Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Sparkle!

Today is our Christmas party!

With some of the Reviva Chicks heading off in the next few weeks to other climates, the season of glitter and fairy lights has started early :)

Secret Santa is ready and we have a few little treats in store for our fab guests!

Officially now we have to sparkle and I thought I would share some sparkly inspirations with you to get into the festive spirit, all these gorgeous photos are from pinterest.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

VINTAGE FLORAL






Dear friends,

Ever have one of those weeks?

Absolutely flat out from my end, but I can't (and won't) complain. The festive season brings some great parties, the perfect excuse to spend extra time with family and friends and of course holidays, which means not long until my Ski holiday in Japan! Can't wait!

This near perfect vintage floral print is actually a dress (worn as a vest) picked up from my favourite Canadian vintage store SHOPPALU. Gorgeous or what!

I'm wearing:
Vintage dress, via SHOPPALU
Denim cut-offs, via LITTLE LEFT OF CENTRE
Sunglasses + Shirt, Mink Pink MARKET HQ
Biker boots, via TONY BIANCO

Luv,
Friend in Fashion
x

P.S. don't forget to enter my current emmajane giveaway, giving you the chance to win a very pretty emmajane silk dress of your choice!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Free Wedding Websites


In a world of modern technology is setting up a wedding website important?

Well the answer is Yes.


It is an ideal way to communicate with your guests, provide details of the wedding, related activities and up to date news. It also serves as a brilliant planning tool, allowing you to keep on top of your wedding preparations, updating information without having to notify all your guests individually and allows close friends, who perhaps cannot attend your wedding, to be kept in the fold of events.

Our recommendations for the sort of information you should supply on your website are basic info, names, the date and where your wedding is being held with details of the ceremony and reception.

Directions, maps, hotel information and if you are planning a destination wedding, useful things to know, restaurants, what to do, information about the area and perhaps telephone numbers in an emergency.

You can suggest suitable attire, as everyone will want to know what to wear from black tie and sparkle to perhaps laid back, casual beach. It is always nice to include wedding party info, who are your bridesmaids and groomsmen and why.

A convenient link to your wedding registry, gift wish list is useful for your guests to take a look at and of course your story, how you met, engagement, hearing about your romance will give guests an insight and envoke excitement for your big day. Don´t post up 786 photos of your last holiday though!

There are some fantastic free wedding websites out there and with little internet skills you can create your fabulous wedding website in a very short time.

Google offer a whole host of wedding tools, including websites, online planners and useful google docs. Another brilliant website is My Wedding.

Definitely worth heading over to these two websites to start creating your personal wedding website online. After my recent blog posts many of our brides have emailed me with their websites and My Wedding certainly seems to be one of the most popular.

I hope by sharing this advice we have just eliminated one more little stress!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

BAG HAVEN



Dear friends,

The last couple of weeks have had me all consumed in a hunt for the perfect handbag.

Shopbop is always my go to, and with so many goodies I'm finding it terribly difficult to decide. I have however, managed to narrow my shortlist of favourite down to five.

Now it's over to you, I need your help - which is your favourite?

Designers (clockwise)

See by Chloe Poya Medium Tote Bag

Marc by Marc Jacobs Too Hot To Handle Drawstring Bag

ROMYGOLD Fringe Tote

HOUSE OF HARLOW Avery Tote

MARC BY MARC JACOBS Bob's Memphis Trip Top Handle Satchel

Good weekend all!

Luv,
Friend in Fashion
x

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A very special project.





