Unveiling the Veil

I’m sitting at my desk, in the midst of a chaos of order forms, tape measures, fabric swatches, and thinking that if I’m having this much trouble figuring out which veil is which, then maybe it’s time to shine a little light on the subject!

For what’s more or less a flimsy piece of flyaway tulle, it’s sure not anywhere near that simple!

But let’s start there – with the tulle. I’m looking at snippets of ‘Mystic Tulle”, “China Tulle”, “Bridal Illusion” as well as the old familiars, organza, chiffon, and plain old ordinary tulle.  Side by side, there’s a lot of difference, which is one good reason not to buy your veil online. It’s impossible to guess at texture from pictures, plus, if possible, you really want to match your veil to your gown [see below for tips on this]

Most veils are made from 100% nylon tulle. The texture can vary from one manufacturing run to the next, but what you can usually expect is a fine netting which is soft to the touch.  Bridal tulle [mystic, china, bridal illusion] drapes, flows, and moves beautifully. It is much less ‘crunchy’ than the tulle you’d find at Spotlight under the same name. The stiffer tulle is fantastic for a fuller, pouffy veil, or more dramatic effect. Bridal Illusion tulle is the go-to for quality veiling.

Different edging effects how the veil behaves, too. A raw edge veil will be very light, prone to movement, where a beaded or satin bound edge will sit more steadily and hang with a more formal drape.

Lace veils are usually be made on a soft tulle base, spreading the motifs across the tulle for economy, mostly because lace by the metre is expensive, but also because heavy lace is, well, heavy.

Chiffon veils are less common, probably because chiffon is far less translucent compared with tulle. Chiffon falls with incredible fluidity, and if your gown has chiffon detailing, it’s worth considering complementing your gown with a chiffon veil. You really won’t see any detail of your gown through a chiffon veil, and single tier bridal veil is best for a chiffon veil. The exception to the rule would be silk chiffon, which is very soft, fine, and close to translucent. I think of it like a very very VERY fine muslin in texture.

It’s easy to get chiffon and organza muddled up – here’s my rule of thumb: Chiffon tends to be matte, where organza is often a little bit sparkly or shimmering. It’s also a stiffer fabric, standing out where chiffon would flow, so it’s great for layering, and fluted edges.

The ideal length and edging for your veil will be determined by the style of your gown. For example, if there is a lot of beading or other detail through the bodice, you should choose a veil edge which will sit either above or below the detailing, so as not to visually block your gown.

As a general guideline, the slimmer the gown silhouette, the longer your veil should be.

For longer veil lengths, either choose a cut/raw edge for your veil [so that the edge just invisibly blends into your train], or have your veil cut slightly longer than the length of your train. This helps draw out the veil as you’re walking up the aisle, creating a beautiful silhouette. Ideally, the longer the veil, the softer the fabric.

A-Line gowns generally look great with a fingertip length circle cut veil, complementing the lines and proportions nicely. If you’ve dreamed of a longer veil, you can still have it, just add plenty of gentle tiers.

If your gown has a full, pouffy, “Disney princess” skirt and fitted bodice, try a shorter, fuller veil.

If you’re shopping for your veil by length, remember to consider where on your head you’ll be attatching the comb. A veil which comes out from underneath your hair will have as much as 4 more inches than a veil which sits right at the top of your head. The position of the comb will greatly effect the look of your veil from the front, too. It’s best to experiment a bit and see whetehr you prefer to have the veil framing your face, or just falling behind you.

If at all possible, you should match your veil not only to your gown colour, but also to shape – at The Corner Store, we encourage brides to bring in their gown, no matter where they purchased it from, to try on veils with. It’s kind of fun, playing dress-ups with a serious reason, and it’s another chance to get into the gown, win/win!  If you don’t have a friendly bridal store nearby, or don’t have the time to take your gown in, here’s an easy way to figure out your ideal veil length at home. It’s easier [and more fun] if you have someone to help you.

