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Your ultimate pre-wedding skincare guide for healthy glowing skin

There is never a bad time to take care of your skin, but in preparing for your wedding, you’ve probably taken your skincare routine into overdrive. However, in the pursuit of healthy, glowing skin for your wedding day, there’s a risk of going overboard with product, or taking last-minute drastic action. The best pre-wedding skincare is going to be a routine you start a few months out from the wedding, ideally with the helpful hands of a facialist guiding you, but even if you’re going it alone, you’re in the right place for advice.

the importance of healthy skin under wedding day make-up

Wedding day make-up differs to that of most-people’s everyday. To be able to withstand hours and hours, often in the hot sun, hugging, kissing and dancing, and to be able to look flawless even in flash-photography, you are likely to wear more make up than ever before. Here’s what every wedding make-up artist wishes you knew…

the ultimate goal of pre-bridal skin care is to get your makeup artist to feel like you need no foundation on your wedding day.

Moisturiser, primer, foundation, contour, blush, setting powder/spray and more, though, when your make-up artist has the additional challenge of covering dry or very blemished skin, it can look a bit ‘cakey’, or not wear as well throughout the day. The truth is that even the best artists will have a more difficult time turning dry or blemished skin flawless. To achieve the best wedding day make-up finish, work on your skincare routine well in advance

when to start your pre-wedding skincare routine?

Of course I’m going to say as early as possible, but with at least 3-4 months pre-wedding, you have a good amount of time to see a facialist a couple of times (if possible) and/or at least invest in some really excellent skincare – and be diligent about applying it.

I have been an ambassador for Dermalogica since before my wedding in 2015, and I always, absolutely notice the difference in my skin feel, texture and pigmentation when I am using it religiously. You can use ‘MEG10’ to save on your own skincare investment, but let me first help you choose what to use.

If possible, the best thing you can do for your skin is see a professional. I love that Dermalogica offer a 10 minute ‘face mapping’ service They can measure the moisture levels in your skin to see if your skin is dry and/or dehydrated, prescribe a skincare routine to suit, and touch base with you a couple of weeks before the wedding. Whatever you do, do not do anything new to your skin in the last month before your wedding – you never really know how it’s going to react.

good skin starts from within

I know you’ve heard this before, but now’s the time to drink even more water (and less alcohol) than usual. Staying hydrated is a non-negotiable for healthy skin. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so as soon as your body is thirsty, your skin shows it. While water fills your body with what it needs to create healthy skin, too much alcohol dehydrates your entire body. When you are drinking alcohol, it’s even more important to consumer plenty of water, and try not to be tempted by salty foods which also dehydrate. You are what you eat too – quite literally: your skin cells (and every other cell) is made up of what you put into your body, so with every nourishing meal you know you’re doing your skin (and hair) a favour. Pay special attention to what foods or habits get your skin to look better and which ones trigger skin trouble. 

If only it was as easy to do as say, but getting your beauty sleep is an absolute must.  I make sure my bed is a place I feel calm and relaxed, with comfortable linen I want to slide into, a couple of books to look through if I can’t sleep, and a bedroom that smells divine (thank you Glasshouse candles!)

As much as you possibly can, it’s also important to manage stress, especially if you have any eczema or psoriasis. Inflammatory conditions may be at least partially caused by stress, and as stress weakens the immune system, it also disrupts your skin’s natural turnover and collagen production, necessary for your ‘glow.

exfoliate and brighen

Exfoliation encourages natural skin cell turnover and collagen production, leading to bright, glowing skin. Start by exfoliating once a week, working up to 2-3 times per week. This will clear away dead skin cells which can give your skin a sallow, dull appearance. Exfoliation with the right products can really improve the skin’s texture and quality which in turn helps makeup to go on better and last better. I personally like an exfoliating mask (two birds with one stone) but a new planet-friendly lightweight option is the powder daily microfoliant for which you can buy refills! Their words:

Achieve brighter, smoother skin every day with this iconic exfoliating powder. Rice-based powder activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain,Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes to polish skin to perfection. 

You can also use a product like Skin Sonic at home to exfoliate with your everyday cleanser.

is retinol skincare for you?

