Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mani and Pedi plans

Mum and Dad gave me some beautiful dark red nail polish (think Rouge Noir) for xmas and i'm going to use it on our toenails when we do our pedicures the day before the wedding. I told Chantelle of my idea of finding a manicurist in Rome who spoke English and didn't cost the earth, and that i'd been looking but hadn't found anything below €40 each. She suggested we do our own manicures as well, so when i got back up to Perth i kept a lookout in the shops and was lucky to find a Bourjois kit for $15 (half price). It's got a curved brush for the white polish which is supposed to make it easier to use - i agree. I had a go at using it as soon as i got home, and aside from some shaky hands it turned out pretty well. The photo is a bit blurry but still recognisable.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ring shopping and a change to the Elven engraving

We've changed our minds again :)

We weren't entirely happy with our previous choice of phrase (two hearts, two minds, one love), and so we both kept coming up with minor changes to it which weren't a great deal better. We began then to redo it completely, and thought about what we really wanted to say to each other, and came up with My one, my only, for always. This ends up as quite a short line in Quenya, so i added the wedding date to the end.

In Quenya, numbers are reversed, so a year will number right to left, instead of left to right, as below.
My one, my only, for always. 7 October 2010.
Quénya, ernya, an illumë. 7 Narquelië 0102.
I work out my translations from the English-Quenya wordlist, an rtf document kept on http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/wordlists.htm, and then feed the Quenya words into the Online Tengwar Transcriber.

And in the Elvish Tengwar Annatar font, it looks like this:

I was in the city today for lunch and since we'd had no luck at jewellers over the last few weeks trying to find the rings we wanted, i went into a jewellers i know to ask if they could custom make one. I described what i wanted, the guy fired off a few questions then walked over to a display cabinet, took out a ring and said, "Imagine this with a satin finish; is it what you're after?" And it was *exactly* what i was after! It's an amazingly simple ring but we've not been able to find it anywhere at the jewellers in the big shopping centres, and even with their plain polished rounded rings the prices were higher than i thought was reasonable. One shop last night was asking $600 for them - this is 9k white gold, not platinum, and it's mass produced so to my mind should be cheaper than a custom one. The jewellers i visited today however have estimated the price at $300 :)

I'm going in again on the weekend to bring in the script for them to look at and advise on the width of the ring. They send all work to the engraver i have picked out (they're the shop that advised me to go to him) and, as the engraver himself told us, the jeweller said he can engrave on any width, but the script i want may not look right with too narrow a ring, so i'll bring it in so they can suggest a width. I'll also get them to see if i should get my engagement ring taken down a half size (it's a little on the loose side) or just leave as is.

Friday, December 4, 2009

DIY bridal jewellery: bracelet

It's more of a bangle than a bracelet. Two loops of memory wire, with a pearl and crystal at each end, rice pearls and crystals making up the bangle to match my lariat.

I used: 9 4mm Swarovski crystals in Clear
64 rice pearls
2 6mm Swarovski crystals in Clear
2 6mm Swarovski pearls in Light Cream Rose
2 loops of memory wire

To prevent the beads slipping off, i tried closing the ends with a crimp, but these were too easy to slip off the wire. I ended up bending the wire then pinching it into a U shape.

That's all my jewellery done, now to keep working on Chantelle's which is proving quite fiddly!

DIY bridal jewellery: lariat necklace

Got home to find my pearls had arrived! So, after dinner i got to making the lariat necklace. I'd already made the tassels, so it was just a matter of stringing the pearls and crystals onto the tiger tail until i got the right length, then attaching the tassels to finish.

I needed 19 sections; each eight rice pearls and one Swarovski crystal per section, to complete the lariat. Finished, it measures 110cm long.

I used: 152 rice pearls
20 4mm Swarovski crystals in Clear
8 6mm Swarovski crystals in Clear
8 6mm Swarovski pearls in Light Cream Rose
32 seed beads
16 head pins
10cm heart chain
100cm pearl Tiger Tail
2 crimps

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

DIY bridal jewellery: earrings

The first of my three pieces of DIY bridal jewellery has been completed: my earrings. They didn't take long to make; an hour perhaps? The longest part was bending the headpins into a loop at the top.

For each earring, i used five 6mm Swarovski pearls in Light Cream Rose, five 6mm clear Swarovski crystals, ten head pins 19mm long, 20 clear AB size 11/0 seed beads, a 5cm piece of sterling silver heart chain, and an earring hook. The only tool i use for beading is a pair of needle nose pliers, which can bend and cut wire.

First, i placed a seed beed, then either a crystal or pearl, then another seed bead on each headpin. I bent the unbeaded part of each headpin into an unclosed loop, then slipped each of the loops over a chain link and closed them, and attached the chain to the earring hook.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bridesmaid jewellery

I've decided on the jewellery for Chantelle. Can't say much about it here as she does read this blog :), but i'll post photos and instructions for making it after the wedding. I'm making her a necklace and bracelet, she can choose whether or not to wear earrings on the day.

I've also got the rest of the crystals for my jewellery set, so will start on the earrings tonight.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beads bought for my bridal jewellery

I've worked out the numbers of beads i need to make the jewellery set and bought most of them today at Benjamin's Crafts. The pearls i found on Ebay today, they should arrive this week as the seller is from Perth.

I already had:
20x 6mm Swarovski crystals in Clear and Clear AB
20x 6mm Swarovski pearls in Light Cream Rose
4 silver crimps
2 silver earring hooks
seed beads

I bought:
25x 4mm Swarovski crystals in Clear
90cm Tiger Tail in Pearl (i bought 5m)
memory wire in bracelet size
20cm of Sterling Silver Heart chain
36 head pins
240 cream rice pearls (i need 136)

It cost me just under $20 to buy the beads/findings for this project - would cost about $35 in total including what i already had. I can start putting together the earrings this weekend, but need to wait for the pearls to arrive to start the necklace and bracelet.

I just went to string some of the crystals on the headpins and realised that the crystals i bought before were the pendant type, with the hole across the top rather than through the middle, so i'll need to go back to the shop for another $7 worth of beads.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bridal jewellery

Now that my dress is finished and the petticoat almost completed, i've started looking at bridal jewellery. I've found a design online at http://kiwijewels.com/ that i am going to modify for my lariat necklace. They make and sell heaps of different designs on their site, and will make you something to order if nothing suits or you want different colours.

The necklace i'm looking at is on page 2, and is made out of freshwater rice pearls and Swarovski crystals. I don't want to use real pearls though on something i'm only planning to wear for the wedding and may or may not wear again, so instead of buying the real one from them i'm going to make my own version with plastic pearls. I'm also going to modify the tassels at the end of the lariat, to incorporate a beautiful heart chain that I found at Benjamin's Crafts.

I'll also make earrings and a bracelet to match. The earrings are going to be styled like the ends of the lariat. I haven't yet decided on the bracelet design - tossing up between making it with rice pearls on tiger tail (like the necklace), or pearls and crystals hanging off the heart chain (like the earrings). At the moment i'm leaning towards rice pearls on memory wire wrapped around my wrist several times, and finished with a pearl or crystal.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

One way to London!

