Time to Lead

Behind the Scenes 

Behind the Scenes places will&jac into the varying Wedding Planning processes that our couples experience. We have placed ourselves in their shoes, with the wish of understanding their emotions and also the insider roles our experienced industry professionals provide towards their celebrations.  In this feature we learn to feel the beat with Nat from You Can Dance Studio

When we initially ask couples about their Bridal Dance we receive mixed reactions – it’s a look that blends “Oh, maybe..”, “Ahh no way..” and “Of course!” into one. Before we pose this query, a great majority of couples haven’t even thought about this part of their Day and more than often, ventured onto the dance floor together in terms of a formal dance.  The thought of doing a dance like this for the first time on your Wedding Day is overwhelming – which is completely natural – as when it’s something that you’re not use to doing regularly, doing it on a significant occasion seems at odds with almost everything. 

Will from will&jac taking the lead!

Regrettably this assumed pressure when it comes to the First Dance is mostly due to those over the top YouTube links and other spectacles representing “..Don’t put Baby in a corner..”! But this is so far from the truth. On the Day, your nearest and dearest just want to see you on the dance floor, together, unified, and marking your official joining as a married couple with a few moves. So to put you at ease and actually allow you to embrace the moment, cue the professionals! 

Nat from You Can Dance Studio is a Performing Arts and Dance guru, with equal measures of pizzazz and industry professionalism to make you stand out for all the right reasons when it comes to your Bridal Dance. 

Nat taking us through the motions at You Can Dance Studio

Nat has played miracle worker for couples on the dance floor at You Can Dance Studio since 2009, and with this role, comes great responsibility to ensure both partners receive just the right amount of encouragement, skills to inspire interest and an ability to learn about how your individual roles form to make your dance a success. And we should know, as we’ve experienced her patience, guidance, infectious sense of humour and honesty first hand. 

will&jac partook in two lessons with Nat, she made us feel at ease immediately, and from lesson one took genuine interest in all the important details that would help her form the dance that was right for ‘us’ – such as, our venue, what date, how many guests, what dance floor space do you have to work with – and for the ladies, your dress style, length and heels. 

Nat’s had it all, and when we say all, we’re of course referring to Bridal Dance song requests – ranging from ‘Highway to Hell’ (potentially the most interesting), to all the Buble’s, classics such as Nat King Cole, John Legend and everything in-between. She would prefer you to leave Ed Sheeran at the door (insert eye roll) but all in all, she will make your vision become ‘practical’ reality.  

Having some musical background is an added bonus for anyone commencing dance – you bring the beat! – but she managed to make our two left feet coordinate in time, so that speaks volumes! The lessons are ultimately about an hour together, as a couple, that doesn’t rely on anything else but the two of you being present. No phones, no TV, no children, no work – just two people in an intimate setting and learning as one. 

While will&jac spend way too much time with each other every day and week, when it comes to looking at each other directly in the eye, maintaining our dancing pose and both of us having to ‘let go’ (just a little), it was an entirely new dynamic. We haven’t performed these tasks with our own partners therefore the uniqueness of doing this in-front of each other was uniquely liberating and allowed us both to embrace and support each other in an entirely new setting. 

It was clear that we didn’t want to let each other down, but the process of learning with Nat made us feel individually confident in our roles, and also excited when new moves were achieved and together a picture of our dance started to take shape.   

The leading dancers (typically the male) are predominately in charge of the routine. Yes, relish in this moment – just like Catherine from will&jac – as you get to call the shots with your deliberately strong, yet subtle, hand and upper body leading motions informing your partner when and what move is coming next. For the followers, it’s a harder role to fill as you don’t necessarily have a set routine, as mentioned, you are at the mercy of the lead dancer- poor Clare! 

The moves are formed around a ‘box’ movement – a sequence of steps that creates a box/square outline on the floor – and from there a series of turns, rotations and other dance extensions are put together to shape your dance.   

A fabulous incentive with You Can Dance Studio is that you don’t need to over-commit to a set schedule/amount of lessons – they will work with the timeline towards your date, your skillset and individual requirements to make your needs the priority. It’s all about the least amount of time and less stress – quite a welcomed detail during the Wedding planning process. 

So what do you need to bring with you to your first dance lesson – just you and your partner! If you have the privilege to work with Nat at the You Can Dance Studio she will allow you to leave your inhabitations at the door and arm you with laughter, easily attainable goals and potentially a new hobby which will continue into married life. 

Turning it out!

Wedding Planners… What do they actually do?

