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The Things Guests Hate at a Wedding

So you’ve read “What guests look for at a wedding” and now you want to know what they don’t love!

First, WHY? Why do you want to know what guests hate at a wedding? Isn’t this ‘MY BIG DAY’! While a wedding is about celebrating your love, it’s important for you to remember that you are choosing to host your guests, and as good hosts, your guests’ comfort and happiness should be top-of-mind!

Mostly, wedding guests are simply happy to be included in your big day (and the thought of a free meal doesn’t hurt either).  However, there’s a few pet peeves almost universal to wedding guests, so better to know now and make a choice whether to pander to them.  In a nutshell…. they want to know what they’re doing, where they’re going, and what’s expected of them.

Delayed receptions

That wait between the ceremony and the reception, while the couple gallivant off to have their photos taken with the bridal party can be absolute torture for wedding guests – where do they go, what do they eat, what do they do, is there Champagne?!?

This ought to be a key part of your planning – what will you and your guests be doing immediately post ceremony?  For example, we organised lawn games and a live musician to take care of our guests, but also only disappeared for 45 minutes before returning to the party.  We ensured everyone had plenty to drink, and lots to eat to ensure they didn’t get too drunk in the interim either.

“I have been to my fair share of weddings and love being a part of their special days. But with that said, I absolutely hate delayed receptions — the ones where you get there and no beverages or food are served for more than an hour. Especially if children are invited, there should be activities to keep them busy or else you end up with a room full of hungry guests and bored kids running around.”

— Crystal

Lack of Planning

I’m sorry, I’m sure you’re already at pains to get plans put together for the big day, and perhaps you’re already feeling overwhelmed by it all, but while you’re making those plans, keep your guests in mind…

Whether its the above mentioned interim period between ceremonies; a lack of consideration for seating, eating, waiting, all-weather alternatives, entertainment or not having enough wine glasses, failing to plan is planning to fail.  It starts with the first of your bookings – knowing all the questions to ask your vendors is crucial, as it makes you think about all the possible things you’ll need to plan for.  The little white wedding planning pack contains all the questions you need to ask your venue, photographers, caterers (et al).  My advice, write lists (check them twice), delegate responsibilities, make an on-the-day timeline and distribute to vendors, the bridal party and parents, and have a run through to check timings too.

“Every wedding I’ve attended has been a wonderful celebration filled with laughter, love, tears, and lots of dancing, which makes for a great party every time. But even though every one has been a blast, a couple weddings I’ve attended had some rough starts and the cause usually started with the planning — or lack of planning — that went into communicating with the guests. My one piece of advice as a guest is think about the best way to stay in communication with all of your guests as the wedding progresses, because something almost always changes last minute. We as guests want to make sure we’re bringing our A-games to your big day!”

— Jessica

Little White Book Wedding Planning Organiser

No Microphones at the Ceremony

I not only want to see (so think about seating/standing arrangements) but I want to hang on every word of the vows, the readings, the speeches… this is what we came for (and Champagne) – don’t leave it up to chance whether your guests will hear the all important promises you make to each other during the ceremony, or the hilarious drunken Best Man speech to be quoted for years to come.  I’ve attended weddings where I couldn’t hear, so for ours we ensured that wasn’t a possibility, hiring a standalone microphone to be held by our celebrant during the ceremony, and by our toast makers during the reception.  It amplified the sound of both so I was even able to record it on my iPhone and listen later.

“I understand that a lot of guests look forward to weddings for the free food and booze. But not me. I’m in it for the ceremony. What can I say? I’m a big sap. So my biggest pet peeve as a wedding guest is when couples don’t consider whether their guests can actually hear them during the ceremony. If you don’t use a microphone, chances are we won’t hear anything that’s happening. And instead of sharing the moment along with you, we’ll just be stuck twiddling our thumbs.”

— Anna

The Bride Venting About Her Wedding (At the Wedding)

If you’ve been disappointed by something on the day, moaning about it to the guests just won’t help the situation..

“I just went to a wedding in which the bride sat down at our table to say hello and just launched into this very long speech about how tough wedding planning was and how she wished she had just eloped. When she got up from our table and moved to the next, I heard her give the same spiel to another guest. I get that she was probably just stressed from it all and needed to vent. But as a guest, it made me feel pretty uncomfortable. Your wedding is a happy occasion, but it’s pretty difficult to see it that way when you spend the whole reception complaining about how miserable it was to get there.”

