Inviting Kids to Your Wedding

There’s nothing cuter than watching your three-year old niece clumsily spread petals down the aisle or catching cute moments of the toddlers jamming out at your afterparty. Inviting children to your wedding offers lots of opportunities for adorable pictures and special moments with the little ones in your lives.

But let’s be honest, weddings can be long – especially for kids with short attention spans and inviting children to your wedding can become exhausting. On your special day, the last thing you want to worry about is keeping the little ones occupied while you share the special moments with your significant other. You invited your adult guests to your wedding because you appreciate their presence in your life and want to celebrate your special day. Keeping the kids entertained will allow your adult guests to fully enjoy their night without having to tent to the needs of their kids all evening.

Having children in your wedding can be so special, but it’s important to be prepared for the day to go as smoothly as possible!

Planning Ahead

When it comes to inviting children to your wedding, organising entertainment for the reception eases the transition for over-excited, enthusiastic kids with energy to burn!

If you have decided to organise entertainment yourself, you should plan a variety of activities that cater to a range of ages, guaranteed to occupy the group throughout the night. While parents may bring their own activities, preparing ahead ensures you can enjoy the night with the adults whilst the younger crowd are distracted and entertained.

What can you include?

Plan a range of kid-friendly reception games ahead of time. If you have access to an outdoor or large area, think about incorporating outdoor energy-burning games!

Prepare activity packs to hand out. You can include colouring pages, activity sheets, stickers and a set of pencils to keep the kids distracted and quiet during the speeches.

Youngsters have a never-ending store of energy, so use their bounce to your advantage and boogie on the dance floor! Encourage the kids to join you in the ‘YMCA’, ‘Nut Bush’ and chicken dance. You can even plan popular dancing games ahead of time, such as dance freeze and limbo. Who knows, the older guests might even join in the fun!

While you may want to take on everything yourself, we all know that planning a wedding is exhausting, so why add another job to your list? Kid’s entertainment packages are a huge hit at weddings and ensure you can relax and enjoy your special day, knowing all your guests will enjoy the celebrations.

 Why book a kid’s entertainment team?

The Dream & Believe Entertainment team are comprised of experienced, skilled performers ready to ensure your guests enjoy every moment. We take care of the planning and the preparation, taking the stress out of inviting children to your wedding. At Dream & Believe Entertainment, we work toward exceeding expectations so the entertainment will be suited to your age range, group size and the children’s interests. Let our team enchant and occupy the little ones so your adults are free to enjoy the party!

Our Happily Ever After Reception package is completely customizable, with a selection of themed crafts, makeovers, balloon twisting, kid’s karaoke, hair designs, various games, confectionery crafts, colouring packs, movie projector set-ups, and of course, our nap tent for when the little ones get sleepy!

Tips and Tricks

  1. While face painting is always a hit with the kids, be cautious of hiring a face painter for your wedding. White dresses and formal attire tend not to mix well with colourful faces and potential paint on hands, so tread carefully! Balloon twisting and royal makeovers in our wedding package make great alternatives for enjoyable entertainment without the stress of a mess!
  2. Plan your time effectively – Remember that the sugar will eventually wear off, and you will want to plan a relaxing activity to ease the energy. At Dream & Believe Entertainment, we offer movie set-ups with our portable projector, a nap tent for the little ones and calming crafts to allow the kids to slow down without interrupting the midnight festivities for the older guests!
  3. Adults will often want to be part of the fun and they too can partake in the entertainment! Most packages will allow, if not encourage, adults to join in on games and dancing. Ask your entertainment team if activities and crafts extend to adults, most partygoers appreciate a decorative flower hat or a sword to battle the kids!

At Dream and Believe Entertainment, we ensure every guest looks back upon your special day with magical memories. We prove that with a sprinkle of fairy dust, a wish upon a star and a call to us, dreams really do come true! We look forward to creating your magical moment!

 

Monique O’Brien |
Dream & Believe Entertainment

Dream & Believe Entertainment is a children’s entertainment company dedicated to providing quality characters for a range of events. With our extensive range of party packages, including princesses, mermaids, fairies, superheroes, pampering, face painting, balloon twisting, sparkles and more, we know that we can find the perfect package for you! We believe in the importance of dreaming big, believing in the impossible and spreading magic throughout the world. At Dream and Believe Entertainment, we prove that with a sprinkle of fairy dust, a wish upon a star and a call to us, dreams really do come true! 

Setting Your Floral Budget

Guest Blog

By Jane Goldfinch

One of the hardest things to gauge with wedding planning is how much of your budget you should set aside for different aspects of the big day. So let’s discuss a few things about budgeting for your wedding day florals.

Setting a budget for your florals from the beginning of wedding planning is helpful so that you can manage your budget around this variable expense. Florals are a variable expense because the day can go on without them (although it would be pretty sad!) and because you can scale this budget to a different size without ruining the quality.

