The Party Emporium

Cosmopolitan Bride – Tale of an Elopement

Cosmopolitan Bride – Tale of an Elopement

Don’t forget to pick up this month’s copy of Cosmopolitan Bride to catch Tale of an Elopement, featuring yours truly! Hubby and I were truly honoured to be featured in this issue – jam packed as usual with amazing inspo and ideas for your big day. For more info, pick up a copy at your local newsagent and watch this space for a full wedding album run-down to come!



Miss Bunting elopes in New York

Miss Bunting elopes in New York

So Miss Bunting has been on a little hiatus of late – just a small matter of a MARRIAGE! Yes, that’s right – while on holiday in the US last month, my husband and I decided to elope while in NYC. So yes, you could say Miss Bunting is now Mrs Bunting – but that whole name-changing saga is a post for another time….

While eloping is not for everyone, it really was for us. We both have wonderful families – I am especially close with my brothers and parents, so its not to say there wasn’t a little disappointment (mainly at missing out), but for us, eloping was very much the formality. What we’re looking forward to now is a party with our nearest and dearest! For anyone thinking about eloping in New York, I’ve compiled a little cheat sheet on the ‘how to’ side of things. More details about our actual elopement to be shared with you all soon!


Eloping in New York City is surprisingly simple – which explains why so many people from so many different countries to do it! My experience is relevant only to Australian citizens getting married in New York state – always, always do your own research as processes and laws are forever changing. Plus, not only do all the different American states have different rules, different countries have different rules about the validity of marriage in foreign countries – so be sure to check yours will be legal in yours!

  1. The first step is to obtain a Marriage License. This is in effect, the piece of paper that approves you to be married. You can start the process online back home, by filling out the form to apply for a marriage license. Once you have filled out the form, you have 20 days to go into the City Clerks office to complete the process, otherwise you need to resubmit the form. It’s no dramas if you need to do this, and you can just do this at the City Clerk’s office. We did it online just before we left, meaning we were in the system and were only required to line up at the City Clerk’s office to finish off the application by showing our proof of identity (our Australian passport) and sign the forms.
  2. Once you have applied, submitted and are successful in obtaining your marriage license, you are able to get married anywhere in New York state for the next 60 days. HOWEVER, you have to wait exactly 24 hours before you can do this. Did I say EXACTLY? Make sure you check things like public holidays – lets just say Columbus Day nearly threw a Columbus sized spanner in the works for us! Also beware, lines and wait times are notorious to predict – so if you go down at 11am thinking you can get married at midday the next day – you might be in for a rude shock if you end up having to wait 4 hours to get your license approved. This is a problem if you have photographers, hairdressers or anything booked. Leave yourself a few days grace. Also, you need $35 – they take card, thankfully.
  3. 24 hours later (exactly, in case I wasn’t clear), you can be married. Which involves going back down to the City Clerk’s office, getting your number, waiting in one line to be seen by an office who will then check your paperwork , approve it’s been 24 hours, and re-check your proof of id. You will also need a witness. If you have no-one, you can even ask your photographer – or anyone that has an accepted form of i.d.  and is willing to watch you get married. Heck, it could be your hotel bellboy if he has i.d. Then you get another number that puts you in the queue to be married in one of the 4 chapels.
  4. Eventually you will be ferried into a holding area of sorts until the chapel becomes free – you can even have an audience of family and friends – the chapels look like they fit 10-15 comfortably, but any bigger than this, I would consider a different location. (Hire a chaplain and go to Central Park!) Remember, your license allows you to get married anywhere in New York State.
  5. Guess what – you just got married. You can read your own vows or simply follow their lead – they’ll have a brief chat with you prior and ask things like if you’ve got wedding rings to exchange (err, not yet) and so on. For the record, we loved our ceremony. Just the 2 of you there in a complete bubble committing to each other for the rest of you days – it was an incredible, honest, moving, and very teary experience. Waterproof mascara highly recommended. Once you are done, pop over to an officer again to get your second certificate of marriage registration and have it certified and stamped by the City Clerk.
  6. But wait – YOU’RE NOT DONE YET. And so begins the next leg, which is a little like an Amazing Race challenge. To make sure all your paperwork is rubber-stamped as official with an apostille (you’ll need this especially if you plan on changing your name, as you will need to take this form in to change your name by deed poll – more on this later), you need a few spare hours, some snacks, a magazine, patience, endurance – oh, and a money order for $10.00. Yep.
  7. Choose to do this process the next day, as you essentially need to go over the road to the US District Court (500 Pearl St), go to the basement, stand in one line where they stamp your paper and give it to a lady standing RIGHT NEXT TO HER then go stand in another line, and then give that lady $3 cash (no cards!) and then you FINALLY have to go to one more office, the Department of State to get all these docs put together and stamped with an Apostille. Two things – they won’t tell you at the District Court, but you will need a $10 Money Order. They don’t take card or cash, so find a Western Union along the way – you really need to plan this journey out. It costs about $3 to get a money order by the way – it’s all ludicrous, but stick at it, you are nearly there. Secondly, you may wait a little while at the Department of State – and they have no wi-fi. By this point you will be looking at your new husband wondering if this was in fact the best idea, but then BINGO, your name is called, you collect your certificate and you my friends, have won survival of the fittest. YOU ARE MARRIED, it’s legitimate and then all you need to do is figure out if it’s all legal back in Australia!
  8. The good news is, it is. After countless hours sifting through nonsensical jargon on many government departmental websites (okay, at least one hour), essentially, your overseas marriage is valid in Australia if: it was valid in the country you got married in; and, under the same set of circumstances, the marriage would be valid if it had taken place in Australia (ie, you’re not 16 year old cousins.) If you’re not 16 year old cousins, this is great news. BUT, if you plan on changing your name, most government departments (ie Foreign Affairs to get your passport changed) won’t actually accept your survival-of-the-fittest set of rubber stamped Marriage Certificates. What they will do, however, is accept a Change of Name Application, and this is where you’ll need the survival-of-the-fittest set of rubber stamped Marriage Certificates. And at a hefty $218, this is where I leave you my dear friends – I am part-way through this application. Once my name is legally changed, from then I can get my passport updated with my new details and a new drivers license which will then enable me to get all the utilities and what not changed. So do your research and be prepared before you go – if you do all this, you will have the most amazing experience you won’t regret. One final piece of advice? Book a photographer – it’s the one way you’ll be able to share your experience, so invest in this. We chose the incredibly talented Samm Blake who snapped on of our fave pics of the day shown here. xx Mrs Bunting






