Our Wedding Invitations

I’ve been dying to share our wedding invitations on my blog, and now that pretty much everyone has been invited, I can finally do that!

Glen and I decided to design the invitations ourselves. Glen is really awesome at Photoshop and he was able to interpret my very few ideas into something beautiful. We weren’t very fussy about what we wanted but we wanted to make sure that our invitations matched our Save The Dates.

When designing your wedding invitations, keep in mind your wedding theme and colours. This is a great opportunity to show your guests what they can expect on your big day! You can read about our theme here.

https://illuminatemyeventblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/wedding-invitation-wording/

This is what our Save The Dates look like:

Save the date

We have two wedding invitations:

1. For those invited to our ceremony

Glen and Kelly's wedding

2. For those invited to our very intimate reception afterwards:

Glen and Kelly's invitation 1 Glen and Kelly's invitation 2Yes, we made CDs of songs we’ve written for each other and our reception invitations served as CDs holders. We originally wanted to use the CD idea we found on Pinterest as our wedding favours and then we decided to rather use the CDs as our invitations.

photo (2)

Of course, these invitations would not have made it to our guests if it wasn’t for our incredible bridal party that slaved away one Sunday morning. They created the most efficient assembly line I’ve ever seen:

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Married People Give The Best Wedding Tips

About a week ago, I took to Facebook to ask my married friends for wedding tips. As a co-ordinator, I’ve seen everything you can imagine behind the scenes. I’ve also been a bridesmaid and I’ve attended lots of weddings as a guest too. So, I know a thing or two about what it takes to make a wedding awesome for the guests, but since I’ve never been a bride before, I wanted to know what it takes to make a wedding awesome for the bride and groom!

Wedding advice

I’m lucky enough to have a lot of friends who love marriage and weddings, so I got a lot of great pieces of advice and encouragement. I hope that you enjoy the advice as much as I did!

In order of appearance:

From Sarah Vaughan:

Hey Kelly! Been a while since our Wedding Day, in Dec we will celebrate our 13th Wedding Anniversary!

To keep your eyes on the big picture…your marriage which lies ahead, not just on your Wedding Day, as one can get so caught up (and stressed!) over small details, which seem big at the time! Keep calm, keep happy and enjoy every moment of your special Wedding day (and definitely get someone to film, so you can look back in years to come!) Lotsa love xxx

From Jacqui Garbers:

Keep a wedding planning file with your to do list in the front and then all the confirmation emails / docs for photographer, venue, DJ etc behind that. It really helps to have everything in one place. Really helped me!

From Amy Sletcher:

Dont stress, just dont. If you feel like you will stress just get someone (a co-ordinator) that can stress for you. Focus more on the marriage than the wedding, it is after all just one day 🙂 Have fun!

From Deborah Talbot:

In my opinion, unless there is a very specific type of wedding or venue that you want, I’d say go for a venue that does their own catering, tables, chairs etc. The more that they can handle, the less you need to think about.

From Talia Jacobs:

Hmmm… Enjoy each moment of the planning (and the day)… even if seems a bit stressful. -Rather laugh about the mishaps. (They’re so futile after the day has come and gone) Its SUCH a magical day, and it all flies by so so fast.
-Take a moment every
now and again to soak up whats happening- coz you’ll remember those memories forever 🙂
-Don’t let people stress you out either. Its YOUR day. And you have the final say. Dont let anyone bully you into doing anything you dont want to.
-Have fun together and make time for each other amongst all the mad planning. Its just the two of you together forever.

From Cathrine Versfeld:

It goes by like a blur! Get as many photos as possible… Also, take the time to go to each table and chat to your guests (and do a pic). If you don’t plan it, you’ll regret later that you didn’t get around to it.

From Helga van Niekerk:

I just WISH I had headache pills at the reception! Combination of wall to wall smiling and a tight clasp holding my veil in place, my head was pounding!

From Emma Reid:

Spend your last evening unmarried with your respective immediate families only, no planning, no last min wedding stuff after 5pm! And have a getting ready schedule list which includes half an hour for unforseen..and make sure u have a few people who have copies of this list including phone numbers for all. Dont rush to the next thing…love ur.day begins let it flow and.unfold…stop for that extra moment outside the church, wait for the moon to rise to get that special photo…enjoy the photos dont rush to get to the reception…or finish dinner to get to the cake…

From Simone Olckers:

Plan this in advance: During your wedding, step back with your husband for 10 mins – just you two on your own, and reflect on the day while it is happening. The day flies past, and when you take those few minutes to look at everyone you love celebrating – its super special. The best advice anyone ever gave me.