I’ve long been a fan of using retinol. Derived from vitamin A, retinol increases skin cell turnover, boosts collagen, and helps with hyperpigmentation. The prescription version, aka retinoid, is even more powerful Retinol has been conclusively shown to help repair aged skin, and is the most sought after ingredient in the anti-aging skin treatments.  However, it’s also quite strong, and can be irritating to skin as a first-time user, and especially when it comes to your delicate facial skin, you need to be careful, starting at least a few months out to see if you have a reaction. Dermalogica have a customisable retinol solution with both a repair (retinol) product and a buffer (dilution) cream, so that you can combine the two at a ratio that suits your individual skin (starting with 1/4 serum to 3/4 cream, for example). It’s a bit of an investment, but you can use MEG10 to save sitewide.

massage your moisturiser in

Moisturiser and targeted serums are key to staying hydrated, but incorporating a 1-2 minute massage twice a day as you use them will also improve blood circulation, and skin-cell turnover, as well as making your skin feel great and giving you an instant glow. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are plenty of facial massage videos on youtube, or try a Gua sha stone and massage.

I love using Phyto Replenish Oil and Skin Smoothing Cream. See the benefits of facial massage.

treat spots

If you’re unlucky enough to get a spot a few days out from your wedding, avoid the temptation to deal with it yourself. See your regular facialist or a targeted product such as breakout clearing booster with fast-acting Salicylic Acid, or newcomer product sweet spots hydrocolloid patches. If you know you’re prone to getting acne breakouts, dermalogica do an adult acne range which includes a fantastic retinol clearing oil, so I would recommend using that regularly.

make up free days

If possible, and if you feel comfortable, it’s great for your skin to have make-up free days. Wear moisturiser and sunscreen, but leaving your skin clear ensures your pores can breathe and heal if necessary. Often a barrier of makeup increases oil production, so not wearing makeup can decrease oiliness, clogged pores and pimples.

de-stress, don’t panic

If you are having skin issues close to your wedding day, you may be feeling panicked about how your skin will look. To help put your mind at ease, consider getting in touch with your make-up artist and booking in a trial a few weeks out so that you can see exactly how your make-up will sit and look on the day. Hopefully this will help you relax – the last thing you want is to be losing sleep over your skin. xx

Breathtaking Coromandel Wedding Inspiration That Will Inspire Your Love Story

The Coromandel wedding inspiration below is a beautiful tale of two halves. Part one is a romantic fusion of free-spirited elegance featuring gorgeous fresh floral styling and a unique greenery arch that is seriously steal worthy. Part two showcases the coastal beauty of the Coromandel, with wild yet whimsical landscapes creating a colour palette to die for. Breathtaking, ridiculously beautiful and featuring a line up of local talent (including four P+L Superstars!), these creatives will wow the socks off local brides to be (read: book them quick!). Enjoy xox

“What we find in a soul mate is not something wild to tame, but something wild to run with.” – Robert Brault

CREDITS

Photography Wild Spirit Wedding Photography by Christina Schmidt
Drone Photography Wedding Wings / Steven Arendt
Styling Dooley Street Styling
Hair + Makeup The Makeup Girl – Krystal Hayward
Flowers Wildflowers Coromandel
Cake Sweet Bites Cakes
Stationery Paper Rose
Venue Orua Beach House, Hahei, Coromandel
Dress The Bridal Haven / Sally Eagle

Choose the Best Wedding Planner Book in Australia to suit Your Planning Style

Many of you come across this article by searching “Best Wedding Planner Book Australia”, but in my humble opinion, there’s more to choosing a wedding planner than simply what somebody else puts on the top of a google list. Planning a wedding is innately personal – it involves really complex decision making such as how best to allocate your wedding budget, as well as diplomatic skills like managing your guest list, while also trying to organise the ‘Big Day’ that feels right for you as a couple.

I don’t think there is just one perfect wedding planner book to suit all couples, regardless of their wedding. My sister is currently engaged, and for a long time she was planning an elopement with just a couple of friends, and all she used was a budget template. Unfortunately, due to Covid, her wedding was postponed twice, and now she’s planning a larger wedding and using a wedding planner book, as well as an online tool. She prefers having a physical planner book with her to take to vendor meetings and discuss/make notes with her fiance, while likes the ability to directly contact guests using the online tool.

