We’re now 9 months away from our wedding day and things are starting to take shape so I thought it was high time I put together Wedding Planning Update II! If you missed my first Wedding Planning Update, you can catch up on that here. I added a poll on my Instagram Stories to see if you wanted an update and I had an overwhelming response. I’m so glad you’re as excited about this as I am!
I have to admit that I started feeling extremely overwhelmed about everything in April and this is when I discovered that Google Sheets have a wedding planner template and this has been an absolute lifesaver! I know some people may still prefer an analogue form of a wedding planner but I love that I have everything all organised and perfectly stored and easy to access on any device so this has really helped me. Whoever put it together literally thought of everything. I’ve added two or three pages that I’ve customised to our wedding but, otherwise, that template is incredible!
Photographer & videographer
As you can tell from the pictures in this post, we’ve booked our incredible wedding photographer, Danelle Stofberg. I looked through many, many, many photographer’s portfolios to find the style that I was looking for and Danelle’s style really spoke to me. I was so excited to organise our engagement shoot with her. As I mentioned in my first wedding planning update, this was something I always wanted to do because I love documenting stages of life so the year of the chapter in our story that we spend as an engaged couple was no different. I also think that it’s a great idea to become familiar with and comfortable around your wedding photographer so that you feel at ease on your wedding day and don’t feel like you’re posing end up looking staged. I’m so happy with the way these pictures came out. Danelle really captured us in such a beautiful way. She is so talented. I can’t wait to have some of these pictures printed and framed for around our house. I love them!
As for finding our wedding videographer, this has been an utter pain point for me. I just could not find what I was looking for and was getting so frustrated that I couldn’t find what I wanted. At one point, I thought I had and was ready to transfer a deposit after quite a long back and forth discussion when the videographer basically “ghosted” me. I took this as a sign – rather disappear before I’ve paid than afterwards. Can you imagine he hadn’t appeared at our wedding? Anyway, it was back to the drawing board. I think that we’ve finally found what we’re looking for so I’m going to be securing that shortly and, hopefully, it is smooth sailing from here on out.
Menu and Cake Tasting
After much deliberation and we’ve decided on our menu. We’ll be serving champagne and canapes after our ceremony while we sneak off to take photographs. We’ve decided to add a little taste of Ryan’s Lebanese heritage in the canapes which we hope our guests enjoy. FYI if you haven’t tried Lebanese food, you definitely should – it’s delicious! We’ll be doing plated starters and mains. We’re serving a fish starter and a beef fillet main with delicious vegetarian options for both starters and mains (I’m not a meat eater so I truly appreciate a great vegetarian alternative). For dessert, we’ll be offering a mini dessert table with all our favourite South African classics. Think milk tart, peppermint crisp, koeksisters, etc to give our international guests a lot to discover which is something we’re really looking forward to. We will also be having a wedding cake but we haven’t decided on what shape or flavour just yet. I think I have an idea but that’s still on my to-do list. We’ll be doing our menu and cake tasting in August and this is pretty much the only thing that Ryan wants full input on lol.
You may have seen on my Instagram stories that weekend before last we went on our Engaged Encounter marriage course. Marriage counselling is a prerequisite for a Catholic wedding and as we are both Catholic and will be having a religious ceremony in the church, we knew we were going to take the course but we had the option of weekly classes or the Engaged Encounter course and with Ryan’s schedule, weekly classes weren’t really an option so we signed up for the Engaged Encounter on one of his weekends off. My goodness was this an emotional weekend! The course is structured so well and you definitely don’t need to be Catholic to take this course. I’d recommend it for every couple that is planning to be married. The course covers finances, personal differences in the way you were raised, how you will deal with infertility, dispute resolution, what marriage means to each of you, why you want to be married and so many other very deep conversations. I was completely teary by the time it was all over and my heart was overflowing with gratitude and appreciation for the man that I’ve found and the relationship that we have built with one another. As the course teaches, a wedding is a day but a marriage is a lifetime. I think we all get swept up in planning for the day we finally are able to wear the white dress but this course ensures everything else requires careful consideration too. This course is so honest and so beautiful.
So I’ve had a little bit of a change of heart when it comes to the flower arranging of our wedding day. I had always imagined white and pink flowers as I actually mentioned in my previous wedding planning update. I’m now leaning more towards a totally white floral colour scheme. I’m thinking white hydrangeas, tulips, roses and, naturally, arum lilies too. I think I want them grouped by flower type and arranged in and amongst candles. I’m still waiting for the florist’s input so nothing is final just yet but that is where my head’s at for now.
The Wedding dress
My maid of honour, two of my bridesmaids and my dad came wedding dress shopping one Saturday morning and it was so much fun. I knew exactly what I was looking for – Berta, Berta, Berta was the only thing on my mind. I tried on some truly exquisite dresses and I was pretty shocked when there was a unanimous vote in favour of the dress I arrived knowing that I wanted to try on. My dad was the absolute sweetest. Having lost our mom at a young age, my dad has always treated my sister and I as princesses and we have such a special bond. I have been missing my mom and my gran so much during this wedding planning process. Naturally, I wanted my dad to be there with us on the day I went to pick out the white dress and I wanted his opinion on the dress too.
Bridesmaid & flower girl dresses
I’ve chosen a style for my bridesmaid dresses and I’ll start working on those in a month or two. I’ve had a few options of similar shades for the dresses so I need to finalise which shade I’m going to use and then we can get started on those. I’m so in love with the style of the bridesmaid dresses that I actually want one of my own lol. They’re so pretty! As for our little flower girl, she is only two so she’s growing so quickly that we’ll be leaving her dress to about a month or so before the wedding. I haven’t thought about a style for her so if you have any recommendations, please send them to me!
Shredding for the wedding
I think it’s only natural to want to look the best you possibly can on your wedding day so I definitely want to tone up but don’t want to lose any weight. I completed BBG 2.0 at the beginning of the year and I’ve had about a three-week hiatus from any sort of fitness routine due to a bunch of health issues but I’m so excited to get back into a routine and work on a fitness plan so that I can see some results. I think I may do BBG 2.0 again and slot in a few of my favourite group classes into that routine that really boost my energy and leave me in the absolute best mood. I’m also looking to incorporate a little more yoga into my routine to round it out perfectly.
There are still a few things I need to tackle on my to-do list. I need to book a great DJ that will have everyone off their seats and dancing the night away. On that note, I must say a huge thank you for all the recommendations that we have dancing lessons for our first dance. After your responses, I added that to my to-do list for later this year and I think it’s going to be so much fun! I need to work on the wedding favours (if you have any ideas, please let me know). I need to start looking at hair and makeup ideas for the big day. I also need to send out invitations! So there’s still a bit of work ahead but at this point, I’m quite happy with the progress we’ve made. If you think I’ve missed anything, please let me know! I don’t want to be panicking about it later.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for being so excited for us and so happy to see all the little details come together. It is such a wonderful time in our lives and I’m so happy to be receiving all your recommendations or suggestions whether it is about whether I should have a veil or not, how to wear my hair, etc. It also makes me so happy when I receive a message letting me know what the best part of your wedding day was. All your input means so much to me and I appreciate every single message so thank you – keep them coming!