Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hi there

Just popping past to say Happy New Year!!
I know I said I'd still maintain this blog, but I haven't really been, so if you're looking for me then please head over here to my new blog:
Styling, Hiring & Inspiring
Lots has been going on with the new little business.

  • We have a new logo (see above)
  • We're getting plenty of enquiries flowing in, mainly from facebook or from readers of this blog (thanks guys!)
  • We've booked a super-fun wedding for February next year in a theme I've always loved and wanted to do. 
  • We're exhibiting at The Eclective in February
  • We just did a lovely Christmas photo shoot and are meeting some great industry people for future collaborations.

Exciting times ahead in 2012!!

I hope you all have a brilliant NYE.  May 2012 bring you much happiness and joy. And if you're planning your wedding for 2012, then enjoy every minute!

Jess xo

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hip Hip Hoorah!!!!! I did it!

Yes, you guessed it. I've finally kicked off the new little business that I've dreamed of for so long...

Pod & Pea
styling. hiring. inspiring

Now that we've launched it, I can tell you more. I have teamed up with my gorgeous like-minded friend, Jacinta to create what we think is an exciting and innovative little venture.

We're going to help create gorgeous, unique, creative events - filled with handmade touches and sweet details.

We're not so interested in corporate events, we're drawn to personal soirees celebrating life's special moments.. Weddings, Engagements, Baby Showers, Hen's Days, Christenings, Birthday Parties, Anniversaries... and so on.

A big part of what we're planning is around hiring... and we're building up an eclectic collection of antique and vintage furniture, along with quirky, rustic and unique props.

We have SO much still to do... but we're on our way.. and we are oh-so-excited!

Please go check out our new blog OVER HERE. 
(this look will change, we haven't even got our logo finalised yet!)

And perhaps even like us on FACEBOOK.
(check out some pics to see some of our range and work).

I intend to still maintain this blog and will be back to share more 'rustic' events and ideas. So don't go away. But please also come follow me at Pod&Pea.

(p.s. you know how i agonised for months over a name... so I'd love to know what you think of the final product! Be honest, let me know what you think!).


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Detail Debate

A funny thing happened in the world of wedding blogs today.
Jonas Peterson, talented Brisbane photographer wrote this: The Mason Jar Manifesto.

Of course you should go there an read it. It is beautifully written, with an important message.

In summary (in case you don't follow that link and read it) Jonas is pleading with the wedding industry.. stylists, photographers, bloggers, even brides.. to cut out the details. To strip the wedding back to what it is supposed to be - a celebration of love, of commitment and of family.
Excellent message.. and it's true.  I agree that every bride needs to step back once in awhile and remember what she's doing this for, what it is all about. That will keep every bride sane.. to realise that the perfect invitations and details do not a wedding maketh.

So while agree with the broad message, I'm kind of torn about how I feel about Jonas' manifesto.. or perhaps moreso about the comments that have been made in response to it.

If you've read my blog, you know that I love details.
And while the details might be 'fluff', I believe this 'fluff' is part of what helps a couple turn what is essentially a formal procedure into a celebration.
Details have always existed where parties existed. It used to be balloons. Now it is much cooler stuff... because couples realise that this is their chance to throw a party of a lifetime and put everything they want into it. Make it unique, make it over the top and make it fun for their guests! I guess what Jonas is saying is that the 'balloons' have taken over. And we can't see the couple and the meaning past the 'balloons'. Fair call, I suppose.

But here's where it gets interesting... Jonas specifically refers to the common details that we see these days on blogs: mason jars, vintage typewriters, hay bales, vintage rugs. Exactly the kind of things that I love.. and have written about here on The Rustic Garden Party.

I don't know if it was Jonas Peterson's intention to specifically object to these vintage / rustic type of details (or just wedding clutter in general), but the responses online definitely seem to have latched on to that.. and out has come an onslaught of complaints about people using 'details' that  are too common, popular, trendy, that don't relate to the couple.

So whilst I agree that weddings are about a couple in love... when it comes to this debate about vintage being over-done, I am left wondering...Who cares???
Does it matter if a couple wants a vintage typewriter, even though they don't dress in vintage clothes or have a house filled with antiques? As long as they are surrounding themselves with items they love and that they want at their wedding, does it really matter? Do they have to justify "oh I make jam... that's why I want mason jars" ...or... "my husband likes reading, that's why we have piles of vintage books in our centrepieces"

Nobody was ever asked to explain balloons.. so why do they have to explain this new kind of decoration?
And even when people use these same details... it's not like their weddings become identical! Everyone adds their own touches.

