Planning An Extraordinary & Fuss-Free Wedding Part 2: The Extraordinary Aspects

Last week we shared some examples of wedding traditions and etiquettes that some people might agree with us are not THAT important to focus on in the wedding, that could be downscaled or perhaps even left out. In this weeks Wedding Planning post, we present you with the areas that we believe are more relevant.

(For your own interpretation, of course!)

Extraordinary wedding ceremony

Dress – When I say relevant, I do not mean you need to expect to go into the “Say yes to the dress rapture”, but you need to feel comfortable and feel great wearing the dress. You might have seen a fab gown in an advert. But if you don’t love wearing it for the right reasons, you will regret it later. A more expensive dress is not necessarily going to be any better or more fabulous. Guests will not appreciate your appearance more because you spent more! Find a dress that feels “you” and remember that trends go out of fashion quickly so rather go for a timeless design. Remember there are 100s of dresses out there that could be “the one” – you will know when you  are wearing one just by how it makes you feel.

 

 

Hair– unless you are a hairstylist with serious skills it will be very hard to get your own hair right, even if you are going for a hair down boho style, you need a pro to make sure it is looking perfectly un-done and stays that way.

 

 

Wedding rings– it is for life – get something on the less “complicated” side, that way you wont grow out of it in 10 years. They are precious and symbolic to you and your husband and will always be a reminder of your love and commitment. Get wedding bands that you will identify with for a long time ahead, and don’t be afraid to custom make if you are not sure what you love the most. Classic and simple will be more durable for the test of time than trends.

 

 

Photography and videography – The big names can seem really expensive, but it is probably going to be worth it. If you don’t want to spend a third of your budget on photography and videography, do seek out up-and-coming photographers instead who  are not yet as established, whos work is most likely going to be just as good.

Whoever you end up choosing, be sure that you LOVE their style and previous work. They must also be able to make you feel comfortable and natural – so use that engagement shoot as a way to test the chemistry out and get used to the idea of being in front of the camera.
The pictures and videos are going to be your memories and documentation for the rest of your life – so the photographer and videographer talent and technique is everything!
New thing worth spending on: having a wedding gopro or even a drone to capture the ceremony, the venue and the wedding reception like nobody else saw it.

 

Ceremony music– If you go for live ceremony music and performance, make sure they are really good. Broken violins or off-key voices are not befitting for the special occasion and start of your marriage.

Officiant – ideally choose someone you  really click with. This part of the day is likely to be the most special to you and your groom and he/ she will say words of huge significance to you and your guests, so you don’t want to let budget decide when choosing officiant. Rather go for personal chemistry, recommendations and previous work records. Meeting and and communicating with the several times before the wedding is key.

 

Seating never go for plastic budget chairs! It is worth spending more to create the appropriate seating for your guests. Comfort is most important, so before you pick chairs, sit in them to make sure they feel good, and if possible have a seat cushion too. People will remember if they were uncomfortable for the whole night. Make sure the elderly guests will be comfortable too, maybe they need a few extra cushions or a more supportive chair. Lounge seating and barstools are equally important for the mingling hours  – no one likes tired feet. Ps. Make sure that all chairs are clean and not broken!

 

Having a weather plan B – needless to  say, we can never be in control of the weather, and even if the wedding is in the middle of summer you can never be too sure. If your wedding is outdoors, have a marquee or other structure where you can seek shelter. If parts of the day needs to be outside, it’s a nice idea to provide umbrellas or rain jackets for guests to borrow. Likewise, have blankets to hand out if it gets colder later in the evening, and a few gas heaters are also a good idea. Guests will go home sooner if they cold! It is not nice be too hot either – so that tent will be crucial to provide shade. Some fans and sunscreen is also a good idea.

Young guests will require entertainment or you wedding might turn chaotic. Games, drawing pads with crayons, activity book, and do consider a special kids area and appointing a child minder, so that the parents can focus on enjoying the day with you. appropriate food for children should be a priority – a hungry and frustrated child can quickly become a loud and demanding monster. Having children in your wedding can add a wonderful atmosphere, it can turn the other way too though. Don’t feel obliged to invite children, everybody will understand.

