Elephant in the Room :: Wedding Tax

tl;dr: Things are rarely as black & white as they might appear.

Wedding vs Event

When talking about organising weddings, one often hears two words bandied about: wedding tax. When we were busy planning our own wedding, we had well-meaning people give us advice along these lines: "Call up x business and say that you are enquiring about an event. Call back a few days later regarding the same date but state that it is for a wedding this time. You can bet there will be a significant difference even if you mention that the same number of people will be involved. It's the wedding tax".

At the time we thought this was a great suggestion. We did not have time to implement the process ourselves but the concept sounded plausible, for sure. However, since starting our own business in the wedding industry, this additional cost concept has popped up again but from a different angle.

Personal Experience

We own a photography business. Here are just some of our personal expenses: Camera bodies. Different lenses for different purposes (macro, portrait, landscape, to name a few). Travel. Continuing education. Legal paperwork. Software licences. Website host. Website build. Memory cards. Hard drives. Flashes. Batteries. Computer. Insurance. Registration. Marketing. Advertising. Accounting. Tax. Liability. And, of course, time.

Time for: Planning. Emailing. Culling. More emailing. Editing. Emailing (again). Oh, and sick days and limited holidays (necessary for health, contentment and the opportunity to work to the best of one's ability) also need to be factored in there somewhere.

All of these costs need to be accounted for. Moreover, the higher your costs, the more you need to charge the customer for your services. The more you charge the customer, the less competitive your pricing becomes. Adding an additional cost on top of the cost to run your business reduces your business' perceived value. We have a cost-of-doing-business spreadsheet and I can assure you that there is no column for "wedding tax".

So why can wedding services cost so much? The short answer is that different businesses work from different models depending on individual market drivers. We will explain.

We have an amazing business mentor in Las Vegas: Josh Line from Josh Line Photography (professional headshots). One of the first things Josh recommended that we do was to read "Oversubscribed" by Daniel Priestley. Daniel lists four main drivers of market imbalance: innovation (these businesses secure for themselves a niche position in the market), relationships (these businesses invest time in their clients and really get to know them), convenience (these businesses focus on producing the most frictionless solution to client needs), and price (these businesses create an imbalance in the market based on price). You will find these applicable to most, if not all, industries (wedding-related or not). The specific individual driver for each business you approach during the planning process will influence the price you are quoted - more than any arbitrary and ambiguous additional cost in the form of a wedding tax.

Furthermore, we recently read an article entitled The Wedding Tax Is Totally Real Except When It Isn’t. In it, the author (Rachel Sugar) interviewed a high-end planner who works in New York state. He explained the reality of his job like this: “If I ask a corporate client what kind of chair they want, I show them one or two options, and they say yes. If I talk to a bride and groom about what kind of chair they want, it’s a 25-email exchange. Your mom has a chair she liked sitting in at the last wedding she went to; your dad has an issue with pillows and seats; your groom wants long, rectangular tables; and you want round tables. I price so I can stay sane.”

Real Life Example

Lovely Anna, owner of Raw Cotton in Swan Valley, Western Australia, sums up how most of us feel in the bespoke small business industry: "When buying from a hand maker, you're buying more than just an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experimentation. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of Pure Joy. You aren't just buying at thing. You are buying a piece of heart. Part of a soul. A moment of someone's life. Most importantly, you are buying the artist more time to do something they are passionate about. So thank you for supporting me". (Check out Anna's instagram @rawcottoncollection.)

Final Thoughts

Our advice is to find products and services you love and/or people you value and want to support. We all have a story so find one that resonates with you and your priorities and get behind that small business. Even if you are someone who would score much the same as your cat on an empathy quiz, we are sure that you can appreciate why Rolex charges the amount it does as compared to Quartz. If you're on the market for a Holden, you won't go to a Lambourghini dealership and ask them to match Holden's price.

