I've wanted to put this post together for a while as I wrote down so much about our wedding planning process that I wanted to share it. I'm glad I was able to consolidate all my notes and finally press publish, even if it's just for me to look back on. I hope you enjoy reading it and find it useful or helpful. I've included a downloadable checklist at the end, something to use to get started on your wedding planning, I know it can be overwhelming.
This was an interesting one for me. I had one or two nightmares about the decor being super shit and the name tags being laminated and that shocked me into action as I was a bit stuck on where to start. The first thing I bought were some vases from Mr Price home, I really love them and I have two green ones in our home now. They are green and gold (transparent not solid colour). I then decided to make table runners myself (haha probs not my wisest decision) but I managed to finish the last one on the Thursday before the wedding, cutting it fine for sure and stressing me and my sister out.
My Dad offered make any and every wooden item I wanted which was a huge help. Him and my Mum painted a large piece of wood with chalkboard paint that I used as an 'Order of the Day' board to let guests know the timing for the day. My Dad also made lovely wooden 'tree stump boards' as I called them, they went on the tables with lanterns or candles on them. I liked their rustic look. He also made a similar one for the cake stand.
Other things he made were beautiful candleholders and my favourite item, the wooden handcrafted pens we gave as gifts to our bridesmaids and groomsmen. Side note and shameless self/Dad promotion, you can email me about ordering these are they make GREAT gifts. The rest of the decor (glass and gold candleholders etc) we hired from Maureen of Dotty Biscotti, she is based in Hilton, affordable and she has a great selection.
The stationery was minimal, as I've mentioned, menus, name tags and a seating chart and then I relied mostly on the lovely flowers by Mary Anne from Hill n Dale to complete, or rather set up, the look I wanted. She created beautiful centre pieces on the two banquet tables in the reception hall as well as all our bouquets and the groom and groomsmen buttonholes. Mary Anne also made a lovely feature of the chandelier in the chapel by hanging a lot of pennygum and other greenery from it.
She added beautiful arrangements at the front of the chapel and small vases with greenery next to all the benches. I was very lucky to save quite a bit of money by sourcing the pennygum from my one bridesmaid who lives on a nearby farm. Definitely try and find out about resources like this as it can save you a lot and friends are so willing to help.
I wanted our decor to be as environmentally friendly as possible, eg no balloons or plastic confetti type items. I also wanted to keep it budget friendly and quite natural. I wanted lots of greenery and then asked for white flowers with a touch of dusty pink and burgundy. As the venue is really beautiful I also didn't feel like we needed to do too much in terms of decor. The main hall where the reception was held was a beautiful blank canvas and we mostly just decorated the tables and the entrance. Find a venue with beautiful surroundings and you wont have to spend a fortune on decor.
This is my handy money saving cake hack. We got the sponges made by an excellent baker/caterer and then my clever sister assembled the layers and decorated it with fruit and penny gum (greenery). While she is a pastry chef and very talented, I have tried my hand at some simple icing - using buttercream - and then decorating with flowers and fruit and if you have an eye for colours and design you will TOTALLY be able to do it. Also having that florist wire is helpful as you can stick it into the blueberries of figs or flowers and then into the cake for more precise placement. I really think that berries, figs and some greenery or flowers make a cake look great without all the expense of fancy icing etc. Just my two cents.
Anyway, I hope this is helpful, let me know if you have any questions or comments. Here is a list of all our suppliers as well.
Wedding Prep Checklist PDF Download
*All photos by Casey Pratt Photography
Venue: Cranford Country Lodge
Flowers: Mary Anne Elstob from Hill 'n Dale
Makeup & hair: Candice - Blush (bridesmaids hair - my talented friend Cara)
Dress: The Wedding Boutique, Cape Town
Bridesmaids dresses: YDE, made or bought online
Suit, shirt, shoes: Spagetti Mafia
Groomsmen suits: Eurosuit
Videographer: Randhir Badal
Photographer: Casey Pratt Photography (she is AMAZING, super chilled and we are SO happy with our photos)
Cake: La Papote (made the cakes) and my sister put together, iced and decorated them
DJ: Dj Worx, Gary