From Katie Modrau:

Hmm. There are so many tips. Bit something I learned was to decide what the “important non negotiables ” are. Budget those in first and then split the rest of the budget between the other areas. That way you aren’t having a budget that keeps climbing higher and higher. It also makes you prioritise. For us – a venue with an outside option and accommodation for international guests was a must. So after that was organised we were able to allocate the rest of our budget. We don’t have any regrets in how we spent money and didn’t get into any debt.

From Emily Victoria Steyn:

Dont forget to breathe!! And smile its your day to be the belle of.the ball and a princess too 🙂

From Stephanie Lisa Joyce:

Make sure some fun things are planned into your day that will give you life long memories (your photos are the last thing you see of your day) – 1. Photo Booth. Best thing ever to see and remind you of the fun your guests were having! 2. Videographer (this could be a friend. We had Angus videoing parts of our day – I often watch my wedding. Best movie ever) 3. Photographer – I love everything about our wedding, and it reminds me over and over about our story when I look back at our photo’s – if your photographer gives the option of making a coffee table book, take it because they will do it for you beautifully! And I find people who say they will compile their own never get around to it). Side note, make sure your bridesmaids have a little clutch bag with your lipstick and odds and ends. Add in a sowing kit too incase – needle and thread. I went to a wedding where someones clothes split :)). I agree with planning for the photographer to take a crazy/normal photo of each table of guests. Ultimate wedding planning tip though unfortunately perhaps for you, was you… Having a wedding co-ordinator was just the best, and made our wedding run smoothly.

From Vanessa Germond:

Spend more on your honeymoon than your wedding!

From Janet Werner:

I regret not having a professional photographer. Our photos weren’t great and we had too many family pictures and hardly any of just the two of us. For me, photos to look back on and to display in your photo frames is a must!

From Jenny Odell:

Be content with the thought that…..”This might not be a perfect event, but it will be a happy occasion” that’s what matters. Quote from Stephanie Odell.

From Nikki Pretorius:

Pre-wedding couples councelling. You don’t have to going through a relationship crisis to go to councelling. A lot of people don’t have a clue on what it takes to be married and the changes and stresses it can put on a marriage. Start your marriage on a firm foundation.

From Jane Stephenson:

If you don’t have a wedding rehearsal, you can never make a mistake.

From Dave McNaught:

Antenuptial Contract.. it sets out the terms of engagement.

From Linette Booysen:

Don’t stress on the day, your guests won’t notice if things aren’t just right.

But the best advice I’ve heard and used was remember to connect with each other throughout the day. Yes you should take care of your guests, especially the ones from out of town, but don’t go through your entire wedding day without having experienced it together. Get the groom to set an alarm for every 15minutes and just hold hands and give each other a kiss. Check in.

From Calliopi Dawson:

Film your wedding!!! You get to relive it as many times as you like & share it! Get your family to help with set up AND pack up!!! You don’t realise how much you actually need them to help! Plus it makes it so much fun for them to be apart of the day & creates so many happy memories! Remember on the day to just enjoy every second!!! No matter what happens!!!

G&K-46

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Wedding Attire Decoded

Your wedding invitation is the first taste of your wedding that you will share with your guests. Obviously style is important, but the content of your invitation is what guests need to see in order to know where to go, when to be there and what to wear. You can have a look at some wedding invitation wording ideas here.

Speaking of what to wear to a wedding, there are some terms that are used in wedding invitations that can be a little bit confusing. Here are some definitions to help you let your guests know which attire is most suited to your wedding. And if you are on the receiving end of one of these instructions, hopefully this will help you dress for the occasion:

Casual

What it means: This is going to be a relaxing wedding, which will probably take place in the morning or around lunch time.

What to wear: For the ladies, a casual dress or a skirt and top along with pretty sandals will do (no flip flops or sneakers). For the men, a polo shirt and khakis is casual but still formal enough for a wedding (no jeans, ever!).

Dressy Casual

What it means: This oxymoron suggests that a casual dress in satin material or a formal dress in cotton would be fitting.

What to wear: Depending on the venue and time of day, a dress above the knee is safest. For the men, a nice short sleeved shirt and khakis.

Semi Formal

What it means: Generally your outfit should lean more to the formal side.

What to wear: Ladies can wear dresses in any length ranging from just above the knee to ankle length. Ball gowns aren’t appropriate but fancier fabrics are acceptable. Men could get away with something as formal as a tuxedo but formal pants, a blazer and tie will be suitable.

