I SS U E 13 | 2021–2022
Note from the Editor
All Made Up
Be-you-tiful | 55
Off to a Great Start
Wedding planning wisdom | 9 Your money matters | 12
Planning your wedding ceremony | 17 Legally speaking | 19
10 essential questions to help you find the perfect wedding venue | 23 Venue information | 26 Why have a destination wedding? | 33
All Dressed Up
Top wedding dress trends for 2022 | 60 Groom’s guide to great style | 70
Setting the Scene
8 steps to choosing your wedding colour palette | 73 What is your wedding bouquet personality? | 78
How to get an amazing wedding photo album | 83 Your wedding day timing guide | 89 An unplugged wedding | 92
How to create the perfect wedding day playlist | 95 35 suggested songs for walking down the aisle | 98
Cake is always a good idea | 38 How to plan the perfect wedding food experience | 42
Just the Two of Us
10 tips to plan the perfect honeymoon | 101
The Write Style
Hot and happening wedding stationery trends | 49
Parting words 2
Note from the editor I bet there were moments when you thought this day would never come and now here you are on the brink of a thrilling new chapter with a head full of ideas and a tummy full of butterflies, ready to start planning your wedding! This year’s Marriage Meander publication has been lovingly compiled just for you, dear ones.
My perspective on weddings has been shaped by my experience as a recent ‘lockdown bride’ and as a wedding industry professional. The naked truth is that the wedding landscape looks very different today from how it did in pre-Covid times and it may, quite possibly, never look the same again. But that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom! Here are some of the silver linings of weddings in a post-coronavirus world: Ceremony-centric weddings Weddings went ‘back to basics’ this past year and the ceremony took centre stage. The focus shifted
Tighten up your team As a result of forced micro weddings, couples had to learn how to refine their guest lists. Some important learnings resulted from this exercise. Couples had a good reason to tell their parents that some folks were being axed from the list. ‘Plus Ones’ were not automatically assumed and casual mates didn’t crack the nod. The best part is that no one took offense. Whilst it’s a beautiful privilege for all your loved ones to be able to attend your wedding, the past year has given couples the added encouragement to shed peripheral guests and only invite those who are likely to be part of your married life. Allocate funds to what excites you as a couple The status quo has been challenged and caused us to re-examine our priorities. Perhaps a big wedding was always on the cards because that was everyone else’s expectations for your day but upon introspection, a wedding with a smaller guest list and a bigger budget for your dress, food, flowers or honeymoon is more in line with your heart’s desires!
NOTE FROM THE CONTENTS EDITOR
Planning a wedding can be daunting at the best of times and I have first-hand knowledge of the added challenges of trying to orchestrate your dream day in the midst of a global pandemic! After postponing our wedding three times, my hubby and I finally got to celebrate our special day in May 2021.
away from the pageantry back to what’s most important—your marriage to your beloved! And whilst we all love a big, glamorous wedding, placing priority on your vows and preparations for married life together, has received renewed focus.
Wild Olive Photo
Attitude of gratitude Weddings are no longer something any of us take for granted. Family and friends share in the disappointments of multiple postponements and curveballs—and celebrate with each couple in the wedding day victory with unbridled joy and deep appreciation! Heightened personalisation Times of struggle almost always result in an explosion of creativity and I am loving all the personal touches that are appearing at weddings—such as personalised vows at the ceremony, bespoke stationery and customised table gifts. As you chart your own wedding planning journey, I hope that this Marriage Meander book serves as a valuable resource to help make your preparations more fun and efficient. In the pages that follow, you will find some of KwaZulu-Natal’s most spectacular wedding and honeymoon venues, and a directory of incredibly talented and trusted wedding professionals.
If you haven’t already, follow us on Facebook and Instagram and keep an eye on our website so we can keep you updated with events, trends and bridal inspo. We’d love to host you on a Marriage Meander Journey, our one-day wedding planning events, which have helped many brides and grooms get their planning off to a smooth, stressfree start. Happy planning! Savour the sweetness of this journey. You’re quite literally making history, you brave and beautiful soul. Wishing you courage, laughter and joy along the way. Love,
PS These images are from our wedding and serve as a tribute to my gorgeous husband (I still love saying that), our precious family, friends and ‘friendors’ who made sure that our celebration was full of joy, love and laughter.
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR 5
Publishing details EDITOR IN CHIEF CREATIVE DIRECTOR DESIGN STUDIO AD SALES
COVER IMAGE PUBLISHER
Jacqui Neumann Karen Schmidt Tiara Creative Jacqui Neumann 082 718 5311 Wild Olive Marriage Meander Company Managing Member Jacqui Neumann email@example.com
Content created by the Marriage Meander Company with editorial submissions supplied by and credited to contributing advertisers within the publication.
Colour Display (Pty) Ltd
The Marriage Meander KZN publication is published annually and distributed throughout KZN, and via Marriage Meander’s various online and social platforms.
The Marriage Meander Company endeavours to provide clients with content that is relevant and accurate, giving credit to our various contributors wherever possible. We are, however, dependent on the information supplied to us by our advertisers and to this end, we cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions once final sign-off has been received and the magazine has been published.
Copyright applies to design concept, text, covers, titles, and distribution of the 2021/2022 Marriage Meander KZN book. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, is forbidden without written permission from the publisher.
David Weeks Photographic
Off to a Great Start
Right: Vix Photography Circles, from left: Bailee Guy Weddings, and Wild Olive Photo Middle row, from left: Wild Olive Photo, and Laura Jean Photography Bottom row: Wild Olive Photo
Pro Tip Book yourself and your fiancé/ mum/bestie on a Marriage Meander Journey, where you will have the opportunity to visit some stunning venues and meet a range of experienced wedding professionals, who will help get your planning off to an inspired and organised start!
Wedding planning wisdom
Here are 15 key considerations to kickstart your wedding planning:
they’re comfortable spending. Once you’ve determined your budget, stick to it!
1. Paint a picture of your day Chat to your partner and agree on what you both want your wedding to look like. Prioritise the details that are most important to you and be willing to compromise on the rest. Pool ideas and inspiration from sources like Instagram, Pinterest, or bridal sites but make sure your vision reflects your personality, preferences and style! Having a good grasp of the type of wedding you want is a big help once you start meeting with potential suppliers.
4. Work on your guest list Deciding who to invite to your wedding can be a complicated business and will hinge largely on your budget. Chat to your partner and key family members to put together a wish list of invitees and decide whether to include ‘Plus Ones’ and kids. Try to pin down a fairly accurate number of guests before you start venue hunting as there is no point in looking at venues that are the wrong size.
3. Set your budget—and stick to it How much money you have to spend will be the driving factor behind many of your decisions so it should be one of the first things you tackle. If any family members are contributing, find out what
5. Pick a date and secure your ceremony and reception venues Select a few suitable dates for your wedding before shopping around for venues. Remember that many couples had to postpone their 2020 and 2021 weddings due to Covid-19 so plan well in advance and try to be flexible with your dates. 6. Book your marriage officer early Your officiant is a key part of your ceremony as they usher you into your union and set the tone for the start of your marriage. Good people are hard to find so do your research, obtain recommendations, and ask the right questions such as, “Will you personalise the service to our requirements?” and “Are you involved in obtaining a marriage license?”
OFF TO A GREAT START
2. Start a wedding planning file Get organised and consolidate all your thoughts, ideas, lists and budgets in one place! To help you do just that, Marriage Meander has created a Wedding Planning Blueprint, which includes some lovely free printables to help you create a wedding planning file with all the checklists and tracking sheets you need to stay on track and tackle tasks like a pro. Sign up to our email list on our website and you’ll receive regular (free) downloads of wedding planning wisdom.
7. Book vendors that you feel comfortable with When it comes to booking service providers, do your homework, consider a few options, and get references to make sure that these critical wedding day partners understand your vision and can work within your budgetary constraints. They are pivotal in delivering the day of your dreams, and you need to be comfortable having them as part of your inner circle.
mind the expenses associated with this special responsibility. Consider whether they are capable of providing the support you need leading up to your wedding, and if they are likely to play a significant part in your married life going forward.
11. Read your contracts carefully Before signing any contracts, Annie from 8. Secure the services of a make sure you read and Studio Petals wedding planner understand all the details A professional planner can help you avoid including dates, location, times, making costly mistakes and guide you through deposits, additional fees, colours, your selection of flowers and décor. This is quantities, cancellation clauses etc. Pro Tip for what they do 24-7 and they are equipped Insist that all services are DIY brides to help you source other trusted accurately documented in your suppliers that they know will offer good contract so that both parties Even if you intend to take value and professional service. They are on the same page. A control of your wedding will help you stay on top of deadlines contract should outline what day preparations yourself, so that you can enjoy the lead-up to happens if either party enlisting the services of a your big day, knowing that the details cancels, not just the client. wedding planner to have been taken care of! oversee the nitty gritty Carefully read policies details on the day is 9. Adopt a strategic approach to DIY pertaining to a change in the definitely worth Doing your own décor or gifts can save scope of the service provided, considering! you money and add a personal touch to which may result in the rate being your wedding. But a word of caution: it is often revised. This is standard practice in time consuming, and you don’t want to add to the wedding industry but the onus is on your pre-event stress levels. Our suggestion you to familiarise yourself with each is to pick one or two DIY projects that can supplier’s terms and conditions. be done well in advance, and leave the For example, if your catering bigger jobs to the professionals. quote is based on a minimum of 100 guests but your final 10. Choose your wedding party wisely tally ends up at 60 guests, The friends and family you invite to be this may affect the catering part of your wedding party will provide fee per head. emotional and practical support during the wedding planning journey, 12. The invitation process and on your big day. When you and your Once you’ve got your date, Sandra from partner chat about how many people to venue and wedding party Farmgirl Flowers by include in your wedding party, bear in buttoned up, it’s time to notify Vix Photography 10
your broader circle about your upcoming nuptials. In an increasingly digital world—fuelled by the numerous date changes caused by Covid—many couples are opting for a digital invitation and RSVP process with beautiful on-the-day stationery. Of course, if you have the budget, a pretty paper invitation does make a statement! 13. Let the ceremony take centre stage Many couples put the majority of their focus on the reception. But without the ceremony, there is no reception. During the lead-up to your big day, set aside time to gather your thoughts and put down in black and white, the pledges, promises and declarations of love you wish to express to your beloved. Remember that your ceremony sets the mood for the rest of the day. 14. Practice self-care For the sake of your own sanity, build in time for the two of you to just be together and do anything but talk about wedding plans. If possible, take a week or at least a few days off work before your wedding so that you can make sure that all those last-minute details are taken care of, and fit in some pampering appointments—like having a massage and getting your nails done.
