Getting engaged is exciting – and for some, just a little stressful. But honestly, it doesn’t need to be… my fiance and I planned our wedding in two weeks. Yip, you read that correctly: two weeks. No mess; no fuss. How did we do it? We kept Forever in mind. We used our engagement to prepare for our marriage and not our wedding… did we have a beautiful wedding? Definitely. Let me share some of our planning tips with you…
Newsflash to Potential Proposers out there: not every girl wants a diamond. There. I said it. Sorry multi-billion dollar industry, but there are girls out there who’d rather have something a little more unique than a 1/2ct solitaire set in white gold… Its always worth having That Conversation. We did. In fact, we went one step further: I spent the afternoon with the most amazing jeweler, Hettie from Wainwright Jewelers in Cape Town. We played with ideas, she got to know me and what would suit me – and then Garth took over the rest of the process. I can’t imagine anything worse than being delighted at the proposal… only to be given a ring that is just ‘not you’ – and then expected to wear it for the rest of your life? Maybe I am just fussy, but I think if most women were honest they would agree that personal thought going into the design of the ring, means a lot.
Picking the Venue
Its the age old question: do you pick your venue based on your date or are you prepared to change your date for the venue..? It really all depends on which is most important to you! If you’ve had your heart set on a particular venue and its only available date is winter 2021; are you prepared to wait? We are beyond spoilt for choice when it comes to venues in the Western Cape; we have wine farms galore, beach venues, forest venues, mountain venues and my favourites – country style venues found in the Overberg. The choice can almost be overwhelming… but don’t get swept away by the variety. Which venue resonates with you as a couple? It seems a little silly to choose a funky Industrial/ Inner City venue when you’re both beach people, don’t you think? Choose a venue based on your ‘couple style’ (and then start looking seriously at that budget because things can get pricey very quickly!)
Surround yourself with your Favourites – those ladies who have walked a path with you, loved you, encouraged you, maybe rebuked you too… but they have been there through the thick and thin of it all. Life changes after the wedding and suddenly all that time that you had for your friends seems to get absorbed into Couple Stuff (and laundry…). Celebrate the incredible women around you by keeping them close on your Big Day; cherish them, honour the roles they have played in your life and enjoy the engagement process with them.
All the Pretty
Find a Decor/Floral Specialist you can trust and hand over the responsibility to them – you really don’t want to spend the morning of your wedding worrying if they knew what you meant by ‘Mint with a splash of choral’ or arriving to find your ‘fuscia’ pink flowers toned down to a dustier version of Wrong. If you are not the kind of bride to simply let go and allow the professional creative license (no judgement here; I get you…) then why not try using Pantone colour references when discussing your ideas? It may seem silly, but one person’s burgundy is another’s maroon. And once decisions have been made: stop looking at Pinterest. I mean it. You will second guess every decision you’ve made and drive everybody crazy – it’s not worth it, I promise!
Have your Priorities clearly defined
At the end of the day, your wedding is ONE (amazing) day, beginning the rest of your life. Its so easy to get swept away with the details and all the pretty Pinterest-worthy ideas out there… but let’s take a reality check quickly: that costs money and wedding budgets can get out of hand extremely fast. Know what’s important to you as a couple and keep that as the foundation for all decision-making moments. Decide for yourselves what is worth ‘investing’ in and what constitutes an unnecessary ‘splurge’. Obviously, as a photographer, I will say your wedding photos are a required ‘investment’ – yes, let’s face it, you can find a ‘cheap’ photographer willing to work for a free meal and pocket money, but will they not only produce quality photographs, but also manage to capture a sense of the emotions and memories of that day. I can only imagine it must be so disappointing to wait eagerly for your photographs and be left regretting spending that bit more. The flowers die; the cake gets eaten and the dress gets put away – but hopefully, your photos will be shared and printed and cherished as memories forever.
I hope this helps – happy planning Bride-to-be!