I’d rather be sick now, than in 8 weeks time…

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Oh have I been slack.

It’s been too long to think of an appropriate excuse of why I haven’t posted a blog in such a long time!

BUT in my defense I started a new job as an Interior Architecture Intern and have been working 60hrs a week with no time for myself. So the only time I could find is now – the time when I am home sick.

Well if we look at it from the bright side, I’m getting married in 8 weeks. First up I cannot even understand where the past 3 months went. But here I am. 8 weeks to go and I’m starting to get nervous because a few major things are still to be organised. And with all the time trouble I am hoping for a window where I can get it all done. Sooooo being sick is not really a bad thing. I get to sit in bed and make lists of what needs to be done to ensure I won’t forget anything. After all this is going to be my dream day.

I know ladies – we’ve heard it all before. ‘There is no such thing as the perfect wedding. Things will always end up getting messed up somehow…’ Well yes, but if I try then maybe a few things will not get messed up. I am well prepared for the upcoming disasters which I won’t be able to control. I am ok with that. But if I don’t forget my gold/white striped straws or candle sticks now, it is one less thing to worry about.

Alrighty then. Let’s get on with it.

Be kind to one another.

VJ xx

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YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

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I understand how hard it can be to see all these lovely images of weddings on the internet. When it comes to your wedding finding a photographer has come up at least once. Finding and choosing the right photographer can sometimes be very challenging.

Let me tell you – I know.

Although my fiance and I are both wedding photographers we had quite a lot of difficulties finding a suitable photographer. Some might think that would make it easier. But it was on the contrary. We know how a photographer should work, what we should look out for and what traps you can fall into. Still, it was nearly impossible.

But I am not here to tell you about our journey of finding someone to photograph our wedding. I would like to talk about all the things a non-professional needs to understand when looking for or hiring a photographer.

1) First up. Who are you? What style is your wedding and what feel do you wish for it to have? Not every photographer works the same way. Some use flash and others don’t. Some work on edit a lot and others keep it natural. Whatever you like most is what has to be reflected in a photographers portfolio. Do not ask any photographer to recapture someone else’s work. Chances are what the portfolio portrays is probably close to what you’re going to get.

2) Don’t get fooled by expensive equipment. Skills is a major factor. So don’t get fooled. A student photographer with a start up DSLR can be just as talented and create beautiful images of your day. Sometimes giving them a chance might also save you some pennies. Point is, just because the camera cost $10k doesn’t mean the photographer is always worth what you are looking for. You should be convinced by his/her images, rather than the equipment.

3) Set your budget – but do not under budget, and stick to it. Chances are you need to spend a bit of money on your photographer. But if you look at it from the long term investment point of view, it’s one of the only things that will last for a lifetime. Just make sure you know what you can spend and what is a definite no. Realistically speaking around $1500-$3000 is normal. Why, is another story. Under or over can be possible depending on the photographer and their packages

4) So once you’ve found someone: Set up a meeting to get to know each other. You will be surprised how fast you will find out whether you and your chosen photographer get along. This is important. You want harmony and most of all – you want to love your photos. The photographer will do his/her work, but you will have those images on your walls for a lifetime. If the chemistry ain’t good, find someone else. Tell them what you want before you sign a contract. It’s takes two to tango. The photographer can’t read your mind. If you are not specific, chances are he or she will do what they think will suit you best. If you want more portraits than family photos, all images as prints as well as digitally, have the option to choose your images etc. tell them.

5) Read your contract before you sign it and ask if you don’t understand something. If you don’t ask the photographer will assume that you’ve understood everything. This way you will avoid misunderstandings after your wedding and there are no do-overs.

6) Tell your photographer what kind of photos you want and show them your schedule. He/she will have enough experience to work out what is possible and how to schedule the sessions correctly. (e.g. if you love 5 different locations, 1 hour of shooting time will not be enough.)

7) It might take some time before you receive your edited images. Wedding seasons are stressful and quality takes time. Prepare to wait between 4-8 weeks for your photos to get to you.

8) Relax and don’t be a micro controlling bride. Enjoy your day and let your photographer do their work. Trust in the experience and your day will be perfect.

I hope this little guideline helped you. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns.

Til’ then, be kind to one another.

VJ xx

How to be a stress free & happy bride!

Hello and welcome to another wedding blog Saturday!

Today I would like to share a few tricks to keep you as relaxed and stress free as possible.

Wedding planning is tough. You want it all to be perfect but know you cannot do it all by yourself. Avoid stressing out by reminding yourself that it is a happy day and the most important thing is a happy bride!

