Wedding trends 2020: The reception

Wedding fever has taken off, and Stripes is loving every moment of it. For those planning to tie the knot in 2020, here are her predictions of what will be in.

Get your guests drinkingly to the table

Ditch the boring table seating cards and rather opt for a boozy alternative. Use shooters, cocktails, glass of bubbly or any other drink as your escort cards. Simply stick the guest’s name on a toothpick, swizzle stick or any other stick and place it in the drink. Guests can enjoy finding their table!

Colour for the win

Go for bold, eclectic or even clashing colours to make your reception not only stand out but be memorable. Vibrant colours can help guests feel at home, and can also be used to convey you and your partner’s personalities. Love Cherise pink, then go ahead! Pair it with canary yellow and neon green if that takes your fancy. Have fun!

The age of the bespoke cocktail

If you really want to impress your guests, hire in a mixologist. You can still have your normal bar, serving normal drinks and cocktails. And then you have THE mixology bar, serving creations that blurs the line between refreshment and entertainment. Mixologists make use of interesting ingredients and liquids, such as green tea, activated charcoal, jellies, etc. and are bound to give you that extra touch of drama.

Experiential favours

Luckily you don’t have to choose between giving a keyring or a bag of spices, there are so many other options for the couple who still want to give their guests a thank you gift. Favours that either invoke the scences or ask of the guest to get involved are all the rage. Think DIY perfume blending bars, make a terrarium, string a necklace, etc. Use your imagination and incorporate something, whether a hobby or a passion, into your wedding for the guests to take home.

Food boards

Communal eating is bigger than ever before. More and more couples are opting for shared starters and even main meals, with the food being served on large serving platters or wooden boards. Guests help themselves to tasty morsels such as cheese and cold meats, antipasti, bruschettas, even DIY pasta with various sauces. If you want a relaxed and laidback wedding, this is the trend for you.

Creative seating

You no longer have to choose between round or rectangular tables, 6 or 8 seaters. Go crazy with your seating plan. Think long tables that snake through an orchard or a variety of tables to create interest. Use square tables to all the guests can see each other, or one long table with the bridal couple on one end. Use what you have, and don’t fret if it is not all uniform.

Moon bouncing

Yes, you read right. Bouncing on a jumping castle as part of your reception is a thing. These jumping castles are specially designed to allow the BIGGER kids to jump to their heart’s delight, and most come in white to reinforce the wedding feel. If that sounds like you, then go ahead! Hire a moon bounce castle and make all your little girl/boy dreams come true.

DIY refreshments

Beer on tap, blend your own margaritas, g&t on tap, basically a drinks bar but with equipment. Get your favourite keg, or gin brand, and allow guests to pour for themselves. Less finicky than a cocktail bar, more rewarding than an ice tea station.

Modern blended with traditional

Want a super modern wedding with monochrome colours and clean lines but wish you could incorporate your Grandma’s crocheted runners or placemats? Now is your chance! Mix old and new and have fun!

Simplicity

Stripe’s favourite trend – keeping it simple. Less is often more, so if you want long vases with a single stem in them and a couple of candles then you go ahead and do you.

Those are Stripe’s predictions; if you have any to add, please leave a comment!

Wedding trends 2020: Cake

Stripes love her some wedding cake, so this topic is very close to her heart – as in her stomach! Luckily for her, 2020 is seeing a bigger move back to actual cake, something we have not experienced for a number of years. Sure, the cheese-tower and alternative “cakes” like pies and tarts are still big news, but more and more couples are opting for a more traditional selection of chocolate, vanilla and carrot. Yeah!

As part of this series of trends, here are Stripes’ other predictions when it comes to wedding cakes for 2020:

  • Mini cakes

Adventurous couples, or those who simply cannot make up their minds, are opting for a selection of mini cakes, all in different flavours. This trend is wonderful if you consider that they can have all the flavours they dreamt off without wasting cake. Mini cakes are much bigger than cupcakes, but also much smaller than a normal celebration cake.

  • Different shapes

Simple round cakes are so 2019. For 2020, couples are going for squares, hexagonals, geometric designs, even cakes that look like they have been sliced in half. The emphasis is on individualism, so live out your biggest cake fantasy!

  • Interesting displays

Cake stands are so boring. 2020 couples are looking for other interesting ways to display their wedding cake, from suspending the cake from the ceiling to displaying it on a swing. We have seen floating cakes, swinging cakes, even cakes that hang upside down!

  • Non-traditional colours

A decade ago having a black cake would have been taboo. Today, that is just one of the colours that you could consider. In 2020, the cakes are leaning toward the dramatic, with lots of deep dark colours such as burgundy, black, maroon, etc. Your cake should fit in with your overall decor and theme, and with the resurgence of heavy fabrics such as velvet, of course cakes would follow suit. Another big trend? Metallic cakes! Bronze will be THE colour next year, taking the spot of the once-very popular rose gold. Cannot wait!