OFF TO A GREAT START
15. Make the marriage your priority In the blur of planning your wedding, don't lose sight of the big picture. Nothing about a wedding is as important as the marriage that follows. Accept that some things may not unfold as planned and don’t sweat the small (or big) stuff. Be present in the moment and feel the joy—you’re marrying your beloved! By Jacqui Neumann Marriage Meander
Clockwise from top: Vix Photography, Vix Photography, Bailee Guy Weddings, Wild Olive Photo, and Vix Photography
Your money matters Create a budget—and stick to it Before you start planning, you and your partner need to decide how much you are prepared to spend on your wedding and establish who else is contributing. Although it may be an awkward topic to broach, the conversation needs to happen. Bear in mind that whilst your parents may wish to contribute, they may be out of touch with current wedding costs. Be open and transparent about your anticipated expenses so that all parties are on the same page.
Wild Olive Photo
example, you may want to splash out on a meal that your guests will be raving about for years to come. Your partner might want a smaller wedding with just your inner circle so that you can spend more on your photographer and videographer. You will both need to compromise on some things, as wedding costs tend to get out of hand quickly. On average, couples tend to spend 10-15% more than originally planned, so set your total budget below what you really can afford.
Start saving straight away While tradition dictates that the bride’s parents pay for most of the wedding, this is not always possible and these days, many couples foot the bill themselves. As soon as you get engaged, open a savings account and deposit 10-20% of each salary into this account. If you want to up the ante, analyse your monthly expenses and see what luxuries you can cut back on to help you save more. These changes will have little effect on your day-to-day, but after a year, the extra cash will cover some awesome wedding essentials. Saving for your wedding together gets you into good habits for your marriage.
Be savvy There are heaps of creative ways to reduce your spend if you are willing to invest a little energy and creativity! Do your research and shop around to make sure you get the best bang for your buck! Plan ahead and take advantage of special offers when they present themselves. Be clever about your décor and bulk up displays with less expensive greenery and non-floral items that are more cost-effective. Get crafty (or enlist the services of the DIY divas in your bride tribe) and make your own guest gifts instead of buying them. Choose a dual-purpose venue that can host both the ceremony and reception.
Pick your priorities You and your fiancé should discuss what is most important to each of you. If you are a foodie, for
How much to allocate to each category Here is a very general guideline to get you started. Chat about what is important to each of
you and if you want to spend more in one area, you will need to reduce expenses elsewhere: % 45-50%
Category Venue and Catering (including cake)
Photo and Video
Wedding Planner and Miscellaneous
Décor and Flowers
Bridal Wear and Suits
Music and Entertainment
Hair and Makeup
Gifts and Favours
Try to earmark 5% for unexpected expenses and if you're paying for your honeymoon yourselves, remember to budget for that as well. How to stick to your budget: You need to have a system to track your spending. Create a simple spreadsheet and log all your expenses here. Revisit your spending plan on a
regular basis and adjust if needed. Make wise decisions. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your wedding which may lead to overspending. With each financial decision, ask yourself, “Is this the wise thing to do?” Implement a medium to long-term financial plan Once you’ve set your wedding budget and date for the big day you will know what you need to put away each month to have the wedding (and honeymoon) of your dreams. Give some thought to your medium to long-term financial goals too. The decision of whether to save or invest depends on your personal circumstance and goals. But the best time to start future-proofing your finances is now. Seek out a trusted financial advisor to do an audit of your savings and retirement plan. Setting—and sticking to—your wedding budget will feel like a huge accomplishment and eliminate much of the stress surrounding your special day. Insights from Stuart Woodroffe Momentum Financial Planner
OFF TO A GREAT START
When planning your wedding, one of the wisest investments you can make is setting aside time to build a solid financial plan for your future. Contact Stuart Woodroffe, your trusted Momentum financial advisor to book your free financial health-check. 082 807 9834 | firstname.lastname@example.org |
What about your finances AFTER the big day?
Give the gift that will last a lifetime Fun Finance Retreat for couples Discover the secrets to:
Starting your new partnership as a married couple is a joyful and happy time. Embrace the newness and excitement of it all but also spend some time discussing and mapping out a financial plan that gives consideration to your new household: you, your spouse, and your dependants. Follow these five steps to get your new household financial plan underway: 1.
Draw up a household budget and taxes schedule Set up a cash flow budget to measure money in vs money out.
Establish your financial needs • What are your financial needs vs wants? • What is most important to you both?
Set goals • Plan for your retirement. • Manage your risk. • Invest your money.
• Debt proofing your marriage • Investing for your future • Living the life you want Set yourself up for a successful marriage by aligning your goals and creating a plan for a happy, fulfilled future.
083 369 4748 email@example.com www.SoMuchMore.co.za
Wild Olive Photo
David Weeks Photographic
Have a communication and record keeping plan • Decide how you are going to manage your household budget. • Keep track of expenses. • Keep the communication channels open—teamwork makes the dream work!
Have an updated will in place If you don’t know where to start, contact a financial advisor to guide you through the process. Some advisors will even assist you with a complementary financial audit to help you set a benchmark. Tackling these steps early on will save you heartache down the line and help you establish financial freedom in the years to come.
Wild Olive Photo
OFF TO A GREAT START
Clockwise, outer from top Kong Kong left: Bailee Guy Weddings, Laura Jean Photography, Wild Olive Photo, David Weeks Photographic, and Courtney Dale Photography Clockwise, centre from top left: Wild Olive Photo, Laura Jean Photography, and Bailee Guy Weddings
Planning your wedding ceremony
Here are some of our top tips to help you plan a memorable ceremony: What to include/exclude A good starting point is to decide what you definitely do—and don’t—want to include. Think about weddings you’ve attended, where you really enjoyed the ceremony or witnessed a particular tradition that inspired you. Perhaps there is something you saw at a wedding that you committed to memory as “that’s never happening at mine!”
Book your marriage officer early Secure the services of a marriage officer as soon as you have booked your venue. If you don't already have a relationship with a pastor or officiant, you will want to give yourself time to find someone that you connect with. Good people are not easy to find and your marriage officer plays an important role on your wedding day.
Home Affairs requirements Make sure your marriage officer is registered at Home Affairs and is familiar with Home Affairs regulations (www.dha.gov.za). Confirm with your marriage officer that they will complete the marriage register which you will sign, with two witnesses, on your wedding day. It is important to receive a South African
Look into the logistics Once you know the layout of your ceremony venue, make sure that you have considered practical details such as: • Is there enough space for the couple, bridal party, photographer and videographer to easily move around? • If you plan to have a musician, band or DJ, where will they be positioned and do they have access to power, if needed? • Are you reserving seats for parents/ grandparents and the bridal party (if they will be seated)? Appoint an attendant who knows these guests to direct them to their seats on the day. • Make sure the registration table is large enough for signing the register. You can use the bride’s bouquet as décor to save costs. • Make sure to have a plan B if you have an outside ceremony so you do not have to stress on the day if the weather does not play along.
Roles and responsibilities Make sure that everyone involved in the ceremony knows what their responsibilities are:
marriage certificate on your wedding day. Check that the officiant will register your marriage personally at Home Affairs.
Does everyone in the bridal party know where to stand and what role they will play before, during and after the ceremony?
Ensure that the best man has water close by—you need to plan for the unforeseen.
It might come in handy if the groom, bridesmaid or officiant has tissues ready.
Discuss all details relating to the ‘before, during and after’ with your marriage officer. They need to be informed in order to take responsibility for the order of service.
Let your marriage officer know who is involved with the ceremony: DJ, musician, videographer, photographer, wedding planner and any other party who might be doing a reading/poem etc.
Prioritise your vows Your vows are an expression of how you plan to navigate your marriage journey together. Make time well ahead of your wedding day to write them. Prioritise this sacred and meaningful moment in your day.
Wild Olive Photo
I hope these ideas help you get started on planning a wedding ceremony that is just as unique and beautiful as your love story. By Jacqui Neumann Marriage Meander
From top: Vix Photography, Bailee Guy Weddings, and Laura Jean Photography
From left: Vix Photography, Laura Jean Photography, and Wild Olive Photo
But before you get swept away by the avalanche of details that are likely to consume you in the lead up to your wedding, here are ten important legal things to consider: You need to sign your Antenuptial Contract (“ANC”) before you get married.
If you get married without signing an Antenuptial Contract, you will automatically be married in community of property.
Marriage in community of property results in a 50/50 sharing of all your assets and more importantly, all your debts. This can have significant consequences down the line and
It’s very costly to change your marital regime after the wedding so do your homework, get excellent advice up front and make an informed decision that is best suited for your intended marriage.
An Antenuptial Contract is not preparation for divorce. It is preparation for life together and it factors in the potential twists and turns that your marriage journey may take along the way.
An Antenuptial Contract can protect you from being held liable for your spouse’s debts.
can directly affect your ability to conduct business or buy and sell immovable property.
South African law is not what you see on Netflix. Rather than believing what you see on TV, enlist the services of a reputable legal team so that they can advise you on the best option for you and your spouse. There are two types of Antenuptial Contract, 1) ANC without accrual and 2) an ANC with the inclusion of the Accrual System. Here are some of the differences between the two. •
ANC with the exclusion of the accrual system results in no sharing between you and your spouse. In other words, “what is yours is yours, and what is mine is mine.” ANC with the inclusion of the accrual system results in the spouse partially sharing in what has been accrued at the date of dissolution of the marriage (whether by death or divorce). The spouse whose estate shows no or smaller accrual than the estate of the other spouse (or estate, if he is deceased) shall have a claim against the other spouse (or his/
her estate) for an amount of half the difference between the accrual of the respective spouses. A good lawyer will help you understand the difference, so you can choose the one that makes the most sense for your situation. 9.
Update your wills before you get married. This is a significant change and you will want to take your new spouse into account in your will. If you don’t change your will, your spouse will not automatically inherit anything.
10. Ask about the possible creation of a trust in terms of your will to provide for any minors who may inherit in terms of your will. It may seem overwhelming but the legal aspect of getting married doesn’t need to feel daunting. With the right legal team guiding you through the process, you should feel excited and encouraged to start your union on a solid and united footing. Bailee Guy Weddings
Getting married is one of life's biggest adventures! We would love to help you prepare for your future by drawing up your Antenuptial Contract and wills. Contact Sunè Taljaard or Belinda Vermaak on 033 345 4230 firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com www.masoninc.co.za 20
Laura Jean Photography
Clockwise, from top left: Kerriston Country House by Wild Olive Photo, Cathedral Peak Hotel by Jacki Bruniquel, Calderwood Hall by Vix Photography, and Swallow Cliff Hall Circle: Bonamanzi by Kate Martens Photography
10 essential questions to help you find
The perfect wedding venue 1.