Here are a few tips to keep you relaxed during your stressful planning period:

1) Take a relaxing bath. Don’t underestimate the power of a hot bath. Put on some nice music, light some candles and think of absolutely nothing. Keeping your mind clear and focusing on yourself and the actual moment is the key to releasing stress.

2) If you feel like you’ve had a rough day and nothing can cheer you up sit in a comfortable position and think of romantic moments of you and your future husband. How you’ve met or what makes you smile. That’s what it is all about. Never forget that.

3) Write things down. I’ve been wanting to do this for months and I wish I had started earlier! Get yourself a journal and write down your wedding planning experience. What are you feeling? How is it all going? Once you’ve written down your troubles you will feel relieved. Also write down the things that made you happy and the successful moments. After your wedding is over you will be able to reread these moments and realise that most things weren’t stressful at all!

4) Go on dates with your fiance. These are the last few months you will have as an unmarried couple. Enjoy them! Rather than being sad or troubled about things that might not work out you should be happy. You’ve found the love of your life! 

5) Don’t listen to what others have to say. If people are negative or want to put your ideas down then shake it off! You cannot please everyone and your taste might be different to theirs. Just because they would do things differently doesn’t make your wedding any less good. We are all unique. Do what suits you best. 

6) Talk about it. A problem shared is a problem halved. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or show your emotions. Your family and friends love you and will help you if you let them. If you feel like you need professional advice, hire a wedding planner. This way you and your family can sit back, relax and enjoy your special day!

‘Til then be kind to one another.

VJ xx

Images: Pinterst

Top Weddings #3: DIY & Budget

Hi everyone and welcome to wedding blog Saturday!

Today I would like to talk about DIY & budget weddings. Rose McGowan’s wedding (remember the three witches from ‘Charmed’ – she played Paige) has always been in my top list. It is different and creative.

But let’s rewind a bit…

Times have always been tough. I don’t believe that there has ever been an economy where absolutely everyone was treated equally and no one had hard times. Everyone is different and life’s circumstances have varied over centuries. One thing however will always stay the same. We all want love.

When we’ve found it and a wedding date has been set, budget plans are in order. Rule number one is and will always be: set your budget. Know how much you want to spend and stick to it. You can get carried away quite easily and your total bill will be up the roof in no time. Try to include everything you can think of. From the socks for the suit right through to your honeymoon. There is no point in trying to cut your number, by deducting things you won’t need on your actual day. Although you might be able to reuse a few items you still have to buy them up front.

So think about your overall package and then try to sort them by importance. Do you want an expensive dress? Then you may have to cut down on something else, such as your car or other transportation. If you want a really fancy dinner, then maybe hire a DJ instead of the string quartet. Get the point? Here are a few tips to differentiate between important and not so important things:

1) Your dress. Don’t sell yourself short on your dress. It’s the one thing that everyone, even the curious guys across the street, will look at. And they will judge it! I’m not saying that you should go all out and spend 10k on a Vera Wang. There are plenty of budget options. You don’t have to buy a designer dress. There is nothing from with dresses from last season which might be on sale. If you have a long engagement, shop around, you’ve got plenty of time. Another option would be to get one custom made. You will get exactly what you want and if you choose your fabrics right, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

2) The opposite to your dress is your underwear. Yes you will need something to match your dress, but please don’t let your bra straps show. Pick something simple. This way you can always wear it again. If you want to buy something special for your husband, get a nice set of lingerie for after the wedding. 😉

3) Cake & flowers vs. photography. You’ve eaten your cake and your flowers have wilted just a day after your wedding. Your photos however will last a life time. Think about what is more important to you here. There are so many great cake inspirations out there but the cake is not the most important thing. If you want to safe a bit of money, get a smaller cake or something as simple as cupcakes. Same goes with your flowers. There is nothing wrong with putting together the centre pieces or your bouquet yourself. You can also reuse your ceremony flowers. Just put them on the dinner tables after. But please don’t cheapen out on your photos. Aunt Helen might have a DSLR, but her having a fancy camera doesn’t automatically make her a good photographer. Your family members and guests are there to celebrate and not to work. If you can’t afford a professional, hire a student photographer or someone who is just starting out and wants to increase their portfolio. They will appreciate you giving them a chance and who knows they might give you your dream photos!

There are so many options and fun DIY projects. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. There is nothing from with being creative. If Rose McGowan can be part of her big day and do things differently, so can you! She didn’t have a fancy hairstyle or a five tier wedding cake. She even did her own makeup!

Remember, you don’t have to explain yourself. It’s your day. Have fun and enjoy every moment of it!