We've bought our outgoing tickets to London via Rob's Frequent Flyer points. It's becoming rather real now! Very exciting. In about another month's time the flights will be available for our return leg too. We decided to go with the FF points rather than buying a flight over, even though the prices are really low now, purely to keep costs down. We're both struggling a little at the moment. The flight itself is free and we just have to pay the taxes, which look to be $450 each for return :)

I've been doing a little work for our guests (and ourselves) in finding out fun things to do while they're over in the EU/UK. A friend at work mentioned Leeds has an outdoor ice rink around the end of the year... now that's something we just don't have here in Australia (winter in the cities is just too warm for it - they could probably put one near the ski fields but i guess it's not worth the cost, as people would have to travel to it). I looked into it and it turns out the rink doesn't open until after New Years, so no good for most of our guests, but i found there's about 8 rinks in London that open at various times, some in November. Here's a link to a website with all the details. How gorgeous does it look?!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rethinking Welcome Pack

We were going to do a bottle of bubbly and a bottle of truffle oil, given to each guest on arrival to welcome them to our wedding. I have been rethinking the wine as i mentioned this to a friend who promptly announced she didn't like champagne... which could be the case for some of the others too, i thought, and so we'd have to ask each guest what type (ie bubbly, red or white) and taste (sweet, dry or whatever the medium between the two is called) etc and then try to find unfamiliar Italian wines which matched... eek. So i scrapped that and thought just the truffle oil, plus a map of Rome and Order of the Day.

Now though i've found out that some guests will be heading over early to catch up with friends while others will head over for the wedding then spend time travelling around - and carrying a glass bottle of oil with them from country to may make things difficult for them. So now we'll scrap that idea too.

So what we've got left is a map of Rome, and the Order of the Day. What else can i put in there?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dress bag completed

After sewing the shoulder pieces on inside out no less than 3 times.... i managed to get it right and have finished sewing my dress bag. I made it out of ripstop nylon (same waterproof fabric used for shower curtains), gave it a 5 inch gusset to allow my dress to fit in easily and a zip along one side. I've sewed ribbons onto my dress and my petticoat to allow them to hang from a regular shirt hanger - the ribbons will be removed when i wear the dress and i'll sew them back on the next day, so they can be hung up again.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Average costs for an Australian wedding

I was reading some real-life wedding stories on Bride to Be this afternoon when i came across the wedding of Amanda and Shaun, who held their wedding on a budget of $15,000. At the bottom of the article, Bride to Be had a breakdown of the cost of the average Australian wedding, which i found really interesting. I've reproduced it below, but changed the Cost column from Amanda and Shaun's costs to ours - exact figures where already purchased and estimates where the item hasn't been purchased. I'd still like to get the total lower though.

Budget Box
National Average
Engagement ring
Pre-wedding parties
Wedding bands
Bride's dress
Jewellery, Shoes and Accessories
Bride's hair and make-up
Bridesmaid's outfits
Groom's outfit
Groomsmen's outfit
$0 each
Other bridal party and family outfits
Bomboniere and gifts from couple
Wedding night accomodation
Rehearsal dinner
Perth Celebration

From the Volume 139 - Feb-Apr 07

Sunday, October 25, 2009

DIY clutch purse finished

I finally got around to making a rose to sew onto my clutch purse. Here 'tis :)

Success with the corset lacing at last

Yup. Happy with this now, it looks professional (even if i do say so myself) :) It looks so much better than my previous attempt.

I sewed a 4cm tube, so when ironed it became a 2cm ribbon, and fits really nicely in the 1" wide loops of the corset. I almost got away with just one ribbon as it laced all the way down the loops, but only leaves a few inches at the ends to tie it. If i try to tie them in a knot i can see it coming undone very easily. Easy fixed though - another 6-8 inches on each end should leave heaps of room to be able to tie a floppy bow and tuck all the ends into the skirt, through the space at the bottom of the lacing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ways to cut down on costs

I've been trying hard to think of ways to cut down on the costs for the wedding. I really wanted to keep it under $10k, but just the photographer and wedding planner together add up to nearly that, and both are necessary - the planner as we can't organise it from here and don't speak Italian to be able to book a celebrant etc, and the photographer as that is our main reason for getting married in Rome; the fantastic photos that we'll get amongst all the beautiful old stone buildings and narrow cobblestoned alleys.

So now my goal is just to keep the costs as low as possible, without having a set amount, although maybe $15k would be a good limit to aim for. I got a Frequent Flyer letter in the mail and that made me think of checking my points - i have almost enough points for one way to London! It'll be another 2 months before i have enough points. Rob has more points than me so we may be able to reduce our flights, or even book them entirely on points! I know from experience though that seats are limited, so we'll need to look into that asap. The flights are in the Honeymoon section of my budget, but reducing that still helps with the total cost. I still need to think of ways to reduce the Wedding budget itself though.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Modesty panel

My modesty panel is now pinned into place along one side of my dress, ready to be handsewn next time the boy is out. It was pretty easy - just had to come up with a width measurement at the top of the corset, and then measure the length required to cover the opening and then cut a triangle of fabric and lining to those measurements. I ended up with a 19cm x 50cm x 7cm quadrilateral (a triangle with the tip cut off) with boning down the right hand side. The left hand side is pinned just inside the last piece of boning on the left back of the corset, so that when the dress is on, the boned side of the modesty panel will fit next to the last piece of boning on the right back of the corset (to avoid having two pieces of boning sitting on top of each other - ouch!).

Here's a very cropped pic - i can't show any more in case Rob sees it ;)

Decided on crystals for my dress

I wasn't sure about the crystal drops hanging from the flowers so i asked a workmate's advice. She also thought it looked a little odd and we had a look at some other ideas, but in the end decided to go with a few of the crystals sewn into in random roses, next to the pearl, for a bit of added sparkle that doesn't look like an afterthought. With the extra crystals that i now have, i'll slip a dozen over fringe pins to make hair jewels, and the rest can be used in my diy jewellery.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Crystals and beading with fabric roses

I've strung some beads onto thread and held them in place under one of the roses on my dress, ending each thread with a crystal. This is what i'm thinking of doing over the whole dress. I'm not entirely sure yet, want to get some opinions first.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bombonniere - strawberries and truffles

I saw these glittery chocolate strawberries when searching for bonbonniere ideas and just love them, they're gorgeous little sparkly edible works of art! I'm going to attempt to make them for the Perth reception, and pop one in a little cellophane bag with an Oreo truffle (glitter covered also!) to give to each guest.

