Monthly Archives: August 2016

Getting engaged

unduhan-70Wedding trends come and go, evolving with the changing seasons as brides and grooms discover new ways to create a memorable celebration. But despite all the ever-changing trends, there are core factors that underpin sensational weddings and help to create a sense of timeliness and joie de vivre that will linger long past the big day.

Here are three ways to tap into this spirit to create an amazing wedding.

Be creative with your food

The popularity of cooking shows such as MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules has been the catalyst for a growing appreciation and awareness of food that emphasises the journey as much as the flavour.

Concepts such as seasonality, paddock to plate and bespoke creativity have now gone mainstream, and it’s an evolution further found in wedding receptions.

These days, the executive chef planning your wedding reception menu, from only the freshest ingredients, is likely to have a pedigree shaped in some of the world’s culinary hotspots. And this opens an avenue to curate a menu that is less about chicken and fish and more about flair and excitement.

At the RACV City Club in Melbourne, for example – where the wedding team can cater for intimate gatherings, breakfast or brunch through to a cocktail party or 350-strong gala celebration – classics with a twist offer a feast for the eyes and tastebuds.

Think delights such as smoked garlic and nettle ravioli with morels, celeriac fondue and artichokes; Wagyu mignon, potato fondant, bacon-tossed green beans, bone marrow and béarnaise; or venison carpaccio, golden beets, salted cocoa and juniper aioli.

The menu descriptions alone are enough to get the mouth watering, and can be further complemented by the engagement of internationally trained culinary consultants to provide authentic and diverse menu offerings from around the globe, tailored for all cultural backgrounds.

Many couples embrace the opportunity to have input with the menu design, and to provide their guests with a meal that reflects what they would choose if dining out or entertaining at home, explains RACV City Clubwedding coordinator Rebecca McKenzie. “We offer a menu tasting prior to finalising the menu, with the couple having the final say in how they would like dishes presented on the day,” she says.

Examples of this include discussing the type of dining experience their guests will enjoy at the wedding, be that a sit-down dinner with shared starter platters and side dishes to encourage conversation and interaction at the tables, or contemporary vegetarian options that draw on seasonal produce and global flavours to create plates with widespread appeal.

“People really care a lot more about food these days and enjoy putting thought and care into the finer touches on a menu, knowing their guests will appreciate the effort,” she says.

Even dessert is a showcase of style, with RACV City Club, for one, offering the unmatchable boast of indulgences straight from its renowned Le Petit Gâteau pastry kitchen, headed by award-winning French pastry chef Pierrick Boyer.

Whether it’s a strawberry Eton mess with meringues, custard and rosewater Chantilly, or a deconstructed New York cheesecake with blueberry crémeux, raspberry coulis and fresh fruit, the theme is one of elegant yet unabashed indulgence.

It’s all about making the meal itself just as memorable as any photos taken on the night.

Top tip: If you want to add a little pizzazz to your wedding menu, consider creating a signature element of the night. At RACV City Club, for example, arrivals drinks can be upgraded with cocktails to create an elegant hint to the fun that lies ahead.

Aim to dazzle with your location

That certain glow all newlyweds sport is the best decoration a wedding could ever have. But there are lots of other ways to up the impact, be it vibrant splashes and swathes of colour, fresh floral decorations or touches of elegant decor.

Something else worth looking for is a venue that makes a statement all of its own. This could mean a historic building with a rich back-story, a high-rise haven with eye-catching panoramas or one imbued with such a sleek style that it creates a luxury experience unlike any other guests could experience.

Many couples enjoy taking a blank canvas and transforming it according to their own unique style, wedding theme and colour palette, says Rebecca, who helps them choose from the club’s range of flexible function rooms. Others like to let the setting itself make the statement, with minimal adornment.

“If you look at our Club Pavilion on Level 2, which is popular for smaller weddings, there’s a stunning chandelier in the centre of the room and views over Bourke St from the terrace, so it doesn’t need a lot of enhancement,” she says.

Young to get married

images-46Am I too young to get married? The only one who can answer that is you – and the law.

In Australia, the marriageable age (the legal minimum age at which one can marry) for both males and females is 18. Though it is possible marry if you are younger than that, you can only do so with the Court’s permission. Even then, either the bride or the groom needs to be aged between 16 and 18 years of age.