You’ll need: a hairclip/comb, or your hairpiece, if you’re using one
A couple of metres of string or wool
Scissors
Tape measure or ruler

Tie one end of the string to your headpiece or a hairclip, and pin it into your hair around where you plan to anchor your veil. Run the string down your back until it’s at the length you like best. Get a friend to cut the string [if you try to do this yourself, I’d suggest you cut the string, then stand up again, to check the height before you take the pins out. It took me three goes to get it right when I tried it on my own!] Take the pin from your hair and measure it. Most veils are measured in inches. I don’t know why.  Or, you can use this handy picture to figure out what the name of your preferred veil lenght is called.
[ courtesy of Veil Trends]
Fly Away or Short Shoulder (20″ or less) or Shoulder Length (25″) These veils can be casual and/or very cute. They look best with a gown that has no train.

Elbow Length (30″) –  This length enhances detailing around the waist of the gown. It also balances nicely on a full skirted gown, as it ends just before the skirt begins to pouff out.

Fingertip or Waist Length (36″) –  If this length has an oval cut, it can make your waist appear smaller because the fullest part of the veil is at your elbows.

Waltz or Ballet Length ( 54-60″) This veil length hits your body somewhere between your knees and calves.

Floor Length (72″) – A floor length veil is very elegant and can be quite formal. Unless you have a raw edge veil, I don’t recommend this length for a gown with a train.

Chapel Length (90″) – Perfect if you are looking for a long veil to compliment a gown with a short train.

Cathedral Length ( 120″)  For maximum effect, make sure your veil extends at least six inches past the end of your train.

Sometimes, STUFF just HAPPENS

Bleargh. The weather has been a fiend lately!
Plan A and Plan B have rain and sun covered, but there’s only going to be discontent when you’re facing gale force winds on an otherwise sunny blue day.

I want to give full credit to all the couples I’ve worked with this past weekend. The weather was beautiful but lousy, and they rolled with it, incredibly well. In particular, one bride who solved her own problem, instead of battling the wind and her [stunningly beautiful, fine lace] extremely long veil, she just pulled the comb out, and tucked the rolled up veil under the edge of her train, mid-ceremony. In that one action, she removed a distraction, not only for her guests, who were watching and wincing as it wound and flicked itself about, but also for herself and her groom. By removing the distraction, she brought the focus back to where it belonged, quickly, calmly, and without any fuss.

Stuff happens. The groom ends up with his Mother-in-Law’s lipstick on his collar before the formal photos. The dog runs off with the rings tied to his collar. The flower-girl shows off her Dora The Explorer knickers mid ceremony.
It rains. It blows a gale. It rains AND blows a gale.
Babies cry, candles refuse to light, pens don’t write… Stuff. It happens.

If you plan carefully, and you’re lucky, stuff happens to other people. But occasionally, all the stars align, and it happens to you, at your ceremony. Here’s the one thing you can do to control that random stuff that happens:

Stay focused. Keep your eyes on your bride or groom, smile, laugh if you can, and carry on as if you’d planned for things to go that way. Your family, and your guests will take their cue from you. How you react will give them a script for their own reaction. And, more importantly, how you react will determine whether that random stuff that just happened becomes the defining moment in your guests’ memories, or just another cute anecdote among many warm memories of a beautiful day.

I’m a great fan of the idea that you should ‘solve your own problem’. So if there’s a simple solution, like taking off your wind-whipped veil, do that. But if it’s not actually YOUR problem, or not one you can solve for yourselves, have faith in your Celebrant and ushers, or during your reception, your Emcee and parents, to take care of the problem for you.

A good Celebrant or Emcee will guide you safely through a potential disaster during the ceremony or speeches, your ushers will help with your guests. Everyone there is on your side, wanting the best possible outcome.Stay calm, and let them help. Don’t waste time or energy on getting cross, pulling faces, or doing the angry stabby gestures dance – all that does is keep everyone’s attention on the other stuff, and you will keep the focus where it should be -on  the committment you and your partner are celebrating.

Stuff happens? Ah, let it. It’s not even important. Unless you allow it to be.
So, yeah, don’t do that!

Happily Ever After: can I ask you something?

Even when you’ve been together for what feels like forever, there’s always more to learn and know about each other.

Here’s a list of random ‘have you ever…?’ questions you can use as conversation starters, with your partner, friends, kids, neighbours – anyone you’re interested in learning more about.

