Choosing a Church or Chapel for your wedding

Church or chapel?

The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to get married in a Church or if you prefer to use the Chapel. If you want the Chapel you need to find out if your Church Priest or Pastor is willing to do a service outside of the Church. Else you then need to hire a marriage officer. If you go with the Church there are a number of things to consider prior to booking your wedding there. The first thing you should ask is if the church is available for the day that you are planning your wedding, and co ordinate this with the booking of your wedding to make sure both are available on the same day.

Assuming your day is available and the church is not somewhere you regularly attend, then the second question to ask is whether there are special requirements for non-members of the church to marry at the church you’ve chosen. Obviously different faiths have different requirements and restrictions on who can marry in their place of worship. How ceremonies can be conducted and by whom. Some churches are strict and some are not so just ask and you will know.

Here are some other considerations and questions that you’ll want to find answers to.

–         Is there a rental fee/cost associated with using the church you have chosen?

–         Does the church require that you use their Priest/Minister/Pastor, or can you use your own?     

–         Does the church allow/limit decoration?

–         Is there a time limit for how long you are allowed to use the church?

–         Is the Church big enough to accommodate your guests?

Wedding
Wedding dress

Getting your seating plan together

Getting your seating plan together

When to start getting your seating plan together – using a computer

Getting your seating plan together can be quite a task. Start typing your guests names into excel on one worksheet, once they’ve RSVP move them over to another worksheet. This way you can easily see who still needs to RSVP, give them an extra week then give them a call. Once you have all your RSVP’s in, start moving them over into table numbers starting with the most locally mixes of people, then work on the left over people. Remember there is nothing wrong if some tables have a different amount work on tables of 8, 9 and 10. No one will notice that some tables have more or less.

Main Table

A traditional head table is not round, but rather a long and straight table. Usually the bride and groom sit in the middle with the bride’s parents next to her and the groom’s parents next to him. Some main tables include the bridesmaids and grooms men

It is also becoming common to have a sweetheart table that only the bride and groom sit at.

Family /Friends Tension

Most families have members that may not exactly see eye to eye, or perhaps haven’t spoken to each other in the last few years. Naturally you will want to try and keep them apart from each other, so you may want to think about this when you do your seating plans

 

Choosing a Wedding venue which is right for you

Choosing a venue

Choosing your venue can prove to be very time consuming and exhausting. This can also be a very exciting time of your planning.

You can save hours of time and frustration though if using a wedding events co-ordinator. They will most likely already have seen most of the existing venues.  You will be able to draw a wealth of knowledge from her/him which can save you hours of wasted trips seeing one venue after the next only to find it is not suitable at all. 

If you need to start off on this venture on your own join our Facebook page.

Join Facebook –  Page to search for:    Wedding Planning by Wedding Connexion https://www.facebook.com/weddingplanningbyestee

If you have a set date in mind and will not accept an alternative, first phone or email and make sure that the venue still has that day available before going to look at the venue. Check with them if they can accommodate the number of guests you are having that day.

1:  Is the venue available on your date?

2:   How many guests can they accommodate?

3:   Book an appointment. They most likely will not assist you should you just choose to turn up.

Things to take into account

Find out how many tables fit into the area – you do not want your tables squashed into an area which is too small.

If it is an issue – check wheelchair access & how easy would it be for elderly grandparents to get to the area where the reception / chapel is to be held

Do smokers have easy access to go outside to smoke.

Find out if there is extra costs involved to use their chapel. Some venues do have more than one reception area but may only have one chapel.

Get copies and prices of Menus that they have to offer.

If you want self catering ask if they allow this.  If they do, will they have a surcharge price – ask how much it is.

Get exact clarity as to what is included in the price of the venue and what the price is of any extra items you may need to use.

Some venues stipulate the amount of waiters / barmen you need to have for your function.  Get the rates if not included in your package. 

Discuss the exact times you need to have vacated the venue and what additional overtime charges you would need to pay if would like to stay for an additional hour or two. (The venue will give you an hourly rate for the venue and for barmen and waiters if they do allow you to overrun)

At some venues they will not allow you to use outside vendors for flowers, décor etc.  Confirm if this is the case.  If it is then it is advisable to get prices from these vendors and first make sure that they can provide you with the items and services that you  wish to have at your wedding.

