Questions to ask your wedding venue, ceremony venue & caterer – the most comprehensive list

Important questions to ask your wedding venue, ceremony venue and caterer!

Important questions to ask your wedding venue, ceremony venue and caterer!
Vrede and Lust wedding venue, Tulbagh, South Africa

Choosing a venue is one of the first things that you need to do when planning your wedding. Picking the right venues for your ceremony and reception are invaluable to creating your perfect wedding day.

Before you start visiting your dream venues, you’ll need to know exactly what questions to ask to make sure you’re choosing the right place. Since you’re probably only going to interview venues once in your life, you might not know exactly what to ask. Luckily, we have got you covered!

Important questions to ask your wedding venue, ceremony venue and caterer!

The wedding ceremony site and reception venue are the cornerstones for your wedding event, so it’s important to pick a site that fits you and your grooms vision, your budget and the kind of day you would like to have. Of course going with a reputable venue is important – reliability is a big factor you need to consider.

When booking the venue for your wedding you are entering into a business agreement. While the person you are working with is not likely to be deceptive, they are in business to make a profit. Consequently, there are certain aspects you should confirm and get in writing to avoid last minute surprises. Also, when thinking about and comparing costs between different places, it’s important to understand the details so you can make a direct comparison.

Important questions to ask your wedding venue, ceremony venue and caterer!
Groot Constantia Wineyards, Cape Town, South Africa

Below is a long list of the things you should be checking with your wedding venue before making any decisions about where to hold your wedding.  For a really comprehensive planning kit, get yourself the Sheer Wedding Planner  and Budget tool. It’s got detailed worksheets for your wedding planning and budget tracker.

This list probably looks overwhelming, and I don’t recommend you sit the wedding venue coordinator down and interview them about everything all at once, but definitely read through it to help you avoid missing any important parts that you didn’t know that you need to know. You might be able to cover some of the questions yourself by reading on their website – they might have an information sheet already available.

Important questions to ask your wedding venue, ceremony venue and caterer!
Vrede and Lust wedding venue, Tulbagh, South Africa

photo credits: manhattan bride // zara zoo photography
Here are the all important questions you need to ask before signing on the dotted line.

Questions specific to the ceremony venues

  1. Where will the sun be positioned during the ceremony? 
  2. Are we close to nice photo locations? 
  3. Are there suitable spots for family/group photos? 
  4. Does the ceremony venue supply a sound system or can they give us any advice on acoustics? 
  5. Is there seating available for family/elderly guests? 
  6. Is it wheelchair accessible? 
  7. Are there restrooms? 
  8. What sort of passing traffic can you expect to get at this venue?
    If outdoors, you many not want cars and foot traffic walking nearby in the ceremony

 

Questions for Reception Venues

  1. Is it available on the day we want to get married? What days are available?

  2. How much does it cost to hire the venue? What exactly does it include?
    Ask to see an itemized breakdown of costs. It is critical for you to clarify the agreement not only so you know the final cost, but also so you understand which extra costs could possibly fall on your shoulders.

  3. Are there reduced rates for winter or weekdays?
    You could save as much as 40% on venue costs

  4. How many people can the venue accommodate?
    Find out if that number includes the staff members

  5. Can I use my own vendors? Is there an additional charge for that?
    Many locations have their own coordinators, caterers, or other professionals they want you to use for your event or included in the cost.

  6. Does the price include alcohol or is that extra? (See separate list of questions for alcohol further down)
    Some venues will charge based on actual wine, beer, and liquor used. If this is the case, the quoted fee will not include those items.

  7. Are rentals included in this price? What items am I likely to have to hire in? Tables, utensils, chairs, or just décor?
    Smalls like champagne coolers, table runners, napkins, candle holders and other adornments may or may not be provided. Find out what you can rent from the venue or what you need to outsource yourself – you don’t want to  realize on the day that there are no table cloths!

  8. How many hours do we get at the venue? Is there a time limit?

  9. How much are additional hours?
    The cost of going over on time can be substantial.

  10. Are there set up fees?
    This could be especially important to make clear if you plan to have both your ceremony and reception at the same venue.

  11. When can we access the venue to decorate?
    Sometimes only get access the day of the wedding – you’ll want to be getting ready then and would need to delegate to somebody else

  12. Do you do the set up and clean up or do I?

  13. What staffing/support is on hand for set up and clean up? During the wedding? Post-wedding?

  14. Is parking extra? Is parking free for guests?
    It may or not be included in the quoted fee.

  15. Is it wheelchair accessible?

  16. How many restrooms are there?
    Make sure you are happy with their appearance too! Ask if you would be allowed to decorate the restrooms, if you wish to do so.

  17. If there is an additional service charge – does it cover all tips?
    Does the fee cover extras to staff or do they feel it is customary to tip certain additional staff?

  18. Is there a time limit and what’s the cost of going over?
    There is often a set amount of time you can utilize the reception space

  19. How they will arrive at the final cost?
    If you are charged per person for any piece of the reception, you will want to understand how it has been charged.

  20. Is there an additional cost for my other vendors (photographer, videographer, planner, and DJ/band)?
    Your professionals will need to eat, so it is important to know if or how you need to count them. Should they be in the final head count or reported separately (In other words, if you can get a discount rate for the vendors)?

