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Lounge in a limo or board the bus – it’s your hen’s party!

When your bestie is planning her wedding and you’re organising the hen’s party, make it one to remember, not one you’d rather forget. Break with tradition and write your own story!

Ignore the tired tradition of sparkly headgear and fluffy boas, take a look at these original ideas for a hen’s party that will have you thinking further than the local pub. Keep in mind that the celebration is for the bride-to-be to celebrate with her bridesmaids and friends before the main event – the wedding.

Check out these themes for a memorable hen’s party. Wherever you are, there are ideas for a fun occasion.

  • Weekend Wine Tasting – Try all the wines you ever wanted to sip at a cellar door. This can be a one-day experience or the highlight of a hen’s weekend away to a wine region such as the New South Wales’ Hunter Valley, Victoria’s Yarra Valley, Western Australia’s Margaret River, South Australia’s Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. The choice is yours!
  • Hire a Party Bus –Visit all the trendy venues in the city! You can tailor a party for your group and you won’t need a designated driver or taxis. You can pick and choose the locations. Some companies even provide on-bus entertainment, so you never miss a moment of fun!
  • Let’s Go Cooking – indulge in a cooking class with your hen’s team – everyone can join in and you can make it as up-market or casual as you like. For a no-frills day of fun, food and festivities, theme it My Kitchen Rules and hold it in the backyard for a girls-only barbecue. If MasterChef is more your style, check out the cooking classes in your city to find a fantastic hands-on chef experience with matching wines. You can book a bus trip for a seafood cooking class, find out how to bake bread and even take a lesson in how to make pickles!
  • Pamper Me – choose the best spa in your city and find a package deal for the whole group. An all-time favourite, there is nothing like an indulgent pedicure, facial and massage to prepare for the upcoming nuptials. Find a package that combines the pampering with champagne and a night out complete with stretch limo to make an unforgettable experience. Or make it an overnight stay.
  • Adrenalin Adventure – for thrills and excitement, consider overnight glamping, go-karting, paintballing, jet boating or party boat cruise. Consider the age group of your hens before suggesting this one!
  • High Tea Indulgence – Sip cocktails and champagne while sampling some elegant sandwiches and macarons. Research some of the city hotels that feature high tea events and make a booking well in advance. Perfect as a half-day party and the ideal celebration if you are including the mothers of the bride and groom on the invite list.

For a successful hen’s party, tick off this ‘chicklist’:

Your 8-Point Party Chicklist:

  1. BRIDE’S PREFERENCES: Talk to the bride about the date and style of party she wants and the activities she would prefer before you book anything. It’s all about her, so she has the final say!
  2. TIMING: Plan for a party well before the wedding.
  3. BUDGET: Affordable or indulgent? Ask the others what they are prepared to pay and set a budget.
  4. ACTIVITIES: Pick activities that the whole group will enjoy. Remember, the party is for the bride-to-be, so tailor the activities to what she is comfortable with.
  5. PAYMENT: Set up a Gift Card Registry for a special party fundraiser so everyone can go online to make their payment for the event. This ensures the group pays up front, so you can make bookings for the event once you have the numbers.
  6. INVITATIONS: Send out invitations and include the details of Gift Card Registry for payment. If you use social media, make sure you send the invitation to a closed group.
  7. RSVPS: Keep track of RSVPs so you can make bookings for the right numbers. Follow up those who don’t reply on time.
  8. SOCIAL MEDIA: Decide before the event what you plan to share on social media. Get everyone’s agreement not to upload embarrassing photos.

Gift Card Registry makes planning easy

Once you have organised the style of event, booked the date and decided on the guest list, it’s time to set up a registry to collect the payments specifically for the hen’s party. Before you send out the invitations, go to Gift Card Registry at giftcardregistry.com.au, or phone 1300 354 632.

Once set up you can include a link or web address for Gift Card Registry on the invitations. It’s easy to use, secure and convenient for the people you want to invite, and they can leave messages when they add their contribution.

