Is Hiring a Planner Right For You?
No one needs a wedding planner, but in certain cases the service makes good sense. Larger events automatically come with a great deal of envelope-stuffing and escort-card calligraphing that a planner can help with. Anyone having a destination wedding should also seriously consider professional help, someone who'll check out the location beforehand and make sure you're getting exactly what you want. And if you're throwing a last-minute wedding, a planner can be a lifesaver.

Budget Concerns
Find out exactly how much the wedding coordinator charges, and exactly what services you will be paying for. Some charge an hourly rate, while others bill a flat fee or percentage of the overall wedding cost. Most wedding coordinators ask clients to sign contracts; many also ask for deposits, which may be non-refundable. You and your fiancé should work with the wedding coordinator to draw up a detailed contract, specifying what the coordinator's responsibilities will be, to avoid any last-minute surprises.

Be Realistic
Be honest and realistic about your budget. Fees for wedding coordinators vary, but in general you can expect to pay somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of your total wedding cost. That may seem like a lot of money—money you might prefer to spend on more flowers, music, and Champagne for the reception.

What Do You Need
Not every bride requires a full-service planner. If you've already done most of the work yourself, you may want a "day-of" coordinator who will attend your wedding and resolve any snafus that may occur. You can also hire someone for the final weeks leading up to the event.

What Does Your Planner Need?
Before you start your search, gather a few basic details. The most important, by far, is how much you can spend. You'll need to relay your budget to potential planners when you first approach them. If someone is out of your price range, he can tell you so right away, over the phone, so you don't get your heart set on a person you can't afford. Planners you interview will also want to get a sense of the framework within which they'll be working.

Important Details
It's also good to know approximately how many guests you hope to invite, the general tone of your wedding, and the approximate date of the event. If you've already chosen a specific day, that's fine. Just keep in mind that this may narrow down your choice of planners, as some may be already booked.

Find a Planner
Once you're ready to start looking for a planner, ask around for referrals. Make a list of everyone you know who's gotten married in the past five years—especially those whose weddings you attended and loved—and ask if they used planners. Before you contact any coordinators, make sure to visit their websites for photo galleries of past weddings, and narrow your choices to about three favorites.

What Questions Should You Ask?

Your first meeting with a planner should take place over the phone. You'll want to ask some basic questions: How much does she charge? And how does she figure out the amount? Ask about availability, background, and experience; if she says she's certified by a professional association, contact the organization to double-check. 

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A sweets table is a great way to intensify your colour theme at your wedding reception. When choosing your colour scheme, find colours that complement one and another rather than clash - or your wedding might end up looking more like a circus than a classy affair! From orange to red to violet, blue, green and yellow, the following list contains a few sweet suggestions that are made in a wide range of shades:

Rock candy
Sherbet bombs
Fizzos, Jelly beans, Gummy bears and snakes
Smarties and m&ms
Chocolate lovehearts wrapped in coloured tinfoil
Old fashioned boiled lollies
Homemade marshmallows
Flavoured macaroons
Gingerbread with coloured icing
Sprinkle covered cake pops
Iced cupcakes
Chocolate-dipped strawberries with coloured sprinkles

Not all sweet varieties look appetising across a range of colours, so if you have picked a cooler shade like blue, green or purple, you might like to pair it with white or cream to facilitate a more feasible lolly bar colour scheme. From marshmallows to Turkish delight to nougat, mascarpone, meringues, sugarcoated almonds, mints, and white chocolate-coated treats, there is an abundance of white and cream-coloured lollies on the market.

While warmer tones like orange and red certainly look striking and bright when featured alongside white, they look equally great when paired back with chocolate browns. Tempt your guests with chocolate-dipped strawberries, Lindt balls, Ferrero Rocheres, liquorice bullets, chocolate caramels or a decadent chocolate fountain.

When selecting candy to feature in your colour-coded sweets table, start by brainstorming the flavours most commonly associated with your chosen colour. For example, an orange colour scheme

might cover apricot, peach, orange, mandarin, caramel, ginger or cinnamon flavours, while a green
colour scheme is more likely to be linked with flavours like mint, spearmint, apple, lime, basil,
pistachio or green tea.

To get you started, we've put together a list of some basic colours and a few flavours we commonly
associate with each.

Orange: apricot, peach, orange, mandarin, caramel, toffee ginger and cinnamon

Red: strawberry, raspberry, ruby grapfruit, toffee apple, watermelon and red velvet

Violet: lavender, cassis, blackcurrant, violet and grape

Blue: blueberry and peppermint, blue raspberry

Green: mint, spearmint, apple, lime, basil, pistachio, kiwi fruit and green tea

Yellow: passionfruit, lemon, mango, banana, saffron, butter, honey, treacle, maple and burnt

A foolproof guide to your bridal body, skin, hair and makeup!

The lead up to your wedding can be more stressful than letting your hyperactive puppy loose in a fine bone china boutique. (Read: major damage control!). To ease your anxiety, we’ve sorted your beauty routine. Now, you can worry less, and look pretty more. You’re welcome.

Six months before…
If your brows need shaping, start now. Your eyebrow expert will need this time to allow for potential growth and alignment correction.

By this stage, you should’ve also locked in your hair and makeup artist, so book a trial before it’s too late to change so you’re 100% happy with your look.

4 months before…
Begin your body waxing routine if you haven’t already. It means you’ll have approximately four appointments to help regulate your hair growth, and amp up your skin’s exfoliation process – hello, even tan. Just remember your last appointment needs to be at least two days before your spray tan.