Don’t use them all at once, but DO use them!

have you ever got your tongue stuck to something like a frozen flag pole? * have you ever been on a blind date? * have you ever sat on a roof top? * was there a time when didn’t take a shower for over a week? * have you ever played chicken? * have you ever been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? * have you ever broken a bone? * have you ever been in trouble for giggling too much? * have you ever laughed so hard you cried? * have you ever cheated on a test? * did you ever call your teacher “Mum” by mistake? * have you ever passed out from drinking too much? * have you ever played an april’s fool joke on someone? * have you ever kissed anything not human? * have you ever choked on something that was not even food? * have you ever played an instrument do you ever drive over the speed limit? * have you ever cried over a haircut? * have you ever crashed a car? * do you ever dance in front of your mirror? * have you ever stolen anything? * have you ever been in a fist fight? * did you ever sneak out of your house? * have you ever had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back? * have you ever been arrested? * did you ever run away from home? * have you ever skipped work to do something more fun? * have you ever slept in a bed with someone not related to you by blood or marriage? * have you ever been on a train? * have you ever kissed the mirror? * have you ever made a snow angel? * do you sometimes cheat while playing a game? * have you ever been lonely? * have you ever fallen asleep at church? * have you ever felt an earthquake? * have you ever touched a snake? * did you ever drive through a red light? * were you ever suspended from school? * do you sometimes love the way you look? * have you ever been to court? * have you ever been really, truly lost? * have you ever been out of the country? * have you ever felt like dying from embarrassment? * have you ever cried yourself to sleep? * have you ever sang karaoke? * have you ever done something you told yourself you wouldn’t do? * did you ever get a toy or a lolly stuck up your nose? * have you ever caught a raindrop on your tongue? * do you ever sing in the shower? * have you ever talked on the phone for more than 2 hours? * have you ever thrown a plate or glass in anger? * have you ever wished you were someone else? * have you ever made your parents cry? * have you ever had a pet dog? * have you ever been in a band? * have you ever shot a gun? * have you ever fallen asleep at the computer? *  have you ever wondered what people would say at your funeral? *

 

Have fun!

Happily Ever After: Ask me about my partner

So you think you know each other pretty well, huh? You reckon?

Here’s a quick, fun quiz, to see just how much you really do know. You should each answer the questions separately, and then compare answers. Don’t be too focused on the ones you get wrong, except to use them as a prompt for conversation about what you each like and dislike.  After all, knowledge of cold facts isn’t enough to measure success in a relationship. [A stalker could know everything about you, but never touch your heart] Don’t get distracted by making a shopping list of preferences, likes and dislikes, but instead, make sure you are paying attention to your partner and keeping current with what drives them forward, or drives them crazy.

pencils ready?

1. If your partner is sitting in front of the TV, what’s most likely on the screen?
2. You’re out to eat; what kind of veg or salad do they order on the side?
3. What’s one food they don’t like?
4. You go out to have a drink. What do they order?
5. Where did your partner go to high school?
6. What size shoe do they wear?
7. If your partner were to collect anything, what would it be?
8. What is their favourite perfume/cologne?
9. What would your partner happily eat every day if they could?
10. What is their favourite cereal?
11. What would your partner never wear?
12. What is their favourite sports team(s)?
13. Which political party did they vote for?
14. Who is your partner’s best friend [not counting you]?
15. What is your partner’s favourite type of burger?
16. What is something you do that your partner wishes you wouldn’t do?
17.  What is their favourite brand of cosmetics/skin care?
18. You bake your partner’s favourite cake for their birthday; what kind is it?
19. Did they play sports in high school?
20. What could your partner happily spend hours doing?
21. What is one unique talent they have?
22. What is one thing you love about your partner?
23. What is their greatest strength?
24. What is the biggest challenge your partner is facing right now?
25. Write one word to describe your partner.

