Real Wedding – Joanne and Robert (Doltone House Jones Bay Wharf, Sydney)

(This “Real Wedding” was submitted by Blumenthal Photography, located in Sydney, Australia. I immediately fell in love with her wedding gown and had to share. Hope you enjoy it, and find inspiration for your wedding).

What’s your love story? How did you meet originally and get together?
Robert and I actually met at work. We both worked in the same office building and I would always see him when we were leaving. It took a little while for him to finally work up the courage to talk to me and it was just so frustrating waiting for him! I thought the constant looks I gave him were enough but it took him a month before we actually spoke to each other. We kept talking each night as we left work and eventually started dating.






Could you sum up your wedding in a couple of sentences – how would you describe the look and feel of the day, the vibe:
Our day honestly felt like a fairy tale (and not just because of my gorgeous Princess gown.) The weather, the church, the forest outside and having all of our loved ones there just made the day so special! We wanted something elegant, classic and timeless and I think we achieved just that.






What was important to you about your wedding- what were your priorities from the very beginning?
The most important thing for us was to just enjoy each other’s company and relax! Weddings can be so stressful and a lot of the time you’re running around greeting guests instead of relaxing and creating memories with your partner. We wanted to make sure that we enjoyed the day together and took in absolutely every little detail of the day!

What made your venue “the one”?
The church had been somewhat of a family tradition for Robert. His parents and siblings were all married there so it was just a given that we have our ceremony there too! However, I knew our reception was the one as soon as I stepped inside! The venue had that gorgeous elegant and luxurious feel which was perfect for us. We could add our own twist with the décor and there was plenty of space to house all of our guests.






What made the day really special and personal to you?
Honestly, just having all of my family under one roof made the day so special. We have such a huge family and it’s always difficult getting everyone together. My sisters all live in different places and I have a lot of family from overseas so spending this time together is something I’ll never forget.

What advice would you give to brides and grooms planning their day?
Give yourself plenty of time to plan and prepare – at the very least, over 12 months. There’s no point rushing when you don’t have to and although it’s an incredibly exciting time, a last minute schedule can just stress you out and ruin the fun of planning. We gave ourselves plenty of time to get the right venue at the right time and I hardly stressed about all of the other finer details.

How did the proposal happen?
Robert actually proposed to me when we were in Greece. We’d taken a holiday around Europe and when we were in Greece visiting family, he absolutely surprised me at our family dinner. I was the only one who didn’t know but apparently Robert and his relatives were planning it for months! I remember there was just a stunning sunset, we had both of our families around the table, drinks were flowing and the food was delicious. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect proposal.

Vendor Team:
Reception Venue: Doltone House Jones Bay Wharf
Photography: Blumenthal Photography
Wedding Dress: J’Aton Couture
Bridesmaids Dresses: White Runway
Wedding Stationery: Adorn Wedding Invitations
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Flowers: Vesna Grasso Floral Designer
Groom’s/Men’s Suits: Armani
Accessories: Just Me Jewellery
Cake: Faye Cahill Cake Design
Cars/Wedding Favours: Bentley
Make Up & Hair: Faces Makeup and Hair
Ceremony/Reception Music: DJ:Plus! Entertainment

Thank you Silvia/Blumenthal Photography for sharing this lovely wedding with us!

Hearts, Joy, Love!

Wedding Q&A – How to Avoid Latecomers to the Ceremony







Q. – I’m worried that we’ll have guests walk in late and take attention away from our ceremony. What can I do to keep this from happening?

A. – In over 20 years, I have yet to see a wedding ceremony where all of the guests have arrived on time. So in answer to your question on how to prevent this. You can’t.

Don’t fret. This is something that can be easily (and politely) dealt with.

Simply have someone stationed at the door to help direct late-comers to quietly seat themselves from the outside aisles. If the outer doors to your ceremony venue are clunky and close rather loudly, have someone assist with quietly opening and closing them.

In all honesty, unless the latecomers are unusually loud, no one will even notice them since all eyes will be where they should be, front and center on you and your fiancé.

If you have a special guest (such as a grandparent, or close relative) that you know is always late to everything, a little white lie can get them there earlier. Simply tell them that you need them to be there earlier than you really need them there. (For example, if your ceremony starts at 4:00 PM, tell them you need them there by 3:30 PM). That way when they run late, they are more likely to actually be on time.

Now I have heard advice from others on this matter saying “don’t be too rigid about starting the ceremony exactly on time.”

I highly disagree. A minute or two is one thing, but who really gets out of the parking lot, in the door and into their seat within 60 – 120 seconds? NO ONE!

Holding back the start of the ceremony 5, 10 minutes or more just to accommodate tardy people is not a reasonable suggestion to give a bride and groom. It’s not fair to the guests who have made the effort to get there on time. You’re potentially looking at paying overtime rates to musicians and the ceremony venue. And if the wedding ceremony doesn’t start on time you’re playing “catch up” right from the very start.

I have also heard others say to put the start time on your invitation a half hour earlier than when the ceremony is to really start.