Work out your wedding budget and set your upper limit. Be realistic. Source your three quotes and get to know each of the businesses at the same time, if possible: you might find you're not ultimately drawn to the lowest price. Perhaps you don't feel like a number with one and they allocate more than enough time to get to know you. Perhaps another one is a standout based on product or service alone. Perhaps another one is hard to beat for price. Or another one offers the most convenience at an already stressful time in life. Figure out where your priorities lie; perhaps you want a unique venue or designer dress or stunning cake? Whatever it is that adds to your story as a couple, find the product and/or service that meets your criteria and support the hardworking people making it all happen. We want to wish you a smooth, fuss-free (wedding tax-less) journey of wedding planning!

Information :: Five Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Wedding Photographer

It can be challenging navigating the world of wedding planning - to say the least. This is especially true when you are looking for specialists in fields that are a) very often foreign to your own and b) over-saturated. At Poppy & Sage Photography, we try to make life a little easier for everyone; we would like to share some thoughts and tips on how to go about narrowing down the right photographer for you individually (we find that often one partner takes greater responsibility for aspects of planning, such as choosing a photographer) and as a couple, too, of course.

Choosing a photographer is a huge commitment. So many styles to navigate. Do you want documentary? Fine art? Edgy, bold, colourful? A great photographer will make an "average" wedding look stunning. A bad photographer will make a stunning wedding look average... or worse. More than that, though, some (definitely not all!) of the most popular wedding photographers do not necessarily have strong, well-composed, thoughtfully executed portfolios but have wonderful, easy-going personalities that make everyone feel comfortable and relaxed - an essential ingredient for the recipe of wedding photography you want to look back on for a lifetime. What if you want it all, though? Photographers who mesh well with your personalities and create images that you will treasure?

Here is a deductive process we recommend to help you to hopefully hit the jackpot:

1) Is this a business or a hobby?

One key indicator is whether the business has an ABN or not. Sometimes you will find this information on the business website and sometimes you need to ask for it. Another indicator is whether they have liablility or not. (You will find details for both our ABN and liability on our FAQ page.) Having associated paperwork (such as the above) tells you that the owner(s) is invested & takes their business more seriously than a hobby (just one piece of the puzzle but a very important one).

While on the topic of paperwork, do they offer you a written contract? Very often clients think of the contract as having a sole purpose: to protect the business. However, the contract is there to protect you, too. The business is legally bound to follow through on their end of the bargain. Do they clearly articulate the deliverables to you (minimum number of total images? Or how many images will be delivered per hour? Or turnaround for said images? Et cetera...).

2) Does this business genuinely care about our needs & wants?

How would you even know? It can be almost standard to feel like a number in business and you are as time-poor as everyone else so where do you even start? Unfortunately, a lot of it has to do with gut feelings. For example: if you feel as though you are being rushed to close the sale and things are not progressing at your own rate, this can be a key indicator that you are simply $$$ to the business. Another example: we all have insecurities we want to be able to work around and angles we prefer to be avoided. If you don't feel comfortable discussing these kinds of details with your photographer, they are probably not the best fit for you.

However, there are some tangible indicators, too. For example, how happy are they to catch up and have a chat with you? A wedding photographer should have excellent communication skills; good listening is non-negotiable. You will only be able to determine this by having a chat. If your location is outside a reasonable travel zone, are they happy to jump on skype? Make time for you over the phone? There is not much point falling in love with a photographer's work but then not really getting each other in person. We welcome whatever form of communication you prefer and we are very happy to meet in person within a 10 km radius of Brisbane CBD. We especially appreciate the opportunity as it breaks the ice. Furthermore, if you do choose to book with us, the wedding day itself will be so much more relaxed. We are another familiar and friendly face on the day. :)

Another key area to focus on is how well they get to know you and your wants and needs. We recently read through a comment thread on facebook. One bride mentioned that her photographer took ~50 detail shots of her dress and that she did not particularly care for that many. We love a good detail shot (could easily take 50 ourselves!) but we wouldn't if we knew that was low priority for the couple concerned. For example, we provide our couples with a detailed questionnaire upon initial contact. We do this to get a feel for your priorities and vision. Completing the questionnaire gives us an insight into your style and taste, too. Frequently, the questionnaire is handed back to us with unanswered questions. This is totally fine, too! If the question is asking for an answer that is not a big deal for you, that is still valid information for us. We try to tailor our product to suit both of you as closely as we possibly can.