My point is: People follow trends every day. Look at the clothes we wear. The ways we decorate our houses. Weddings are no different.

Some people might make their wedding decor choices based on their backgrounds, or how they met, or where they've travelled, or whatever. This is great and does make the day very special and personal.
But some people will just choose things because they like it. Is there anything wrong with that?

My wedding was filled with details.Some were even the kind mentioned in the manifesto. Our photographer certainly captured those details. And they are probably the things I have blogged most about.. because really, aren't  blogs about providing resources and ideas for decorating weddings? They're not about teaching people to be in love.

Despite the details, there was never any doubt in my mind about what our day was all about.
Me And Him.
And I'd like to think that out-shone all of our details.

(while we're being deep and meaningful, you should also go and read THIS "Open Letter to Bloggers" which also objects to same-same weddings and vintage themes. I read this today as well, so part of my post above  is probably also in response to that)

Friday, October 21, 2011

'Sweet' Friday

Hello again. Happy Friday!

This has definitely been the longest I have gone without blogging! I haven't disappeared though and am still checking in to read your comments and answer any questions.

Why is today a 'sweet' Friday, you ask? Well tomorrow I am setting up a Candy Bar at a wedding and today I am putting together the final touches (and drooling slightly!).

My secret plan is moving ahead. Myself and my new business partner have registered a name.. and we have 2 events coming up over the next 3 weeks. I am excited and inspired - and can't wait to share some pics with you!

Tomorrow's candy bar wont be rustic, but it will be pretty.
While researching ideas, I have seen lots of rustic looking Candy Bars/ Dessert Bars though, and think that something natural and woody would've worked really at The Rustic Garden Party.

I'd love to set up something like this one day:
Speak to you soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rustic Venues on Polka Dot Bride!

You know that for awhile now I have been intent on uncovering the best rustic venues in SA (go back here for the list to date)... And it seems these posts continue to be the most popular.

Well I have good news! Ms Polka, of the fabulous Polka Dot Bride, has joined me in this quest and has recently posted a list of SA rustic venues to her blog!
Some have already been posted about here, but there are some fabulous ones that I haven't yet mentioned - so make sure you go and check them out if you are still on the hunt!

Polka Dot Bride

In the meantime, I will get back on to the task of adding to our now-expanded list!
Please also let me know if there's some you know of. Many hands make light work...!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Our wedding is on the internet!!

Yes, you read right: our wedding is on the internet!
Ok so you're probably reading this going "yeah so? you blog about your wedding on the internet".
Actually.. it's better than that. Our wedding is on Style Me Pretty!!

Somehow I missed it. It has been there for 2 weeks without me knowing!! I was out for drinks and dinner tonight and my friend said that someone sent her the link!

Go here to read it and see some pics you haven't seen:

How exciting! I always thought about submitting my wedding to a blog.. but wasn't sure whether or not to, whether it was blog-worthy enough, whether I'd be embarrassed once it went up (weird i know!)..

Now it's great to see my pictures up on one of my favorite blogs.. I love Style Me Pretty. It was a constant source of inspiration for me while I was engaged. Ok, who am i kidding? It is STILL a source of inspiration!
And speaking of which, SMP now has a special 'local' section especially for Australian weddings.. which means vendors and venues that we can access here. Yay, three cheers for accessibility!

And just quietly.. what kind of wedding planner would I be if I wasn't featured on any blogs? It's another step in the right direction for my future plans!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Pass the lamb, please" - Shared Food at wedding receptions

from Pinterest

When trying to plan a menu for your wedding, it is really hard to please everyone AND ensure that the food creates the right atmosphere.

Cocktail food is great for creating a party atmosphere and allows people to move around and mingle. It also means you can provide lots of variety - which helps make sure that everyone gets something they like.
But SO OFTEN people complain that they don't eat enough at cocktail parties. And while moving around is great, it's not so cool if you are only moving to chase the waiters around all night!
For me, the other issue was that cocktail seemed almost too casual. I am almost shocked to say that actually, as I AM casual.. but I kept thinking, "what about during speeches? where will people sit? will they listen? will they be able to see?" and so on. I also worried it would feel too much like a party (a 30th or engagement party) because of he lack of formality.