— Marianne

Shit happens, even on your wedding day, but you need to be able to take yourself out of the situation, spend some alone time with your new spouse, a moment with your maid of honour or parent, and get some perspective.

Even if, God forbid, whatever disappointment is going to ruin your day, it’s actually up to you whether it ruins everyone else’s too, and whether the wedding is remembered for all the wrong reasons.  Suck it up Princess.

Cash Bar

“Cash bars. I understand that not everyone has the budget for an open, full bar. That’s OK. But in that case, try to offer a limited bar, such as just beer and wine. Guests will really appreciate it — especially the ones who have traveled or had significant expenses in order to come to your wedding.”

— Jennifer

David Tutera ‘Open Bar vs Cash Bar’ in an article by The Knot states “a cash bar is never a good choice.  When you have a wedding, you’re inviting people to a party, and they shouldn’t have to pay for anything while they’re there.  Yes, it’s true that when you have a bash in your apartment and invite all your pals, you say “BYOB” but it’s not quite the same at a formal event.”

example wedding budget template square

While those are just five things wedding guests hate… let’s finish on a positive and think of some ways you can ensure your wedding guests leave happy and have wonderful memories of your big day!

Information in advance: whether it’s a wedding website, comprehensive information sheet, or even a Facebook group set up for guests, keep everyone in the loop about timings, traffic, accommodation options, nearby restaurant recommendations, travel directions between venues, etc.  A wedding website or Facebook group can work in your favour too – it gives you an easy way to communicate with all the guests, should you need to ask for help at the last minute.

Bathroom baskets: welcome bags or bathroom baskets go down a treat.  I put together an article of just what to include in bathroom baskets.  For a destination wedding, welcome bags of snacks, water, sunscreen, hangover helpers and location information are particularly useful too.  Skip the wedding favour for after, and give your guests something useful in advance.

Spending time with you: it can be hard to fit everything in on your big day – between the photos, trying to find a moment alone with your partner and ensuring to eat, the time goes fast and you may feel torn between wanting to enjoy the party yourselves, or taking the time to acknowledge your guests.  Stay with your spouse, and take a few minutes for each guest, thank them for their presence and let them wish you well towards the next chapter in your life.

Thoughtful catering: Afternoon snacks, catering to dietary requirements, easy finger-friendly canapés, thought for different palates, etc.  Guests will remember bad food, or being hungry because there weren’t options suitable to their dietary requirements.  A little gluten free bread, non dairy spread and vegetarian offerings won’t break the bank, but will appease the few fussy eaters you have.  You can ask for dietary requirements in advance (on the invitation) to know in advance. Also be sure to consider that people are drinking, so hearty food is necessary. If its a long day, ensure to serve adequate food and refreshments throughout the entire event, not necessarily just at dinner time. While we could all do with a healthy influence in our lives, your wedding day is not the ideal time to convert your friends to a raw, vegan, green smoothie diet.

Thoughtful thank you notes: When guests have taken the time to spend the day with you, perhaps also buying you a gift, or even travelling for a destination wedding, it is so impolite not to thank them.  Guests may wonder if their guest ever arrived, and will feel grateful for your time in acknowledging their time and thought.  I suggest splitting the job with your new spouse – for example, you write to guests on your family side/your close friends, and he to his.

It’s not that difficult to plan your dream day that’s also a dream for your guests to attend.  Have a look at the little white wedding planning pack to help with all of the above, including the little white book wedding organiser and diary.

Wedding Planning Templates and Diary

Engagement Ring Shapes – and the Celebrities who Love Them

If you’ve read how to choose an engagement ring and now you’re sussing out engagement ring shapes, you might like to look to the creme de la creme of the jewels themselves – on the hands of the A listers who can afford them.


The round cut diamond is by far the most popular shape throughout the world accounting for more than 70% of all diamonds sold.  It is symmetrically balanced in shape and the level of light performance displayed by modern round brilliant cuts surpasses any other.

Mila Kunis, Miley Cyrus, and Alison Brie all “rock” the classic round-cut engagement rings.

After two years of dating, Ashton Kutcher presented Mila Kunis with a classic solitaire style ring with a center diamond, estimated to be around 5 carats and worth upwards of $250,000. The diamond is a round cut solitaire set in platinum with a band featuring semi pave inlay.