3) Does the business interact with other related businesses or attend industry events, such as wedding fairs?

In other words, you're looking for social accountability. Is this business known to other businesses and do they seem to have some sort of rapport? The more you find a vendor sitting on the fringes of their industry, the more likely they are to be either complacent or unreliable... and sometimes both. We work with other businesses regularly; we share the information for the ones we love here.

4) Do I LOVE the photographer's portfolio or am I just okay with it?

Only you can answer this question satisfactorily. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all have signature shots that we gravitate toward. We all have our own unique "eye" or bias or perspective. We all have our own secret editing sauce. It is so important that you find the portfolio that resonates with you. While you are going through the process of narrowing down a photographer, pick their portfolio apart. For example, if your wedding is in the middle of the day, you want to look for images shot in full sun. Do their indoor and outdoor images differ greatly? Perhaps their outdoor images are not that great but your wedding is indoors in a cathedral and they rock those particular shots in their portfolio?! Better yet, ask to see a full wedding and decide for yourself if they capture all the moments that matter to you and your significant other.

Capturing the moments as they unfolded at Michael & Tara's wedding. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Capturing the moments as they unfolded at Michael & Tara's wedding. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Capturing the moments as they unfolded at Michael & Tara's wedding. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Golden hour. The end. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Indoors with some light through the window. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

In hospital; not usually known for the best photography-friendly lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

In hospital, too; not usually known for the best photography-friendly lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Also in hospital; not usually known for the best photography-friendly lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

We worked in the rain during this shoot; we actually love rainy days as the cloud cover usually results in gorgeous soft, diffuse light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

From the same shoot as the image directly above. The rain droplets on the lens are a little more clear in this black & white version. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

This one was taken outdoors in a fern garden. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

This was taken indoors with light coming throught the front door. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Outdoor shoot. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

This image was taken outdoors. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Same object as shown above but photographed indoors with no natural light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

In a temple (Kerala, India). (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

In a temple (Kerala, India). (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Just on dusk. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Catching the last rays of sun for the day. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

5) Does this business support a cause bigger than themselves?

People seem to be much more savvy these days when it comes to choosing a business to support. We all want to be part of something that makes a positive difference. Something that makes this world a better place to be in. The reality is this: the fact that we all need to put food on the table for our families and pay our bills is not necessarily reason enough to support a business. However, when you see a business doing their bit to not only support themselves but contribute to society as well, it is so much easier to get behind that. Find one that supports a cause you care about, too. That's our personal challenge for you! :)

When you are booking, feel free to check with us if we are supporting a local organisation at that time. We regularly run campaigns supporting local charity organisations. You will find information for them during that period. If we are supporting at the time you book, we will pass on their specific details and we will donate 10% of the total amount of money you spend on our service.

All the best for your search and may it be as smooth as possible!

** Current Phone Issue - Please Email **

Hello! Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend. We are currently experiencing an issue with the mobile phone number linked to Poppy & Sage Photography. Not sure if it's a reception issue, sim card issue, sim card reader... looking into it at present. We apologise to anyone trying to contact us by phone. Please use the contact form on our website or email admin (at) poppyandsagephotography.com.au. Thank you for your patience and we will resolve this asap!