How convenient is the location of the venue? Think about the friends and family members you want at your celebration and consider the practicalities of the venue versus making a statement just to be unique. If your reception is more than an hour away and guests cannot easily return home, determine whether there is enough accommodation onsite or nearby. If you are planning a destination wedding, factor in proximity to airports, ease of road travel, ample accommodation at the venue and an entertainment programme for the rest of the week-end. What does the venue’s quote include and exclude? Make sure you understand exactly what is included in the venue hire fee and the cost per person. Some venues quote a fee to hire the reception hall and then charge per head for catering, while others may give an all-inclusive cost per person, incorporating the venue, catering and various other services.
Is there a ceremony venue? Most venues have a chapel nearby, but if this is not on the property, it may result in additional costs. If the venue does not have a chapel, you could erect a marquee or stretch tent on the property, but you will need to check if the venue will permit this. The setting might be ideal for a garden or outdoor ceremony but remember that you cannot control the weather and you need to have a bad-weather plan in place.
Is the venue geared for all weather possibilities? No one wants to be too hot, too cold, or wet on their wedding day! Check what weatherproofing options your venue includes should the weather be swelteringly hot, freezing cold, windy or wet. Does it have air conditioning, heating, fans? If it’s in a marquee or on an open verandah, are heaters included or hired as an additional extra?
Does the venue impose minimum requirements? Check with the venue if you need to meet a minimum head count or spend. Bear in mind that this may vary depending on the day of
Generally, the venue hire includes the use of tables, chairs, basic linen, cutlery and crockery but in some instances, these will need to be hired separately. Some venues may even include the use of specialised chairs and a limited selection of décor. Don’t be shy to find out these details up front, as it will avoid
unnecessary disappointment when extras are added after you have paid a deposit.
Dargle Forest Lodge by Mopani Street Photography
the week, time of day, or season of your wedding. Some venues offer discounted rates for mid-week or off-season bookings.
Does the venue offer exclusive use? Ask the venue coordinator if other events will be permitted at the venue on the same day as your wedding and if so, how that will impact on your wedding. What facilities will be shared, how will the venue manage things like noise levels, guest access, bar tabs etc?
Are there set parameters for your event? Many venues have pre-determined start and finish times, which you need to abide by. Ask about their set-up and pack-down arrangements. Will you have a full day before the event to set up, or just the morning of your event? Will you need to send your guests packing at midnight or is there an option to extend the party into the wee hours if everyone is having a good time?
Is there a preferred vendor list? Some venues make recommendations to help you build your dream team while others will only permit you to use their triedand-trusted suppliers.
The Hilton Bush Lodge by Bailee Guy Weddings
Are there any limitations as to what you are allowed to do? Think about any special décor touches or celebratory activities you may want to include and be sure to ask your venue if there is anything they won’t permit (e.g. pets, confetti, sparklers, lanterns, suspended décor installations, rose petal turn-down in the honeymoon suite etc.) before you get too far down the line with your planning.
10. Are there any other policies you need to know about? Your contract with the venue should cover details such as payment timelines and cancellation clauses. Read these carefully and be sure to query anything you don’t understand or aren’t happy with before you sign anything. Wishing you heaps of fun as you set out to find your dream venue! Swallow Cliff Hall
By Jacqui Neumann Marriage Meander
Top row, from left: Highgate Wine Estate, and Lythwood by Peppermint Pix Second row, from left: Ghost Mountain Inn & Safaris by Knot Just Pics, and Gracelands Farm Third row: Harrington House by Kate Martens, and Talloula by Wild Olive Photo Fourth row, from left: Sweethome by Long Exposure, and Kirstenvale at Ukuthula
Venue information Venue
Number of guests
Venue Hire Fees
Up to 250
Cathedral Peak Hotel
No charge with 15 rooms booked
Dargle Forest Lodge
Fordoun Hotel & Spa
Up to 170
Up to 400
Highgate Wine Estate
Kerriston Country House
KirstenVale at Ukuthula
Qambathi Mountain Lodge
Bonamanzi Game Reserve Calderwood Hall
Ghost Mountain Inn & Safaris
Swallow Cliff Hall Sweethome Talloula The Hilton Bush Lodge
Accom rate pppn
B&B and SC
B&B and SC
RC & In-house
RC & In-house
RC & In-house
From R1,250 per 5-sleeper chalet
B&B or DBB
In-house & RC
Incl in venue hire, R2,000 pppn
Open terrace, included
B&B and SC
RC & In-house
SC: Self Catering | RC: Recommended Caterers 27
Beautiful bush weddings & honeymoons on a privately owned Big 4 game reserve in Hluhluwe Photos: Kate Martens
firstname.lastname@example.org | 083 634 0895 | www.bonamanzi.co.za
Our unique glass-walled forest chapel and modern barn venue offer you a picture-perfect wedding venue that echoes timeless beauty.
083 234 0436 email@example.com www.dargleforestlodge.co.za
When you’re looking for the perfect wedding venue or honeymoon getaway, you’ll find it all at 4-star, family-run, Cathedral Peak Hotel. With a charming 120-seater stone-and-thatch chapel set in beautiful gardens boasting breathtaking views behind the pulpit, a wide variety of reception venues, menus and entertainment, luxurious accommodation, and a world of adventure right on your doorstep, Cathedral Peak Hotel will give you a truly unforgettable wedding. Should 30 or more (minimum of 15 double rooms) of your guests stay at the hotel you shall receive: • • • • •
Free use of our Chapel and Reception Venue Complimentary Honeymoon Suite on your wedding night Discounted rates for your guests Welcome drinks and canapés A voucher towards your first anniversary
Book today to take advantage of our Wedding or Honeymoon Special!
Let romance take you in with our secluded and peaceful mountainfacing honeymoon suites complete with a king-size bed, electric fireplace, under-floor heating, minibar, and a Victorian slipper bath.
+27 (0)36 488 1888 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.cathedralpeak.co.za 29
A beau�ful, farm-style wedding venue set in a conservancy at the foot of a majes�c mountain.
031 054 5018 email@example.com www.gracelandsfarm.co.za
Beautiful bush weddings on a small private game farm just outside Pietermaritzburg kirstenvale-wedding-venue.business.site 082 495 1347 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Create the bespoke wedding of your dreams with our wide selection of spaces including a magical Chestnut tree, upmarket venue, beautiful marquee site, stretch tent and elevated verandah.
YOUR WEDDING, YOUR WAY Jen: email@example.com | 066 473 8699
Photo: Kong Kong
Born out of a passion for wine and romance, Highgate Wine Estate is a stylish wedding venue for up to 60 guests, conveniently located at the start of the Midlands Meander. firstname.lastname@example.org www.highgatewineestate.co.za
Nestled in the KZN Midlands with breathtaking views, an onsite chapel, and luxury accommodation in an 8-bedroomed Victorian-styled home and a 4-bedroomed cottage, Kerriston Country House is perfectly suited to an intimate wedding.
VENUES www.kerristoncountryhouse.com 082 440 9092 f email@example.com 31
Laura Jean Photography
Clockwise, from top left: Laura Jean Photography, Qambathi Mountain Lodge, Fordoun, Kerriston Country House by JCS Photography, Laura Jean Photography, Ghost Mountain Inn & Safaris by Knot Just Pics, and Swallow Cliff Hall (centre)
Why have a destination wedding? Here are six reasons why we love a destination wedding: 1.
If you opt for a destination wedding, you are not limited to the venue options that are in your hometown. You can truly pick the venue of your dreams!
Bailee Guy Weddings
A destination wedding feels like a mini vacay with all your favourite people. Since you arrive at your wedding venue ahead of the actual wedding day, there is less rush and stress and the atmosphere is typically more relaxed and fun!
You have the opportunity to enjoy extended quality time with your special guests.
Being away together for a few days with the people you love most gives friends and family from both sides an opportunity to get to know one another. The union becomes greater than just that of two individuals.
Depending on where the wedding is, the smaller size can result in lower costs for the couple. You can also keep it simple as many venues at beautiful destinations require minimal décor.
Once you’ve decided to leave your hometown for your celebration, select a venue that works with your vision and also makes sense from a logistical perspective. Organising a destination wedding comes with its own set of challenges but many of these can be overcome by hiring a wedding planner who knows the area and has contacts with local suppliers. Lythwood by
Courtney Dale Photography
You will need to start planning your destination wedding early and let guests know well ahead of time so they can make the necessary arrangements to be there. Maintain a flexible approach as you will not be able to anticipate everything ahead of you. Although more careful planning may be required, once you are there, you will be enveloped in happy holiday vibes augmented by the feelings of joy and love that only a wedding can create.
A destination wedding venue is a meaningful place to go back to when you celebrate a milestone like a 5, 10 or 15-year anniversary.
By Jacqui Neumann Marriage Meander 33
Boutique and bespoke wedding venue Welcome to Qambathi Mountain Lodge, an authentic, beautifully designed venue nestled in the Kamberg Valley. The perfect choice if you are planning an elopement or intimate micro wedding.
www.qambathi.com 082 774 8164 | 066 002 4852 firstname.lastname@example.org
chapel . venue . décor garden spa Talloula is a family owned business who are hands on with warm smiles and a heart for personal, above average service. Their experienced events team will stop at nothing to ensure a stress-free celebration. In house catering and décor teams make this a fabulous choice for your wedding. We know what you want, and look forward to showing you the level of service and attention to detail that you deserve.
Exclusive country weddings loaded with elegance
Contact Lindsay for further information and a personal venue tour: 031 777 1586 | email@example.com www.talloula.co.za 61 Old Main Road, Bothas Hill
www.sweethomeweddings.co.za • 082 953 7911 • firstname.lastname@example.org 34
Create the wedding you’ve always wanted
082 681 3934 | email@example.com www.lythwood.com
From a romantic garden ceremony to formal banquet; a quaint country chapel to free-spirited glass-enclosed elegance–the choice is yours. Together with our extensive wedding planning tools, we are your secret to a great wedding!
www.thehiltonbushlodge.co.za | firstname.lastname@example.org
Luxury weddings, a heartbeat from Hilton
Bailee Guy Weddings
Cake is always a good idea Gone are the days when you would receive a neat little sliver of fruit cake predictably dressed in white marzipan icing at every single wedding you attended. The modern bride and groom of today have countless options to choose from, which means that your wedding cake can be a true reflection of the style, colours and flavours that excite you—and feature as part of your reception décor!