My friend's little girl turned one last month and she made her a cake with edible glitter. I'd never heard of such a thing before, but she told me where it's available to buy and when i mentioned it to my workmates, one of them emailed me a website which sold a brand with all different colours - pretty much every colour that regular glitter comes in. I really wanted an excuse to use it, so here it is!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pearls in roses

I've finished sewing a pearl to the centre of each fabric rose. My index fingers are sore now from pulling the needle through each pearl - all 28 of them! I've also finished the hem... it's definitely not a bubble hem as there's only at most a centimetre of overlap, but it's much less structured than before (ie it's no longer attached to the horsehair so it's not as flat as before) which is what i was after, so i'm happy with that.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pearls and crystals for my dress

Went to Benjamin's Crafts this morning and bought the beads for my dress. I decided on one 6mm Swarovski Cream Rose Light pearl in the centre of each rose, and two bead and crystal drops from below each rose, which are made up of #10 seed beads in Clear and Clear AB, finished with a 6mm Swarovski Bicone Pendant in Clear or Clear AB. I realised when i got home that i'd bought twice as many pearls as i needed, but i'll use those in my jewellery.

I'll start constructing those tomorrow. It should go fairly fast as it's a job i can do while Rob's there, until the point when i need to attach them to the dress.

Finished the decorative sewing along the corset loops and handsewed the bodice lining back to the skirt. I've sewed the horsehair braid back onto the lining, have zigzag stitched the bottom of the skirt to prevent fraying and yesterday i started pinning the skirt to the lining ready to straight stitch it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

One year to go

Today is one year to go until our wedding!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bridal corset loops sewn in

They went in pretty easily. There's some places where the ribbon is showing through, so i'll tuck it back and sew to the lining, before i run the line of decorative stitching along the other side of the boning.

I've also unpicked all the hem. I was a little sad about that as it took me so long to do, but i'm not happy with the hem as it is. I want to make it less of a straight hem and more tucked under - a bubble hem, if you will, but a small one. I'll sew the horsehair into the lining, using the same fold lines as previously, but i'll zigzag the edges of the outside fabric and then sew it onto the lining with just one fold. This will make the fabric about an inch longer than the lining which should allow it to bubble out just a little, like the Maggie Sottero dress Dallas Marie below.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hand made bridal corset loops

I cut a 2cm wide strip of tracing paper and drew a line lengthways down the middle, then marking notches an inch apart. I laid this strip of paper over a piece of the ribbon i was using to tie the corset, then got the braid and pinned it to the first notch, leaving a bit loose to sew in to prevent it pulling out accidentally when it's in the dress. I had to wrap stickytape round the ends as it frays so quickly.

Then i made loops, 1cm high and 1" long, and pinned them to the ribbon and paper. This was quite fiddly, the sewing itself not so bad!

Next i have to make a second one, then i'll peel the tracing paper away and it's time to sew it into the dress.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More shopping for dress bits

Made the trek out to Spotlight this morning and picked up 2 metres of braid to use as the corset loops, as i couldn't find any satin rat-tail cord. It's a fairly close match with the colour of my fabric. Also remembered to get some floral tape, and some wire as well on Rob's recommendation. I'll have to pick some roses from my garden when they bloom, to practice the wiring.

On the way back we went to stop at The Bead Co in Belmont, but discovered the owners have closed that shop and it's now only open in Osborne Park. The new shop is a bridal shop, has champagne flutes and paper (pity i've already bought all ours or i'd have had a look), and the owner said she's had lots of people enquire about the previous shop before she moved in, so she's actually got business cards there for the Bead Co to give out - very kind of her. But it meant i wasn't able to ask anyone what kind of glue to use to attach Swarovski crystals to Havaianas.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Redoing the corset loops

As i wrote previously, i'm not entirely happy with the corset loops on the bodice - they're intended for buttons and are elastic. When the ribbon goes through them, the elastic stretches but at a different amount each loop, so the laces appear to be uneven all the way down.

I've looked more closely at pictures of corset lacing on the web and i think what i need to do is buy something called upholstery cord, or rat-tail, which is a satiny cord. I'll then have to loop this and sew together so i get loops 2.5cm long and 1cm deep, right next to each other. Then i'll have to pull my dress apart again, take out the elastic loops and insert my new loops. This was tricky enough the first time, trying to get the positioning right so the loops went through evenly with the boning making it awkward to sew, and i hope there's no fraying lining to contend with.

This will allow me to use the dress fabric to lace instead of the ribbon - previously i was trying to sew a 1cm wide tube which was impossible to turn inside out, but 1 inch should be easy. The ribbon i bought i can use on the invites.

Damn this being a perfectionist :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wedding dress alterations - bra pads

I opened out the lining at the waist and slipped the bra pads in and pinned them into place. Tried the dress on and it looks a tonne better. The wrinkling under the arms is almost gone and the wrinkling down the front is greatly reduced. I suspect when i sew the pads in through the lining and then put tiny stitches along the seam lines on the fabric to pull the boning into it's proper position the wrinkles will completely disappear :)

I took the pads out and trimmed the top to make them a bit straighter (ie rather than curved) so they'd fit closer to the shape at the top of the corset and popped them back in. The lining is getting rather frayed so i don't want to push my hand through it again. Fingers crossed the tacking and then sewing goes well so i don't have to.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Corset lacing

I'm rethinking the corset lacing. I think the bridal loops that i got (which are actually intended for buttons) are too close together for a corset (1cm wide loops right next to each other) and so the ribbons are touching, and you don't get the full effect of the lacing - from a distance it just looks like a block of white down the middle. I've already sewn the lining and don't feel like unpicking it all, so i think what i'll do is tack down every second loop to the outside of the lining (ie the inside of the dress). The loops won't bother me when wearing it as i'll have a modesty panel in (which is something i still have to make and figure out how it's attached).

Got the bra inserts on the weekend too so sometime this week i'll unpick some of the lining and position them, tack them in place and see if that corrects the wrinkling effect.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Help with lacing and photos

My lovely flatmate offered to help me take another lot of photos of my dress for the competition, after i showed her my first attempt at lacing by myself. It took her about 20-30 mins to lace up the back (something to factor in for the wedding day) and the photos turned out a lot better as she was able to arrange my train for me. So now my competition entry is in the post :)

I'm not entirely happy with the top of the dress though. I think that the pattern is made for a girl with, er, bigger assets than me! It fits but isn't quite stiff enough and so wrinkles at the sides, like so:

I hope that adding some bra pads into the dress will fix that, by filling out the bust area of the dress and also by providing more stiffness to that part of the material. I'll test it out by getting some and tacking them onto the inside, and if it works i'll open up the lining and put them in properly. Although, i think i may have to do that anyway as the lining contains the boning so i don't know that the padding will have much effect, being on the inside of the boning.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hem finished!

Finished handstitching the hem this afternoon and ironed it flat. Then with a few hours left of daylight i had to put the dress on to take a few photos for the competition.

I had thought the hemming was tricky. Has anyone else tried to lace up a corset backed dress on themselves? It's not fun, i can tell you! I managed - took me the better part of an hour and the ribbon was twisted instead of being flat but the dress was on and staying up :) I took the camera outside to take the photos against my dark blue fence as the background, but the only thing nearby to act as a tripod was the BBQ. So i dragged it away from the fence and threw my dress mockup over it to protect the camera from grease/dirt and set up the shot. Then i looked down.

I was leaning against the dusty slightly greasy edge of the BBQ. There was now black dirt striped across my skirt. Dammit!