Photos: Greg Pacek
Kristina is a lovely lady from Toronto who brought to me a family heirloom wedding dress from the early years of the 20th century. Though the dress itself wasn't quite wearable, it was decorated with some exquisite chantilly lace--the kind you just can't get anymore--in a perfect shade of mellow antique ivory. The dress also featured a sweet pearly beaded trim, stitched by careful hands almost a hundred years ago (you can see it making an appearance at the waistband of Kristina's dress). Making the most of two in-person meetings (one in San Francisco, one in Portland), Kristina and I collaborated on the dress you see. I used almost every inch of the original lace to embellish the bodice and an underlayer of the skirt--the smallest scraps were fashioned into flowers with lace and silk organza petals, which were appliqu├ęd on the bodice. The skirt is organza and tulle over silk shantung--the gauzy layers helping to harmonize old and new materials. I truly loved working on this dress, and she wears it beautifully. Thanks, Kristina, and best wishes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

GIVEAWAY: WIN AN EMMAJANE DRESS


Dear friends,

To celebrate the festive season, Friend in Fashion has teamed up with local Melbourne designer, EMMAJANE to give you the chance of winning a gorgeous emmajane dress of your very own!

The lucky winner will have their choice of either a 'lacey love' or 'tuscan sun' dress.

TO ENTER:

1. 'like' emmajane on facebook

2. Leave a comment on emmajane's facebook with the name of the dress you would like to win: 'lacey love' or 'tuscan sun'.

It's as easy as that!

Entries close 12pm AEST Tuesday 6 December. Best of luck

Luv,
Friend in Fashion
x

P.S. This giveaway is open to all Friend in Fashion readers, so make sure you are a subscriber via: GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT, BLOGLOVIN, or EMAIL to enter.


Enter your email address:

Getting Married in Marbella


This week we are creating a blog post and guiding you through the legalities of getting married in Marbella and Spain.

We will be helping you with any questions you need to know about getting married in Spain and the paperwork involved. Whether you wish to hold a catholic church ceremony, a registry office in Gibraltar or a blessing here we will be answering your questions here on this blog this week.

Carla, our head of planning and coordination will be here to answer any questions you have so if you would like to submit a question please send an email to info@reviva-weddings.com.

Wedding Venues in Marbella and Sotogrande

I love this time of year.

November is getting chilly outside and as we wind down from our flurry of weddings it is lovely to look through and study all the photos from 2011 as we create new portfolios and look books for our studio.

It does take time to process the year and reflect on our work in order to refresh ourselves for our new year.

We are now working on our 2012 weddings and have some very sparky, creative brides on board so looking forward to our winter workshops and brain storming with them!

Today I have been organising photos not only for our portfolios in the studio, but also we have been asked to submit some of our favourite weddings to many hi profile wedding portals which is very exciting.

We are currently organising photos and will be in contact with our clients should their wedding be successful in our submissions to gain approval.

Having been browsing today I had to share this fabulous venue with you, we planned and designed a wedding here in September and I am in love with these photos.

For me they epitomize a Mediterranean evening, the lighting is stunning and this wedding was certainly one big party! Set in a monastery in Sotogrande in fabulous grounds this was a truly stunning setting for our client´s wedding.

We have also been out and about as well recently looking at new venues for weddings and as well as this monastery, we now have a fabulous 23 bedroomed converted convent on our books with it´s own chapel which is licensed for weddings.

You can party all night without noise restrictions. It is beautifully presented and restored and has a whole host of interesting areas to move around in, from the chiringuito bar area for the cocktail or perhaps the inner courtyard, to a fantastic setting for the dinner and dancing, a real hideaway set in the heart of Andalucian natural parkland.

These images above were provided to us by Anna Gazda of our stunning wedding in Sotogrande and having been scouring through all our weddings I wanted to share these with you again as I love them!

I might finally add that our day of venue searching ended up with us driving around looking for a zoo, which we found but was shut, apparently this area has a fabulous lake that we seemed to have missed so we will have to head back, the town I found enchanting and has a large hotel there for guests, we ended up on this day literally driving over the polo fields in Sotogrande, so not entirely sure that Carla wants to come out with me again on a venue reccie! She seemed glad to get out the car at the end of our day! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Romance and Sparkle at the Marbella Club


All of us, of course, love romance and sparkle and this beautiful wedding in September was certainly a romantic story.

Karen and Taghi had been together 25 years and finally decided to tie the knot in the hugely romantic and stylish Marbella Club synonomous with romance of the rich and famous in the golden era.

Moira at Perfect Spanish weddings organised this delightful wedding and contacted us to help with the coordination, decoration and flowers and we were thrilled to be involved in the wedding of such a delightful and charming couple.