A perfect round diamond has 58 facet cuts divided among its crown, girdle and pavilion. The crown is the top of the diamond, the girdle the widest part and the pavilion is the base. The main aim is to achieve a diamond with maximum fire and overall perfection.

Emerald Cut

Beyoncé, Mariah, Carey, and Amal Aladdin (George Clooney’s wife) tote epic emerald-cut diamonds.  Originally developed as a cut for, you guessed it, the emerald – the cutting style was so successful with emeralds that it was soon picked up by diamond cutters.

Jay-Z took Queen Bey’s advice and “put a ring on it” – a very expensive one at that!  The rapper worked with Lorraine Schwartz to create an 18 carat flawless emerald cut diamond, valued at more than $5 million!


But it’s Mariah Carey’s emerald-cut stone which tilts the scales at 35 carats…


What makes the emerald cut for diamonds so special is that the square and rectangular cut shapes have well defined corners along with rows of facets which almost always run parallel to the girdle producing spectacular colours. They tend to act as mirrors showing a reflection in the diamond especially in colourless stones.

The emerald cut, also known as step cut usually has 57 facets. Because of the angle, size and shape of the facets the emerald cut shows less brilliance and dispersion than other brilliant and modified brilliant cut diamonds.


Kate Bosworth, Hilary Duff, and Snooki are three princesses with princess-cut diamonds to match.  When it comes to engagement rings, it is without doubt one of the most sought-after choices after the round cut.


Hilary Duff may no longer be hitched to her former sweetheart hockey player Mike Comrie, but when he popped the question, Comrie gave Duff a sparkly 14-carat princess-cut stone worth a reported $1 million.

Cushion Cut

Kim Kardashian, Bar Refaeli, and Sofia Vergara’s hubbies all proposed with cushion cut diamonds.  In the US market, the cushion cut is making waves in the jewellery industry with  a recent surge of interest in this shape and dealers seeing increasing demand.


Kardashian’s “kushion-kut” ring weighs in at an impressive 15 carats and set Kanye back a cool $8 million.

Cushion cut diamonds are also named the “pillow-cut” diamond. The cushion-cut is an antique style of cut, and it is known for having a deep cut with large facets. These large facets are what bring out the sparkle and brilliance when the diamond is exposed to light.

Asscher Cut Diamonds

A-listers Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow both love the Asscher cut diamond (perhaps Gwynny not so much anymore – who wore an eight-carat diamond ring with pave halo from Chris Martin before their “conscious uncoupling”).



Art consultant Will Kopelman proposed to his partner, Drew Barrymore, with a 4-carat radiant cut engagement ring. Its French-set band brings art deco appeal, for a style that’s as unique as she is.


This square or rectangular cut combines the quality of the emerald shape diamond with the brilliance of the round The original radiant cut had 61 facets, excluding eight girdle facets. The ideal proportions of a radiant cut diamond are generally considered to be when the length of the diamond is about 1½ times greater than its width.

Oval Cut Diamond

Blake Lively, Julianne Hough, and Kate Middleton wear oval cut diamond engagement rings, so I’ve included a few coloured engagement rings – a la Duchess Catherine.


Marquise Diamond

Both Victoria Beckham and Catherine Zeta Jones “rock” the marquise gemstone


The marquise diamond is shaped like a rugby ball or a pointed chocolate. The facets have to be cut with precision in order for the stone to have that brilliant sparkle. Failure to do this correctly will result in dark areas across the finished diamond. This is a beautiful shape and works well with smaller diamonds surrounding it.

This dark area is called a bow tie effect and looks exactly like a bow tie you would wear to a cocktail party. It is found in most fancy cut diamonds – pear, marquise, oval and hearts. It exists in all of these cuts but can be minimized so that its almost non existent with precision cutting.


 Pear Shaped

“It’s ridiculously big,” Katherine Heigl told Cosmopolitan when asked about her engagement ring!


Victoria Beckham features again with a 15 to 17-carat pear-cut diamond – her second special sparkler from David!


This one might be a little smaller than Ms Posh’s pear, but it’s just as special.

Now read How to Take Care of your Engagement Ring, and if there’s a ring on your finger, you need the little white book in your hands.

Are these the best destination wedding photos in the world?

A destination wedding is becoming more and more popular.

