Wedding trends 2020: Eco weddings

As consumers are becoming more and more aware off our natural environment’s plight, there is a massive shift towards more sustainable and responsible practices. And weddings are no exception. Stripes is so happy to hear this! All this wasting of natural resources and leaving the planet in a terrible state is playing with her lunch and you do not want a hangry zebra!

If you are getting married in 2020, consider incorporating a few (or all) of these ideas to help make your nuptials a bit more earth-conscious, and you a lot greener and happier.

  • Say no to disposables and single-use items

Ditch the straws, umbrellas and other decors usually reserved for after-ceremony drinks and special cocktails. Decorate your glasses with bamboo-skewered fruit sticks or the rim with salt/sugar. Opt for ceramic plates and bowls, real glass glasses and metal cutlery. Frankly, you can use whatever you like as long as it ticks the “this can be used again and again” box. Say no to paper serviettes, choosing cloth napkins, table cloths and runners instead. And ditch the balloons! If you want to have a flower wall, why not make a make-shift one with potted plants or go for a vertical garden?

  • Keep it local and seasonal

This applies to the food, the flowers, and even the drinks. Not only will you save money, you also help save the planet. Choose caterers and florists who support this honourable goal, and have the guts to say no when a suggestion does not prescribe to these requirements. It is your day after all.

  • Be smart with your decor

Choose decor that can be borrowed or hired, or at the least re-used in your home after the wedding. That goes for everything from table cloths to charger plates, centrepieces and lighting. If you just have to have those lanterns, arrange beforehand that a few select guests may take them home as a thank you gift – nobody wants to be left with 30 lanterns to store!

  • Consider the menu

Steering more towards a vegetarian menu will not only save you money but keep your earth impact a bit lower. If a vegetarian menu just won’t cut it, then at least keep the menu simple. Restrict it to a single starter, main course and wedding cake as dessert. This will keep your waste down. To further lower food waste, consider a plated meal with only one protein. Guests waste less food when plated versus having a buffet meal where they can dish as much as their eyes and plates will allow.

  • Keep it close to home – choose your location with intent

By choosing a venue that is close for most of the guests you cut down on travel, which saves fuel-miles. You can also encourage guests who live close to each other to carpool. Further, pick a venue that has the ceremony and reception areas on the same property, which again means guests do not have to travel extensively.

  • Rethink your florals and avoid floral foam (oasis)

When picking out your flowers, choose local and seasonal blooms and substitute with as much greenery and foliage as possible. Luckily for you, one of the floral trends for 2020 is using potted plants and dried grasses as part of your decor! If you do decide to go for fresh blooms, ask your florist to place them in glass bottles or vases and not the floral foam commonly used. These oases are single-use items that cannot be broken down in a landfill nor can they be recycled.

  • Forego the gifts for a worthy cause

Instead of receiving wedding gifts (how many fondue pots can you have?) and setting up a gift registry, rather ask your guests to make a donation to a worthy cause, in your name. You can also do the reverse, where instead of you giving the guests favours you make a donation to a cause.

  • Go plastic-free

Ask the venue if they use black plastic bin bags, your caterers if they use glad wrap, etc. and if they will be open to the idea of not using those items for your wedding. Give them viable alternatives. For the ceremony, leave the plastic containers of soap for bubbles, straws, or any other plastic item that either won’t be missed or can easily be substituted with something else.

  • Re-use and repurpose

Incorporate things that you already have as part of your decor. This will make the day more special and more sentimental in any case. Furthermore, choose items that can be used afterwards, such as your wedding shoes – choose shoes that you can wear again. Even your dress – choose a dress that you can either sell afterwards (if you don’t hire it to begin with) or repurpose for something else. Some brides turn their wedding dress into scatter pillows or clothes for their first child.

  • Vintage is a game-changer

Not only for dresses and other clothes, but even for things like table cloths, cutlery and crockery, decor, etc. By buying second hand and loving as if new, you keep these items out of the landfill. You give them new meaning and purpose by incorporating them into your love story.

  • Recycle and dispose of smartly

Encourage the venue and your guests to recycle, even during the wedding. Place special bins for glass, tin, wet waste, etc. and make sure there are clear signs explaining the difference. Ask your caterer to not throw food waste away, but rather donate it to a worthy cause such as shelters, old-age homes or soup kitchens.

  • Keep your numbers small

The fewer guests you have the less money you give out, the less environmental impact you have. So keep your guest list small, your pocket and planet will thank you.

  • The bridal party

Firstly, keep your bridal party small. Secondly, allow them to choose their own clothes. You can give guidelines such as style and colour, but then leave it up to them. In this way they can choose things that they will wear again, meaning less waste. Keep the hair and makeup look natural and effort-free, meaning less makeup and product. And for the makeup and product – choose local, natural and organic as far as possible!

  • Keep it digital

Your save-the-date, invite, thank you card, gift registry, and more. All can be done digitally, with even more bells and whistles than if you had your stationery printed. If you do want to print stationery, do so on recycled paper or even support companies such as Growing Paper who prints on paper containing seeds – so you can plant the paper and grow a garden!