Specify an end date and when it arrives, Gift Card Registry will send the total amount loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard to you to use for the bookings. As the prepaid Mastercard can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted in Australia or overseas as well as online, it’s the easy solution to organising payment for the hen’s party!

Planning to wed – 12 point checklist for your same-sex wedding

Wishing and hoping for a happy marriage? The stats are on your side – research predicts your same-sex relationship and marriage is destined to be happy. It’s time to stop procrastinating and start planning to formalise your relationship by marrying the one you love.

Recent research from the University of Queensland* analysing data from 9,206 individuals in Australia showed:

  • Relationship quality in same-sex couples in Australia is higher than in heterosexual couples.
  • Gay and lesbian couples are well placed to raise children in warm and loving environments.
  • Men in gay unions were rated as having the highest quality relationships, followed by women in lesbian unions, men in heterosexual unions then women in heterosexual unions.

You and your partner know ‘love is love’ and now the research proves it.

Since 9 December 2017, same-sex couples have the legal right to marry in Australia. So, if you are amongst the gay couples thinking about making a commitment to marry, now is the time to start planning.

How do we start the process?

Everyone planning to get married in Australia must complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM), available from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in every state.  The completed form must be given to your registered celebrant at least one month and one day before the intended date of marriage.

What’s next for our wedding?

For the wedding of your dreams, you need to look for people who will be supportive and happy to be involved in a gay wedding, from the venue, caterers, celebrant, entertainment and even when buying the rings and the suits.

Where can we find gay-friendly wedding professionals?

Equally Wed, Australia’s leading same-sex wedding directory is a good place to start when you are looking for gay-friendly wedding professionals.

Covering Australian states, New Zealand and the Pacific, the directory is the go-to destination for everything associated with planning a gay or lesbian wedding. You’ll find a range of celebrants, suppliers, venues and entertainers who are supporters of Marriage Equality to make your wedding a day to remember.

Your wedding countdown

When you’re planning a wonderful wedding together, start with a budget – how much you want to spend (or can afford) and what sort of wedding you want:

  1. BUDGET – start with what you can afford.
  2. DESIGN – decide on the style of wedding you want.

Date, venue and celebrant are co-dependent. You need to negotiate to align the three.

  1. DATE – depends on where you want the wedding and finding a gay-friendly celebrant.
  2. VENUE OR VENUES – ceremony and reception or combined?
  3. CELEBRANT – Check the Equally Wed directory or ask gay friends for a recommendation to find a gay-friendly celebrant. Book well in advance.

For a memorable experience, you need to work out who to invite, what to wear and all the details for the wedding day.

Add these to your checklist:

  1. WHO TO INVITE – Best man, groomsmen – it’s your choice! Sort out your guest list.
  2. GIFT CARD REGISTRY –before you send out the invites, set up a Gift Card Registry and add the details to the invitations. No unwanted toasters or crystal glasses. Guests can contribute to the gift card registry and with the prepaid Mastercard you can buy the gifts yourself, in your own time. Gift Card Registry makes gift giving easy and no need for refunds or returns!
  3. WHAT TO WEAR – Do it your way – both of you in black/white, or complementary suits?
  4. WEDDING ARRANGEMENTS – find gay-friendly suppliers and discuss what you both want. You may be able to negotiate a discount for your special event invitations, photographer, florist, cake, wedding cars, entertainment/music, personal grooming.
  5. THE HONEYMOON – in Australia or overseas? Your choice.
  6. MEET THE CELEBRANT – at least one month before the intended date of your wedding you need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage and give this to your celebrant. Take the opportunity to talk about the ceremony and your vows.
  7. WEDDING DAY COUNTDOWN – finalise the arrangements a few weeks before the wedding. You need to confirm:
  • dates and times with venues and participants
  • RSVPs, finalise guest numbers, arrange a seating plan
  • an MC for the reception
  • hotel bookings for out-of-town guests
  • final suit fittings and any accessories
  • music, order of service for the wedding
  • wording of vows and wedding speech
  • a rehearsal with all members of the bridal party
  • honeymoon arrangements.

