It’s about time I gave you guys a little wedding planning update and relayed some advice! Our wedding is just over 3 months away, and I actually can’t believe it! At first I found wedding planning very overwhelming and I didn’t know what to do, but after a couple of months(and magazines, wedding shows and some advice from readers on Instagram) I settled in and started to really enjoy it and so far I haven’t found it too stressful (but talk to me again in April, I might change my mind ;)). I spoke about my favorite wedding venues in Cape Town over here, and we ended up going with Cavalli Estate. The first wedding budget tip that I have is to be flexible with your date if possible! Because we chose the 1st of May, it falls under the “off-peak” season, which means we saved a big chunk there, as venues generally half their rates during those times(May until end September). With the venue and date finalized, I started planning our décor, flowers, wedding dress, and all other fun stuff, and below are my preferred vendors and some tips!
First thing I realized VERY quickly is that flowers are VERY expensive. And I wasn’t even being fussy about the type of flower that I wanted, I just wanted some flowers! I contacted about 10 florists in the Cape Town area, and we ended up going with Ilse from Blom Stories who came highly recommended from Bride Squad SA. While the budget I originally had in mind wasn’t the final one (it’s just how things goJ), Ilse was very accommodating to try and get my quote down as much as possible. I had some florists tell me that they simply don’t work for anything less than R50k, some never even got back to me, and others were just not hearing my wishes (and giving me quotes for R100k). We decided to mainly go with a lot of greenery (hanging from ceilings, on tables and on the arch), and peonies for my bouquets, and garden roses for the bridesmaids. If you want flowers (rather than greenery), be prepared to have a budget between R40 000- R50 000 for about 100 people (including arch, bridal party and centerpieces).
Wedding Planning Tip– Make a little Power Point/PDF of exactly what you would like, what your budget is, what flowers you need for ceremony, reception, church etc., and send it off to florists as the brief. It makes quoting SO much easier and faster!
I had some fun here, as I wanted some lounge pockets, a nice dance floor and A LOT of light. Baie Goeters was again recommended to me by Bride Squad and by Ilse, and so far they have been a pleasure to deal with. We are covering the entire ceiling with twinkle lights, as well as having grid lights with greenery suspended from the ceiling, so I am hoping it looks magical. I scored some fab black and grey lounge pockets on their Black Friday special, and all I have to do now is book under plates and glassware.
Wedding Planning Tip– Try and utilize what you can for décor. Maybe someone you know has a DJ booth that you can borrow, or a drink cart that can be used for your drinks. I already have a few plinths for display, light boxes and a few other bits and bobs that we are saving cash on. Also, look out for specials! A few of the accounts that I follow often have great special on their items.
That’s the big question right!? I tried on about 50 different dresses before finding my ceremony dress, but the reception dress I fell in love with when I saw a picture of it online. The reception dress is from Bride and Co, and I saw the picture on their website, went on to try the dress in store, and even though I tried on another 20 dresses from Bride and Co, the one I picked was my original choice. For the ceremony dress it was a but trickier, as I wanted the 2 dresses to be different. I finally found it at a wedding boutique here, but ended up getting my mom to buy it from Russia. It is with me now, and just needs some minor adjustments! The Bride and Co dress will be arriving in March, and also needs some small changes, so I am almost good to go!
Wedding Planning Tip : If you like a dress from one of the international designers(i.e. Pronovias, MillaNova, La Sposa, Maggie Sotero etc.) try and see if you can rather get it overseas(if you have a friend or someone travelling that could bring it for you). My dress is from MillaNova and my parents bought it in Russia- we saved about half the price that it was in South Africa (crazy, I know!). Sadly with the textile custom tax in SA the dresses that are imported are that much more expensive here. If you have the option to shop it overseas, maybe try and see if you can save some bucks there.
Food and Drinks
We are going for our tasting next month, and I couldn’t be more excited! We both agreed that we wanted a formal, sit down dinner (Steve is just not good at the buffet) and we are not super fussed about the cake. We are thinking of doing a gin bar because it’s easy and delicious, and next month we also pick our wine and champagne. So excited!
Videographer and Photographer
The photographer part was very easy, as we have our family friend and photographer coming out to South Africa to do our photos. We are very honored, and so excited! For videographer, we picked Magic Hour Films which was recommended to me by Leanne who is also married next month! I contacted a couple of other companies, but costs and date availability were the deciding factor here (as the video style of everyone that we looked at was pretty similar)
The one thing that I always knew I would have at my wedding, are the Manolo Blahnik Hangisi Heels. That dream came true when I went to New York and spent some hard earned cash on my dream shoes! For wedding bands we went with Arthur Kaplan, and they had some stunning options, and we got them on a great opening-day special at Menlyn (as in, 50% off!). My bridesmaids got me a beautiful gown and garter from Bride and Co for the day, and the only thing I am missing now is my “something old” of some earrings (which I will be exploring soon in my mom’s jewelry box).
I am also busy finalizing bridesmaid’s gifts and dresses, DJ and hotels, so I will have more info for you there when I do my next update. Is there anything else you would like to know on any of the vendors?