IMG_8528Wedding Planners.. Who would need one? Why would you want one? Who could afford one? And what do they actually do? We hear these statements often enough from both sides of the Wedding industry – those that are newly engaged, fellow suppliers and more often enough our parents, family and friends, who didn’t require these industry professionals when they married. will&jac are eager to dispel the methods and legends associated with our field of expertise and allow you to enter the (often not so glamorous) world of Wedding Planners.

Wedding Planners or as we prefer to reference ourselves – Wedding Project Managers – should really be reclassified under the ‘Fairy Godmother’ section of the Wedding directory. Having been born from our international friends in the United States of America, China, India and Europe, with Australians are still becoming familiar with the title and how the role is executed.

A Wedding Day is a momentous occasion and in a nation where we have just welcomed the ability for everyone’s love to be celebrated, it is one that requires detailed attention to all aspects. It is a celebration that brings with it the togetherness of families, friends, emotions, finances and a willingness to ‘please’ – with all of these combining to what our couple’s wish to offer as a Day reflecting their individual love stories.

While it’s great to dream big for your Day – we welcome this by the bucket load – they often come with an even greater to-do list. Even couple’s who wish to honour their Day by making it a more intimate, relaxed and DIY occasion, are quick to learn that they require potentially even more detailed discussions with suppliers and family to ensure that the apparently fuss-free and effortless elements actually happen.

Naturally after becoming engaged, couple’s are unsure where to start. This is understandable as they are not familiar with the world of Weddings therefore an opportunity to speak and elaborate on your ideas with us – who have seen all visions turn into reality – is an exciting opportunity to ensure that their requirements meet their price point. We have worked with varied budgets and believe that all Weddings can achieve your required wishes, as long as there is a willingness to understand that your ‘want’ of one particular element, may mean the sacrificing of another.

Weddings where couple’s have completed the initial ground work to select their preferred teams but then require more guidance with timelines, set up requirements, logistical detailings and actual placement of these teams to turn from a vision into reality, is often where we step in. It takes years of events knowledge to put it all together into what we call our working event order for the Day – a runsheet that continues to take shape from your very initial supplier booking.

Private Property or Marquee Weddings are one of our favourite ways to put a couple’s stamp on their Day. Building a venue from the ground up would give most people sleepless nights but for us, it allows our Project Management skills to really get down to the nitty gritty.

will&jac finer details!In the scheme of things, property celebrations especially at a family home are a truly personalised touch to your Day and make for a unforgettable backdrop to honour your relationship. However, it means lots of ground work for the families and let us tell you, friends and family want to enjoy your Wedding Day just as much as you and therefore they don’t want the added pressure of taking the endless phone calls that come with multiple suppliers invading their home. They don’t want to know the in’s and out’s of a generator, if the hired bathrooms are in the right spot or if the food is being served at the right times – but guess who do, us! That’s when you get to shift the focus off your nearest and dearest and enlist the assistance of experts who give any every inch about all of your details. The unexpected almost always happens, but with us, you have a Plan B and C, so that even if the unavoidable takes place, you will never know.

Families often consider that investment in services such as ours as unnecessary, but we are there every step of the way with your midnight phone calls, multiple daily emails and finalisation of all your supplier requirements – it’s often not until the Day has passed that you realise what this dynamic duo are actually capable of. We start our Day before you’ve woken and we are there well after you’ve bid farewell to your guest’s and are at your accommodation. We wouldn’t have it any other way, as this peace of mind that we’ve overseen every detail, is why we are in this industry we love – Weddings.

With will&jac, we are your counsellors, accountants, logistic managers, psychologists, comedians and general dogsbody. Occasionally we also dabble in horticulture, Bridal alterations, transportation planners, mind readers, security and community services – the list goes on. So next time we mention our employment title, we hope these words spring to mind. It’s certainly not as glamorous or easy as you may think! We want our services to speak for themselves and that one day, your fortunate self, partner, friend, family member or relative is able to enjoy a once in a lifetime occasion with will&jac by their side – they will be in the most manageable and supportive of hands, with lots of laughter along the way.

Love and Savings

Once your Engagement celebrations have left their loved up, warm fuzzies with you and your fiancé – it’s time to get onto the nitty gritty of Wedding Planning… Love and Savings. And with this comes the big question – what is your Wedding budget? ekkk!!

These days couples all have their own ‘must have’ elements which are crucial to their day. And while your Wedding is one of the most important days of your life, while also being engaged you might be busy delving into a new work role, purchasing your dream home and even adding to your family with the addition of a four legged friend – talk about doing it all at once! So as life continues to move along, the following expert tidbits can certainly assist in trimming down your Wedding budget and allowing your Day to feature your treasured details in a more stress free and accommodating manner.