Entertainment for guests – if everyone can find something to do, your wedding is gonna be so much more enjoyable. Especially if there is a period of waiting in between ceremony and reception, do provide guests with something to keep occupied with. For example an upbeat live band, lawn games, mad libs, a huge canvas to paint on, guest book (make this a fun and interactive one), lounge seating with comfortable cushions, finger foods, plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options, wedding bingo or other Q&A competition, etc. Create different zones and make it unique and fun – happy guests and laughters makes for the best wedding atmosphere, and all those interactive things to do will ignite conversation and make the guests familiar with one another. If the activities are a bit ridiculous that is good – you are creating life long lighthearted memories!

 

 

Wedding night hotel – Don’t go for budget options, but do tell the hotel (after) you have booked that it is for your wedding night. Ask them to leave a bottle of champagne and chocolates for you, or whatever you may like. The bed needs to be comfortable and the room quiet and secluded. Go for luxe and comfort  and make sure they can deliver breakfast to the room- this is a once in a lifetime night so indulge yourself! Make sure the room has a large bathtub so you can enjoy a relaxing, unwinding post wedding romantic bath. Do NOT stay at home!

Food and Drink – cut décor and wedding party costs and rather splash on amazing food – this is what guests will be taken aback by and remember for years to come. I am not a food and wine connoisseur, but I can ensure you what a great difference there is between a good vs bad tuna steak or Chardonnay. Rather go for flavour and abundance as opposed to trying to impress with fancy presentations and pretentious sounding names.

Special touches – What guests really are going to love and remember about your wedding are special personal touches (not Pinterest touches – sorry). So think together with your groom what you as a couple love, represent, and live for. For example: you love travel and you met in Mozambique on a charity project. Can you add a node to these aspects of your life to you wedding? Perhaps one or both of you have a hobby which can bring an influence. If you own a horse or a dog why not include it somehow? Walk down the aisle to your favorite Guns N Roses song. Serve dim sum as starters if your favorite restaurant is Chinese. If you are into cycling, have a miniature bicycle on top of the cake instead of the usual plastic toppers. And so on and so forth. – How can you make the wedding truly you? Let your imagination guide the way!

Another lovely way to individualize your big day is to involve friends and family in the making of your wedding. Maybe somebody makes the best brownies. Your uncle might have an impressive collection of patterned ties that the groomsmen can borrow. Maybe somebody is even legally able to officiate? Not only for saving cash, but more so to involve and personalize – everybody you ask will feel honoured  to help out, and coming together as a group for a great cause is a perfect way to strengthen family bonds.

Economize in the areas that feel less meaningful to you, so that you can make the parts of your wedding that matters extra special. Make it your day, your way. Be less concerned with following norms and traditions that doesn’t resonate with you, and concentrate on creating a fabulous and non-fussy day filled with memorable moments that you can proudly say it’s yours. 

All the best

image sources: bridal guide // brides // weddings online // 100layer cake // style me pretty

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Choosing a wedding photographer + important questions to ask!

 

Finding the right wedding photographer is almost like looking for a wedding dress: there are so many out there and they pretty much all look amazing when you see the photos. But it is not always clear until you see them in real life and find out if it fits.

There are important things to find out before you make your decision and sign the dotted line. We at Sheer have put together a list of key questions that you should always ask your photographer before you pay the deposit. The answer to these questions below should give you a much clearer picture (hehe)

The good ones can easily cost as much as R33.000 – and if you are hoping to spend under R100.000 on your wedding, that is already third of the budget. But there are ways to spend less: we chose an up and coming photographer that was recommended by a friend, and judging from the engagement shoot, the photos will be just as amazing as a fully established wedding photographer.

It is not only a matter of choosing the person who takes the best pictures; you and your groom also have to reassure yourself that you are happy with your photographers background, experience, way of working and that the package you pay for includes everything you need.To some extent, you also want to make sure that the personal chemistry also works!

The photography is a big part of the day and there are many ways the photographer can work. Some like to take charge and stage pictures and ask you to pose, whereas some will stick in the background and take the pictures as they naturally unfold.

Some styles quickly explained:

Reportage photography style: 
This style is characterized by a natural approach from the photographer who follows the couple and the guests throughout the day while recording the events of the wedding as they happen in an unobtrusive manner.

Traditional style:
Traditional wedding photographers concentrate on the key moments and group shots only and involves a great deal of staging and formal setups. Although the images document the participants, they may not capture the atmosphere correctly and the candid moments of the wedding day.

