Meet my new fabo friends Lynsey and Katie from Nan’s Button Box Bouquets! I spotted this clever idea at a vintage clothing fair in Sydney earlier this year. I was immediately charmed by their range of bouquets made from, can you believe it, humble buttons and brooches! Every single one of these bouquets are a piece of art, with no two the same, glamorous and unique. I finally sat down with them last week over a cuppa and a chatted to them about their innovative small business.
I firstly discovered that Katie has a fine arts degree and Lynsey has a background in floristry. Together they have collaborated over two years creating this alternative idea for those quirky and off-beat couples looking for something different to add to their special day. They source their buttons from everywhere, friends and family, vintage shops, even Katie’s school students pitch in! Go the recycling!
The process generally starts by a couple giving the girls your colour scheme and some of your style preferences. One bride brought an heirloom brooch she received as a gift from her grandmother and was the inspiration for her wedding bouquet. Some of the more unusual are bouquets made out of Lego, puzzle pieces and army soldier pieces. The girls are pretty much up for any challenge a client throws at them, so couples are only limited by their imagination. And if bouquets aren’t your thing they also make gorgeous button holes or corsages for jackets as well. Future maintenance of these unique pieces are a cinch, just a light dust over or damp cloth, stored out of direct sunlight and they will continue to look as beautiful as on your wedding day.
On asking about cost I found that prices compared favourably to fresh flowers, and the bonus is it’s something you can keep forever or make unique gifts for your attendants.
Ball park prices start from;
Small 11cm Flowergirl $75
Medium 15cm Bridesmaid $250
Large 25cm Bride $350 (brooch bouquets start at $500)
Jacket Button Hole $25
Keep in mind these prices are a guide and will vary according to how elaborate the material needed, they also provide a competitive quote on a deal for a complete package! They also offer chic hand sewn material bouquet as a “give- away bouquet” starting from $50.
Recommend lead time for delivery is usually 8 weeks prior to the wedding day; however a simple bouquet or button hole can be made up in as little as a week. But as with all things, call and check first!
Nan’s Button Box are located in Western Sydney and are happy to ship interstate if needed and if you are planning for an overseas wedding this is fantastic option prior to your departure.
The girls are always looking for the next thing to expanding their range, so it didn’t surprise me that they have recently added table centre pieces to their range. I have to confess I was more excited about seeing what they come up with for head pieces as people know I am not a “bridal veil” kinda gal! They also are planning a market stall in Rouse Hill NSW soon, so you can catch up with them in person on weekends.
For a detailed look at this fantastic idea check out their website on the link below, to see the wide variety and past work; http://www.nansbuttonboxbouquets.com.au/
I may be biased but one of the most important things to do when planning your special day is your Wedding photographer. Out of all the services you will use ultimately it would come down to how the day is captured. Recently friends decided to fly to an exotic location to get married. They had a beautiful day and a wonderful time, but they regretted they didn’t spend the extra dollars to ensure they had a quality wedding photographer for the day. They, like most people relied on their friends to take lots of photographs for them. As you can image in the excitement, guests are so caught up in those special moments, they inevitably forget to take photos. And if you think about it, images from your wedding is the only tangible and enduring thing you will keep long after the day ends.
1.Research, Research, Research
Before you even start to consider photographers, you need to work out what you like. By working out what you like, it will be easier for you to identify the type of photographer who is going to work with you and for you. Research is the absolute key in figuring out what you both really like. Before seeing potential clients I always ask them to go through their bridal mags and mark out the images they love or Google wedding images to get an idea of a couple’s taste. In the case of gay couples, don’t worry too much about whether images are of gay couples or not, the point is to have some ideas of style and look for your day. Spending a few hours together doing this will make the process of looking for a wedding photographer much simpler and less stressful.
2.Like their style
There are literally thousands of wedding photographers out in the market with lots of different styles and approaches to producing images for weddings. Navigating them is sometimes a job in itself! Based on my experience there are 4 main categories that most photographers fall into. Some will borrow elements of each of these to create their own distinctive style.
a.Traditional or Formal
b.Contemporary or Sleek polished look
c.Quirky or Eclectic
Understanding your own expectations is a massive step to making the right choice for your special day. Let’s be honest, any wedding photographer you see is only going to show you their best work, the work you will look at and think WOW! A huge tip is to always have a look at a “Whole” wedding. This will give you a real insight into their style and what your photographer is really capable of.
3.Like your photographer
A huge factor should be, “Do I actually like this person?” some may say “Why does that matter?” If you think about it, you will be spending more than likely a whole day with this person in your face on what is to be the happiest day in your life. How well do you think your images are going to be if you don’t like the person who is photographing you? It seems a pretty obvious thing but the amount of people who have complained that they did not like their images on their wedding day can be traced back to the fact they simply didn’t like and therefore trusted their photographer. A cheap and easy way of testing the waters is by engaging your photographer for a Portrait session at early stages of planning. I call it a real life interview, good for you and good for the photographer! I also suggest this if couples are unsure between two photographers. A bonus can be if a fantastic shot from these sessions can also be used as an image for your invitations. Either way it’s a cheaper option than finding out after the big day.