Junebug weddings have just announced the 2016 best wedding destination photos of the year. The annual contest, which launched in 2014, receives 4,000 submissions from professional photographers which are then whittled down by wedding planners…

destination wedding
Queenstown, New  Zealand destination wedding
Gili Trawangan, Indonesiadestination wedding
Vestjurland, Iceland
destination wedding
Cinque Terre, Italydestination wedding
Los Angeles, California destination wedding
Hamar, Norway destination wedding
Parisdestination wedding
Loch Ard Gorge, Victoria, Australia destination wedding
London destination wedding
Scotland’s Highlands destination wedding
Turtle Bay Beach at Caneel Bay, St John US Virgin Islands  destination wedding
Udaipur, India destination wedding
Marrakech Morocco destination weddingLembongan Island, Bali, Indonesia destination wedding
Queenstown, New Zealand destination wedding
Wild Horse Canyon, Utahdestination wedding
Varanasi, India destination wedding
Yosemite, California, USA destination wedding
Kaneoha, Oahu, Hawaii destination wedding
Bombo Quarry, New South Wales, Australia destination wedding
Cappadocia in Turkey destination wedding
Torlltunga in Norway destination wedding
Selijalandsfoss in Iceland

Editor and chef for Junebug weddings, Carrie Schwab said:

‘We ask that photographers submit photos that merge the beauty of a destination with the love between a couple.

‘Other than this main rule, the contest is pretty open to interpretation, which results in a fun and creative set of images.

‘Our expert judges, along with the Junebug Weddings team, look for photos that demonstrate technical skill and creativity.

Just sayin….

A photo posted by Megan, Newlywed – She Said Yes (@shesaidyes) on Feb 24, 2016 at 12:39pm PST

Romantic Glam Markovina Vineyard Wedding

Today’s wedding is a fab fusion of rustic, glam, boho and vintage with an absolute killer dress. Do I really need to say more? A big thank you to Photography by Nami & Pascale for sharing this romantic love story with P+L! xox

Who Zoe + Gene Merrylees
Where Markovina Vineyard, Kumeu
Guests 90

Swooning over this ‘getting ready’ venue Honeysuckle Cottage!

“I absolutely loved my dress!! I want something very different to all the dresses I have seen at other weddings. It is an Anna Campbell design which I bought from Secret Lace Bridal. Secret Lace Bridal was the only shop I went to. It was the last dress I tried on out of about 10 and absolutely had to have it. I went with my two sisters and two friends to try on the dresses. The ladies at Secret Lace Bridal were amazing and made me feel so welcome and comfortable.”

The proposal…

Gene had to sneak over to my dad’s house to ask for his blessing. Gene used the excuse of he was “fixing an oven”. Gene tricked me into thinking that he was taking me to Waiheke Island to celebrate my recent uni graduation. We had lunch at Mudbrick followed by a walk to the trig station overlooking the Island where Gene got down on one knee to ask me to marry him.

What was your theme inspiration? 

Our theme was a mix of romantic and rustic. We wanted our wedding to be timeless so went with a lot of white and greenery and minimal colour (a bit of blush pink).

Did you DIY?

We actually did all of the DIY together!

Wood rounds – love the rustic look of wood rounds but we wanted them to be personal and meaningful. We cut down a tree at our first home in Wellington then engraved each one with “with love from our first home”.

Favours – We really wanted edible favours that also doubled as place cards. We made milk chocolate moustache lollipops for the guys and white chocolate with pink food colouring lip lollipops for the ladies.

Signs – Gene cut the ply wood and I painted them.

Wishing well – Gene built the ply letter box and I painted it.

“We had always wanted an outdoor wedding in a garden. We fell in love with Markovina as soon as we went there to have a look. The gardens are amazing and the staff are very helpful. I also loved the pond and the idea of having a wedding photo in the boat in the pond. It was the only venue we looked at and needed to look at.”

Advice to engaged couples?

Do want is important to you as a couple as it is about your love and commitment to each other. There is no right or wrong way to do things only what is right for you two.