Formal

What it means: Think “prom” and you’re already in the right direction.

What to wear: A dark suit with a crisp white shirt and tie for the men, and a floor length dress for the ladies is appropriate.

Black Tie

What it means: You have permission to dress like James Bond.

What to wear: This is less ambiguous for men, so a tuxedo is expected. For the ladies, a full length gown is expected, so look at your red carpet favourites for inspiration.

How To Make Sure Your Guests Aren’t Mystified

Glen and I wanted to keep our guests informed as to what attire is best suited to our wedding. We don’t want anyone to feel under dressed or over dressed, not because we are control freaks, but because we are considerate. So, we stated on the invitation that “cocktail attire” is what we expect. This is somewhere between semi formal and dressy casual, but to be safe, as guests RSVP, we are sending them this image to clarify:

Glen and Kelly - what to wear

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Natasha’s 18th Birthday Picnic

A few weeks ago, Natasha contacted me to ask if I could plan her 18th birthday party. Hosted at the beautiful Stellenzicht, the girls sat on picnic blankets under a much needed marquee, while sipping ice tea from mason jars. The food was arranged by The Rolling Pin and guests got to fill their boxes with delicious treats from the cookie and sweet bar! The photos were taken by Amy-Grace Photography. Enjoy!

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Of course, there were also hugs, laughter and smiles, which were beautifully captured by Amy-Grace Photography:

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How To Be The Best Maid Of Honour Ever

Being a Maid Of Honour is a privilege and a huge responsibility. It entails far more than wearing a pretty dress and walking down the aisle. Although each bride has different expectations, here is a brief layout of what you can do to be the best Maid Of Honour ever:

best bridesmaid ever

1. Lead The Bridesmaids

As the point person of the Bridesmaids, it is your responsibility to make sure that all the girls are on the same page. You may be asked to facilitate bridal party bonding days, to make sure the girls have all had their dress fittings and bought their accessories, or you may simply want to make sure that everyone has the same goal in mind: keep the bride happy! Guests will probably be asking all the bridesmaids all sorts of questions, so it is important that everyone knows where the gifts table is, where the bathroom is, what time the photos are happening, etc.

2. Help The Bride Plan The Wedding

Depending on the bride’s personality, you may be asked to get involved in lots of wedding planning tasks, or very few. Either way, make it known that you are keen and available to help with anything the bride needs.

3. Be The Bride’s Friend

This is the most important job you will have during the engagement period. Be a listening ear, even when your bestie talks constantly about her monogrammed napkins, the flower order or hairstyle ideas. Let her tell you about her simultaneous excitement and anxiety about her wedding day.

4. Host The Bridal Shower

It would be unfair to expect the Maid Of Honour to do all the planning, hosting, setting up, cleaning up, etc of the bridal shower, so this is the perfect opportunity to get all the bridesmaids involved. However, as the Maid Of Honour, you should be the one to spearhead the planning process and make sure all the girls are doing their jobs.

5. Gifts

At the bridal shower, have a notepad and pen ready, so that you can keep track of who brought which gift. This will make it much easier for the bride to send out “Thank You” notes afterwards!

6. Host A Bachelorette Party

This is dependent on whether or not the bride wants a bachelorette party, so be sure to ask her! This usually includes the bride’s closest friends and bridesmaids, and a whole lot of shenanigans.

7. Have An Emergency Kit

If something comes up on the day, you’ll be glad to have safety pins, dental floss, painkillers, baby powder, breath mints, and anything else you can think of that will solve unforeseen mishaps.

8. Keep The Bride Fed

The bride is going to have a lot on her mind, least of which will be her food intake. Make sure she has a big breakfast and is aware of mealtimes on her big day.

9. Bring Music

While the bridesmaids are all getting ready for the wedding, have a playlist ready to keep the mood upbeat and happy (it is a wedding after all).

At the end of the day, your best friend will be so thankful to have had you by her side during her wedding planning process and on the best day of her life. Do what you can to make this day about her and to help her have fun on her wedding day!

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Share Important Dates With Your Wedding Guests

One of the beautiful things about your wedding is that you can share little bits of information about your relationship with your guests. One of the cutest and most simple ways to do that is to share your significant dates:

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How To Make Tissue Paper Pom Poms

If you are wanting to add a little colour to your wedding decor, why not make simple pom poms in your wedding colour scheme?

As you can see, the whole process is super easy:

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