This really got me thinking about the best way to help people choose a wedding planner book that’s going to suit them and their planning style. Remember, a wedding planner book can only help you if you are actually using it, so find the best one to suit you.

What kind of Wedding Planner Book or Planning Tools will be the best choice for you?

Before you choose your wedding planner book, consider the following:

  • How long do you have until the Big Day? How organised are you feeling already?
  • Do you enjoy writing, and want to have a keepsake of your wedding planning journey? If not, would you consider electronic or PDF templates/planning tools?
  • Do you have any specific needs, such as gender-neutral language.
  • Are you having a ‘traditional’ wedding, a small or ‘pop up’ wedding, an elopement, destination wedding, or other ceremony?
  • Have you hired a wedding planner, and will they be doing a lot of the organising and keeping track of vendors on your behalf?
  • How much are you comfortable spending, either as a one-off payment for a wedding planner book, or ongoing as part of an app or software?

Depending on what stands out to you from the above list, this is my curated guide to choosing the best wedding planner book to plan your wedding in Australia.

Australia’s 3 Best Wedding Planner Books (and 5 Alternative Planning Tools)

1. A Gender Neutral Wedding Planner Book and Keepsake Including a Countdown Diary to guide you through the months to your Big Day

The little white book may be the best wedding planner book for you, if you want to write down all the special moments, and create a lasting keepsake of your wedding planning journey. Its design is unique, in that it is the first wedding planner book designed to incorporate a 12 month diary which you can use as a daily planner, journal, or a bit of both. The best thing is, you can download a sample of the little white book, so you know exactly why it’s the best wedding planner book without spending a cent.

little white book best wedding planner book australia nz
wedding planner book – little white book

The little white book is also gender neutral, and comes highly recommended – included in almost every ‘Best Wedding Planner Book’ list since it launched in 2016, including Cosmopolitan, Glamour UK (#1), Bridal Musings (#1), Wedding Forward, Ink & Volt, CNN, Karen Willis Holmes and more.

Cosmo says: This planner/diary hybrid combines your wedding plans with your everyday routine. Containing a 12 month countdown to *the* day, it pretty much accounts for every moment of your life up until the big day. And, the perks of shopping at small businesses, it arrives in the post with a celebration card. Love!

Ink & Volt says: One of the best-selling wedding planning journals on the market, the Little White Wedding Organiser is the antidote to those who don’t want a big, bulky planning binder or an A4 sized spiral-bound journal. This minimalist chic hardbound white journal contains a 12-month diary structure for note-taking and daily usage (so you can live your life and plan your wedding), necessary wedding checklists, and more.

However, like I say, there is no perfect wedding planner book to suit everybody – the little white book is actually less ‘instructional’ than others, it has checklists integrated throughout, and every page you could possibly need for wedding vendors, guest list and the all-important wedding budget but it doesn’t give you every possible instruction on exactly how to make each of those decisions, because that will vary so much from couple to couple.

Details: 200 pages, A5 (210 x 143) gender neutral, hardcover white leatherette (vegan), $69 – or as part of the Ultimate Wedding Planning Bundle of wedding planner + anniversary journal + wedding planner templates) for $130 (full value $183)

So, if the style or design of the little white book aren’t for you, here are some other best wedding planner books in Australia

2. Ivory Tribe – Bride Business

wedding planner book Australia Ivory Tribe planner bride business copy

Designed and printed in Melbourne, ‘Bride Business‘ has a chic, ‘cool bride’ aesthetic and vibe. With a monochromatic design, this wedding planner book has a modern feel to a more traditional wedding planner design – divided into sections for each of your wedding vendors to organise. The budget sections are also broken down across multiple pages, which would give you a lot of space to think about each, and then you would add them up to be part of your total budget.

It’s simple, chic and looks cool too, “Slipping easily into handbags, this 132 page sleek and sexy planner will escort a bride to all her important appointments and is designed to be shown off!”