Photographer Photography by Nami & Pascale
Film Mata Films
Flowers Vidabela
Stationery DIY by Zoe Merrylees (bride)  with paper for invitations bought from Gordon Harris
Venue + Catering Markovina Vineyard Estate
Getting Ready Venue Honeysuckle Cottage
Music (ceremony + mingling)

Avya Trotter (acoustic artist)
Reception Music DJ4YOU
Ice Cream Cart Tip Top
Cake Bluebells Cakery  Top tier – chocolate with chocolate ganache. Bottom tier – lemon with lemon curd and cream cheese icing.
Lace Lanterns Paper Lantern Store
Celebrant Chris Mullane
Engagement Ring Diamond & Time
Wedding Bands Bride custom made by Laurie Kearns Jewellery + Groom Walker & Hall
First Dance Choreographer Perry Exeter
Dress + Hairpiece Anna Campbell from Secret Lace Bridal
Robes Homebodii + Cotton on Body
Hair Becs from Coiffure Chic
Makeup Lauren from Fresh & Flawless
Bridesmaid Dresses Shona Joy
Groom + Groomsmen Hallenstein Brothers
Pre Wedding Grooming Boar & Blade Ponsonby
Flower Girl Outfits Li’nakahli Collections
Page Boy Outfits H&M

How to Buy an Engagement Ring

The question of how to buy an engagement ring is one is an important one. It’s something that is only done once, and it is a serious decision, not to mention the significant financial outlay.

How to Buy an Engagement Ring

I chose my own engagement ring, and until recently I actually thought I was the exception.  It turns out, I’m not – while out “researching” this article last week I spoke to Dan Robinson of The Diamond Shop about whether more men came in and bought the ring alone, or if couples came in together.  Not only was the answer the latter, but even when men do buy the ring themselves, usually the woman has had a significant part to play in his decision.  It’s a big expectation on men to make it alone, so whether you’re helping to nudge your partner along, or you’re choosing the ring together, here’s everything you need to know about buying a diamond engagement ring.

I hope you find this article useful, once you’re planning your wedding, pick up a little white book wedding planner to help you every step of the way.

The first question you both might be asking yourselves, is how much should I spend on an engagement ring?


The De Beers Slogan  ‘How can you make two months’ salary last forever”

In the 1930’s DeBeers started a marketing campaign that suggested the perfect diamond engagement ring spend was a month’s salary, by the 1980’s it was up to two months salary!

Dan said:

The greater portion of your budget will be the diamond as opposed to the ring.  The diamond’s value is based on its size and quality known as the ‘Four C’s’.  I suggest you learn about the four C’s to make an informed decision with your diamond selection.

Of course, you should only spend as much as you can comfortably afford.

The most popular diamond shape is the round brilliant cut due do its pleasing shape and outstanding brilliance.  It is my experience that most women aspire to a one carat diamond, which can range from NZ$7,000 up to NZ$27,000 depending on the quality.  If this is above your budget, half carat diamonds range from NZ$2,000 up to NZ$5,000.”

Personally, I’d prefer a good quality ‘sparkly’ diamond, than a larger poor quality one.  Reputable jewellers will only sell high-quality diamonds, so be aware of what you are investing in, and shop around.

Once you have a budget in mind

All loose diamonds are graded and certified by an independent laboratory.  Their grade is given based on a scale, and it is the grade of diamond that affects how much you will pay for it, and therefore what you can purchase with your budget.

“The Four C’s”stand for Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat.

The way a diamond is cut determines its brilliance (its sparkle and shine).  Cut well, a diamond can also appear larger.  When cut to the proper proportions, light shines through the diamond and returns through the top.  If the diamond is “shallow” the light leaks.  The GIA cut scale is “Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor”

A diamond’s “colour” is actually a bit misleading, as it’s actually the lack of colour which determines a diamond’s quality.  D is the highest grade, and from K down to Z, diamonds have noticeable colour/discolouration.

Clarity refers to the tiny imperfections or “inclusions” which are in almost every diamond.  Diamonds with the fewest microscopic imperfections receive the highest grades.

The best known of the four C’s is Carat, which most people think refects only the visual size of the diamond, but it’s actually a diamond’s weight.  One carat is equal to 200mg in weight.  If cut shallow, for example, a diamond may appear larger, but have lost much of its sparkle due to the light being lost.  On the contrary, if a diamond is badly cut, much of its carat is wasted in the bottom.  Size is not everything –a diamond of superior cut, clarity and colour will always look better than one that is large but dull.

Besides the four C’s, you’ll have to choose a shape. Shape comes down to personal preference.  If you’ve ever pinned away ring inspo on Pinterest, or browsed #shesaidyes on Instagram, you’ve probably already identified your preferred shape, but you may find this changes when you try them on.

