Best kept secrets on planning your wedding

Glenburn Lodge & Spa
Glenburn Lodge & Spa

Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding! You have now shared the good news with your family and friends and now it is time to start plan your big day.

Where do you start….what do you do?  

1. Be flexible with dates

You might have a particular date in mind, but your dream venue might not be available on that specific date. Remember that whatever date you choose, that day will become special your very own special day – one that you and your partner will cherish for the rest of your lives.

2. Nail the budget

There is nothing more disappointing than to fall in love with a venue, only to realise that it is way out of your budget. Don’t start spending any money until you’ve set a realistic budget plan set-up. For the budget to work, you need to factor in every single detail. Don’t forget about those additional costs like dress alterations, gifts and beauty expenses. These figures are not set in stone and can be changed - if one of your must-have items comes in over budget, see if you can cut on something else.

3. Choosing your bridal party

Choose your bridesmaids wisely as they should be your biggest support throughout the planning process! Pick people who you know you can rely on to help and support you throughout and on the Wedding Day itself as this will leave you free to enjoy your wedding without added stress.

The Glenkyle chapel
The Glenkyle chapel
Image: Supplied

4. Be selective with your guest list

Sorting out the guest list early is very important as you can then start focusing on finding the perfect venue – one that will cater for your chosen number of guests. You’ll probably find that you have more people on your list than you expected, so don’t be guilt–tripped into inviting people you don’t really want to invite. This is the biggest and the most difficult decision in the whole planning process - but it has to be yours and your h2b’s decision only

5. Choosing your venue

For some couples-to-be, choosing the perfect wedding venue is easy as they have selected their favourite place even before they got engaged. However, for many others, the available options are overwhelming. Whatever your perfect venue, there are some practical considerations to think about. Do you have guests travelling a long way who will need to stay locally? A venue with its own accommodation will allow your guests to enjoy the day without the worry of driving home. Once you have found the perfect wedding venue and you have confirmed that the dates are available, book it immediately.

Always ask what is included in a venue’s price – does the room hire or price per person include linen hire, menu cards or table decorations? Are there any discounts available if your wedding is not on the traditional Saturday or if you’re planning your wedding at short notice? Is there is a discount on room rates for wedding guests? It never does any harm to ask.

The Glencove chapel
The Glencove chapel
Image: Supplied

6. Get the menu right

The biggest talking points at any wedding are always the food. Avoid skimping in this area as hungry guests are never a good thing! When deciding on your menu; consider the time of the year or if you have something particular in mind that isn’t on your venue’s suggested menus don’t be afraid to ask. Most chefs will be able to create a specific dish to suit your needs. Don’t forget to select a vegetarian option and to ensure that the venue is aware of any food allergies or special dietary requirements; most venues will be happy to adapt your menu choices to make them suitable.

7. Find the right photographer for you

Your wedding album is how you’ll always relive those cherished memories of your wedding day, so do not underestimate the importance of having a good photographer. They will provide the permanent reminders of your special day so make sure their work is what you want. Consider whether you would rather have a traditional album or a more contemporary art book and choose suppliers who specialise in your preferred style. If there are special details to your day, like a choreographed first dance for instance, let the photographer know before hand, so he is prepared to capture the moment.

8. Keeping younger guests entertained

If you have younger guests attending your wedding, perhaps consider could having an activity pack or so for each of them. Include a colouring book and crayons, perhaps a small puzzle or toy that will keep them entertained or set-up a photo challenge for them during the day by including a one-use camera. Alternatively, providing a child-minder will set the parents minds at ease so they can relax and enjoy your wedding without any worries about their little ones.

9. Don’t let guests go hungry during the photo session

The main photography session usually takes place after the ceremony and can take over an hour and a half to complete, consider servings canapés with your welcome reception drinks to tide your guests over until the Wedding reception starts

10. Say hello to everyone

As you are the day’s honourees, you’ll want to connect with each and every one of your guests and ensure that everyone attending your wedding feels cherished, loved, and appreciated. An increasingly popular choice for brides wanting to greet wedding guests is by visiting each table during dinner, this method works well for weddings of all sizes.

