my trip “down under”…

A few weeks ago I made a trip to Sydney, Australia for an event conference, of which I spoke to other event professionals on Sales and Marketing. That’s right, your favorite event engineer (planner) travels around the country (and now Internationally) speaking at conferences.

The beauty of this and through the help of social media, keeps me abreast of latest trends that is happening in the event world (remember, we don’t just plan weddings … we also plan corporate and social parties).

Living in the Midwest can leave you a little out of touch if you aren’t proactive. We are in a bubble here, often experiencing trends a few years later if you compare us to the East or West coasts. We have fabulous weddings and events here locally. There is no reason really we don’t get the attention from magazines or wedding blogs … it may just be the fact of our zip codes.

Back to Australia. I have always wanted to go there, it’s been on my bucket list since I was 16 years old (check that one off). It’s really a beautiful country, filled with beautiful people.

So in case you were interested in ever going visiting the Land Down Under, here are my general take-aways:


  • Prepare yourself for a long trip. 21 hours on airplane rides (minimum) and additional 8 plus hours of layovers, custom check points and general merriment. Get your visa, passport and find your inner happy place.
  • Pay for the upgrade for better seats. While I didn’t fly Business Class (or First Class), I did upgrade through Delta for seats that reclined lower, free drinks and more importantly, the ability to plug in your phone and laptop.
  • Set your watch to whatever the time is at your final destination. This will help you psychologically prepare you for jet lag. You’ll sleep when you need to and/or stay up.
  • Aussies are a lot like Midwestern people. Down to earth, no pretenses, up-front and good core values.
  • Order a “flat-white” coffee as soon as you arrive. Don’t be surprised that their large cup is about the size of our small cup. This coffee packs a nice little punch and is wonderfully yummy.
  • Save your pennies, because Australia is not cheap. I was in Sydney and at first thought that it was because it was a big city. However that is not the case. Since the American dollar is about flat with the Australian dollar exchange, you won’t be saving any money through the exchange.
  • Weddings in Australia are smaller (in guest size), but not in the couple’s investment. They typically marry later in life, so they really cherish their guests, often spending $150-$200 per guest so they leave with an experience. Good food, drinks, entertainment and more. I really loved networking with the Aussie vendors and of course my host, Sarah Johnston owner and event planner of Girl Friday Weddings.
  • I throughly enjoyed walking the city (and boy did I walk, everywhere!). Really get out there and submerse yourself in their culture, wonderful accent and colorful sayings. Drink an Australian beer, my favorite was Super Dry. A nice light beer with great taste.
  • If you have time (which I didn’t), schedule flights to Melbourne and other “states”. That is now on my new bucket list.


Here are a few photos I took whilst I trekked around the city:

photo credit: pfe iPhone

ps For you video junkies, click here for my TV segment on the trip.

pss What do you think? Does it make you want to visit Aussie-land?

psss For visual yumminess of all things Australian and wedding related, I highly suggest you visit It’s pretty much the bomb.


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