The round brilliant cut is the most popular shapeThere’s plenty of inspiration on pinterest if you have no idea where to start.

If you do want to surprise your partner (or be surprised) with the complete ring, I recommend some research to determine what she’d like.  When a friend recently got engaged, her partner turned to Pinterest to see what she had previously pinned, I’d taken photos on my phone of rings I liked, or you might like to put a post-it in a magazine or leave a printed page lying around, to give a bit of a hint.  Men, if you’re reading and she hasn’t given you a hint, you could also ask her best friend.

Ring Size

Use another ring of your partner’s to estimate the size, but if you can’t do that, keep in mind it is easier to downsize a ring rather than make it larger. See also Choosing the right engagement ring for your hand shape.

Duty Free

As many will wait for an overseas trip to “Pop the question”, a duty-free purchase is an ideal way to save money.  Be aware that you’ll have to divert their attention at the airport and hide the ring in your bag (and then protect it with your life) until you propose, but it may be worth it for the 15% GST saving.

Remember, if there’s an engagement ring on your finger, you need the little white book in your hands, undoubtedly the best wedding planner book for keeping you on track all the way down the aisle.

Choosing the right engagement ring for your hand shape

Have you been awaiting the magical proposal a while, and now you’re thinking about dropping a few engagement ring hints? Or perhaps the proposal came with the promise of your choice of engagement ring (lucky you!). While many people know about the “4 Cs” of choosing a diamond, (Cut, Clarity, Colour and Cut) you also need to think about the style of your new ring, and engagement ring will best suit your hand shape too. 

Just like your wedding attire, you want your engagement ring to accentuate your hand’s best features. The most important thing is to balance the length and width of your fingers against the shape and size of the diamond or other gemstones, and the style of the ring.

Once there’s a ring on your fingers, you need the little white book in your hands too, make sure to visit us again for all your wedding planning advice!

Knowing your hand shape helps to choose the perfect engagement ring

Think about the shape, size and length of your hands and fingers. This will  make deciding on your ideal engagement ring that much easier, choosing the cut of the diamond and width of the band to suit your hands best. Even if you do have your heart set on one particular aspect such as the shape of the stone, you can select your band width and design the ring to complement your hand shape.

Flattering engagement rings for short fingers

The right engagement ring can really accentuate shorter fingers into appearing longer and leaner, whether they are slim or wide. The best choice for someone with short fingers are diamond shapes that extend the fingers optically.

  • Diamonds with an elongated shape: the baguette, the marquise, the pear shape and the oval cut diamond are the ideal stones to elongate short fingers while also being proportionate. 
  • A narrower band is ideal for short fingers because helps create a balance between the ring, fingers and hand and create the illusion of long fingers.. A thicker band can make your fingers seem shorter than what they are, akin to wearing thick ankle straps on short legs (like mine).


Best engagement rings for long fingers

As if you weren’t already blessed, long fingers suit the motto ‘the bigger, the better”. Being able to carry and pull off bold, larger styles is something long fingered ladies are lucky to suit!

  • Princess-cut diamonds and rounded stones are the perfectly suited for longer fingers, and will flatter your lovely hand shape.
  • A wider band tends to complement the length of long fingers, as a narrower band can make the stone look large and imbalanced.
  • Long fingers also look amazing with more extravagant rings, set with coloured diamonds and gems.


Engagement ring shapes for slim fingers (Short or Long)

Choosing your engagement ring to suit slim fingers, you need to keep in mind not to overload the diamond. Small diamonds in combination with a slightly wider band help make your fingers look less slim. This makes everything a bit more proportionate.

  • A round cut or cushion cut diamond is perfect for slim fingers, while not looking as though it is overbearing on your finger.
  • If you have short and slim fingers, consider a marquise cut – ideal as it makes your fingers appear longer.
  • For slimmer fingers, it is generally recommended to go with a thicker band. This is to help create the illusion of width with your fingers.


Slimming styles for wide fingers

To avoid making your fingers look wider with your engagement ring, try to avoid narrow stones or rings that show skin on either side.

  • To create a more slimming look, the emerald and rectangular cuts are for you.
  • Think of the trilogy engagement ring. The bigger and more conspicuous the engagement ring, the better. Small diamonds tend to make wide fingers look even wider.
  • Slim to medium width bands allow for the stone to be the main – and best – feature on your hand.