Sit-Down dinner also has its pros and cons. On the plus side: everyone gets plenty to eat (generally at least 2 courses all of their own!), they get a seat ('yay' say the girls in high heels), and there is an air of formality (this is a special occasion after all). It also allows you to set the timing of the night.. entree, speech, main, more speeches, dance etc - and you generally have a captive audience.
On the downside - it means people are in their seats for a lot of the night (so your seating plan is very important) and it means they might not get up to mingle or dance. Then there's the food issues: alternate drop vs choice of 2 options. One table has finished eating and the other hasn't started yet.. And is the food ever that great anyway?

Which brings me to my point.

I love the concept of Shared Food at wedding receptions.
A long banquet style table laden with shared platters that guests can pass along the table and choose what they like from, like a family dinner. (***please don't mistake this with buffet - where people have to get up and go and collect their food. I'm not so keen on that. It's a little prison-dinner like in my opinion).

To me, a banquet is the perfect blend of casual and formal. It's festive and interactive. There's variety - and flexibility to eat what you want. There's still a sit-down, feel-like-you've-had-a-meal side to it.. but it is somehow more relaxed.

I am biased, because this is actually what we did.
And here is a little sample of our menu for you:

Chicken fillets - cooked on charcoal, seasoned with herbs and spices 
Pork ribs - slow cooked in a smoked barbeque marinade
Mini steaks - marinated with a mixture of oregano, thyme, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Lamb cutlets- marinated in rosemary, garlic and infused olive oil

Garfish fillets – lightly floured, seasoned with sea salt and cracked pepper and lightly fried
Salt and pepper calamari - with a lemon pepper dipping sauce
Prawn shasliks - marinated and glazed with sweet chili and sea salt
Char grilled octopus - drizzled with olive oil, lemon and balsamic vinegar

Salad & Vegetables
Baby spinach and pumpkin salad - tossed with feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and lightly dressed with balsamic dressing
Greek salad - with feta cheese, Kalamata olives and dressed traditionally with a Greek virgin olive oil vinaigrette
Bowl of in-season char grilled vegetables - lightly seasoned with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil 
Pide Bread served with Olive Oil and Balsamic

Cheese Platter
Camembert, mature Cheddar, smoked Dutch Edam and Tasmanian blue vein with dried apricots, figs and pears, mixed roasted nuts and water crackers

Yummo!! I could eat it again right now.

NOTE: Don't be offended by my opinions or preferences. They are merely that: Opinions. And they are shaped by the general feel of my wedding too. Of course sit-down dinners will be more suited to more formal weddings.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A secret plan

I have a secret to reveal.

I'm not just some crazy ex-bride that can't stop reminiscing about planning my wedding and searching for fresh wedding ideas.

I thought I should clear that up.

Nope, I am a crazy ex-bride that wants to make a future out of planning MORE weddings and CREATING fresh wedding ideas.
I adore it, I'm inspired by it and it's my dream to be able to do it as a job.

I'm pleased to say that this is not just a pipe dream. I'm on the way. I have a few events on the go already: baby showers, weddings, parties.
I'm collecting an assortment of unique props and decorating pieces... and I'm developing a little portfolio. 
As soon as I nail my business name and logo, I'll start promoting myself as 'hired help'.

That's where I become torn as to whether to continue this blog (which was originally about my own wedding), or whether to start a new one, with a new name, where I can blog about some of my current projects and inspiration beyond the 'rustic' theme.
What do you think? Stick with the old or start with the new? Maintain both? I'm not sure yet.
But I am excited at prospects for the future.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wedding Cardigans

Well, it is almost Spring! Which means wedding season is nearly here again!
Unfortunately it is still chilly in Adelaide.. while the days are sunny, the winter chill is lurking around as soon as you get into some shade. And nights are downright cold! In fact, I think the chill often hangs around for most of Spring!

If I was a Spring bride, I'd want to be prepared for the chill. I'd wear a cardigan.

It's quite surprising that this look can look either elegant, glamorous, quirky, whimsical, casual, etc... depending on how you rock it.
And what a fun way to add some colour.