Budget – Together you will need to discuss what your bottomline balance is for your Wedding prior to securing any suppliers or spaces. Once this figure is agreed upon, create an excel spreadsheet with this total and keep a running tally on your costings as they are confirmed. We recommend working out what suppliers for your Day are most important – Is it live music for both your Ceremony and Reception? Photography? A statement styling element for your Reception? Perhaps cars? Whichever aspect is most reflective of you as a couple and your priorities, you must then be willing to be more flexible and accommodating with other bookings, to allow your preferred detail to shine.

original_wedding-fund-wooden-money-boxGuest List – It’s the second largest element and detail towards your Day, and one that needs immediate attention. Your guest numbers will greatly affect your proposed venue/location, costings per person and is the primary centrepiece to your budget. This conversation needs to be well communicated by you and your fiancé, along with a bottle of wine!, and then from here your respective parents/family, prior to leaping head first into your venue searching. And trust us, when inviting the overseas contingency and expecting that they won’t be willing to make the long trip to Australia – think again! Who isn’t wanting to escape for well deserved holiday, especially when it features your special day.

Seasons – If you’re a little more open to either a Summer or Winter celebration, May to September is a Wedding budget dream, allowing for more flexibility with dates as well as minimum spends and costings per person. If you’re looking for a venue to assist with your Day, they often include Winter specials which mean more bang for your buck – we can already hear the Champagne popping! Also, be open to the suggestion of either a Friday or Sunday date – your guest’s are going to be there regardless so why not let the savings start immediately.

Flowers – Seasonal florals are another great way to ensure a reasonable flower costing for your Wedding. We agree, peonies are drop dead gorgeous and such a timeless addition to your stylings but ensuring that your flowers are reflective of the season and easily accessible on your planned month is paramount. You can still incorporate a gorgeous palette of colour and range of textures but let your florist take charge and do what they do best – guide you towards the most complimentary of blooms to highlight your vision.

Let them help! – Take up offers of help by family prior to the Day and the use your friends talent towards elements of your celebrations that won’t cause necessary stress. We think that the Day itself should certainly be guided by experts – everyone wants to enjoy the festivities once the date arrives, even your family! – but the last minute running around (trips to the airport, organising dinners, collecting suits, making your bonbonniere etc) are additional details that can certainly be actioned on your behalf.

At the end of the day, you’re getting married! Enjoy the journey – immerse yourself in every moment – and if you decide it’s all too much, call in the experts and allow their knowledge to support you at every turn, while still ensuring it’s your Day in every way. Make your love and savings work for you! x

Spring, bringing the outdoors indoors!

With Spring21151336_1600956889967419_8286075583947145623_n in the air and it’s universal wealth for bringing new beginnings, will&jac are welcoming the refreshing return to classic colourings, with subtle nods to more modern stylings, this Wedding season.

Adding to this awakening of life, all things greenery are here to stay! Bringing the great outdoors indoors is a trend that’s certainly not out-dated this Spring and lends itself to the more polished restaurant settings, all the way through to your popular Tipi structures. Whether its placed as a natural table runner, hugging your tent poles, dripping over light structures or gathered into a unstructured bouquet, it evokes all things Spring and brings you back to the beauty of the natural world.

Whites and creams are the perfect compliment this season, as is the addition of nude to your colour palette. It’s a clean, refined and polished addition for the ladies, which we can see being a focal piece for Bridesmaid dresses – adding und21150265_1600956933300748_8494804691758501533_nerstated elegance.

Acrylic and perspex detailing is getting far more daring and we are excited by the options being provided by talented suppliers. Not only can you add this as an introduction into your Day with personalised invitations, but it can be placed on your tables with menus and numbers, as well as provide a ‘next level’ Guest Seating Chart and bring this detail through to your furniture with ghost chairs or floating floral arrangements on statement plinths. It’s worth the hype!

Tea length Bridal dresses are turning the traditional floor length Bridal Gown on it’s head. A modern twist which allows a more relaxed option for today’s Bride, while also allowing creative inspiration for designers as they tailor unique cuts to allow a flash of leg. This allows a Bride to truly  kick up of their heels on the dance floor!

In short, the coming months are brimming with inspiration and options – we can’t wait to see our gorgeous couple’s wed this Spring. x


Tying the knot with your Wedding venue!

Your chosen Wedding location reflects the style and feel for your Day. The surroundings and atmosphere will then flow through to your stationary, florals, attire, music, transport, cake and all other significant details to form a cohesive and tailored theme. Every couple has their own individual likes, dislikes, influences and story, making every Wedding Day unique and inspiring.