Small Hands

For smaller hands delicate, quality diamond cuts are key. You may like to avoid very large diamonds, opting for a smaller carat but better quality clarity and colour.  Wider bands may also look out of proportion and overbearing on your small hands.

  •  A fine ring set with a small diamond (brilliant, princess cut, oval or heart shaped) is perfect for someone with small hands.
  • For smaller hands, thin to medium width bands are ideal as they don’t overbear your fingers and make your hand look smaller.


Engagement rings to suit bigger hands

For those of you who have larger hands, it’s time to be also be big and bold with your choices. Rather than select a ring which is small (and may appear ‘lost’), design your engagement ring with a halo of diamonds to accentuate the size of the diamond for a larger appearance. As a halo of diamonds contains much smaller stones, this is a cost-effective way of maximising the effect of your engagement ring.

  • Clusters and Asscherr cuts are the best options for bigger hands as they all are able to be bold cuts that are in proportion to your hands.
  • Depending on the cut of the stone, medium to wide bands are also best.

P.S. When you’re not wearing your engagement ring, keep it in one of these divine Velvet Ring Boxes.

Sally Eagle has launched her new collection RAINE… and it’s gorgeous!

Say hello to the gorgeous new Sally Eagle 2018 collection RAINE. A collection of 10 dresses inspired by the beauty of rainfall, these gowns are the perfect blend of sexy and sophisticated with unique modern detailing

“Raine introduces some new silhouettes with more fitted styles as well as Sally‘s signature floaty skirts. Much like those ethereal rain droplets, many of these stunning dresses feature a scatter of beading, or delicate 3D lace, reminiscent of dainty little flowers glowing in the sunlight.”

Hand made in Wellington, New Zealand (I know, cool right!), these gorgeous gowns range from $2600 – $4000 NZD and are available in-store now at the Sally Eagle Wellington Boutique.

Now enough chat, let’s get looking, because one of these dresses might just be the one for YOU!…


Photographer Bayly & Moore
Florals Yvette Edwards
Hair + Makeup Natalie Dent
Shoes Chaos & Harmony

See more gowns at

Find the Wedding Photographer to Suit You

When you’re planning what possibly feels like the biggest day of your life so far, of course you want to be able to look back on it forever. Photos are such an important part of your memories – the day goes so incredibly fast, and it’s so special being able to relive it from another vantage.

Determining who should be your wedding photographer may be one of the most important decisions in the lead up to your wedding. Here are some insider tips on working out which photographer is the best fit for you and your future spouse.

Research your Wedding Photographer

Have you looked through their portfolio? Do you know what it is that you like about their work? Do you have a rough idea of their style? (i.e. are they documentary, or traditional, or are they serious or are they silly?) You don’t need to have an expert knowledge of photography, but pay attention to the vibe of your potential photographer, the moods that they capture, and their approach to weddings.

As a wedding photographer, meeting with clients who want something vastly different to what I offer can be one of the most frustrating experiences, and quickly dampens my enthusiasm for working with a particular couple. If you don’t know anything about my work, it’s probably wasting both of our time for me to meet with you.

I would strongly recommend meeting with your wedding photographer before you book them – even if it’s a zoom call, you want to ensure you feel really comfortable with them, and have a good vibe from the outset.

Just as you’re trying to decide if they’re the perfect photographer for you, they may also be trying to decide if you’re the right client for them.

A good photographer won’t accept a booking from someone they clash with.

Ask the Wedding Photographer Lots of Questions

OK, so you’ve done your homework. But you still have some questions about how the photographer works on the day. This is great!

Some ideas of questions to ask include:

–       What kind of techniques do you use to make us feel comfortable? If they can’t answer this question, my guess is they haven’t been shooting weddings for very long.

–       What are your thoughts on other people taking photos as well? Some photographers insist on ‘unplugged ceremonies’ some don’t. You need to know this as early as possible.

–       What format do my photos come in? Most photographers I know only hand out JPEG images, which are after the photos have been edited. It’s important to know if they’ll be edited, or if they’re giving you RAW files. (RAW is exactly what it sounds like: unedited, high quality photos.)