Cameron Ingalls

Braedon Photography via
Look - they got married in a barn - woot woot!!

via Once Wed
via Style Me Pretty

via OnceWed
This whole wedding is gorgeous. Clock through, I dare you!
Keira Knightly via Fashion Bride
via Bridalwave

I got married in February. It's usually the hottest month of Summer. The day before our wedding was 30+ degrees and humid...Then my wedding day was cold! AND it drizzled! I totally could have worn a cardi like one of these!

So Spring Brides: Have I made you hope you get a cold wedding day?!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pinterest steals my heart

Dear Readers, I'm sorry. I have been MIA. And it's not even just that I have been busy... Or not on the computer... Or not looking at Rustic Weddings anymore.

Nope. I've been cheating on my blog.

With Pinterest.

Pinterest is addictive!! How has it taken me so long to jump on board!??
For anyone that doesn't know, pinterest is like an online virtual pinboard (or 17 in my case) that allows you to "pin"  pictures from anywhere on the net, to your own board.
It also allows you to browse other people's boards and "repin" their stuff.

Not only does it save the picture, but the source as well. Do you realise how often I have saved pics to my hard drive and then never been able to find them on the internet again?? So often! And now that I have found pinterest, this shall never happen again.

It really is the best way to collect photos for your wedding.  Or wardrobe. Or house. Or anything else!!!

Since this is the Rustic Garden Party Blog, below are some of the rustic images I have pinned recently. Mainly floral - and all sources are stated when you click through:

Oh and If you would like to follow me on pinterest, then please do. I'm over here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Our Photobooth

You would think that after 6 months, I would have shared all of my wedding details/photos by now. But there's more... Here are some pics from our home-made photo-booth.

Photo-booths are done quite a bit these days, particularly in the blogging world. Luckily for us though, nobody at our wedding had seen it done before. So it was still a novelty and oh-so-much FUN!
I'm really glad we did this. We have some fabulous photos as a result!
Here is just a sample:


We hung a backdrop and provided some props for people to use (funny glasses, moustaches on sticks, frames and blackboards for people to write messages on). As you can see, they also ended up also finding their own props on the night!

Our photographer set up a camera on a tripod with a remote control - and a TV so people could see what they were taking. At the end of the wedding, he uploaded all 500 photos to his website for us.

It was a huge success! It was packed all night. And after the wedding, we gave everyone a photo of themselves with their thank you cards!

Love is in the air! (another wedding coming)

I'm so excited. My sister got engaged on the weekend!!!

She has already asked me to be her one and only bridesmaid. Yay!

And she has already told me I am going to have to plan her wedding for her.. because she is not into the whole wedding thing... and I totally am! Double Yay!!

I already have ideas for her.. will share them with you soon! (Must add her wedding will be anything BUT rustic!).

Monday, August 1, 2011

More Adelaide Venues - Rustic (Part 6)

A couple more to add to the archive of great little rustic venues in SA.

Howard Vineyards

The first thing I noticed about Howard Vineyard (in the Adelaide Hills) is this lovely oak tree, which makes such a picturesque ceremony spot:

Then I saw the stone walls and the word 'barn' and I went "oooh.. it's another special one!"
I would like to have lunch here one day.

Paxton Vineyards

If you're reading this blog, you surely know my favourite kind of venue by now. Here's another to fit the bill:
Indoor/Outdoor- check!
Old / heritage - check!
Sandstone - check!
Ceremony & reception in one place - check!
Scenic - check!

Paxton is at McLaren Vale, amid the vines and not far from the sea.
It's one that I contacted not long after we got engaged.

They use external caterers, (so you could perhaps bring your favourite chef) but you purchase wine from the winery (which shouldn't be a problem as it is a decent drop!)

For the rest of the list, go back here

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ceremony readings - Part 2

There's one wedding reading I fell in love with.
It couldn't be more real or more meaningful.
Even now when I read it, my breath catches in my chest a little at the end. And I feel a bit choked up.  It is special.

Union, by Robert Fulghum
*we worked it into the ceremony, so this is a slightly edited version, as it sounded on our day
Jessica and Adam,
You have known each other for seven years, from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. 
At some point, you decided to marry.

From that moment of ‘yes’ until this moment of ‘Yes’, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way.

All of the conversations that were held in a car or over a meal or on long walks—all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”—those late-night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”—and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.
All these common things, and more, are the real process of wedding.

The symbolic vows you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed—well, I meant it all, every word.”

