Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Saying 'I do' in Cape Town

Cape Town is considered to be one of the best locations in the World for a destination wedding. Good weather, friendly people and breathtaking scenery coupled with excellent food and wine venues make it an instant hit. With the exchange rate the way that it is, a Bride coming from overseas looks at Cape Town as though it is Narnia. Everything is available and everything is reasonably well priced.

But for the brides of South Africa itself, how friendly is it?

For a wedding, as a Bride, you tend to need: The dress, hair & make-up, flowers, jewellery, shoes, photographer, decor, favours, music, catering, wedding cake, gifts for the Bridal party, stationary, ceremonial place and a venue.

I know there are more but let's stick with the above.

I recently went to a wedding up in JHB where the Bride spent almost R9000 on flowers and they weren't even prominent. Fortunately, Cape Town is blessed with many a flower house and depending on what time of the year you get married in, you can get what you want.

I wanted Peonies, Ranaculus, Hydrangeas and Freesias but as the wedding was in February, I got roses, Celosia and lisianthus (which is such a beautiful flower)

Where I got them from was Moondrops in Bellville. They can offer you just the flowers or you can have the works and they will arrange them for you.

We are brimming in Cape Town with a wealth of photographers ranging in price. Christine Meintjes is an international superstar and Zara Zoo constantly win awards but don't think that you need to give away a kidney to get good photos, the talent is phenomenal and you will easily find an amazing photographer for a good price.

Here's my pick of some good 'uns.

Lindy Truter. 
Jilda G
Love made visible

Dresses, shoes, jewellery and makeup
I brought my dress with me from the UK because I struggled to find anything over here that wasn't over the top in looks and price. I know a lot of SA brides get their dresses made which is a great option.

As for make-up, my artist charged me R500 and my Mum and bridesmaid R250 each and it was flawless. Don't settle for the first person you see. Go for a practice round with a few people and make sure you get your practice round done on a day that will have a similar light and temperature to your actual wedding day.

Decor, favours and the wedding cake:
Again, we have a number of available vendors who can help with this which obviously suits overseas brides. We're very on trend and vendors actively seek new ideas and themes for helping the bridal couple have a truly unique wedding.I love Quirky Parties for hiring.

So from the above, it would seem as though Cape Town is the place to get married but then why are weddings so expensive? Because your money goes on the venue! That can often be the biggest rip-off of them all.

Did you know that Delaire Graff apparently charges 100,000 for venue hire ALONE. Whilst other farms consider R45,000 to be a good figure. Bear in mind, that doesn't include table linen of chair covers, which apparently you have to have.

Yes, if you're a soon-to-be bride or indeed, if you have already had your wedding, you will know of the dreaded 'extra costs' involved with picking a venue. Unbeknown to me back in 2011, I found it beyond insane that a venue can look to charge above R20,000 and then, in small letters state that this fee does not include the following:

Bar staff
Table Linen
Chair covers
Side plates - yes! At one venue they would not supply these. Crazy.

You have to read every detail on a wedding venue's price document because they are out to skin your piggy bank alive!

Then there are the locations that seemingly give you everything, like D'aria but then you see that you must pay for bar staff and serving staff and depending on how many you have, you need at least 2 per table etc.

Owing to the awesome diligence of one, Marthelize Tredoux, here is a few venues (based in the winelands) that whilst not requiring you to sell your family into slavery, don't compromise on beauty:

Cape Hutton - Stellenbosch
Leeuwrivier - Wellington
Barrique at Vredenheim
Blaauwklippen varies between R2500 - R20,000

It's seriously a matter of doing some serious research and not being blown away by every amazing place/idea/dress that you see.

Had your wedding in Cape Town? Got any good venues or vendors to brag about?

Friday, 8 February 2013

It's Friday

The weekend has arrived and whilst my body is telling me that I must sleep for 24 hours straight, my mind wants to go, go, GO!

So let's keep going. Here's to the weekend and to a fortuitous Friday. Be blessed with the following:

1) There is a word for that fear/anger you get when your headphones wrap around your phone charger and your iPod charger and all you see is red. It's called garglamesh....which of course I'm totally taking from Urban Dictionary which means it is made up. Sorry guys, there is no way to describe that kind of frustration.
2) There is a movie coming out about zombies falling in love. Yeah, I know what you are thinking, "too many dead movies, we want something different." But I think it's going to be pretty cool. Here's the trailer.
3) Valentine's day is next week and whilst I don't celebrate it (see last year's VD post), there are some pretty awesome things you can do for the month of love. Check them out here.
4) Naked cakes are in, icing is out. It's good news for those who lack the decorating prowess or for those who are on a mini diet.
5) Got something to say to a loved one? Say it on a cookie with help from Yuppiechef
6) Listen to Anna Nalick this weekend. Sort of Delilah is playing over and over.
7) After 3 trips to Charly's Bakery, they are still not up to scratch. I shall be divulging what I ate next week.
8)  If you are going to drink anything this weekend, make it Villiera rose bubbly - need I say more?

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Do something that scares you

2013 is the year of change.

It's the year that I decided to start acting on my passions and talents. To start saying yes more. To start seeing God more and to start striving for change.

It's the year to do those things that have previously scared me witless. To push myself and commit to doing things that I have always wanted to do but have pushed aside.

Why 2013? Because I can. Because I want to be running with life, not letting it drag me kicking and screaming through another year.

So far, I have:

  • Gotten closer to my husband. No more secrets. No more living with walls or barriers.
  • I'm committed to baking birthday cakes for Resilient Kids SA in Fisantekraall.
  • We're looking at starting a family...and not one with dogs.
  • I'm in an awesome job and I'm going to rock it.
  • I went for idols.
The last one happened over the past week. It was scary. It was a long, fake process but it was awesome.

Did you know that Idols is made of 3 audition rounds. Yes. What you see on TV is utter nonsense.

For the first round, thousands queue at Grand West for hours to sing in front of an unknown judge. 
If you get through that, you then wait to be seen by the directer to check if you a) have a story, b) have talent or c) have both - what they say determines if you get a golden ticket.
If you successfully complete that, you spend another day doing interviews and then another day waiting for hours to go in front of the TV judges.

3 days. 3 days wearing the same outfit and living and breathing Grand West.

I am now wine girl. They heard I am a wine news editor and that became my thing. I lost count of how many times I had to describe  Randall, Unathi and Gareth as wine varietals for the cameras.

And for all the waiting, I didn't make it past those judges but I wouldn't change it. I grew closer to Mr H. Met some people with amazing talent and saw how the music of SA is being picked.

The saddest thing though, was the way they mercilessly ripped those without talent, the wooden mics. They built them up and then watched them break out in tears. All in the name of television. One girl, Cecelia, was made to go away and learn two songs just for the judges to tell her no twice. Feel for her guys - these people are made to feel as though they are super stars and are then broken for the cameras.

Watch out for the girl in the purple dress who looks like Rachel from Glee - she is fabulous!

So that was my one scary thing for the month and I'm proud I got that far. I learnt that my strengths lie in my confidence, my ability to be at ease and I've become better at taking criticisms. I've learnt that whilst I'm part of New Breed Africa, I'm not made for SA's pop industry. But, I'm glad I scared myself -  by doing that, I know how far I can push myself in the future.

What scary thing have you done this month?