Don’t rush your decision

Too often, I meet with couples who have already booked a photographer and then regret their choice. Rushing to choose, or feeling pressured to commit, doesn’t lead to great decisions. Talk together in private, think of any new questions that might come up – even take the opportunity to meet other photographers for a comparison.

If you’ve already paid a non-refundable deposit or retainer but you know you’re unhappy with the photographer you have booked, don’t settle for something that you will regret twenty years from now. Your wedding photos are priceless, don’t undervalue them.

And finally…

Once you’ve chosen a photographer you’re really happy with, give your partner a high-five! You can relax knowing that you are going to have stunning photos of your magical day.

Henry Paul is an award-winning, Australian based wedding photographer. He has a unique ability to capture both the playful and the heartfelt moments experienced on any wedding day, and translate it into something artistically beautiful, and emotionally raw. For more information regarding Henry and his work, visit

6 ALMOST FREE ways to de-stress before your wedding day!

When things were feeling a little hectic leading up to my wedding day (not that anyone other than Blair knew about it) I remember turning to google to find out  ‘how to de-stress before the big day’.  What I found was not in the least bit surprising,  yet I was a little disappointed by the money I would need to spend to simply relax (Debt  = Stress… hello!?). And so today I have come up with 5 wedding budget friendly ways to de-stress. DIY style…

Have a Girls Night In

You know how this goes. Your favourite ladies, check. Delicious platter, check. Nail polish and toe separators, check. Sex and the City (all of them), Confessions of a Shopaholic, Bridesmaids, The Notebook and P.S I love you, check. Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, check. Girls just want to have fun… so why not make a night of it?

If your girls are far from home, sometimes even a little face time (and possibly wine) is enough to calm your mind. Create a relaxing setting, book in a time that suits you both/all, and spend an hour chatting, laughing, and possibly crying – you’ll feel better afterwards regardless.

Write it all down – the Best Free Therapy you can get

When you feeling stressed, often the best thing you can do to help process what your brain is going through, is to get it out of your head and onto paper. Write down everything you’re thinking about: worries, anxieties and also the things that you are looking forward to. Turn to the things that are troubling you, and make a note of all those things which are out of your control. If you have no way of altering the course of action of those, then you need to find a way to move past them. Sometimes this comes in the form of writing down all the possible scenarios that could result, preparing for the best and the worst, and other times, simply having it written down will help.

Journalling is incredibly therapeutic in times of stress – that’s one reason our wedding planner book is not only an organisation tool, but contains a 12 month diary to recor every thought, feeling and worry you have in the lead up to your wedding. It really helps to spill your soul into the private pages of a book. Of course, you don’t need our wedding planner just for this – take any little book or journal which feels like a safe space to you, and give yourself some privacy to write.

Take a long, relaxing bath

I’m not talking about an in and out, body wash under the tap (guilty!) 5 minute soak. I’m talking about lighting scented candles, sorting out some tunes, even some meditation music (I have a great 10 minute FREE mediation phone app I listen to most Saturday nights), then get your biggest fluffiest towel, some pretty soap and get some YOU time in the tub. If you like to read in the bath, then take your favourite book with you (leave your phone in the lounge) and spent some quality time alone.

Get back to nature – glamping, camping or a romantic little cabin (No Wifi!)

Nature can be relaxing, but it’s the idea of packing up the truck with nothing more than a tent, sleeping bags, a chilly bin, and a bottle of red wine that really gets me going.

There is something liberating about sneaking away for a mini break, especially when it involves sand, sea, fireside snuggles and the odd curious possum (or fiance!) Bliss. Depending on your resources, this might be free (or almost free) or you might have a small accommodation fee, but you can definitely find something cute and cosy to suit your budget.

Spend time with Animals

If you have some, make some time to hang out. Animals are amazingly therapeutic, and will never judge your current state of being (I love that!) If you don’t own any, then find some to hang out with. Offer to take a friends dog for a walk, go offer your services at the SPCA, or simply visit your local animal park.

Animals are the perfect reminder that the simple things in life are beautiful… and that love is unconditional.

Watch the Sunset (or Sunrise)

This goes hand in hand with getting back to nature or camping. Again with the nooky, again with the natur, and again with remembering that the simple things in life are beautiful. Mother nature rules, and the sight of the sun rising, or the sun setting is always magical. Make it more special with blankets, hot drinks with marshmallows (go the flask!) and of course your soul mate (or soul sisters!)

Happy relaxing beautiful people xox

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