I brushed most of the dirt off so there was only a bit remaining and started the timer on the camera. Most of the shots i cut off the end of my skirt so it took a bit of fiddling round but i got some very amateur shots showing the whole dress... hey it's a dressmaking competition not a photography comp so it's all good!

I thought taking the dress off would be just as bad but it was much easier to pull the ribbon out than thread it in. One of the top loops gave way though; something to fix another time. After an entire weekend working to finish the hem i've had enough for a while.

Tomorrow i'll print out the photos and mail the entry, then i'll take a rest from sewing. Will probably start again when i get some inspiration for the beading to go on it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hemming a wedding dress by yourself - Part 2

Ow. The balls of my feet are killing. How am i going to walk in my high heels for a whole day? I am going to go with my idea of having crystalled Havaianas for when i get too tired.

I think a lot of it was caused by my weight being mostly on the front on my feet as i stood, checked, bent down and repinned what seemed like a few hundred times. Took me an hour to adjust the hem with the horsehair in it. I'm fairly sure i've got it to a reasonably even hem about an inch above the ground now.

Next step now is to repin so i can remove the horsehair and press the hem flat with the iron, before following the instructions for the hem. Then i'll see if the stay needs to be rehemmed higher and tack it to the bottom of the lining along the seams. This will take a few hours. I hope to have it finished by tonight, as i want to take some photos of it for Spotlight's formal dress competition which closes next Sunday. I've got no idea of how i'm going to get the back laced though.

Hemming a wedding dress by yourself...

...is very difficult. It's heavier than it looks, you're in heels and basically doing squats each time you adjust a pin. On the upside, no need for the gym!

Hemming this dress is difficult; because of the bustle and the gathers in the skirt, the fabric flicks out in some places and under in others, and it's hard to tell where the pin should be for floor level. I think this will work to my advantage though by the same method - people won't be able to see if i've got it slightly uneven because of the sculpting of the dress.

I've put the pins in and taken the dress off. I'll pin the horsehair around the hem, pin up all the excess hem fabric and put the dress on again to check before i start cutting. I can't do up the lace up back by myself and my flatmates are out, so the dress is being held up by a belt around my ribs. Very professional ;)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bustle completed

This evening i sewed the last hook on for the bustle and have bustled the dress up ready to measure for the hem. I was too tired after work to do any more so the hem will have to wait until tomorrow. I'll pin it at floor length first then figure out where to cut it so that it finishes 1/2 - 1 inch above the floor.

Before sewing i was at the shops on the way home from work, and bought a strapless bra to wear with the dress. It'll help a lot with the correct fit for the hemming tomorrow.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Clutch purse pattern

Before dinner tonight i sewed a simple clutch purse to go with my dress. It took only a couple of hours.

To make the pattern, i took a scrap of paper and cut out of it a rectangle, 10.5x6cm, and rounded off one of the ends to made a semicircle 2cm from the bottom. This makes the sides. For the main body of the purse i used a full sheet of A4 paper.

I cut out two of the side pattern pieces and one of the body in the heaviest fusible interfacing i could find, which was marked 1600 and i estimated it to be a medium weight. Placed these fusible side down on the right side of my fabric (as i wanted the satin side to show rather than the shantung) and ironed them on, then trimmed around the edges. As it was only a medium weight interfacing and i wanted the purse to be able to stand up on it's own, i also cut another body piece of interfacing and ironed this to the lining fabric. Then i cut out two side pieces of the lining.

Sewing the curves was the trickiest bit. I pinned the two side pieces to the top of the body, with the long sides meeting. Sewed straight down until i got to the curve (using a 1cm seam allowance) and then used the side piece to pivot round the body, sewing one stitch at a time with the needle down so i could lift the presser foot to curve the side piece. You end up with a 3D J shape. I clipped the curves and trimmed the seams, then turned the lining shape right side out and placed it inside the fabric shape. Then i sewed all around the edges, leaving one edge raw so that i could turn the purse right side out.

With the purse now right side out i folded the raw edge of the lining and fabric in, and sewed a topstitch right around the purse. Ironed it so that the wrinkles from being turned inside out were gone, and measured for the magnetic clasp. At this stage i realised i should have put the clasp on before i'd joined the seam for the closure flap so that i could put the clasp through the lining layer only - oops. I've lost my stitch ripper though so nothing to be done except put the clasp through both layers. So, in the photo below it's visible. I'll cover it up with a brooch or crystals, or a rose. Haven't decided yet.

Pics below of the purse from the outside, and inside showing the lining (no flash so the detail is better). Costing: about $3!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

How to bustle a wedding dress

I think i could almost write a how-to on this. It's fiddly and tricky to get started but then once measured and you know what to do, it's just a bit of hand sewing.

I took a lot of advice off this site, Leanna Studios. It is written by a professional dressmaker who has pictures of several different types of bustles she's done and a description on how she did each one. I went for the Tufted Bustle in the end as i thought it suited my dress best and allows most of the fabric roses to still be visible. I loved the look of the Austrian bustle as well, and the Ballroom style pick up bustle.

To actually make the bustle, i laid the dress out flat on the floor and picked up the middle rose on the back seam, moving it to just below the first rose, and pinned it. Repeated that for the third rose and that brought the raw hem at the back almost to the level of the front hem. There's two roses on the mid back seams so i did the same to them, and then the side seams i bought the two bottom roses together. This wasn't enough to bring the side seams high enough, so i took another point 20 inches below the last rose and brought that up to the rose. This made the hem fairly even the whole way round the dress. I tried it on, with my shoes, to make sure.

The diagram above is an indication of how i did the bustling. I'll give it to my sister to help her in her Maid of Honour duties, along with one on how to lace the ribbon through the corset back of my dress!

To join the bustle points i used hooks and eyes. All that i could find available in Spotlight were silver and black ones from Birch, and their website indicates that the silver (nickel) is the 'white'. I know there are actual white ones available but couldn't see them in the shop and really didn't want to drive all over Perth looking for some. I used the eye below each top rose and the hook above the lower rose. The first ones i put on i spend ages winding the cotton round them to cover the silver, but then i thought better of this and simply put a couple of threads through the bottom of the outermost petals of each rose, to bring them closer to the hooks and hopefully hide them from a casual observer. The two bustle points that are on a plain seam and not hidden by a rose i wrapped in the cotton. It's still visible but the eye is not as easily drawn to it, as it would be if it were silver.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Horsehair braid and ribbon and shoes! Oh my...

Yesterday was late night shopping so i made the trek out to Spotlight to get the last items for my dress, but forgot my shopping list so went from memory. I remembered the ribbon for the corset back, the horsehair braid for the hem (gives it a bit more stiffness to stand out and away from the bottom of my tulle petticoat), the interfacing and magnetic clasp to make my clutch purse, and even remembered to get some ripstop nylon to make a water-resistant (ie spill resistant) dress bag so i can carry my dress on the plane and not worry about it getting stained.

Forgot: a zip for the dress bag, and the florists tape. Still i think i did pretty well remembering the rest! I'll ask Rob to pop by as he works close to Spotlight.

