The Wedding Dress That Made Me Cry



I was engaged, wedding planning was underway way but this bride still had no dress. 56 wedding dress trials and I was done! I’d only succeeded in pulling off great impressions of an over dressed hippo, a plain mermaid, a surprised amoeba wearing lipstick and each time, the wedding studio assistants insisted I looked divine! I clenched my teeth; and smiled. It was thankless work and my poor girlfriends had to sit through all of it (I awe you Z, S and M). The few dresses I looked a little presentable in were strapless – a neckline fashion I don’t particularly care for. I wanted spectacular.

Planning A Wedding: 6 Tips To Get You Started




Hello,

In this Wedding Planning series, we go step by step, using my wedding as a reference point from the beginning to the end of planning. I share tips on how I came to single handedly plan and achieve my dream wedding. I had a bit of help here and there from friends and my husband too. I also share things I'd change or do differently,  how I overcame last minute challenges like being mailed the wrong wedding gown a month to the wedding and the photographer cancelling on me when I was on holiday. I give wedding planning advice from the 'I went through that' point of view rather than professional planner view.

I'd been living in Prague 2 years when my boyfriend proposed on Valentines Day 2011. Close to the heels of euphoria came terror. I had a wedding to plan and I could hardly speak the language!

Ceremony Venue: Church Decoration, Music and Wedding program


Selecting a venue for the ceremony is probably the easiest task when planning a wedding. A ceremony venue can be as simple as a nicely decorated small tent by the reception venue or as grand as the biggest cathedral.

If it’s a church, it’ll most probably be your home church.

If it’s at the registrar, you’ll have only a handful of options and you’ll go with one closest to your venue or salon or home etc.  I wanted a church wedding. Don't forget to give directions to your guests. I made use of the wedding website.

10 Things To Consider When Selecting Your Dream Wedding Venue





One of the very first things a bride-to-be should reserve is the venue. It's advisable to do this with an idea of the approximate number of guests you’ll be having.

Mine was fraught with frustration, then pure luck. I had my heart set on an impressive neo-Renaissance chateau on a hill overlooking the old Town of Prague. The only catch was, someone else beat us to it - a year and half to the wedding! We changed our wedding date to the day the chateau had an open slot and went through a period of reconciliation with this decision. Our original wedding date was special - it was the date my husband and I met. A month later, the chateau manager called to give us wonderful news - the other couple had canceled their reservation and we could reserve our date!

Wedding Menu Idea



Your wedding menu can be tailored to the eating habits of the larger number of your guests. I collected this information through my wedding website.

Some brides-to-be prefer sit down 6 course meals with a touch of elegance about them. Others prefer buffet. Others might just decide to offer only finger food. Budget is a key player seeing as it's not cheap feeding a large number of people.

How To Decorate Your Reception Venue




A reception venue is the one place you'll have your guests spend more than 6 hours. How about making that stay pleasant? Paying attention to detail when decorating the venue is important. Over decorating might make the venue look gaudy and feel stuffed, while under decorating might lend it an abandoned feel. It's possible to get the venue just right.

Take a look at the venue when it's empty and undecorated. This will give you an idea what's required to make it warm. 

Call in your florist or enlist a friend's help.  

Ask the venue management how it's been previously decorated. 

Wedding Cake: Tips, Transport and Decoration




Tips when deciding on a wedding cake


Design I selected 

Tips When Selecting Your Wedding Florist and Decorator




For most brides-to-be, their florist will double as a decorator. She or he might have an assistant. This is something you should discuss as an extra person means forking out a bit more cash. Need for a florist's assistant will depend on the size of your wedding; that translating into the number centrepieces required, the overall number of flower arrangements (bouquets) the florist will be required to provide and how detailed the decorating will be.  

My florist provided 

Wedding Reception Entertainment: Finding The Right Band






The three main entertainment options for a wedding are :-
  • Band 
  • DJ
  • Music playback over an address system
Reasons why a band and not DJ

Bride, Maid Of Honor and Bridesmaids: Everything They Need




Hair and Makeup


We all decided on really simple make up, going for a natural look. Find more in selecting your bridal salon.