Contemporary style
The photographer aims to find interesting spots as a backdrop and unusual angles. Similarly to the traditional style, images may not fully represent the originality of the wedding, and the photographer’s style will dominate the overall atmosphere of the wedding day.

You might find that your photographer is able to give you a mixtures of all 3 styles. Decide as a couple what will suit you best.

Remember to  always take a good look at their portfolio and ensure that you are happy with their style and modus operandi.

Good luck! Print and bring along to your first meeting!

Click to download as PDF

Questions for wedding photographer

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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!

Wedding Planning Task No. 1: Budget

cheapwedding

Marriage is definitely one of the greatest investments most people will ever make – emotionally and financially. Unless you are fortunate with parents which has offered to cover the bill, chances are this day will be one of the priciest in your life.

My dad is certainly not going to be paying – and me (as always) are looking for cheap ways around problems.

Things that are circling around in my mind:

– do I really want to spend more on a dress I wear for a few hours than my monthly salary?

-Shoes: same here – cant I just use my neutral coloured heels jazzed up with some pearls and flowers?

-Decor: is it for me or the guests? (cos I have hear that the guests will barely notice)

-Flowers: they wont last, expensive from a florist and are environmentally unfriendly on top of that. Wouldnt green foilage (harvested from a local farm or somebody you knows garden) be just as pretty? Not to mention more creative and individual?

-What can I DIY?

-What do we really need and what is just a wonderful extra? (those wonderful extras could also be sources of stress!)

-Do I really need gold cutlery and blue glassware? What about that fancy carriage or horse for arrival?

-Will my guests have a better time if I hire an Ït band to perform? Or can we just listen to that same music on my spotify?

-Invites – most people just chuck’em in the bin don’t they? This day and age might’n we just email everyone – many countries (read:south africa) postal system is pretty unreliable any way, eh?

-Favours: nice principle but will anybody really care about whether you give or not? Or if I do feel pressured, can I handcraft or upcycle?

Well these are things that my fiancé feel are pretty non-essential but the wedding industry is trying bullying us into thinking we need! I haven’t yet decided if I agree or not but I still feel quite strongly about that horse and gold cutlery…

Ruffled - photo by http://www.austingros.com/ - http://ruffledblog.com/elegant-nashville-fall-wedding
Image Credit: Ruffled Blog

If you, like me, are just starting out with your budget planning, there are many things to bear in mind. Here is what I can share of my budget discovery tour so far:

The first thing to do is to check what the essential costs are (venue, catering, marriage officiant, hiring, wedding rings, photographer) Here it is up to you to choose between venue and how many people to cater for, but expect to pay between R15.00o -R30.000 for  a beautiful venue in the winelands, food anything between R150 – R500 per guest depending on your serving style (buffet for example is cheaper than 3 course sit-down)
Then you can decide how much you want to spend maximum in total. For example: you have calculated that your essential costs are R50.000. Your max budget is R90.000 = you got R40.000 to split between your dress, hair& makeup, grooms clothing, wedding music, bridesmaids hair, gift for mothers and groomsmen, and all those other hundreds of hidden costs down to vendor tips, ring cushion and your manicure.

Alcohol is a biggie – are you having an open bar?  Will you serve cocktails or just wine and beer? An open bar with spirits will definitely end up costing you half an arm. At least it feels that way anyway when the bill arrives.

There will be a lot of payments to keep track of – download a budgeting template here or just search for it online – there will be many to choose from, all filled with stuff you might never have heard of. Try to remember that some of these are just an excuse to pour money down the drain. Your marriage is not going to be happier just because you splashed out on a designer tiara!

I found Confetti budget planner quite useful . It automatically splits your budget into the approximate amounts you can expect to pay for each area of expenses. You can keep track of actual costs, paid so far and amounts due. So clever and FREE!

