Happily Ever After 2017


Planning the perfect wedding and keeping everyone happy can be exhausting. Here are some tips and tricks to make your special day memorable and less stressful.

Style & Grace Wedding Venue - Tel: 060-509 5639
Style & Grace Wedding Venue - Tel: 060-509 5639
The Pines Wedding & Conference Village Tel: 034-318-1888
The Pines Wedding & Conference Village Tel: 034-318-1888
Vulintaba Country Hotel Tel: 087-310-4545
Vulintaba Country Hotel Tel: 087-310-4545
The Wedding Court Venue Tel: 083-448-4688
The Wedding Court Venue Tel: 083-448-4688
Grey Goose Game Lodge Tel: 034-315-3221
Grey Goose Game Lodge Tel: 034-315-3221

Planning your perfect wedding in the hotter seasons should be a breeze with these eight hot new trends!

1. Oversized bows

This traditional silhouette was popularised by old Hollywood, and is making a comeback this wedding season. Extra large bows on simple sheath dresses make a powerful style statement.

2. Non-traditional jewellery

You only get married once – hopefully! So, don’t limit yourself to the traditional pearls and understated glam jewellery if you don’t want to. Why not try out bridal body jewellery? This look works on most wedding dress styles, but the more simple the dress, the more the jewellery will stand out.

3. Going casual

Stay comfortable on your wedding day with no fear of missing the traditional mark. Look at more non-traditional options, like a classic white suit, or a full tulle ballerina skirt with a crop top. Throw on a light summer jacket or shrug, and you’re ready to party the night away!

4. Capelets

Are you the type who always feels cold, even in the depths of summer? The capelet is an easy way to keep warm and on top of the fashion style chain. As seen on many a major Hollywood starlet during the awards seasons, capelets are fun, practical and bold. Jazz it up by investing in a crystal-covered piece, or even one which can be re-used with your outfits later on.

5. Black trimming

This is a high-contrast detail designed to make you stand out on your special day. It will add a pop of elegance to your white wedding dress.

6. Flutter sleeves

Are you more Bohemian in your personal style? A softly ruffled cap sleeve or cut-out shoulder may be just what you’re looking for to stay true to your personality on your big day.

7. Gloves

Gone are the days when gloves were too old-fashioned to wear at weddings! Evening gloves are back in style and show off your classic nature in a subtle way.

8. 3D Florals

Now is the time to get graphic – in the best way possible!
Three-dimensional embellishments will add texture to a plain white dress. Their style is unforgettable.

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While most aspects of a wedding is optional, like the traditional white wedding dress, or forgoing the big white cake for elegant cupcakes, there is one aspect you cannot compromise on: the venue!
You have to choose the perfect place for your friends and family to gather to celebrate your big day.

There are so many fantastic local wedding venue options to choose from, which will leave you spoiled for choice. So, how do you go about making a decision?

1. Talk to a planner first:

Before you start looking at places, you need to consider the layout, size and the availability of the venue. You also need to consider the space you will have to fill – how many tables can be accommodated, as well as the type of decor you will need. Talking to a professional will help make these decisions easier. Many local venues have dedicated event planners on premises. They will put your mind at ease and guide you in the right direction.

2. Choose a venue that aligns with your vision:

Have you always dreamed of a beach wedding? If so, a traditional hall or church is not for you! If you’re planning a more modern wedding, look at out-of-the box venues like local museums or art galleries. These will have the ‘wow’ factor, while also catering to your aesthetic. Choose a venue which will enhance your theme.

3. Know your guest list:

Make sure you know exactly how many you want to invite to your wedding. This will save you the headache of trying to cram 100 people into a 50-seat venue. It will also help you break down your budget, as some costs are entirely dependent on the amount of people you plan on inviting.

4. Think about what is included:

Many wedding venues work the cost of crockery and cutlery into their package. Think about what you would like included in the package, and research your venue accordingly. Get an estimate of how much it will cost to hire additional items from the venue beforehand, to save yourself the nightmare of finding additional charges added to your total bill.

5. Stay true to yourselves:

Many couples choose venues based on styles they fall in love with online. But it’s equally important to ask yourselves what’s important to you, as a couple. Choose a space and a design that represents both of you. Remember – while the space and design may have looked gorgeous with another wedding, it may not necessarily work well for what you have in mind for
your special day.

Magazines and tabloids are full to the brim with the latest from Tinseltown.
From lifestyle to diet, celebrities are often a source of inspiration for ‘regular’ people.
So naturally, wedding trends can include celebrity touches.
Here are five wedding trends made famous by celebs, which you can add to your own wedding this year:

Tall wedding cakes

Wedding cakes are meant to be the statement, right after the bride.
So definitely follow celebs like Tara Lipinski and go for height with your cake design.
The more layers, the better!

