Great earrings for your wedding

When it comes to earrings for your wedding day, there is no shortage of style or colour options, but if you’re a classic bride, looking at maintaining a classic look, here are eight timeless options that cater for every budget.

Many of us own the cubic zirconia version of these classic Princess Cut diamond earrings, but these are very much the real deal – and about as classic as you can get when it comes to wedding day jewellery.

Sleek and elegant, these sterling silver Najo Hyderabad earrings are a modern take on the timeless pearl drops.

A dazzling version of classic gold hoops, these gorgeous yellow gold earrings are filled with a row of sparkling .26 carat diamonds.

These 18ct white gold clusters may be small in size, but their sparkle is worthy of pieces that are far, far bigger.

You can’t go wrong with heart-shaped earrings on your wedding day, can you? And these twinkling Tiffany delights feature a border of round brilliant diamonds and an open heart design all set in an 18k white gold base.

These ‘Alana’ round cubic zirconia crystal earrings feature man-made ivory pearl drops at their base. They are rhodium plated and the crystals are cut to replicate a real diamond.

These studs feature an 18ct white gold bezel set with a round brilliant cut diamond at its heart.

This beautiful earring set features the ultimate trifecta: diamonds, gold and pearls, black Tahitian pearls to be precise.


Suitable wedding cake

“There is no right or wrong answer to that question,” says Maria Mendonca from Sydney-based cake makers Casa Del who, during their 17 years in business, have created more than 5000 wedding cakes. “There are just too many variables on the couple’s side, including whether you’ll be serving guests seconds or not – and, then, so many size and tier options and combinations on your wedding cake maker’s side.”

Though Maria suggests the only way to ensure you’re 100 per cent certain of your options – and what the final result will look (and taste) like – is to visit your cake maker in person, there are some basic guidelines you can follow.

Maria says that “every cake maker has different standard tier sizes but, generally, they’re measures in inches and described in tiers.”

So, a 6 X 9 X 12 (pronounced 6 by 9 by 12) refers to a three tiered cake (as there are three numbers), the top tier measuring 6 inches wide, the second tier measuring 9 inches wide and the third one measuring 12 inches wide.

“Our standard tier height is 3 inches high, but for some vendors it may be 4 inches high, so be sure to ask your cake maker what their standard cake height is,” adds Maria who says the 6 X 9 X 12 cake isCasa Del’s most ordered three-tier wedding cake and serves about 200 finger-size slices.

For other vendors, a basic three-tier cake could be, for example, 8 X 8 X 12.

Another option is to stick with three tiers, but vary the width and height of the tiers because, says Maria “many couples want a cake that looks tall and slim rather than short and fat.

As such, Maria suggests a 5 X 7 X 10 cake at a height of four inches per tier.

“The trend, at the moment is to make the tiers higher and more narrow. That way, the cake looks a lot taller, it will have more impact in the venue and it will also have a lot more ‘wow’ factor.

“It will cost about the same and serves about the same number of people, but the slices are longer and the cake, as a whole, looks a a lot bigger.”

Maria says Casa Del’s most popular two-tier cake is a 7 X 10, two-tier cake with tiers 4 inches in height.  It serves about 140 pieces.

So, taking all that into consideration, here are Maria’s suggestions for what size wedding cake you should order according to how many guests you have – and what portion size you will be serving them.

Find the great place for wedding

Ask most people what they know about Canberra, and they’re likely to mention politics. But if you think that’s all this gorgeous city has to offer, you couldn’t be more wrong. There’s fantastic food, fabulous culture, a thriving hospitality scene, exciting tourist attractions and a palpable sense of history that speaks to the heart as Australians. It’s also a place that is tailor made for weddings, whether you’re a local, or a bride or groom open to the idea of a destination wedding celebration. Here are five reasons to think about marrying in our nation’s capital.

There’s a wonderful sense of history

Former Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley preferred to stay at Canberra’s Hotel Kurrajong instead of The Lodge during his visit to the nation’s capital

To some extent, the history of Australia is the story of Canberra’s evolution. And there’s something hugely exciting about being able to tap into the spirit of those people who helped make Australia great. At the refurbished Hotel Kurrajong Canberra, for example, you can follow in the footsteps of 16th Prime Minister Ben Chifley, who led the nation from 1945-1949.

As the hotel’s wedding coordinator explains, there’s actually a pretty good story here. “When he was in Parliament, Ben Chifley chose to stay here as his official residence, rather than the Lodge,” she explains, noting the CBD is less than a 10-minute drive away. And it’s here he also made his final curtain call, succumbing to a heart attack in June 1951.