  • Hire instead of buying

Dresses, decor, cutlery, crockery, glassware. If you can hire it instead of buying then do so! Most often it will work out a fraction of the cost, and you don’t have to wonder what you will do with the items afterwards.

  • Use candles instead of electricity

Opt for natural soy-based candles instead of harsh electrical lights. If you do go for conventional lighting, choose eco-friendly bulbs and only turn on the lights once it is dark.

  • Rethink confetti

Choose more natural options such as dried veld flowers, local seeds or even small shapes cut out of dried leaves. Using things such as rice and popcorn can be detrimental to wildlife, so if you are getting married somewhere where birds or other wildlife will have access, stick to less harmful options.

  • Don’t trash the dress

And Stripes last piece of green advice? Don’t do a trash the dress shoot. Rather sell/donate your dress to someone who will get just as much value out of it as you did.

Those are Stripes’ tips, hope you find them useful!

Wedding trends 2020: Decor

Stripes is loving this series about wedding trends for 2020. Seems she loves the guessing game 😉 To continue the series, today we will focus on the decor trends that are predicted to go big in 2020. Of course, we are only listing the ones that Stripes find fascinating.

Colour:

Although the much anticipated Pantone colour of the year has not yet been revealed, experts are predicting it will be somewhere in the green category. This comes as no surprise to Stripes, who has been seeing a steady incline in the number of green weddings we have been doing over the last few months. The green that is in the lead? Neo mint. According to Italianbark.com, neo mint can be described as “a fresh tone of green that has a cool futuristic feel thought to be fit for the new decade ahead; in fact, it is a colour chosen to harmonize science and technology with nature.” But don’t let that stop you! And also, gone are the days of only having two or three colours in your wedding pallet. 2020 is all about creating the right atmosphere and if you need 20 colours to do that, then go for it!

Walls and murals:

The “Insta-wall” is showing no decline in popularity, with more and more couples opting for a balloon focus wall. And yes, murals are making an appearance, with anything from historical backdrops to specially designed and painted artworks taking centre stage. If you want to focus on plants and florals, keep the botanical trend in mind, using mostly foilage and potted plants to create your desired look and effect.

Indoor will move outdoor:

The trend that is set to blow most guests’ minds will be this one. In the coming year, Stripes is predicting that more and more couples will opt for an outdoor reception that looks like an indoor reception, just without the walls and roof. That means whole rooms will be set up outside as if they are inside. Think long dining tables, sofas with coffee tables, lamps, etc. All placed under the stars or strung fairy lights. Not a marquis or tent in sight.

Centrepieces:

Throw out all your “old” ideas about which colour or texture is associated with weddings – next year you can go wild in terms of colour, texture, patterns and objects. It is predicted that fruit will make an appearance as part of centrepieces – think lemons down the table, or apples in vases (for the green?). The textures that are reported to be in high demand are velvet, tapestry and other thick heavy material, and floral patterns.

Lighting:

Last but not least, Stripes is predicting that there will be a greater move towards mood lighting. Couples will also incorporate interesting light sources as part of their decor, from standing lamps next to the tables to neon signs and even spotlights. If you want to create a magical atmosphere, incorporate soft lighting such as fairy lights, desk lamps, and lots of candles. Just remember, if you use candles – always go for the non-drip variety!

There you have it, Stripes run down of her predictions for decor in 2020. If you have any more to add, please leave her a comment!

Wedding trends 2020: Food

2020 seems to be the year of the individualist and Stripes couldn’t be happier. What is not to love – you can plan and execute a wedding day as unique and special as your love. You just need a touch of daring, a pinch of creativity and a dash of self-confidence and you can pull off the wedding that will be talked about for years to come. For all the right reasons!
Wedding food trends are no exception. The overall look and feel seem to be leaning towards casual and relaxed fare with a lot of personalisation. According to Stripes, the trends that you should be on the lookout for are:

1. Brunch is all the rage

In the last couple of years, there has been a shift towards earlier weddings, with the brunch wedding taking the crown. The benefits are many, from saving money on the cash bar to serving waffles as part of your menu (win-win!), having a brunch wedding means you get to spend a few extra hours enjoying your day, and if you plan it right, an extra night for your honeymoon. 

2. Think fresh and organic

More and more couples are opting to forego heavy starters, settling rather on light green salads made from fresh and organic ingredients that are locally sourced. This ties in with the green trend, with caterers serving free-range, pasture-fed, wild-caught foods as opposed to the factory-farmed alternatives. 

3. Involved eats

Skip the passed platters of canapés and rather go for smaller food bars that allow guests to build their own bite/meal. Think oyster bar where the chef shucks them in front of you or a taco bar where the chef chops up the ingredients as he is making the tacos. 