Your wedding day

It’s your big day. Research says you are beginning a lifetime of happiness. The data confirms – love is love!

Gift Card Registry makes gift giving easy

Using Gift Card Registry is secure and easy for everyone to use. After the wedding, Gift Card Registry will send the total amount loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard for you to buy the gifts you really want. For more information on Gift Card Registry phone 1300 354 632 or find out more at giftcardregistry.com.au.

Reference:

*Sexual Identity and Relationship Quality in Australia and the United Kingdom. December 2017. Francisco Perales and Janeen Baxter, Life Course Centre, Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland.

Data from 25,348 individuals in the United Kingdom (Understanding Society study) and 9,206 individuals in Australia (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey) were used to estimate regression models predicting relationship quality while adjusting for confounds.

Results showed relationship quality in same-sex couples was as high as in heterosexual couples in the United Kingdom, and higher in Australia. The lowest relationship quality in both countries was reported by bisexual individuals. This can be taken as evidence that gay and lesbian couples are well placed to raise children in warm and loving environments.

In Australia, the analogous relationship quality ordering of couple types is men in gay unions, women in lesbian unions, men in heterosexual unions, women in heterosexual unions, individuals in other couples types, bisexual men partnered with heterosexual women and finally bisexual women partnered with heterosexual men.

The report can be read in full here.

Names you know – our top ten celebrity same-sex weddings for 2018

Making news and creating history, since same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia December 2017, celebrity couples have been creating headlines. In reality and on the small screen, gay and lesbian weddings have been in the spotlight as couples celebrate their love and commitment.

Six months after the legalisation of same-sex marriage, pop culture media Junkee found that 2,490 same-sex weddings took place in Australia by June 2018 and around 10% of same-sex couples who live together are now married, including those who had married overseas.

Records of Births, Deaths and Marriages (as at June 2018) show that most marriages were in New South Wales (853), followed by Victoria (674), Queensland (374), Western Australia (292), South Australia (162), Tasmania (66), the Australian Capital Territory (48) and the Northern Territory (21).

The United Kingdom legalised same-sex marriage in 2014 and from June 2014 to October 2017, there were 445 same-sex couples with dual British-Australian citizenship who married in British diplomatic offices in Australia.

Who are the household names who have joined the trend to same-sex marriages? Gift Card Registry scanned the news for our top 10 best known Australian gay and lesbian weddings and partnerships.

