Wooohooo, you're engaged & just realised you're not even good at planning a birthday party. Where do we even begin?
I planned my wedding ALONE, from scratch, and as stressful as it was, it was ultimate BLISS because I had all the control (cue evil laugh) - however there were so many things I learnt during this process and it should 100% be known.
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
In a perfectly normal world, I would recommend looking for your venue first, but with COVID / end of the world & who knows what type of riot, planning your wedding in South Africa can get more tricky than just finding a venue and a date.
Starting off, I'd say write a list of what you absolutely NEED to have at your wedding! For me it was friends and family! - so boom, we knew it was corona days and we needed to find a venue that was not only unique but also could fit our needs of being a wedding venue, fitting our friends and family and also being a getaway. SO we started looking into AIRBNB's
I would love to tell you this experience was delightful, but I didn't want to be dishonest to any places that we were having a wedding as most of them don't allow parties etc. SO finding the one that could fit all 40 of our guests, private, unique and ultimately special had a lot to live up to.
We finally managed to find the one - if you are doing this same thing, then I recommend these questions.
Do you allow weddings?
Can we have day visitors and wedding vendors?
Can we have extra people staying on the couch if need be?
Please can we have a full inventory list of everything that belongs to the house so we don't misplace or damage anything? (and make sure you actually check this list when you arrive)
If COVID doesn't allow us to have a gathering, will you allow us to still go ahead or at least cancel some guests from the booking?
Get a detailed description on directions.
What is the breakages deposit? (be prepared to loose this if you have wild friends)
Once you figure out if you are going to book a venue or airbnb, pick your date! Ask the venue for available dates and then decide which one you prefer weather wise and maybe sentimental wise.
Remember that weather can play a HUGE role!
I checked Accuweather and got a detailed list of the rainy seasons and least rainy seasons. So because the venue was basically going to be ENTIRELY outdoor, I opted for the LEAST rainy season, which happened to also be the COLDEST, but if there is anything I have learnt from this, its that being cold is fine, but being wet is a NO!
As soon as I had this all mapped out, I quickly picked a date and made a SAVE THE DATE, this will give you an idea of how many people are actually going to make it. So I recommend doing this. If you want help designing one of these, I would be honoured to help! If you want to trek these dark water alone, then FINE, use Canva! - It's a lifesaver!
EVERYONE IS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A SIGN
You might be thinking that's not really important, but OMG yes it is. I am all about the details, and nothing says details like signs everywhere.
Welcome to our wedding sign
Order of events
Welcome to the party / reception
Bar sign / fave drinks
These are just a few ideas, feel free to add more - the more the merrier. I made a plan for the entire weekend for everyones bed.
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO
Booking your videographer and photographer can never be done too early!!
Photographers generally get booked up a year prior, for those glorious seasons of good weather! So start looking! If you're here, hopefully I will be documenting your special day & heck I am EXCITED! If I am not - no hard feelings!
V I D E O - So when it comes to video, everyone I have spoken to seems to say the same thing, it's not as important as photo to them. Well, My videographer didn't make it to my wedding due to a lack of communication - long story short! AND I was devastated & I still haven't watched any wedding films in the last two months, because it gets me all emotional that I don't have those special moments on video. Thank the lord I videoed the ceremony on a phone for the people that couldn't attend - I at least have that! - get yourselves a videographer! and read their reviews!
I recommend using Tayla Barnard who occasionally helps out some other photographers & James Peters Films - DO IT!
Are you on a budget?
Well there are caterers and things you can do for a small wedding that you won't have to sell your kidney for.
Harvest Table on a budget - We got DELICIOUS bread from Frying Dutchman - which was other worldly & I spent about R3000 on cheese / dips / crudités etc. And an added R2000 on BILTONG! yes! it was the bomb.com (if you want someone to do this for you, contact Frying dutchman and they will do the setup for you and they will make it look fabulous!
Have a Spit braai - they are only like R200 p/p and its SO much delicious food!
If you are still unsure, Order Pizzas pastas or something delicious and do it yourself. No one cares, people are hungry not judgy - we hope!
Delish table, I had planned to make a yummy table, and I was too busy on the day for this, so make sure to put someone in charge of this if you can.
If your venue allows you to bring your own, there is a way to make it classy!
Hire a bartender and supply the booze! We spent R10 000 on drinks and we had SO much left over! People had a glorious time and it felt so classy! For a nice touch add
Your favourite drinks as hubby and wifey and get them served
Don't forget shoot glasses! (we did) - was super covid friendly HA!
Something cool, have a slushy machine??
Oh and COFFEE would be cool too?
If you need a really cool BAR / bar tender & or ideas - hit me up, I am happy to share!
Photo Karls granny!
If you have booked an airbnb, there is probably a shortage of tables and chairs! Hire them in from your girl The wedding table - Tegan!
We did wooden tables and wooden cross back chairs! looked fabulous!
Cool ideas to make your decor POP
Coloured goblets! Its so FRESH!
different coloured glasses, plates, napkins etc giving an eclectic feel.
Tall candles and candle holders, I don't know why, but this is such a fabulous/ Luxe feel - Order those candles from CloverLeaf Candles - they also have TONS of colours!
Floral!!!!!!!!!!!! Please don't forget this important part! I actually had no idea where to start and contacted my best friend and her mother in law (sweetest soul to walk this planet - besides all dogs) offered to help me out and they ordered the flowers and we sat the night before and made little vases full and arrangements! I was lucky to have an EXTREMELY talented array of best friends, who made the best flower arrangements, but if you know your girls are not that talented then bring pictures of what they should look like!
There are plenty options when it comes to music, but I HIGHLY recommend using someone who knows what they are doing! From my personal experience, Live music is amazing for cocktail hour and reception (if its a larger event)
But I don't recommend live music for your ceremony, I find it a tad distracting.
Having a DJ though, can work for your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. We had Anthony Fox play at our special day and it was a smooth day with music and he really was personable.
Within telling you everything that made our day special, I do also want to admit how incredibly stressful this day was to plan. Doing everything yourself and still having a full time job was NO JOKE! I do recommend having a planner and the best people I can recommend to do so would be Oh Happy Day! They make stunning Luxe events and they really care about their clients. I have had so many brides tell me that their Wedding planners don't really care or help much which is mind blowing, make sure that you are investing your money in the right people to bring your vision to life! - I personally would have loved to have hired Oh Happy Day, but me being the over achiever I am I thought I could manage it on my own.
If you are needing any other help or info, I'd be super happy to help!!