The minimalist cake This sweet treat is all about simplicity, clean lines, and an understated colour palette. The pared back style of this cake may include a flourish of blooms or foliage. Textured buttercream with fresh flowers or fruit Buttercream icing is a delicious and popular choice for a wedding cake and instead of a smooth finish, you might like to consider a modern, textured look, which is especially lovely when adorned with some fresh blooms, foliage, succulents or even fruit. Drip cakes The use of melted chocolate or caramel creates a ‘drip’ effect, which not only looks decadent but also tastes delicious! Top your cake with flowers and macarons for added height, prettiness and yumminess!
Wild Olive Photo
Bold colours Dramatic, deep colours add sophistication and make a real style statement! If you love bright colours, let them take centre stage on your cake.
But with so many options available, it’s hard to know where to start! So, we have rounded up some of the latest cake trends to guide you through this tasty process. 38
Grace of Bakes by Vix Photography
Metallic wedding cakes Who doesn’t love a bit of bling? Well, now you can glam up your cake with some edible metallic shimmer!
Right: Laura Jean Photography
Circle: Grace of Bakes by Wild Olive Photo
Above, from left: Whisked Cakery, Beyond Measure, and Sean Baker Photography
From left: Vix Photography, Wild Olive Photo, and David Weeks Photographic
Cake spacers and separators Cake spacers and separators are making a distinct comeback in a fresh, re-imagined way. Why use them? Well, they enable you to add height and drama to your cake without adding an unnecessary layer. Plus you can get really creative with the spacer you use, to tie in with your décor.
Styled dessert station It is a well-known fact that we eat with our eyes first so it’s not surprising that staging a cake/ dessert station has become ‘a thing’! What that means is that you don’t have to settle on just one cake. Create a wow factor and incorporate a selection of single tier and multi-tier cakes, cake pops, macarons, tartlets—and wherever else your sweet fantasies take you… Designing your wedding cake can be heaps of fun! There are no rules or limits to what you can create. Imagine the possibilities and choose a cake maker that will help you create something for your special day that reflects your unique preferences and personality. Insights from Grace of Bakes From left: Beyond Measure, Vix Photography, and Whisked Cakery
When should we cut our cake? Historically, the cake cutting was the last moment in the reception— signalling to guests that they were welcome to head home. These days, the cake cutting usually happens earlier in the reception (toward the end of dinner, just before dancing begins) and is the last ‘official’ event of the evening. Choosing to slice earlier (even before you take your seats for dinner) offers a few advantages. If your photographer is only booked for the first part of the evening, cutting early means they won’t miss it. It also makes slicing and serving less pressured for your catering crew. If you cut the cake before dinner, they can slice it once starters have been served, and can serve pieces as a plated dessert course before dancing gets underway. 40
David Weeks Photographic
Saving the top tier of your wedding cake to enjoy on your first wedding anniversary is a longstanding tradition. If you want to do this, make sure you tell your baker and caterer in advance. This way, your cake maker can provide you with the correct size box to store the top tier, and your caterer won’t accidentally slice it up and serve it to your guests. Your cake will need to be wrapped in plastic the following day. Make sure it’s airtight to eliminate the possibility of freezer burn.
For the love of cake! 082 501 8667 | email@example.com
If the thought of eating 365day old cake on your first wedding anniversary doesn’t appeal to you, you can offer any leftover cake to your guests as a takeaway treat at the end of the evening. When your anniversary rolls around a year later, why not contact your original baker and ask them to make you a mini replica of your wedding cake with the same flavour options?
Photo: Vix Photography
Should we save the top tier of our wedding cake?
Top row, from left:: David Weeks Photographic, and Bailee Guy Weddings Bottom row: Vix Photography
How to plan the
Perfect wedding food experience
Left and centre: Bailee Guy Weddings, and far right: Wild Olive Photo
These tips will help you make the right catering decisions for your big day: Research your wedding venue Some venues only offer in-house catering, which is not a problem if you love their menu and style of
cooking. If you have your heart set on a particular dish, or caterer, make sure to ask your venue if they will permit outside catering. Decide on a food service style that suits your theme Option 1: Buffet Pros • This option offers the greatest variety of dishes to your guests. • It is often more economical. • Encourages mingling.
Your wedding day is an opportunity to get creative with your menus, serving styles, cocktails and drink offerings. Just like all the other aspects of your day, your menu should be personal and reflect things you love. A close working relationship with your caterer is essential for an inspired wedding food experience.
Beautifully presented food is very appealing. Food stays hot.
Cons • Guests may have to stand in a long queue for food. • It generally takes longer for everyone to dish up and eat. • What looked beautiful at the start of the buffet looks less lovely by the time the fourth wave of guests has passed through the buffet station. • A self-service buffet is not seen as Covid-friendly. Option 2: Plated Pros • Being waited on adds sophistication to your event, which makes this the best option for a more formal dinner. • There is no (or less) wasted food. • The timing and flow of your wedding can be better managed. • Being served by a professional wait team is a more Covid-friendly option. • Beautifully plated meals add a wow factor to your day—everyone remembers the food!
IS A BESPOKE MENU AND CREATIVELY PRESENTED FOOD IMPORTANT TO YOU? Then engage internationally acclaimed chef Jackie Cameron. Jackie caters for, and hosts, weddings at her impressive venue in scenic Hilton – and is equipped to cater at a venue of your choice. Your menu will be personalised and plated to perfection! www.jackiecameron.co.za 076 505 7538 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cons • Limited menu. • RSVPs and dietary restrictions need to be requested from guests and communicated to your caterer well ahead of the day. This is a lot more admin for you. • This can be a more expensive option.
Option 3: Family style/Table boards Pros • This is more formal than a buffet but less formal than a plated meal. • Great for casual and light-hearted events. • Encourages interaction. • Guests can control their own portions. • Allows a selection of food choices and beautiful presentation can enhance table décor.
Cons • If sitting at a table with strangers, this may prove uncomfortable. • Similarly to a buffet option, this is not Covidfriendly, unless seating is well planned in family groups. • Décor may be restricted to allow space for food items. Option 4: Food stations/Cocktail bowl food Pros • Fun, casual and adventurous. • Allows guests the opportunity to sample a variety of diverse taste flavours. • Eliminates long, drawn-out seated dinners and encourages mingling. • Offers an alternative to one big meal. • Themed presentation adds some fun. Cons • Guests may expect larger portions. • Stations will need to be replenished by service staff and if you are wanting to keep it Covidfriendly, you will need your food areas to be manned by staff too. • A higher proportion of staff is required for excellent service.
Discuss your budget with your caterer upfront To avoid disappointment, share your budget with your caterer. Being open about what you can afford allows your caterer to manage your expectations. A professional caterer will have the necessary experience to tell you if they can’t meet your expectations within your budget. If you are promised the moon on a silver platter, for a ridiculously inexpensive rate, you may be in for a nasty surprise when either the food, or the bill, arrives. If your food is an important part of your day, tell your photographer Often beautiful food is not properly photographed. If your meticulously planned menu is a key part of your day, share this with your photographer to ensure that they schedule this on their shots timelines and capture the culinary greatness. Bon appétit! Insights from Sherree and Renzo Hamblin Hamblin’s Catering
Our experienced team will handle your event from start to finish! We offer event planning as part of our standard catering services. Our creative, tasty food and personal approach is the reason our clients keep coming back to us! www.hamblinscatering.co.za • 033 345 2009 • email@example.com • 3 Clough Street, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal
Top 10 questions to ask your (potential) catering company 1.
Do you have our wedding date available? 2. Do you have any other obligations that day? If yes, how will your team balance multiple events that day (or weekend)? 3. Will there be an onsite coordinator on the day? Can we meet them ahead of time? 4. Do you only offer set menus, or can you customise a menu? 5. What are your most popular/signature dishes? 6. Do you offer options for kid's meals and vendor meals? 7. Can you take care of various allergy/ dietary requests? 8. When will you need final menu choices? 9. When will you need a final headcount? 10. What is your payment policy and your cancellation policy?
Adding panache to every plate of your personalised menu Angelique Goosen, Execu�ve Chef 063 713 2608 firstname.lastname@example.org www.capitolcaterers.co.za Top: Bailee Guy Weddings Left: Wild Olive Photo
Bailee Guy Weddings
The Write Style
Top row, from left: Laura Jean Photography, and Vix Photography
Circle: Fuchsia Fine Event Stationery Middle row, from left: Aurora Designs, and Handmade by Janine Bottom row, from left: Handmade by Janine, and Rocwood Designs by Wild Olive Photo
Hot and happening
Wedding stationery trends
too much, consider a vellum belly band, overlay or envelope. Acrylic The use of acrylic adds interest and impact to your invitations, welcome signage, seating charts or place name cards.
From left: Wild Olive Photo, and Bailee Guy Weddings
Here are 9 trends to help you elevate your wedding stationery from boring to breathtaking: Vellum Vellum is a semi translucent paper that has a frosted finish which gives it an ethereal appearance. Combining this translucent stock with traditional card results in a memorable and unique stationery suite. If a full vellum invitation is
Botanicals and florals Floral and botanical prints are a persistent trend in wedding stationery but look out for a fresh interpretation of this theme in the form of whimsical watercolours, Victorian-era artwork, and vintage nature illustrations.
THE WRITE STYLE
Gold foil A touch of gold foil on your wedding stationery is synonymous with a sophisticated celebration and elevates your printed elements to the next level.
Personalisation This trend is a celebration of all that is unique about your story as a couple. Engaged couples are 49
commissioning artists to create bespoke wedding stationery such as a hand-drawn map of their chosen wedding destination, or sketched portraits of themselves. Illustrations and watercolour paintings allow you to express your individualism and elevate your invitation to something more of a keepsake that you and your guests will want to hold on to. Minimalist Minimalism is another trend that will be carried over into 2022 wedding stationery. Couples are opting for a clean, contemporary look augmented by high quality paper for an elegant finish. Customised monograms Bespoke monograms of the bride and groom’s initials have also taken on a whole new look, with touches that are meaningful to the couple. Modern calligraphy Olde-worlde calligraphy has undergone a transformation with the many new, modern hand lettered fonts available. Give this trend a whirl by having just your names in a calligraphy style font. Bold and seductive colour palettes Wedding stationery is definitely delving into more moody colour palettes where matte black, deep plum, indigo and olive tones are delivering maximum impact. By Jacqui Neumann Marriage Meander
Clockwise, from top: Handmade by Janine by Vix Photography, Handmade by Janine, Bailee Guy Weddings, Fuchsia Fine Event Stationery by Sean Baker Photography, and Handmade by Janine by Vix Photography
Right: Handmade by Janine
Above, clockwise, from left: Handmade by Janine, Laura Jean Photography, Fuchsia Fine Event Stationery, Vix Photography, Fuchsia Fine Event Stationery, and Aurora Designs
THE WRITE STYLE
Create a social media strategy Decide whether you want your guests to share moments of your wedding day with the world, or if you would prefer to have an unplugged wedding. You can either indicate your preference on your wedding day stationery or signage, or you can ask your marriage officer to make a quick announcement before proceedings begin. If you are happy for your guests to go social, create your own unique wedding hashtag so that everyone can find the pictures from your day on their socials.
