“So you’re sure you’ve spoken to the priest?” Catherine asked Georgia for the hundredth time over the phone. At least I think that’s what she asked. All I could hear was my girlfriend Georgia dutifully repeating the information into the receiver; “Yes yes, I’ve spoken to the priest, going to meet him and his wife, the organist, tomorrow.”
Georgia, Catherine’s younger sister, lives in Cape Town. Catherine lives in London. Catherine had decided to have her wedding in Cape Town, which had swiftly catapulted Georgia into the unenviable position of wedding planner. All that stood between her and the perfect South African Wedding was Georgia’s complete and utter obedience.
And about 10 000 km. Planning a wedding can be a daunting task. The church, the flowers, the cake, the magic; all essentials in creating the perfect wedding. The one ingredient nobody really tells you about? The stress. Just being involved in planning the wedding is enough to make you want to elope to Las Vegas and get married by an Elvis-impersonating priest. Well, almost.
Location is a good place to start. Knowing where you having it goes a long way to helping you decide how you’re going to have it. One of the big attractions in Cape Town is its wonderful outdoor locations and the city offers many great wedding venue options.
Catherine chose a Venue in Tokai, a great choice for the more traditional wedding because it has a restaurant and a chapel on the same grounds. They offered a tented option for over 100 guests or a log cabin for 60 guests. The venue’s package included all the basic trimmings with a choice of optional extras like fairy lights, drapes, and seat covers. There are also plenty of places to stay nearby which makes it a great place for overseas wedding parties.
Another place that was looked into was Noordhoek beach, a perfect venue for those in love with the idea of having a beach wedding. It is also just below the Monkey Valley resort, which is nestled in a forest, overlooking the Atlantic ocean, so it is a real natural haven. Whichever location you choose, the best time is between January and March to get the best weather.
The next thing that you’re going to be thinking about is the dress. The wedding dress is always a point of contention for the bride , and pre-wedding complaints from Catherine included “I look like a cream-puff,” to “I look too much like a…bride,” to which her bridesmaids replied “isn’t that the point?” For a unique wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses, made to your style and fit, take a visit to Mystic Rose in Kalk Bay. The dresses are really something special and are surprisingly affordable.
Flowers and décor are another issue, particularly when the groom suddenly takes it upon himself to have an opinion about what exact shade of table clothes are appropriate! Weddings can be expensive and it’s important that you budget for the things that you really want.
In Catherine’s post-wedding opinion, the luxury wedding night chalet and money for a little extra time on the honeymoon in Zanzibar were far more important than those fancy décor options. Her wedding preparations included DIY workshop sessions for friends and family, making table cards and hand-beading napkin holders.
Don’t be afraid to get people involved! It’s a great way to get people into the spirit of your celebration and can save you some much needed cash. The groom even found refuge in the mechanical process of threading beads. “Therapeutic,” he said, looking at me meaningfully. I could only smile.
For flowers, Woolworths in Cavendish and Alison’s Florist and coffee shop in upper Wynberg have a wonderful flower selection. If you want a personal touch, the Chart farm in Wynberg is a giant rose garden where you can go to pick dozens of roses for a fantastic price. It can be another great way to get people involved and can be combined with a lazy picnic to be a great day out. All you need to do is refrigerate the flowers for freshness, add some ribbon and you have a great arrangement.
Ideas for the tables vary greatly but the general consensus is that tables should be kept simple with a centrepiece not higher that peoples shoulders to ensure people can see each other. Glass bowls with small white-washed pebbles and a small arrangement of your flowers makes a nice understated centrepiece arrangement. These and more table decor items are available at Kenly’s Warehouse in Woodstock.
They have a large variety of decor at less than normal retail price. An overlay on each table in organza looks really great and can liven up a plain-looking table. To have your overlays personally made visit Fabric World on Wynberg Main Road. They have a huge variety of materials and they can make you the overlays exactly how you want them at fantastic prices. For a truly South African present for each guest try a beaded keyring, available from the local craftsmen at one of Cape Town’s many craft markets.
For the cake, if you want something more edible than the traditional marzipan, look no further than The Queen of Tarts in Lower Main Rd, Observatory. A massive, multi-layered chocolate cake was appreciated by the guests and looked great in the photos.
Last but not least, it’s important to unwind before the big day. For an extra special evening before the wedding why not hire a private yacht at the Waterfront for a sunset cruise a round to Camps Bay and back. It a magical way to see the sunset and ease those wedding nerves with those you love.
Finish it off by getting in the celebratory mood with at a trendy bar like The Planet Bar, at the Mount Nelson in Cape Town. It’s pretty, relaxing and a great way for the wedding guests to get to know each other.
Most importantly, enjoy every moment even the hard ones. The whole process goes really quickly, so make sure you appreciate it. Despite a few hiccups, the wedding went smoothly and our wedding couple are back and bronzed from their honeymoon in Zanzibar and more in love than ever.
May your wedding be equally blessed with love, good weather and supportive friends and family …