Then i went by Kmart to grab those shoes i'd seen for $25. At this point i was still in two minds about whether i should get these cheap ivory shoes, or go for a more expensive silver shoe that i could wear again. The Kmart shoes were comfortable and looked nice, but was it really worth it to buy a shoe that would probably only be worn twice (Rome and Perth) and then have to be stored away as i don't generally have white/ivory evening dresses? $25 is cheap, but...?

Kmart decided for me. The sale had ended so they were back to $40 (still cheap) and the only pair in my size were the display pair and had no box and were slightly grubby. There is no rush to get the shoes so i put them back and thought i'd wander around the other shoe shops to see if there was anything in silver - last time i'd looked at the shops i was focussing on ivory only and didn't notice anything else. Betts had several gorgeous silver pairs so i tried them all on, nearly fell off one with a very high heel, and found a pair i really liked. Waaay over my budget ($120) but if i'm able to wear them again then i can take the item off my wedding budget completely (reasoning is that it's not specifically just for the wedding).
So many things accomplished in one night :) i was quite pleased. However i've given myself a new task. In the shop i tried on only one shoe and walked around with it and my other foot in my flat boots on tiptoe. Walking was no problem, actually i asked the helpful sales girl what height the heels were, guessing them to be around 6-7cm. She measured and told me 10cm. I was very surprised that i could walk in them but thought that to be a good thing. When i got home and put both shoes on i did my usual high heels wobbly ankle walk complete with my heels slipping out of the shoes occasionally! I'm only used to sub-6cm heels and will have to do a fair bit of practice in these before next year. A friend recommended cleaning the house while wearing them, i think that's a great idea!!

One more item that may cut down on the ever expanding costings - my bridesmaid's dress. We were looking at dresses online one night and really couldn't find anything we liked in the right colour at a decent price. Chantelle was happy to pay for a dress but as i'm dictating the colour i didn't want her to have to pay too much. Suddenly i thought of a dress i bought in Canberra last year which i wore to a graduation dinner - it's a red satin cocktail dress, 3/4 length and strapless and has a black tulle overlay. Chantelle's around the same size as me so i suggested that to her. She'll try it on at Xmas when she's back in Perth, hopefully will fit her and she'll like it enough to wear it on the day :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fabric flowers are finished :)

I've been sick with a bad cold this week so haven't done much at all on my dress, but i could manage a few flowers each night. Today i was feeling a bit better so finished off the flowers and sewed them into the tucks on the dress.

You can see the two leftmost roses are made from the satin side of the fabric and the right rose is the shantung side. Gives a bit of interest having the two different sheens in the same colour.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fabric roses

I've made 10 fabric flowers so far. Only another 18 to go... i miscounted the first time and thought there were 25 altogether. I'm getting faster at making them with practice.
Once they're ready i'll sew the gathers into the dress. I've pinned them already and carefully tried the dress on to make sure i hadn't lifted it off the ground with the gathering. Then i can sew the roses at the base to stop them from unravelling and sew them into the dress.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Corset lacing

I'm going to have to buy ribbon to lace my corset top with. I made the thinnest tube possible that i could turn inside out, which is 1.5cm, but as you can see below it's just too wide for my bridal loops which are 1cm apart. I had hoped i could made the ties out of the dress material so it matched perfectly, but i'm going to have to just hope there's a colour match in the ribbon section of Spotlight.

DIY bridal bouquet

I've had a practice for my bridal (and bridesmaid) bouquets, using this page as a guide. I used very open roses that i'd picked a week ago, left without water for a few hours, put in a hot car,  and then stored in a glass of water in the fridge, trying to create a similar scenario to what will happen in Rome (minus the hot car - that wasn't intentional!). The fridge has really slowed down the aging process, with the roses having opened only slightly more after they were stored there. I'm very confident now that buying them two days before and making the bouquets the day before will turn out beautifully.

Dress in construction

Rob's away this weekend so i've taken the opportunity to start putting my dress together. It's been going a lot faster than i expected, with only a few minor mishaps, mostly involving the iron melting my lining! it tends to be a bit temperamental even on the delicate setting.

The dress is now sewn together, lining and fabric but minus the stay. I've sewed the boning into the lining and have attached the bridal loops. it's looking much more like a wedding dress now :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lining cut out

Finished cutting out all the pieces of the lining and stay last night and before work this morning. They're all marked with washable pen and ready to start the sewing.

Great idea for bombonniere - i found this on the i-do forums. Instead of bombonniere on the tables at the reception, i'm going to buy a small bottle of truffle oil and a bottle of prosecco (or some other Italian sparkling wine) and give those to each of the guests as they arrive in Rome. Then on our return, i'll buy them each a USB thumb drive and put on them some of the photos of us from the wedding, and all of the photos with them, and we'll post that out with their thank you card. I want to give those who make the effort to come to Rome something that we've put effort into, to show our appreciation for them coming all that way for us.

The guests who can make it to our reception in Perth will get the thank you card (and a free dinner!). I am thinking of making the card as a postcard with a few pictures of us from the wedding and a map of Italy (or maybe Europe with all the places we visit on honeymoon) as the background.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fabric cut out

As the title says ;) It's a nice easy fabric to work with, probably easier than slippery bemsilk which i'll attempt tomorrow and Wednesday. 

At this stage i think i've bought too much fabric. I bought what the pattern said, minus 12cm for each piece as it was too long, and plus 2m for the flowers which i haven't cut out yet, but i seem to have heaps left on the bolt. Better too much than too little though.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fabric shopping finally finished!

So pleased that's over. I decided to go to the Midland store first as they'd had more shantung last time. Got a bolt which looked like it had about 15 m left on it and picked up some cotton and bridal loops. The bemsilk lining which was on special was only on the shelf in a few colours. There was one called maize which was a cream that went ok, but not a great match, with my fabric, but there was only a few metres left and they didn't have any stock out the back. So i got my fabric and got into the car to drive to Cannington.

Cannington was packed and had 4 or 5 bolts of my fabric. It also had several bolts of 'bridal ivory' bemsilk lining, so i lined up for half an hour and got my lining, and that was finally all the fabric shopping done.

Fabric flowers!

Man this was difficult to make. I had some good instructions from Lincraft but couldn't figure out how to do the 'turn and roll' part and not end up with a tight bud, and only managed to work it out with the help of this Youtube video, where the girl was making a rose from a paper streamer. Once i watched that i gave it another go and this was the result. 

It's made from a 10cm strip of my dress material. Gives quite a big rose (9cm diameter), so i think for the other roses i'll have mostly 8cm strip ones with a few larger and smaller ones interspersed. That one cost $1.10 to make, and i need 25 of them. 

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Had enough of fabric shopping

Tried calling the Subiaco Fabric and Embroidery shop but the phone number showed up as vacant. They were in the Yellow Pages, so at some point this year had put in the advert, so my workmate offered to call a shop she knew in the same complex to see if they knew what had happened to the fabric shop. Turns out the fabric shop closed and moved down south. Perth really has hardly any range of material shops left, that are easy to get to anyway! I know of another one in Balcatta but it's apparently pricey and too long a drive to get out there.