Engagement shoots: what’s the deal with them?

Engagement shoots: what’s the deal with them?

Recently we found ourselves admiring some seriously beautiful engagement shots and it got us thinking: this used to be something only American brides did – has this trend taken off in a big way in Australia now too? And what’s the deal with them – was this simply another thing to add to the wedding-go-round of things to have and do? We got chatting to the gorgeous Teneil Kable – an extraordinarily talented Perth-based photographer and got the lowdown on engagement sessions.

Not only will her portfolio single-handedly demonstrate that an engagement session is a good idea, we came away convinced that those American’s were onto something. If you’re planning on getting hitched, it’s not such a crazy idea to have a practice run with your photographer. It gets you familiar with how your photographer works, you become comfortable with being in front of the lens, and when you have your big moment – you’ve already worked out your best angle!


MB: Are more people booking engagement shoots here in Australia? 

TK: I think so, I’ve also experienced some go that one step further and have their engagement session before their engagement party so extending their coverage to cover off on the celebration with friends and capturing all the efforts that go into it. It’s exciting and fun!


MB: From a photographers perspective, do you recommend having an engagement session and why?

TK: Absolutely, its a celebration of your engagement and an opportunity to have some beautiful images of the two for you to display on the wedding day or use as your invitations or save the dates, but mostly the feedback I receive from couples is that it makes them feel so much more comfortable on their big day that for the photographer and for the couple – is invaluable.


MB: I think people might expect that in an engagement session you’re simply replicating the same shots that they’ll do for the wedding day – in what way is it more than ‘just’ a practice session for the big day?

TK: I don’t imagine there would be too many opportunities to create an image like this amazing shot (above) of RJ & Grace on a wedding day!

Couples feel more spontaneous, there’s an intimacy of a different kind that seems to appear in the quietness of an engagement session.

I think knowing that there is nowhere that they have to be! As Tom Ford says “silence and time are the most luxurious things today” and it couldn’t be truer that we feel more like ourselves in these moments of luxury.