Is there accommodation available there or close by for guest that are travelling long distances to your wedding, if so get prices. 

Does the venue have a bridal suite if you should require one.   If there is not is there a room available should the bride require a place to dress etc.

Always check the restroom facilities. It is important that they can accommodate your guest count and that they are clean.

Maybe you will require freezer facilities if you have decided on an ice-cream wedding cake.

If you are there at a time of a wedding set up don’t take for granted that items such as draping, lights etc will be there for your reception.  Ask which chairs and tables will be used at your wedding.

If there is not a wedding set up for that day ask to see venue photos, look at the pictures on the website.

Make sure that they will not be doing renovations during your wedding.  Some venues close for 1 month of the year for this but don’t be the bride to be caught with builder’s rubble lying around during your wedding.

Ask for the alcohol price list.  Find out if there is a corkage fee, if you are allowed to bring your drinks.

Ask where they normally position the DJ or band.  Ask about any restrictions there may be.  Some venues impose a fine if the music does not stop at the scheduled time.  Make sure you DJ understands this if it is the case.

Check that there is adequate and safe parking for your guests. If you intend using candles for table settings find out what the restrictions are. Some venues will not allow them, some insist that they must be drip free candles or must be inside a container

https://weddingconnexion.co.za/

Deciding on a Photographer

Things to help you when deciding on a photographer

Speak to Friends
Speak to recently married friends, and find out if they would recommend their photographer or if they were unhappy with something that you could then look out for. Friends can play a big role in deciding on a photographer.

See an Actual Album
Have a look at an actual complete album and not just the photographer’s portfolio which will only include the best photos of different weddings.

Negatives
Find out if the package includes the negatives or cd with images on. Reprints for family members will be cheaper if you can do them yourself.

Share
Allow friends and family to order prints directly though your photographer.

Black and White
Plain and simple, black-and-white photography is preferred for documenting emotional moments. The fewer colours your eyes have to process, the cleaner and easier an image is to absorb when viewing.

Behind the Scenes
Choose a photographer whom you feel extremely comfortable with and don’t mind inviting backstage. Some of the most beautiful wedding moments happen while the bride is dressing, while the family is waiting.

Don’t forget to have a seat at the reception for your photographer/videographer, they need to be catered for.

Choosing a DJ for your wedding

Choosing a DJ for your wedding day

Sometimes cheap is not better when choosing a DJ for your wedding. However it is important to remember that the music is what is going to set the mood. Go with someone that you know is good, either from hearing them before or recommendations from family and friends. Find out exactly what is included in the price. How much do they charge for overtime and travel. If you go for a band find out how often they take breaks and are they going to play other music while on break.

Whether you go for a DJ or a band let them know what you like and dislike. Remember that to also take the likes of the older guests into account. Play music that they will also get up and dance to. The noise levels of the music should also be something you should discuss with the DJ or band. You want the music loud enough but not so loud that the other guests can’t hear each other talk. Give them a list of songs you would like to include beforehand so that they can make sure that they have those songs there. Don’t assume that they have every song possible.

It is very important to confirm with the Church if they are supplying the music there or if you need to arrange this. Sometimes brides assume the church is supplying the music, but they aren’t. You do not want to walk down the isle with no music, so do not overlook this.

Make sure the DJ/Band Leader is given a copy of your order of events for the evening.  Discuss with him what music he should be playing at the different times like, cutting of the cake, throwing of the garter etc.  If they are professional they will also give you good advice as to what music works well where.  Listen to their advice but in the end, it has to suit you and the groom. 