That being said, the reason your floral budget is something you should figure out at the start of wedding planning is because they play a role in almost every moment of your wedding day journey, and if you know you want lots of florals, you need to take this into account when planning your wedding style and all the decor. It’s not an expense that can get tacked on at the end.

I find that $4,000 typically covers an average-sized bridal party, simple reception centrepieces, and a few other pieces of decor like a sign-in table arrangement, ceremony arrangement, cake flowers, or welcome sign flowers. Adding on installations such as a ceremony arch, aisle flowers, backdrop for pictures, mantlepiece arrangement, etc will make the price jump because these items are typically large in size and need to be designed on-site.

These are good things to take into consideration as you’re planning your budget because you can make adjustments as needed simply by changing up your plan for the decor.

Imagine standing next to your partner on your wedding day preparing to declare that you’ll spend the rest of your lives together. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Well, imagine doing that surrounded by stunning and lush blooms.

The impact an installation has on the presentation of an event is absolutely worth the cost, as it makes a statement in all the photos, welcomes your guests, and is more likely to be remembered and treasured as a part of your big day than the boutonnieres.

Looking for an easy way to save on your floral budget, rather than cutting things out? We suggest mixing and matching your centrepieces. You can design half of your tables with full or tall floral arrangements and do something simpler (and more budget-friendly!) for the other spaces.

A cluster of candles with greenery around the base, or 3-5 bud vases with single stem flowers, will be much more cost-effective and still take up space and make an impact. I also love mixing two different types of centrepieces because it adds depth to the decor and intrigue for your guests.

If you love greenery running down banquet tables or serving tables but don’t have the budget for full garlands, consider using loose greens instead. Loose greens require a minimal number of stems, much less labour, and will give you a light and airy look that still covers the tables! We’ve got plenty of ideas on the subject and would be happy to discuss your vision!

Another way you can save money on your floral budget is to repurpose some of the wedding day florals – but this should be done carefully, as often the florals don’t work as well beyond their intended design. For example, you can turn your bridesmaid bouquets into centrepieces at the reception after wedding ceremony photos are completed. This only works if the bouquets are a bit larger and the centrepiece vases are chosen intentionally.

You can also repurpose archways and urn arrangements after the ceremony by moving them to surround the wedding cake, head table, or using the florals to make an additional backdrop at the reception! Once again choosing the right styling and vessel is key.

Lastly, remember every florist prices their creativity differently and it comes down to one of the most important pieces of advice I offer to couples searching for their wedding florist – choose someone you feel comfortable with. Choose the one whose work you love and makes you CATCH your breath. NOT just whoever is the cheapest. Place your trust in their creativity and the magic will happen.

Have any more questions about floral budgets? Reach out to us to discuss your wedding plans and floral budget and see what sort of magic we can create for you!

P.S. Keep your floral styling true to yourself, your personality, and your love story. It will make all the difference!

Jane Goldfinch
Principal Stylist – Couture Botanical 

Top Reasons Why You Should Hire A Wedding Planner

Guest Blog

By Alex From Photo Booth Rental Melbourne

Why Hire a Wedding Planner? 

Many couples find themselves in limbo, trying to figure out whether or not they should hire a wedding planner. This is no surprise since hiring one would mean additional charges – and it is not cheap. Most planners in Australia charge around $2,000 to $4,000. And, if you are trying to plan your wedding on a budget, this additional charge may seem too heavy.

But, have you ever thought why couples still get the services of a wedding event planner even if their rates are not exactly affordable? Why is it that anyone who has hired a wedding planner says that they are worth every cent? What does a wedding planner do that makes them such a wedding necessity?

Well, a lot.

Wedding planners are responsible for putting together all the elements you need to make your wedding dreams come true. She will cover everything from the moment you start planning, the big day itself, and sometimes even until you leave for your honeymoon. This will certainly come in handy for any couple who has to juggle their time for each other, their jobs, families, and social relationships. And, if you are not the organizing type, then a wedding planner is certainly what you need.

Now, if you are still unsure about hiring a wedding planner, here is a list of the top reasons why you should.