4. Trucks are still big with street food taking over

The food truck trend is continuing strong, but for 2020 it is moving squarely into the street food arena. No more fancy food served from a truck, next year emphasis will be on casual and messy grub. Burgers with loaded fries, cheezy pizzas and beer floats are all clambering for your attention. 

5. Themed menus centred around an ingredient

Think a whole menu built around olive oil. Or a food bar serving only food that contains cheese. Or a bacon-themed brunch menu. Pick an ingredient and get creative! Another idea is to build your menu around your drink of choice. So if you love gin, serve 3 or 4 types and pair each with a plate. 

6. Skip the traditional cake

Forget the layer-cake and cupcake towers. Hello, stacks of pies, large cookies or brownies, cheese wheels with dripping chocolate or cutie pies stacked in a pile. Serve what you love to eat and don’t get caught up in the traditional. 

7. Late-night snacks

Serve sliders, hot dogs or any other small snack-sized food an hour or two after dessert. This will give your guests the needed energy to keep on dancing into the small hours of the morning. And will minimize hangovers the next day… 

8. Grazing tables are THE thing

Grazing tables are basically a table groaning under small Savoury bites, fresh bread, cheeses, cold meats, etc. Basically, anything that guests can eat without a plate and that won’t spoil if it stands at room temperature for a few hours. What makes this trend awesome is the fact that you can start the grazing table at starters and then continuously add bites as you move trough main course. Then finish by adding more sweet cheeses, sugared fruit and sweet bites. 

9. Pay homage to your hometown or country of origin

Your wedding day gives you the perfect excuse to serve that dish that reminds you of home. Whether that is a wedding cake consisting of milk tart or incorporating a braai into your mains, pick a dish or dishes that will transport you to where you grew up. 

10. Vegan is big

Nothing seems to stop this trend, with couples now even choosing to have an entirely vegan wedding – even if they themselves aren’t even vegan! If you want to incorporate this trend then opt to have an entire course veganified or serve a few dishes that are vegan worthy. 

11. Go green

The sustainability trend is picking up speed with couples requestion as minimal plastic use, waste and imported food as possible. Rather they are choosing locally sourced ingredients served in reusable crockery, saying no to straws, disposables and any other thing that causes environmental harm. 

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12. Family style is creeping in

Serving food directly on the table for guests to dish for themselves is the happy medium between buffet and plated. This trend is going to be huge as it taps into a few important things: couples can serve fancier or more complicated dishes without worrying about loss of quality, they have better portion control so less waste, comfort food is best enjoyed this way and guests can interact. So if you are getting married anytime soon, consider incorporating this trend. 


With these trends, Stripes is sure that you will be able to put together a menu so delectable and delicious that you will definitely win the wedding of the century, never mind of the year. 

Wedding trends 2020: Florals

Stripes love this topic the most, probably for the same reason that we love talking about food… With that being said, she is ecstatic that the main predicted trend for 2020 seems to be natural. As in, more relaxed, informal and left a bit rough around the edges. Couples are leaning more towards greenery and foliage, with sustainability being one of the keywords. She knows that #localislekker and is so happy that more and more people are coming to this realisation!

This year saw lots of dusty, muted blush tones. Next year the emphasis will be on hot pinks, from fuchsia to magenta. Anything to make a statement!

Her other predicted trends when it comes to all things botanical:

Sustainable and local:

More and more couples are choosing florists that use locally grown seasonal blooms, wildflowers or dried flowers. Some couples are even going one step further and opting to grow their own flowers, or simply incorporating already existing gardens into their big day.

Living plants:

Incorporating living plants and shrubs into your wedding decor is a smart and more affordable way of getting the lush, green look. These plants can then be used in your home afterwards or gifted to friends and family as a way of saying thank you. By using bigger plants and even trees you can create height and interesting focus points on your tables as well as the rest of the reception area.

Personalisation is key:

More and more brides are opting for florals that mean something to them, whether that is sunflowers that remind them of the fields they played in as kids or hanging branches to create a willow-tree effect. Another interesting trend is to hide objects either in their bouquet or as part of the bouquet, for example, fastening the bouquet with a special brooch or incorporating your Dad’s favourite tie. Creativity seems to be the only barrier.

Scents:

Not only are flowers picked based on their interesting colours, textures and sizes (all big considerations for next year!) but also on how they smell. More and more brides are opting for a signature scent for their big day, whether that is vanilla through scented candles or jasmine from fresh flowers. Choose blooms that smell nice to make your day even more special.

Pops of florals:

Expect blooms to show up everywhere – from frozen ice to decorating the canapes to flower wreaths specially made for the bridal party. Edible flowers will also make a major comeback, with them even forming part of the ingredients and not just garnish.

Free-form bouquets and centrepieces:

Gone are the days of structured and formal arrangements. For 2020, the emphasis will be on free-form, loose and unstructured with bouquets resembling a bunch of flowers that were simply bunched together. There will be less planned balance and more spontaneous designs.