It’s around this time you should have your hair attended to. When your next appointment comes around (the really important one), your hair colour and cut will be nice and consistent, so you’ll only need a freshen up later.

3 months before…
Sign up for a course of facials and omnilux treatments. One per week is ideal. It may be a costly exercise, but those professional photographs are exxy, so you need to be looking your absolute best. By working so far in advance, your skin will be able to flush out everything, leaving you with nothing but a smooth glow.

Facials and omnilux will work double duty on your skin for clear, smooth and even-toned skin, which is also plump and hydrated to the max.

On that note, amp up your workout routine around this time too. Even if you can only manage working out three times a week and eating healthily, if you stick with it, you’ll reap the rewards (and you won’t have any ridiculously sudden weight changes).
2 months before…
It’s time for the tan trial. Yep, already. Be sure to tan two days after your body waxing to reveal the
true colour and effect on your skin. Moisturise daily for lasting results. (Important knowledge for the
old h-moon).

1 month before…
With only 4 weeks to go, I’d consider teeth whitening and booking a follow up appointment for the
week prior to your aisle date. If the thought of that scares you, start brushing with a whitening

Two weeks before…
Okay ladies, hopefully you booked this a few months ago at your last appointment. Today, you’re
getting your hair coloured. You don’t necessarily need a cut, in fact a little bit of damage in your ends
will help keep your hairstyle in place.

The week of…
7 days before will be your last pre-wedding facial.

Also, aim to have your body waxing done 4 – 5 days out, including your brow tidy. (They should only need a tidy, because the shape is sorted).

2 days before…
Tanning time. Your waxing was the exfoliation entrée two days out, but be sure to exfoliate with mits
and a non-oily body wash the day before too. (If you same day exfoliate with an oily or heavilymoisturising
product, it’ll stop the tan from absorbing properly). Your tanning therapist should
moisturise any dry skin patches on arrival.

FYI if you have enlarged pores, you may want to avoid a spray tanned face. Instead, ask your
makeup artist to match your foundation to the depth of your tan. (Otherwise, you may look like
orange and poppy seed cake with your dark, tan-filled pores).

1 day before…
Your tan has developed, and any residue on your nail plates and cuticles has hopefully washed off.
But, if not, your manicurist can exfoliate your hands and cuticles gently so they’re clean and fresh
before any polish is applied. If you book your manicure for before your tan, you run the risk of icky
stains on the nail plate and fingers. (Which will be especially noticeable if you’re only having a soft
colour, like ballerina pink).

The day has arrived…
Wake up and enjoy a shower with fragrant body wash. (If you can, use the same scent as your
signature perfume for the day). Buff your skin gently with a soft loofer. Depending on your
hairdresser’s advice, you may need to shampoo and condition, or maybe you can get away with
second day hair. (Confirm your hair sitch before you turn the tap on!).

Next, moisturise your whole body with your signature bridal scent for super hydrated skin. A little
cuticle oil also never hurt anyone for glossy, strong-looking nails. (There will be close-ups of your
hands in bouquet and ring shots!).

Now, sit back, relax, and let the professionals work their hair and makeup magic. Remember, you
want to be the last person having your makeup done so it goes the distance.

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Whether you want to relax and soak up the sun on a deserted tropical island or laze in front of a log fire, follow our guides, tips and blogs to help you plan the perfect honeymoon. You’ll be in for the holiday of a lifetime…

Choose honeymoon destinations that are everything your heart desires, so you’ll remember this
holiday forever.

• What are best times of the year to travel to your destination? You don’t want to arrive at your secluded hideaway to find it’s full of children on school holidays!
• When choosing your honeymoon hotel, indulge – don’t skimp! Book the beachfront bungalow; the ‘room with a view’; the king sized bed; swish bathroom with a spa; and enjoy the finest champagne! 

Australia has many magnificent honeymoon destinations from way up in Far North Queensland all the way down to Tasmania, with many beautiful retreats in between. Here are a couple of ideas:

• Secluded beaches and rainforest of Coffs Harbour
• Rugged romance of the Blue Mountains
• Ancient rainforest, orchids and beautiful butterflies at Airlie Beach
• Stretch out on the endless sands of the Gold Coast
• Take a cruise, flight or tour and seek out the heart of Kakadu
• Culinary connoisseurs can head south to Launceston
• Enjoy the wine country of South Australia or Victoria
• For nature lovers, who can beat the beauty of Western Australia’s untouched coral reefs? 

So you’re heading out of the country, and imagining long lazy days under a coconut palm tree, a quiet walk along a white sandy beach where the only footprints are your own, spectacular sunsets and a thatched roof hut just for the two of you? Great honeymoon destinations for a tropical getaway are:

• Fiji
• Thailand
• Tahiti
• Vanuatu
• Bali– and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

If lying on the beach is not for you and you are wanting a little more culture and adventure why not:

Explore beautiful Vietnam
• Visit the Roman ruins in Italy
• Taste glorious wines from the vineyards in France
• Go shopping in Paris
• Go on an African safari
• Ski in Switzerland, Japan or Canada

For more honeymoon destinations Honeymoon Destinations Around the World is a must-read! It’s a good idea to enlist the help of a travel agent. Try to have an idea of what you want before you go – that way the process will be quick and easy, and you’ll be on your way. Travel agents can also obtain special honeymoon bonuses to make the trip extra special. MW Tip: Many travel agencies offer really great packages in the off-seasons that can save you a motza!