Top Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner

  1. You can save money. Is your budget the main reason you are not sure about hiring a wedding planner? Then, now there’s no need to worry. Planners usually transact with the same people every time they are tapped to do a wedding. And, along with this repeat transactions are discounts that you can enjoy. Not only will this save you money but it will also save you a significant amount of time as well since you don’t need to do extensive research to find the right photo booth supplier, goods hire & other vendors!
  2. For instance, if you don’t have a photographer yet, your planner can refer you to one. Someone she knows who can handle your wedding better than anyone else. And, because they are familiar with each other, it will be easier for her to negotiate in your place and get you a lower price. Or, she can score you extras that you otherwise will need to pay for. Plus, you can ensure that you will only have a reliable professional by your side comes the wedding day since they have worked together before. Also, a wedding planner will help you get your money’s worth and she will help you stretch your budget to more important things. With her help, you can determine which details make more impact and which you can cut off. So, you don’t have to pay for things that you don’t need.
  3. You can relax and enjoy your engagement. Planning a wedding can be very stressful. But, you don’t have to bear with that kind of frustration and you can simply let someone else handle the planning for you. From choosing your decors to meeting and booking vendors, a wedding planner can stand in your place. So, you and your partner can have all the time to enjoy your engagement and have fun attending wedding showers and parties. And, you can both show up on your wedding day relaxed and stress-free… just as you should be!
  4. You don’t have to worry about anything during your big day. Weddings are unpredictable and even when you have planned yours for a year, there’s just no saying what will happen during the big day itself. So, it helps to have someone – who knows what she is doing – there and ready for anything.
  5. A planner will take control of everything at your wedding, from decors, communicating with your vendors, and what needs to be done at the venue. With her around, you can ensure that everything will run smoothly and that issues will be taken care of. So, all you have to do is look pretty or dashing, say “I do”, and seal your marriage with a kiss!

Achieving the Wedding of your Dreams

With the help of a wedding planner, achieving the wedding you have always envisioned will be easier and more attainable. And, this is because a wedding planner will focus just on you and your big day, unlike other vendors who have to cater to several weddings every day. Once you hire the services of a wedding planner, she will ensure everything is according to your vision, taste, and your expectations.

I Should Have Hired A Wedding Planner

REAL STORY

Some ten years ago as my husband and I were planning our wedding, he suggested that we should hire a wedding planner. I promptly said no, thinking we didn’t need one nor could afford one. To be honest, I had no idea what a wedding planner even did and how they could have helped us. If I knew then what I know now, how a wedding planner could have saved us significant time and money, I’d say that I couldn’t afford not to hire one!

We were a busy young couple building our home and running a business. We had limited time to devote to planning our wedding and ended up selecting the first suppliers we contacted without comparing our options. Even if we did make time to shop around, we didn’t have any leverage to negotiate or knowledge of what to be looking for!

As an experienced events professional now, I wish that I had invested in a planner, believing that not only would we have had more time and money to ourselves but that their knowledge, advice, guidance and expertise would have been invaluable. After helping our clients with tailored supplier recommendations and using our industry expertise to allow them to save money in one area so they can afford to splurge in another, I wish that I had been able to reap the same benefits 10 years ago. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like if we had had children along with the house build and the business!

If this sounds like you, we’d love to chat.

7 Mistakes Couples Make That Ruin Their Budget

Guest Blog

By Alex Morrison

Congratulations! You’re getting married and you couldn’t be happier. It’s the day you’ve been waiting for practically all your life. You simply can’t wait to start planning your wedding with your significant other. Before you go overboard though, there’s one important factor not to overlook – your budget.  

A large part of any wedding involves budgeting. In fact, it will affect every decision you make from the venue you choose all the way down to the vendors you work with. It’s all too easy for costs to spiral out of control if you don’t keep a close eye on your spending. The good news is you can avoid some of the most common budgeting pitfalls with our help. 

Here we’ll look at common mistakes that many couples make with their wedding budget. 

Not Doing Your Research 

There’s nothing wrong with creating estimates. It gives you a better idea of what to expect and how much to allocate. But creating estimates without doing proper research can lead you to greatly underestimate the actual costs involved. Instead, contact multiple venues and vendors to come up with more accurate quotes. 

Not Tracking Expenses 

It’s important to establish a clear system for tracking your expenses even if it’s jotting them down in a notebook or an Excel spreadsheet. There are also a number of mobile apps you can download that allow you to instantly track wedding costs. That way you have a much clearer picture of exactly how much you’re spending on the wedding.  

Choosing the First Vendor 

Weddings are a huge source of revenue for many vendors. Some may try to get you to sign an agreement the same day to lock you into a contract. Never commit to the first vendor you get in touch with even if you think you’re getting a good deal. If a vendor is rather aggressive in getting you to sign a contract, it’s best to move on. 

Not Accounting for Miscellaneous Expenses 

Even once you finalise prices with your vendors, there will likely be other costs involved. Some examples might include cleaning fees or additional prints. An additional $10 here and there may not seem like much. But these expenses can really add up. Set aside at least 5% of your budget for miscellaneous expenses to allow some breathing room. Investing in a high interest online savings account can help you reach your savings budget sooner and allow you a little more legroom to pay for any added or extra expenses. 