So i made my way out to the Innaloo branch of Spotlight to see if they had any other colours of Shantung, as they're a 'megastore'. It didn't have anything that the other two stores had, and not more than a few metres left on the bolt. Mum popped by the Midland branch after work and had a look at the material and liked it :)

I've had enough searching. Next time i go to the shops it'll be to buy the material, and then no more running round for quite a while!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More fabric searching

Before work this morning i went to Homecraft Textiles in Vic Park to see if they had any oyster shantungs. They must have only just opened shop as there were no lights on but the door was open, and it's a really dark shop so i could only see the first few rows of fabrics near the door. They turned the lights on before i went to ask so i could see the rest of the shop. It's a higgledy piggledy kind of shop so you need to search for what you're after, but they've got a huge range at very good prices. Unfortunately not a satin backed shantung in oyster though. Will try Subi's fabric shop tomorrow.

Found on the Spotlight website that their sale this week includes the shantung i'd got the sample of on Saturday! $2 p/m off, which saves me $24 if i end up buying from them, nothing to sneeze at :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Satin? Shantung? Deciding on the wedding dress fabric

I spent a few hours in Spotlight and Textile Traders, trying to find a material that was suited to the style of my wedding dres, was also a colour i liked, and was within my budget. Phew! I ended up visiting two Textile Traders and two Spotlights in different suburbs. Textile Traders had nothing suitable and both the Spotlights had three different materials i was looking at closely. 

Ended up calling mum for her opinion on a beautiful soft delustered satin described as champagne. it was $15 p/m but i was concerned that it was too soft to hold the gathers in the skirt. Mum couldn't say for sure without seeing it but she suggested that it would need to be quite a stiff or strong fabric to hold up to the boning in the corset, which i hadn't really taken into account. It was down then to a stiffer delustered satin in mushroom, which was a little too dark in colour and way over my budget ($25 p/m on special). I am looking for an off-white in oyster as my ideal, and this was just a little bit too purple. The remaining one was a satin backed shantung in ivory, i would have called it cream. It was $11 p/m and stiff enough to hold up to boning. It's a nice textured fabric too, it's got a sheen to it but also some thicker threads throughout giving it a nubby appearance.

I bought a sample of the shantung home. The photo of it below (ignore my usb cable on it) shows it as whiter than it appears, it's more cream in daylight, but it does show the texture. Next i'll visit the few individual fabric shops i've found around Perth to see if any of them have a similar fabric for a good price in an oyster colour, otherwise i'll probably make my dress in this one.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Passport arrived!

Quicker than i thought! Now i can book holidays this year and it's all ready when the Europe flights for next October are released.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wedding dress alterations

I've managed to drop the waist now on the corset part of the dress. Not sure if it's the way a dressmaker would do it, but i carefully pinned the corset on to my tshirt (which i was wearing) after unpicking it from the skirt, and then wrapped several strips of muslin round my hips where the corset ends, and pinned them to the corset and each other. I unpinned the corset from my tshirt and laid it flat on the ground to trim the bottom into a straight line across.

So that was the corset waist dropped, but now i had to create a pattern from it. I laid each pattern piece over the corset in turn, taped another piece of tracing paper to the bottom of the pattern, and followed the curve of the pattern piece onto the new tracing paper and then trimmed along the lines.

The new lowered corset allows me to have the skirt waist straight, rather than cutting a curve out of it to sew it to the corset. 

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Elven engraving

Had the day off work so went into town and visited Kerr Engravers, and showed him a printout of the script we wanted on the rings to ask if he could do it. Yes i can do that, he told us. No problem at all that we wanted it on the outside of the rings, or that we are getting rings with a satin finish, and no minimum width - he can engrave on any width. He said to make sure the ring is only a half round, which is a flatter surface so gives him more room to engrave. The impression i got from him was that he's done all of this before which gives me much more confidence in his abilities than the previous engraver we asked.

He had a display cabinet in his workshop, i got the chance to have a quick look at it before he came out to help us, and his work looks really nice - not the usual sort of key-cutter/shoe repairer engraving, like the woman we'd spoken to, but proper 'arty' engraving :)

He gave me an indication of the price too, $120 for two rings, which is within the range i thought it would be (i thought anything up to $300 from searching Google, and we still had to buy the rings on top of that!) so happy with that.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dress design finalised take 2

I had ruched up one side of my dress according to my design, but it just didn't sit right with the material. It looked to me like an afterthought rather than a design feature. So i looked around on Google Images and found the Maggie Sottero Fiorenza dress, and one that i'd describe as a pineapple dress, and another MS dress, Dallas.

I took all the ruching out and then ruched it asymmetrically - ruching up the left side of the dress as you look at it and leaving the right front plain, then the back i gathered at a few points with the last ending on the floor at the train. Here's the pics; it's a bit hard to tell with the stripy material but it's clearer when you're looking at it in person.

I want to drop the waist a little, so it's corsetted down almost to my hips, then adjust the hem so it's not so long on the sides, and then i'll be ready to buy the material.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Finding an engraver is harder than i thought

We went back to the shop which Rob bought my engagement ring from to have a look at their wedding rings and enquire about engraving. The assistant, who was very helpful, took the ring Rob was looking at down to the cobbler where they get them engraved and we asked if she was able to engrave on the outside in Lord of the Rings style. 

First she tried telling us that rings couldn't be engraved on the outside because engravers couldn't clamp them without scratching them. She wouldn't answer my question about how wide a ring would need to be, just repeated that they couldn't be engraved on the outside. After a few more questions she changed her tune and said that engraving on the outside would ruin the look of the ring because it would get scratched and the engraving would wear away when we got it repolished. Finally she admitted that she wouldn't be confident engraving in that style and on the outside. Eventually we got the name of a colleague who she thought might be able to do what we wanted. He's in a shopping centre close to me so we'll go ask him next time we're there. 

I also rang the jeweller i knew of whose website said they did hand engraving. The girl who answered said they only did machine engraving there but gave me the number of the specialist engraver who they take their jewellery to, and she was quite confident he'd be able to do it. I tried calling twice but got no answer and no voicemail, but we'll just try heading in to his shop next week, taking a copy of the script with us. I'm more hopeful with this shop, as the ad says they engrave crests, monograms and cyphers :)

Passport photos accepted

Yay. The lady who did my interview held the clear marked size guide over the photos i took and to me they looked like they fit, but she did take them out the back, i guess to get a second opinion. After a few minutes though she came back and said they were fine. She also looked at my face and then wrote down on the form that i had freckles and that the photo was a true representation - in case they thought the photo had spots on it, i guess! It'll be posted to me within 2 or 3 weeks.

After we get married, i can get my name changed on the passport without having to pay a fee, so long as i apply within 12 months of the wedding, which is a real bonus.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Passport renewal

My current passport expired recently so i've booked an appointment on Thursday to get the forms checked and sent off at the local post office. There's strict requirements now for the photo because they're biometric passports, so no smiling, size and dimension requirements etc. I'm planning to take it at home and ensure it fits to the template before taking them in to the appointment. Luckily it's just a renewal so i don't need to get it signed by anyone stating that it is a photo of me, just need to write my name on the back of one of them.