ATEIA Photography & VideoWhen gifted with the natural setting of Collingwood Children’s Farm, we delighted in the raw qualities of Mother Nature – animals, wild foliage and herbs, rustic barns and vast paddocks. For this particular celebration, the location was hand-selected by our beautiful couple and showcased their Day and wishes to perfection.

A marquee Wedding is built from the ground up – there are no pre-existing structures – all elements need to be brought in to create the location of your dreams. With all the emotion and excitement that comes with the early stages of Wedding planning, it is very easy to see a venue, get excited and sign the contract. However with the added considerations of outdoor locations, especially in beloved Melbourne, it’s a tough task to ensure all the necessary structural items are onsite to make your space both structurally sound, logistically efficient and welcoming – possibilities and wishes that all become reality with the guidance and support of your Wedding go-to girls, will&jac!

ATEIA Photography & Video

One of our favourite key elements for this celebration was their open air dance floor – dripping in festoon lights, it created the focal centrepiece of their Reception with guests dancing the night away, while also providing the ultimate backdrop for formalities. They also tailored their customised photo booth to make for an interactive statement, perfectly positioned beside the dance action to allow everyone to be engaged and entertain themselves along the way.

When you tie the knot with your Wedding venue, allow the key elements of why you choose your location to shine – ultimately, the love you and your fiancee share will transpire and leave guests with unforgettably moments in your dream location! x

Life, Love and Marriage

Weddings are a celebration of a couple’s unique love story and with each journey comes family and friends who have been part of every turn. For a recent couple, the day was equally as importance to highlight these friendships, their appreciation of family and to recognise their guests relationships and how they have supported their story – life, love and marriage!

With this in mind, they decided on a desJS_COLOUR_0009tination Wedding to allow their intimate guest list the opportunity to remove themselves from the daily going-ons and plan a Wedding with even more refined detail for both the couple and their guests to truly enjoy. A destination celebration requires even more meticulous attention to ensure that no scenario goes unturned, as it does require extra effort from all parties – reaching the location, advanced commitment to your plans and the factoring in of family, work and financials – and in the couple’s added extra special touches this was acknowledged, prepared for and appreciated.

Our destination was rural Victoria, a natural beauty 3 hours from Melbourne. The first stop for our lucky guests, a customised Pit Stop located halfway along the trip to allow all travellers to stretch their legs, enjoy a snack and then continue on their way to the festivities. But this was no ordinary Pit Stop, it featured the sweet stylings of Bianco Latte, coffee masters St Ali and French-inspired savoury delicacies by Les Crepes de Marion. Tres magnique! JS_COLOUR_0291

Upon arrival to their accommodation, guests were greeted with a personalised compendium outlining their weekend of available experiences – garden and cellar tours, post Wedding brunch and the couple’s Wedding Day timeline. They also asked the Gents to a don a boaters hat, while the Ladies armed themselves with a laced parasol, ready to bask in their outdoor Ceremony setting with garden games and personalised Pimms station to boot.

For us, the standout moment was watching guests interact with the couple’s Video Diary. Guests were asked a series of personalised questions relating also to how they met, their own Wedding Day celebrations, their relationship to the couple, about their time away and anything they wished to mention. Our couple said that this was the ultimate gift upon reflection of their Day, as it captured the essence of what they wished to create for their Day – a perfect and constant keepsake from their marriage.

All guests were blown away by the many special touches our couple provided on their Wedding Day – while the day was a true celebration of their love, the guests in turn left with reminders of how significant and loved they are to their lives! x


Sea and city skyline Wedding celebrations at St Kilda!

When you meet a couple and their Wedding venue wish list states ‘huge party’ and ‘setting’ our minds ran wild with the many awe inspiring regions and venues that Melbourne provides. Being that our Bride was particularly drawn to the water, we made a dash to the Bayside and fell head over heels for the quaint setting at Little Blue, St Kilda Pier.IMG_9921

The surrounds spoke for themselves – blazing Summer sun, yachts, soaring city skyline, unlimited venue theming options and that our couple’s other one major request was accommodated with ease – no noise restrictions! In short, we had found the ideal venue to create an unforgettable Wedding Day for our Bride and Groom!

Little Blue is nestled at the end of St Kilda Pier and is an iconic kiosk playing host to visitors all year round with it’s Victorian Heritage listing and panoramic views of the fairy penguin colony and sea. With Melbourne’s ever-changing weather you can delight at whatever your day provides with their outside verandah being prime position to celebrate, while also providing ceiling to floor glass panels inside the restaurant setting should protection be needed.

Our party atmosphere was created immediately as guests arrived with the beautiful Rose serving refreshing Pimms and glasses of Champagne, from the Melburnian Caravan Bar. Rose looked like she should ever remain as part of this venue – it was a truly fitting and welcomed addition to the Wedding Day.