Again, I highly disagree. It’s not fair to the guests who have made the effort to get there on time (they have to sit around longer while nothing is going on). Your pre-ceremony photos have to end earlier since you don’t want people seeing you before the ceremony. And you’re definitely looking at overtime rates to musicians and the ceremony venue.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

Do you have a question or wedding concern? Let me know. Contact me today at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: clock via photopin (license)

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Wedding Q&A – What Should the Flower Girl Carry?

flower girl with basket of flowers

Q – I’m working on my wedding flowers and have two flower girls for my wedding. One flower girl (3 years old) will be carrying a sign that says “here comes the bride.”

I’m not sure what to have the other flower girl (6 years old) carry. I do not want her to drop flower petals.

The ceremony decor and reception centerpieces are lanterns, and I was thinking maybe she could carry a lantern with a flameless candle (but I’m concerned that it could break or the candle won’t stay in place).

Wedding Q & A – When Are Aisle Runners Used in a Wedding?

I handmade all of my flowers out of satin fabric so I guess I could do a mini bouquet but I don’t want her to match the bridesmaids either! Any thoughts?

A – A mini bouquet is a cute idea, as it is scaled down for smaller hands, and it lets the flower girl feel like one of the “big girls” in the wedding party.

flower girls with wedding party

Other options you can try are:

– Colorful pinwheels


– Ring a bell

– Balloons

flower girls with balloons

– Ribbon wands

– Floral pomanders aka kissing balls (my favorite!)

floral pomander

– Something seasonal (a pine bough if in winter, for example)

– A tambourine or kazoo if your ceremony will heavily feature music

Hearts, Joy, Love!

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For more ideas, contact me today at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647 or at!

Photo credits:
Flower girl – © iofoto
Flower girls with wedding party – Jack Hoying Photography
Pinwheels – Pinwheels via photopin cc
Flower girls with balloon – © Kzenon
Floral pomander – © Susan

Wedding Q&A – Do I Have to Invite Family I’m Not Close To?






Q – Do I have to invite a family member I’m not close to, to my wedding?

A – It’s your wedding, so technically, you can invite (or not invite) whoever you want.

That said, consider the following:

    • Do you just “not like him,” or does it go deeper than that? Is it because the two of you just “don’t click,” or is there “bad blood” between you?
    • How will this affect future family get-togethers? Will other family members brush it off with a simple “meh,” or will you be hearing about this for years to come?

Do you have a question or wedding concern? Let me know. Contact me today at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

  • How will this affect other family members? Let’s use cousins as an example. Will this cause friction between the 2 cousins you are close to (and who did receive an invite) and the 3rd cousin you didn’t invite? Will it cause friction between you and your aunt? Although, it’s your wedding and you can invite (or not invite) whoever you want, this is most likely a time for you to take the high road and send that other invitation.

Photo credit: The complete set via photopin (license)

Hearts, Joy, Love!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Do you have a question or wedding concern? Let me know. Contact me today at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

How I Got Started as a Wedding Planner






I was never one of those girls who dreamt of her wedding day since she was a little girl. Only once did I and my friends stage a wedding for Barbie and Ken (the highlight of that event was when Ken’s head popped off right after their first kiss).

Never threw parties or had big get-togethers. (Still don’t. We’re more of the homey types. Watching tv. Reading a good book. Love board games and cards).






So, how did I discover the world of wedding planning?

Planning our wedding is where I got the spark.

When my husband and I were planning our wedding (back in 1988) I was the most clueless bride ever. Heck, (dare I admit it), I didn’t even realize that there were wedding magazines available.

Because of our crazy work schedules at the time we did most of the planning on our lunch breaks (very few wedding vendors would meet with us after work, and we couldn’t get time off during work hours).

Some vendors were no-shows for our scheduled meetings. Our reception venue was bought out by another company, and the new company’s catering style was ribs. Delicious yes, but very different that what we wanted and had contracted for (thankfully they honored our original menu choices). My aunt made our cake, and my cousin did our bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres. That was a tremendous help (2 less vendors that we had to deal with).






However, it was still S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L. But on our wedding day we were surrounded by our family and closest friends. And in the end, we were married, and starting this new stage in our lives together.

The decision to become a wedding planner was never an “aha moment.”

Instead something about planning my wedding stuck in the back of my head, and gradually evolved. I’d often think that planning weddings for others would be fabulous, but was a “wedding planner” really a thing? I didn’t think it was.

But it still stuck with me. I’d find myself thinking that there had to be a right way to plan weddings for other people. Planning your own wedding does not make you a wedding planner – I got that.

My interest and desire to pursue this career grew, and I continued to talk about wanting to be someone who plans weddings. (But is it even a real thing?)

Finally, one day my husband told me to stop talking about it and do something about it, or just stop talking about it. Ok, not those exact words. But he was giving me the push (and his support) to pursue this.

So, in 1994 I joined an wedding organization for wedding planners, took their training courses and shadowed with a local wedding planner. The following year I officially opened Weddings From The Heart.

That’s how I got started.

Through the years (it still doesn’t seem like it’s been over 20 years!) I’ve participated in other training courses, seminars, and workshops to continue to hone my craft. (There is always something new to learn).

Hello. How much do you charge?

It really is an honor and privilege to get to work with couples and help them have the wedding day they’ve imagined and hoped for.






I can’t imaging doing anything else.

Photo credit (Barbie and Ken): The flowers were the easy part. via photopin (license)
Photo credit (Monopoly Board): Monopoly via photopin (license)

Hearts, Joy, Love!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

I’d love to help you make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way YOU want! Contact me today at or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!