Bell sleeves

Much like Ciara at her wedding, bell sleeves are making a return this year.
Customise your wedding dress with a detailed design and show off those arms.
Match up the sleeves with your dress for a tailored, elegant look.

Overseas destinations

Maybe this option is a little out of price range.
But if you can afford it, you can get in on the celebrity trend of marrying anywhere in the world.
Popular options are Italy and France, for obvious reasons.
Overseas nuptials also mean less expense on guests!

Big accessories

Whether it’s a flower tower or giant candlesticks, big is better.
Kim and Kanye said their ‘I do’s’ in front of a wall of roses, while others opted for huge centrepieces. If you want to emulate celebrity marriage, it’s just the way to go.

Non-white dresses

We’ve learned from weddings over the years that white isn’t the only bridal dress colour out there.
From Elizabeth Taylor’s green ensemble to Jenna Dewan’s pale pink, colour can now express the bride.
Don’t go too zany though. Remember that trends are for a season and photographs are pretty much for a lifetime.

The symbolism of a wedding ring:

A circle has no beginning or end and is therefore a symbol of infinity. It is endless; eternal, just the way love should be.
Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect ring to suit your personality as well as represent the love you share with your soulmate.
The age-old adage of ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ is true to many. Not only are they sparkly and beautiful, but they also signify the forever bond between loved ones.

Here are five of the most famous cuts of diamonds to match your personality:

Round – This popular cut of diamond is cut to have 58 facets. If you are traditional, laid-back and honest, this one is for you.
Princess – Traditionally square cut but sometimes rectangle cut, princess cut diamonds always have four pointed corners. It represents a fun-loving, spontaneous and intelligent personality.
Heart – This romantic shape is the perfect symbol of love. This cut shouts romance, devotion and being sentimental.
Cushion – Also known as the ‘pillow cut’ these are square or rectangular cuts with round corners. This shows triats of being adventurous, dependable and a team player.
Pear – Also known as the “teardrop” cut – with one pointed end and one rounded end. The wearer of this cut is modest, adaptable and calm.

Five types of wedding bands and diamond setting techniques:

Prong: Three to six ‘claws’ that hold a stone firmly in place. It is a traditional method and allows light to strike the diamond from more angles.
Channel: These are small diamonds set deep in the metal band, creating a ‘channel’. This
method offers brilliance.
Tip: For people who work a lot with their hands.
Bezel: This technique encases the surrounding outer edges of the diamond. It is known for its durability and simplicity and can accommodate every diamond shape.
Tip: Using a white gold or platinum band will make the diamond appear larger.
Tension: Uses compression to hold the center diamond in place. It has a clean contemporary look and appears as if the diamond is suspended in mid-air.
Bar: Characterised by two metal bars that hold one diamond in place, its sleek and modern design makes a bold statement. This method allows more light to enter the diamond.
Fun fact: Diamonds do not shine; they reflect light.
Did you know?
While carat is often used to refer to diamond size, it actually refers to the gem’s weight. Two diamonds can weigh the same, but look like different sizes depending on how they are cut.
Phumula Nathi Tel: 034-318-0002
Phumula Nathi Tel: 034-318-0002
Studio Elle 
Tel: 034-315-1788
Studio Elle Tel: 034-315-1788
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Newcastle Country Lodge Tel: 034-315-3222
Exclusive Mendhi Designs Tel: 034-315-3529
Exclusive Mendhi Designs Tel: 034-315-3529
Camelot Guest House Tel: 034-315-3333
Camelot Guest House Tel: 034-315-3333
Flashy Moments Events Tel: 079-891-2363
Flashy Moments Events Tel: 079-891-2363
Once you have found your perfect dream dress, the next task is to find dresses for your loyal entourage. No matter the size of your wedding party, try these simple tips to make shopping for bridesmaid dresses a breeze.

1. Begin by browsing and researching:

The Internet is a powerful tool. Start off by looking at dresses online and taking some screenshots of those you think would complement your bridesmaid, while also sticking to your personal theme. Share these with your bridesmaids and get their ideas on the colours and designs.

2. Keep the costs in mind:

When it comes to price, you should remember to be considerate of the lifestyles of your bridesmaids. Often, they will have to pay for their own dresses. You do not want to place a financial burden on them. Focus your search for the perfect dresses in a more affordable range. Also, you could look into rental options.

