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Sunday Reads

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Change of Plans

I recently read a post about things you would change of your wedding. I loved my wedding and though, mhhh nothing. On second thought, I do know some things I would do differently:

  • I would have worn blue or yellow shoes, just because I could.
  • I would have insisted the DJ play more Kenyan music.
  • As a guest book, I had wanted to buy a new bible and ask people to sign against their favourite verses as a prayer for us the new couple.
  • To ensure that all my plans were accomplished and our families could relax and enjoy, I should have paid for a day-of-the-wedding coordinator.
  • I still would not have any kids on the line up.

Are there any changes you would have made to your wedding? Why?

Weddings on my mind

See below a bunch of wedding related items I have been gazing at. Yes, I still have some wedding blogs that I religiously follow.

Not really a fan of the wings on the side but for this jumpsuit, I would do it.

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For some reason, the cape works and would help me overlook that slit.

 

Braid Wedding Ceremony Sign | Credit: Knot Just Pics

I just love the imagery of this board and the fact that you can make it part of your home decor as a daily reminder of your wedding.

I love this stationery!!

 

 

Sunday Reads

I had taken some time off work this week so I the reads will be fewer than usual!

  1. Ever wondered how headhunting happens for some of the more senior positions? Here’s how … (Audio)
  2. God definitely made bacon and this would make Him happy.
  3. Because I am really serious about hanging stuff on my walls and here is a lovely tutorial of how to do it properly.
  4. These shootings while wrong are so heartbreaking!
  5. I feel about this exactly what I feel about wedding financing! BAD IDEA!!
  6. For the econometric geeks out there – dealing with missing data!
  7. The solution for corruption is not as simplistic or clear-cut as increasing wages. So what to do?
  8. Caring for your locs. Also, I am sometimes fascinated by the actual voice of some of the blogs I read and this chick is nothing like I expected …

Enjoy!!

Story of a Wedding: Vendors used

This is the last of the post where I shall be reviewing different aspects of the wedding. Please let me know your thoughts. 

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PS: I deliberately avoided rating the suppliers because I appreciate that experiences will differ one markedly according to the individual. However, vendors marked recommend, I would readily use, time and again.

Cake: Mel from Luvvies Bakery in Cresta.

Dress: Great Weddings in Melville

Stationery: Angelique from Everything I Do (More here) RECOMMEND

Caterer: Candice from Maple Drive Catering RECOMMEND

Decor: Thato of Camelot Hotel RECOMMEND

Photography: Kagiso Legotlo RECOMMEND

DJ: Mpho from Ipheladi

Makeup: Katlego from Lashed Make up RECOMMEND

 

Story of The wedding

Over the next few days, I shall be reviewing different aspects of the wedding. Please stick around and let me know your thoughts.

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This is the one post that will make me wish repeatedly that I shared pics of myself online/ for this blog. The outline of the questions are inspired by one of my favourite blogs, Southbound Bride.

Love Story

The Mr and I met at Wits University while undertaking our Honours degrees in 2008. I had recently moved cities and he was one of the people I soon became friends with.

The Proposal

We had spoken of getting married and so I knew that he would ask just not when. I sound like a control freak but I had also given some guidelines, not in a public place and not in front of any of our families and I didn’t want something over the top. One Thursday after work, I went over to his place and he met me at the door, seated me comfortably then he knelt and asked me to marry him. Knowing it was coming and seeing it happen, two very different things!

The Venue

Well funny story. We selected a venue, paid a deposit went for the decor set up and all of then then life happened and we changed our venue to the Spruitview Multipurpose Park where with three months to go, we started to plan the wedding afresh.

The Wedding in 3 Words

Happy, relaxed and personal

Wedding Style

We really had no style, we just knew we didn’t want it to be too stuffy, we wanted it to reflect our personality and we certainly did not have anything that 30 years from now we would look at and think, why did we select that? I’d say elegant and timeless is something we strove towards. Our wedding colours were yellow and navy blue with touches of white.

DIY Elements

We proudly had none. We didn’t have time as both of us were working full time and planning the wedding. We opted to pay vendors to bring to pass our vision.