The relaxed atmosphere was lead into the Ceremony with Perfect Match host and general character, Greg Evans. Greg livened up the crowd, making them laugh in all the right places and commencing the celebrations for our newlyweds with a fabulous bang!

Guests rocked the night away with a 6-piece 70s and 80s tribute band who worked the floor, exceeded the couple’s every detail and made every moment funfilled and elaborate.

IMG_9927With the dance floor being their primary entertainment for the night, Initial Impressions let the love glow with their lights making a showstopping backdrop for the festivities and a beautiful compliment to the ever sparkling city skyline.

No wish should go unexplored when it comes to a Wedding – your dream Day deserves detailed execution like no other – and with will&jac, this is our primary drive in creating the perfect celebration of a couple’s love! x

Momentos to last a lifetime

Photography can be an element of your Wedding Day that perhaps one or even both parts of the couple are hesitant towards. You mightn’t be the biggest fan of being the centre of attention, comfortable in-front of a camera and a little unsure how you and your Groom will respond to the setting. But never fear, will&jac have a recommendation, take advantage of a Pre Wedding Photo Shoot.

Most photographers now include this as part of their packages as they too benefit from seeing you both prior to your Wedding Day and understand how you both best respond too their language and movements, guaranteeing both of you the very best of shots!

A photographer will often ask for a location that’s either significant to you as a couple, or choose one based on being an idyllic setting for the session that they deem will either contrast too your Wedding Day photos or highlight your personalities. We suggest meeting prior to the shoot for a chat, discuss on the Day timing logistics (a great peace of mind leading into the final planning stages of the Day) and then meandering to your location for some casual shots. Usually the session will last for an hour, therefore not too overwhelming for you both.

Bride’s-to-Be, this is a fabulous occasion to trial any make-up or hair styles for your Wedding Day, and indeed, the final images may be the perfect personal touch to your Wishing Well or Guest Book table at your Reception.

A few weeks before your Wedding some gorgeous images arrive in your inbox that make you and your fiancée excited and eager for the Day to arrive… momentos that will last a lifetime! x

Cherry Blossoms

Bringing praise to the arrival of Spring, cherry blossoms are a fragile, delicate and craved flower that every Bride wants, but only a few manage to get! With there sparse lifeline, cherry blossoms are well-worth the wait with their fresh, refined and mini bursts of colour making any Wedding drip with breathtaking beauty.

For tables, their lengthy branches are best placed in tall vases allowing the multi-lengths to give graduated height. Let the differing blossoms fall naturely to create their own uniqueness. They can then be added into bouquets, it is next to impossible to have an entire arrangement shaped with just their blossoms, but they bring texture and general continuity to your special bouquet.

These mini buds can also be reflected in your Cake icing with cascading representations falling down the facade to bring Cakespiration to your Day!

Allow these ornate and romantic flowers to transform your Wedding Day one cherry blossom at a time! x


A toast to the newlyweds!

Mr&Mrs buntingThere is no greater occasion to sing praises about your loved ones than at a Wedding, but speeches can make some shudder. We want your guests to laugh and sigh during your toasts – and in all the right places! By following the few simple guidelines by will&jac, you and your guests will feel uplifted and inspired when speech time arrives.

Ensure that you and your fiancée have a detailed discussion about who you would like to speak – keeping in mind that the more people you assign, the longer this section of the Reception will take. They don’t need to be the best of public speakers, choose your honoured guests by their connection and impact on your both individually, and as a couple.

We recommend starting speeches with your family – parents, grandparents or god-parents – they know you inside out, allowing them to mark how you both were growing up and reminisce how proud they are of you on this auspicious day. Keep the tissues close though, this will be gushing with love!

Follow your parents wishes with that of your head bridesmaid or groomsmen. They typically raise a toast to their counterpart and will take time to acknowledge your growth in the later years, their length of friendship with you and also their thrill of being part of your Wedding Day team.

If you’d like to keep things short and sweet, then follow with the new Mr & Mrs! This can be a joint speech thanking all of your nearest and dearest for being in attendance, a note to each other to sound your joy and happiness on this unforgettable day and a chance to also thank those who have spoken of their resounding love for you both previously. There will be occasions when there are travelling guests, siblings or even a surprise speech – if you do include more toasts that’s understandable, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. But to avoid any not so welcomed announcements, ensure your Master of Ceremonies double-checks with all speakers to guarantee your list is finalised.

As long as the resounding message from all of your lucky toast-goers is sincere, you are in for memorable and successful toasts! x