4 Major Things To Consider When Selecting Your Bridal Salon




Seeing as bridal salons are everywhere, you'd think it quite simple to find one for your wedding day. On the contrary, it's quite difficult to find a makeup artist/hair stylist that'll do exactly what you'd like. "Hundreds of brides have gone through their salons and they know what YOUR makeup and hair should look like on YOUR wedding."  Take the advise but stay firm. Trying to convince a makeup artist you'd rather go for a red lipstick  rather than nude is an uphill task.

Points to consider when selecting a salon


The Wedding Dress That Made Me Cry: My Story




I took a gamble, something no bride should do when searching for their perfect wedding gown. I cried and went through sleepless nights but in the end, it paid off - big! The Wedding Dress That Made Me Cry assumes a narrative rather than Wedding Planning approach. I present the events that  unfolded,  some of my own making and others completely out of my control, the disappointment, the tears and the final joy.  Enjoy your read.





The Groom, Groomsmen and Picking Rings



The groom and his party, together with the Bride and her maids will take a big chunk out of your wedding budget. Lets look at some money saving tips I used when dressing the guys up. 

Rings


Jewellery store or goldsmith?

We went with a goldsmith. Jewellery stores get their merchandise from goldsmiths - Why not go to the source?

Simple or intricate bands?

Fun Wedding Photo Shoot Ideas and Video




The criteria while searching for a photographer and videographer is the same. Read reviews, watch their previous work and where possible,  get reviews directly from people who’ve worked with them.

Tips for perfect photos and videos


Wedding Invitations and Other Stationary



Invitation cards


How important is it to you the way your invitation cards look? One can spend a lot or a lot less on invitation cards. Some people might go really simple seeing as cards are just a piece of stationary that'll be discarded after the wedding, while others might prefer to convey the elegance of the wedding right from the start.

Wedding Car Rental: How To Save



It's a whole spectrum of choices when it comes to cars. One extreme prefers motorcades while the other prefers to walk and there are millions that fall in between. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a motorcade that would add absolutely nothing to my wedding, except of course, lovely motorcade pictures. So I went beautiful and cheap.

How I went cheap


Exhaustive Wedding Planning Spreadsheet

I found it very useful to have one place to put ALL the wedding information (which can be overwhelming sometimes). I scoured the internet for an exhaustive wedding planner template but came up empty handed. I found bits here and there. I put what I liked together, aided it and added more tabs as the planning went along, added calculating formulae and the result is what you see below. I constantly updated it with all information, deposits made on services, balance remaining, contact numbers of the different providers and much more. If you'd like to use it, download here.

Wedding Website and Gifts




Website 


Google sites probably had the best free wedding website resources. Template websites you can design and add to make it a quick and easy task. How simple or detailed you want the site to be is to your own discretion.

My Wedding Website had the following pages :-

Buying a Pineapple


Food markets in Uganda are all the same; bustling, boisterous riots teeming with noisy humans. A market day starts with sputtering from a continuous trickle of heavy-laden trucks slicing the peaceful  quiet of predawn. Fresh produce from farms, meats from abattoirs and freshly caught fish are quickly offloaded by an agile pack of muscle men, kanyama. The soft light of dawn reveals impressive, glistening muscles and pouncing bodies; market vendors, small-scale restaurateurs and supermarket owners all vying to get their hands on the freshest. A merchandise manager has an areal view of this chaos, keeping tally of who’s taking what and making sure nothing gets nicked. It’s organized in its disorganization. Wheelbarrow pushers, each chewing incessantly on a toothpick watch it all unfold from the sidelines, from where they’ll spring when called upon to transport produce to its final destination. You’ll have street urchins larking in everybody else’s shadow; picking anything that accidentally falls off the trucks, nicking some and later setting up on-the-ground popup stalls – small heaps of this and that, where those out of pocket can always get great deals on okay looking stuff. No questions asked. Meanwhile…