Event planner and bride-to-be Precious Thamaga dispenses insider tips on how to prep like a pro.
Event planner Precious Thamaga dispenses her insider tips
Putting together a big event can be a nightmare, unless, of course, you have the sought-after ‘Precious The Planner’ at your side. Since founding Precious Celebrations in 2007, Sandton’s finest event planning and brand experience agency, CEO Precious Thamaga, 34, has become one of the most in-demand planners across the country. Like a puppet master, she pulls all the strings to make sure everything is executed with efficiency and elegance – and she has the client list to prove it: Thembi Seete, Bonang Matheba and Boity Thulo have all had a sprinkle of Precious’ magic at their own grand occasions.
As she looks forward to her impending nuptials, Precious is dishing on what she has in mind for her big day and sharing knowledge on how to make the preparations for your own wedding as painless as possible.
What steps have you taken in planning your wedding?
I never imagined it would be this overwhelming! We’re getting the family and traditional elements sorted out first. Once that’s done, we’ll start planning the actual day. But we definitely want a winter wedding.
Do you have a dress design in mind?
This is the tough part, there are so many options. Now I understand how my clients feel. However, I think I know what complements my body structure – that’s a good starting point, right? I’m also waiting on the 2019 bridal collections to arrive in SA, so I can get an idea of the trends, styles and textures that I’ll be choosing from.
Are there any elements that you want in your dress design?
All I know is that I want my dress to be dreamy, elegant and timeless. I’m quite tall and curvy, so I’ll keep that in mind when I decide on the style and design of the dress.
Do you have a particular designer in mind?
I’ve dealt with a lot of designers in SA, so I’m honestly not sure which direction I’ll take. A few designers stand out the most for their workmanship and professionalism, including Gert-johan Coetzee and Rubicon Clothing. But we also have some really amazing bridal boutiques like De La Vida and Vonvé Bridal in Joburg.
As someone who has planned many weddings in the past, do you think that it will be easier to plan your own?
Absolutely! I’m too much of a perfectionist, so I wouldn’t want to give the responsibility of planning ‘The Planner’s’ wedding to someone else. One thing I am sure of, is that I’ll bring an industry friend or colleague on-board and hand everything over to them once it’s been conceptualised, designed and put in-place for the wedding. Who that will be is the big question. It has to be someone I can trust and rely on; I have nightmares about someone trying to sabotage my wedding day, so it’s a very difficult choice to make.
What are the main Dos and DON’TS when planning a wedding? THE dos
• Plan as much and as far ahead as possible.
• Always remember why you’re planning the celebration and who you’re doing it for.
• Decide on the number of guests you want to host, because that sets the tone for a lot of important elements, like your venue and your budget.
• Don’t leave anything to the last minute, plan ahead to avoid the pressure when the day gets closer.
• Don’t do things to please others.
• Don’t spend more than your means. Are there any designers or boutiques you can recommend for:
WOMEN WITH curves
• Casper Bosman (casperdesignerwear.co)
• TN Collectiv ( tncollectiv.com)
• De La Vida ( delavida.co.za)
• Vonvé Bridal ( vonvebridal.co.za)
BRIDES WITH glitzy STYLE
• Pronovias ( veilbridal.co.za)
• Gert- Johan Coetzee ( gertjohancoetzee.com)
BRIDES on a Budget
• Bride & Co ( brideandco.co.za) • Eve’s Bridal Wear ( evesbridalwear.co.za)
Weddings can be very expensive, do you have any money-saving tips?
A lot of couples want to go all out and have opulent weddings. The best tip I can give the bride- and groom-tobe is to manage their guest list. Make sure that everyone on your list is someone you would be happy to spend so much money on and that you have people that mean something to you. Ideally, you would want to recognise everyone in your wedding album. Winter weddings are also a great way to save; most venues and suppliers have amazing deals for winter, take advantage of that!
When it comes to budget, how much are we talking for your average wedding?
Everyone has different tastes, but the best way to budget is to work on a per-person estimate. For an average wedding with 100 guests, don’t budget anything less than R300 000.
What is the most difficult part in planning and executing the wedding?
I wouldn’t say difficult, but the most challenging part would be planning weddings that aren’t at a formal venue, especially when it comes to controlling the number of guests. Ninety percent of the time, you have to plan for an overflow, incase uninvited guests arrive. This compromises the service and food, so I always stress the importance of having a budget for contingency.
In terms of venue and destination, what is the best route to go?
It really depends on your taste, style and number of guests. If most of your guests can afford to get themselves to a destination wedding, why not? It’s an amazing experience and you can really create an unforgettable weekend for them. But if you’re having a big wedding, consider a venue that’s easily reachable for the people you have invited.
What time of year is the best to get married?
Years of experience with unpredictable weather have taught me that May, August, September and the beautiful summer months in SA are the best. Be wary of the rainy seasons and always have a back-up plan if you’re considering an outdoor ceremony or reception.
What do you love most about planning weddings?
I love that each client is so unique. I love the feeling of seeing an idea come to life and seeing how far my imagination can take me. The best part is a few days before the wedding and the day of. The reactions I receive from my clients after exceeding their expectations feels like pure joy – an unexplainable, priceless feeling of gratitude.