We created the bridal flowers and decorations based on the bright pinks of bouganvillea here along with the paler pinks to soften the bridal flowers. Karen wanted to keep it toned down for the ceremony but to use the bouganvillea pinks for the reception area to create a wow factor.

The table centrepieces were tall glass flutes filled with orchids and set on mirrors decorated with bouganvillea, crystals and tealights. We dressed the chairs with pink sashes and decorated the fabulous gardens, set right on the beach, with fairy lights, lanterns and candles.

The table seating plan was written on a white shabby chic mirror and the table names were given a flower name as the top table was named after their daughter Lili which we thought was a lovely touch. Mirrors always work well at the Marbella Club as they have them set in the walls within the beautiful Andalucian patio.

We gave the mirror as a gift to Karen and Taghi which we understand now is hanging in their bedroom having managed to get it home with apparently very helpful airline staff!

It was a beautiful day and the weather could not have been more perfect for this stunning day at the Marbella Club. Our thanks to David Toms, the photographer, Moira and Karen & Taghi for allowing us to share this delightful wedding with you.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Comments from Wedding Planners in Marbella

As expected I have received many responses to my recent blog posts and today was no exception as it is such a contraversial subject.

Lisa from Bella Weddings sent us her comments and felt by blogging about this subject, that we were damaging the reputation of many honest wedding planners that are working hard to bring integrity to the wedding industry here on the Costa Del Sol.

This is not the case at all and there are many fabulous wedding planners here, including Lisa, that offer a fantastic service to her clients.

Lisa also felt that as we were not in her suppliers list that she was insinuated as being one of those planners.

There are so many talented people here all offering a wide range of services for weddings and parties that it would be short sighted to think if a supplier is not on a wedding planner´s preferred list of vendors is purely based on the commission policy.

There are many planners here that use the suppliers they know and trust, will deliver a good service and work within their client´s budgets, a good planner will maximise the wedding budget and select the right supplier and gain as much added value as they can for their clients.

Whilst I have covered this sensitive subject, the commission structure that is in place is a dying breed now thanks to the wedding industry recognising it´s professional obligations to clients and the competitive nature of the business.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

SUNSET BOUQUET








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Dear friends,

Statement dress and a pair of killer heels - keeping it simple nothing beats it!

This absolutely divine silk maxi dress is going to become one of my favourites this festive season.

Parties, travel and FUN are all on the cards over the next few weeks. Follow all the adventure on TWITTER.

The lead up to Christmas is my favourite time of year!

I'm wearing:
Maxi dress, via ISOLA BY MEGAN GALE
Shoes, 'kortina' via TONY BIANCO

Luv,
Friend in Fashion
x

P.S. Stay tuned later in the week for a very special Friend in Fashion giveaway! If you love pretty dresses, you're going to LOVE what's in store.

Hiring a Wedding Planner in Marbella Part 2

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about hiring a wedding planner in Marbella and bought up a very controversial subject covering the whole business of brown envelopes and commissions, referral fees, whatever you would like to describe them as.

I have been trail blazing this subject here in Marbella.

I am not the most popular person here at the moment with some people, but today I received so many messages and emails about this sensitive subject I thought I would do a follow up post with some of the feedback I have had. It has to be honest been very interesting and I was not expecting this sort of response.

One of our 2010 brides sent me this interesting email today which stood out and sums up the sorts of messages I have received today, it is edited of course to avoid naming and shaming. We decorated this wedding but did not plan it and have since become good friends, as I do with many of my brides.

Hi Laura
I read your blog post last night on Wedding Planners in Marbella and was super impressed by your honesty, it took guts to write that blog and well done to you for unveiling what is truly a hideous reality with wedding planners. I was nodding my head in agreement with every word you wrote. This is exactly why I fell out with one planner and the other left me with a bad taste in my mouth......the merry go round of wedding industry commissions and brown envelopes is so incredibly unfair on the person who is keeping everyone in business and that person is the bride, so that is what I call integrity, well done to you.

