Fairlady Bride - - Contents - By Jana Wes­sels

Steer clear of these tricky sit­u­a­tions and wed­ding day faux pas

Plan­ning can be fun. It can also be fre­netic, if you al­low it to be. Don’t let the de­tails get you down – here are our top tips to help you make sure it all goes off with­out a hitch.

Do the maths

Get at least three quotes for ev­ery­thing from dif­fer­ent ven­dors. This will give you a bet­ter idea of prices, and save you a lot of money. Also re­mem­ber to go through the quotes with a fine-tooth comb. What ex­actly does each in­clude? You might find the venue that comes in at a cheaper price will end up cost­ing you more if it doesn’t in­clude things like ta­bles, table­cloths, light­ing and chairs, which you will then have to hire. Keep an eye out for hid­den costs!

Don’t feel obliged to do some­thing you don’t want to do

Invit­ing long-lost fam­ily, hav­ing a big­ger wed­ding than you want or choos­ing the dress your mother likes are all things you might feel pres­sured to do. If your par­ents are pay­ing most of the wed­ding ex­penses, you need to give them some lee­way. But ul­ti­mately it is your wed­ding day – so don’t let your­self be steam­rollered!

Don’t rule out a wed­ding plan­ner

Get­ting a wed­ding plan­ner to plan your wed­ding is con­ve­nient, but it’s also ex­pen­sive. That said, don’t write the idea off just yet. Get­ting a co­or­di­na­tor for the day of the wed­ding will help make the whole process go more smoothly and take a lot of worry off your shoul­ders.

Put com­fort first

Beauty is pain, right? Wrong! You don’t want any­thing to de­tract from your big day, and if you’re feel­ing un­com­fort­able, your pic­tures will prob­a­bly show it. Justin and Si­mone from Justin Davis Pho­tog­ra­phy sug­gest choos­ing a dress that is com­fort­able to walk, sit and dance in. Se­condly, bring a pair of comfy shoes for the main shoot. ‘To get the best light or scenic shots you might have to walk or climb a bit and you don’t want to ruin your high heels in the process,’ says Si­mone.

Never un­der­es­ti­mate the power of a wellplanned sched­ule

You might think sched­ules are for con­trol­ling and up­tight brides, but that’s not so, say Justin and Si­mone. ‘A good sched­ule for the day is vi­tal. Chat with your pho­tog­ra­pher, videog­ra­pher and hair and makeup artist to find out how much time they’ll each need. By al­low­ing enough time, you and your team will work stress-free.’

Take care of your ven­dors

Be­fore you fi­nalise the seat­ing chart, spare a thought for your ven­dors, who have been work­ing tire­lessly all day. Give the pho­tog­ra­phers (and their sec­ond shoot­ers or as­sis­tants), videog­ra­phers and the band or DJ a de­cent place to sit, eat and have a drink when they’re not work­ing. Treat them as you would your guests.

Choose the right brides­maids

Be­fore you ask your sulky teenage cousin and that girl you’ve been fren­e­mies with for years to be your brides­maids, re­con­sider. You need peo­ple who will sup­port you, hold your hand and tell you when you’re in dan­ger of be­com­ing a bridezilla (or de­fend you when you’re not). Choose peo­ple you can count on and who will share in your joy, in­stead of de­tract­ing from it.

Com­pro­mise on the mu­sic

Bear in mind that many of your guests will be over the age of 40 and might not find it easy or en­joy­able to keep a con­ver­sa­tion go­ing over the blar­ing sounds of Ma­roon 5’s ‘Sugar’. If pos­si­ble, cre­ate a comfy seat­ing area away from the mu­sic and ask for song re­quests be­fore­hand – peo­ple love hear­ing ‘their song’, and you’ll trea­sure those pics of your grand­par­ents twirling around the dance floor for­ever.

Don’t set your wed­ding date be­fore you have a venue

Got your heart set on a sig­nif­i­cant date or time of year? Be aware that some venues or pho­tog­ra­phers get booked out years in ad­vance; the ones you fall in love with might not have an open­ing on that date. Keep an open mind – a win­ter wed­ding can be mag­i­cal, and cheaper, as some venues of­fer dis­counts in the off-sea­son.

Take ad­van­tage of tech­nol­ogy

There’s an app for that! No re­ally, there’s no need to lug around a big file full of pic­tures and quotes. Down­load an ap­pli­ca­tion like Our Wed­ding Plan­ner (avail­able from the Google Play Store) or Wed­dingHappy (avail­able from the iTunes store) to help you plan, keep track of your spend­ing and up­date your to-do list.

Don’t get caught up in the trends

‘I find that most brides get so tied up in all the wed­ding frenzy, they for­get about tra­di­tions,’ says Aleit Swanepoel from the Aleit Group. Tra­di­tions help sim­plify the whole day and are a means of bring­ing loved ones to­gether.

Don’t experiment

Down to the fi­nal days? This is not the time to experiment. A new diet, a new hair colour, a new teeth whitener or even a new self-tan – just don’t do it. If you want to try some­thing new or dif­fer­ent, do it three to four months be­fore the wed­ding, not the week be­fore. Then, if any­thing goes wrong, there’s still time to re­cover or fix it.

Keep an open mind

You can go ahead and blame this one on Pin­ter­est. Yes, those op­u­lent peony ar­range­ments are beau­ti­ful, but guess what – they are only in sea­son for about one month ev­ery year in South

Be sure to bud­get for sur­prise charges such as tip­ping de­liv­ery men, pay­ing for last-minute dry clean­ing and so on.

Africa. Im­port­ing them out of sea­son could blow your whole bud­get. Florist Fen­nec Deuchar from Fox & Co rec­om­mends first find­ing a colour scheme you like, then ask­ing your florist to rec­om­mend flow­ers that will be avail­able at the time of your wed­ding, be­fore set­ting your heart on a spe­cific va­ri­ety. Still pin­ing for those pe­onies? Get a few for your bou­quet.

At some point, stop pin­ning!

This is a big one, says Fen­nec. ‘Pin­ter­est is ex­tremely use­ful, but I have many brides who end up try­ing to mix a num­ber of dif­fer­ent themes and styles be­cause they keep find­ing im­ages they like that they want to in­cor­po­rate.’ Fen­nec’s ad­vice? Once you’ve found some­thing you like, stop look­ing! That will give you time to pin pic­tures of that dream hon­ey­moon in­stead.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Good food, good wine and good mu­sic – that’s what your guests are go­ing to re­mem­ber. Not the ex­pen­sive party favours, not the mono­grammed nap­kins, and def­i­nitely not the clev­erly co­or­di­nated un­der­plates. Get­ting caught up in the de­tails can be fun, but if you’re los­ing sleep over the fact that the nap­kins aren’t the ex­act same shade of pink as the can­dles, it’s time to take a step back and re­mem­ber what it’s all about. ✤

Some things re­ally do have to be left un­til the last minute. But try to keep these to a min­i­mum so that the fi­nal four weeks in the run-up to your wed­ding are as stress-free as pos­si­ble.

Rose ball­gown with nude-look Chan­tilly lace bodice, box-pleated dupoin silk skirt, silk sash and se­cret pock­ets (R16 800) El­beth Gil­lis

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