  1. Christine Forster and Virginia Edwards married in February 2018, sharing their ceremony on the ABC’s Australian Story. Christine is a City of Sydney councillor and campaigned for the Yes side in last year’s postal survey. Her brother, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, was one of the strongest No supporters.
  2. Tim Wilson and Ryan Bolger married in March 2018. A marriage equality advocate, Tim is the Federal Member of Parliament for Goldstein, Victoria and Chair of the Standing Committee on Economics. A former Australian human rights commissioner, he made history when he proposed to school teacher Ryan from the floor of the House of Representatives while giving a speech on same-sex marriage in December.
  3. Dr Kerryn Phelps and Jackie Stricker-Phelps celebrated the first Jewish same-sex marriage in Sydney in January 2018, renewing their vows under a chuppah at the Emanuel Synagogue in Sydney. First married 20 years ago at a Jewish wedding in New York, Professor Phelps is a politician and environmental activist. She was the first woman and first LGBT person to be elected president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA).
  4. Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres married at their Beverly Hills home in August 2008. Australia’s most famous lesbian, actress Portia de Rossi starred in the television series Ally McBeal. Her wife is American comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Both are advocates of same-sex marriage.
  5. Alan Joyce and Shane Lloyd have been in a relationship since 1999. Qantas CEO since 2008, Alan Joyce personally donated $1 million to the Yes campaign. In the 2017 Queen’s birthday honours he was awarded Companion of the Order of Australia for ‘eminent service to aviation, tourism, gender equity, inclusion and diversity, and Indigenous education’. A patron of LGBTI charity The Pinnacle Foundation, his partner New Zealander Shane Lloyd is Chair of the charity’s NSW Regional Committee.
  6. Bob Brown and Paul Thomas have been in a relationship for 22 years and had a commitment ceremony at their farm in Tasmania in 2008. Former medical doctor and environmentalist, Bob Brown is a former Leader of the Australian Greens and as a Senator was the first openly gay member of the Parliament of Australia. A life-long activist and supporter of gay rights.
  7. Penny Wong and Sophie Allouache have been in a relationship since 2005 and have two children. Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Labor politician Penny Wong is the first female openly LGBTI Australian federal parliamentarian and federal government cabinet minister. A strong supporter of the Yes vote, she was selected by readers of Samesame website as one of the 25 most influential lesbian Australians.
  8. Tim Campbell and Anthony Callea married in New Zealand in 2014. Television and stage actor and singer, Tim Campbell is best known for his role in the television drama Home and Away. Anthony Callea is a singer-songwriter and stage actor who was runner-up in the 2004 season of Australian Idol. His hit debut single ‘The Prayer’ was the second-highest selling Australian single of the last decade.
  9. Julie McCrossin and Melissa Gibson married in Manhattan in 2014 after 20 years together. Julie is a broadcaster and journalist who advocated for marriage equality and has been active in Gay Liberation since 1974, co-hosting several TV broadcasts for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
  10. Aaron Brennan and David Tanaka were pronounced ‘husband and husband’ on screen in the long-running local television drama Neighbours in September 2018. They made television history as the first on-screen actors in a same-sex wedding in a television drama since Australia achieved marriage equality in December 2017. Actors Matt Wilson as Aaron Brennan and Takaya Honda as David Tanaka were wed in an intimate ceremony officiated by marriage celebrant Jemima Davies-Smythe played by actor and marriage equality advocate Magda Szubanski.

Inspired by the high-profile names to tie the knot? When making plans for your wedding, head to the Gift Card Registry website at giftcardregistry.com.au, or phone 1300 354 632.

Convenient, secure and easy-to-use, after guests have contributed, Gift Card Registry will send the total amount loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard that can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted online, in Australia or overseas. It’s the perfect gifting solution!

Save the date! Your wedding plan countdown

Congratulations! You’ve decided to make a life together and you’re ready to start planning for your big day. Before the wedding bells ring, you’ll need to create a plan to make it happen. Make your event one to remember for the rest of your life with Your Wish List, Your Want List and Your Watch List.

Start planning as soon as you can, a year or 18 months before the wedding gives you time to organise all the details.

But if you are in a hurry, remember that Australian marriage law requires that you must complete a Notice of Intended Marriage and give this to your registered celebrant at least one month and one day before the intended date of marriage.

Decide the key components on your Wish List first.

Your Wish List

There are six essentials you need to start with and as the song goes, ‘you can’t have one without the other!’ So, spend some time coordinating these first. Planning is the key to a successful day.

  1. WORTH: The budget – consider what you can afford and whether you want to be paying for your wedding on your first anniversary (or longer)!
  2. WHAT: The style of wedding you want. Traditional, interfaith, intercultural or individual? In a church or outdoors? Themed or casual?
  3. WHEN: The date – public holidays may seem a great idea but can be difficult to get a booking for the venues and the celebrant. You will need to juggle when, where and who to settle on a date, venue and celebrant.
  4. WHERE: The ceremony venue – if you prefer a church wedding, be flexible with a proposed date and time as churches can be booked well in advance and may have several weddings on the same day.
  5. WHERE ELSE: The reception venue and caterers – ideally near the ceremony venue and to fit in with the date and time. Or combine the ceremony and reception at the one venue.
  6. WHO: The celebrant – clergy or marriage celebrants can be booked well in advance, so if you have a preferred celebrant, talk to them first to find out when they would be available.