Fingers crossed that all goes smoothly and i don't have to retake the photos/redo the form etc.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Elven ring engraving

Rob and i have just about finalised the inscription we want engraved on our wedding rings. We both love the Lord of the Rings movies (and i've managed to make my way through the book, far more easily that when i first attempted The Hobbit at around 8 years old and gave up very quickly) and find the elven script Tengwar beautiful.

Instead of getting just the date or our names engraved on the inside of the rings, we thought why not make a feature of it and get a phrase engraved in the Tengwar on the outside of the ring. I've gone through a few attempted translations of short phrases into Quenya, with a lot of help from googling other people's translations on various forums, and we both like Two hearts, two minds, one love.

Translated into Quenya (as best as i can) this is Atta endar, atta indor, minë melmë, and then transcribed into the Tengwar Annatar font, it looks like this:

I think that'll fit well on our rings. Now to find an engraver in Perth who can take on a non-latin character script :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mockup of my DIY wedding dress!

It's quite exciting to see it take shape :) I've got the gathers in now, but haven't yet lifted one side of the dress as per my design. That'll be done next time Rob's away (i'm keeping it a surprise till our wedding day).

Front view - don't worry about the wonky panels, they're actually straight, it's just that i had to set the camera on timer and run a few 
steps away to get into shot. Barely had time to look up to see if the camera was about to shoot.

Back view - this is the best i could get of the train. it's tucked up under my feet a bit, it is only a short train anyway.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Petticoat almost finished

The petticoat took longer than i thought to finish, and i still need to hem it. The third tiers of netting were much more difficult than the previous tiers, probably because there's twice as much netting in them to gather and fit to the tier above. I had a lot of trouble with the second layer as the thread kept getting stuck when i tried to pull the netting along to gather, with the result that i broke the thread in several places and had to resew. But finally, all the netting is together and sewn onto the lining. 

I slipped the lining mockup for the dress over the top of the skirt to make sure it fits over the petticoat, and found i've got heaps of room. It's much longer than needed too, which is usual for me. I'll shorten the pattern so i'm not having to hem so much of the material when i cut it.

Now that my dress is starting to get a structure and is looking like a dress rather than a pile of material, i'm going to have to be careful when i work on it so that Rob doesn't see!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More netting for petticoat

I cut two sets of the first two tiers of the petticoat during the week and sewed them together. With what was left of the netting, i got six pieces of the 16 piece (two sets of eight) third tier, and worked out i needed another 2.7 metres of netting. Happily it only cost me $5 today to get it! Pity i can't make the wedding dress itself for the petticoat price :)

Tomorrow i'll cut the last pieces out and sew them together, then onto the top tiers and attach them to the lining. Hopefully i can get that done in an afternoon, and then i can use the petticoat to fit the length of the dress mockup.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Petticoat progress

The mockup for the petticoat turned out to be very quick and simple. It was too tight for me round the waist (i'm designing it to be a pull up one with an elastic waist, not one with a zip as in the pattern) and also too long, so i cut 4 1/2 inches off the top of the pattern pieces, which makes it sit on my hip (at the right height for the waistband) and touch the floor, so room to hem.

Yesterday in between helping Rob who was building a pillar for my new carport, i started on the petticoat. I got white bemsilk lining, ribbing and netting and cut all the pattern pieces out, realising i was short of netting -  the pattern had called for 180cm wide, and all that was available here seems to be 130cm. No matter, i'll buy some more later. 

I put together the waistband and lining, and sewed together the first two tiers of one layer of netting. It's fairly easy stuff to sew, the slow part is adjusting the gathering on the second tier to match the bottom of the first. Didn't work on it tonight, but plan to get the second layer done as far as i can, before calculating how much more netting i need to buy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dress design finalised

Had a brainwave on Sunday and worked out how to have the tulle showing underneath my dress. The skirt pattern has skirt fabric plus a lining, both cut to the same pattern, then a stay (underskirt) using the lining material which is used for the outer skirt to be stitched to to hold the gathers. But, the change i'm making is to lift one side of the dress to about halfway up my calf with deeper gathers than the other side, to show off the white tulle underneath, and i was having trouble figuring out how to do three things:
  • have the tulle showing under the gathers
  • gather the skirt onto the stay, with the tulle over the top of the stay
  • give the dress more body with a tulle petticoat, while still having the gathers attached to the stay
My solution is to create a separate petticoat made of netting, which will go underneath everything to add body to the dress. The dress itself, from the outside in, is the outer fabric plus lining as per the pattern, then there'll be a layer of tulle over the top of the stay - a single layer will still allow the stay to be used without crushing the tulle but will allow the tulle to show.

Pretty happy with that plan!

I've finished the mockup of the outer skirt and the stay. Have now to put them together with the bodice to adjust the join, as the bodice is from a different pattern to the skirt. I've also got to do a mockup of the tulle petticoat, using the petticoat design that is from the bodice pattern.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wedding accommodation cost breakdown

Searching Venere tonight, i changed the area i was looking for accom in and found a 4 star hotel with a fantastic deal! So i can now change the accommodation estimate (assuming i can still get that deal next year).

Me and Rob: 4/10 - 9/10 Rome $1200, 2/10 - 3/10 Florence $180
Bridal party: 5/10 - 8/10 Rome $700
Photographer: 6/10 - 7/10 Rome $300

Wedding Timeline

Things To Do Upon Your Engagement

1.Announce your engagement and start to organise your engagement celebration.
2.Buy the engagement ring (if you haven't already got the rock on your finger!)
3.Decide on a wedding budget, and sit down with you partner to make important wedding decisions. Consider the style of wedding you would like ie black tie, lounge suit, smart casual etc and the atmosphere of the wedding day itself.
4.Decide on whether you are having a wedding close to home or a destination wedding
5.Decide on the date and time you would like to hold your wedding
6.If you plan on using a wedding planner to organise your entire wedding, book your wedding planner now

When You Have Set the Date

1.Book and confirm the wedding venue for both your ceremony and reception
2.Consider your wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses. Get the lowdown on finding the right wedding dress.
3.Choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen
4.Start looking and booking wedding photographers and videographers portfolio's
5.Look at wedding stationery designs
6.Do a rough guest list to be edited as needed to get down to the size you have planned
7.Start thinking about your honeymoon destination

First Things First - Start Booking

1.Book and confirm your wedding photographer and videographer
2.If you are having your wedding dress made (as opposed to buying off the rack), select your wedding designer and wedding dress and get started on the gown.
3.Give your overseas or interstate guests notice of the wedding date - send out a save the date card.
4.Decide on a theme and colours you would like to follow beach, moroccan, indian summer, hawaiian, medieval, white or ivory, gold or silver, lemon or lime....

And then....

July 09

1.Finish dress mockup

August 09

1.Decide on timeline for dress.
2.Choose material for wedding dress.