Creating illusions:

Since more and more couples don’t have extra money to throw around, florists and planners have had to become more and more creative to make a small budget look like a fairytale. One of their favourite and most successful, tricks are to use a lot of small vases and glass containers, some with single blooms or long-stemmed flowers and others simply with tealight candles in to fill up the centre of the table. The glass reflects the light which creates a beautiful look and ambience, especially at night.

Over-emphasised bouquets:

Bouquets are becoming bigger and bolder, or at the other side of the extreme, small and petit. When it comes to this trend it seems size does matter, whether that is stylishly small or statement big. Whatever you want, you will be able to get away with it!

Grasses and dried flowers:

More and more brides will opt for a harvest look with anything from sheaves of wheat to dried hops, veld grasses or even dried fruits. Especially fitting for autumn or winter weddings, although this trend can be incorporated year-round.

Hoop bouquets:

In keeping with the minimalist trend, brides are starting to gravitate towards smaller, lighter bouquets with fewer blooms. Hello hoop bouquet!

Unusual blooms and other botanicals:

The last trend that Stripes is very excited about is the use of unusual blooms and other botanicals such as vegetables and fruit as part of your flower arrangements. The hottest trend in Europe? Using mushrooms! So Stripes guesses that succulents are out and fungi are in?

Stripes will leave the deciding and planning to you, but she would like to know what do you think about these predicted trends?

Wedding trends 2020: The dress

Stripes has noticed that the bookings for 2020 have started, and with that a lot of questions about the upcoming trends. She doesn’t understand the preoccupation with trends, why can’t couples just do what feels right to them? Luckily for Stripes, the biggest trend for 2020? INDIVIDUALITY! At long last next year’s celebrations will be less about tradition and more about creating a celebration that speaks of you and your partner.

2020 wedding trends - the dress. Laughing Chefs.co.za wedding planners and caterers

First up: The dress 

The 2020 wedding season is predicted to feature a staggering number of over-the-top trends. From puffy sleeves and princess skirts to feathers, suits and gloves, if you are getting married in 2020 you have a wide range of looks to choose from. Some of the biggest trends that we are anticipating next year are:

Dresses with volume

Think puffy sleeves, wide skirts and long veils, these dresses are chosen for their impact and statement. The princess dress is making a comeback, but this time around with edgier details such as fringes, leather jackets and boots. The aim is to take a look and make it your own.

Coloured dresses

Although the use of colour in a wedding dress has lost its shock appeal (due to coloured wedding dresses making more and more of an appearance) it has in no way diminished the popularity. For 2020, the colours that are making a zing are macaron shades (think pistachio, caramel, butter yellow, etc.), ginger (something between blush and beige) and accents of black.

Interesting necklines

The two most popular necklines (or our prediction in any case) will be halter necks and bateau (boot), both thanks to the Markle-effect. This trend is highly inspired by the Duchess’ style and own wedding dress, where she emphasised simplicity, clean lines and comfort.

The new bridal suit

The two-piece is at long last making its well-deserved way into the wedding dress style books. When opting for a suit, ensure that it is tailored or else you will simply look frumpy or boxy.

Feathers

Fabulous and frivolous, feathers are the hottest decoration that you can use to zoosh up your dress. Think skirts, interesting sleeves or hemlines, or even headpieces – you only have creativity dictating how far you will take this trend.

2 dresses

Why have only one dress when you can have two? Many brides are opting for a second (or even a third) dress to attend the reception with. This trend is probably based on practicality – many of the trendy dresses are uncomfortable if not impossible to sit in, let alone dance. So the brides change out of their breath-taking gown into something a bit more comfortable, but in no way less fashionable.

These are our predictions for 2020, let us know what you think!

21 Ideas for a frugal (not cheap) wedding on a budget

Getting married but worried about your small(ish) budget? Want to cut costs without looking cheap? Here are Stripe’s tips for planning a wedding on a frugal budget:

21 Tips to plan your wedding on a budget

1. Keep your guest list small – intimate is better!

2. Use the expertise of the people close to you – it can be their wedding gift to you

3. Consider a ceremony at your own, your parents or another close friend/family’s house, or have it outdoors

4. Be smart with the food

5. Be creative with your flowers and decor

6. Have a small bridal party, and skip their gifts

7. Go digital

8. Dance from a playlist

9. Skip the cash bar

10. Where possible, hire trainees instead of professionals

11. Contact the local university

12. Buy pre-loved

13. Tap into your local community

14. Buy dresses off the rack – and on sale.

15. Rent tuxedos as a group, or simply wear matching suits.

16. Choose affordable wedding rings.

17. Plan a simple honeymoon, not an ostentatious one.

18. Involve your closest friends and family in the preparations.

19. Try not to mention the ‘w-word’ at first when hiring a vendor.

20. Plan, plan, plan.

21. Don’t stress.

Good luck (and congratulations)!

How to plan a zero waste kitchen tea

Someone close to you is getting married, and you have the honour of planning the bridal shower. Yeah! Or is it? You really want it to be special, but cringe at the idea of having to chuck bags and bags full of waste at the end of the day, never mind the single-use plastic utensils and décor that usually take centre stage at such events. We also cringe at the idea, so let us help you with a few suggestions so that you can attempt to host a zero waste bridal shower.