Of course, in days gone by, many people were married long before they hit their 20s and, in ancient Rome you had to be at least 12 before you were allowed to marry.

Thankfully, the rules have changed – in some places, however, there are still countries, especially in parts of Africa, where the marriageable age remains between 12 and 15. Saudi Arabia currently has no marriageable age for women.

In most other parts of the world, the legal marriageable age varies depending on whether you are male or female, but hovers around the 17 – 20 years of age mark.

In places like Singapore, the marriageable age is 21 and if you wish to marry before that, you’ll need parental consent.

That’s the law, but whether you’re ready to get married, whatever your age, is an entirely different matter.

According to Easy Weddings’ 2015 Annual wedding survey, the average age at which women in Australia marry is 29.2 years of age, while it’s 32 for men. That’s a far cry from 1975 when, on average, most women were married by 21 and most men by 23. Go back another fifty-years and the figures drop even further.

Things have changed, markedly, in the past century. Women are more independent these days. They have careers and their own incomes. Their life expectancy is far greater and they no longer have to rely on men to secure their futures and, as a result, they’re waiting longer to wed – and, in general, aren’t so pressured by society into saying ‘I do.’ Women are also more educated and, often, are still in university in their early ’20s.

So, marriage, today, really is about love and companionship and a relationship that feels right.

But how young is too young to get married?

The fact is, there is no ‘right’ age at which to marry, though age is, of course, an important consideration. It’s about where you are in life and how you feel about your relationship.

However, in order to help you answer that question for yourself (and it’s only YOUR situation that matters), you should, at the very least, consider the following:

– Do you want to get married? And, if so, why?

– How do you feel about your future together? Do you have an idea of how you might feel about your current relationship in a few years’ time?

– Are you ready to be a wife or husband and, possibly, a mother or a father?

– Can you imagine a future without the other person?

Remember, just because someone else is ready to marry at your age, doesn’t mean you have to be and, conversely, just because someone else think you’re too young to marry at your age, doesn’t mean that you are!

Do what feels right to YOU and you alone. After all, true love knows now age limit!

Wedding day ideas

unduhan-69Almost without exception, brides want to look breathtakingly beautiful on their wedding day. For some women, this desire goes a step further. In their pursuit of the wow factor, they seek out a range of accoutrements – a frills-and-all dress, hair extensions, acrylic nails, striking makeup. But does the more-is-more philosophy always ensure the best outcome?

One Sydney make-up artist and hair stylist has built a successful business from the very opposite. Anna Poshebelieves that often the best results come when you let a woman’s natural beauty speak for itself.

While building her business over the past eight years, Anna coined the phrase ‘naturally abstract’ to describe her philosophy and make-up artistry. And it seems Anna’s bet on this new way of thinking is paying off. While currently based in New South Wales, she is looking to expand her wedding business and training institute to Melbourne later this year and Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide next year.

‘We’re already seeing a significant shift. More and more women are choosing the naturally abstract look. They want to present themselves naturally to the world, not just copy someone else’s style.

‘The problem for many women is that they’ve never been taught how to powerfully reveal their unique beauty.’

That’s where Anna and her team of experts step in. They work with a client to really understand their vision. Then, use their skills to enhance and emphasise the woman’s natural features.


See more from Anna Poshe here.

‘Each woman has an incredible beauty that is different to anyone else’s, so our clients are coming to us to learn how to reveal their unique look. I work with a woman’s features. I don’t change anything about their features.’

Despite this philosophy, Anna is sympathetic to the temptation many women feel to wear a lot of make-up.

‘I used to wear a lot of make-up, only because I wasn’t confident in myself, but then I realised it doesn’t matter what I do to my face, if I don’t feel beautiful from the inside I will never feel beautiful from the outside. So I do spend a lot of time with my clients discussing what beauty is all about and what it means to them.

‘The most important thing is to not worry about other people’s judgments. Be authentic to you. Be real. Be yourself.’

So here are four tips from Anna for being real on your wedding day:

Choose your stylist carefully

Don’t be afraid to call and ask questions of a prospective stylist to ensure they understand your wishes and you feel a mutual understanding exists.