September 09

1.Work on dress

October 09

1.Practice bridal bouquet

November 09

1.Aim to finish beading on dress this month, so it's complete.
2.Do a practice day for your hair and makeup to see if it will last out the day.

December 09

1.Let wedding guests know via email that cheap flights are avail now.
2.Does Chantelle want Havaianas?
3.Practice Chantelle's hair and note time taken

January 10

1.Get Visas for Vietnam - at travel agent's
2.Check out camera sales
4.Do a practice day for your hair and makeup to see if it will last out the day.
5.Get Chantelle to try on dress
6.Check if Glenn can wear his black suit
7.Make payment on rings

February 10

1.Start planning your order of service for the wedding ceremony and select (or start writing your own) hymns, vows and readings - almost done.
2.Do a practice day for your hair and makeup to see if it will last out the day.
3.Buy new camera

March 10

1.Will mum be able to look after wedding dress while we are off honeymooning? Or, can Chantelle take back to UK? Chantelle happy to do this.
2.Do a practice day for your hair and makeup to see if it will last out the day.
3.Finish planning your order of service for the wedding ceremony

April 10

2.Have the suit and pocketsquares for the groom made in Vietnam
3.Consider your wedding ceremony music. Listen to clips from different musicians and organise in iTunes. 
4.Consider your wedding invitations and stationery and start printing and assembling. This is invitations, RSVPs, accommodation, reception rome, reception perth.
5.Practice walking in your shoes.
6.Final payment to planner
7.See if accommodation is available to book for the wedding week (not yet avail).
8.Confirm guests' current addresses (email sent, waiting on replies).
9.Ask planner any questions re ceremony, speakers avail for music etc

May 10

1.Research taxis in Rome and prepare instructions for guests.
2.Finalise wedding ceremony music (order, burn to cd and create playlist) and see how wedding planner wants to handle it.
3.Organise your wedding bands (allow the jeweller at least 4 weeks to supply the wedding bands leaving time for resizing if necessary)
4.Decide on your gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen (2 nights accom, jewellery for Chantelle), mum and dad too (album).
5.Do a practice day for your hair and makeup to see if it will last out the day.
6.Finish printing and assembling wedding invites. This is invitations, RSVPs, reception rome, reception perth. Include link to wedding website to point them to accom.
7.Send out the wedding invitations (5 months before)
8.Put final pics in OOS to finish it - almost done, just have to get a photo with Rob creating something.
9.See if accommodation is available to book for the wedding week - yes it is, will be booking next month.
10.Select (or start writing your own) hymns, vows and readings and email to planner.
11.Practice walking in your shoes-skipped.
12.Final payment to photographer - got final amount, waiting on bank details.
13.Buy cake glitter
14.Make some plans for your honeymoon, decide on Eurail pass or individual train journeys, look at places to go and stay - started.
15.Buy your wedding lingerie (printed Rob’s missus, something blue).
16.Find the cheapest flights and book them.

June 10

1.Decide on hair jewellery, make it and do a trial run
2.Reconfirm everyone...the wedding cars, wedding flowers, wedding entertainment, hair and makeup artist, wedding photographer and videographer etc
3.Wear in your wedding shoes, and scuff the bottom to ensure you don't slip-skipped
4.Do a practice day for your hair and makeup to see if it will last out the day.
5.Book accommodation for us, Chantelle & James, and photographer.
6.Final payment to photographer.
7.Put final pics in OOS to finish it
8.Make some plans for your honeymoon, decide on Eurail pass or individual train journeys, look at places to go and stay - started.
July 10

1.RSVPs due back - call the non-responders to ask them to send the rsvps back
2.Let planner know the number of guests
3.Estimate costs for dinner in rome and perth and wine/champagne and put money aside.
4.Do a practice day for your hair and makeup to see if it will last out the day-skipped.
5.Practice walking in your shoes.
6.Buy your wedding lingerie (printed Rob’s missus, something blue) and parasols.
7.Book accom for Glenn when he's bought his air ticket - he's cancelled.
8.Make some plans for your honeymoon, decide on Eurail pass or individual train journeys, look at places to go and stay - in progress. 

August 10

1.Check Chantelle has her shoes & dress - next month
2.Confirm last 2 guests for Rome
3.Re-waterproof shoes
4.Print order of service cover sheets.
5.Practice walking in your shoes.
6.Send out Perth invites on 17th - sent but one to be hand-delivered on Saturday.
7.Get wedding ring remade and engraved
8.Have your engagement ring resized, shaved and polished - in progress
9.Do a practice day for your hair and makeup to see if it will last out the day-skipped.
10.Email map and instructions for guests.
11.Decide how to get wedding dress and Rob's suit to Mum.
12.Sew in final hook and eye on modesty panel
13.Rob to ask new best man

September 10

1.Book ahr venue
2.Book Etabli for the reception dinner and Babette for the rehearsal dinner
3.Book an appointment at the hairdressers for final cut 4th week Sept - 20th-24th - if necessary.
4.Colour hair - thurs 16th or in Europe 1st Oct?
5.Get brows and lashes tinted - wed 22nd.
6.Confirm final numbers with venue and caterers
7.Let the bridal party know they’ll need to attend the rehearsal for the wedding ceremony on 5th October.
8.Let all the guests know there is a rehearsal dinner.
9.Print out itinerary for your trip - in progress
10.Reconfirm flights 72 hours before
11.Finalise order of the day, and email the relevant sections to all the people involved. Include maps if necessary.
12.Practice walking in your shoes.
13.Chase RSVPs for Perth only invites
14.Book seats on flights over - 17/18th.
15.Confirm if Glenn will/will not be in Rome - will not
16.Print OOS
17.Book accommodation
18.Buy Euro cashcard
19.Organise travel insurance.
20.Check Chantelle has her shoes
21.Finalise wedding ceremony music (order, burn to cd and mp3 player, and create playlist) - in progress
22.Put together sewing kit for dress to travel with

3 Weeks Before (Perth)

1.Pack your bags ready for the trip. Usual stuff plus a list of wedding things.

2 Days Before (5th October)

1.Chantelle and I go to the flower markets and buy 2 1/2 dozen red and 2 1/2 dozen cream roses and some buckets.
2.Have the wedding ceremony rehearsal
3.Chantelle and I do our own pedicures.
4.Rehearsal dinner.

The Day Before (6th October)

1.Make the bridal (25 red) and bridesmaid bouquets (18 cream), boutonniere for Dad (1 cream), corsage (3 cream) for Mum, store in fridge. (25 red, 22 cream) (afternoon)
2.Chantelle and I do our own manicures

The Night Before

1.Lay out your wedding shoes (scuffed so you don't slip), jewellery, hair jewellery and pins, makeup and lingerie ready for the following day and keep your wedding dress in a safe place.
2.Get a good nights sleep.

On The Day

1.Eat! Eat! Eat! Have a healthy breakfast and lunch - we don't need to tell you what happens after a glass or two of bubbly on a stomach full of nothing but nerves - you will be needing all the energy you can get!
2.Refer to your schedules if you need to.