Your Want List

Once you have the six basics in place for the wedding, you are ready to start on your Want List,  several months before the big day:

  1. WHO: The family and friends you want to share your wedding. Create a guest list and send out Save the Date cards if you are planning up to a year in advance.
  2. WEAR: Look at options for a wedding dress and suits or an alternative theme for your big day (themed dress up costumes for the wedding party and guests can make your wedding unique)
  3. WANTS: Decide whether you want the following, get quotes and make bookings:
  • Photographer and/or videographer
  • Florist
  • Cake artist
  • Wedding cars and drivers
  • Entertainment at the reception
  • Design and printing of invitations and place cards, programs, order of service if required
  • Hair and make up
  1. WHERE: Start thinking about honeymoon plans and booking accommodation if you haven’t already.

Your Watch List

About eight weeks before W Day, you have to pull all the components together for a successful wedding event. These are the critical items you have to watch for!

  1. WRITING: Send out invitations 6 to 8 weeks in advance. If guests are coming from overseas or need to travel long distances, invitations can be sent up to 3 months in advance.
  2. WAIT: Meet with your celebrant and complete a Notice of Intended Marriage at least one month before the intended date of marriage
  3. WISH: Start a Gift Card Registry and let your friends and family know how to find it.
  4. WRAP UP: Finalise all the details for W Day:
  • Confirm dates and times with all venues and participants
  • Check the RSVPs and finalise guest numbers for the reception, arrange a seating plan
  • Organise an MC for the reception
  • Book hotels for guests from out of town
  • Finalise dresses and suit fittings
  • Choose music, order of service for the wedding
  • Write vows and wedding speech
  • Organise a rehearsal, run through the responsibilities of each member of the bridal party
  • Organise final dress fittings, accessories, hair, make up and manicure
  • Confirm honeymoon arrangements.
  1. W WEEK: On Wedding Week, make the final arrangements for the big day, pick up the wedding dress and bridal party outfits and make sure all vendor payments have been finalised so everything falls into place on your wonderful day.

Your W Day

This is what you have been working towards for months! With everything finalised and in place, you’ll enjoy making a lifetime of memories and a day to remember for family and friends.

Get a good night’s sleep before the big day. Then relax and enjoy every moment!

Make honeymoon planning stress-free with an on-trend mini-moon

Organising a wedding followed by a traditional honeymoon is like having two major logistical assignments to project manage – a challenging task for any couple juggling jobs, a social life and the excitement of a new chapter in your life together!

While you are concentrating on making your big day one to remember for the rest of your life, your second major project – consider swapping your honeymoon for a mini-moon, the new approach to wedding traditions.

Mini-moons are on trend

A survey by American wedding website The Knot showed that more than 80% of newlyweds choose a mini-moon after their wedding.

Romantic short break

The idea is to make your honeymoon a romantic short break to wind down after the excitement of your wedding. You can then take the time to plan your ‘real honeymoon’ for a convenient later date to the destination of your choice.

When the wedding planning seems endless and the big day just gets bigger, choose a mini-moon. If time off work is an issue, then the mini-moon makes a great option for a short break for your wedding week.

Mini-moons make a great alternative to a ‘real honeymoon’.