  21. Is there space for a band or DJ? Are there noise constraints?

  22. Is there a dance floor?
    Sometimes that will affect the number of guests the place can seat, as there might be less space for tables if it is in one room

  23. Are there special considerations for children?
    The child cost is most often less than the adult rate.

  24. What are payment terms, i.e. what sort of deposit is required and when is final account settled?

  25. What is the cancellation policy? 

Questions to ask about catering

  1. Can I bring in my own food, other drink, and cake?  
  2. If I do bring my own food, drink, or cake are there extra charges? 
  3. Do they have an on-site caterer/chef or do we need to arrange our own caterer? 
  4. Do they have an on-site kitchen? (If not, you will be limited to the types of food service available) 
  5. Is there a range of menus? 
  6. Will the menu be able to cater to different dietary needs (vegetarian, low-carb, gluten free etc) 
  7. Will we need to inform the caterers in advance of dietary requirements, or can they cope with these requests on the night?

Questions to ask the reception venue about Alcohol

  1. Are you fully licensed? 
  2. Do they have the brand of alcohol you favour? 
  3. What’s the corkage fee – is it per person, per bottle or a set charge? 
  4. What happens to half drunk bottles of wine, or left overs? 
  5. Do I need to hire glasses or will venue arrange? 
  6. Do I need to arrange bar staff? 
  7. Do I need to arrange a duty manager for the bar? 
  8. Do they allow bring your own toasting wine/ champagne? 
  9. Do they do alcohol packages?

 

Are there any other questions you’d like to add to this list? Comment below with any questions we’ve missed or handy questions you asked.

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How to select your bridesmaids wisely – practical advise!

How to choose the best bridesmaids    SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

Congratulations! You are engaged and you have just started a wonderful and exciting journey of preparing for probably the biggest party and event of your life. But you will need some friends with you along the journey for emotional support, positive encouragement and a little bit of practical help too.

It may feel the most obvious to choose your best friend as your Maid of honour. Good bridesmaids candidates could be your sister, a childhood friend and your grooms sister too perhaps. But before asking them the “question”, it is fine to have a month or so after the engagement, let the high of the engagement settle and avoid letting the rush of emotions influence you to make a premature decision.

There are some important factors to consider in order to create the best Team Bride to help you get married and to share the fun with.

  • Commitment and time

    Will they be around this year? Perhaps they have work lined up in a different country/ city. Consider how much you would want them to be around to help you with dress trials, parties and crafting. Take a look at their life situation – if they just got a new job or a baby, joined a course or any other time consuming commitment, they might not be able to help you as much as they otherwise would have.

    How to choose the best team of bridesmaids

  • Feet on the ground

    How practically minded are they? This also depends on how practical you want them to be of course. If they are absent minded or easily get stressed but have a great taste, perhaps assign them a more suitable job such as helping you to decide on design aspects of they day, such as managing bridesmaids flower crown and shoes as opposed to keeping track of the RSVP lists.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids    SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • Holy matron-omy

    Your Maid of honour – is she a good leader/ speaker? Is she sensible and mature? Do she stand by your side in all situations? It is traditional that she gives a speech on the day, and she would normally be assigned to keep track of the rings and being “head of” bridesmaids, as well as many other responsibilities. Ensure that she would be comfortable to manage these significant tasks before assigning her to the role.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids    SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • True wisdom

    Wait to see how enthusiastic your close friends really are about weddings – it might not be the way you think. My friend who is a divorcée turned out to  be the most involved and interested in my wedding preparations even though I assumed she would not be keen at all – and now she is giving me great advise about what to expect, how not to fret about dresses, and other most useful words of wisdom.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids    SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • According to ability

    What roles do you want them to play? Do you want them to help you choose the dress, venue decor, wedding colours or is it enough that they plan your bridal shower and stand by your side during the ceremony? How will they be useful?

    How to choose the best bridesmaids SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • Different strokes for different bridesmaids

    Think about peoples skills and personality – do they have the right attributes? Look for qualities such as being caring, attentive, “together”, being a good companion, having a good eye for details, a positive outlook, being a calming influence and so on and so forth.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • Temperament

    Take the nature of each candidate into account. If one of them is known to be an opinionated drama-queen who loves being in the centre of attention, or your mate from varsity who can’t hold down a job and seems to have a new boyfriend every month, will possibly not be the most stable support for you, even if you have had lots of fun together and love her as a friend.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids    SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • Tendencies

    Take a honest look at what every candidates energy and ability to be a positive force is like. If they have a tendency to complain, pull out of commitments or cancel your dates, not answer the phone, talk mostly about themselves – rule them out immediately. You want your team to be able to focus on you and fill you with positivity. Reliability and accountability is a must.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • Say yes to the best

    If they are going to accompany you to your wedding dress appointments – make sure that they would put your interests first, as opposed to their personal opinion. Have you ever seen the show Say Yes To The Dress? Then you know what a nightmare a strongly opinionated entourage can be. Try to find out if they would put you first in this situation by taking them out for a regular shopping trip first.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids    SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • Future investment

    What do you see you and this friends relationship to be like in 10 or 20 years time? Is she a contact you can count on to be around or is she a brand new or possibly a fleeting friend? Do you honestly see it possible for you to be friends for life? This might not matter right now, but prepare yourself by considering the future.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • Keeping it simple is ok

    You don’t have to choose more than 2 bridesmaids, just for the sake of it. Quality support is better than quantity. The more members of your squad, the biggest risk for disagreement and confusion – choosing outfits is a classic scenario with potential for difficulty.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • With your heart

    Maybe  you feel fine to deviate from any of the points above,and that  is totally up to you. Don’t let anything stand in the way for your personal feeling about who you wan’t to have around during this precious time. Just being aware of who they are and can offer can help to prevent any disappointment further down the line.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • Meaningful maids