Now,  face one another to make your vows. Look at one another—remember this moment in time.

Before this moment, you have been many things to one another—acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last seven years.
Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never be quite the same between you. 
For after these vows you shall say to the world:   This—is my husband. This—is my wife.

Gasp... it still gets me!
Here is the moment:

Ceremony readings

Sometimes I can't decide what I want this blog to be.
Sometimes it is a reflection and keepsake of my own wedding.
Sometimes I see new ideas that fit my theme perfectly, that i wish i'd seen earlier and that i want to share.
Sometimes I want to write about different events entirely... that aren't even rustic.  But this isn't the place. I'll save those ideas for another blog.
This is about the rustic garden party. Our rustic garden party. And the frame of mind, inspiration and fun things that made us plan it.
So.. let me share more of 'us' with you. The bits we chose, not just because they were pretty, but because they were meaningful, special and 'us'.

Here is a reading from our wedding. It was read by Adam's niece and nephew. (who are actually now my niece and nephew too, i suppose!).

It is an excerpt from a children's book from the 1960's: I LIKE YOU, by Sandol Stoddard Warburg.

I like you and I know why.
I like you because you are a good person to like.
I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it's special
And you remember it a long, long time.
You say, Remember when you told me something special?
And both of us remember

When I think something is important
you think it's important too
We have good ideas
When I say something funny, you laugh
I think I'm funny and you think I'm funny too

You know how to be silly
That's why I like you
Boy are you silly
I never met anybody sillier than me till I met you
I like you because you know when it's time to stop being silly
Maybe day after tomorrow
Maybe never

I like you because I don't know why but
Everything that happens is nicer with you
I can't remember when I didn't like you
It must have been lonesome then

If you go away, then I go away too
or if I stay home, you send me a postcard
You don't just say “Well see you around sometime, bye”
And I like you because if we go away together
And if I get lost
Then you are the one that is yelling for me

I will go on choosing you
And you will go on choosing me
Over and over again
That's how it will happen every time
I don't know why I really like you
I guess I just like you
I guess I just like you because I like you

Jake and Molly (afore-mentioned niece and nephew) did a fantastic job. Truly fantastic. It was one of the most emotional parts of the ceremony. They are cool kids.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hanging Bottles

I love lovetty love these gorgeous hanging bottles!
I wish I had thought of this before my wedding.
They would have looked fantastic hanging above our bridal table.. or along the big wooden walls. 

100 Layer Cake
I love the flowers too. What is that pink one? Is it a Dahlia maybe? I'm not sure.. It's pretty though. I would like a bunch in my house right now. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Alternative Ceremony Seating

Ceremonies don't last that long in the scheme of the whole wedding. But they are the important bit. And they often set the tone for the rest of the day/night. I think it's a part that often gets neglected in the styling sense, but has lots of potential to be fun, different and special.
Here's a few ideas for ways to seat your guests for your ceremony....

Summer wedding, beautiful setting, casual vibe? Why not spread your guests out on picnic rugs on the grass?
Provide a basket or bucket with Champagne, Glasses and Nibbles. Delightful!
Oh Happy Day

For the rustic, country feel I love so dearly.. how about hay bales.
They can be plain and farmyard looking.. or dressed up to look cozy and comfy:

Simply Bloom Photography
Or they can even be turned into little lounges!
Elizabeth Anne Designs

When it comes to plain old chairs to sit on (imagine that!), I ADORE these East Hampton Chairs with floral cushions, from Lovebird Weddings:  (and by the way, if you happen to live in QLD you should totally be checking out this company. Their work is all things beautiful!)
From Lovebird Weddings

How about some old church pews. This is cool:
From Style Me Pretty
Or these cool old metal things:

All so very different, fun, special!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!!

Today is my birthday! I am 29!
Later, I'm heading out for lunch with some friends, and plan to drink a lot! Yay!

My first birthday as a wife has started out rather slowly, with my dear husband outside doing some paving in our yard (and not making much of a fuss of me!) So I thought I would send myself some flowers!

These are straight from my C Drive (so sorry, no credits), and are from when I wanted bright oranges, pinks and yellows in my bouquet (which is not what i ended up with). 
These colours are so pretty and happy!

....Now I'm going to ask Adam where my ACTUAL birthday bouquet is!?

Have a lovely day!