Decisions

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I seem to be most inspired to write when I’m struggling with something. I think it helps to be able to talk it all out in my own time. This year has been a bit tough for us, wedding planning wise. We came to the realisation that if we want to have the freedom to do what we want to do after the wedding (go on a honeymoon, have a baby, renovate our house), we may have to re-adjust our expectations regarding what we can afford for our big day. Basically we had to go back to the drawing board completely to try and figure out how we are going to make this whole thing work.

Having said that, what we have now, with 10 months to go, is a really solid foundation for the kind of wedding day we had imagined right from the start but without compromising too much of our future. All it has taken is a little bit of searching around and being resourceful. So with that in mind, I wanted to talk about how we have gotten to where we are now with our plans, including how we are managing our savings and how we came to make the decisions we have made regarding vendors etc.

MONEY is such a huge source of contention in a lot of relationships, especially leading up to a big event like a wedding. We have been so lucky to have the help of a great financial planner (Blake at Coached Financial Planning, Brisbane) who has helped us put aside enough money that we are able to pay off deposits for the wedding and continue to save for the big day, whilst also planning for bills, unexpected expenses and having some money left over after each pay cycle to do the things we like to do (read: eat). Cleo always jokes that I have champagne tastes on a beer budget, and to be fair before we started seeing Blake I would have said I was on more of a goon budget because I just had no idea how to manage my money and would spend it as soon as it hit my account. I definitely feel like now I have more of an idea of how money works and how saving money and having a buffer with your money can make you feel so much more secure. We still both have a way to go with our spending habits but Blake has given us the foundations to really start thinking about what we are doing with our money and how we are going to comfortably afford the wedding we want.

I did an instagram story recently about some of our wonderful wedding vendors. We are so excited about the businesses we have chosen to work with and we feel all of them really get what we want the day to be about. We met with our incredible wedding coordinator extraordinaire Ashleigh (Champagne & Confetti Events) last night and she talked about how she likes to remind some of her more stressed couples to bring it back to 3 things that are most important to them for the day. I’m pretty proud to say that neither Cleo nor myself are particularly stressed about the wedding (thanks in large part to Ashleigh) but we really liked the concept of having 3 main things that we want from the day. Our 3 things as decided by us are 1. Good food/drinks (sorted, we’ve got the super cool See You Next Thursday catering company doing the food for us, and we’re supplying the alcohol); 2. Good music/everyone on the dancefloor; 3. A day filled with love (that includes wanting our guests to mingle with each other and hopefully walk away from the day with a new friend or two). As long as we have those 3 things on the day, I feel like we will be stoked. The other thing we talked about was that the end goal is that WE GET TO MARRY EACH OTHER! Things will go wrong but if one thing goes right it’s that we say “I do” and sign those papers and we both finish the day with a wife (hopefully each other but I reckon if Jennifer Lawrence was on offer I might miss out).

Our photography and videography teams (Cloud Catcher Studios & Fable House Films respectively) are incredible and their work on their websites and social media speaks for itself. I’ve started getting a bit emotional when I look at other people’s wedding photos and videos, it’s such an important part of the memory making process and these people are so good at what they do.

We feel like we’re super organised at this point and 10 months feels like such a long time, we’ve both started getting to the point where all we want to talk about is the wedding and it takes up almost every second of our spare time but we’re just excited and enjoying this time which I’m sure will go by in the blink of an eye.

Anyway, that’s enough out of me. For links to the instagram pages of any of our vendors, please click on our story highlights!

Make good choices!
Liv & Cleo

 

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A long time coming

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Okay, I think we have all established that I’m terrible at keeping up with writing posts, replying to emails and just generally doing most things that require more brain capacity than a toothbrush. But here I am! It’s a new year, and probably still same me, but I’m trying so I’ll give myself props for that.

Firstly, happy new year to everyone who has followed our journey so far. Your comments, emails and private messages have all been appreciated so much by us and it’s just so lovely to see how many people are interested in our (relatively boring) life together! To demonstrate just how boring we are, I’ll let you in on a secret: we were in bed before midnight on New Year’s Eve. Yes, you read it first here folks, we had some friends over for dinner and drinks which was just wonderful, and everyone left by around 11pm, and we went straight to bed, woke up at 12:02am on New Year’s Day, said happy new year to each other and went straight back to sleep. Total animals (hibernating bears to be specific).

2017 was a whirlwind for us. We got engaged, went overseas, bought a house, I started a new job, we adopted our sweet fur baby, started our blog, celebrated lots of our beautiful friends’ weddings, made some new friends and started planning our (now legal) wedding! No wonder we were exhausted by the end of it all.