~Pete & Em, Poppy & Sage Photography

Springtime in Brisbane, Australia <3

Bridal Shoot :: Boho Picnic Inspiration

We recently shared one of our favourite shoots to date here. We deliberately left some out (they are some of my - Emily's - favourite shots from the day) as we wanted to showcase them in their own space. At one point, we took Katerina, our wonderful model, aside and took a few bridal shots in her gorgeous Studio C Bridal dress. With the cloudy day and resulting soft, diffuse lighting, everything came together the way we wished.

Here is a tip: everyone has different priorities and expectations for their wedding day. Some want to capture the moments between friends. Or family. Or both. Or celebrate the couple as they start a fresh, new journey together. Sometimes it's the details that are the product of countless hours researching and preparing. It can be anything and we are here to capture what is important to you and your significant other. However, if portraits are high priority for both of you, it is sometimes a good idea to schedule a separate day to focus on portraits alone; the wedding day itself really does fly by.

We recommend a separate day for portraits particularly in the case that one of the two of you doesn't like having a camera pointed in their direction. Fine! No problem. Let your partner enjoy the spotlight for the day and be captured in that suit or gown that may or may not be worn again. Better yet, line it up as a sneaky surprise and treat your SO - we are always on board for those kinds of bookings!

Find an example bridal shoot below with a good dose of blooms from Bumble & Bloom. Thanks again for being so easy to work with, Katerina!

Tom // groom // @tommy_c_23
Katerina // bride // @siberian_princess_
Gemma // bridesmaid // @gemelise87
Keeley // bridesmaid // @keeley.iverson
Lilli // flower girl
@bumble_bloom // flowers // website
@cakemydaybyjo // cake // website
@clickpicnic // event hire // website
@cocoblushboutique // flower girl dress // website
@emilyjane_designs // earrings // website
@fallenbrokenstreet // hats // website
@gingerblondeco // bridesmaid dresses // website
@ivory.haus // bride and flower girl robes // website
@_makeupby_gigi // hair and makeup artist // website
@molossidesigns // custom-cut designs // website
@platter_to_plate // catering // website
@poppyandsagephotography // photography // website
@studiobcouture // stationery // website
@studiocbridal // dress // website
@thebridalboxco // gift boxes & swing // website
@thevaleaustralia // location // website


Holly Go Lightly-esque Hens Party Inspiration in Brisbane, Australia

If we could give an award to the shoot that has provided the most amount of fun to date, it would go to the hens party inspiration you will find below. Brodie Jones, from Click Picnic, is responsible for the concept, planning and styling. The shoot showcased Click Picnic's Mrs Jones collection. Click Picnic describe their collection as this: "Who is Mrs Jones? Mrs Jones is always well dressed and almost never well behaved! This is a high tea package for no proper lady. Indulge in harmless gossip over a combination of vintage English china and Japanese porcelain with a modern twist. This is where ladies meet beyond the hedges for delightfully debaucherous conversation. Perfect for a hens party or baby shower". Brodie's inspiration culminated in a "fun to the max, naughty but nice, Holly Go Lightly-esque party-girl style hens celebration"!

The shoot, held at Bella Brows (4a/54 Vernon Terrace, Teneriffe), featured pretty stationery (handiwork of Lorelie from Studio B Couture), leather clutches (made by Anna from Raw Cotton), gorgeous floristry (by Bumble & Bloom's Zoe), delectable cake pops & macarons (Macarons by Monika), custom-cut signage (Josh & Suzanne from Molossi Designs), gift boxes (Bijour from The Bridal Box Co) &, last but certainly not least, a colourful & delicious platter (provided by Platter to Plate's Rhiannon). Demi, Katherine & Morgan looked stunning in dresses from When Freddie Met Lilly and rocked their robes from Ivory Haus. Hair & makeup by the dream team of Heather Cutts Hair & Makeup by SEM. Johnré Blackie did a sterling job of being a classy waiter for the day. We were thrilled to be part of this shoot. Enjoy!