  • Interesting details

From geodes bursting out of the cake to geometric shapes, cakes are becoming more and more interesting. Now is your chance to work in any detail special to you as a couple, be it butterfly wings, mosaic or superhero logos. Your creativity is your only boundary!

  • Hand-painted cakes

Brush-stroke cakes, watercolour cakes, cakes that look like the design was quilted on – artisan cakes are all the rage!

  • Floral cakes, as in pressed or crystalised flowers

Decorate your cake with dainty pressed flowers, crystalised leaves and other botanicals, or even sugar flowers that look real enough to eat!

  • New flavours

This year has seen a huge movement away from the traditional flavours of vanilla, fruit and lemon, and instead has replaced them with flavours far more exciting and a little unexpected. In place of the British fruitcake is the equally British flavour of Earl Grey, which creates a delicate yet fragrant sponge that won’t overwhelm your guests. Other flavours that are popping up in wedding cakes around the world are pistachio, pink champagne and lime, which all add a beautiful flavour and pastel shade to a simple sponge.

  • Alternative cakes

From cheese cakes (cakes made out of *actual* cheese) to doughnut towers, cakecicles (yes, cake in the form of an ice cream!) taking a step away from a traditional wedding cake is more popular than ever.

  • Vegan cakes

Want to ensure your wedding cake is inclusive to guests with dietary and allergy restrictions? Get yourself a vegan wedding cake!

With that being said, we hope you have a sweet day! Had an interesting wedding cake or planning on having one? Please share!

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: 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)!

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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Themed weddings: Star-studded

Theme: Star-studded

Inspiration: Celestial
Trend: Shimmer and shine, crystals, dark rich colours
Colour: Shades of blue
Venue: Planetarium, or somewhere outside under the night sky
Dress: Corset-style with a ballerina skirt. Coloured shoes!
Groom: Dark suit
Flowers: berries, lilies, hydrangeas, baby’s breath, gip
Decor: lights – fairy lights, bulb lights, copper wire lights, oh and candles
Cake: naked cake with berries, fresh fruit, meringue and other toppings
Favours: Matches, or sparkles
Entertainment: star-watching, sparkles, a firework display

Take inspiration from the night skies with a wedding any star would be comfortable at. Lots of lights, candles, and heavy textures. Long dark tablecloths or wooden tables with velvet runners, floral arrangements that dwarf the table, or that hang from the ceiling. Candles on the floor and surrounding the dance floor. Food bars and interactive stations, with a dessert buffet that includes s’mores and a chocolate fountain. Opulence and over-the-top is key!

Themed weddings: Wonderland weddings

Theme: Wonderland

Inspiration: Alice in Wonderland
Trend: Pop of colour, balloons, relaxed and fun
Colour: mint green, rose pink, burnt orange
Venue: anywhere!
Dress: romantic and flirty
Groom: informal suit
Flowers: “veld” flowers, roses, baby’s breath, lisianthus, ranunculus, anemones
Decor: paper flowers, assorted glass vases with single stem flowers
Cake: romantic yet fun, go for an inventive flavour like naartjie with passion fruit buttercream, pecan praline with mocha ganache, etc.
Favours: macarons, small bags filled with biscuits, adorable sugar cookies. A mini pie or tart!
Entertainment: magician, caricaturist, or a sketch artist

Nail this ever popular theme by incorporating fun and unique elements. From paper flowers and home-made confetti to different runners on each table, use your imagination and start dreaming! For the food, think interactive starters bar with an assortment of canapes and salads, and for dessert a pie station with different kinds of pies stacked on top of each other. Designing a personalised cocktail specially for the night is another fun idea to make sure your guests see you and your partner in every detail. play croquet and lawn games during the couple shoot and remember this is the perfect theme to use should you wish to make your four-legged friend part of your special day.

Themed weddings: Polaroid weddings

Theme: Polaroid wedding

Inspiration: Vintage style photos
Trend: cosy, deep rich colours, velvet
Colour: eggplant, olive green, dark
Venue:
Dress: elegant and timeless
Groom: dark suit
Flowers: succulents, penny gum, blue gum, romantic blooms
Decor; lots and lots of photos! Use polaroids for your guestbook, your escort cards (seating chart), cake topper, etc.
Cake: plain white with polaroids of the couple as the topper
Favours: you guessed it – a photo booth that prints as polaroids
Entertainment: photo booth – try a GIF booth! Sparklers and fireworks

A polaroid inspired wedding takes less inspiration from the look, and more from the feel – think nostalgic, comforting and cosy. Play around with different styles, colours and textures until you have created the perfect picture. Incorporate photos as much or as little as you would like, but some nice ideas include using old snaps as your escort cards, using photos of numbers as the table numbers, a photo of the 2 of you as the cake topper, asking guests to take snaps of themselves and paste that into the guestbook, and more. You can make the mood romantic and moody by using darker colours, or more light and airy by using lighter colours. Incorporate fairy lights, candles, and lanterns, and end the evening with a firework display (remember to get the necessary permission!)