Having made the big decision to get married in South Africa after we got engaged in the same country, we began the rather daunting journey into planning our big day. I’ve worked in Public Relations for ten years and ran countless events across Europe, South Africa and the Middle East. Without a passing thought, I was convinced we could do this alone, no sweat.
Oh, how I was wrong!
Don’t be afraid to enlist the services of a wedding planner. They’re worth their weight in gold when you pick a good one and you really can’t put a price on local insight. Ours was called Celeste (an absolute hero!) at Celeste Styled Events. We completely underestimated the number of suppliers needed for a wedding day so it was great to have someone to connect the dots for us.
Family count for everything! Your wedding day is one of the most important days in your life but it’s also a major milestone for your family, too. Be sure to include them as much as you can. We enjoyed countless Sunday lunches debating over music selections, seating plans and readings. We had G’s mother in SA helping us make payments to local suppliers, my Dad printed the invitations and we had our friend’s parents kindly storing wine in their sheds for us until the big day. The organisational details of a wedding abroad were truly overwhelming so I really don’t know what we would have done without the unconditional support and generosity from our friends and families.
You can’t please everyone! We suffered a few upsets along the way mainly when the wedding invites went out but you simply can’t invite everyone. We had to be realistic on budget and had to keep our number to around 50-60 guests. We would have had everyone there if we could! Rest assured that those who understand will wish you well and those that don’t… well, leave them to it!
It goes in a heartbeat so enjoy every moment! We were given the advice by our best man and his wonderful wife to not let go of each other’s hand throughout the day and how right they had been! Don’t wake up the next day and realise you were both too busy talking to guests that you forgot to speak to each other! It’s what you’ve been planning and saving so damn hard for together over all these months, don’t forget to share the special moments as a couple.
Don’t sweat the small stuff and I could not for the life of me get to grips with this one! Despite what you think, nobody will remember the fragranced soap in the bathroom, or the missing gold border around the seating plan or the fact that the DJ was playing terrible tunes for a brief moment in time. As long as the drinks are flowing, the mood is high and the speeches managed to bring at least one tear to an eye, I think your day will be just perfect.
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