Demi Groot // model
Johnré Blackie // model
Katherine Lambert // model
Morgan MacLennan // model
Bella Brows // location
Bumble & Bloom // florist & flower crown specialist
Click Picnic // event hire & styling
Heather Cutts Hair // hairdresser
Ivory Haus // bridal party sleep shirts & gowns
Macarons by Monika // macarons & cake pops
Makeup by SEM // makeup artist
Molossi Designs // custom-cut acrylic & MDF designs
Platter to Plate // platters & grazing boards
Poppy & Sage Photography // photography
Raw Cotton // leather accessories
Studio B Couture // wedding invitations & stationery
The Bridal Box Co // bridal & wedding party gift boxes
When Freddie Met Lilly // bespoke wedding gowns

Meet Wedding Celebrant, Fiona!

Happy Monday! Hope everyone has had a manageable weekend. Today you will meet Fiona, a wedding celebrant based in Brisbane. We recently did a shoot with Fiona and we really enjoyed the experience. We found her approachable and professional. It was a tedious shoot (long list of shots we were aiming for) and Fiona came in at a time when everyone was hungry and a bit scrappy. She pulled the situation together effortlessly and with a good dose of humour. We have a feeling Fiona might have seen it all and can certainly handle any situation. You will find Fiona on our recommended vendors page.

"Tell us about yourself"
My name is Fiona McIntyre and I’m a Brisbane wedding celebrant. I’ve been marrying people for 4 years now and love that I get to be part of people’s biggest life moment. When I’m not marrying, I work in my other business doing social media and website design, and try to juggle raising a 6 month old and 4 year old who both have red hair!

"Why did you choose to become a celebrant?"
It had been a dream of mine for 10 years before I finally did it. It was a thought that would constantly pop in and out of my head, so when my daughter was 5 months old, I decided in a split second it needed to be now! I enrolled in my course and performed my first ceremony 3 months later. Part of my reason was wanting to show her that you should always reach for your dreams, no matter how hard they may seem.

"Who in celebrancy inspires you?"
My fellow celebrants. We work together on the belief that we’re a community, not competition. We constantly learn from each other and that makes us better. This means I can offer my couples new ideas and approaches to ensure I deliver them the ceremony they’ve always dreamt of.

"Any misconceptions about your industry that you would like to dispel?"
People often question the price of a celebrant because they think we just turn up and deliver a 30-minute ceremony. They don’t realise the amount of work that’s gone on behind the scenes to deliver those 30 mintues. I do research, meetings, interviewing, writing, drafting, rehearsals, travel and, of course, the ceremony. On top of that, celebrants also have to attend annual professional development to ensure we stay on our game. No celebrant turns up and just wings it on the day – a lot of time and preparation has gone into making those 30 minutes spectacular.

"Do you have any tips for those of us who aren't experts?"
Your wedding ceremony should be all about you. People want to hear the story of how you met, fell in love and came to be standing there together. The past is so important to creating a future together. It can be fun, light hearted and engaging. The wedding ceremony sets the tone for the whole day so have fun with it. No one wants to sit through a boring ceremony!

"Why should couples choose you for their big day?"
I’m passionate about working with couples to identify what makes them unique. That way, I can deliver their perfect ceremony. I take the time to get to know my couples, explain their options, and work with them to craft a personal ceremony. I also believe in making the process fun and stress-free, so guarantee lots of laughs along the way!

"How do you set yourself apart from competitors?"
I invest a lot of time with my couples depending on their individual needs. I provide a ceremony planning guide to really help couples understand their options and think about what they want to include. I don’t limit numbers of meetings or phone calls because I think the ceremony is so important, couples should feel supported through the whole process. I also bring nearly 20 years experience as a professional writer, event manager and presenter so my couples are guaranteed a professional ceremony.

"What is the best advice you ever received?"
Give a man a chance to say no – if you never ask the question, you’ll never know the answer.

"What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?"
Each couple is so different. There are common themes among ceremonies, but being able to create a new ceremony every time, is something I truly love!