    Choose women who mean the most to you, that you admire and feel good when you are around. You don’t need to follow conventional traditions when selecting your crew – go with your gut instinct when it comes to your final decision. Select thoughtfully, and be fine which whoever you decide on.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids    SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

    DON’T

  • Choose a bridesmaid just because you know you can ask her certain favours, or use her contact network or other resources to your advantage when planning the wedding. She will probably end up feeling abused and that will not be a good experience for either of you. Mutual respect is very important – be a fair bride just as you expect them to be fair to you.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • Make your decision too quickly. Mull over the options before making your final decision. Use the first month to figure out just how big interest your close friends take in this journey you just embarked on and what role they play in your life.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • Feel obliged to ask somebody just because she asked if she could be your bridesmaid. Be honest and explain that it was a tough decision but you have considered it carefully, or tell her that you want to think about it for a bit first.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids    SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com

  • Choose somebody unless they are 100 % fond of your fiancé and are fully supportive of your engagement. Total agreement and encouragement is key.

    How to choose the best bridesmaids SheerEverAfter.wordpress.com
    You hopefully have a clearer picture of who makes the best team to support you in your wedding. After picking out the members, you can enjoy to so much fun and excitement with them. Good luck!

    PS. Don’t forget to spoil your girls along the way to show your appreciation!

image sources: plum pretty sugar // brides // popsugar // wedpics // wedding party app // green wedding shoes // pinterest

Wedding planning pitfalls to avoid

Wedding pitfalls to avoid

From losing your engagement ring to overdoing it on decor or failing to keep guests protected from mosquitoes, read on to find out the most common wedding planning errors brides-to-be make.

Get your ring insured

Even if you are the most careful person in the world, accidents that are beyond your control could happen, God forbid. Never take your ring off in public places. Avoid cleaning products with bleach or ammonia that will damage the ring. Don’t clean your ring over an open drain. You can’t stop things from happening but you can get your precious insured, now!

Avoid wedding pitfalls

Put Yourself First

Take time to think about the type of celebration you want. Discuss with your groom and find out what you two as a couple truly represent and what your uttermost desires are – before hitting pinterest and gorging over bridal magazines. That way you will create the wedding that is the closest to your heart and most important to you, as opposed to the off-the-shelf wedding ideas as prescribed by others who you never met.

Don’t be mislead by others advise

As well as my previous point, only absorb as much advise from others that feels relevant for you and your groom. Everybody who got married will often be quick to give suggestions for you, but these are most likely based on what THEY think they should have done differently. Everyone has different priorities and interests don’t they? So while their advise is well intended, it might not apply to the wedding day you are hoping to create.
I have been suggested twice from one friend that I must have “koeksisters” (A south African sweet) on my wedding dessert table – even though I have never even tasted them. She even suggested I put them on the wedding cake! Is this my wedding or is it what she wished she had done?

 

Do consider your far-away guests needs

Many guest will probably travel from far and wide to attend your wedding. Do write to everybody from out of town to express gratitude for their attendance, as it will be to their considerable expense. They will really appreciate if you surprise them with a “welcome bag” with local goodies as a treat. On your wedding website, include a list of recommended accommodation and popular activities in your area, or simply send out a group email specifically for out-of-towners. Even suggest that guests coordinate to stay at the same hotel or at least near each other (and you). A nice way for everybody to get to know each other is to arrange list of activities, sightseeing and meals together in the week leading up to the wedding. (You and your groom do not have to attend all of them)

Also consider their comfort on the wedding

Provide necessary items for your wedding guests comfort at your outdoors wedding
Such as bug spray, blankets, umbrellas, heaters and/ or a midnight snack. I have seen at a couple of weddings that the bridal couple provide flip flops for guests to dance in or to have a welcomed relief from formal shoes – and then keep as a favour. Quite a cool idea.

Wedding pitfalls to avoid

Provide entertainment and enough snacks during waiting time

If there is a long waiting time between the ceremony and the reception, when you are off taking photographs for example, make sure that there is enough things for guests to keep themselves entertained while they wait. Lawn games, mad libs, colouring books for the children, and help-your-self finger foods. Make sure there is water and lemonade or similar for the guests to keep hydrated, especially if it is a hot day. Happy guests that have something to do and are having fun, will create the best atmosphere for your wedding day.

Feed your vendors

You don’t need to feed your florist and her assistant, or the officiant, but for the vendors that are spending the day at your wedding should be getting a meal as part of their deal. You don’t want your photographer to have an empty stomach when capturing the most significant moments of the day. Or the DJ to suffer from fatigue when building up the energy on the dance floor. Ensure they always have a water bottle handy, and fruit/ energy bars would also be a considerate way to keep them going.

Wedding pitfalls to avoid

Create your decor and tables with you and your grooms own style in mind

There are too many wedding that look like every other. Be creative and individual in your wedding design and remember that each table doesn’t have to look exactly the same either. Let the decorations be as unique as you are. It will be all the more interesting for guests to look at, and make your wedding even more memorable.

Wedding pitfalls to avoid

Consider the venue when planning the decor

Do have the venue in mind when planning the decor. Rustic boho might not blend well  in to a chateau wedding, and vice versa.  Even if you are going for a gypsy festival theme, remember to keep it tasteful – you don’t want to over-decorate or block guests views across the tables. Less is often more.