Wedding planning, tips, budget weddings, do it yourself projects, diy

Wedding planning, tips, budget weddings, do it yourself projects, diy

“…My advice would be to have fun and get your hands dirty. Ask for things that are unique to you and your intended. The florists (who were awesome) had never done a Chuppah or bouquet like my design. The string trio had never done a processional song like mine. Creative challenges are a good thing. People will rise to the occasion. Don’t be afraid to trust your own taste and to challenge what doesn’t feel right. You don’t have to do what others do. Leave the typical wedding greatest hits to others. Be imaginative creating your world, because on that day it is YOUR world. A world of magic and love and inclusiveness and beauty and FUN!”

Click here for Rose’s fabulous and unique wedding Part One. And here for Part Two.

‘Til then be kind to one another.

VJ xx

Images: Callaway Gable | Green Wedding Shoes

Top Weddings #1: Glam

Hi everyone and welcome to wedding blog Saturday!

There are so many great wedding photos and blogs out there, so I thought I’ll start with sharing them with you. If you’re like me, you probably keep finding all these great inspirations online. So it’s time to put them into the top weddings!

Let’s start with the glam wedding. Tanya & Kasper. One word: wow.

This couple got married last year in South Africa in a beautiful estate. It is one of my most viewed weddings since I got engaged. It is so simple, yet luxurious and elegant. A true gem! And the fantastic thing about it is: they married with only 30 guests. All I have to say is: Thank you Tanya & Kasper for sharing your photos with the world.

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Now enjoy the magic of this gorgeous video!


Location: La Residence Estate in Franschoek
Photographer: RenscheMari
Film: Vision on Fire
Coordinator: Val de Vie
Cake: Kanya Hunt
Stationary:
 Secret Diary Designs
Hair:
Jeanette Genis
Make-up:
Algria
Dress:
Kobus Dippenaar
Flowers & Decor:
N Concepts & Designs


I will post more inspiring weddings for you soon, so keep an eye out for them.

VJ xx

The Destination Wedding.

Hello fellow brides to be and welcome to my third edition of wedding blog Saturday!

Today I would like to talk about my personal wedding planning journey: our destination wedding.

The story of my fiance and I is a bit fairytale like, so after he proposed to me it was clear that our wedding has to be something special. We talked for days about where we wanted to get married. I researched for weeks, maybe months to find the perfect location. Our dream scene was an outdoor ceremony. Maybe a beach or in a garden. As long as it was outside.

First we had the idea of just getting married where the majority of our guests live. But then we realised how much this idea doesn’t even come close to what we want our special day to be like, after all this scenario only benefited our guests. The next thought was England. A small ceremony in a nice little cottage. Didn’t work, because we REALLY want sun. Back to the drawing board. Being nontraditional is hard work!

After a few weeks I came across a bride who got married in a small town in Tuscany. So we hopped on a plane and checked it all out. WOW. Yes that was it. We were in love! It had so many benefits:

1. It’s away from our known surrounding. Something special, exotic and simply different. It will be unforgettable!

2. Only the people who truly want to be there will make an effort. Those who only rock up for the free food will automatically be ruled out. Small guest list – intimate and simple.

3. We are very close to our family, but sadly don’t get to see them a lot. This way we will spend the most special time in our lives with them.

4. It’s warm!! In Italy the sun is always shining. We can spend the whole day outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

5. We did all calculations and our wedding will be cheaper than a traditional wedding close to home AND we will have a whole week instead of just one day.

All up it is going to be a simple natural wedding. 5 months until our wedding day! 😉

Just a few things to consider:

We would recommend this step to any couple who wants to make their day into something special. There are so many great places that offer destination packages. If you have a small engagement choose a place that offers a whole package. This way you don’t have to worry about a thing. If you are like me and have a long engagement and therefore plenty of time for DIY projects, get your hands dirty. It is super fun organising everything and being creative.

Before you get all excited and send out your invites make sure you think about these things:

1. Where do you want to be married? Simple question but make sure you find what suits you best.

2. Guest list: If you want everyone you know to be there, a destination wedding might not be for you. You will most likely end up with a small number of guests.

3. How will everyone get there?

4. Is travel and accommodation affordable for your guests? Decide what you will pay for and what your guests have to invest.

5. Legalities in your chosen country. Get your information in as much time prior to your big day. Sometimes you need special documents etc.

If any of you have questions about this topic, don’t hesitate to ask. I have spend so much time and am happy to give anyone a helping hand.

VJ xxx

Image Source: Pinterest | http://www.stylemepretty.com/gallery/gallery/13629/

Mistakes to avoid while planning your wedding

Welcome to another Saturday wedding blog! I know it’s not Saturday anymore, but I had a really busy day and hey – it’s still Saturday somewhere in the world!