"How do you balance work and family demands?"
I thrive on being busy. Running two businesses and working part-time means my life is crazy! I’m lucky to have a really supportive husband and the ability to live on very little sleep!

Website // https://www.yourbrisbanecelebrant.com/
Instagram // https://www.instagram.com/fiona_mcintyre_celebrant/
Facebook // https://www.facebook.com/yourbrisbanecelebrant/
Email // info@yourbrisbanecelebrant.com

Meet Homewares, Stationery & Giftware Designer, Sophie!

You get to meet the lovely Sophie from Sophia Mulheran Designs today! We recently undertook a project with Sophie that we can't wait to share in the coming months. It was a delight to work with her and we can vouch for the wow factor her products bring. We have enjoyed getting to know the Sophia Mulheran Design brand for a couple of reasons in particular. At a business level, we enjoy supporting local businesses and you will find the Sophia. brand based here in Brisbane, Australia. On a personal level, Pete has a science degree with an environmental major & Em has honours in environmental microbiology; the Sophia. brand is passionate about sustainable and ethical business practices so this (environmentally conscious) aspect resonates with us. We recently noticed on Sophie's instagram that the team have picked up 10,479 pieces of rubbish so far this year! What an amazing effort! I am sure you would be keen to hear more of the stories behind Sophie's business so I will now hand it over to her (and you will find Sophia Mulheran Designs listed among our recommended vendors):

"Tell us about yourself” 

I’m a creative and passionate Brisbanite who is working towards the most sustainable and ethical lifestyle and business. I love drawing so to essentially be able to do it as a job (as well as creating other awesome things) is an absolute dream come true!

"Why did you choose to design homewares, stationery and giftware?” 

I’ve always wanted to make a positive difference to our environment and community so when I formulated the idea to turn my passions into a career, I stopped at nothing to get the business up and running. The Sophia. Brand launched in August 2017 and since then, it’s been nothing but a success. I have learnt so much and met so many beautiful and inspiring people.

"How did your interest in design and creativity start?”

I grew up on an acreage property so I was constantly building, exploring, creating and running free. This has shaped me into the person I am today and has armed me with an intense passion for the environment and everything creative.

"Who in business inspires you?”

There’s too many to count!! I’m inspired by anyone and everyone who has the courage to take the leap of faith and follow their dreams. It’s inspiring to see so many people who have made the decision to quit their day jobs and set out to do exactly what they were born to do.

"Any misconceptions about your industry that you would like to dispel?” 

Most people think that I sit down and carefully plan out every tiny detail of my designs but the truth is that I create all my designs on the spot and I never know how they are going to turn out.

"Do you have any tips for those of us who aren't experts?” 

I know there’s people out there who think they don’t have a creative bone in their body but the truth is that my drawings used to be messy and nothing of great quality. It was only the other day that I found a few drawings that I created not long before I launched my business. If I was still creating those dodgy designs, my business would be an absolute flop! Keep exploring different aspects and don’t forget that nearly anything can be considered art!

"Why should couples choose you for their big day?” 

When it comes to weddings, I have a few unique things to offer. The first being custom-designed wedding invitations and menus to suit your flowers, style and wedding layout. I’ve also introduced wedding hire items. These include my hand-crafted copper bowls and plates, which bring a striking colour and texture to the wedding dining

"How do you set yourself apart from competitors?”

I pride myself on being unique and creating things that people have never seen before. What's the point of following the trend when you can create your own?

"What is the best advice you ever received?”

I’ve received lots of awesome advice over the years but one thing I always tell myself is that if you keep going and never give up, you will succeed. Work hard, keep your head down and you’ll get there in the end!

"What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?” 

Who knew there was so much to learn about running a business? I thought I’d done the majority of the work when I launched the business but the truth is that there is always improvements to make. Business is a journey too!

"How do you balance work and family demands?” 

I’m definitely guilty of working for 5am until 10pm without so much as a break. I have way too many ideas that I want to follow through on so at this point in time, work never really stops for me. I might find a balance one day!