MB: Should a couple come armed with a few ideas such as props, moodboards, sample images etc, or do you prefer to guide them in what will work best?

TK: I love collaborating with clients. I don’t think props have to look forced, they can be used naturally and effectively but must make sense and be true to the couple and not just something they have seen somewhere and adopted for themselves.

Working closely with couples give me a feel for who they are and what they like, some like to be gently guided and others have ideas itching to share. My part is really just making sure ideas are genuine or working with them to find a way to make it work so the images created are genuine too.


MB: What kind of things should couples thing about before their engagement session in relation to clothing or location?

TK: Its important for people to wear what makes them feel good! I love having my hair done and getting dressed up but I always feel slightly awkward and well just not me. So if wearing something that makes you feel good is a pair of ripped jeans and your fiance’s t-shirt then thats what you should wear. Be true to you!

Consider locations like a music festival you might be going to or your bedroom with fresh white sheets and beautiful window light. Think outside the box and be brave, some of the greatest locations are right in front of us!


MB: Do you like to encourage clients to let their personality show – such as with themed shoots – or do you prefer a more classic, candid approach?

TK: They say beauty attracts the eye but personality captures the heart I think a good photograph does both. Couples personalities can shine through with both themed shoots or a more candid approach, it really comes down to who they are. Choosing what feels right for them and not just because they have seen it done somewhere else is the most important thing. I think if you feel comfortable, only then will your personality show.


MB: How important is it to ‘click’ with a client – does this show in the images or does it just it simply make for a more pleasant experience?

TK: Its important to create an environment in which the couple can connect with each other and not with me, when that happens the images have more feeling and depth to them. That being said if you don’t click with your photographer that environment is difficult to create.

I think our role as a photographer is so much more important then taking pictures its a connection and an opportunity to get to know the people who’s picture we are taking which allows them to feel more comfortable. I guess it depends on the look your going for…but for me I like the people I’m photographing to look at ease!

Image of RJ & Grace courtesy of Teneil Kable.


Social media etiquette and how to be a good guest

Social media etiquette and how to be a good guest

We went to a wedding recently where there was a strict ‘no social media’ policy – the celebrant specifically asked before the wedding that guests put their phone down and be in the moment. Which got us thinking – what if the bride and groom don’t specify what their policy is, and is now having a policy a ‘thing’?

If you want to control what and when gets put out to the wide world, it’s most definitely a wise idea to outline somewhere what your expectations are. Whether announced via the celebrant, in the order of service, or on a sign guests will easily see are your safest bets. And be clear – if reception pics are fine, perhaps even give your guests a hashtag, making it easier for you to crowd source your favourite candid snaps of your big day. Be succinct but clear – this is your day so you get to run it how you see fit!

Think of the bride and groom – they don’t want to turn around after the BIG KISS to see a wall of iPhones up in their grill. And also – they’re actually paying someone to capture their big day, so guess what Annie Leibovtiz, put that camera down! Here’s a few pointers to consider, so you don’t get blacklisted.

  • Don’t post anything on social media until you’re certain what the deal is. Who can blame the newlyweds from wanting being the first to share their official photos with world. Don’t be that person who posts a pic of the bride before the groom has even seen her – a wedding isn’t an opportunity to show everyone how popular you are for being at yet another wedding.
  • If social media is allowed, it doesn’t mean you’re providing the world with an ongoing commentary. Use tact and common sense for how often and when you post. Also, bathroom selfies are never a good idea – especially at a wedding.
  • Don’t get all papparazzo, or you’ll annoy everyone and get into fisticuffs faster than you can say LARA BINGLE. You’re there to witness and experience the marriage, not capture every moment.
  • And you guys, it’s way also more enjoyable seeing it for real than through a screen. That also means – stay out of the photographers way. Everyone’s been to one wedding where they’ve had to re-do the kiss for the photographer because Uncle Arthur got a new Canon EOS 6D for Christmas and decided this was his moment to test his skills. Just don’t.

Image via South Bound Bride. 


Australia Day, the stylish way

Australia Day, the stylish way

Green & gold – not always a winning colour combination if not done well! Go for cooler, lighter shades of green when pairing with yellow – sometimes forest green can look a bit drab. Here are our picks from the Miss Bunting shop – our favourite? Our giant yellow balloons with mint & yellow tassels of course. And try this cheats recipes for the cutest Green Grass Lamington Recipe – simple and super easy (it’s okay to cheat every now and then). Happy Australia Day!