Here we go!

1. Go digital

If the crowd will allow, consider sending out digital invitations, as well as making use of digital channels to send out reminders, the gift registry and any other arrangements. There are numerous apps and programs that you can use for this if you are not deft enough to design and distribute by yourself. Look at evite.com, sendo and paperlesspost.com for digital solutions.

2. Recycled paper, or growing paper

If you have to use paper, use recycled or a product like Growing Paper – their paper is handmade and contain seeds so you plant the paper afterwards. At least it is not ending up on the landfill. For recycled paper, have a look at Papersmith. They have an extensive range of earth-friendly paper, including rock paper!

3. Have a mindful registry

Encourage the couple to list only items that they need, or really want. And even then, find the most earth-friendly option. Where possible, and if acceptable to the couple, you can suggest gentle pre-loved items, or even ask for digital gift cards, money, or even experiences to be gifted instead of things the couple will never use, end up having doubles (or more) or throw away. For more zero waste gift ideas, read my post on eco-friendly gifting here and zero waste kitchen ideas here. Also, zero waste easy swaps for incase you would like to gift some of these essentials.

4. Ask for unwrapped gifts, or give alternative solutions

If there are physical items on the registry, and if you know there will be guests who will insist on giving the bride something, ask them to rather not wrap the gifts. If that feels too impersonal, you can suggest alternatives, such as the Japanese art of cloth wrapping called Furoshiki – guests can wrap gifts in kitchen towels, blankets, handkerchiefs, serviettes or other pieces of material. Guests can also use containers such as baskets (just skip the cellophane), cast-iron pots etc.

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5. Skip re-usable, use the real deal or if not possible, go for compostable

For the cutlery, crockery, serving ware and glassware, as far as possible stick to actual plates, knives, glasses, etc. If you do not have enough, you can ask a few select guests to bring some with or even hire in. if none of these is an option, and you have to make use of disposables, then at least by disposables that are compostable. They are not that more expensive, and you get an amazing variety. Green Home started this particular movement in South Africa, go check them out.

6. Think about the décor, and use what you already have

You do not need tons of décor. Use what you have, and be smart about it. For the most part, you will need a table cloth or runner (depending on the type of table. For beautiful wooden tables nothing is necessary), a centrepiece and maybe something to complete each place setting. If you are using actual plates and cutlery and glasses, you are already 20 steps closer to making the event look stylish, chic and expensive, without any décor! Keep all your glass bottles and use them as vases, cut and paint the cardboard inner found in toilet rolls to make centrepieces or napkin rings, use framed photographs as part of the theme, basically, anything can work if you do it with flair, stick with a theme and have a bit of fun.

7. Go back to nature

If possible, have the event outdoors. Although not necessarily a cost-saving option, it does help to elevate the mood. People feel happier when outside. You can consider a picnic or a high tea under the trees. There can be a cost-saving element if you consider you do not have to have lighting, aircon or fans, and that if you have a picnic there is also no extra costs for tables and chairs. If you can’t have it outside, then bring outside in by including a lot of plants, natural light and a cool breeze.

8. Stick with a theme

Pick a theme, and then start asking around if people maybe have things that will fit into the theme, that you can borrow for the event. Great themes to consider include Gatsby (think feathers and pearls), breakfast at Tiffany’s (lots of baby blue and more feathers and pearls), Alice in Wonderland (miss-match teacups, funny signs, and bright colours), and rustic (tin cans, veld flowers, burlap and succulents).

9. Plant-based eats and treats

Although the jury is still out whether veganism or even vegetarianism is actually better for the planet or not, you can still do your part to decrease the consumption of meat. For the bridal shower, serve plant-based, or at least vegetarian eats and treats. Think quiche, gourmet salads, pasta bakes, or even sandwiches. For a more out-there shower, you can even do pizzas! Be creative and have fun when designing the menu.

10. Cloth is the answer

Do not even consider paper serviettes or those horrible vinyl/plastic table cloths. Not only do they look tacky, but they are also super wasteful. Use cloth table cloths, serviettes and runners. If you do not have your own, and you cannot borrow from someone you know, then hire them in. It costs a fraction of the cost (unless you can make it yourself) and you are helping to extend the useful life of these items.

11. The flower question

The environmentally-friendly option would be to choose bulbs, succulents or other clippings that will grow again if you place them in water or plant them. The next best thing would be to use branches and soft twigs to braid wreaths and other décor pieces such as napkin rings or even placemats. If you really want to have flowers, then gift them afterwards. Either the guests can take them home, or drop them off at your local nursing home, hospital or other institution where some happiness and sunshine will be much appreciated.

12. Drinks

For wines and sparkling wines, choose organic earth-friendly brands. In South Africa, we are blessed with a large selection of wonderful wines, made intentionally and ethically. For any other drinks, steer clear of anything in plastic – glass is best. And skip the straws! Even paper ones are wasteful.