I never ended up writing a blog post about the result of the change of legislation regarding marriage equality. What a wonderful time for our country and for the LGBTQ+ community. I made no secret of the fact that the postal survey and the resulting political storm surrounding it really affected me on a deeply personal level. I did not quite realise the extent of it until after the legislation passed. My emotions had been running high for a few months and it was like being able to breathe again. Although it was an emotional time for our community, more than anything we were blown away by the love surrounding us, from friends and family to complete strangers, we are so grateful for all of the brave people who stood up for what is right. So again, thank you.

Well we’re almost one year in to being engaged and it has taken us a while to get going but we are now in full swing with wedding planning! We have a date and a venue, we are in the process of booking catering, photography and videography, and dress hunting starts next month! 15 months to go… It’s starting to feel very real!

Thank you for all of the love and support in 2017, onto even bigger and better things in 2018 – we can’t wait to continue sharing our journey with you and see what the year brings for you as well.

Don’t be strangers!

Love & good vibes for the new year,
Liv & Cleo
@twobridesarebetterthanone

5 days of dry shampoo

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Truth: up until today it had been a fairly long time since I had a really good cry. You know those therapeutic cries where you can’t catch your breath and everything you’ve been holding inside just comes right out? Yeah, I had one of those this morning. Don’t get me wrong, I cry a lot. I cry about work, I cry when Cleo and I argue, I cried the other day because the dishes weren’t done and I accidentally washed a towel with my scrubs and I couldn’t figure out what song I wanted to listen to. But today was different.

I was triggered by something that wouldn’t normally affect me in this way. I saw an Instagram post of a friend announcing their pregnancy. It was absolutely beautiful. The picture and the words were so sweet, and I truly was (am) so happy for this friend. But my post-13-hour-nightshift brain started missing all of these things that we might never have.

Okay sure, I hear you saying that same-sex couples have babies all the time these days, right? No big deal? But it kind of is, yeah? For us it will never be a surprise. It will be planned and saved up for, and that’s if it happens at all. I’m not complaining. I want to make that very clear. I guess I just wanted to be honest about some of the realities of being of an age where everyone around you is starting to think about starting a family, and for that to be such a realistic option for them, and you not being able to because of <insert reason here>.

Please understand that I realise that this doesn’t just apply to same-sex couples. I also don’t want this to seem like I am complaining or that I’m ungrateful for our wonderful life. Cleo and I are very happy and very lucky. We have a beautiful home, great careers, amazing families and friends and a wonderful dog who we love and is totally our baby. I guess I am just feeling a little fragile right now. So I will cry about it today and then tomorrow I’ll go back to thinking about the future with optimism and hope.

This is also not something that is in our immediate future as far as things we are planning for. I like sleeping far too much and we have a bloody wedding to save for. Plus last week I went 5 days without washing my hair so I definitely wouldn’t trust me to take care of a small human 24/7 right now (obviously a different story when I’m getting paid to do it and can leave them when I leave the hospital).

💕Love and dry shampoo,

Liv

📸: @twobridesarebetterthanone

I can’t change

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“No freedom til we’re equal

Damn right I support it”

We went to the Brisbane marriage equality rally on Sunday and it was absolutely inspiring to see so many of the LGBTQ+ community and our allies in their rainbow colours, supporting our rights. I’ve never been to a rally before. I totally jumped on the bandwagon with this one but I definitely have the fever now! What a great opportunity for people to peacefully speak their hearts in a public forum and be surrounded by others with the same beliefs. How anyone could see the amount of love being shared in that space and still have hatred or fear about allowing us the freedom to marry… I will never understand.

It has been weighing more heavily on my mind and heart than I have let on, even to my close family and friends. I don’t want to harp on but it is something that has been at the back of my mind constantly for the last few weeks and I feel it has been affecting a lot of aspects of my life. I don’t think I have been performing as well at work. I had an exam the other day that I am seriously concerned that I may have failed (I’ve never failed an exam, to put that one into perspective). I haven’t felt like I have been a very good friend or family member recently. I don’t even think I have been a particularly good partner.

I’m sure I am not the only one feeling this stress.

Planning a wedding under these circumstances is heartbreaking in some respects. My heart is heavy at the moment but it was made lighter by Sunday’s rally and seeing the incredible support we have for this cause. If you are feeling down about any of this bullshit, please know that you have a friend in me. To the allies of the LGBTQ+ community, please support your friends through this time, they are fighting a battle that nobody should have to fight. But most importantly, when that piece of paper arrives in your mailbox; vote YES to marriage equality.

Love always wins,

Liv ❤️💛💚💙💜

Marriage equality

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It's been a while since I last posted. My only excuse is that I've had a lot on my mind recently with the current spotlight on marriage equality in this country, and you know- people who aren't involved in my relationship getting to put their 10c worth into my relationship 👌🏼 I had planned on posting about this sooner but I couldn't find the words (and also I have glandular fever so I've been sleeping for roughly 20 hours a day for the last 4 days). I was inspired by a Facebook post from a dear friend of mine and Cleo's about her and her fiancée's journey and what marriage equality means to them. I decided to share our own story in the hope that more people would speak out and tell their stories about being engaged as a same sex couple in Australia.