So let’s start. As a busy bride there are millions of things we need to remember. Planning is crucial, but sadly sometimes all these things can stress us out a little and mistakes happen. Here is a list of some things that help you avoid those disasters.

1. So many brides have told us this – don’t get influenced by the fancy pants stereotypical things. It’s your day! If you want a pool party, why the hell not?! You don’t have to be traditional, you don’t have to marry in white or go on your honeymoon straight after dinner. Enjoy yourself. You’re celebrating the love between you and your significant other – anything is possible.

2. I know we all get carried away with our Pinterest boards. I know I do. But let’s not forget that most of these gorgeous photos are from high budget weddings. Of course they look fabulous. If your budget is unlimited then go for it, but if it isn’t, don’t be sad if things don’t end up looking like your dream boards. It’s ok to stick to a realistic budget.

3. Venue. Having a venue with a fantastic view is great. But if you’re planning on starting your reception in the late afternoon or at night time, that view will be gone because the sun has probably set by then. Also try to think of the number of guests you are planning to invite. Unused space will still have to be paid for and a huge room with 30 people looks ridiculous. Be smart here.

4. That leads me to the next point. Guest list. Who to invite? I know it’s hard once you start brainstorming. If you invite this person, then you have to invite that person too. Says who?! You DO NOT have to explain yourself. It’s your wedding and you’re paying. I wouldn’t exclude someone’s wife or husband simply because you don’t like them. That’s not what I mean, but if your forever single cousin has started dating yet another new girl and you know she will be replaced in a month, then don’t force yourself to invite this person. Same goes with work mates. Yes you see them every day but are they close enough to you to spend $150 on? Try a ‘work bridal shower’ or go and have coffee with them. I’m sure they will understand.

5. Music. I know it sounds romantic to have a harp or guitar solo playing while walking down the aisle, but musicians can be expensive. For budget brides pick a song on a CD. When the time comes, you won’t be looking at the musician. You will be busy admiring your gorgeous husband. Same goes with bands. An affordable alternative is a great DJ. Keyword great. If you have no idea what his work is like you’re better off going through the effort of creating your own playlist – with songs you know you will love – rather than having to sit through your party with no entertainment because your DJ is hopeless. Do your homework. Music can make or break your party.

6. Photographer. It’s either one of the first or last things you will think about. Having fantastic photos of your big day may not seem as important now, but in a few years it will be the only thing that lets you remember details about your wedding. It sounds great to hire a cheap photographer, but quantity is not always quality. Invest in those memories. You won’t get a second chance to relive them.

If you are a photographer like I am, you already know how hard it is to find someone that lives up to your expectations. I’ve got a great little trick for you that I just recently came across. Regardless of whether you are hiring an expensive or affordable photographer on your wedding day – choose another day after the wedding and gussy yourself up again. Pick a great location and take some photos of yourself and your husband/wife. Don’t believe me? Here is proof: http://davidcampbellimagery.com/2014/01/deathvalleywedding.html

This great photographer gave it a shot and took photos of him and his wife. They took turns in photographing or used a tripod. Great idea if you ask me. No stress, super fun and you get to wear your dress again!

7. Money you will forget you have to spend: Things like flowers or postage for your invites is easily forgotten. How will you get your Thank You cards to your guests? Remember that flowers can get expensive, especially if you are set on a specific type that isn’t in season. Another thing is your wedding cake. Cakes can be as much as a wedding band and yet you don’t want to miss out on it. Change of name is another thing. Those bureaucratic document changes are painful and expensive. Be prepared.

8. Don’t forget to include breaks and snacks. Your guests will be on their feet just as long as you. They are just as hungry and tired when too much is planned. Nervous brides sometimes forget to include little snacks throughout the day. Especially during the time when you get your portraits taken. Let your guests know what is happening. Let them go for a walk or do their own thing for those couple hours while you’re away. You don’t have to entertain them. There will be enough party later on.

9. Inviting guests to the ceremony but not the reception is just cruel. How would you feel if you’re invited to the ceremony but have to go home straight after? You know you will bring a gift – it’s just manners. Knowing that you’re however excluded from the party fun is unfair. Only invite those who are allowed to attend both. Even if your guest list will be smaller.

10. Find out about your marriage document requirements in plenty of time ahead. This is very important if you’re planning a destination wedding. Some countries require witnesses or registration and other important things.

In the end the most important thing is HAVE FUN. Enjoy this special time in your life. Don’t get stressed out. Get help or hire a wedding planner (they don’t have to be expensive) and just do what makes you happy.

VJ xx

Image Source: Pinterest | http://www.stylemepretty.com/gallery/gallery/18214/