this when you buy online and the maker has to simply go by the measurements you provide.
7/ Talk to others, read reviews before purchasing or read online about other people's experiences with buying dresses online. You'll gain valuable insight into the process and may save yourself money and more importantly, heartache.
8/ Allow yourself plenty of time. Whilst your body may change if training or dieting, it is best to know well in advance what you are getting. That way, if the dress is not what you expected, you can always purchase a second dress locally..
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