Pre­cious mo­ments

Event plan­ner and bride-to-be Pre­cious Tham­aga dis­penses in­sider tips on how to prep like a pro.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Contents - Words by YOLISA MJAMBA

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.

THE don’ts

• 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:


• Casper Bos­man (casperde­sign­er­

• TN Col­lec­tiv ( tncol­lec­


• De La Vida (

• Vonvé Bridal ( von­ve­bri­


• Pronovias ( veil­bri­

• Gert- Jo­han Coet­zee ( gertjo­han­coet­

BRIDES on a Bud­get

• Bride & Co ( bride­ • Eve’s Bridal Wear ( eves­bri­dal­

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.

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