Are you one of the lucky brides tying the knot soon?
Organising your own wedding can be quite exciting but the process can be full of disasters if you do not have your ducks in a row.
As many can attest, this can also be one of the most stressful times for a bride if you have not planned properly.
With so many things to organise, a bride can easily get distracted, giving leeway to tons of migraines.
But worry not. We spoke to the experts in the bridal industry to make sure that every bride-to-be has all the information they need. When should you buy a dress? What type of dress should you get? Which shoes are appropriate? When should you buy the cake? The experts let us in on it to prepare for your big day without the stress.
Diepkloof, Soweto-based wedding planner Portia Molokwane says the biggest mistakes brides make is not being able to keep time.
“You have to be vigorous with your time-keeping. One typically requires about a year to plan a wedding, and this is ample time for you to make sure that everything is in place. Leaving things to the last minute has disastrous consequences,” she warns.
Molokwane takes us through the vital time-frames a bride must keep in mind.
Acquire this six months prior to the wedding. Because of weight fluctuations, a bride needs to get a dress that is slightly bigger to allow room for weight gain. It’s easier to make alterations to a bigger dress than trying to squeeze into a small one.
Six months is ample time if a bride has ordered a dress overseas as well. Have the dress in your closet, without it there’s no show.
Buy the cake two months prior to the wedding and have it delivered at least three days before to the ceremony.
Having it delivered on the day is a bad idea because the cake needs to cool off. You don’t want your cake melting while on the table.
Make-up and hair
Book three months in advance, and have the people responsible for make-up and hair come and do it for you at home. Get a recognised make-up artist whose work you’ve seen on other brides.
Book a venue six months in advance. Make sure they have no “double bookings” for that specific day.
Music and entertainment
Book them two months in advance, and make sure the band or DJ is fully paid up come the wedding day to avoid a no show.
Notify them in writing six months prior to the ceremony.
You can have more than one pastor waiting on the wings to avoid last-minute disappointments.
Arrive on time!
On the wedding day, keep a deadline of when you need to be at the church/venue, and stick to it.
Contrary to popular belief, no one wants to wait around for a blushing bride.
SOWETAN spoke to Vuyiswa Motlhabane, who first specialised in selling wedding dresses before she recently launched a range of bridal shoes.
“My love for bridal wear started many years back from working for a media house that had a bridal magazine. I started my own shop that was designed to provide affordable bridal wear, [where] brides could also be able to resell their dresses.”
Motlhabane says through lack of funds her first shop in Rivonia closed down.
“One of the most hurtful feelings is packing shop and seeing your dream vanish in front of your eyes,” Motlhabane says.
“Many would have seen that as failure, but I saw it as a lesson that maybe the timing was not right.
“Being an entrepreneur requires a thick skin, self-belief and special powers of seeing what others are failing to see, and I spotted a niche.”
Motlhabane says she changed her approach, and opted to specialise in bridal shoes.
“I passionately disliked satin shoes and I knew that I was not the only one. That was the birth of Vuyi Bridal shoes.”
In collaboration with designer Sam Star the business was launched two months ago.
“We came up with a range of designer [leather] shoes that a bride can wear even after her wedding.
“The shoes had to be comfortable and stylish enough for a bride to wear on the most special day of her life,” Motlhabane says.
“We also work as a wholesaler for bridal stores which can contact us to stock the shoes [in their stores].
“[The business has] very good profit margins as our shoes can also be worn by the mother of the bride.”
Motlhabane gives us tips on getting the right bridal shoes.
l Leather is best because the material is not man-made.
l Check out the padding inside the shoe. Is it padded for extra comfort?
l Hidden platforms are best for the bride who loves heels.
l If the price is too good to be true, expect problems on your wedding day. Never buy a cheapy – you will crawl to the altar.
From her experience, Motlhabane also gives tips on which wedding dresses are hot right now and how to buy the right dress for your body:
l Always go for a designer gown that you can afford. Buying a cheap dress seems tempting because you can pay as little as R1500 for a so-called designer dress.
Trust me on this one, a bride did that and the dress looked like an old lace curtain.
Well-priced designer gowns start from R10000.
l The best bridal trend for next year is the Marie Antoinette-inspired corset, as well as a cape.
A cape is great because you don’t have to wear a veil.
l Know your body shape and find a dress that fits your body.
Ball gowns are great to hide those extra kilos, and create that small waste line. If you have a big bust line, stay away from “boob-tube” dresses.
l Less is more. You can’t have it all – a tiara, bracelet, necklace, gloves, huge earrings.
l Buy a great supporting bra and test it before the wedding.