Although none of these tips is ground-breaking, most people will not even consider that there might be an alternative to their habitual bad practices. Just remember, for some of the guests it might sound foreign – they either have no knowledge about how damaging their consumption patterns are or in some sad cases, they simply do not care. So approach the whole situation delicately and gently. Explain where necessary, but for the most part, do not make a scene. Give the arrangements through as if it is the most natural thing in the world, and hopefully, the guests will fall in line.

If you have any other ideas, tips or solutions, please share!

Winter wedding trends 2019

The winter is upon us, and with the change of season, we always note a decline in weddings. Although we know it is because of the cold, we cannot help but wonder why more brides are not interested in a winter wedding. Even in South Africa, with our lack of snow, you can still create a magical wonderland. And in Stripe’s opinion, nothing is sexier than a form-fitting long sleeve dress with a faux-fur wrap or long cape. To prove her point, she has created a Pinterest board to give you some inspiration, visit the board here

For the colour palette, she would recommend you focus on warm colours – think berries, gems, and forest colours. Deep green, cherry red, sunshine yellow, and so forth. Focus on lots of candles in the venue, and serve soups with freshly baked loaves of bread.

For more inspiration, visit her Pinterest board for Winter wedding trends 2019 here

Winter weddings can be beautiful, romantic and memorable. So if you want to get married in the winter, go for it!

Wedding day emergency kit: Do not be caught without the following 15 things!

Wedding day emergency kit by Laughing Chefs caterers

Wedding day emergency kit: to make sure you can handle anything that is thrown at you

Although never planned, and hopefully not anticipated, anything can happen. For that reason, make sure you have a fully stocked wedding day emergency kit ready to go. In it should be all the needed tools to fix everything from smudged mascara to the apocalypse breaking out mid-ceremony. Here is our list of essentials you should rather not be caught without on your big day

The Wedding Day Emergency Kit:

  1. Needle and thread, or a small sewing kit
  2. Clear glue (super glue)
  3. Water
  4. Something salty to snack on
  5. Hair pins, hair ties, small comb or brush and hairspray
  6. Lipstick and gloss, plus extra makeup to fix smudges, chapstick
  7. Tissues
  8. Pain pills and something for heartburn or indigestion, allergy meds
  9. Perfume and deodorant
  10. Floss and mints
  11. Cash
  12. Feminine hygiene product of choice
  13. Nail file
  14. Lotion
  15. Sunscreen

Are there any supplies we missed that you wouldn’t be caught without on your wedding day? Share them with us in the comments below!

Wedding planning timeline: Your plan to get everything done on time! [free printable!]

Congratulations on your engagement! The days and weeks and months before your wedding is one of the most special times. The process should be exciting and shared between yourself and your partner since it ultimately ends in your happily ever after. Planning your wedding can be a daunting task, which is why most brides and industry experts would recommend you hire a wedding planner. But, should you wish not to, it is not impossible to plan your own successful wedding. Just use our handy list to keep track of all the different things you need to get done, and also by when.

We know the most beautiful wedding day is the one that speaks of the couple. So even though this is our example, we encourage you to move things around, leave things out or add things to the timeline. In the end, it is your day.

If you are more enthusiastic so planning your wedding in less than 12months, just move up the timeline. So instead of working in months, you work in weeks, or however long you have to plan. Just remember to get the big ticket and most important items (venue, dress, food, officiant and invitations) done first. It is possible to plan a fairy tale wedding (even within a small budget) in as little time as 2 weeks! You just need to be organized.

So to help, here is our suggested timeline for engagements of 12months or longer:

12 months before

  1. Set your budget

You need to know how much you need, how much you have, and then keep track of how much you spend. For more info on this, read our previous post here or see our video on budgeting here.

  1. Create a wedding website

There are various free sites that offer this service. You can even open a Wix account. Although not necessary, it is a nice to have, especially if you set it up in such a way that guests can RSVP on it, access your wedding registry, get all of the info regarding the accommodation, date, directions, transport arrangements, etc. in one place. Guests can even post photos, making it easier for you to get all of their snaps afterwards.

  1. Draw up your guest list

Determining how many people you would like to invite is crucial. Only after working out the estimate numbers, and seeing if it will fit in with your budget, can you start looking for a venue. For more info on drawing up your guest list, read our post here or see our video here.

  1. Start your wedding file

It is handy to have all of your gathered info in one place. If you attend trade-shows or go for viewings, you can place all of that information in your file. Keep your notes there, and also keep track of your progress.

  1. Create a mood board for the look and feel

Pinterest is going to become your best friend! Create a secret board where you can pin all of the ideas and colours and themes that you love. Should you wish to hire a wedding planner or consultant, you can add them to that board so that they can get a very accurate idea of the type of wedding you would like, and the type of bride that you want to be.

  1. Hire a wedding planner or consultant

Not a must-have, but definitely a nice-to-have. It will make your life easier, and although pricey in the beginning, the negotiation, experience and calm that planners normally bring are invaluable.