Details: 132 pages, white hardcover paperbound book, 21 cm x 17 cm, $69

3. Write To Me ‘Together’ Wedding Planner

Melbourne designed, Australian business Write To Me’s gender neutral wedding planner book ‘love‘ is a simple design, with sections divided into: Budget Planner, Wedding Checklist, Supplier Notes, Guest List, Ceremony, Table Settings, Wedding Day Schedule, Photography, Gift and Thank You’s. “With tables, spreadsheets, lists and lots of room to stick in inspiration on the way. It will become a trusted wedding planner bible whether you are celebrating low key or going all out.

Details: 144 pages, A5 size, hardcover linen, $43

4. You want a Simple Wedding Planner Journal

You may not need all the bells, whistles and details of a comprehensive wedding planner book, if you’re planning on eloping, you’re having a very small wedding, or a very short engagement. If that’s the case, consider choose a wedding planner book without too much structure, to make some special notes in along the journey to your Big Day.

This little ‘Wedding Notes‘ is an affordable personalised wedding notebook that you could make your own, filling with notes, photos and mementos.

If you aren’t using a guided planner, you may still find it’s worth purchasing a wedding budget template like the one in our wedding planning pack (ours includes 32 printable pages of questions and information to consider with each of your vendor bookings as well as the budget and guest list template).

5. You may Prefer Planning Software rather than a Wedding Planner Book

If you think you may need a lot of assistance with wedding planning, but you’re not sure if you want to write it all down, or have a keepsake after your wedding, rather than a wedding planner book you may wish to consider an app or other wedding planning software (not everybody loves to write!). Something Blue offers incredible professional wedding planning software for a monthly subscription or one-off payment – the reviews are exceptionally good, and though it’s a big investment for some, it’s a lot more affordable than hiring a wedding planner, and is well worth the money according to everybody who has used it!

If you’re looking for free software, project-management tools like Trello are also extremely useable and functional for wedding planning, you’ve just got to populate them yourself, or purchase “Ultimate Wedding Checklist”—a template for Trello that you can purchase for US $96 from a wedding planner.

6. Best Wedding Planner Apps!

For those who prefer to do it all on a mobile device, a wedding planning app may be just the thing. Honestly, because I am such a lover of writing, I can’t say which I’d use, but here’s a couple I’ve been recommended. WeddingHappy is an easy-to-use wedding app for managing wedding planning tasks, payments and vendors, and they say “we’ve helped more than 1 million couples plan their weddings from their phones” – Download WeddingHappy app on iOS or Android

Bridebook calls itself “the world’s number one wedding planner.” They advertise that you can find inspiration and wedding planning tools all in one place, but at the moment the vendors appear limited to the UK (while the rest of the app works all around the world). It’s completely free, so worth a look too! Download Bridebook app on iOS or Android

6. Bride on a Budget and still want a planner… this have all the basics!

Not everyone wants to spend $60+ on a wedding planner book, and we’re okay with that! The Kmart Wedding Planner Book is just $8 and includes 60 pages of organisational help divided into 6 sections. There’s nothing wrong with a bargain when it comes to wedding planning. It’s currently available on Kmart Australia, I couldn’t find it instore to review, but even if you ‘get what you pay for’ it may be a step in the right direction!

I hope this article on choosing the wedding planner to suit you has helped, and not confused you. While I am slightly biased towards the little white book being the best, I still don’t think it will be the best wedding planner book for absolutely everybody. As somebody with ADHD who is not particularly well organised and needs to put pen to paper to get things organised, it was exactly what I needed to plan my wedding.

Why the “average” Cost of a Wedding is so misleading!

Whether you’re planning your wedding in New Zealand or around the globe, a figure that’s likely to creep into your mind is the one thrown about as the “average” cost of a wedding. In NZ, that’s around $35,000. To put that figure in perspective, the average household (that’s both of you!) income from wages and salaries is $64,000.

In America, the “average” cost of a wedding is $35,329 US dollars, the New Zealand equivalent of a staggering $48,454 – according to The Knot, and UK’s Brides Magazine reports that £30,111 (or NZ $55,807.73).
So, why is this important?

Why do we care what the “average” cost of a wedding is?