4.Real value for money
As a child I loved “visiting” my grandmother’s parlour and looking at my grandparents wedding portraits. Those portraits included sets of each of my great-grandparents and became the central part of their home and life. When they married they of course didn’t have much money for photography but they spent the majority on framing those particular photos. Those framed photographs still exist today and have become a family heirloom.
So here is where most photographers are going to disagree with me. When couples come to see me, inevitably the question of a wedding album comes up. I actively encourage my clients to instead of paying thousands of dollars on an album they may only look at for 6 months, to invest wisely in a set of quality photo prints and professional framing or canvas prints instead. I explain a wedding album is a lovely thing to have but the value of having professionally printed and framed (or canvas) photos in the long term are going to be more value for their money.
Don’t get me wrong, my clients still get an electronic copy of all the photos in a quality proof album with upsized photos that they can show off to family and friends. It may seem a radical idea but most clients appreciate the honesty of the advice and will often come back time and again for other occasions just because they feel you have been honest and fair with them.
5.Agree on a budget before you see photographer
Weddings are an expensive thing and costs for your perfect day can skyrocket before you know it. It’s really easy to get caught up in the moment and want things added to package and have a heart attack when you total your bill up. Be honest with your photographer about what you are prepared to spend during and afterwards and always allow for a bit of wiggle room. Again good for you and good for them as being honest will build trust and save on cost issues at the end of the day! A good photographer who wants your business will do their best to accommodate and tailor a package to suiting your budget. My biggest tip is, don’t be afraid of asking questions on how to minimisecosts.
After 12 months of planning with the last 3 months scrabbling to prepare for the Launch of” Yes we are”, we are about 7 days out from launch and I have to tell you I am excited and really apprehensive at the same time to see how we will do and what response we will get. We are planning to launch at the start of the Sydney Mardi Gras season at Fair Day 2013. Estimated numbers coming are 70,000 LGBTI people, so come and see us and pose for a free Characture portrait provided to us by XXXXXXXXXX.
Some people have asked me, “Why now? It’s not even legal in any state within Australia?”
Let’s be clear, the writing is on the wall. Marriage Equity in Australia is not a matter of “if” it’s going to happen it’s really a matter of “when”. And for us the magic number was 64%, that’s how many Australians in our country have no issue with LGBTI community wanting to marry. And the more they say no to us the more determined we are becoming.
Our second reason was, about 6 months ago, Angie bought me a US based book called The Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings by Tess Ayers and Paul Brown (Third Edition and a fantastic read). It’s the usual guide type of book but there was a section in the first chapter that struck a cord with me, quote;
“Okay, you say, commitment is one thing – but a wedding? Why bother? Because we humans love to mark milestones with celebrations. From a baptism to a sweet-sixteen party to a retirement party, we take stock of our lives with rituals. By planning a wedding ceremony, you are participating in an age-old rite that honours the purest and most basic union between two people. A wedding is part of a universal language that says, “turning point,” and as a human being we need to feel we’re part of the pageant of history.”
Our third reason is we are just plain cranky at the tone that has been set by Leaders in this country regarding the subject of marriage equity. We are pretty conservative older girls who have patiently waited to hear why this option has been denied to us. And if there was a logical reason given, we would be the first to say “Fair enough!”. But in the last 5 years this topic has been in the public arena, not one logical argument has been presented that sits comfortably with us. In fact the debate has raged so much that we are finding the argument has shifted to a “us and them” mentality, with the final straw being, a certain politician in Federal parliament comparing same sex marriage to bestiality. Come on??? What infuriates me is that debate was obviously not taken seriously and had been propelled to the gutter. Broadly, if we expect to be taken seriously by other countries, who we deem to have little or no human rights, we need to lead on these issues just as other countries we compare ourselves to.
All of these reasons combined has started a chain of events that has now become “Yes we are”.
And the response from all of our associates, businesses, friends and family has been overwhelming. Businesses are excited to have a new market that they are able to reach, friends have said what a wonderful idea and our associates (Graphic artist, printing businesses etc) have been extraordinarily enthusiastic about the concept and the future this will bring.
This blog is not intended to be a political statement, though; we are interested in the progress of the debate. The main purpose of this blog will be to give you access to small businesses that want your wedding business and want to contribute positively to your celebration. It will also give you valuable information on relationships and other bits and pieces that you may find helpful.
It is easy to forget that we make history. We have to remember, great social change has never come through governments, it’s has come through its people, human history is littered with examples, industrialism, a right to education, feminism, racial segregation, the internet revolution and social media. All have come about because people, not governments, have stood up said something is unjust or we need to change. Governments only sanction change when it becomes apparent that by not making changes how foolish and out of touch
they actually are.
Life is funny though; I wonder how different people will feel when the first sets of invitations for Gay weddings start coming through the mail and excitement builds over their son or daughter or brother or sister or niece or nephew or Aunt or Uncle or friends or colleagues? How can anyone deny the love that two people share on their special day?
See you soon,