Weddings are a time to celebrate the love of two people, create life-long memories, and eat, eat, eat. But behind every candle, canapé, cake and wedding list there can be months or even years of planning. With a long list of to-do’s to tick off before the Big Day, we spoke to the wedding planning team at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront Cape Town to share their tips, trends, do’s and don’ts.
Agree on a budget
Remember to always agree on a budget upfront. Many planners are very flexible with the costings and expect couples to come with different views on budgets.
So feel free to negotiate. Perhaps ask for 3 options at 3 different price points such as cost-effective, mid-range and a blow out option. That way you won’t be scared off by the prices.
Have a dream wedding in mind
Even the greatest visionaries can benefit from visual aids. Bring in images of your preferred flowers, your favourite table designs and lighting. This will allow your wedding to be designed piece by piece with the wedding planner. A major part of this element should be deciding on a theme.
Ahead of meeting your wedding planner, agree with your partner on a theme. Show no hesitation in your choice of colours, lighting, table-tops linked to your theme. Deciding on the theme allows for the framework to be set up and for all the elements to fall into place. This allows for extra time to be spent searching for the right dress and best flower arrangement – or teaching your spouse-to-be how to master that first dance. Even better still book in for a series of dancing classes to perfect the moves.
Be open to new ideas
We all like to believe we know best, but wedding planners have a lot experience in organizing weddings. Let them know what you expect but don’t shy away from trying new ideas. They’ve seen and organized many weddings and will be able to share their expertise and advice on what’s best for you. Your personality, budget, and your partner’s character all go into the planning too. There’s no harm in getting a second opinion. But at the end of the day it’s your BIG DAY so make sure even if you move out of your comfort zone you are still very happy with your choices.
Don’t forget to taste your menu
Food has become a very important element at weddings. Would you like family style courses? certain types of foods and or personal touches? Whatever you decide on you must make sure that you get to taste the food before the big day.
So after checking multiple menu options and custom making your own meal that fits your taste as well as your guests you still need to taste that food.
You might even opt for a buffet which is becoming more popular and makes for a more relaxed atmosphere. Also, check out the trend for multiple desserts, this is where dessert tables are becoming a feature which allows guests to taste a range of sweet sensations. So don’t forget to have a little pre-wedding tasting. It’s crucial.
And now, let’s talk about cake. Importantly, you should get the cake you deserve. Cakes are still very much on the menu at weddings. The naked and half-naked cakes are in demand, topped with fresh flowers or fruit. Two other themes are emerging this year; metallic decorated cakes, and cakes which have a watercolour finish or have been hand painted. This is the last word in bespoke.
Don’t expect the world on a small budget.
When planning your wedding you can lose important creative time on negotiating budgets when the budget is low, and your expectations are extremely high. You need to align your expectations with your budget. Know how big your wedding can be with the money you have before negotiating.
If you’re not careful you’ll end up losing precious time that could have been spent with a different planner or venue manager. Even the weddings with a smaller budget can be absolutely beautiful. Therefore, don’t waste time negotiating big things with small change. Make your decision, book your venue, and get planning.
Don’t ask for last minute changes
Always keep track of the details; attendees, photographer availability, the best time for videography, and so on. Many couples think adding 20 extra guests to the guest list is easy, but it’s actually not. There’s more than just servicing attached to the price tag. You will need to fit extra seating with table-tops, flowers, lighting, and even make sure that there are enough F&B offerings for the additional visitors. So keep in mind that every last minute change requires lots of “behind-the-scenes” work.
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