“There’s all this mystery about whether he died here in the hotel or in the ambulance on the way to hospital,” the wedding co-coordinator shares. “So it’s got that kind of haunted history people are fascinated by.” Even today, interest remains high, and the hotel has actually refurbished his room to look exactly as it did in his day, one of 147 rooms available, including 26 in the heritage wing.

In the know: Canberra isn’t just home to the politicians of Parliament House, it’s also home to monuments that preserve and profile our history and culture. Must-sees include the Australian War Memorial and National Portrait Gallery, while at the National Library of Australia, precious treasures include Captain James Cook’s Endeavour Journal and the landmark papers of Eddie Mabo.

The food is seriously sensational

While cities such as Melbourne and Sydney have long been applauded for their culinary pedigree, Canberra has quietly gone about cultivating its own headline-worthy reputation. After all this is the city that hosts an annual truffle festival – which the Hotel Kurrajong Canberra takes part in – is home to acclaimed vineyards and has lured big names such as Jamie Oliver.

The attitude is all about melding sophistication with accessibility, giving basics a beautiful twist and, crucially, focusing on seasonal menus and what they can bring to the table, whether it’s fine dining, high-end vegetarian or something a little more casual.

Again, the hotel’s chef-designed menus are a case in point, being personally curated by the award-winning executive chef, who draws on his five-star experience to guide couples through the process of choosing just the right tastes, textures and temptation.

Think options such as smoked duck with celeriac slaw and raspberry vinaigrette, pan-seared salmon with puy lentils, baby cress and chive emulsion, a milk chocolate salted caramel done or even the DIY approach of a barbecue, seafood, cheese or carving station. “Food is a really important part of any wedding because it’s something the guests will focus on and remember,” says the wedding co-coordinator.

“That’s why it’s important to us that we work with couples individually. We give them ideas, we look at their dietary requirements for guests, we host them for menu tastings and we’re able to answer any and all questions they have. It’s all about creating a food experience that bests reflects you as a couple, be it a boutique event for 50 or one where we open up our restaurant to cater for 160.”

In the know: If you and/or your guests are keen foodies, there’s a feast of great food events to time your wedding around, such as the Canberra Food and Wine Expo or the Taste It Festival. There’s even a wine harvest festival, for those who love a good drop.

You can curate a great adventure for guests

Modern couples often take advantage of proximity to friends and family to turn a one-day wedding into a kind of mini festival over a long weekend or more, especially when friends and family can travel quite a long way to attend. “It’s actually pretty normal that most of our weddings have interstate guests, who book accommodation with us” says Hotel Kurrajong’s wedding coordinator, whose team is available to make guest bookings.

So, the challenge then becomes keeping them entertained. That’s where Canberra comes into its own, with a plethora of drawcards that fly under the radar, such as the National Arboretum, which has one of the world’s largest living collections of rare, endangered and significant trees. Even if your guests are all local, you can still come up with a few hidden gems, be it a speakeasy or a Segway ride around Lake Burley Griffin.

And, if you get stuck for inspiration, there’s always help at hand. Through Viator, the hotel offers day trips everywhere from Questacom to the AIS. As the wedding coordinator explains, it’s about remembering that for your guests – and even for yourself – it’s not just about the ceremony and reception, but about the celebration as a whole. It’s about recognising the gift of the time people spend with you and helping to make memorable memories for them as well.

In the know: As experts in everything Canberra, Hotel Kurrajong offers a handy online resource full of ideas to get the most out of the city, and help your guests do the same.

The city really knows how to plan a great event

Canberra mightn’t have a reputation as a party town, but it certainly knows how to plan a good event, be it the annual floral explosion of Floriade, the exertion of the Australian Running Festival and the noise and excitement of Summernats. And the elements of success that go into making such events a hit include the ease and convenience of getting around the city and precision planning. They’re qualities that lie front and centre with Hotel Kurrajong Canberra’s wedding coordinator.

“We’re there every step of the way,” she says, noting that all wedding packages offer inclusions such as a display table for the wedding cake and guest book, cake cutting and serving, chairs covers, sashes and tea light holders, and a microphone and lectern.

“I’m there at the food tastings, I’m there at rehearsals and we also offer a one-stop shop through great partnerships with local vendors across everything from hair and make-up to event hire and theming.”

Location is another drawcard, with a gorgeous courtyard offering a tranquil space to exchange vows, as a water fountain tinkles in the background, the evolving colours of summer, spring and autumn create a beautiful backdrop and optional extras such as floral arches provide a finishing touch.

From there, the celebration moves through into the restaurant, creating a seamless flow. “We often find that couples come to us to book a reception and then end up actually getting married here,” says the co-coordinator, who explains that more and more couples – and guests – are looking to the convenience of a ceremony and reception in the same venue … before the shortest of walks back to their rooms. It’s a trend echoed nationwide, and that’s not where it ends, because….