The Flowers

I happen to be that one bride that doesn’t like flowers much. I had a small bouquet of blush proteas for me and yellow arums for the girls.

The Dress

I had a mermaid style sleeveless dress with an illusion neckline. Early on, I knew I did not want a strapless dress because I am not so big on top and I didn’t want the dress to look like a towel on me. I wanted (and got) a plunging back which greatly appealed to me. My sister lent me her veil, which my mom lovingly fixed up for me.

Memorable Moment

Walking down the aisle and having my mom hand me over to the Mr and the moment when the guests realised what our first dance was.

Proudly South African / EA details

  • We served traditional cakes and traditional ginger beer at the reception.
  • We presented cakes to our respective in-laws.
  • On the menu we had a Kenyan salsa (kachumbari) and South African dishes such as samp and ting‘.

The Honeymoon

We spoke about the budget and then the Mr went ahead and booked us 7 glorious days in Mauritius. It was winter and off-season but we enjoyed it just as much and I cannot sing enough of the country’s beauty. The hills and how lush it is reminded me greatly of Uganda.

Advice for Future Brides & Grooms

  • Compare quotes from two or three suppliers, make a decision and stop looking.
  • Determine your budget and try as much to stick to it – see what your negotiables and non-negotiables are.
  • Hire a wedding planner if you can, if you can’t don’t work with family members.
  • Have an engagement shot with your photographer, it helps to relax you and you practice for the big day.
  • Relax on the day itself and savour each and every moment because it goes by very quickly.

Tomorrow I will share about the special vendors that made our day possible.

Story of a Wedding: South African boy meets East African girl

Over the next few days, I shall be reviewing different aspects of the wedding. Please stick around and let me know your thoughts.

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So you know how you meet a boy at school, think his difference is fascinating, get to know him a bit and then you say yes when he asks you to marry him and the difference in culture suddenly becomes stark? No? Well, this is what I learnt from planning the wedding about the difference between a wedding in the East (of Africa) and those in the South.

  1. Something as simple as how does the bridal party make their entrance into the reception. In EA, the guests come and join in a single dance with the bridal party and they all dance in together. In SA, the bridal party has to perform a routine that they rehearse and all the guests look forward to. In hindsight, it wasn’t too bad but as I don’t really like to dance, it was a bit of a bummer in the period leading up to it.
  2. Dowry. Obviously both communities pay dowry and I am actually not opposed to it’s payment in case someone wants to comment about how backward/ sexist or whatever else. In Teso, the girls family will usually pick 100% of the dowry from the boys home and that’s the traditional ceremony. Only men are involved and particularly from the paternal side. In SA, the malumes (maternal uncles) can and often get involved, there are quite a few stages to it, gifts are given to the girls and boys family and part of the dowry is paid. This was a very contentious issue and I shall not say anything further about how it was resolved.
  3. Parental involvement. I thought this was more of a family than a South African thing. My parents weren’t super involved in the planning, they just asked about the highlights and the mega details, his parents and family were VERY involved. In EA, we plan weddings with peers who give time, money and their effort to make it a success, I can’t speak of what they do in SA as I never found out.
  4. I found out at the traditional wedding that in Tswana culture, the bride and groom have to spend some time at the boys home following the wedding. I have never heard of this practice back home ! It’s nice to know we can stay over but in reality, we will probably drive home in future rather than stay over at the in-laws just because home is not that far away off.
  5. I always knew that the groom kinda saunters down the aisle with his groomsmen, not so here where the mom/ a sister or special cousin gets to walk him down the aisle.

I am sure there were so many more lessons and I might update this list at a later stage/ as they occur.

Story of a wedding: Music list

Over the next few days, I shall be reviewing different aspects of the wedding. Please stick around and let me know your thoughts.

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The Mr and I really love our music and it’s something we do separately and jointly. Below is music that means a lot to us and that will always remind us of our special day. Hope you enjoy!

Grooms and Best men entry song

Bridesmaid’s procession

Bride’s procession

Bridal party exit

Bridal party march into reception

First dance

AND

Bouquet toss

Garter toss – the DJ played something here but this is the song I wish I had the nerve to play!