Thoughtful thank you’s Here are 9 creative gift ideas for guests that will keep costs low and thoughtfulness high! 1. 2.
Personalised keyrings or bottle openers. Potted succulent plants which also bolsters your table décor. Notepad printed to match your wedding stationery suite.
4. 5. 6.
Mini wooden cutting board with your menu printed on it. Hand fan which is great for a Summer wedding! Luggage tag which doubles up as place name tag—fun idea for a destination wedding.
Beautifully packaged artisanal nougat or chocolate. Pretty cake pop. You can use the stalk to attach a place name with a ribbon. Eco-friendly seed packet with a customised print.
Wild Olive Photo
THE WRITE STYLE
All Made Up
Clockwise, from top left: Strawberries & Cream, Bailee Guy Weddings, Kiss & Makeup, Dio’s Gracia Make-up Artistry & Aesthetics, Solé Hair & Makeup by Vix Photography, and David Weeks Photographic Circle: Dio’s Gracia Make-up Artistry & Aesthetics
Be-you-tiful Wedding weight loss Let’s start with an important fact: you do not need to lose weight and fit into a prescribed dress size in order to be a stunning bride! If you do want to get (or keep) your figure trim, the best way to do this is with a sensible diet and regular exercise. Set realistic goals and give yourself time to achieve them. You want to look good but not at the cost of your health or sanity!
few opportunities to lie back and take time out from the stresses of wedding planning! Your beauty therapist will be able to assist you with shaping your eyebrows, the removal of unwanted hair and even advise you on tanning. Nails From the time an engagement ring is slipped onto your finger until a few months into being married,
Consult a professional beauty therapist If you are not a regular visitor to a beauty salon, now is the time to enlist the services of a professional beauty therapist. She will be able to help you tailor-make a skincare routine to suit your skin type, lifestyle and budget. Not only will regular facials leading up to your wedding ensure that your skin is looking its best, it also gives you a
you will be flaunting your fingers a lot! Weddingready nails don’t happen overnight so start taking care of your hands and feet a few months before the big day. Book regular manicures and pedicures, stop biting your nails and cuticles, and invest in a good cuticle cream and moisturiser to nourish your nails and skin. If you are doing gel or acrylic nails, book your appointment one or two
ALL MADE UP
From left: Kiss & Makeup by Laura Jean Photography, Vix Photography, and David Weeks Photographic
days before the wedding to ensure that they are still in tip top shape on the day. Permanent make-up (PMU) options Permanent make-up is essentially a cosmetic tattoo, usually to define the eyebrows, enhance the eyes and contour the lips. It replicates some of your everyday make-up—and is a fantastic option if you are planning a beachy kind of honeymoon! If you are considering PMU, book a consultation with a reputable aesthetician and remember that this should be done a few months ahead of your wedding.
Makeup Whether you want a bold and dramatic look, or a natural, fresh-looking face, your make-up should be long lasting and highlight all your best features—rather than detract from them. Share some reference images with your make-up artist at your trial and experiment with your look. •
Don’t be afraid to wear lipstick shades that are a bit brighter or deeper than you would normally choose—you don’t want to look washed out in your photos. Blush, berry and rose hues are classic colour choices for most brides.
From left: Solé Hair & Beauty by Vix Photography, Strawberries & Cream, and Solé Hair & Beauty by Vix Photography
Hair Care Visit your hair stylist regularly before your big day and discuss any hair or scalp concerns that you have. They will be able to recommend professional products to assist in achieving and maintaining optimally healthy hair. You'll want plenty of time if you are planning a new cut, colour or dramatic change, just in case the result isn’t what you envisaged, and you need to fix it! When booking your hair trial, take reference photos and your hair accessories (clips, veil etc.) with you. A photo of your dress will also help in choosing a suitable hairstyle. 56
Avoid lipsticks that are either too glossy (they won’t last long on your lips) or too matte (they will leave your lips feeling dry and caked.) Buy a lipstick in the same colour to keep in your purse to touch up later in the day—and to enjoy on your honeymoon, and after the wedding.
Try not to be trend-led. Your wedding photos will be with you for the rest of your life so consider a look that is timeless and won’t look completely dated twenty years from now.
Bridal & Beauty Hair & Make-up Lashes • Nails • Spray Tan Permanent Make-up Internationally qualified makeup artist You can visit me at my studio in the Midlands or I can travel to your wedding venue. www.screamakeup.com email@example.com |064 631 1450
Photos: Juné Joubert Photography
EVERYTHING YOU DREAM TOPPED WITH STRAWBERRIES & CREAM
Allocate enough time for your bridal hair and make-up when planning your wedding day schedule. You want to enjoy this time of pampering and not feel rushed.
Remember that your partner fell in love with you just as you are. Your beauty preparations should result in you feeling the happiest, most confident, be-you-tiful version of yourself! Insights from Strawberries & Cream
Strawberries & Cream
ALL MADE UP 57
96 Main Street, Howick | 076 815 8892 | firstname.lastname@example.org
David Weeks Photographic
ALL MADE UP
All Dressed Up
Top wedding dress trends for 2022 By Jacqui Neumann, Marriage Meander The fairytale ballgown The fairy tale princess dress is a wedding trend that will never go out of style. At the Spring 2022 bridal collection shows overseas, designers presented a modern take on the quintessential ballgown, which included details like exaggerated puff sleeves, cascading ruffles, detailed corsetry and exquisite embroidery.
The Bridgerton bride A distinct look that has developed is the ‘Bridgerton bride’, which features Regency era dresses with details such as cap sleeves, square necklines and corsets, like those worn by Daphne.
Circles: A’mour Bridal Boutique (top), and Bella Bride Main photo: Bella Bride
Sweet simplicity We are doing a little happy dance to see the resurgence of the 90’s simple slip on the bridal scene. For the better part of 18 months, the whole world has been in a lockdown of some kind, which has resulted in a significant shift in what we wear day-to-day. Comfortable, simple clothes have become wardrobe staples and we have seen a surge in ‘athleisure’ wear. Brides are embracing this trend for their wedding day and opting for a dress and shoes that are pared down and informal—all of which makes for an epic celebration!
Circles: Hanrie Lues (left), and Laura Jean Photography
ALL DRESSED UP
Short styles What they lack in fabric, they make up for in personality! Short dresses aren’t just for elopements. They are great for more casual weddings and if you have good legs and a sexy pair of heels, now’s your chance to show them off!
Clockwise, from top left: Bella Bride, A’mour Bridal Boutique, Laura Jean Photography, Bella Bride, and Bella Bride
Cold-shoulder sleeves turn up the heat This versatile look flatters most necklines and can work with pretty much any silhouette dress from fitted mermaid style to flowing ball gown. Cold-shoulder and asymmetrical off-theshoulder alternatives are also on the rise.
Perfect pleats We love the three-dimensional depth of a pleated dress. Pleats add an element of timeless elegance and we are excited to see the announcement of this trend on the wedding dress front!
Circles: Bella Bride (top), and A’mour Bridal Boutique Clockwise, from top left: Hanrie Lues, A’mour Bridal Boutique, Bella Bride, A’mour Bridal Boutique, and A’mour Bridal Boutique
Flower power Flowers are an eternal wedding fashion theme but you can expect to see this natural element dominate wedding dresses in a new and breathtaking way. Look out for joyful and celebratory floral embroidery, appliqués and prints.
Circles: Bella Bride (above), and A’mour Bridal Boutique (above left)
ALL DRESSED UP
Take a bow It’s not surprising that bows are in the bridal spotlight after taking Insta’s fashion threads by storm. High impact dresses boast oversized bows whilst other designers are weaving bow details into their designs in a more subtle and romantic way. If you’ve had to postpone your wedding, the addition of a bow is an easy way to update your look to a new season.
Clockwise, from top left: Bella Bride, Bella Bride, A’mour Bridal Boutique, A’mour Bridal Boutique, and A’mour Bridal Boutique
Street style comes to the wedding aisle Last year a new phrase entered the fashion lexicon: midriff flossing. In essence, it refers to a skirt with ties that wrap around the waist and draw attention to the tummy area. Crop tops also announced themselves as a returning trend! A more moderate cross-over from street fashion into the bridal arena includes dresses with cheeky side cutouts and a flash of bare midriff.
Feathers We are just tickled to see feathers being added to wedding couture! Whether you fancy a more ethereal take on this trend, or you are ready to commit to some serious plumage, feathers do add glamour to a gown.
Circles, both: Bella Bride Clockwise, from top left: A’mour Bridal Boutique, Bella Bride, Bella Bride, and A’mour Bridal Boutique
Ruffled to the max If you are one of those gals who believes that ‘more is more’ then a ‘maximalist’ (the polar opposite to minimalist) dress is for you! Picture voluminous ruffled skirts, which can be styled to look either dramatic and bold, or whimsical and dreamy.
Deep V-necklines are a huge trend this season, appearing in almost every 2022 collection that debuted on the international catwalks.
ALL DRESSED UP
Circles: Bella Bride (top), and Hanrie Lues Clockwise, from top left: Bella Bride, A’mour Bridal Boutique, Bella Bride, and Bella Bride
Voluminous sleeves Regency-era designs are experiencing a major comeback, so it’s no surprise to see that designers are embracing the puff sleeve. Options range from subtle and sophisticated to oh-soostentatious, giving you the ability to wear it your way.
Sexy slits High slits are on the rise (pun intended!). If you're looking to step out and show a bit of leg without braving a short hemline, this is the 2022 trend for you.
Circles, both: Bella Bride Clockwise, from top left: Hanrie Lues, A’mour Bridal Boutique, Amour Bridal Boutique, Bella Bride, and Bella Bride
Bridal separates This is a fabulous look for the unconventional bride who would prefer to wear multiple pieces instead of a dress. In 2022, pants sets are not limited to a minimalist classic look. Expect to see quirky details in the form of sequins, frills and beading. Statement veils and headpieces Dramatic veils, interesting and imaginative headbands and bespoke headpieces are also a stand-out trend.