11. Finding the perfect dress

Your wedding dress is by far the most important (and probably the most expensive) dress you’ll ever own so getting it right is essential. You may have an idea of your perfect dress but by trying on a range of styles, you might find your opinion changes when you look in the mirror. This also lets you experiment with different fabrics and gives you the confidence to work out what you really like. Before you make that final decision about your wedding dress, practise walking, turning and sitting down so you know it will be comfortable on the day.

12. Right shoes for your wedding dress

Choosing the perfect wedding dress will most probably be at the top of your agenda when you get engaged, but you’ll need to pair it with some beautiful wedding shoes! Choose something that you feel comfortable. It is wise to wear your shoes before the big day to make sure they’re comfy – and avoid getting blisters.

13. Send invitations that reflect your personality

You’ve already chosen the perfect venue, found the most beautiful dress and decided on a colour scheme. Next, to bring these style elements together for another important decision: your wedding invitation. The first indication your guests will have as to the style of your wedding will come from the invitation you send them so make sure it gives the right impression. Choose a design, font and colour that ties in with the themes of your day.

Consider including RSVP cards to encourage a swift reply from your guests. Guest Information Cards are the perfect way to let your guests know how to get to your wedding and other bits of information that you would not usually include on the invitation itself. Include information such as the dress code, whether confetti is allowed at your venues, maps and directions, a list of local hotels and details of where your gift list is registered. This will make things so much easier and will answer most of the small queries your guests may have.

Wedding chapel
Wedding chapel

14. How to decide on hair and makeup for your wedding

The venue is booked, the flowers and décor have been approved, the photographer knows what they need to capture, and your dress is sorted, it is now time to plan the smaller, such as what you’re going to be doing for your bridal hair and makeup.

Provide your hairdresser and make-up artist with pictures of your dress so they can help you find a complementary style. If you have a veil, fascinator or other headpiece take it with you together with some ideas of what style you’d like.

15. Choose the right wedding decorations

Before you decide on the type of decorations you would like, you will need to determine a theme or colour scheme for your wedding. Choosing your wedding flowers is one of the most exciting parts of your wedding planning. Your flowers will play an important part in the look of your big day. Whether you choose to just have a bouquet and buttonholes or to decorate your entire venue, your wedding flowers will set the tone and theme for the day.

16. Wedding emergency kit

Before your Big Day, put together an ‘emergency kit’ and ask your bridesmaid to keep it safe for you until you need it. Included in your kit should be: plasters, spare stockings, sewing kit, perfume, painkillers, tissues, baby powder (which hides stains on white dresses), mints and a nail file. With a kit like this, you’ll be prepared for any small glitches on the day.

17. Stave off hunger pangs on the Big Day

After all the planning, your Wedding Day has finally arrived. Make sure you eat a good meal so that you have enough energy to keep you going throughout the day and that will keep that tummy rumble at bay.

18. Feel fabulous, but don’t overdo it!

Everyone wants to look fabulous in their wedding photos, so if you’d like a confidence boost, it is now the time to adopt to a healthy eating plan and to practise a few simple exercises to tone your body. On the flip side, going on an extreme diet is not a good idea. Just remember your groom wants to marry you exactly the way you are!

19. Don’t fall for common beauty mishap!

Don’t go crazy…the main culprits here are a fake tan, coloured–in eyebrows and too much foundation! Yes, you will have to wear slightly heavier make-up than usual to make your features stand out in photos.

20. Give your groom his own responsibilities

Your fiancé might not have started planning his wedding day since the age of five, but he will have his own ideas and opinions and will want a say in the planning. Remember it is his day as well, so listen to what he says. Most guys do like to get involved with deciding on the menu, choice of music and the budget spread sheets.

21. And finally…Relax and enjoy your Wedding Day!

Now that you know all the secrets you can start planning the perfect wedding. At Glenburn Lodge & Spa we have three wedding venues with guest capacities ranging from between 60 to 250 guests.

Glenkyle overlooks a spectacular waterfall and is situated on the Blaauwbank River, while Glencove is nested on the Crocodile River in a beautiful country setting.

Glenwillows is situated at the foothills of the majestic Zwartkops Mountains in the Bush Willow Tented Camp

Yours in Hospitality, Banqueting Department Glenburn Lodge & Spa

Claudia Rodrigues

(011) 668 1607

Celeste Van Heerden|(011) 668 1609

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