I LOVED all our songs and if I do say so myself, the first dance song(s) was epic!!

Story of a wedding: Sites that inspired

Over the next few days, I shall be reviewing different aspects of the wedding. Please stick around and let me know your thoughts.

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Every Last Detail. Lauren is a former wedding planner who gives very good tips about the day itself, how to interact with vendors in terms of what to expect and questions to ask. She also features beautifully styled weddings that gave me a lot of inspiration.

Munaluchi Bridal. This blog features predominantly black weddings and until I found this blog, I didn’t know just how few of these exist. I love the cultural mix and the diversity it represents. The weddings featured here are also amazeballs!

Southbound Bride. She is a South African blogger and features local vendors – which is an added plus.

Southern Wedding Magazines. They have weddings from America’s South (?) but what I loved best about this blog is the different features they run. First “Sweet Tea Sunday” where couples that have been married loooong dish out advise on what helps them in their marriage and, second is the “Southern Newlywed at Home” feature  where they speak to couples that have been married less time about how they transitioned in the earlier days of marriage, their décor style, roles in the home and stuff like date night. This helped me focus on the marriage and relational bit of the marriage more than just the wedding day.

Ben and Gathoni Kiruthi. I like this husband and wife couple because, well, they feature Kenyan Weddings. A pet peeve of mine is the husband constantly “bigging up” his wife’s beauty or something about her. No man, it’s about the wedding that you are featuring!

Pinterest. Obviously! But to keep the sanity, I developed my voice or what I wanted and then I went onto Pinterest and looked at different suggestions to bring my idea to life.

Other sites:

100 Layer Cake

Grey Likes Weddings

What sites did you rely on for your wedding planning?

Story of the wedding: The stationery

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The one thing I was really, really looking forward to is developing the stationery. Like insanely excited about this aspect.

As I continued to look at different blogs and other online sites, I begun to pin or save images and details that appealed to me. I knew also right away that I wanted some detail of our relationship or our personalities to be on display. Therefore I decided to somehow merge a very classic and elegant card look with some playful elements like an illustration or some unexpected detail and with that I emailed various vendors.

So with that in mind I had the following thoughts for the card:

Card 1Card 2Card 3Card 4

… and for the illustration:

illustration 1illustration 2illustration 3Illustration 4illustration 5

AND FINALLY, this is what we went with!

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  • I decided to do away with the illustration idea and adapted it rather to pairs of elements – tandem bikes, birds on a tree, balloons because I felt that it would be awkward just to have this one elaborate element and then not replicate it ad at the time I did not feel creative enough.
  • I initially wasn’t sure of the yellow and blue line on the programme (top right) but I now see that leaving them out would leave the programmes a bit plain looking.
  • I love how she incorporated the colours into the birds and tree and the little details on the leaves.
  • The table numbers will be done in a mixture of blue and yellow to complement the rest of the decor. We had initially planned to go with significant dates to us then changed tack to rather honour our parents and grandparents by using their names rather.

I LURVE how the cards turned out but let me know what you think?

Vendor details:

Our cards were done by Angelique at Everything I do designs. I enjoyed the experience greatly with her and would certainly recommend her to anyone. I loved the fact that her pricing is quite reasonable and she always took the time to make suggestions and listen to any issues or reservations I had.

PS: These images are neither mine nor Angeliques, I saved them for so long that I did not keep their original source.

Story of the wedding … general advice

Following the first update, I would like to pop in with some general advice and then another update of where things currently stand.

  1. Pick vendors you like and whose style you innately like or admire. You have to click on some level.
  2. Take the time to put in the ground work and compare as many quotes as possible. See how the  prospective vendor deals with all the different questions you would have, do they respond readily and to all the questions you raised.
  3. Agree as a couple what’s the most important thing to the two of you and make sure to remember that always and ensure it shows through in your planning.
  4. Consult with the family but learn to place the boundaries on where their input is valid and where it is not. Support each other – publicly and privately.
  5. Take the time to enjoy the process of planning and this special season of your life. Work also on developing other segments of your relationship too.
  6. Schedule some pre-marital counselling with an impartial and trained third-party.
  7. Consult the budget and amend it as necessary.
  8. Include your fiancé as much as you can and let him really own a few things on the to-do list.
  9. In-laws.
  10. Remember it’s just one day. It will all pass away – also ask for a lot of help, people are generally happy and willing to offer some support.

