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Friday, May 25, 2012

{Aisle Say by Candice}: Mirror Mirror on the wall, will I fit into this dress at all?

How many kilograms do I have to shed to fit into my dream dress and look absolutely perfect?

Once the wedding date is set, like the gun firing at the start line, it is Ready Steady Go!!

The irony is that although you’ve already found your handsome Prince who loves you just the way you are, you then decide that an extreme beauty makeover is needed for your wedding day. Just don’t make too many radical changes because you still want your husband-to-be to recognise you when you walk down the aisle.

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Often your motivation is not for health reasons but rather to look exquisite for this one magical day. Numerous Brides put themselves through physical torture and starvation. The decision to lose weight should be a long-term lifestyle choice incorporating a fun exercise routine and healthy eating habits. Team-up with your fiancé and enrol for dance classes or cooking lessons, together you can support each other in making healthier choices for your future.

There is a phenomenon known as ‘natural wedding weight-loss’. It is a welcomed occurrence for most brides and is a result of excessive excitement, nerves and anxiety. It usually kicks in about 3 months prior to the big day. So, you’re guaranteed a little trim on the waistline without you having to do a thing!

The magnificent dress that you spend thousands on is what makes you look and feel like a real Bride. It is definitely worth getting some professional advice on choosing a style that is going to compliment your figure. Your dream dress may not show off the right curves in the right places so be flexible when choosing what suits you. Have an open mind and you will find the gown that won’t force you to slim down.

Tip for the Bride-to-be: Every Bride wants to be glowing from the inside and the outside. Nourish your mind with positive affirmations that will boost your self-confidence.

Contact Candice* at Live Love Dream and invest in a Pre-Marriage Course to ensure your Happily Ever After....

*With a Degree in Psychological Counselling, Candice Luck of Live Love Dream specialises in presenting fun, modern Pre-Marriage courses, that assists couples in building a marriage based on communication, transparency and connection.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Our top tips when choosing a wedding photographer

Ask around, and we bet that one of the most important wedding decisions you’ll make (in addition to the venue and guest list) is the photographer. This is arguably one of the bigger expenses on the day and the photographer is the person you'll be spending the most time with too. So it’s no surprise that this choice is a biggie. Here are some tips on what to take into account when choosing your photographer:

Word of mouth
One of the best ways to suss out wedding photographers is to ask friends who they’ve used at their weddings. They’ll give you the lowdown, which is a research method in itself! Or, ask wedding vendors who they recommend. Venues have a list of preferred photographers, and other vendors in the industry will be able to shed some light on who they think is worth looking at.

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Check out their recent work online
Wedding photographers worth their salt usually have websites and the online savvy ones will have their own blog/recent wedding gallery (which in this day and age is a pre-requisite in our books). Peruse and mull over these as this really is today’s version of a portfolio. They also usually upload albums on their Facebook pages. If a photographer isn’t really tickling your fancy, move along. There's a lot to choose from out there; the trick is honing in on those whose style of photography you like.

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Experience & Budget
We believe that experience is key. You don’t want your wedding to be the first one they shoot and you would want someone who’s a photographer by trade; not someone who's doing this as a hobby. Established, sought-after photographers who are booked way in advance probably *may* not be the friendliest option in terms of your budget though. We have seen stunning wedding photos by lesser known photographers who have recently entered the market. If you do go this route, perhaps insist on a second shooter for the day so that it eases the burden. This way you’ll also get great detail shots. Make sure that the photographer you want is the one that pitches up on the day and takes your don’t want them to send someone else!

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Packages & timeframe
How much time will they spend with you on the day? Do you really need the coffee table album? How many edited pics do you get? Are they high-res? How long will it take to get the edited photos on a CD and your album? The contract you sign must be written in a way you understand it and go on what is written, not what is promised verbally.

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Getting along with the photographer
Is it someone you get along with? Are they well groomed and have a keen interest in you and your wedding day?

Test run
There is a trend nowadays to have engagement shoots (a.k.a e-sessions). This is a great way to gauge what you can expect from your photography on your wedding day and a chance to practice your 'photo face'!

Some important questions to ask:
• Have you shot a wedding at my location before?
• Do you have an assistant/second shooter?
• Do you have backup equipment and is it the same quality as the primary equipment?
• What time will you begin and how long will you stay until?
• When will the proofs be ready?
• Do we get to keep the proofs?
• Do you mark your proofs? If yes, where and how are your proofs marked?
• How much extra for unmarked proofs?
• Can you work from a photo checklist that we create?

Wedding photographers are seasoned professionals. They do this for a living and many of them have families and bills to pay. Trying to get something for nothing or asking for discount is not really the way to go when it comes to choosing the person who is going to capture your wedding moments forever. Would you work for a discounted salary at the end of the month? Or go to a restaurant, eat half your food and then request to be billed half? Nope, probably not. So with this in mind, choose the one that fits your budget and your vision.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lovely detailed wedding by Carolien & Ben

Happy Monday friends! We hope you have a marvellous week... even though it feels like winter has officially hit the Highveld. We have a super cute wedding on the blog today, taken by our friends Carolien and Ben from Carolien & Ben Photography.