ALL DRESSED UP
One dress – two looks Transitional pieces such as detachable trains, sleeves, overskirts, belts, and jackets allow brides to have one dress with two looks. This trend also comes in handy for those brides who have had to reschedule their weddings and find themselves wearing a dress that was created for a completely different season. Circles, both: Bella Bride Clockwise, from top left: Bella Bride, Hanrie Lues, A’mour Bridal Boutique, and A’mour Bridal Boutique
Bailee Guy Weddings
Plan ahead and arrange for someone in your bride tribe to take your dress for cleaning straight after the wedding. That way you don’t need to stress about your gown whilst you are off enjoying your honeymoon and it gives your dress the best chance of being restored to its former glory. The longer you wait, the more stubbornly those stains will cling to your dress.
Exquisite bridal lingerie | Gorgeous everyday underwear Private fittings at our Hilton studio www.elin�mates.co.za | 082 714 1258 | lydia@elin�mates.co.za | The Old Post Office Building, 40 Hilton Avenue, Hilton
Based in Westville, Durban. By appointment only. Brands represented: Maggie Sottero, Sottero and Midgley, Angela Bianca, and Private White Label.
www.bellabride.co.za | WhatsApp 074 131 5415 | email@example.com
ALL DRESSED UP
www.hanrielues.com | 072 700 5173 | firstname.lastname@example.org | By appointment only 69
Groom's guide to great style Your jacket fits properly if the seams hug your shoulders but you are still able to move your arms, chest and back. If you feel restricted, the fit isn’t right.
Your jacket should be long enough to cover your pants zipper and butt. If it’s longer than that, it will look like a hand-me-down from a big brother, and if it’s shorter, it will look like you grew taller since your fitting.
The side pockets on your trousers should lay flat against your legs. If your pants pockets bulge when you are standing, they are too tight.
Your tie should just reach your waistband or the top of your belt buckle.
If you are wearing a boutonniere, pin it securely on, or near, the lapel buttonhole.
Your belt should be relatively narrow and the same colour as your shoes.
If you opt to wear braces, skip the belt. Both are designed to hold your trousers up so you only need one. Plus it’s considered a fashion faux-pax to wear both. If your jacket has more than one button, always leave the bottom one undone.
Always unbutton your jacket before sitting down, or you risk ruining it.
10. Before the photo shoot, make sure you remove your wallet, keys and phone from your pants pocket.
Based in Durban North. By appointment only.
087 702 7939 | 082 234 6906 | email@example.com 20 Gainsborough Drive, Athlone, Durban (the old DHSOB Clubhouse)
Photos: Wild Olive Photo
ALL DRESSED UP
Setting the Scene
Stylist: Marriage Meander Photos: Vix Photography Venue: Calderwood Hall Flowers & Décor: Farmgirl Flowers Stationery: Handmade by Janine
8 Steps to choosing your
Wedding colour palette 1. Choose a champion colour Your hero colour is the one that will feature most prominently throughout your wedding. Let this act as the starting point for fleshing out your full colour palette. It doesn’t matter which colour you choose as your champion—you have the whole rainbow spectrum at your disposal—as long as it’s a colour that you love! Once you have selected your signature shade, the next step is to pick a handful of complementary colours—generally two or three of them. These accent colours help to round out your wedding palette, adding dimension and variation. Dear bride-to-be, don’t feel pressurised into choosing colours that are ‘so right now’ but so not you! Trends will come and go. Rather choose your colours based on what resonates with you.
3. Be season-savvy We get it! Covid upset the apple cart for many brides who planned a Spring wedding, for example, but ended up having an Autumn wedding instead. But, as a general rule of thumb, we encourage you to think about the season during which you intend to get married because certain shades have a natural seasonal fit. For example, delicate pinks and fresh green shout “Spring!” Vibrant shades like coral, papaya or yellow are great for a Summer wedding. Jewel tones like ruby, emerald and topaz are perfectly suited to an Autumn wedding. A mauve and grey combination makes for a stunning wintry palette. That said, you do not have to conform to seasonal colour ‘rules’ if there is a particular set of shades you have your heart set on. A seasoned floral stylist will find a way to make it work by building in lighter / darker accent colours to lift or deepen your look to suit the season. The most important seasonal criteria to take note of is that some flowers are only available at certain times of year and it can be very expensive to source them out of season.
SETTING THE SCENE
2. Let your location lead your inspiration Visualise your venue and its surroundings. Have you decided on a blank canvas venue with neutral, uncluttered walls, or an ornate and detailed manor house with existing décor? A neutral venue is versatile and adaptable to any colour combination while a more decorated space may have design elements such as painted walls, brickwork, hanging art, floor finishes, curtains, surrounding trees and plants etc, that you need to consider when choosing your colour scheme. If you've already found your dream venue, take note of the natural colours in the ceremony and reception areas to guide you in your colour choices. If you haven’t decided on your venue but you have a very specific
set of colours you want to incorporate into your wedding, take some swatches with you when you start venue hunting to make sure that the existing colours of the space don’t clash with the hues you intend to use.
4. Identify your wedding style or theme Pinpointing your wedding style or theme is an 73
Stylist: Marriage Meander Photos: Mopani Street Photography Venue: Dargle Forest Lodge Flowers & Décor: Studio Petals Stationery: Fuchsia Fine Event Stationery Cake: Artisan Bakes
important step when choosing your wedding colours. Just like seasons, some shades are better suited to specific styles than others. For example, a laid-back boho style probably wouldn’t mesh with silver and blingy blue, just as an old Hollywood glam theme is better suited to ivory, gold, silver and black—rather than an explosion of citrus shades. Once you have settled on your theme or style, you will find it easier to whittle away the colours that don’t fit. A consultation with a wedding planner or décor and floral stylist is a great way to nail down your style personality. 5. Pick shades that flatter you—and your bridal party There is nothing wrong with being uber practical and choosing colours that look good on you, your partner, and your bridal attendants. For example, if you felt that trendy mustard was a possible contender as your main colour, give some consideration as to whether this shade would be as flattering on you, your bridesmaids and your groom as on your tablescapes. Consider universally-flattering colours—or at least incorporate a range of shades that will have everyone looking their best.
7. Do your homework Pinterest, Instagram, magazines (like this one), and wedding blogs are loaded with inspiration. While we don’t suggest you pick a colour combo
SETTING THE SCENE
6. Factor in non-negotiable décor elements If there are any must-have décor items that need to be included, build these in from the start rather than trying to add them in later. It would be disappointing to plan your flowers and décor to the minutest detail, only to realise during set-up that your granny’s vintage cream table runner, or those sentimental copper candlesticks stick out like a sore thumb amidst the colour palette you’ve chosen.
Laura Jean Photography
Laura Jean Photography
Photos: Vanilla Photography
just because it’s doing the rounds in the latest fashion blogs, doing your research on these platforms is a useful, and free, way to visualise the colour combinations you are toying with before you commit to your own colour scheme. 8. Consult a colour wheel You don't have to be a graphic designer or fashion guru to understand how a colour wheel works. There are a few simple principles to follow. In general, colours that work well together are opposite each other on the wheel because they combine a cool and warm shade e.g. lilac and yellow, or aqua and coral. Other pairings that work nicely are ‘neighbouring’ colours, which are shades that are similar to each other and share a primary colour e.g. berry and blush pink.
b espoke f low ers 082 411 1110 | 033 266 6454 firstname.lastname@example.org www.petals-midlands.com
SETTING THE SCENE
It’s true that your colour palette will impact on many of your wedding decisions, such as your flowers, stationery, the groom’s suit and tie, and your bridesmaids’ dresses. But instead of feeling limited by your colour chart, use it as a guideline rather than an absolute rule. Not every aspect of your wedding has to match perfectly. If you have fun with your colours and pick shades that you genuinely love, you really can’t go wrong!
Insights from Annie Hedley Studio Petals
What is your
Wedding bouquet personality? Miss Modern You need zero encouragement to ditch traditional flower styling and you relish the idea of doing something fun, fresh and interesting with your wedding flowers. Modern flower trends that may appeal to you are asymmetrical arrangements, mixing dried and fresh flowers, and the use of varied textures, and monochromatic designs. You will enjoy unconventional flowers like sweet peas, hellebore, Queen Anne’s lace, lepidium, anemones, poppies, tulips, phalaenopsis orchids, and unexpected elements like fruits, vegetables, berries and succulents.
Laura Jean Photography
Miss Boho Your style could best be described as fun and unpredictable. Your inner wild child gravitates towards untamed, unstructured floral arrangements, with loose, cascading blooms or greenery. There are no rules when it comes to the flowers the boho bride will choose and you may even choose to skip the bouquet altogether, opting for a flower crown instead!
Miss Down to Earth Your flower choices are likely to be guided by your love for nature and your commitment to using locally grown, sustainably sourced blooms. Choosing plants and flowers that are grown locally at the time you are getting married is definitely a way to cut down your carbon footprint. Consider these earthfriendly inclusions in your bouquet: wheat, grasses, branches, greenery and succulents (which can be replanted after the wedding).
Bailee Guy Weddings Laura Jean Photography 78
FARMGIRL FLOWERS OFFERS BESPOKE FLORAL DESIGN SERVICES AS WELL AS BUCKETS OF FLOWERS OFF THE FARM FOR THE DIY BRIDE
Miss Anything Goes You love beautiful flowers but aren’t tied to any specific style. With your laid-back approach, you are happy to trust your floral designer to create something exquisite that fits your colour palette and is seasonally available. Farmgirl Flowers
Miss Classic You prefer a look that is beautiful, simple and timeless. You don’t chase fads and you won’t be the flashiest girl in the room but your elegant bouquet will never go out of style. A great option for you would be a symmetrical, classic clutch of roses, carnations, dahlias or peonies.
Laura Jean Photography
SETTING THE SCENE
Miss Romantic You have been daydreaming about your wedding day ever since Disney introduced you to the idea of ‘happily ever after’. You are the ultimate romantic and your celebration is bound to be loaded with sweet and sentimental details. Your bridal bouquet is likely to include dreamy blooms such as ranunculus, anemones, peonies, scented garden roses and sprigs of flowering branches.
