no dress rehearsals

Maryanne Maina

Maryanne Maina

Weddings are an important affair in one's social calendar. For the event to be a success, the planning and organisation need to be carefully done.

Wedding coordinators such as Christina Holt - the founder and managing director of Wedding Concepts which is based in Cape Town - are paid to make sure that the day is as perfect as possible for the bride and groom.

She says: "My work has two main aspects. The first is running and growing the business, looking after my team and managing the financial and legal aspects of the business.

"The second is project- driven; I am involved in the weddings from start to finish. The average time spent on co-ordinating a wedding is 12 months and this entails communicating with our clients and suppliers constantly," she explains.

Holt studied at the Bavaria Hotelberufsfachschule (hotel school) and trained at the five-star Brenner's Park Hotel in Baden Baden, Germany.

The company caters for bridal couples from around the world who chose to get married in the Cape.

"We wedding co-ordinators in South Africa are the industry. We set and drive the local wedding trends - together with creative influences from abroad.

"South Africa is out there when it comes to creative design talent and decor, and international publications often look to South Africa for inspiration. I would say that the trends are mingled between the different countries."

She says her job is enjoyable but demanding: "Each wedding represents a once-off expenditure and a huge financial obligation for our clients. It has to be perfect. There are no dress rehearsals in this profession," she says.

"I also have to deal with family and friends' expectations of the couple's wedding day so often. I am a shoulder to cry on, giving my clients emotional support and guidance. It is a job that often goes far beyond the call of duty - which makes it so exciting and special."

To succeed in this industry Holt says: "One needs to be highly organised, assertive and a skilled multi- tasker as well as possess a good nature when dealing with people.

"You have to be stress resistant and not expect to work from nine to five."