  • Romance and recuperation. Your love will be the focus of your mini-moon whatever you decide to do. Get creative and plan the treasured few days of your mini-moon to be a special escape to start your married life getting to know each other.
  • Make it affordable. A mini-moon of three to five days is perfect to keep costs down. The wedding alone can stretch the budget, so a short getaway can be the perfect solution to keep costs manageable.
  • Take the kids. If you are already a family and have children, a short break can solve your planning dilemmas. Grandparents may be persuaded to mind the children while you take a mini-moon – or if that isn’t possible, take the children with you as they will enjoy a getaway too!
  • Share with friends and family. If friends or family have made a special trip to your wedding from overseas or interstate, they may enjoy a few days post-wedding to spend with you. Surprise them with an invite to the mini-moon and make it a friends and family break. As you are having a ‘real honeymoon’ for just the two of you at a later date, it can be a great opportunity to catch up with the people you most care about at a time when everyone is feeling the love.

Plan something completely different

When planning a mini-moon it can be fun to design a getaway that is a complete contrast to your everyday life. Keep the break within five days or it loses the mini-moon vibe.

  • From the city: Plan a beach break, or rural retreat. Check Airbnb to find a complete contrast to your usual residence.
  • From the country: Book a luxury hotel in the nearest ‘big smoke’. Enjoy a spa, relax in the pool, order room service and just enjoy each other.
  • From inland: A three to five-day cruise really gets away from it all.
  • From your place: A short international flight will see you on a relaxing Pacific Island or across the ditch in New Zealand. Look for special deals on flights that can make a quick mini-moon affordable.

Tips for a memorable mini-moon

  • Focus on each other. Don’t try to cram too much into the few days. You are there to relax and recharge after the excitement of your wedding. Take it easy.
  • Pack light. Consider the season and just take enough clothes for the few days you will be away.
  • Indulge in something special. An extravagant meal, hire a bike or a boat or explore the region on foot. Take in a show, visit a farmers’ market, museum or art gallery.

Planning a mini-moon with Gift Card Registry

Choosing Gift Card Registry for your gifting can help to ease the stress of wedding and honeymoon planning. It’s so easy for guests to add their gift to your registry.

At Gift Card Registry you can set up your personal online registry to coincide with sending out the invitations to your wedding. Make it simple for your guests to give their gift through the online registry.

After the wedding, the total amount gifted will be loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard ready for you to use anywhere in the world that Mastercard is accepted.

A prepaid card gives you the power of choice as you can buy whatever you want. When you thank the guests, let them know how you plan to use the money on the card to give you a great start in your new married life.

Find out more about how Gift Card Registry can help to make it easier when planning your wedding. Details can be found at the website giftcardregistry.com.au or phone 1300 354 632.

 

Reference:

The Knot wedding advice website. https://www.theknot.com/content/honeymoon-advice

 

Born this way – making a commitment at your same-sex wedding

Wishing and hoping for a happy marriage? The stats are on your side – research predicts your same-sex relationship and marriage is destined to be happy. It’s time to stop procrastinating and start planning to formalise your relationship by marrying the one you love.

Recent research from the University of Queensland* analysing data from 9,206 individuals in Australia showed:

  • Relationship quality in same-sex couples in Australia is higher than in heterosexual couples.
  • Gay and lesbian couples are well placed to raise children in warm and loving environments.
  • Men in gay unions were rated as having the highest quality relationships, followed by women in lesbian unions, men in heterosexual unions then women in heterosexual unions.

You and your partner know ‘love is love’ and now the research proves it.

Since 9 December 2017, same-sex couples have the legal right to marry in Australia. So, if you are amongst the gay couples thinking about making a commitment to marry, now is the time to start planning.

How do we start the process?

Everyone planning to get married in Australia must complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM), available from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in every state.  The completed form must be given to your registered celebrant at least one month and one day before the intended date of marriage.

What’s next for our wedding?

For the wedding of your dreams, you need to look for people who will be supportive and happy to be involved in a gay wedding, from the venue, caterers, celebrant, entertainment and even when buying the rings and the suits.

Where can we find gay-friendly wedding professionals?

Equally Wed (equallywed.com.au), Australia’s leading same-sex wedding directory is a good place to start when you are looking for gay-friendly wedding professionals.