033 503 1355 | ORDERS@FARMGIRLFLOWERS.CO.ZA
By Jacqui Neumann Marriage Meander 79
P lanning a wedding should be easy and fun, let us help you with your decor and hiring needs! Marquees | Draping | Lighting | Furniture | Linen | Quality Décor | Cutlery | Crockery | Glassware | Games www.muirheadshiring.co.za • Vanessa: 033 394 3933 • email@example.com
Contemporary and Elegant Furniture for Hire for Weddings, Parties, and Events 072 062 7078 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.lauriekohrs.com | Nottingham Road, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands 80
Laura Jean Photography
SETTING THE SCENE
Clockwise, from top left: Bailee Guy Weddings, Vix Photography, Laura Jean Photography, and David Weeks Photographic Circle on opposite page: Wild Olive Photo
How to get an
Amazing wedding photo album Here’s how to make sure that your wedding photo album is everything you’ve always dreamed of: Work out what style of photography appeals to you Do your homework and get a feel for the style of photography you like. There are a number of popular styles these days, but here are some of the key trends: • Natural looking • Dark and moody • Bright and fresh • Vintage and nostalgic (think dreamy, washed-out tones) Often your wedding album will include a mix of styles but if there is a particular aesthetic you like, this should be your starting point.
Be natural with each other in front of the camera Of all the wedding photography advice we can give to bridal couples, the most important is this: be authentic when you’re having your photos taken. If you’re a serious couple, be serious. If you’re over the top romantic and fully subscribe to public displays of affection, then smooch away! And if you like to laugh, show off those pearly whites. By Jacqui Neumann Marriage Meander
Choose a photographer you feel comfortable with Whilst it’s important to choose a photographer whose style gels with yours, it is equally important to hire someone you trust and feel comfortable with, since they will be at your side the entire wedding day. If you have the ability to meet faceto-face, do! If you’re unable to set up a ‘real life’ meeting, a video call is a good alternative.
Book a ‘trial run’ Having a pre-wedding engagement shoot is an ideal opportunity to get to know your photographer and experience how they work with you as a couple. It will ensure you feel relaxed and confident on the day, knowing that you are in good hands. Plus it will result in you getting some stunning photos, which you can use for your Save the Date!
Pro Tips from
Bailee Guy Weddings
David Weeks Photographic
Laura Jean Photography
Enjoy a longer first kiss. On my list of 'must get’ photos is the first kiss. Every wedding gallery needs this! So please, dear bride and groom, don’t be the couple who settles for a little peck on the lips. Savour your first smooch as newlyweds and aim to hold your kiss for a good few seconds. This gives your photographer enough time to capture a few pictures of this sweet, never-to-berepeated moment.
Most wedding photographers share their best images on their social media and blogs. Probably 90% of these pictures are taken during Golden Hour and are portraits. Ask to see images from other parts of the day including the ceremony, family photos, reception, etc. to make sure you like their style across all lighting environments and times of day.
To maximise photo time on your wedding day, rather minimise the number of photo shoot locations. You don’t want to spend more time traveling from point A to point B than actually taking pictures. A great photographer should be able to make almost any location work.
Let your photographer know if you have 'surprises’ planned for your big day. Surprises are amazing at weddings—but not so amazing if your photographer has just stepped away to use the bathroom or grab a quick bite to eat during dinner. They can’t always be predicted but if you know something special is going to happen, let your photographer know.
If you are wearing heels for your wedding, consider having some flat shoes handy for your creative shoot so that you are comfortable and able to move around with ease. Have a bridesmaid tuck them away near the ceremony area before the proceedings begin so they are close at hand when you need to head off.
Whether you have chosen to get married in a remote destination, or have guests who simply cannot attend, live streaming your wedding is a way to share your day with far-flung loved ones all over the globe. If you’re thinking of streaming your day, make sure you enlist the services of a professional videographer who has the necessary equipment and experience to deal with any technological curveballs that may present themselves!
www.BaileeGuyPhotography.com | 074 882 8471 | email@example.com
Photo | Drone | Video
Bold Visionary Shoots www.davidweeks.co.za | 072 213 9272 | firstname.lastname@example.org 86
Celebrating Love n Capturing memories
www.vixphotography.com | 071 328 3402 | email@example.com
Top row, from left: David Weeks Photographic, and Laura Jean Photography Bottom row, from left: Wild Olive Photo, and Bailee Guy Weddings
Your wedding day timing guide
From left: Wild Olive Photo, Vix Photography, and Wild Olive Photo
Hair and make-up We recommend that hair and make-up be completed 1½ hours before the ceremony so you are not rushing to do your final preparations. Communicate this time to your make-up artist so that she can work out an estimated start time in the morning. The bride’s make up should always be done last.
Family Photos As a guide it normally takes around 5 minutes per photograph. Clicking the camera button is the easy part, herding people is the more challenging bit! Six to eight photos is generally a good number.
Getting dressed You should aim to start getting dressed roughly one hour before the ceremony. This will allow for these final preparations to be relaxed and for you to enjoy the moment! It will also leave plenty time for some bridal portraits as well as some pictures with your bridesmaids, mum, flower girls etc.
Ceremony Depending on the type of ceremony, allocate between 30 minutes to 1½ hours. Confirm this time with your minister or marriage officer. After your ceremony, build in some time for people to congratulate you and enjoy spending some time with them as the new Mr and Mrs. Don’t be too hasty to rush off for your creative photos. 30–40 minutes here should be adequate. This is also a good time to cut your cake, or serve canapés.
Clockwise, from top left: Vix Photography, Laura Jean Photography, Vix Photography, David Weeks Photographic, and David Weeks Photographic Circle: Bailee Guy Weddings
Family pics normally happen just before you head off for your creative shoot, and we recommend having them done close to where your guests are, so you still feel part of the action. You may also want to appoint a reliable person to help round up the family for this shoot. Creative shoot Great photos can be achieved at any time of the day, but the best light is usually the hour before sunset. You can research sunset times on timeanddate.com. Working out your ‘golden hour’ is a great place to start when planning your wedding–and then work back from there. Your creative shoot should not take longer than 45 minutes, allowing you 15 minutes to freshen up before you enter your reception. Reception As a guide, a relaxed amount of time between the start of the ceremony and the start of the reception is around 3 hours. Allocate a time for the 'formalities’ that you wish to include. Photographers normally have an 'end time’ so you want to make sure that everything you want documented happens before this time. Travel If your wedding includes travel, make sure you have included the time it takes from one place to another, allowing extra time for traffic etc.
Insights from Claire & Etienne Koenig Wild Olive Photography
Remember—this is just a guideline to help you start your planning. An experienced photographer should be able to assist with mapping out a timeline to suit your unique requirements. Happy planning!
From the top: Wild Olive Photo, Laura Jean Photography (circle), and Bailee Guy Weddings
An unplugged wedding Here are a few great reasons to consider an unplugged wedding: Increased intimacy When your guests aren't distracted with trying to capture your wedding on their own devices, the event immediately becomes more intimate. Everyone’s full attention is on the sacred and tender moments of the ceremony. Less ruined photos Eliminating phones and cameras is a real plus from
your professional photographer and videographer’s perspective as it reduces the chances of a guest ruining their shot. But even if a guest doesn’t accidentally photobomb your pro’s photos, ask yourselves if you want your wedding album to be full of guests with protruding arms and illuminated phone screens? Connect with your loved ones When you, as a couple, look out at your family and friends during the ceremony, wouldn’t you rather they were looking back at you with great big, beaming smiles on their faces— rather than down at their phone screens? If you do restrict technology at your wedding, you don’t have to impose this for the whole event. You can opt for an unplugged ceremony and allow guests to reunite with their devices after that so they can still nab some personal pics of your momentous occasion. In a world of constant connection and instant everything, a little unplugged time can be a breath of fresh air! By Jacqui Neumann Marriage Meander
Right: Bailee Guy Weddings
Circle: Laura Jean Photography
Above, from left: Laura Jean Photography, Vix Photography, and Wild Olive Photo
From left: Vix Photography, Wild Olive Photo, and Bailee Guy Weddings
How to create the perfect
Wedding day playlist
Seek out referrals and recommendations Consider the acoustics and logistics of Ask family and friends for your venue recommendations of great DJs and Your ceremony and reception venues will musicians that they’ve heard at have repercussions on your sound recent weddings or events. Do dynamics. The acoustics in a small Pro Tip: your homework and make sure room will be quite different from a they have a good reputation, large outside space. Your sound crew Discuss your song choices professional equipment, and will need to know where the closest with your marriage officer plenty of experience with plug points are, or if they need to rely ahead of time to avoid weddings. If possible, try to hear on generators or battery power. any awkward moments on them at another event before you the day. engage their services. Be sure to If you are having a religious ceremony, check out our Marriage Meander be aware that there may be restrictions portfolio on our website. We love on the type of music played (think about the connecting couples with our awesome appropriateness of certain song lyrics within the soundtrack superstars! context of a house of worship). Avoid awkward silences Most guests arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of the ceremony, but the wait will seem much longer if everyone is sitting around in uncomfortable silence. Ask your ceremony musician to start playing 20–30 minutes before your intended start time, which generally signals guests to take their seats, and creates a lovely atmosphere of joyful anticipation.
Don’t make assumptions Live performances are engaging and intimate whilst a DJ will play your favourite songs exactly the way you enjoy listening to them. But don't discount either option based on assumptions such as, you think a band will be out of your budget, or a DJ will be too loud for your crowd. If finances allow, you can consider a combination of the two. For example, your musician(s) can provide musical accompaniment during the ceremony and canapés, and your DJ can take the reigns at the reception.
Consider ALL your key musical moments Most couples choose their first dance song and 95
have a good idea of the music they want to hear at their reception, but have you thought about musical accompaniment for other key times? Give some thought to these important musical moments: • Prelude/pre-ceremony music • Processional/walk-in song • The signing of the vows • Recessional/walk-out song • Post-ceremony background music (generally during canapés/ tea/cocktails) • Entry into the reception venue as the new Mr and Mrs • First dance • Father/daughter and mother/son dances (if you plan to include this) • Personalised walk-up songs for speechmakers • Last dance (before the two of you leave the reception) The Do-Not-Play list If there are certain songs, or a particular style of music, that should not be played, communicate this to your musician or DJ. The DoNot-Play list avoids potential embarrassment, offense and possibly an unintentional emptying of the dancefloor. Now that you’ve chosen your songs for the key moments of your day, made your Must-Play List, and your Do-Not-Play List, all that remains for you is to ‘Have the time of your life’ which, by the way, was our First Dance song... nothing wrong with a little throwback to Dirty Dancing. Yes, we did have the time of our lives. No, we didn’t do ‘the lift’! By Jacqui Neumann Marriage Meander
Singer | Songwriter www.renetshiakanyi.com
Grace Botha Laid-back live music for your wedding ceremony, canapés & reception until the DJ takes over. 082 501 8667 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bringing passion and professionalism to every live performance grahampianist.wixsite.com/home | email@example.com | 076 987 3428 Photo of Greig: Colin Browne Photography
www.djgreig.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | 083 799 2510
35 suggested songs for
Walking down the aisle 1. 2. 3. 4.