All the best for many years of ‘happily ever after’

fee.. fi… fo… FAQ … [A giant post about Wedding Planning, Fees and Stuff]

Q: Do we need to hire a Wedding Planner? Like, isn’t that just for brides in the movies!?
Oooh! Here’s my first piece of advice:
It’s YOUR wedding, you can do, or not do, whatever is right for you. It doesn’t matter whether Wills and Kate did it first, or whether no-one else is doing it that way – when you find the thing that works for you, do it, regardless!
New Zealand brides have a tradition of DIY, and if that suits you, and fits into your lifestyle, fantastic.
But.
If you’re finding the process of planning your wedding overwhelming, or you’re just too busy keeping your everyday life going, a Wedding Director can be the secret to your success.
A consultation with The Wedding Whisperer is a really good way to figure out whether you need to,  or even want to, hire a Wedding Director, or if you just need an occasional check in to make sure you’re on the right track.
On the wedding day, someone has to be the first one there, making sure everything arrives and is in place.
And someone has to be the last to leave, with everything packed down, tidied away, and safely locked.
In between there are thousands of little details that need to be choreographed. That’s a huge responsibility! It makes sense to have someone experienced keeping an eye on your plans as they unfold.

So what does a Wedding Planner actually DO?
I can’t speak for other wedding planning services, but here’s how it works at The Wedding Whisperer: What we DON’T do, is sweep in and take over the process, according to some set formula.
The first thing we do is listen. We want to hear your dreams, no matter how crazy. We want to know what you already have planned, what your preferences are, how much wriggle room is in your budget.
We take careful note of the details that are vitally important to you, as well as the things you’re feeling worried about. Then we work WITH you, letting you do all the fun stuff, and making sure the boring, frustrating, and time-consuming [but oh, so essential] stuff gets done as well. You get the benefit of the knowledge and know-how that  we’ve gathered through years of coordination, and the perks that come from our relationships with vendors we’ve worked alongside in that time.
The Wedding Whisperer is simply working  to help your entire day go as smoothly  as possible – having a Wedding Planner gives you both peace of mind and sound, professional advice. Your Wedding Planner is a professional who knows the wedding industry, and has  resources to plan your wedding with you.
[In my opinion, there’s no such thing as  “just a few hours of wedding co-ordination”. Not if  you’re doing it well. If you really, truly think you only need someone to ride herd for an hour or two,  then you don’t need a wedding planner, you need a temp PA.]

What kinds of people use a Wedding Planner?
People just like you.

Every wedding is different. Some clients want a professional wedding planner to plan their wedding from start to finish for them. Some are traveling into the area, and struggling to pull the details together from a distance. Others are  working professionals, of full time parents, [or both at once] who simply don’t have the time to get all of the planning done themselves. Most commonly, the couples I work with have started the planning process themselves, and somewhere along the way have found it’s all a bit too much, and call us in to help. The key is that your  wedding is perfectly planned and carried out, so that you can relax and enjoy every part of the planning, as well as the wedding day itself.

 How can we choose the right Wedding Planner for our style of wedding?
Just like everything else about your wedding, there are choices to be made, and you need to take your time and consider your options before committing to one or the other. Choosing the person who will choreograph and direct your wedding is HUGE, but the most important thing is really simple:
Do you feel confident in this person to carry out the task? There’s absolutely no point in entrusting your wedding plans to someone else unless you feel comfortable leaving it all to their direction.
Price is way, way down the list. Many wedding planners offer a “free” service, and the old adage is true – there really is no such thing as a free wedding breakfast! No matter how much we love weddings, they’re hard work!
You should know that even if you’re not being directly billed by the person who is doing all that hard work, you can be sure you’re paying for it, one way or another, whether that’s in kickbacks from the vendors, or a percentage added to the quotes and accounts.
When you hire The Wedding Whisperer, we agree on the price before we begin, rather than a percentage of the total spend, [otherwise where would be the incentive for us to find you the sharpest price?!].  That means that there are no nasty surprises and no hidden costs. We  hire the wedding professionals best suited to your requirements, not the ones who have the biggest kickbacks.

Whenever there is a decision or question, we ask, ”What is in the best interest of our bride and groom?” and go on from there. In a nutshell, we work for you.