Also let the DJ/Band know if you want the traditional garter and bouquet throwing as some have game ideas but they can take long so find out before hand what they suggest and how long it will take. Don’t forget to cater for your DJ/band

Evening Wear

Your in depth Wedding Checklist

Your in depth Wedding Checklist : After you announce your engagement

  • Sit down with your families and discuss everything from themes and colours, the number of guests, the budget and establish who pays for what.
  • Start looking for venues early and book as early as possible – including catering if needed.
  • Decide on a honeymoon destination and book early to save costs.
  • Decide whether you want to get married in a Church or Chapel. Find out what your Pastor or Priest requires and if they will marry you outside of the Church, if needed.
  • Get quotes for photographers and videographers as they get booked out early.
  • Look around for your dress – if you see something you love and it is on sale, rather buy it early than run the chance of not getting it. Start setting your in depth wedding checklist. https://www.facebook.com/weddingplanningbyestee

Six months to go to your wedding

  • Ensure you order your wedding dress. https://weddingconnexion.co.za/branch/
  • Start getting quotes for the cake.
  • Choose and order your brides maids and groomsmen’s outfits.
  • Book hotel rooms for yourself and family if needed.
  • Look around for invites that you like and get quotes.
  • Get quotes for décor and flowers.
  • Book makeup artist – this may seem early but the good ones are usually booked, as well as hair if you need a mobile hairdresser.

Four months to go to your wedding

  • Order wedding invitations.
  • Order the wedding cake.
  • Book décor and flower companies and pay deposits.
  • Book a limousine or arrange other transportation. 

Three months to go to your wedding

  • Send out your wedding invitations.
  • Make sure all required documentation (religious, legal, visas) have been completed and sent in.
  • Choose your wedding rings.
  • Meet with your lawyer to do the wedding contracts

Two months to go to your wedding

  • Consult with the florist and the caterers and anyone else providing you with a service for your wedding.
  • Do hair and Make-up trail.

One month to go to your wedding

  • Finalise your wedding accessories, such as bridal gown, jewellery, shoes etc.
  • Confirm hotel bookings for the wedding night, and the honeymoon.
  • Ensure priest or marriage officer is organizing the marriage license otherwise you will need to organise this.
  • Finalise seating arrangements.
  • Confirm all your bookings and arrangements with all the providers. Make sure they all have the correct delivery addresses and times

One week to go to your wedding

  • Confirm final head count and seating arrangements with caterer or venue
  • Meet with your photographer – give them a list of photographs you would like to be taken
  • Meet with DJ with song requirements

The Day before your Wedding

  • Hand the wedding rings to the care of the best man.
  • Relax and have a good night’s sleep
Your in depth wedding checklist

The History of Wedding Connexion

The history of Wedding Connexion: When we were established.

Estee Ferreira opened our first branch is a small shop in Glenvista in 2008. This is when the history of Wedding Connexion started. We stayed at this location for a few years, but found we were out growing it. We then moved into the Glenvista Shopping centre. The Glenvista store can now be found in the Bassonia Shopping centre.

In 2012 we opened our first Franchised store, opened by Desiree Beukman in Boksburg. This branch is in the Checkers Hyper centre in Parkdene.

Both branches have a lovely range of dresses. Our staff is well trained with the latest bridal trends, and are always happy to assist you. You can view the stock online https://weddingconnexion.co.za/branch/ or you can book an appointment at either branch.

Our Facebook page is South Africa’s largest wedding related page https://www.facebook.com/weddingplanningbyestee

Both branches stock evening and bridal wear. We try to keep a range of styles and sizes, so we can accommodate most clients. The branches carry different stock, as each owner choose stock based on what does well in the area.

In 2010 we became the importers of the Moonlight Bridal brand. This collection consists of the Main Moonlight collection, Tango and the Val Stefani collection. 2011 we added the Dessy collection to our range. In 2013 we became the importers of Alyce Paris, Morilee and Ronald Joyce range. Alyce Paris is a leading name in evening wear in the USA. A lot of their collection can be found on the red carpet. Morilee specialises in both evening and bridal dresses. Designed by USA designer Madelaine Gardener, this collection offers a wide range of different styles.

We still hope to grow more in the future. We will hopeful add more branches to our group.

Morilee 6836

Finding the right dress for you

Finding the right dress

A common question asked by brides in a fitting, is how do I know when it is the ONE. With the choice and variety these days, finding your dress can be a difficult task. I’m sure it is more difficult to know which to fit yet alone which one to buy. Over the past 6 – 7 years the choice of dresses has more than doubled. 
Sometimes a bride will fit dress after dress and still not find the dress she is looking for. Others will fit 1-2 dresses and find the right one.