What advice did you live by during your own planning? Or what did you wish you knew then?

 

Story of the wedding …. The Venue

I have started to blog about the wedding preparations so many times and stopped because the process of it all is so exhausting, like even typing that sentence is enough of a killer.

In the last two weeks of Jan/early Feb we viewed a total of ten venues.

  1. Ingaadi – if I wanted to get married on the lawns, it would have been perfect. They don’t have a chapel!
  2. Chez Charlene – went to a wedding three years before and I wasn’t wowed – loved it so much this time round.  I loved the attention to detail and the finishing,the chapel and the grounds and the little ritual that the coordinator spoke about.But it did not have on-site accomodation 😦
  3. Diamond 4 Venue – they had the best space for the bride to get married in and a beautiful reception venue. The chapel, just average. The outside area looks like a construction site and I felt that for how much I was paying, the outside should look good.
  4. Usambara – they had the best chapels of all the places I went to. Beautiful lawns and a place to have cocktails, BUT, the smaller venue was dark and the lady making the sell talked my year off, even I was exhausted!
  5. Everwood – have you ever felt nothing for a venue and then had to go through the motions of whatever you felt? This was that place – they call it country/rustic and in my head I kept thinking incomplete and underwhelmed.
  6. En-Gedi – I really loved this place. Loved the bridal suite, the chapel (before I saw the seats they use) and the grounds. I wasn’t sold on the reception venue though – it had these weird corners to take and it felt a bit dark. But I felt it could be redeemed.
  7. Oakfield – this was my number two venue by far. The venue had a horse and carriage, beautifully manicured lawns and grounds, they looked like THIS is what they do and it showed!!
  8. Tres Jolie – I initially really loved the venue because of the chapel. It totally rocked then we got to the venue and it looked so busy with so many little nooks and crannies and the venue just looked, OK at best.
  9. Hoyo Hoyo – So I thought Everwood underwhelmed me? Nah, not so for this place. I had no energy to even try or pretend to like the place. Thank God for the Mr who rose beautifully to the occasion and asked all that we needed to know. I definitely left the place knowing its a NO.
  10. Zulu Nyala – So beautiful place right in the heart of Joburg. I mean they even had a place with wild animals and stuff and the most beautiful lake and lighting fixtures in the chapel and reception. So beautiful white and red stuff all over. Loved it too.

Just before I went to view all these places, I read this article about questions to ask at your venue. A very nice read, basically, make sure to ask about:

  • Decoration that are allowed and what’s not. For example certain places won’t allow Chinese lanterns, or certain types of candles ..
  • How long have you got the venue for? How much does it cost after that stipulated time?
  • Number of stalls in the gents and ladies – nothing like having so many guests wait in the toilet because there is only one.
  • Might be obvious, but what is included in the venue hire and what is not, down to the number of drinks and the starter or not.
  • Does the venue have an allocated wedding coordinator or will you need to hire another?
  • Who are their approved vendors and what do they like about them?
  • Any discounts or variable costs that the venue can give that point or at a particular season?
  • Number of waiters and serving stations. Are the waiters included in the venue hire or are they an additional cost?

A big thing for us is the fact that the wedding will be in August and it might get cold, we wanted somewhere people could stay late at the wedding but be indoors. Particularly for the older folk.

We settled on Joburg because the next day we have a traditional ceremony at the Mr’s place in the East.

I wanted a beautiful chapel and the venue we selected definitely has. We also wanted a dance floor to boogie the evening away …

So what venue did we select? Number 2!! Close runner up was definitely Oakfield and at Number 3 was Zulu Nyala and En-Gedi.

What would you have selected? What questions did you ask your venue supplier?

getting my wedding on ..

A few wedding related things that have popped up in the last couple of weeks.

What a lovely idea for wedding favours.

A lovely outfit for after the wedding.

Very cute engagement shoot.

In one day, that’s good!