Green Grass Lamingtons

  • 130 grams (1 1/2 cups) dessicated coconut
  • 20 drops food colouring
  • 175 g store bought lamington
  • 425 g (2 3/4 cup)  icing sugar mixture, sifted
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) hot water
  • 5 drops food colouring, extra


Place the coconut in a plastic bag. Add the food colouring and shake and rub until well combined. Transfer to a plate.

Use a large serrated knife to trim the crusts from the top and bottom of the cake. Cut the cake into 3 even portions, then cut each portion into 6 squares. Place the icing sugar mixture into a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Add the hot water and extra food colouring and use a whisk to stir for 5 minutes or until smooth and runny.

Use 2 forks to dip each cake square in the icing mixture to coat. Shake off excess. Roll the cake in the coconut mixture to evenly coat. Transfer to a wire rack to set.

Recipe via

Images via Miss Bunting and Tuck & Bonte.





Pantone Colour of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid

Pantone Colour of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid

Move over Emerald! 2014 is all about a pinky, purply, pretty hue that’s as fresh as it is fun. Take inspiration for your next party and put purple on your palette. Not too girly, give your next garden party a purple haze with vintage bunting and our purple honeycomb balls.


Hello 2014!

Hello 2014!

Can you believe another year is nearly over? You know what that means – another reason to celebrate and party like it’s 1999. Except it’s nearly 2014, but that’s all just details. From bbq to soiree, pull on a party dress and pretty up your pad and get ready to ring in the new year. Check out my top tips for fuss free fun on and get ready to fiesta with these top buys from

So here’s to 2014 – thank you for your support during the past year – it’s been a ball! While we clear the decks for new product and go hunting for treasures, please note that orders placed from 1 – 13 Jan 2014 won’t be dispatched until the 14th. We’ve got BIG BARBIE DREAM HOUSE type plans, so stay tuned for more fun and fabulousness to come!

Images L-R Pinterest, Tuck & Bonte, Sucre Shop. Product available


Cheat Sheet: Christmas entertaining tips

Cheat Sheet: Christmas entertaining tips

Quick Tips for a Fuss-Free & Stylish Christmas

  • Careful menu planning makes for a much more relaxed Christmas lunch or dinner. As many pre-prepared platters, dishes and desserts that can be made in the lead up means more time for you out of the kitchen and enjoying time with friends and family.
  • Start buying extras like batteries, wrapping paper and gas for the BBQ now, so you’re not frantically trying to do this on top of everything else the day before.
  • Say ‘yes’ to offers of help and don’t be afraid to delegate. Let the family know what’s expected of them – whether it’s making sure there’s enough ice and chilled beverages throughout the day or who’s on cleaning-up duty means everything will run smoothly throughout the day.
  • You don’t need to spend a fortune on masses of plastic trinkets and ornaments – branches sprayed gold for the table and bunches of rosemary from the garden tied with twine and a label make for a gorgeous and fragrant place setting. Save your tin cans and wrap them in washi tape for simple and effective vases or as cute serviette and cutlery holders.
  • Presents don’t need to be extravagant – but well-chosen and beautifully wrapped gifts go a long way to show you care. A roll of brown paper from the supermarket looks divine when paired with bakers twine, washi tape or doilies.
  • Clean the house, room by room during the week, so it’s more manageable on the day. Make sure you’ve retrieved the mandolin from the back of the bottom draw if the recipe calls for wafer thin slices of kipfler potato. No one likes a frazzled host – it will impede everyone’s ability to relax and enjoy the meal if you are running around shoving homework into the washing machine to make room on the dinner table. Especially you.
  • Place-cards are perfect for ensuring everyone sits where you want them to sit – including yourself with easiest access to the kitchen. This also means It doesn’t need to be expensive either! Our parcel tags or our library cards are a perfect way of making it look like you’ve made a whole lot of effort when in essence, it’s actually helping you ensure the day goes off without a hitch.
  • Think about creating a Christmas playlist – and include non-Christmas tracks to break up the festive chorus.
  • Plan a mini-bar so guests can help themselves giving you one less thing to do – think pretty paper straws, coasters and a jug-based cocktail and plenty of non-alcoholic beverages.