My friend is getting married shortly and fell in love with two dresses. In the end the final decision went down to a vote. The two dresses were totally different but equally beautiful. One being the type of dress she would never had even thought of trying on. She only put it on at my request- more just to humour me.

Some brides will come with a file they have had since they were 16, and saving all the ideas for their wedding. They give me a picture of a dress and that is the dress they want, they don’t care if they cant try it on. My six year old daughter saw this Ronald Joyce Dress in my shelves the other day and said mom this is the dress I’m going to wear when I get married.  So what happens often with these ladies, which I’m sure will happen to my daughter, even though I’m sure she will change her mind 100 times still, is this dream dress is no longer in manufacture, the designer discontinued the style 4 years ago.

You will find it eventually

 Don’t be afraid to fit styles that everyone tells you wont suit you. You never know one of them might be THE dress. I have dealt with so many brides that come in and said I love the big ballgowns but everyone says I’m too short for it. They might be right, it might not suit you but not because you are too short. We have had plenty of short brides that have worn the biggest of ballgowns and have looked stunning.  To see some of our past brides https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=WeddingConnexionBassonia&set=a.994084480717470

So keep trying until you find the right dress, and once you find it, stop and buy it. We’ve had countless cases were brides find the dress at the first place and everyone tells them to keep trying other places. After months of shopping and the wedding date getting closer they come back and say that they want that dress they fitted 4 months ago. 95% of the times it has been sold. Sometimes they luckily and there is still time to order a new one in but a lot of the time there is not enough time. The bride ends up very unhappy.

 My best advice I can give you is to not leave your dress too late. We currently have so many brides only starting to look for their dresses within 3 months. These ladies have to take what we have in store as there is not enough time to order something in. Most brands take up to 4 month and some even a bit longer. This goes for your bridesmaids dresses as well. You don’t want to have to be paying extra rush options for something you could of just organised earlier.

In the end you will find the right dress. Whether it be a feeling you get, the look in your moms eyes, or maybe even down to the vote. When you find it, end the process of looking for it. Don’t get stresses when you feel you not coming right, the dress for you is just waiting somewhere. Let us help you in finding your dream dress https://weddingconnexion.co.za/branch/

Wedding Planning Do’s and Don’ts

Wedding Planning Do’s and Don’ts

Here is a good summary of what you should and should not be doing when you are planning your wedding. Some wedding Do’s and Don’ts 

Wedding Planning Must Do’s

Plan
Plan your wedding thoroughly, down to all the last little details. The best way to do this is to follow a wedding plan. Give yourself a “timeline” in which you need to get bookings made, or fittings done by.

Budget
You do not always have to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful wedding. Sometimes, less is more, if done correctly. It can be very easy to overspend without even knowing that you are overspending. Set a budget upfront and try stick to it as much as possible but do a bit of research before hand to get an idea of the cost of these types of items. Don’t put R1000 for a wedding dress, only to then go shopping and realise that the R1000 wasn’t a good figure for a dress.

Co-ordinate
It is very important to use your wedding planning guide to co-ordinate everything that you do. This will ensure that everything that needs to be done is done. Have a list of phone numbers to supply to the venues coordinator on the day, so that they can follow up on items if needed.

Wedding Planning Don’ts

Do not Rush
Don’t rush into making any quick decisions. Take your time and make sure that the decisions you make are good ones, especially when it comes to choosing professionals, such as photographers or caterers.

Cheap is not always good
Hiring cheap professionals may not always be the right decision. Some things are worth paying that little bit extra for. Remember, a good picture can bring back amazing thoughts and memories, and a bad one will bring back nothing.

Get it in writing

Always get everything in writing. This will avoid the you said this – I said that argument with suppliers

The Guests
You do not have to invite every single person you have ever known to your wedding. Remember that this is your special day! Spend it with those people who mean the most to you and your spouse and will make your wedding special for the two of you. 

 

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