Covering Australian states, New Zealand and the Pacific, the directory is the go-to destination for everything associated with planning a gay or lesbian wedding. You’ll find a range of celebrants, suppliers, venues and entertainers who are supporters of Marriage Equality to make your wedding a day to remember.

Your wedding countdown

When you’re planning a wonderful wedding together, start with a budget – how much you want to spend (or can afford) and what sort of wedding you want:

  1. BUDGET – start with what you can afford.
  2. DESIGN – decide on the style of wedding you want.

Date, venue and celebrant are co-dependent. You need to negotiate to align the three.

  1. DATE – depends on where you want the wedding and finding a gay-friendly celebrant.
  2. VENUE OR VENUES – ceremony and reception or combined?
  3. CELEBRANT – Check the Equally Wed directory or ask gay friends for a recommendation to find a gay-friendly celebrant. Book well in advance.

For a memorable experience, you need to work out who to invite, what to wear and all the details for the wedding day.

Add these to your checklist:

  1. WHO TO INVITE – Best man, groomsmen – it’s your choice! Sort out your guest list.
  2. GIFT CARD REGISTRY –before you send out the invites, set up a Gift Card Registry and add the details to the invitations. No unwanted toasters or crystal glasses. Guests can contribute to the gift card registry and with the prepaid Mastercard you can buy the gifts yourself, in your own time. Gift Card Registry makes gift giving easy and no need for refunds or returns!
  3. WHAT TO WEAR – Do it your way – both of you in black/white, or complementary suits?
  4. WEDDING ARRANGEMENTS – find gay-friendly suppliers and discuss what you both want. You may be able to negotiate a discount for your special event invitations, photographer, florist, cake, wedding cars, entertainment/music, personal grooming.
  5. THE HONEYMOON – in Australia or overseas? Your choice.
  6. MEET THE CELEBRANT – at least one month before the intended date of your wedding you need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage and give this to your celebrant. Take the opportunity to talk about the ceremony and your vows.
  7. WEDDING DAY COUNTDOWN – finalise the arrangements a few weeks before the wedding. You need to confirm:
  • dates and times with venues and participants
  • RSVPs, finalise guest numbers, arrange a seating plan
  • an MC for the reception
  • hotel bookings for out-of-town guests
  • final suit fittings and any accessories
  • music, order of service for the wedding
  • wording of vows and wedding speech
  • a rehearsal with all members of the bridal party
  • honeymoon arrangements.

Your wedding day

It’s your big day. Research says you are beginning a lifetime of happiness. The data confirms – love is love!

Gift Card Registry makes gift giving easy

Using Gift Card Registry is secure and easy for everyone to use. After the wedding, Gift Card Registry will send the total amount loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard for you to buy the gifts you really want. For more information on Gift Card Registry phone 1300 354 632 or find out more at giftcardregistry.com.au.

[816 words]

Reference:

*Sexual Identity and Relationship Quality in Australia and the United Kingdom. December 2017. Francisco Perales and Janeen Baxter, Life Course Centre, Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland.

Data from 25,348 individuals in the United Kingdom (Understanding Society study) and 9,206 individuals in Australia (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey) were used to estimate regression models predicting relationship quality while adjusting for confounds.

Results showed relationship quality in same-sex couples was as high as in heterosexual couples in the United Kingdom, and higher in Australia. The lowest relationship quality in both countries was reported by bisexual individuals. This can be taken as evidence that gay and lesbian couples are well placed to raise children in warm and loving environments.

In Australia, the analogous relationship quality ordering of couple types is men in gay unions, women in lesbian unions, men in heterosexual unions, women in heterosexual unions, individuals in other couples types, bisexual men partnered with heterosexual women and finally bisexual women partnered with heterosexual men.

The report can be read in full here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/fare.12293

After the wedding, saying thank you is a tradition still on trend

When the excitement of the wedding is a happy memory and your new life together is just beginning, there are still a few things to complete the delight of the wedding experience.