Spend a lot of time talking to your stylist before your trial

Anna suggests the best way to reduce confusion or misunderstandings between you and your stylist is to collect images on Pinterest and spend a lot of time discussing your desired look. Anna spends up to half an hour at the beginning of any session talking to her clients. If you don’t feel the artist is really listening to you, consider finding someone else.

Find a look that excites you but also feels authentic

You should never feel limited by rules. If you love wearing a lot of jewellery, feel free to wear a lot of jewellery on your wedding day. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and yourself. When you look in the mirror, does the person staring back look like you?

Let your hair compliment your face

Traditionally, wedding hair styling was quite structured, sleek and involved a lot of hairspray. Anna says these days, women are going for a messier look and this compliments the ‘naturally abstract’ make-up look. The messy look can be an up or down ‘do, depending on a bride’s preference, her dress and the theme of the wedding.

Wedding trends modern couples

One of the beautiful things about weddings is that while they’re steeped in tradition, no two celebrations are ever the same, instead reflecting each couple’s very personal and unique love story. From food and family to a healthy dose of fun, there are a lot of factors to consider when deciding how best to frame this story and share it with your nearest and dearest. Here are four trends that modern couples are tapping into.

Recognising the team effort

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the same is true of weddings. Yes, they may be about getting a couple to – and through – “I do”, but there’s a real team effort that goes into planning a dream day. And it’s something venues are increasingly looking to recognise, promoting a sense of inclusiveness that acknowledges the joy that comes with input from family and friends.

At Perth’s 337-room Rendezvous Hotel Scarborough – which has a variety of spaces for intimate celebrations up to gala occasions for 400, and discounted wedding accommodation for guests – particular priority is paid to honouring the couple’s parents.


This ranges from small touches, such as giving them access to valet parking at the wedding, to an open invitation to attend the menu tasting for a small extra fee.

“This comes down to recognising that wedding planning is often not just about two people, but about two families,” says weddings and special events co-coordinator Jordan O’Sullivan. “So with something like food and beverage, for example, you’ll often find that the bride and groom will want their parents involved in the selection because they value their input and experience, so it makes sense to allow them to come along to the tasting.”

The invitation also extends to the wider wedding party, although in practice, these relationships tend to come into focus more when the wedding itself rolls around.

“What a lot of brides do is book out the executive suite for the night before their wedding,” Jordan says. “What we’ll then do is set it up for them with extra beds, so they can share the night with their bridesmaids and closest confidants.” Throw in some champagne, access to a full room service menu, a little beauty prep and, of course, excited chatter about what’s in store the next day, and there’s no better way to prepare for the transition from singleton to newlywed.

Indulging in food, glorious food

Ask guests what they remember about a modern wedding, and chances are they’ll talk about the food. And it’s no surprise when you consider the ongoing evolution of nuptial menus.

From the days when it served mainly as sustenance for celebration, these days the food is an adventure in itself. And venues are responding by working with couples to curate very individual and personal culinary experiences.

“Food is definitely something that’s a lot more important than what it used to be,” says executive chef Wendelin Ulrich, who notes their menus can incorporate vegan, gluten free, nut free and vegetarian options. “Couples really want to make sure people delight in the food and wine, so they pay attention to the smallest detail.”

One factor in this development is that people now know more about food, courtesy of the explosion in reality culinary television, which means they’re willing to plump for a touch of excitement over the expected.

“For example, with our pre-dinner canapés, we’re finding people are willing to be a little more creative, in that they’ll opt for something like a smoked duck breast nicoise style, or Serrano jamon with goats cheese and mini bell pepper,” Jordan says.

And this willingness to mix things up further extends to the role of food itself, which can be as formal, or as informal, as couples desire.

“At its most traditional, we have our plated menus, which are refreshed every six months to account for seasonality,” explains Jordan, noting that they artfully blend simplicity and sophistication to bring a new twist to standards, be it poached Indian Ocean prawns with papaya and black bean salsa, avocado and chipotle yoghurt, or oven-roasted south-west lamb rump with garlic desiree mash, seasonal baby vegetables and thyme jus.

Alternatively, for those seeking something less formal, there’s the buffet menu, which, unlike the selections of old, is much less about a foodie production line and much more about a chance to create a DIY culinary adventure. Think braised south west beef cheeks, thyme and port jus with crispy parsnips, or pumpkin sage ravioli with lemon cream sauce.