  1. Book your venue

Get to booking your venue as soon as possible. Especially the trendy and popular venues book up fast, with some already running a waiting list for 2 years down the line. A useful tip: book the venue before you pick your date. For more info on booking your perfect venue, read our post here or watch the video here.

  1. Set the theme, as well as the look and feel of the wedding

Decide how formal or informal it is going to be, your dominant colours, etc. Based on the theme, you will design your wedding stationery, décor, etc.

  1. Set the date

Once your venue has been confirmed you are ready to set the date (obviously the date that the venue is available J)

  1. Order your save the dates and invitations

Based on the theme and colour choices, you will now design your save the dates and invitations. Once happy, order them to ensure they have arrived before it is time to send them out.

  1. Start dress shopping

Decide if you would like to have a dress custom-made, would like to rent, or buy. And if you want to buy, will it be pre-loved or new? Know your budget, styles that work on your body shape, colour preferences and finishing touches. Then start making appointments to have fittings. Be open-minded, sometimes a dress that we would have never considered ends up being THE ONE.

  1. Start your special beauty regime

Looking good on your big day takes time, so start early. If you would like to lose weight before your wedding day, now is a good time to start changing your lifestyle to a healthier one. Incorporate exercise, drink more water, up the ante on your face cream, etc.

8 – 10 months before

  1. Ask your bridal party

If you are going to have a maid-of-honour, bride’s maids and flower girls, or any variation thereof, you need to ask these special people if they will do you the honour. Just a tip – you and your partner should have the same number of people in your bridal parties.

  1. Send out save the dates

This is especially important if you decide to get married on a date that falls on a long weekend, a public holiday, in the school holidays or around another big date or event. Also, if close family or friends live overseas, travel for work or have very small kids, they will need enough time to make arrangements to be there. It is important to note on the save the date whether or not guests are allowed a plus-one, and whether kids are invited or not.

  1. Hire band or DJ

Read reviews before hiring any entertainment. Meet with the service provider to ensure you get along, and that they understand your vision for the day. Music can make or break a party, even more so for a wedding. It sets the ambience and the mood, so choose wisely!

  1. Finalise the look and feel and theme

Think seriously about the aspects surrounding the look and feel – the décor, flowers, colour, table linen, favours, etc. and finalise your choices. Make sure all of these individual elements work together to form a beautiful whole.

  1. Decide on bridesmaids’ dresses

The theme, formality and season of your wedding will affect this. There are more choices than I can name, but the two biggest decisions would be do you want your entire bridal party in the same dress or each in a different (even just slightly) dress, and what colour will the dresses be.

  1. Sign up for a gift registry

Register a gift registry with your favourite home-ware shop, or do something entirely different like giving a list of charity organisations that guests can donate to instead of giving you a wedding present. If you rather want money, remember to mention it on the invitation, but give guests an idea of what you will be doing with the money, e.g. it will go towards your holiday fund, etc.

  1. Host an engagement party

Plan and host an engagement party to celebrate your engagement with your closest friends and family. Oh and show off your ring!

  1. Book a photographer

A big ticket item, having the right photographer is one of our crucial must-haves for a successful wedding. Your photos are all that you will have left, so make sure they are of good quality, and that the photographer captures all of the memories and moments you want and need.

  1. Book your caterer

If the venue has their own caterer, meet them now and start discussing your wedding menu. If the venue does not have a caterer or allows outside catering, then you need to find a caterer now. When comparing quotes, just remember to compare apples with apples in order to book the best caterer at the price you can afford.

  1. Order your wedding cake

This is one of the fun things! Identify a baker and book a cake tasting. Once decided, give them the inspiration for your cake design and order the cake when you are happy with the design. Tip: serve the cake as the dessert to cut menu costs as well as waste.

  1. Get an officiant

Book the person who will legally marry you. If you have a close friend or family member whom you would love to guide the ceremony, but they cannot legally marry you, then make a booking to either get married the previous day in court or by a registered officiant before the time. The family member or friend can then go through the ceremony as if they are marrying you, without any legal implications.

  1. Begin shopping for shoes, accessories and lingerie

You will need to have the shoes that you will wear with you when you go for your final dress fitting, so get going in shopping for them as well as any accessories and lingerie that you will need.

4 – 7 months

  1. Arrange accommodation for yourself on the night of the wedding (if not included in your venue) and for out of town guests

If you are not paying for all of the accommodation, make sure your guests have the relevant info to book and pay for themselves. Same with any transport arrangements – make sure your guests have the right information.

  1. Begin preparation for honeymoon

Most of the time the bride will have no idea where they are going for their honeymoon. Even so, now is the time to put some pressure on your partner to book the honeymoon, especially if you are planning on taking it in the busy season.

  1. Decide on and book a florist. Confirm flower selection

Take your Pinterest board to your short list of florists, get quotes and pick one. Finalise your flower choices, arrangement designs and any other flowers that you will need on the day.