At your engagement party, bachelorette and bridal shower, make sure that each guest is also going to be invited to the wedding

Needless to say, always be considerate and fair, so keep the wedding party consistent leading up to the wedding so no one gets left out. (If they can’t attend the wedding for own reasons you can of course include them, if they want)

Wedding pitfalls to avoid

Be flower wise

Make sure the flowers you are choosing for the table are not too overpowering in fragrance. It might disturb the experience of the meal, and some might be allergic too. Discuss with your florist carefully your colour scheme and theme of the wedding so she can create the best visual impact. Your favorite flower might have to be imported or out of season – you  can keep flower costs down by choosing seasonal and locally grown flowers. A florist will help you with the best alternatives.

Also bring along a picture of your dress to the florist so that she can match the size and shape of the bouquet to the design of your dress.

Wedding pitfalls to avoid

Try not do DIY everything

Cake, dessert, invites, place cards, centrepieces, garter, photo booth props, even your wedding dress.. some brides can and will do it all, with or without help from friends and family. But to avoid decor anxiety, try to limit your projects to just a few things, those that feel most relevant, realistic and not too time consuming. Many pinterest ideas look so wonderful and fabulous online, but chances are they won’t look so amazing in real life. Be DIY savvy and don’t try to overachieve. It can get stressful, and worst scenario would be if they don’t ready in time/ break/ don’t end up looking like you want.

Remember to eat!

You might be so busy that you forget to eat your own wedding food, and excited that you don’t feel the hunger. But it is important to have something in your stomach for energy, and especially when you start on the cocktails. Have your caterer prepare a take away box in the kitchen that you can take with you to the hotel, in case you are ravenous!

Wedding pitfalls to avoid

Plan the toasts as well as the speeches

As nice it can be to be saluted, chances are that the wedding guest with the microphone will barge ahead and sneak in a few minutes speech into their toasts. Coordinate beforehand who is making speeches and who is toasting and make sure that everybody knows to keep to a certain time limit so you don’t bore the other guests or cut into the rest of the party time.

Allow for surprise costs in the budget

Extra facials, tip to a vendor that was forgotten about, last minute dress adjustments, extra hours for the photographer or an unexpected taxi ride – it is a very good idea to have an contingency plan, as much as 10% of the total budget, for unforeseen expenses.

Let the little things go

As much  as you can, plan the wedding thoroughly. But you can’t and won’t be able to control every single detail on the wedding day. When the day comes, just disengage from planning and coordination mode and just enjoy the day with your groom, family and friends. No one but you  is going to notice those minor things that might occur. Don’t be a bridezilla and try not to worry so much – the day will be perfect for what it is. The best way to overcome mistakes is to keep calm and happy, and smile, because these memories will last a lifetime – so just enjoy everything!

Wedding pitfalls to avoid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unique dresses your bridesmaids will want to wear again

Unique dresses for bridesmaids

Your bridesmaids are excited that you’ve chosen them to be your bridesmaid! I swear they will do their best to stand by you and support you as you plan your wedding day. But you have to try and do the same for them. If you’re lucky, you have been a bridesmaid at least once in your lifetime. Being a bridesmaid is fun! One of the biggest tasks, however, is choosing the bridesmaid dresses – the process can be stress-inducing to some.

It’s important to understand a few key factors. To make your wedding journey as enjoyable and smooth as it can be, I think you’ll be the coolest bride ever if you just follow these simple dress decision guidelines.

  • Firstly consider the theme, the season and the destination of the wedding. For a beach wedding, skip the formal frocks and choose a floaty flirty summer dress. Florals work well for a garden party. Consider crochet lace for your boho-chic feté. Winter weddings call for a high neck long sleeve maxi. And so on and so forth.
  • Each bridesmaid brings a different build and size into the mix. Similarly, every girl will have a different opinion about which silhouette and fabric looks the best. Listening and understanding is important – everyone needs to be a team player.
  • Give them color swatches and some general guidelines to choose from, and then let them choose their own cuts, sleeve styles and dress lengths. If they wear something they feel fabulous in, they will also feel great and look fabulous on the day.
  • By foregoing a traditional dress and instead choosing an outfit that is unique, you’re adding a special touch to your wedding day and giving your bridesmaids and yourself more options to choose from.
  • Letting the bridesmaids choose the style that fits them the most, the girls might want to wear the outfit again after the wedding day. Win-win! You also open up lots of possibilities as far as each individual girl’s body type.
  • It is always good to be mindful of costs, especially if you are paying for the dresses.
  • To keep within the budget, hit the high street sales instead of going to the bridal boutiques. Don’t be afraid of online shopping either – most of them have a return policy should it not be as expected.
  • Choosing mis-matched bridesmaids outfits means you can choose outfits that flatter everybody and make your bridesmaids feel like a million dollars, as well as having a fun and vibrant mix of styles that will make your wedding more unique and funky.
  • Choosing the colour scheme is another cause for confusion. You can’t go wrong with pastel colours or neutrals, but don’t be scared of using statment colours too. Try to choose something that matches everyones skin tone.
  • As much as it’s your big day,  you’ll both have a much better time if you are both happy with the dress. Having an open mind and listening to everybody’s needs is important, but the bridesmaids also need to be respectful of the brides wishes, of course.

For brides who want their bridesmaids squad to look more original, you can even introduce beading and ornate prints. Bridesmaids mix and match separates is all the rage in 2017, which opens up lots of possibilities, and you also can introduce more shades of your wedding colors and shades into their look. Choosing different designs in the same shade of fabric is another ingenious way of pleasing everyone without diverging from the colour scheme.

These dresses are sure to be attention grabbing for the right reasons.

Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
via deer pearl flowers

How cute are these mismatched bridesmaids?

via shopstyle
Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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via elite daily
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via bhldn
Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
via stylish wife

 

Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
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Bridesmaids inspiration @Sheer ever after
via wedding part app

20 fabulous wedding shoes + practical advise

Wedding shoe inspiration @Sheer ever after

White satin or lace wedding shoes may previously have been the standard look for brides, but the time has come to consider other colours, materials and adding unique features when it comes to your wedding footwear. It is a perfect opportunity to show your personality, and hopefully you can find a pair you will enjoy for years to come – so look for something made with quality that won’t go out of style.

In my opinion, wedding shoes with a difference are the best. Some colour, unique design, a glamorous touch of vintage or adding other dazzling edginess, and with a little bit of sensible choosing, it is possible to also combine this with comfort.

When shopping for your shoes, firstly consider the destination of the wedding. If the wedding ceremony is in the woods, be practical about the shoes you are wearing and skip the stilettos. Remember to test all shoes a few times so you know you will be comfortable in them on the day. For a venue with lawns, heel stoppers are a clever purchase for you and your bridesmaids to avoid heels sinking into the grass.

Don’t feel comfortable in heels but don’t wan’t to wear flats? Consider mid heel height and a block heel. The less pointy the heel, the more evenly the pressure will be distributed across the sole of the feet. Wedges are also a good option for sturdiness. They will allow for better posture, a greater ease of walking and ensure comfort all day long.

There is a lot of gorgeous shoes out there, whether coloured, metallic, sparkly, cute, killer, minimalist or with intricate details. Here is a bit of fantastical shoe-inspiration for your day.

 

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
image via the vault

Super pretty vintage inspired nude heels with dusty pink and gold accents.
T-bar is a classic for a vintage wedding.

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
via wedding chicks

The best choice if you plan to dance all night. A very pretty shade of blue, and comfortable design makes this a perfect contestant for wedding shoe wear. These could be ones favorite pair of shoes for your new life as a wife, casual or smart.

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
image via ruffled

I adore block heels. It is very possible that I will choose this kind for my wedding. One can stand tall and sturdy and not worry about heels sinking into the lawn. These gorgeous pairs are fit for a Hollywood wedding with rhinestone and pearl covered straps. A classic shoe jazzed up to the max, still classic enough to work beyond the wedding – with jeans for cocktails with the girlfriends?

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
via brit morin

A metallic statement shoe with rose gold accents which works well with the gorgeous shade of blue. Loving the midcentury vibes. Heel height looks about perfect.

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
image via indulgy

Bold and fabulous red heels with ankle strap adorned with flowers. This kind of bold trend-setting vintage bride really inspires me.

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
image via love my dress

Why not go for pink shoes? Covered in pink glitter? This pair of sparkly 1930s inspired heels would make Dorothy green with envy.

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
via weddingomania

For a beach or summer outdoors wedding, sandals are the answer. Adorned with pretty stones and sparkles, these are fit for an eclectic-chic bride at any bohemian, gypsy or festival themed wedding. Very wearable for any occasion for years to come. Bonus!

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
image via style me pretty

Dusty pink with laser cut detail and tiny sparkly studs. The ribbon strap softens the look on these gorgeous and delicate flats.

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
via nouba

A sturdy wide heel is the right choice for the vintage indie bride. Gold makes it even more better. Comfortable for dancing, too.

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
via fab you bliss

The bow makes these princess-pretty. The heels are otherwise minimalistic for the stylish bride who wants to add just a little bit of quirkiness to her wedding outfit. Careful removal of the bow would turn them into a pair of great work shoes.

 

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
via apryl ann

Why not go for green? It is the wedding colour of the year after all.

 

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
via fab you bliss

A lot of the shoes are coloured in this spread. But I just want to prove to  you that it can be so great to go for colour. Badgley Miscka does beautiful shoes, a great designer of wedding dresses as well as shoes. Just look at the cute details on these.

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
image via everything that sparkles

Another fab Bagdley Miscka pair. Nude with gold beads and crystal embellishments.

 

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
via wedding forward

Zara did not necessarily intend to make bridal shoes, but these fantastic glittery flats will do the job just right. Will be absolutely perfect on the dance floor!

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
image wedding forward

Block heel at a comfortable height, silver ankle straps and simple design makes these heel/ sandals a realistic choice for brides (like me) who are mostly interested in simplicity, comfort and re-usability.

 

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
via fashionetter

I do love a good wedge. It is really realistic that one would wear these again after the wedding. Perhaps even for lunch the day after?

 

Wedding inspiration @Sheer Ever after
via fashionetter

Simple, elegant and white – perfect for a modern wedding. If they are too plain for you – how about adding a lace bow or clip on flower? Or DIY encrust your heels? An example comes next…

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
image via love my dress

A bewildering amount of glamorous detail as a delightful surprise. Makes for gorgeous shoe photos for your wedding album.

 

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
via want that wedding

A pair of great but ordinary white heels can be transformed with handpainted florals. If you are not a trained artist, try modge podge decoupage! The technique also works with glitter and lace. (Think I will have to make a spread on this soon…)

Wedding inspiration @Sheer ever after
via wedding forward

Pointy ballerina flats with a thin ankle straps could definitely be seen on my wedding, especially in this gentle shade of blue.

I am quite sure there will be more shoes here soon, whether they are blue, pink, nude, gold, lace, designer, glittery, embellished or floral.. there is a lot out there that needs to be explored!

