What do you do when the bride is from the US and the groom from Australia? You throw a big engagement party in one country, and celebrate the wedding in the other! Naturally the wedding was to be in the United States- Denise would have not wanted it any other way… which I completely understand. So Australia was to have the engagement party. As a large number of guests was expected and the couple needed to stick to a budget this was to be a DIY affair. It helps when you have quite a large family and a very helpful set of friends! Everybody pitched in, and the end results looked beautiful, if I may say so myself ;) . But the most beautiful thing on the day where the smiles on Denise and Johnny’s faces. They looked truly happy to take this step that will bring them closer to their ‘Happily Ever After’.

D & J Engagement-5

D & J Engagement-1

D & J Engagement-6

D & J Engagement-2

D & J Engagement-4

D & J Engagement-12

D & J Engagement-8

Here are a few tips for organising a DIY engagement, or if you want to take it up a notch- a DIY wedding:

– Make a list. Or two or three… It will help you stay sane.
– Get help! If you have family or friends that are willing to give you a hand with organising, running errands, folding napkins, or just holding your hand when you are having a minor- or major-  breakdown because it’s all too much… take all the help that is offered.
– Make a budget. I know it’s no fun, but this way you will be able to track your expenses and also work out if you can spend that extra money on the photographer you really want.
– Research your venue and suppliers well. If they are professional the whole process will be a breeze.
– Don’t leave too many things for the last minute, this is when you should be getting extra hours of sleep to look your best on the big day, not organising seating charts.
– Most importantly, remember: this is your special day. So what if a few details don’t work out exactly as planned… my apologies to the perfectionists… every engagement or wedding needs a few bloopers.

Do you have any tips? Do share them in the comments below…

Venue: St Bernard’s Parish Hall, Bacchus Marsh; Photography: Dream Imaging Studio; Flowers: Diana; Finger Print Tree: Dreams Design Studio & Fulga & Anda; Catering: Jonathan’s family and friends; Name Tags & Favours: Dreams Design Studio; Cake: Monica

Rustic Charm Wedding Invitation Suite

You are getting married! Congratulations! As you are most likely in full blown wedding planning mode, there are so many things to organise and a million decisions to be made. To make your life just that little bit easier here is a list of all the pieces that make up a wedding invitation suite. You can pick and choose to your liking and requirement:

Wedding Invitation

This one you will definitely need. The wedding invitation is the central piece of your wedding invitation suite and should include all the important information about your special day:

The Who: names of bride and groom as well as who is inviting, eg parents or the couple themselves.
The Where: location of the ceremony and, if you don’t provide a separate directions card, the location of the reception.
The When: date and time of the ceremony.

The invitation also sets the tone of your wedding and gives your guests a sneak peek into the style of your wedding.

Wedding Envelopes

Will you send your wedding stationery in plain envelopes, matching envelopes or invitation boxes? If you are choosing a pretty envelope (possibly with an envelope liner) that matches the colours and finishes of your invitation and would like it to look nice and crisp even when your guests receive them in the mail, consider placing them in a plain addressed envelope first.

A note about using envelope liners, and if you are mailing in an additional outside envelope: Don’t glue the envelope fully shut, but tack it only lightly- this way your guests can appreciate the inside of your invitation envelope instead of ripping the top open.

Response Card

You will need to know who is attending your wedding, so unless you request your guests to call or email you will need to order response cards. These should be enclosed with the invitation and include a pre-addressed stamped envelope in order to make it easy for your guests to mail them back to you.

Directions Card

If your ceremony or reception is hard to find, or you have many guests coming from out of town consider enclosing a directions card. Your guests will thank you!

Gift Registry/ Wishing Well Card

If you have a gift list registered and the store supplies cards make sure you enclose them with your invitation. Alternatively, you can have a gift registry card designed to match your wedding invitation suite. If you prefer your guests to bring you a nice thick envelope as a gift then a wishing well card is what you need. Either way it is recommended to let your guests know what your gift wishes are. It makes their life easier, and yours as well… Really, who needs 4 toasters?