I do understand the other viewpoints to this subject that have been argued with me and so I will raise them as it is only fair to do so.

If you are new to this business and an established wedding planner is promoting you, then perhaps you need to pay them or reward them with a referral fee, it is another form of advertising and marketing, no different to paying for an advert in a magazine or perhaps paying for an online sponsorship on a blog, internet site, etc.

Perhaps a planner wants to keep their fee down in order to get business, so when the client contacts them initially they seem affordable, but they are making their money through the supplier bookings.

All the above I think are acceptable if the planner is transparent and tells the client this is how they run their business and makes their money, it is then left up to the client if they are happy to proceed with their services.

What I do disagree with is when it is all hidden, when the planner is selecting suppliers for their client based purely on how much money they will make and not because it is the right supplier for that wedding. When they do not disclose to the client that they are taking commissions, I cannot possibly see how this would be conducive to a good client relationship and is not in the clients best interests at all as many good suppliers are completely sidelined in favour of who pays the most.

Do all these planners really think their clients are that stupid?
Do the clients really think they are getting a fabulous wedding planner for 500 euros?
Perhaps it is the two parties combined that prefer to move on with their eyes shut, I am never sure!

There is the other side, as a supplier when you start to realise your business is being controlled by a planner, they start to tell you what they want for their clients and you are also paying them for the privilege? You find yourself eventually just running a bolt on company for them and making their weddings look amazing!

I suppose 4 years down the line, I am lucky, I run a unique business that has been very successful and now do not need to rely on referrals, I am able to stick my neck out and say enough is enough.

I am grateful to all the planners that choose to still continue to recommend us but it does work both ways, we make their weddings go from Ok and average, to looking amazing and this is what sells their company, without the fab flowers, decorations and details and the fantastic photography they would have nothing to show their clients, perhaps they need to start paying us instead!!!!

Tomorrow I promise I will be back with pretty inspirations, I guess after a fairly interesting year I have had to get this off my chest.

My final note with this whole commission thing is that in the very busy month of June when we had over 20 weddings and I was literally working an 18 hour day and sleeping and dreaming weddings and on a hugely excited creative roll, I had one planner who had probably 2 weddings in June, chasing me for 15 euros constantly every day, I was gobsmacked and found it really quite draining and sad, I think it was this that made me throw the towel in and start to think about things, can you blame me!!!

I will continue to wave my magic wand here and spread lots of glitter and fun over our weddings in Marbella.
"Tora revised"
Blacks
19" x 7" x 4"
 "Tora revised"
 Cognac and Crestwood Tobacco browns

"Tora revised"
Opal umber

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hiring A Wedding Planner in Marbella

Google Weddings in Spain and a whole host of websites will leap out at you.
Some are gruesome, some are OK, some are quite interesting and some are fab and exactly how you see your dream day in Andalucia.

The heart of Spain is a popular destination wedding area and many couples dream of a beautifully hot sunny wedding on the beach or inland in the olive groves of Andalucia.

However, for busy professional people, and perhaps, the not so busy, the thought of spending over 6 weeks, in total, planning your wedding abroad becomes an impossible task so having googled all the possibilities available to you, you finally email a few companies, not the gruesome ones! to see how much damage they will do to your already over stretched wedding budget.

(Note to most of our brides at this point H2B is normally breathing down your neck and this is usually the first potential row on the horizon as you throw your organised wedding planning role in)!

You have contemplated doing it yourself to save on money and have found enough information on the internet to book your dream day, but as the wedding planning progresses you hit a wall, run out of time and the actual thought of your mobile phone lodged firmly down the front of your wedding dress on your actual wedding day is not appealing.

Worse still the thought of your parents manning the phones is just not even thinkable let alone acceptable, if they are anything like mine they can barely text! I am not even going to go down the best mate or sister is great route this is truly not on the cards!

This is normally when the sleepless nights and nightmares start!

You have no idea whether the suppliers you have booked even exist, let alone are reliable, and of course you want to enjoy your day and not be worried and at your wits end by the time you say I do :)

Having had yet another sleepless, harrowing night you have been up early and narrowed down your top 5 websites so you throw caution to the wind and email them, you might have even been super organised and booked the venue so you google that as well to see who has worked there.