How To Create The Best Bohemian Wedding

 

Free-loving vibes, comfortable clothes, being barefoot on the beach, chilling on the floor on velvet cushions – am I talking about Marrakesh in the 1970’s? No- I’m talking about the kind of wedding you can plan if you are up for fun vibes and not necessarily in to traditional wedding formalities.

Here I will present some examples of ways to incorporate some Bohemian wedding elements to your big day, whether you go full Monty or just feel inspired by a few select items, that is entirely up to you – because it will be wonderful and memorable either way.

  1. Your dress 
    Skip the corset, ball-gown and tight fitting materials, and rather go for a comfortable dress with breathable materials that would be blowin’ in the wind. Lace, chiffon and natural fibres are all great choices. The silhouette can be any you like, but designs such as a low back, thigh slit, off the shoulder or longer bell sleeves are all good choices. Nature inspired, 70’s revival and floral patterns are typical of the boho-style dress.

2. The venue
Gosh girl – you got plenty of choice! Anywhere outdoors in a natural environment would be especially suited. Look for a place such  as the beach, a rustic wine farm, a forest, a lovely backyard, a farm, a barn or a garden. If you are in the city, a warehouse or eclectic house will fit the bill. If outdoors, make sure to have a weather plan B – it can get pretty hot and windy on the beach for example. Guest comfort is key, why it is perfect to have the ceremony outdoors, and then head into your barn or Bedouin tent after (where you can hand out granny-square blankets for the guests to wrap up in).

3. The decor
Here there are so many options that are easy to source and create a laid-back atmosphere for your guests to marvel at. Arrange your flowers in a way so that they don’t look arranged, mix in wildflowers (or use them solely) in your bouquets and don’t hesitate to add plants and items other than flowers, such as aloes, fynbos, cacti, dried branches, grasses, even some shells and feathers.
For other decor; use plenty of different objects to create a mish-mash of visual impressions. Bohemian is not known for being minimalist so “go wild”, literally. Driftwood, beads, feathers, thrift shop lace curtains, hay bales, gemstones, Persian rugs, Moroccan lanterns, native American memorabilia, Tibetan blankets, colourful cushions, vibrant mismatched china, hand drawn wooden signs, old mirrors – items you can easily find in nature, someones attic or at your nearest flea market. Boho lends it self very well to DIY and upcycling.

Be gold and generous when it comes to colour, texture and shapes. When you plan your decor, think in terms of backpacking in India, going to a folk music festival or gypsy summer camp. More is more!
The beauty of boho decor is that it it easily combined with several other decor themes: Boho-rustic, boho-glam and boho-vintage vibes work well, but you can of course boho-ify any wedding by just incorporating some crafted items – dream catchers, teepees and crochet lace are for example iconic. Mosaic, vintage vases, odd candlesticks are other easy way to instantly bring out the boho in your wedding.

4. Your and your grooms look
Let the natural vibes carry through to your grooms attire, he would definitely not feel comfortable at his own event if he was to wear a black tie. Rather go for a colourful tie, bow tie or no tie at all, even undo the top button of his shirt. Muted colours+ a splash of blues, yellows and pastels are ideal. Shoes could be brown leather, or why not Jesus sandals?

For yourself, barefoot sandals or nude coloured strappy sandals decorated with beads would work well, or cowboy boots. Do keep makeup neutral and let your hair down, perhaps in a side braid or half up-half down with crown braid. Weave in some feathers and/ or succulents, top with a wildflower crown and you are wedding ready!

5. Dinner
A buffet self-serve or family-style serving at the tables would fit well with the informal vibe. Decorate the chairs with crocheted doilies and greenery, or let the seating be on cushions on the floor Japanese style. No food is more bohemian than the other, so choose what you really love. I would suggest some ethnic style dining though – such as Lebanese, Ethiopian or Sri Lankan. If you are a true hippie, you will perhaps choose a locally produced, vegetarian, organic meal, with options for raw vegans and macrobiotics as well.  But anything locally produced, wholesome and abundant in flavour and colour will be great.

6. The Cake

The whimsical and unconventional theme should naturally follow all the way through  to the cake. Let the cake turn into an artwork installation with plenty of texture, colour and detail. Symmetry and perfection is to be avoided for the boho-chic cake; adorn it generously with fruit, botanicals, flowers or other natural elements. whether you go for naked cake of marbleized icing doesn’t matter much, as long as it is fairly bombastic. Colourwise, there are no limits – think of the cake as a canvas on which to you add bright paint liberally. Even consider adding colour to the sponge and the filling.

Note: if you do use feathers and other found objects as cake decor- remember to sterilize them well first!

Basically, there is so much to adore about this look, as you can see. But I need to add to this that there are so many ways to “go boho” – you  are absolutely not confined to  a particular style – as the boho style can actually mean following completely your own created vibe. The word bohemian means literally “having informal and unconventional social habits”  (so if everyone followed the s. k bohemian lifestyle, no one would be bohemian right?)

It basically means you are free to go your own way, and that is the beauty of bohemia. It  has become a fashion trend and a recognized wedding concept, but actually it just is a term for being free-spirited – as in “dont follow the rules”. There is a lot of scope for interpretation as you can imagine.

So, the one and ONLY rule there is to putting on a boho wedding is that you don’t have to subscribe to a preconceived wedding style package as such -even the bohemian one- because being truly bohemian means: DON’T FOLLOW RULES! Have the wedding your own bohemian unconventional way, and be boho as you like it, whether you hang dream catchers in the trees or not.

Go for it girl!