Again, couples have the opportunity to build on the basics. “We have a wedding coming up where the bride and groom are big seafood eaters, so they’ve extended the buffet to incorporate delicacies such as prawns, mussels, salmon and oysters,” Jordan says.

Another option that’s growing in popularity is the purely cocktail reception, where canapés take a step up from precursor to the main event . “With our Moonlight Cocktail Canape menu, we’re finding that it’s quite popular with younger couples,” says Jordan, who notes the venue’s popular Mentelle Deck and Observation Deck have a stunning outlook over the Indian Ocean, allowing for incredible sunset panoramas.

“These couples want to enjoy the party side of things for a longer amount of time, with great music and dancing, so they choose to have canapes passed around all evening rather than a sit-down meal.”

The trick here is curating morsels that are as substantial as they are stylish, be it a grilled Reuben sandwich and potato crisps, or fork food such as pulled pork and slaw on brioche, or Singapore-style chicken nasi goreng.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about working with brides and grooms to ensure their wedding menu is exactly what they want,” Jordan says. “This could mean customising a multicultural element, say creating a menu that is half western and half Asian, or helping them to create a signature cocktail to serve during the festivities.”

It’s a recipe that is equal parts about showcasing your own personality and exciting and entertaining your guests. And if they can walk away saying: “I’ve never had that before,” well all the better.

Cocktail buffet fro wedding

There are so many choices when it comes to your wedding food but even though the flavours and style may vary there are really only three standard ways of serving guests their wedding meal: sit-down dinners; buffets and cocktail servings. Here are the pros and cons of each.

Plated dinners


A sit-down dinner by Fabulous Catering. See more here.

The three-course, plated, sit-down wedding meal is what a traditional wedding meal consists of. Guests are seated and served an entree, a main meal and a dessert which is usually followed by tea and coffee.

Pros

The choices are limited and costs are controlled.

Guests are served at the same time so your itinerary will stay on track.

As everyone is eating at the same time it gives you an opportunity to have speeches and you’re guaranteed to have everyone’s attention.

Because you know when each course is being served you can plan activities such as your first dance for before and after things like the entree and dessert

Cons

A lot more staff are required to serve, cook and plate your meal so it is the priciest option.
The offerings are limited and guests won’t have a huge range to choose from.

Buffets


This is where a variety of food is offered to guests who can serve themselves what they like and avoid what they don’t like. Food stations are a modern version of the humble buffet but whichever option you choose, the pros and cons are mostly the same.

Pros

Buffets are about flexibility. You can offer a greater range of food options to your guests at a buffet reception.

Guests choose exactly what they like to eat and the exact portions too. This is a fantastic option given the variety of dietary requirements these days.

You won’t need extra staff to serve guests because they’re serving themselves.

Guest will mingle and chat with each other as they line up. They may even meet new people which adds to the atmosphere of your celebration.

Cons

You’ll need to offer a lot more variety than the standard three course meal which is usually a meat offering and a fish offering as well as a vegetarian alternative.

Lines! Guests will need to line up at least once to get their food. This can take time and lead to long queues.

Because guests will serve themselves, you’ll probably need more food than if they were being served.

Cocktail servings


Canapes served by Bev’s Catering. See more here.

This is essentially a lot of both hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and finger food but we don’t mean party pies and sausage rolls (unless of course that’s your preference)! Wedding cocktail food has come a long way and can be even more gourmet than the fanciest sit down meal. And usually the guests stand rather than being seated at tables.

Pros

It can be a lot more cost effective per head than either a buffet or a standard sit down meal.

If you’re holding your wedding reception in a small venue you will be able to host many more people if they’re standing up.

Because nobody is stuck at tables there will be a lot more mingling among your guests.

Cons

Seating is limited at cocktail events so most guests will be standing.

Those sitting down may not be able to see what’s going on during events such as the speeches or first dance.

If you don’t serve enough food your guests will go home hungry – and no couple wants that!

If you haven’t told your guests it is a cocktail wedding they may expect a meal and be disappointed.

Though the food costs may be lower, you could spend more on drinks.

If you don’t have enough seats some guests may become tired (and have nowhere to sit), especially elderly guests and children.