Favorite tips (some wacky) I have received from friends, magazines and the web

(You can also follow my budget pinterest board = millions of free frugal ideas)

  1. Use curtains or sheets as table cloths. Great idea if you have loads of curtains lying around that you dont mind some curry and wine stains on. Otherwise I think I’d might as well rent from the cheapest hiring company!
  2. Hire music students for ceremony or dinner music Check with local university. Or skimp the live performance in favour of iPod
  3. Turn off your Pinterest account Hahaha. As if I could ever! But what it means is that it is so easy to just want want want it all. (Have you ever heard the word “wedding porn”??) Tune out and ask yourself what you really NEED. And consult with your spouse to what details are necessary and which are in the add-on-if-possible bin
  4. Cut the guestlist Brutal but true. Intimate weddings are often the most memorable. It is gonna be a busy day either way – wouldnt it be nice to be able to talk and catch up with every guest for a few minutes? Try this guestlist sharpening tool to give you more clarity whether people qualify to attend your big day.guest list
  5. Buy your dress second hand or online from China You might have a chill up your spine by reading this! But guess what? All those fancy-pantsy wedding gowns in that glamorous wedding shop are ALSO manufactured in Asia and shipped in wholesale. You might as well do that yourself. Try DHgate, Aliexpress or even Ebay. (I wasnt very impressed with Amazon)
    I DO recommend you to go to real bridal dress trials though – it will give you a great idea of what style you feel the best in.
    The risk by looking too much is that you get overwhelmed by choice, and the prospect of not trying before you buy online. If the dress you buy isnt “the one”you could always sell the dress again -maybe even for a profit- on Gumtree (you could search for your dress there too). My advice to myself is to buy a dress too large and then have it adjusted by a seamtress locally for a perfect fit.Ashlyn dress at Anna Campbell: original R70.000 + import duties
    DHgate: R1600-R2000 + import duties
    Good luck browsing!
  6.  Wedding invites I just have one word: D.I.Y ! If you are vaguely familiar (or check your network) with a picture editing program such as Indesign or Photoshop, you can download a free wedding invite template online, personalize it and take to your local printshop. Even better: consider skipping the paper invite and send by email instead. Better for the environment hey? Personally I think the simpler the design, the more elegant the invite.
    I made my own save the date, invite, table numbers, thank you cards and logo in a few hours and they turned out quite ok I think – just a photo and some fancy fonts.
Welcome
Copyright Sheer Ever After

Would you like to purchase this stationary design (cheaper than your average graphic designer) Contact me here

Good luck with the budgeting! Remember to involve your partner and family if they will be paying. This is not the right time to have disagreements with your loved ones. I am gonna try to remember: it is just ONE DAY out of my life. (A very special one, of course 😉
If it is special enough for gold cutlery – well I guess we will find out!

I said yes!!!

I am getting married

Being engaged must be the most wonderful feeling! And planning a wedding seems like a whole lot of fun – so many things to look forward to: fun with bridesmaids squad, dress and shoe shopping, picking colours, trying on veils, planning cocktails and designing stationery…. and of course the best part: THE KISS. And becoming a wife to the best person I have ever met. I feel so truly and utterly lucky that this has happened to me.

There are obviously going to be a lot of stress, juggling of finance and keeping track of all the details – from guest list, choice of caterer and ring bearers outfit.

As I am learning on the job, I’m going to externalize the wonderful process right here with you. I am starting blogging simply to keep a log of the process and to share my wild dream wedding preparations and aspirations with you.

As an artist, designer and DIY entrepreneur I love creativity in the details and can spend hours researching things and fantasizing about design, food and decor. So instead of bombarding my fiancé, family and bridesmaids with my wedding brainstorming, this shall be another venue for the overflow in my pinterest account and an instagram heavy with wedding DIY projects in the making.

I am starting by introducing some bridal look ideas I fell in love with for the Big Day. As you will see, I am aspiring for a unique and dreamy look.

I hope you enjoy and come back again.

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Romantic, slightly messy up-do adorned with wildflower crown

Image from Pinterest

2016 Hot Sale Two Pieces Crop Top Bohemian Wedding Dresses Chiffon Ruched Floor Length Wedding Gowns Spring Lace Long Sleeve Wedding Dresses
Two piece gown, long sleeves and lace. The asymmetrical braid goes well with the bohemian vibe
Green+Wedding+Shoes+DIY+Wedding+Bouquet
Beautiful proteas in dreamy boquet. The lace complements the o-so-desirable rustic look

Image courtesy of Green Wedding Shoes

 

shoulder detail capsleeve
Beaded lace capsleeves. Similar at Etsy
ashlyn
Vintage lace, embellishments and timeless design. It is the breathtaking Ashlyn dress by Anna Campbell