 

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beautiful bohemian dresses from Anna Campbell

Boho wedding inspiration @Sheer Ever After

Boho wedding inspiration @Sheer Ever After

Boho wedding inspiration @Sheer Ever After

images in this article have been found via pinterest from green wedding shoes, 36th avenue, ruffled blog, free people,

Your Engagement Ring: 14 Helpful Tips

This day and age it is becoming more and more widespread for brides to be involved in the choosing of her engagement ring. Even if you got yours and is very happy with it, this article presents some good-to-knows about your wedding jewellery.

Whether you are buying an engagement ring or a wedding band, there are some things to consider before you hit the jewellery shops. Your engagement ring is likely to be the most important jewellery that you will ever own. It is an investment for life, just like your marriage, and should therefore reflect your unique style and personality. Find something that you will absolutely love to wear on your wedding day and treasure everyday throughout your life.

  • It is good to familiarize yourself with the four C’s of a diamond: Cut, Clarity, Carat and Colour. The variations of these will determine the cost and the appearance of the stone. Ask the jeweller to explain this chart of the C variables, and you can get an understanding of the quality you are buying. Diamonds are expensive, as you will see! But gold and diamonds are also an investment for the future and will never loose their value.
Ring inspiration @Sheer Ever After
via wilkerson jewels
  • Consider other gems, such as sapphire, ruby, topaz, amethyst, emerald or rose quartz in your ring. They could even replace diamonds as the main stone, and have a row of cluster diamonds around it for extra sparkle. Colourful engagement rings are fashionable and individual.

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  • More and more brides opt for ethically sourced stones and lab grown stones such as moissanites, which are less heavy on resources (water, oil, mining) to produce.Wedding ring inspiration @Sheer ever after

 

  • You might want to learn a few new words in order to be able to understand what the jeweller is saying. Get familiar with key words such as prong, baguette, halo, scintillation, cushion and pavé – an excellent glossary can be found here
Wedding ring inspiration @ Sheer ever after
via how he asked

 

  • Wearing a family heirloom can also be a nice way of personalizing your ring. If the shape is not suitable for your style, you can have the ring redesigned and the stones re-set. Just make sure the previous owner is okay with that.
    Wedding ring inspiration @sheer ever after

 

  • You can of course do the same if you sometime in the future want to modernize your ring, in the unlikely event you would like to update its appearance.

 

  • Have your bands engraved for a special touch. You could even surprise your partner with this on the day.

Wedding ring inspiration @ Sheer Ever After

 

  • Select a wedding band which is striking enough to wear on its own, without the engagement ring. An eternity band with stones around the top of the band will give you much joy throughout your life.

 

  • As soon as you have it on your finger, insure the ring immediately, no matter how careful you think you are. The loss would be devastating and replacing it is costly, both financially and emotionally. It is possible to get cheap replacement rings made of silver and cubic zirconia that look fairly authentic from a distance, but that would not be the same thing would it. This item is so precious – make sure you don’t lose it (and your fiancées money!)
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via wedding forward

 

  • Don’t flash your rings in public places, unfortunately crimes do happen. I often turn my stone around to the inside if I’m out and about – call me paranoid but one can’t be careful enough in a country like ours (South Africa).

Wedding ring inspiration @ Sheer ever after

 

  • A jewellery item such as earrings, necklace or a bracelet would be a very thoughtful gift for your bridesmaids, mother and mother in law. They are sure to treasure it forever.
Wedding jewellery inspiration @ Sheer ever after
via jewelery info

 

  • Don’t forget to fit the length of your necklace to fit with your wedding dress neckline so that they complement each other. If you have an open back dress design, consider wearing a back necklace with  a back drop pendant too.
Wedding jewellery inspiration @ Sheer ever after
via etsy

 

  • To always have a ring that sparkles, clean it often to remove oils and grime that accumulates. A soft brush and some washing up liquid in warm water in a bowl works well – but to take care to never wash it over an open drain! Once every so often you can take your ring in to the jeweller to have it deep-cleaned for you.
    Wedding ring inspiration @Sheer ever after

 

  • Treat your ring well. If you take it off, always put it in the same place, hidden away. Don’t wear it if you are doing housework or creative projects where dirt and chemicals are involved. Consider wearing a “spoof” ring if you go away on holiday, do exercise or house renovation.
Wedding rings inspiration @ Sheer ever after
via wedding forward

 

  • Every time you look at it and see it sparkle, think about the day you got engaged, the happiness and excitement you are sharing with your husband-to-be and the wonderful life you are creating together, which is to last for the rest of your lives.

Wedding jewellery inspiration @Sheer ever after

 

 

Non-fussy Bridal Hair

NonFuzzyBridalHair

The classic curly up-do with complicated arrangements is no longer a must for weddings. Modern brides may choose to go with a more casual hair-style for her big day, and this decision is not only practical and more affordable, it also gives the bride the option of feeling more relaxed and less constrained. A easy elegant hairstyle and a bohemian comfortable dress allows you to play lawn games with your new in-laws and chase your little niece around – who wouldn’t want that?

If you are in luck and have a friend or relative who  have mastered the fishbone tail or milkmaid braid, well then you can save bucks on a hairstylist and make a style statement at th same time. And you don’t have to worry as much about your hair as it is more tolerant to the elements, and forgiving should it be affected by wind and weather.

The beauty of wearing a flower crown or special hair piece is that you can let your hair to have the more laid back vibe, as the adornment of choice will make a statement without you having to spend the night before the wedding with curlers in bed. That is not to say though – a braid can be statement enough. Why not decorate it with a few small succulents or airplants?