Whether we mean to or not, when we hear what the “average” wedding costs, we use it as a benchmark for our own. It becomes an unwritten (or perhaps, written) point of reference against which to judge our own wedding budget. It’s easy to convince yourselves you’re saving money on your wedding, if you’re only spending $29,000 and the “average” tally is 20% more than that.
However… the “average” cost of a wedding is only half the story. Hopefully you’ll read on to find out why, but if your eyes are watering, feel free to skip straight to planning your own wedding. The little white book (our best-selling wedding planner book) has excellent budgeting pages, so whether you’re spending a lot or a little, you can stay on track.

The “average” cost is not the “average” wedding….

Bear with me here, I’m not about to get all scientific…
Let’s note that those figures are an average, i.e., the mean. The mean is notoriously (ha) meaningless when it comes to stuff like this.
There is a raft of other statistics that would be more informative. What is the the most common (mode) price tag hung on weddings – or what is the range of wedding costs?
Will Oremus, writing for Slate.com, wrote:

In 2012, when the average wedding cost was $27,427, the median was $18,086. In 2011, when the average was $27,021, the median was $16,886.

This may seem like semantics, but “average” holds quite a different meaning in statistics (which the “average cost of a wedding” is) compared to real-life (where “average” is akin to “ordinary”, “standard”, “regular” or “typical”.

Further, the average is probably not the amount most people are looking for when they search for the “average cost of a wedding.” What you really want to know is what most people spend on their big day. And that is not the same – not even close – to the average cost.
What you’re looking for is the median cost of a wedding.

Headlines are deceiving – the “ordinary” or “typical” expense is much lower than the “average” cost of a wedding

A better statistic to work out the average/ordinary/standard cost is the “median” statistic – likely to be around $20,000 NZ dollars – which means that half of weddings cost less than $20,000 and half cost more.
Dramatic headlines which report the “average” are driven up (hugely) by the BIG spenders, the million-dollar weddings, and often (due to selection bias – below) the below average weddings are not even included in the survey.
The median of wedding expenses is between 54 and 70% of the “average” cost of a wedding, which in NZ would make it somewhere between $18,900 and $24,500, far short of the oft-cited average cost of $35,000.

How it’s affected by “Selection bias”… “Not exactly Low-Key, Backyard affairs”

Furthermore, statistics like these are usually drawn from wedding magazine surveys. Now, if you’re filling in wedding magazine surveys, you are likely to have purchased a wedding magazine (duh) and will probably be using it to seek beautiful (eye-wateringly expensive) inspiration.

Oremus also draws attention to this self-selecting nature of the survey — ”not only brides and grooms with Internet access, but those who are reading and responding to Wedding Magazine surveys, e.g. The Knot, not exactly the first stop for low-key, backyard affairs.”
Not everyone plans a wedding like the couples who read and respond to The Knot, or other wedding magazines. Most of the lower-end spenders will not be spending money on wedding magazines or their contents. So those who are spending at the lower end of the wedding-planning spectrum are not filling in the survey. You’ve instantly excluded the poorer/economical and low-key weddings – thereby overlooking many “below average” weddings. Results = skewed.

Why is the “Average” Cost of a wedding constantly published in headlines, causing us great confusion and outrage?

Two words come to mind – Click Bait – though they’re not the whole story either. Of course, it also benefits the entire wedding industry if you, the reader, believe that the average cost of a wedding is higher. You wouldn’t want to plan a “below average” wedding, would you…? If the industry can convince you to spend more money, and justify it with citing the “average” cost, it’s in their interest to do so. You can’t really blame them… that is the nature of their business. I do wish the media would help us all out by publishing more accurate figures, but as part of the ‘new media’ I hope that this article has helped with that a little anyway.

Once you realise that the typical cost of a wedding is actually much lower, hopefully you’ll feel less pressure to spend quite so much, or not be so quick embrace all the expenses that are open to you. If you do want to spend a little money on the best ever wedding planner to make your dream day a reality with ease, pick up the little white book.

Whether you’ve just got started with wedding planning, or you haven’t got long to go, please don’t feel pressured when it comes to your wedding day or wedding budget. Your day, your way, Try not to get swept up in all the things you could spend money on, but rather focus on what’s really personal and important to you. Your future self (and honeymoon budget) will thank you for it. xx

Read more: Lies, Damned Lies, And Wedding Cost Statistics

How Much Does the Average Wedding Cost — SuperMoney Guide to Wedding Costs