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?

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