"Anything else you would like to add?” 

If you’d like to follow my sustainable and ethical business journey, feel free to check out my website and social media pages: 

Website: http://www.sophiamulheran.com 

Instagram: Instagram.com/sophia.mulheran.designs 

Facebook: Facebook.com/sophiamulheran 

Twitter: Twitter.com/mulheransophie 

Meet Custom-Cut Designers, Josh & Suzanne!

We are thrilled to introduce you to a lovely husband-wife team of custom-cut designers - Josh & Suzanne from Molossi Designs! We have worked with them on a couple of projects: here and here. They are always so pleasant to email back and forth with and they consistently bring quality, stunning pieces to the table. This is their story as told by them (and you will find them on our recommended vendor page):

"Tell us about yourself"
We are a husband and wife team with 6 children that keep us on our toes! We recently made a ‘tree’ change from the city, which has given us more freedom and time in life! Best decision we ever made… This decision has also given us more direction with the business to see it grow.

"Why did you choose custom-cut designs as your chosen field?"
The creative desire and a WOW product!

"How did your interest in custom-cut designs start?"
Originally in the papercraft industry, we purchased our first laser to allow us to create our ‘own’ product – our own chipboard line. When we tapped into the MDF and acrylic designs, the papercraft side closed down as the demand for our products in the event industry grew. Three years later, we purchased our second machine. Two years after that, our third machine. We have grown with the industry.

"Who in custom-cut designs inspires you?"
Everyone from the bride that contacts us the week before her wedding (lol it does happen – and that’s cool with us as we manage it!) to the event planner, the venues, the GROOMS (yup - grooms, too!) to the photographers that capture it all.. There is not one person that doesn’t inspire us.

"Do you have any tips for those of us who aren't experts?"
The key is to capture the spirit of the client and the essence in life. And outsource what you can!

"Why should couples choose you for their big day?"
We are asked this weekly – and our answer: at Molossi it is quality over quantity here!

"How do you set yourself apart from competitors?"
We will work with you to create what your heart desires. We are a big believer in “you are your only limit”.

"What is the best advice you ever received?"
The Five Ups:
‘Get up, dress up, show up, keep your head up, and never give up’.

"What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?"
Never be afraid to ask!

"What does a day in the life of Molossi look like?"
Our days consist of designing orders to cutting, perfecting and packing. We deal with some amazing vendors but my favourite part is opening messages filled with love and images of our products in use!

"Anything else you would like to add?"
The Molossi team are your go-to manufacturer, retailer and wholesaler of custom-made and personalised MDF, wooden and acrylic designs. Whilst personalised MDF wooden signs and acrylic cake toppers are just the beginning of Molossi’s product range, we are always ready to assist when a client brings a design to us; Molossi will help recreate the desired product in mind to the best of our ability, whether it be for that unique wedding/event piece, business logo or home decor, we will work with you to create what your heart desires.

Molossi is situated in New South Wales, with our warehouse located at Mandagery. Even though we are Australian-based, we do ship internationally. Please contact us at info@molossi.com.au for a freight quote.

Shop with confidence at Molossi and rest assured that we will strive to do what is best by our clients. This is not a job for us - it is our passion!! If you are a registered business, you may be eligible to register for a wholesaler's account. Click HERE to register for an account.