Lo and behold you get prices, information and feedback from 3 out of the 5 planners you have contacted, three super speedy and efficient planners have replied within 48 hours, tick a box, good start.

The other two will reply after your wedding whilst you are on honeymoon in the Maldives 4 months later.
We are in Spain after all said and done!

Some seem cheap, great news, some have planning added on as bolt on to their company, better still, kill two birds with one stone, well hopefully not at your wedding!
Others even offer free wedding websites, yipee yet another saving in the wild and rocky world of wedding budgets :) H2B´s are normally impressed with this one!

But what do you really want, are you really interested in a free wedding website?
Let´s face it Google offer a whole host of wedding tools including websites to help you plan your wedding. Try googling free wedding websites and you would be amazed at what pops up, but that is a different blogpost!

So you want a run of the mill wedding, a venue or a church, or both as they are offered, that obviously churns out wedding after wedding or do you want something different, tailor made, created just for you?

I would hazard a guess that the majority of couples would shout yes please it is all about us and our day, it is special but we have a budget and want to use it to the maximum.

The 10K hotel conveyor belt is looking interesting and by now quite appealing, fitting within your budget and includes, if you are lucky, a free taxi to the church but is this really you?

Finally, thank the saving grace of Google, you have found the perfect planner, they have organised lots of weddings and only charge a few hundred euros, result!

Yet, apparently they will spend about 80 man hours running around for you and organising your dream day, they will be there for at least 10 hours on your actual wedding day, will recommend and organise suppliers, pay suppliers and all the things that tick the boxes. Heaven has just landed on your doorstep and you are sold.

But hold on a minute, think about it, are they really going to run around for you and devote their life and time to you for on an average of 90 hours for 800 euros? This is less than 10 euros an hour?

No of course they are not, many planners here in Spain only work with suppliers that will offer them a commission, it is normal apparently and makes good business practise?!

I quote this from a wedding planner here who was surprised when I stated I was not offering or accepting commissions. We have since parted company needless to say as I am not feathering their nest anymore. I also did not want to jump onto yet another conveyor belt wedding scenario belting out wedding after wedding at one particular venue as this is just not our style.

So they have charged you what you think is a fair fee but are you happy in the knowledge that they are probably raking in at least another 1000 euros from all the suppliers they book for your wedding? Normallx without your knowledge or disclosing to you what they are being paid from the suppliers.

Do you think this is conducive to a close working relationship? Or are you left wondering how much that wedding cake would have really cost had you booked directly or how much the DJ really charges, how much the caterers, a large budget, hand over to the planner?

Are you confident that your planner is offering you the right choices of suppliers or is merely driven by how much commission they will get and perhaps not suggesting the right person for your wedding as they don´t pay commission?

I know planners that will not recommend photographers because they make such a huge commission from one particular one that is in my opinion rubbish, but this is all the client is offered. To be honest the stories I could tell are horrifying and it abhors me that this goes on in wedding world here.

I have two sides to my business, the design, decoration and floral business is fantastic and offers an amazing range of decorations and flowers and yet many planners will not recommend us because we do not pay commissions to them but why should we.

All it means is we cut the clients budget by 10% so they are not getting their true value spent, we would have to provide something that accommodated the price not what the client was actually paying, this for me is unacceptable.

Sad but true unfortunately and yet we are unique here in what we offer, there is no one else like us that provide such a great service and encompasses so many things from chair covers and sashes, linens, vintage furniture hire, flowers, stationery the list goes on and on.

But many planners will just recommend the florist down the road because they rake in yet another 10% commission from them. Is this right?

Our planning business charges a fee for our professional services, but we do not accept commissions from our suppliers so what does this mean to you?

For me personally it means we can develop a great relationship with you, we are not hiding anything from you. We are passionate about what we do and are strict when it comes to moral business ethics, we do not accept commissions from our suppliers. If we are paid a commission that is unavoidable from a hotel or caterer or gain a discount or get a commission we give it back to our clients.