... Because a perfect day needs a perfect soundtrack Great service • Reliable equipment • Flexible solutions • Battery operated system for remote venues
5. 6. 7.
8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.
www.djksa.co.za 083 782 0642 email@example.com 98
All this time by OneRepublic A Thousand Years (Acoustic) by Jonah Baker Can’t Help Falling in Love by Ingrid Michaelson Clair de Lune (instrumental) by Claude Debussey Every little thing she does is magic by Sleeping At Last Forever like that by Ben Rector From this moment on / You’re still the one by Caleb and Kelsey God only knows by Beach Boys Hallelujah by Pentatonix How long will I love you (Acoustic) by Matt Johnson I get to love you by Ruelle I am Yours by Andy Grammar I love you always forever (Acoustic) by Mateo Oxley I’m gonna be (500 miles) by Sleeping At Last I’m with You by Vance Joy Iris by Kina Grannis I choose you by Sara Bareilles I will spend my whole life loving you by Imaginary Future, Kina Grannis
19. Just the way you are by Bruno Mars 20. Kiss the girl by Brent Morgan 21. Love Like This by Lauren Daigle 22. Love like this by Ben Rector 23. Marry you by Bruno Mars 24. More than Words by Extreme 25. Never stop (wedding version) by SafetySuit 26. Once in a lifetime by Landon Austin 27. Over the rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole 28. Simply the Best (from Schitt’s Creek) by Noah Reid 29. Somewhere only we know by Lily Allen 30. So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong Instrumentals 31. Stand by me by Florence + The Machine 32. The one (Acoustic) by Matt Johnson, John Adams 33. Till Death Do Us Part by Thomas Atwood 34. Turning Page by Sleeping At Last 35. You are the reason by Olivia Penalva
Just the two of us
Clockwise, from top right: Umngazi Hotel & Spa, Umngazi Hotel & Spa, Leopard Walk Lodge, Laura Jean Photography, Sani Valley Nature Lodges, Nambiti Plains, Nambiti Plains (circle), and David Weeks Photographic. Picnic photo in centre: Nambiti Plains
10 tips to plan
The perfect honeymoon Here are my ten top tips to help you plan a honeymoon that is low on stress, and big on savings: Start planning early Do your homework early and book well in advance to secure the venue(s) you have your heart set on. Be prepared to pay deposits to confirm your reservations as popular destinations fill up quickly, especially in peak seasons.
Practice the pause Avoid the temptation to squeeze as many things as you can into your itinerary. At the very least, try to stay at least two nights in your first location. After the adrenaline and excitement of the wedding, you are likely to be exhausted. Build in some proper time to relax and unwind. As newlyweds, you won’t want to get up early, rush through breakfast and get packed up and ready to check out at 10 am!
Plan the perfect itinerary for the two of you Every couple is different. Some couples want to be dropped pool-side and not have to move for seven days while others want to actively explore their surrounds and try all the activities on offer. Don’t be preoccupied with what others say a honeymoon should or shouldn’t be, and don’t feel pressured to stick to someone else’s itinerary. Your honeymoon is
Consult the experts While it can be fun to create your own travel itinerary, it can also be hard work to coordinate all the details. Chatting to a travel agent can be helpful as they will be able to assist with tailoring a package that suits your budget and preferences—and they will be able to offer expert advice on the best travel routes, local attractions, seasonality etc.
Be a bargain hunter If you do your research, plan well in advance, and are willing to travel out of season, you are more likely to scoop discounted rates. Some local luxury lodges, usually frequented by overseas travellers, are also offering special rates for SADC residents making this a great time to book a local luxury honeymoon.
Be aware of ‘hidden’ costs When budgeting for your honeymoon, remember that the total expense is more than just your travel and accommodation costs. Unless you book an all-inclusive package, you will need to factor in extra expenses such as car hire/airport transfers, meals, drinks, activities and gratuities.
JUST THE TWO OF US
all about the two of you and you should spend it visiting places and doing things that you are both passionate about. And perhaps doing absolutely nothing is what you both need…
Local really is ‘lekker’ A honeymoon is often seen as an opportunity to go all out on an overseas trip, but keep in mind that South Africa is one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world. There are many hidden gems right on your doorstep. For some of our favourite local destinations, take a look at our Marriage Meander honeymoon portfolio on our website.
Share your newlywed status Wherever you decide to go, let them know ahead of your arrival that you are honeymooners as they will often throw in some extras—like a welcome gift basket, a private dining experience, or a complementary activity—to make your time even more memorable.
Consider a honeyfund If what you’d like most as a wedding gift is a great honeymoon, set up a honeymoon account and invite your friends and family to contribute towards your ‘honeyfund’.
10. Timing is everything! Planning your wedding and honeymoon simultaneously is not only expensive but also time-consuming—especially if you are doing it all yourselves. Remember that you don’t have to go away on honeymoon straight after the wedding. If you delay your trip, it gives you more time to save up and plan. If you are heading off right away, it is a good idea to relax for at least a day after your wedding before starting your honeymoon. Wherever you choose to go, I hope you make it all about you and that
Clockwise, from above: Wild Olive Photo, Wild Olive Photo, Bailee Guy Weddings, Talloula by Wild Olive Photo, Nambiti Plains (circle) Umngazi Hotel & Spa, and David Weeks Photographic (circle, left)
you return with a treasure trove of memories that you will cherish forever. By Jacqui Neumann Marriage Meander
Pro Tip: Plan your trip together Unless your spouse is determined to surprise you with the destination, it’s generally best to plan your itinerary together. This way you can make sure that the itinerary takes both of your desires into consideration.
It’s your once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon trip so spoil yourself (and your spouse) by packing some sexy, new lingerie in your luggage. Take a look at the gorgeous Rara Avis Collection available from eL Intimates.
JUST THE TWO OF US
Pro Tip: Pack something sexy
Pro Tip: Social Strategy It is completely understandable to want to share every moment of your magical ‘moon on social media but it’s best to keep the specifics a little vague during your travels. My advice—don’t share your check-in details, how long you’ll be away and where you are staying during the trip. There’s plenty of time to get social once you are back! Take some time to unplug…
From left: Nambiti Plains, and Sani Valley Nature Lodges.
Romantic Honeymoon Destination
Come let the spirit of Africa touch your soul
At the foot of the famous Sani Pass, our luxury lake-side honeymoon lodges offer 5 star seclusion and views of the southern Drakensberg 033 702 0203 / 082 561 3275 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.sanivalley.co.za 104
035 940 0801 www.leopardwalklodge.co.za email@example.com
JUST THE TWO OF US
Your luxuriously natural safari honeymoon Spacious, stylish and uncluttered, Nambiti Plains provides an unpretentious 5 star experience where every moment is focused on the wonders of the wild. www.nambitiplains.com | +27 (0)71 680 4584 | firstname.lastname@example.org
David Weeks Photographic
Off to a Great Start
Momentum Multiply | 13 SoMuchMore | 14
Mason Incorporated | 20
Capitol Cuisine | 46 Grace of Bakes | 41 Hamblin’s Catering | 45 Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine | 44 Whisked Cakery | 41
Bonamanzi Game Reserve | 28 Calderwood Hall | 29 Cathedral Peak Hotel | 29 Dargle Forest Lodge | 28 Fordoun Hotel & Spa | 30 Ghost Mountain Inn & Safaris | 28 Gracelands Farm | 30 Harrington House | 31 Highgate Wine Estate | 31 Kerriston Country House | 31 KirstenVale at Ukuthula | 30 Lythwood Lodge | 35 Qambathi Mountain Lodge | 34 Swallow Cliff Hall | 36 Sweethome | 34 Talloula | 34 The Hilton Bush Lodge | 35
Clockwise, from top left: Vix Photography, Bailee Guy Weddings, Laura Jean Photography, Laura Jean Photography, and (circle) David Weeks Photographic
Advertisers'index continued 47
Aurora Designs | 52 Handmade by Janine | 51 Rocwood Designs | 52
Bailee Guy Weddings | 86 David Weeks Photographic | 86 Laura Jean Photography | 87 Videoccasions | 92 Vix Photography | 87 Wild Olive | 87
The Write Style
All Made Up
Dio’s Gracia Make-up Artistry & Aesthetics | 58 Kiss & Makeup | 58 Solé Hair & Beauty | 57 Strawberries & Cream | 57
All Dressed Up
A’mour Bridal Boutique | 69 Bella Bride | 69 eL Intimates | 68 Hanrie Lues | 69 Shona & Belle | 68 Suit Yourself | 70
DJ Greig | 97 DJ-K | 98 Grace Botha Music | 97 Graham Hudson Professional Pianist | 97 René Tshiakanyi, Singer & Songwriter | 96
Just the Two of Us
Setting the Scene
etc events | 77 Farmgirl Flowers | 79 Laurie Kohrs | 80 Muirhead’s Hiring | 80 Studio Petals | 77
Marriage Meander KZN Journey
Wild Olive Photo
Leopard Walk Lodge | 104 Nambiti Plains Private Game Lodge | 105 Sani Valley Nature Lodges | 104 Umngazi Hotel & Spa | 106
Clockwise, from top: Vix Photography, David Weeks Photographic, Laura Jean Photography, Wild Olive Photo, and Bailee Guy Weddings
Parting words Dear ones, This book has been compiled with so much love and thought for you—and the journey you are on. The fact that you are once again holding a printed Marriage Meander publication in your hands is a little miracle and due in no small way to the dedication and design flair of my gifted designer and creative director, Karen Schmidt. Collectively, we are proud, humbled and grateful to be able to share this book with you. Every section is loaded with practical and inspired wedding planning advice, and a directory of talented and trusted vendors that are wholeheartedly endorsed by us! I would also like to honour my new husband, Ryan, who has provided unwavering support and encouragement for my new business from day dot. This has entailed late-night proofing sessions
(where he would almost certainly have rather been watching 4x4 programmes on YouTube), being roped into my crazy Instagram reels, carrying cakes and décor at styled shoots—and most importantly being my biggest cheerleader. I love having you on my team. Lovebirds, let me sign off by wishing you faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13) during the lead-up to your wedding, and even more so, on every day after that as you start your own marriage meander! Love,
Jacqui xo PARTING WORDS
PS When I saw this super cute sequence of photos from Laura Jean Photography, I really wanted to include them in the book with this reminder: There are bound to be some ‘eeuw’ moments on your journey but I hope that, on closer inspection, behind the slobber and ick, you will always find the love! 111