You will find Molossi's:

Travel Diaries :: Corrie Ten Boom Huis & Anne Frank Museum

We recently wrote a post addressing today's obsession with presenting a perfect & happy image (literally) on social media platforms, such as Instagram, and musing about the somewhat forgotten art of storytelling (perhaps with less filtering?) by way of handwritten diaries. We wrapped up the post with this: "We vote for both: enjoy and share with the world your highlight reel on Instagram (after all, holidays are usually a huge investment so enjoy reliving those memories over and over!) but also treasure those raw and gritty handwritten travel diaries over a glass or two of red (after all, those genuine and authentic moments are priceless)! Who knows... we might even share a story or two or three from our travel diaries this year. <3"

We are going to share below one of our journal entries from the 3rd of January, 2014. We had just visited both the Corrie Ten Boom Huis & the Anne Frank Museum:

"Today we set out to see the Anne Frank Museum (AFM), the Corrie Ten Boom Huis (CTBH), and go on a canal tour. We got 2 of the above done. However, although we only got 2 done, I feel as though I reached my saturation point today ... so much to write about! Firstly, we went to the tourism place across the road from Centraal Station to find out where the CTBH is located and how to get there (public transport). It turned out that it is in Haarlem and about 10 minutes walk from the Haarlem Station. As the CTBH stopped tours from 3 pm and the AFM closed at 7 pm, we decided to go for the CTBH first. We bought a day ticket for the train and got on for Haarlem.

On the way, the ticket officer asked for our tickets. We produced them. She took them from us and promptly got upset with us. It soon became apparent that we had (unwittingly) purchased a ticket for the tram and bus instead of the train. To make matters worse, it was with another company. How we had made this mistake was that most of the ticket machines required payment by card. The machine from which we purchased our tickets was one of the few we could find that accepted cash. Well, the situation could have been worse; the ticket officer, after we explained that it was our second day in the Netherlands, took the tickets from us and explained that we would have to buy new tickets at the station. So we did.

Image was taken by us during our holiday adventuring. (You can purchase original Ten Boom watches here.)

We headed for the Corrie Ten Boom Huis. It was a beautiful neighbourhood. It was surreal walking the streets Corrie and her family walked. We found the museum and I was so surprised to find that the jewellery shop is still open and trading under the Ten Boom name still. They were selling watches in the window - Swiss, et cetera - and some were just 'Ten Boom'. It was great to see.

We lined up with 3 Americans for the next tour starting in 5 minutes. A very friendly American lady welcomed us in for the tour and directed us to the living room. It was ... surreal. Having read the 'Hiding Place' and watched the film, it was hard to process that we were sitting in the living room of the Ten Boom's home. The tour guide talked us through the main parts of Corrie's story and, as she got to different sections of the story, we moved to different parts of the house. We got to Corrie's bedroom where the hiding place is. Pete and I stepped in. At one stage, while Pete was in the hiding place section of Corrie's room, the tour guide pulled down a curtain and closed the cupboard door to the opening into the hiding place. While it was dark, she started knocking on the wall and Pete later said the experience was unnerving and made the story of the 6 Jews 'held captive' in there for 47 hours more tangible.

We walked to St Bravo Church where the Ten Booms went to church. They were busy setting up for a winter festival tonight and we were fortunate enough that they were playing the pipe organ containing 68 registers and featuring 5,068 pipes. Mozart played the organ in 1766 and G.F. Händel also played it (the Christian Müller organ).

We went and had a high tea (of sorts) at Bij Babette just down the road from the CTBH. We indulged in delicious scones and an amazing green tea called 'The Love Potion'. We asked our friendly waitress to surprise us with a tea and she delivered.

Next stop was the AFM. After the cosiness and warmth of the CTBH, I found the AFM a bit sterile and detached but it was a powerful experience nonetheless. Such a strong story and very glad we went. It was particularly sobering to see Anne's name in a huge, fat in memorium book lising every Jew (103,000) who was killed in the Netherlands during the war. To think that so many people died senselessly was staggering and upsetting.

It was a buzz to see Anne's diary in the flesh - to see her handwriting with corrections, et cetera. It made it all so much more real. Another little thing that stood out to me was on a picture Anne had put on her wall of a pretty young lady (from a magazine or paper, I assume). It was black & white, of course, but Anne had coloured the lady's lips with a pink pencil. It was a reminder that she was just a girl doing girl things."

"Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart." ~ Corrie Ten Boom

We must learn from history.