How much does it cost to hire a wedding planner?
There are a few variables, but generally: The Wedding Whisperer’s wedding planning will be  in the ballpark of $1500,   additional “on the day” services around $35/person/hour,  with variations for significant travel, or extraordinary circumstances. There’s not a simple formula for [x  number of guests + y number in the bridal party, divide by the square  root of the cost of the wedding gown…].  In the interests of clarity and simplicity, we’ve opted for a flat fee rate.
What you see is only a tiny fraction of what you get. There are many hours  behind the scenes, hours of phone calls, coordinating, meeting,  selecting, arranging, overseeing. Even at minimum wage [and let’s just  agree right here that my time is worth more than that], that time-sheet  is going to fill up pretty fast. There’s always going to be something extra that needs  doing, some cog in the machine that doesn’t mesh.  As your wedding  planner, it’s my job to make sure that’s counterbalanced, no matter how  long it takes to get done.
So, I’ve sat up past midnight hand-tying  favors, helped stitch a bride into her un-finished gown, loaned my own socks for a groom’s blistered feet, waded bellybutton deep into the  ocean to stop a boat drifting…
I don’t want to be second-guessing “is  this going to be paid for?” Sure, I’d make more money if I charged by the hour, but wouldn’t you be dreading that bill at the end of the process?!
If I sign on to co-ordinate your wedding, then I’m signing on to make sure all those disparate parts get pulled  together. I’m not the person that will say “Oh, sorry, out of time – see ya”.
A flat fee gives me the freedom to spend time comparison shopping on  your behalf, checking out details in person, and not just going with whatever is the quickest solution – it’s often the difference between ‘let me check with my couple and get back to you’ and ‘sure, that’ll do’.
And honestly, how do you charge for that? The answer is, I don’t. It’s part of the flat  rate fee, that guarantees you’ll get as close as humanly possible to the event we’re brainstormed and planned together.

Why can’t we just pay you a percentage of our total wedding budget? Well, for starters, would that be your proposed wedding budget, or the amount you will actually spend? Because those are two totally different figures, right there.
The percentage of costs is a totally backwards way of thinking. In the first place, there’s no incentive for your wedding planner to drill down the prices for the services she’ll be booking on  your behalf. The more money they save you, the less they’ll be paid. No thanks.
And it’s a crazy scale – for example, the difference  between a $4,000 photographer, and Aunty Jo with her  instamatic: The price in no way reflects the amount of work required to get good results from each – in fact the effort is inverse to the income!

So, what next?
Come and chat with us at The Corner Store during regular business hours, at no cost. You’ll be able to gather some good general advice, as well as getting an idea of how you feel about The Wedding Whisperer as a potential partner in your wedding plans.
Because every wedding  is so different, we would want to make time where we can talk, uninterrupted, about the type of wedding you would  like, the style, guest numbers, venue, budget, etc. The best way to do this is by making an appointment to meet at a time and place that suits you.
There is a $50 charge for the initial consultation, which normally takes one to two hours. A quote can then be drawn up specifically for your wedding  planning needs, based on our discussions.
Even if you decide The Wedding Whisperer is not the right choice for you, I’m sure you’ll still come away more knowledgeable about wedding planning,  and with a clearer idea of what you’re looking for.
If you would like to have a no-obligation consultation with Angel, please email her, pop a text to 021 027 04638 or phone 03 545 7531 call to set up a convenient time to chat.

What are the benefits of having a wedding planner?
This list could be endless, but I think some of the key benefits are:
Peace of mind and reduction of stress;
Saving Money: while there is a cost to employing a wedding planner, a good  wedding planner will help keep you within your budget and they can often get good deals with suppliers for you;
Saving Time:  for many couples, they simply do not have the time to plan  their wedding and hold down a career and carry on their normal  day-to-day lives like family, friends and other commitments.

I love weddings, and wedding planning is what I do every day, but even so, I have to say, planning a wedding is HARD, HARD work! Having a Wedding Planner is one way to get all that hard work done without spending great chunks of your own time and energy making it happen.
Many people find planning a wedding to be  incredibly stressful task.
Stress can put a huge strain on relationships, and turn those romantic dreams into a living nightmare. Shifting some of that stress outside of your immediate circle of family and friends gives you the room to work as a team, rather than fighting all the way to the altar.

Have you noticed that everyone has an opinion about your wedding? And that they’re not shy about telling you about it?!
A Wedding Planner can be your deflector – giving you the perfect excuse not to discuss any of the details with anyone!
One of the biggest benefits is having someone, who, in the weeks leading up to the wedding, will do all the double checking of details, coordinating the different parts coming together, and making sure that everything gets done.
On the day, a Wedding Coordinator will bustle about, quietly and calmly making sure that all that planning comes to perfect fruition,  allowing you to relax and totally enjoy  every moment of your wedding day with your friends and family.