Not Prioritising 

Prioritising items on a budget is incredibly important. That way you can allocate more funds for the things that matter most to you instead of having to make sacrifices at a later stage. Sit down with your partner and make a list of the top priorities. Then you’ll be in a better position to make key decisions when it comes to deciding on which vendors you can splurge on and which ones you can potentially cut out. 

Not Controlling the Guest List 

In a perfect world, all your friends, family, and acquaintances would attend your wedding. Unfortunately, the number of guests that attend will have a significant impact on your budget. Make sure to finalise your guest list as early as possible. Don’t be afraid to limit plus one invites either as extending that option to everyone may not be financially feasible. 

Making Impulse Decisions 

It happens to all of us – you see something that you just have to have. No exceptions. So you end up buying it right there without hesitation. No matter how seemingly minor an expense is, take a moment to consider whether it’s a meaningful purchase and if it’s something you actually need. Bring in your partner to discuss the purchase before you make a final decision. 

Sticking to a budget can be hard. You probably want to spare no expenses but the last thing you want is to start off the marriage in deep financial debt. Watching out for common pitfalls as described here can help keep you within your budget and still have a blast on your big day. 

Author’s Bio  

Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including carpet cleaning, financial support and health care. As the owner of Integral Media, he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals. 

Budget, Budget, Budget!

Every wedding or event needs a clearly defined budget. Whether it’s $1,000 for a small private function or $50,000 for a wedding, having a budget will help guide your decisions while not breaking the bank.

Did you know that in 2018, the average Australian wedding spend is $55,000? Wow! For a lot of couples, that’s simply not affordable, feasible or smart, especially if you have a family, a mortgage or other more pressing expenses. Maybe you have financial help from parents or family, but even still, there’s no need for you or your family to be left with significant debt well after your event is completed. Your budget should work for you and your partner while allowing you to meet your other financial deadlines or goals as well. Besides, there are no awards for the best or most expensive wedding!

Before you begin planning your event, make sure you sit down with your partner to ensure you’re on the same page. Consider different factors like the size of your guest list and bridal party, your intended style of food and beverage service, and any other major expenses like accommodation or a marquee. You should also clearly define what your budget will cover. Will it cover the on-day expenses only? Or will it include attire, accommodation, pre & post event celebrations or your honeymoon too?

It may be wise to include other key financial contributors in this conversation too. Knowing exactly what everyone is prepared to contribute (either financially or in-kind) might save you from awkward conversations or unexpected expenses down the track. For example:

  • You have a parent who is prepared to cover the bar tab. Is this truly regardless of the cost or does this offer have an upper limit? In their head, your parent might estimate this will be a $3,000 expense but if your guests are heavy drinkers who will push this to $5,000, who is paying the extra $2,000?
  • Your friend has offered to lend you their backyard for a home-style wedding. Will they allow guests to use the indoor toilets or the caterers to work out of the kitchen? Or will you need to hire toilets and a pop-up kitchen? Will your friends be preparing and maintaining the lawn ahead of the wedding or is that your expectation and responsibility?

Having these honest conversations up front will help manage everyone’s expectations.

There are many ways to bring your event together within your budget, a big part of which is choosing the right vendors and suppliers. We’re hugely passionate about helping you stick to your budget; we’ll recommend the most suitable suppliers for you and negotiate depending on your needs and vison. We can make tailored budget saving recommendations, whether it’s finding the more affordable day or season for your event, or helping you take advantage of supplier specials and promotions.

If you have are planning an upcoming event and want expert advice and guidance on how to stick to budget, we’d love to hear from you!

There Are No Rules In Weddings

As wedding and event planners, we are always happy to offer advice to our clients. Often we remind you that there are no rules in weddings!

Recently, a groom-to-be and his mother asked my opinion on whether having his father as a groomsmen was okay. While it is not a common first choice (with most opting to select mates or brothers), I reassured him that there is no rule book for weddings and if he wants his dad by his side, then why not! It’s a beautiful way to really honour that evidently important relationship.

We’re seeing this ‘no rules’ principle appear in the bridal party in other ways too: uneven numbers on each ‘side’, bridesmen, groomsmaids, mismatched attire and sometimes even no bridal party at all! Do you hate cake but love cheesecake? Why not cut into your favourite cheesecake instead. Or maybe you have two left feet and the idea of an all-eyes-on-you first dance terrifies you. Try a first song, where all the guests are invited to the dance floor for a slow dance so your first dance as a couple becomes more of a group activity.

At the end of the day, it’s your day and these choices that some may call ‘untraditional’ generally bring out the best of you as a couple while making your day unique and special. If you make decisions intentionally, ones that feel completely true to you, your personality and your love story, you will look back on your wedding day fondly and with no regrets.

We love hearing the new and creative ideas that couples come up with. Do you have an unconventional idea that you want advice on or need help to pull together? We look forward having you tell us all about it!