Anyway here is our story, please feel free to share yours in the comments or in a message to us on our Facebook page or Instagram. We'd love to read about your love, and we truly cannot wait to celebrate it when this country decides to let love win.

On the 7th of January 2017, Cleo took me to one of my favourite beaches and on the cliffs overlooking the water she asked me to marry her. I was absolutely shocked and the whole rest of the day was a complete blur as we celebrated with our families and called our friends to tell them the news.

We made our engagement Facebook official the next day and were completely overwhelmed with the love and support we received from friends, family and acquaintances alike.

Our plan had always been to wait until same sex marriage was legal in this country. I didn't see a point being engaged when I knew I wouldn't be able to relish in the wonderful things that wedding planning has to offer. We discussed our concerns with others and were again met with more support. "Nobody goes to a wedding to watch you sign the papers anyway!" "Just have the wedding and then have another party when it becomes legal!" Many good points were raised which encouraged us to go ahead and start planning our big day.

Throughout this process we've certainly had our doubts and struggles. I've had vendors stop responding to my enquiries when they found out we are a same sex couple. When we have attended wedding fairs and the like we have had to explain multiple times that we are BOTH the brides, and neither of us are getting married first because we are marrying each other. These have been things we have laughed off for the most part, but the current debate in parliament about OUR rights and OUR future is something I have struggled with more than I can express.

As a child you grow up dreaming that one day you will get married. I never could have fathomed that this dream was not to be a reality, purely based on the person who I fell in love with. My heart is hurting not only for myself and Cleo, but for those children who are growing up in a country that is telling them that their love is not deserving of the same rights as others, and not only that but that their love is WRONG and detrimental to basic family values.

I will never understand how any human being can actively choose hate (and yes, I believe that if you are voting against same sex marriage that you are choosing hate because the basis of every argument against is plain and simply homophobia), and choose to make people feel like second class citizens purely for their sexual orientation. Please think carefully before voting. Would your children/future children be proud of the decision you have made? Have you stood up for what is right? Are YOU proud of the decision you have made?

Let love win 💕✌🏼🌈

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Love to love you all,
Liv & Cleo
📸: @twobridesarebetterthanone

Money money … what money?

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I’ve got budgets on my mind today, and to be honest it’s starting to feel like mission impossible to plan this wedding with the budget I’ve been given!

I was chatting to one of my bridesmaids over the phone the other night and we joked that we should just get a makeup artist, hairdresser and a photographer and basically just flush the rest of the money down the toilet… it seems very cynical I know, but that’s truly how I’m feeling right now 😭

Cleo and I had a chat with our financial planner yesterday (just going to do a shameless little plug here because he is actually amazing- his name is Blake and his company is called Coached, if you want contact details PM me; he works mostly with young professional couples wanting to get ahead with their money). Anyway we found out how much we can save between now and our projected wedding date. Although it was good to see that we could be saving a decent amount, it will mean we will be living with the bare minimum until then, with not much money going toward anything else. It’s fine, we have prioritised the wedding above any of our other saving goals, but gosh we’re going to take a big hit as far as our current spending habits go!

I know there are savings to be made, so I guess what I’m wondering is what do people think is worth spending the big bucks on, and what would you be willing to compromise on? If you are already married I’d love to hear your opinion on what worked for you!

Love and good vibes!
Liv 💕
📸 Instagram : @twobridesarebetterthanone

Wedding planning (or lack thereof)

Wedding

I decided a few days ago to start a blog to go with our Instagram account. Since then I haven't really been inspired to write about anything in particular, but today I have been struggling a bit with the whole planning process, so I've decided to write about that.

Anyone who has ever planned a wedding will know what I mean when I say that it is a very stressful process. There are a million books, magazines, websites and people telling you what to do, where to start, what you should have done and by when- and yet it all somehow seems insurmountable. I honestly wish someone would just do it all for me (I realise this is what wedding planners are for, however budget does not allow this). How good would it be to just turn up on the day and have the wedding of your dreams all set up for you, without you having to lift a finger… A girl can dream, right?

I, like a lot of women (engaged or not) have a Pinterest board of wedding inspiration. Currently it's a mishmash of different styles, colours and themes. Although I feel like I have an idea of what I want, with every Instagram post I see of these beautifully styled weddings; little details are changing all the time! I'm thinking a mood board might be a good place to start? Just to get a feel for the sort of vibe we want, and how we want our guests and ourselves to feel on the day.

I definitely have had my first wedding planning breakdown today, but I know eventually things will start to come together and I'll (hopefully??) look back on this time and miss the fun of putting together such a big event. I guess I just want the day to reflect us and our love for each other and our family and friends.

How would you describe the wedding planning process? How did you cope with the stress? I find wine helps 😂🍷

Love and good vibes,
Liv 💕

📸 Instagram: @twobridesarebetterthanone