We will offer you a supplier that fits your needs not based on our personal gain and if we can get something extra for you because of our relationship with that supplier then great.

I do hope next time you google wedding planners in Spain this will make you think before you leap and although some planners might seem slightly more expensive, really think about what you want from them rather than opt for the cheap version with the free website thrown in.

I will of course do a blog post on free wedding websites shortly as well but in the meantime just check out Google Weddings :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reviva Weddings one of the World´s Best Wedding Planners and Designers


What can I say:) I have earnt the title as the Fairy Godmother of Weddings but we are truly honoured today to be now recognised as one of the top Wedding Planners and Designers in the World by Junebug Weddings!

I started Reviva Weddings in 2007 and despite the recession, we have gone from strength to strength, but of course this has not been without my passion and dedication to truly believing that what we create is brilliant, we offer a second to none 5 star wedding planning and design service to our clients and we are fabulous at what we do.

I am lucky, my journey of dragging Spain into the world of stylish weddings has meant that
I have met and developed an amazing team of hugely creative, organised and enthusiastic individuals who all support me 100% and live, eat and dream about weddings.

Without this fabulous bunch of girls I could not offer the services that create our stunning weddings. I have to reel off Loraine our floral designer, Carla my wedding planner extraordinaire and Anoulka, my right hand wedding chick who was Kylie´s dancer and now my assistant and stationery designer. All these women are wonderful and have completely transformed my life as I hope I have done theirs, well I know I keep them busy!

We are all fabulous at what we do and we giggle about the fact that
Reviva Chicks Rock Weddings!

Our design is stylish, up to date, trend setting and creative, our planning services are difficult to beat, we are with our clients every step of the way and our dedication and complete devotion to our clients weddings is hard to match.

Due to our popularity and professional qualities we now move further afield and have organised weddings in Barcelona, Madrid and are now covering Europe and beyond. Our team will move to your location whether it be Italy, France or beyond.

Can you imagine our delight to be now listed on the fabulous Junebug Weddings within their World´s best celebrity wedding planner and designer section, we had to undergo strict tests to be accepted and are delighted to share this wonderful news with you.

We will continue to update you on our progress this winter as we are attending some amazing courses which we will also share with you, developing many contacts, ideas and more wedding decorations, including our new prop hire services.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LOVE AND POUTINE

There are two reasons Viva is completely head over heels about one of Ottawa wedding photographer Blair Gable’s recent engagement sessions. 1) Viva loves Elgin Street Diner poutine. 2) Viva loves when an engagement session really represents the couple and in some way tells you something fun about who they are.

Viva’s favourite weddings aren’t always the most glamorous or the most expensive. A wedding full of special touches that represent the couple are. And while the latest trends can be tempting, your wedding day should really include details that exemplify you as a couple - trend or not. Viva believes the same goes for your engagement pictures and this fabulous engagement session shot by Blair demonstrates just that.

After chatting with bride and groom-to-be Kaitlin & Keith, Blair discovered that they ended many dates with a late night poutine at none other than the Elgin Street Diner of course. And so the photo shoot begins. The video below by
James Park is a sneak peek at the behind the scenes. Be sure to head on over to Blair’s blog to view some of the very cool images taken of these soon to be newlyweds.



Poutine Engagement Shoot - Behind the Scenes from Blair Gable on Vimeo.

HIP HIP HOORAY







Dear friends,

So today is my birthday and what a beautiful sunny day Melbourne has put on for me!

Kicking into full birthday gear, and looking forward to a weekend full of festivities and frivolity!

I'm wearing:
Denim shorts, One Teaspoon via AUSTRALIAN FLAVOUR
Shirt, Mink Pink via MARKET HQ
Shoes, 'hybrid' via TONY BIANCO
Bracelet, Dallas and Carlos via HOW NOW MADAM COW

Luv,
Friend in Fashion
x

P.S. Absolutely living in these denim cut-offs via online favourite AUSTRALIAN FLAVOUR. This store has a fabulous selection of amazing Aussie designers - do check them out!

PARTY TIME!