Here are the most beautiful and unique hairstyles for brides, bridesmaids and mother of the bride, with plenty of DIY options for the casual/ budget wedding. Less can be more, also when it comes to wedding hair, whether you have long, short, smooth, wavy, curly or African hair.

Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image via crave lovelycrave lovely
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image via wedding ideas mag
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image via my wedding
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image via plan your perfect wedding
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
via erinandrayphoto
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image via my wedding
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image courtesy of my wedding
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image via my wedding
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image from natural hair bride
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image via natural bride hair
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image via buzzfed
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image via buzzfed
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image via buzzfed
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image via buzzfed
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image via glam radar
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image via glam radar
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image courtesy of wedding forward
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image via wedding forward
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image courtesy of cazadora
Non-Fuzzy hair styles for bride @SheerEverAfter
image via wedding forward

Unique and natural is the way to go, if you ask us!

natural-bridal-hairstyle
image via thousand emotions

Best Bezel set engagement rings

My fiancé was so overwhelmed by ring choices(who wouldn’t be?), that he borrowed a ring from a jeweler with the diamond he chose temporarily set on it, so that he had something to propose with. How absolutely lovely of him and the jeweler, wasn’t it? (That is just one of many, many things I adore about him)

So, after having done some ring research online, we headed in to the jeweller Prins and Prins in Cape town and it was truly a unique experience; we chatted with the consultant for what felt like the whole morning to finalize the finer specifications of the design, and then we even got to meet the goldsmith who was gonna make the ring in person. It was so special. I cannot recommend them warmly enough. Delicate in the handling of your and your fiancés special point in time, and very intuitive  in the fulfillment of your highest engagement ring dreams. Their shop is located in one of the oldest buildings in Cape town and breathes history, it even has the old well still intact behind the bougainvillea filled courtyard. But I should probably go back to talking about ring designs now, hey!

When it came to the design, I initially I thought I wanted a highly detailed and intricate ring, but when I discovered the bezel setting, I was immediately was hypnotized by the clean and timeless design that would work with any occasion and fashion, it is a simple and timeless design and that is why I love it so much.

In this post I want to showcase the sparkling beauties that inspired me to go for the mesmerizing bezel set engagement ring style. They are unusual but oh-so-elegant and classy in their unique way.

Bezel set rings @SheerEverAfter
image via exquisite banana
Bezel set rings @SheerEverAfter
image via zoara
Bezel set engagement ring @SheerEverAfter
image courtesy of wedding bee
Bezel set rings @SheerEverAfter
image via Moonspun jewelry
Bezel engagement rings @SheerEverAfter
image via etsy
Testing Testing 123
image via wilson diamonds
Bezel set rings @SheerEverAfter
via etsy
Bezel set minimalist engagement ring @SheerEverAfter
via etsy
Bezel set rings @SheerEverAfter
Image via etsy
Bezel engagement rings @SheerEverAfter
image via nodeform
Bezel engagement rings @SheerEverAfter
image via buzzfed
Vezel set engagement rings @Sheer Ever After
via wedding bee

 

Bezel set engagement rings @Sheer Ever After
via nodeform
Bezel engagement rings @SheerEverAfter
the most wonderful ring of them all… mine!

Good-looking grooms

Groom style

You have bought your vintage lace wedding dress, and now planning your wildflower crown and romantic hair do. But wait – don’t forget to co-ordinate your free-spirited looks with the groom – it would look rather odd if he turned up in a black tie and tuxedo when you have gone all rustic.

The groom should feel just as relaxed and unique as you are, if not more. Think blue, brown or grey jacket, camel or sand trousers, perhaps a patterned shirt, bowtie, suspenders, why not top button open, striking socks, brown shoes or possibly sneakers? There are so many ways for him to be dapper and dandy without the traditional black and white.

Encourage him to be as fashion-forward as you, because this is also his chance to decide to wear whatever makes him feel at his most handsome and himself. I think he might treasure you even more if he is allowed to be modern, cool and casual on the day!?

For a summer wedding, think light and airy, pastel colours, maybe a salmon pink tie. He can leave out the jacket and just wear a waistcoat instead.
For a more formal wedding, swap the tie for a bowtie and choose a solid colour suit, you can’t go wrong with navy or a mid-to-dark grey.
Beach or woodlands weddings – maybe skip the tie altogether?
For garden or backyard, I can see a pastel shirt with a pattered bow tie really working.
Winter weddings – perhaps a checked brown wool jacket with blue shirt and dark brown trousers. Add a splash of drama with coloured socks.
A hat is an instant way to add personality as there are so many styles to choose from. Don’t be afraid to hit the charity shops for quirky old school items that are not easily bought elsewhere.

Material wise, there is plenty of playroom for originality. Linen, tweed, and velvet can compliment the normal cotton. Let your groom feel confident and stylish by thinking outside of the box. Think denim has no place on a wedding? Think again! Your groom is going to look and feel great. There is nothing wrong with simple and relaxed attire on your wedding. Be playful with choice of patterns and palette ’cause why be boring when you can be bold when getting married?

How about matching the suit to the colours of your flowers if you are having jewel colours. A rich maroon, deep dark blue or moss green is very in vouge right now.
A last tip: specify the dress code (cool, casual, informal) on your invites, so that your groom isnt the most under-dressed man on his own event! 😉

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via paper and lace
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via junebug weddings
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via happy wedd
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via style me pretty
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via style me pretty
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via wedding party app