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How To Plan A Kick-Ass Bridal Shower

Whilst merrily cruising Pinterest this weekend, I came across a number of pins about bridal shower ideas, games and decorations, and I have a number of tips and suggestions I’d like to share with you here.

As with all aspects of a wedding, there are no rules. You make it the way you – and the bride – want it to be.

In all likelihood you are the maid of honour, and you may never have planned a kitchen tea before! Rule number one – DON’T PANIC! You can probably rope in the bride’s mom and the bridesmaids to help you with the party.

The most important thing to do, first and foremost, is to ASK the bride-to-be what kind of party she would like!
All too often I have seen brides have attention lavished on them at a champagne breakfast, smiling politely, whilst wishing they could have had the spa day or boot camp-themed blowout they really wanted.
If she’s not one for dressing up and party games, keep this in mind whilst you’re planning her party. And it is HER party. Keeping the guests happy is secondary to making sure the guest of honour has happy memories.
And if the bridal-couple-to-be would like a joint party, then do that! Arrange the kind of bash where men and women will be comfortable celebrating the coming nuptials.

So what is the difference between a kitchen tea, a bridal shower, a bachelorette, a pamper party and a hen party?
For any of these parties, the guest list should consist of the female wedding guests, and its very bad manners to invite someone to the shower if they are not on the guest list for the actual day.
Just as an aside, these parties traditionally exclude children mainly because the nature of the conversation and gifts can be of an adult nature, but as I already said – there are no rules.
A kitchen tea, bridal shower or wedding shower is essentially the same kind of party. They are usually held early in the day and the gifts consist of items the bride or couple will need in their new shared home, and this is most likely the party that you would invite the mom, mother-in-law-to-be, grandmothers and aunts to attend. You may not want to have kinky toys and underwear on display when granny darling is in attendance.
A bachelorette party or hen night is usually reserved for the younger wedding guests, or for the bridal party alone, and it can take place straight after the kitchen tea, or it can be arranged on a different day entirely. Its a girls’ night out kind of do, and the gifts often reflect this with sexy underwear and so on.

When it comes to surprising a bride-to-be with a party of any kind, think about what kind of person your bride-to-be is. Planning a wedding can be stressful, whether or not you have a wedding planner. If your bride-to-be is someone who has every moment of her wedding day scheduled to the minute, she may not enjoy a surprise party.
You can surprise her with a theme and decorations and gifts, but at least give her a heads’ up on the date so she can put on some make up and get dressed nicely. She is most likely going to be photographed after all and she will want to look her best.

With party games, there are loads of them that can make a shower fun for the guests and the guest of honour, like Don’t Say Wedding and Mad Libs, but remember that if you want to play games and hand out prizes- quizzes and crosswords and puzzles mean someone is going to have to sit and check them in order to pick a winner- missing out on the fun whilst they do. Games where the guest of honour can quickly choose a winner are best.

Keeping track of who brought what gift can be tricky. You can get someone to make notes as the gifts are opened – if you open them at the party at all – but if you’re getting the bride-to-be to guess who its from or what is inside this could get confusing.
The coolest shortcut I ever came up with was getting the guests to write down their gift’s contents in the guestbook along with their wishes and advice for the new bride or for the couple! That way there will be a proper record for her to look back on and write thank you notes with.

For the guests, there really is only so many times you can say “Ooohh…” and “Thats beautiful…” whilst your bride unwraps her gifts!
Try mixing it up!
This does mean you- as the organiser- may have to keep an eye on the proceedings and play the role of emcee, declaring it game time or  stopping the unwrapping process to get everyone to top up their refreshments. And even if you aren’t playing any games, taking a break to fill teacups and cake plates means people mingle a little and get to talk to the bride.
And if you’re not big on “public speaking” then perhaps ask someone to do it for you.

An ecstatic guest of honour and happy guests is the aim of the game!
Good food and mingling is a HUGE step in the right direction- get the balance right and you don’t need expensive party favours and decorations!

An Awesome Online Toy!!

I made a little discovery today and I’ve had so much fun with it!

Are you stuck with picking a colour scheme for your wedding?

Try this – the DeGraeve.com Color Palette Generator!

It is actually used for generating colour codes for website and blog designing, but I had a ball!

I Do Love Pinterest…

Have you discovered Pinterest yet? I wish it had existed when I was planning my wedding…

Its a fantastic place to pin anything and everything you think you might want to incorporate into your own wedding, and its SOOO much easier than adding a website or a link to your shortcuts or favourites list! I don’t know about you but half the time when I am looking for something I’ve seen- I go to Google, not my “Favourites”. Using Pinterest you can immediately see a picture showing you why you pinned it to your board, and clicking on the picture will take you back to the link you liked in the first place!

Its awesome!

:)

I now have several wedding-related boards on Pinterest. It started out with just one, but I’m gradually splitting them up so they’re easier to look at… Here they are:

😛

A Worthy Tradition Perhaps…?

In various parts of the USA, the bride and groom write special love letters to each other, and these letters are delivered by the maid of honour and best man- or other trustworthy person- whilst the couple are preparing for their big day!

I think its a glorious idea.

There’s so much happening on a couple’s wedding day that often the romance disappears until they wake up the next day! Imagine sitting having your hair done and you get a love letter from your fiance! Its a special little reminder of why you have spent months planning and emailing and organising and driving yourself and others crazy!

Category: cute stuff, ideas, the bride, the groom, traditions  Comments off

Cassey & Jerall’s Wedding

This is Cassey and Jerrall’s story, in Cassey’s own words!

Our engagement was no elaborate affair. After we’d been dating for about 8 months, we were just hanging out and chatting about something arb. We decided that it would be something we’d do after we’d both finished our studies and were in a good spot financially. It was very important to both of us that we’d be able to pay for our wedding ourselves. When Jerrall got a job in Durban, I decided to go with him even though we weren’t engaged yet, and it seems that time when we only had each other was just what we needed to get the ball rolling for marriage.

We’d been together for about four and a half years when we started planning our wedding.

Our wedding was tiny- 30 people including the two of us.

It was on a wine farm and we did most of the stuff ourselves, but had help from friends. A friend’s sister worked at the wine farm, and helped us get a discount on the venue due to it being so small. She also put us in touch with the person that did the most amazing flowers. Everything for the venue, food, flowers and photos was done via e-mail as we planned for a wedding in Cape Town while being in Durban.

Our friends helped a lot, one made our invitations, another the table cards with our thank you notes inside them, one gifted the wine and champagne and the other had a very talented younger sister who we hired to do our photos for next to  nothing.

I had my dress made for under R1000 including the fabric, and my shoes were a gift from a friend. I borrowed a friend’s tiara and wore it as an aliceband, and we bought my husbands suit the day before the wedding – he arrived back in SA just two days before the wedding!

I did most of the planning, but he had some input, our starter was a mini burger coz he loves them.

We also used our cake for dessert and it had green, white and pale pink polka dots on them – our theme and colours. I think the burgers and the polka dots made it unique to us. Oh, and the fact that my maid of honour was a guy!

Not to forget that we sat with our guests and rotated during the courses. Oh, and there was the music as well, mostly osts from animes we both enjoyed. I even walked down the aisle to music from one of our favourites. It was another thing friends helped with, a friend’s brother has a band and he loaned us his speakers etc. So I’d say the help we had from friends also made it unique to us.

Although the day was our big day, it was special to our friends as well. Many of them helped, and they were all along for another part of our journey as a couple.

Cliched I know, but true.

Their photographer was Nielen Bottomley and she’s on Twitter as @NielenB.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here are some photographs from their wedding!