Marco and Sujani’s wedding was infused with delightful detail. The wedding was held on a friends farm in Gauteng and we love the use of babys breath and succulents peppered throughout. The taupe colour of the bridesmaids dresses, Sujani’s Tiffany blue wedding shoes and birdcage veil are also swoonworthy. View the rest of the pics here.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

{Aisle Say by Candice}: The Bridesmaid Brigade

How do you keep them all happy?

Planning goes from peachy to pear-shaped as different personalities and opinions start to clash. The role of your Bridesmaids is to eliminate stress, not create it. They all have your best interests at heart and think they know you best. The reality is that the more Bridesmaids you have the more complicated it tends to become.

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Choose as many as you want but then you better have your wits about you. Be aware that it is natural for your Bridesmaids to compete for your attention and approval. You must have the confidence to establish healthy leadership and boundaries right from the start.

Make sure you choose Bridesmaids that are going to be consistently supportive, fun and honest. This will make it easier for you to manage your Bridesmaids Brigade.

Realistic Expectations:
Discuss the expenses upfront to avoid unexpected surprises. You don’t want your friends’ bank balances to go into the red. Have practical requirements- do you really have to have the stretch Hummer for your bachelorette party? Either way your Bridesmaids have to know what they need to budget for.

Allocating Tasks:
You will know your Bridesmaids’ strengths and limitations so use this to help delegate appropriate activities. Some may have more time and resources to help while others may be happier with a smaller, less traditional role.

The Dress Department:
This is where it gets extra tricky. You may want them all to match, but they may have different ideas. You should want each lady to feel beautiful and comfortable, so be considerate of their different figures. Your flexibility here is well worth it. Perhaps give them some creative room with the design. They will still match and look the part even with slight variations. You remain the star attraction no matter what they wear.

Give and Receive:
Your Bridesmaids’ lives do continue outside your wedding circle. As the bride you are consumed by wedding plans for at least a whole year before your special day. Remember to still enjoy non-wedding related talks and plans together. No matter what’s happening, always be appreciative and thank your Bridesmaids. A thoughtful gift on the wedding day is a symbol of this.

It is possible to keep your Bridesmaids happy! Be upfront, realistic and respectful throughout your wedding experience. Friendships are to be treasured, remember that you are gathering as friends to celebrate a new chapter of love.

Tip for the Bride-to-be: Book regular meetings in advance with your Bridesmaids to make sure all your diaries are in synch.

Contact Candice* at Live Love Dream and invest in a Pre-Marriage Course to ensure your Happily Ever After....

*With a Degree in Psychological Counselling, Candice Luck of Live Love Dream specialises in presenting fun, modern Pre-Marriage courses, that assists couples in building a marriage based on communication, transparency and connection.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pretty Pretoria E-session

I love Pretoria. I love the Jacarandas in October and the fact that traffic isn’t too bad. I actually prefer it over Jozi, and I know people born and bred there will agree. One such person is Pretoria bride-to-be Christi. She submitted this lovely e-session of her and fiancé Phillip, shot in and around the city by Amore Meyer of Applepond Photography.

The future Mr & Mrs van der Merwe wanted to reflect their nuptial theme of incorporating places that form a part of their lives and thus, the beautiful city of Pretoria was to be the backdrop of this shoot. And that is what we so love about these pics! No fancy gimmicks or venues - just a beautiful couple and great photography!

Starting their e-session at her home, then Van Der Merwe Street (we love that! so cute), and ending it at his parent’s smallholding just outside of Pretoria, it’s evident their hometown is important to them. So much so, guess where they are getting married during Jacaranda season this year? For more pics on this cute e-session, visit the album on Applepond’s Facebook page.

Photo credits: {Applepond Photography}

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vintage Shutter Inspiration

We are slightly obsessed with old shutters. In a good way. Use them for table seatings, photo backdrops, or with flowers for a pretty focal piece at a wedding or a party. Here is our inspiration board on how to make use of these treasured pieces. In Gauteng, you can rent distressed shutters from Moi Decor.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

{Aisle Say by Candice}: The Wedding Night

There's no such thing as the perfect wedding night! That only happens in Hollywood...

Please adjust your reality goggles and then read on…

As 21st century couples, it’s not so much about being nervous for your wedding night but rather dealing with a large dose of pressure to make this night spectacular. However, there are often high levels of exhaustion and alcohol consumption and this combination dramatically reduces one’s drive and performance capability.

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One way to create some desirable anticipation for your wedding night is to push the ‘pause button’ on your passionate activity for a couple of weeks/months (your call) leading up to your wedding day.