Just when you thought the planning was all over, there’s more to do. Your priorities, as well as adjusting to your new life as a couple, include the fun of viewing the photographs and the task of saying ‘thank you’.

Gift Card Registry is the new style of gift giving

Your special wedding guests have shared your wonderful day, and many will have contributed to your Gift Card Registry, so you can enjoy the gift of a Mastercard prepaid gift card. When you’re ready to use the card to buy just what you want for your future, think of those who have made your gift possible – and thank them.

Tradition is still on trend

A ‘thank you’ shows that you appreciate their gifts and are delighted that they shared the wedding day with you.

Traditional wedding etiquette may seem like a relic from the past, particularly if you’ve chosen an individual style of wedding. Whether you enjoyed a romantic ceremony in a church, on the beach, or at the registry office, good manners never go out of fashion.

It’s an ongoing tradition to include the writing and sending of personal thank you cards or notes to every guest. Whatever their contribution to the wedding, they will appreciate your thanks.

When to thank

Order the thank you cards at the same time as the wedding invitations so they are ready to send when you get back from your honeymoon.

Send the thank you notes within four to six weeks of the wedding.

Hand written is important

Your cards may be printed with a standard ‘thank you’ message, but it is important that you add some hand-written words to personalise the appreciation. Include the guests’ names and add a short personal message that is individual to them.

If you have used Gift Card Registry for your wedding gifts, your guests will be interested to know what you are going to use the gift card for. Is it for your honeymoon, to help with the wedding, or to buy furnishings or appliances for your new home? Let them know what the gift card is being spent on and they will enjoy sharing your plans.

Thanks for coming

Guests who have travelled long distances and made a special effort to be present to share your big day will appreciate being thanked for their attendance at your wedding. If they played a special role such as being in the bridal party or the MC or are a close relative – mother or father of the bride or groom – give them specific mention.

Some guests may not have contributed to your Gift Card Registry but have showed their love and acceptance in other ways such as assisting with catering, cars or even helping out by minding children at a critical time. Thank them too!

Make it easy for yourself

Early days of married life can be hectic and writing dozens of thank you notes becomes a chore you would rather put off.  Try these tips to help with motivating you to get them done.

  • Make room to write. Create a space at home to write the notes. Keep the cards, envelopes, stamps, pen and your address list all in one place so you can continue writing whenever you get the opportunity.
  • Share the task. Ask your spouse to help, specially if the list of thank yous is a long one.
  • Keep a master list. Tick off each one as you write the notes. Important if you are sharing the task so you don’t double up.
  • Set yourself a timeline. Daily or weekly goals can give focus so the project doesn’t seem overwhelming. For example, aim to write three thank yous each night, or 10 in a week to start ticking off the names on your list.
  • Saying thanks is good for you! Thanking someone and being thanked create feel good moments that are remembered. There is no downside to a thank you!

Receiving a thank you rebounds

People who are thanked for their gifts or assistance feel a greater desire to help the person who has thanked them. Appreciation is reciprocal and can be a positive gesture to foster friendship, enhance family life and create a valuable bond.

As the thanker, you’ll feel good too after showing your appreciation.

Thank you is easy with Gift Card Registry

Using Gift Card Registry for your wedding gifts makes it easy for you to thank each person who has helped to achieve your special reward, the prepaid Mastercard so you can decide what to buy.

Go online to find out more about setting up your personal registry at giftcardregistry.com.au or phone Gift Card Registry on 1300 354 632.

You will be sent a prepaid Mastercard loaded with the total amount gifted when the registry closes. The card can be used worldwide wherever Mastercard is accepted.

With a prepaid gift card, you can buy just what you want and in your thank you note, let the guests know how you have used the money on the card to start your life together. It’s the new way of gifting for weddings, made easy for guests and perfect for newlyweds.