TL/DR: I always sit down with my prospective clients to discuss their  wedding in general and then work out a quote specifically for them and their wedding needs. So, why not make that call, and we can start working together on the day you’re dreaming about!

A quiet hour to work on invites

Following on from the word-smithing workshops, I spent a quiet hour brainstorming invitation working on invitation wording with a bride (let’s call her Jess) and her family.

Although this couple’s specific circumstances are unique, the fact is that the traditional wording rules don’t fit many modern families anymore. I’m sure there are things in this bride’s story that will have relevance for many other couples, so I thought I’d include it here.

Invitation etiquette dictates that whoever is paying for the wedding is technically the Host, and as such, gets to have their name/s as the invitees on the wedding invitation. Jess, her fiance Steve, and all their parents are chipping in towards the cost of the wedding, so the options are fairly wide open.

Jess has a close relationship with her parents and wants to include them by name in her invitation wording.  And here’s where it starts getting tricky, because Jess’ parents divorced when she was still in school, and her mother has remarried. Jess has an excellent relationship with both her stepfather and her Dad’s longtime partner, considering them all to fall into the parents category, so she would like to include them also.As far as I am aware, there is no standard formula that fits the simple math of four different first name/last name combinations, just on the brides side!

I very sensibly suggested using a simple catch-all of “Jess and Steve, along with their parents…” And that’s where it started getting tricky.

While it shouldn’t matter one bit that Jess’ Dads partner happens to also be male, Jess and Steve both understand that  Jess ‘s side of the family have had the luxury of several years to get used to the idea, where almost no one on Steve’s (quite conservative) side of the family have any clue about the dynamics of Jess’ family. Jess and Steve reason that by including these details, calmly and without comment, in the invite, they can perhaps help one part of the process of smoothly joining two quite different  families.

To some extent they’re right.  A clearly worded invitation is one way of saying “Jess has a Dad who happens to be gay, and we’re perfectly fine with it”, without directly making a big issue out of the fact.

In theory that means that if anyone chooses to be scandalized, then they can quietly decline the invitation (or have histrionics if they must) well away from the wedding itself. This is the beginning of paving the way for an open and honest relationship between the two families, promoting tolerance in both directions – Jess isn’t aiming to shock the conservatives in Steve’s family, but she’s also not wanting to create a situation where her family is required to justify, defend, or explain themselves.

In the end, it’s a fairly long invitation, but it’s a thing of great beauty, and I sincerely applaud this young couple for their sensitivity to the needs of their guests.

What Could YOU do with One Quiet Hour to Work on Your Wedding?

The Wedding Whisperer recently launched a service called ‘One Quiet Hour’, where The Wedding Whisperer meets with a bride, or couple, or whomever, to intensely work on the current challenge they are facing in their wedding planning process. There are so many different strands to keep track of that you can begin to feel completely overwhelmed.

A Quiet Hour gives you 60 minutes of expert advice that you can really trust, based on the experience of hundreds of weddings. Even if you’re doing something totally and completely different [and to be honest, that’s rarer than you’d think] there’s still a wealth of knowledge that can be applied. You’re not expected to be an overnight expert – and, since you’re not planning on doing this again any time soon, it makes sense to tap into The Wedding Whisperer’s wisdom and experience, rather than racing around re-inventing the wheel.

The Quiet Hour is charged out at $35 per hour and makes a fantastic gift, if you’re standing on the sidelines of wedding planning chaos and unsure how you can help.

Depending on the subject, it can take place at The Corner Store, at the wedding or reception venue, or in your home, at whatever time is appropriate. You can bring as many others along as you wish – depending what you’re working on, you might need to get your team all on one page, or just have a bit of  a heart-to-heart about some of the details – it’s really up to you!

I’m dedicating a section to the Quiet Hour, because, so far the situations I’ve brainstormed are fairly common challenges. I plan to blog some of the more generic tips and tricks, which may be enough to get you going again, or perhaps highlight how much you could do with a little bit of extra help.

Watch this space for some of the challenges other couples have overcome [No revealing details, I promise!], or make an appointment for your own Quiet Hour, and get your momentum back!

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