To help you both get into the mood, enhance the environment with some candles, rose petals, bath time treats and music. Have some snacks available too, as often the bridal couple don’t get to eat as much as they’d like to at the reception, so satisfy the hungry grumbles in order to focus on the evening ahead.

There is an alternative suggestion that will over-ride all the above: A wedding morning delight! You’ll both be more refreshed and still have a romantic buzz from the day before.

If it’s going to be your first time, then take things slowly. Don't be afraid to share and tell so that you can both discover what you enjoy.

Whatever happens, do not allow your wedding night to cast a bad spell over what you think your sex life is going to be like for the rest of your marriage! It’ll be special and memorable and you have a lifetime together to explore it!

Tip for the Bride-to-be: Think about purchasing some beautiful lingerie for your wedding night, it will definitely make you feel confident and sexy. Contact Candice* at Live Love Dream and invest in a Pre-Marriage Course to ensure your Happily Ever After...

*With a Degree in Psychological Counselling, Candice Luck of Live Love Dream specialises in presenting fun, modern Pre-Marriage courses, that assists couples in building a marriage based on communication, transparency and connection.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dark Shadows: Gothic Inspired Bridal Shoot

We’re always seeing weddings and shoots that are infused with the pretty pastel/sorbet colour palette. Today’s post is something different, thanks to Boho-Weddings. If you’re a Tim Burton fan, then you’ll love this gothic inspired bridal shoot with a specific take on Burton’s latest film Dark Shadows (featuring, as always, the delectable Johnny Depp). It’s refreshing to see a bridal shoot that isn’t all pink and pretty and innocent. To view the full post, click here.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Detailed Perfection at Imperfect Perfection

Imperfect Perfection in Pretoria is one of our favourite wedding venues and this wedding shows you why! Shot by jcclick Photography, the quirky details of Charmaine and Neil’s nuptials are delightfully distinctive. We love the use of balloons instead of flowers for the bridesmaids ‘bouquet’s’, the throwing of popcorn as confetti, the bride’s short red nails, the cute DIY favour bags and the wedding cupcakes! Everything is so swoon-worthy, you just have to check it out yourself! View the full blog post here.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

{Aisle Say by Candice}: The advantages of doing Pre-Marriage Coaching

Before you say ‘I Do’

You’ve met Mr Right, planned the wedding of your dreams but what about your happily ever after…?

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Pre-Marriage education is a proven and logical choice for a happier and longer marriage. Global statistics reveal that couples who invest in Pre-Marriage coaching improve their chances by 30%. There’s a big difference between a wedding and a marriage. Plenty of time, money and planning goes into your wedding celebration and couples should invest the same into their marriage.

With a Pre-Marriage course, couples gain the knowledge and skills needed to navigate their way through life challenges that their future together may bring. Preparation is key!

The Preparation Equation: Effective skills + Understanding each other = A happy marriage

With the guidance of a Pre-Marriage Coach, you will get the opportunity to learn about your expectations and differences. Discovery is what helps partners to really understand each other. It’s wise to explore and accept differences sooner than later. A Pre-Marriage course provides the time and space to talk about the realistic and relevant topics that couples find difficult to talk about, such as:
- Roles and responsibilities
- Financial stresses
- Planning a family
- Career & lifestyle decisions
- Keeping intimacy alive

Live Love Dream’s Pre-Marriage Coaching Course is a fun, non-denominational course designed for the modern couple. It provides the skills that ensure they start their marriage on a solid foundation. After all, every couple should begin their marriage on a new page and on the same page!

Investing in a Pre-Marriage course will help you turn your fairy-tale and happily ever after into a long lasting reality!

Tip for the Bride-to-be: Definitely do discuss with your Fiancé the benefits of doing a Pre-Marriage course and add it onto your essential list. It’s truly the best gift you can give each other!

Contact Candice* at Live Love Dream and invest in a Pre-Marriage Course to ensure your Happily Ever After...

*With a Degree in Psychological Counselling, Candice Luck of Live Love Dream specialises in presenting fun, modern Pre-Marriage courses, that assists couples in building a marriage based on communication, transparency and connection.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

We *heart* this Hartford House wedding

We don’t often feature venues outside of Gauteng, but seeing as though many local brides opt to get married in the KZN Midlands we couldn’t resist featuring Hartford House. (Not to be confused with Hertford Country House just outside of Johannesburg.) And why not? It’s beautiful, not too far away and lends to the perfect out of town getaway – just what rushed Gauteng guests need!

Nestled away on a stud farm in the Midlands, this venue marries old world colonial with country charm – and as such was the perfect background for Mary-Lyn and Rowan’s wedding. Taken by the talented Alexis Diack, this laid back wedding proves that simplicity is sophisticated, evident from the brides stunning chiffon gown to her sorbet colour palette. We love her ballet slippers and the gravy boat centrepieces too!

For more pics on this gorgeous wedding view the full post on Alexis Diack Photography.

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