Keep an eye out for future posts where you can read about what to write on the invitation, response card etc.
Is there any other card or information that you would like to include with your wedding invitation?

The long weekend is just around the corner- YAY! Just so you have something to do, here are a few links you can waste some precious time on:

    1. This is what I want! I can’t get enough of this lady! All the food on her site looks amazing! I look at it and I want it! So let this be a warning to you- do go and have a look at her site, but don’t blame me afterwards for the amounts of food you will be eating!
    2. For all the brides and grooms- have a look at this fair, coming to Canberra soon! Their site and Instagram are full of inspiration for any bride and groom.
    3. I’d love to go here. Should I be wearing my Kimono? Or is that trying too hard?
    4. International Womens Day is this Sunday. Do something special for the ladies in your life.
    5. Summer, come back! This is where I would love to spend the next 4 days:

1fa14fb0 What are your plans for the Labour Day weekend?

So, it is officially autumn. This is completely confusing my mind right now, as I kind of didn’t even realise properly that summer has come and gone. All of you lovely Melbournians will understand what I mean. There where times this summer where I even needed to unpack my scarves, and coming originally from Europe and still suffering from season- confusion (that’s a medical term, right?) where I don’t get it that in December it’s hot, and we are freezing in August, I really didn’t appreciate this additional strain on my already burdened brain. Anyway, some hot days did make it to Melbourne, which were very much enjoyed. But I do feel for the poor meteorologists- don’t worry guys, it’s not your fault that you can’t predict the weather/ temperature/ wind right for us here in Victoria. Take the other day as an example, I have been watching the weather app on my phone for days, planning a last attempt for a day at the beach. All signs pointed to this particular Tuesday and the promised 32 degrees in Torquay. It was heating up nicely in the morning, so the car was packed and off we went. Well, once we got to the beach it was only 20 degrees Celsius! The phone was still promising a balmy 27 in the next 5 minutes- which obviously didn’t happen. Oh well, at least the ice cream we HAD to have did not melt too fast.

I don’t know about you, but I have mixed feelings about this change of season. On the one hand I want summer back- or should I say starting- on the other hand I’m looking forward to all the things autumn has to offer. I know for most of Australia it will bring cooler weather and a bit of relief from the heat waves other states than Victoria had. But for me it’s all the delicious fruit and veggies that we are enjoying now (believe me, green beans are being eaten at my house like they are going out of fashion). And soon the trees will be changing colour and painting the Avenues and gardens in hues of orange and red. And the crisp air in the morning, but beautiful sunny blue skies during the day.

Here are a few autumn festivities to keep you entertained in the beautiful state of Victoria, Australia:

The Bright Autumn Festival celebrates with music, food, gardening classes and so much more. Read more about it here.

The CERES Harvest Festival has free workshops as well as baking and preserving competitions, while keeping you entertained with live performances and satisfied with lots of food stalls.

The Applefest in Harcourt promises to entertain the whole family, especially since the introduction of Kids Karnival.


The Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival has been going on for a few years now and is a favourite with young and old.

What’s better than the smell of roasted chestnuts on a chilly day? Get yourself down to Kalorama Chestnut Festival for a mega dose of these yummies.

Now, the festivals below have already been, but I thought I will include them anyway. They look like a lot of fun, and there is always next year, so keep them in mind:

Harvest ‘n’ Graze offers live entertainment, cooking demonstrations and more food than one poor belly can hold.

If you are Italian you will feel right at home at the Melbourne Tomato Festival. And if you love Italian food you can experience what goes into making those amazing sauces and passata.


And do you know what would make this time of year a tiny bit more extra- special? I think we need a public holiday! See, the Americans have Thanksgiving, a celebration of harvest time, so I think the next couple of months would be just perfectly fitting for a celebration here, in Australia! What would you call this public holiday? What food would you serve? How would you decorate your home? Leave your comments below,  I’m looking forward to reading all about it.


I blame my kids…. Want a tune that you can’t get out of your head? Click here, at your own risk… 

Dreams Design Studio © 2016

Contact Us

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message