  1. Shop for wedding bands

Decide beforehand how much you are spending, the material of the bands, whether they will be engraved, etc.

  1. Visit physician

Ensure you are in tip-top shape. If you are not planning on starting with a family directly after your wedding, put everything in place for birth control. If you are going to a country or place that required certain shots or vaccinations, get them now to ensure they are out of your system by the time of the wedding.

3 months

  1. Send out your invitations

Send out your invitations! Make sure you have a clear RSVP date, and also give guests the needed info regarding your gift registry, accommodation and transport arrangements, etc. If they can choose their own main course, or you would like them to contribute song choices, mention that on the invitations as well.

  1. Select the groom’s wedding attire

Sort out what your partner will wear, as well as the groomsmen. Doing it now ensures there is enough time for fitting and altering.

  1. Shop for bridal party gifts

If you decide you want to give each of your bridal party members something special, then start shopping for it now.

  1. Begin counselling sessions with the officiant

If you are attending pre-marital counselling, start with the sessions now.

  1. Go for the menu tasting and decide on your final menu selections

Make sure you are 100% happy with the menu, the offering, the tastes, the portion sizes, etc. Communicate clearly with your caterer regarding all of your requirements.

  1. Confirm your order of all rental furniture/décor

  2. Book your mock table with the venue and florist

  3. Confirm your wedding day transport

Book the wedding car, as well as any other transport that will be necessary to get you, your bridal party and your close family to the ceremony and the reception.

2 months

  1. Write your vows

Make it heartfelt, sincere and loving. Learn it by heart, but have cards with you on the day just in case the emotion gets you down.

  1. Confirm order with the florist

Confirm everything with your florist and ensure all of it is in writing. Confirm what time they will deliver on the day, as well as if there are any hired goods that you will have to return afterwards.

  1. Confirm order of stationery

Menus, name cards, church programs, anything that you had designed and now need printing for. Make sure it is done in the right colour, on the right cardstock, etc.

1 month

  1. Apply for marriage license

Usually, your officiant will help you with this, but you need to confirm that he/she will. Otherwise, follow the guidelines on the department’s website.

  1. Have the final gown fitting. Remember to take your wedding shoes with!

  2. Have your hair & makeup trails

Take a few photos after the trails to make sure your face is not shiny, your hair looks good from all angles, etc.

  1. Collate the final RSVP list

If you are still waiting for a few RSVPs, follow up and get their final answers.

  1. Prepare shot list for your photographer and videographer

  2. Deliver a list of songs to your DJ or band

  3. Draw up a seating plan

  4. Contact all of your wedding suppliers and confirm the schedule for the day

2 weeks

  1. Pick up the marriage license

  2. Obtain any legal information, approvals or licenses

  3. Check parking arrangements

  4. Rehearsal dinner

If you are having one, this is when you practice the processional.

  1. Confirm your final guest numbers with the venue and caterer

  2. Book in for Bride and Groom relaxing spa treatments

  3. Cut and die hair if needed

  4. Kitchen tea

The get-together where the guests give the bride things she will need to set up her home. Usually kitchen appliances or utensils, but can also be towels, linen, or even gardening equipment. The attending ladies can also partake in the tradition of giving her recipes so that she can start her own family recipe book.

  1. Bachelors and bachelorettes

The get-togethers for the young guests, planned by the bridal parties. Usually held separate, it can be anything from playing paintball to sipping cocktails, cake decorating or watching rugby.

  1. Get your spray tan done – if you are planning on getting it done

1 week

  1. Confirm honeymoon bookings and plans

  2. Confirm accommodation arrangements

  3. Pack for honeymoon

  4. Confirm wedding day attire

  5. Gather all necessary documents for travel

  6. Pick up formalwear

  7. Have one final phone call with each of your suppliers

  8. Have your dress steamed

  9. Pre-wedding relaxing pampering

1 day

  1. Go through the list of things to do and make sure all bases are covered

If you are entrusting a friend or family member to assist with the coordination on the day, you should have a “training” meeting with them now. Give them all of the info, the timelines, etc.

  1. Pack wedding day emergency kit

In short, a small kit that contains essentials that you might need if an emergency happens on your wedding day. This kit usually contains things like lipstick, hairpins, pain pills, water, mints, etc. For a complete list of what should be in your emergency kit, look out for next week’s post!

  1. Get manicure and pedicure

  2. Take a steamy and relaxing bath

  3. Put wedding attire and accessories together

  4. Give rings to best man

  5. Try to get a good night’s sleep

On the day

  1. Have a good breakfast, and make sure you eat something while getting ready. Avoid carb-rich foods, sugars, and caffeine

  2. Get hair and makeup done

  3. Have someone check reception site, or check it yourself if time and rules permit

  4. Get dressed for the wedding

  5. Have candid photos taken with family

We hope that you can use this list of things to do to give you a clear plan of action. We wish you and your partner a beautiful, calm and magical wedding which will be the perfect starting point of your life together.

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