3. Shop accordingly:

Decide what type of shopping experience would suit you best. If you tend to have strong opinions, consider shopping alone. However, you may be the type to prefer input on colour and design from your bridal party. Make sure to give them correct guidelines to follow with regard to fabric and other details.

4. Stick to a schedule:

To ensure the bridesmaid dresses matches your wedding style, try to make sure you order your gown before making any final decisions.

5. Etiquette basics:

It may take a few months for orders to arrive, and you still need to have time for alterations. Try working at least six months in advance to avoid last-minute complications.

6. Finding the right fit:

Typically, a bridesmaids dress is ordered using the person’s biggest measurements. This makes it likely your bridesmaids will buy a size larger than they need to. If they want to buy a smaller size, it is your responsibility to let them know it is easier to alter a bigger dress than having to re-order if the size is too small.

7. Consider lingerie logistics:

Remind your bridal party to get the right undergarments for their dresses. For instance, if the dress is strapless, special support will be needed.
The wedding is finally sorted, and now it’s time for the honeymoon, which you and your partner will remember for years to come.
However, although it would seem like Heaven to take a trip to Paris or Milan, the financial straits you may face afterwards could be excruciating.
Below are five budgeting tips to help you get the most out of your honeymoon.

1. Prioritise:

Decide exactly what you want out of your honeymoon and find a destination which can accommodate your needs, as well as your budget.

2. Honeymoon close to home:

You can have a wonderful getaway closer to home, rather than on the other side of the world. Visit the beautiful beaches of KZN instead of jet-setting to Mauritius.

3. Book well in advance:

Don’t wait until the last minute to
book your honeymoon accommodation. Booking in advance will save you a whole lot of disappointment, as well as additional unplanned expenses.

4. Hotel vs Bed & Breakfast:

A fantastic honeymoon does not
necessarily have to be spent in a five star hotel. A cheaper Bed & Breakfast option can be just as special, if it is in the location you want to be.

5. BYOF – Bring Your Own Food:

Fast foods and restaurant bookings can equate to an exceptionally large expense for a week long getaway.
Rather prepare your own food during your stay. You will be surprised how much ka-ching this will put back in
your pockets.

1. Map it out:

Take five minutes every morning to journal and set your intentions for the day. Map out how you’ll accomplish everything and don’t sweat it if things don’t go as planned.
Put your goals and your health first. We recommend doing a high intensity interval training workout first thing in the morning. It’s the best way to get your metabolism going and it will make you feel great all day long.

2. Hydrate!

When you’re hydrated, your metabolism is faster and your brain works faster (great for all the wedding planning). Plus your hair, skin and nails will thank you and you’ll have more energy to workout and tackle your day.  To ensure you’re getting enough water, we recommend carrying around a water bottle with you everywhere. We like adding fruit to our water to flavour it. Our favourite is lemon raspberry mint infused!

3. Stay lean, clean and green:

First things first: cut out all fake sugars. Say goodbye to chemicals that cause you to hold onto stubborn fat cells, make you tired and cause hunger, bloat and cellulite. In return you can say hello to abs, a healthy brain, healthy joints, a functioning liver, beautiful skin and a higher metabolism. We know you’ll never go back! Lean, clean and green is your mantra. Lean proteins, clean, non-processed foods and plenty of greens and fresh fruits.

4. Tone it up!

Getting a great workout routine can mean the difference between feeling good on your wedding night and feeling absolutely great. Being confident will make all the difference, and we truly believe that treating your body well and working out builds a huge amount of confidence.

5. Partner up:

Ask your fiancé and bridesmaids to join you in your fitness journey! Having a support system is one of the best ways to reach your goals and stick to a plan. It will also hold you accountable. It’s also a great time to focus on catching up before and after, or talking about non-wedding related things.

6. Disconnect:

Don’t be afraid to take a time out. Your mind and body will need a break! Reward all of your hard work with a spa trip, massage or a bubble bath.  It will help you refocus your goals, workouts, to-dos and intentions. Decompress, enjoy the moment and take it in. You only get to plan a wedding once, so remembering what’s important is what will going to keep you smiling and glowing.

7. Journal and take photos!

One of the best ways to stay on track is to journal. And what better time in your life to journal your nutrition, workouts, meetings and how you’re feeling day to day?  Trust me: you’ll want to look back on it because it’s such a special time in your life. Take five minutes before bed and write down what you did for yourself, your fiancé and the wedding.  Take photos along if way of all the planning. Even if things go wrong, you’ll be able to laugh about it some day.

Planning your wedding is a difficult and stressful task, and dealing with difficult future in-laws doesn’t really make it any easier.
Some in-laws can be demanding when it comes to guest lists, flowers, décor and even food, mainly because they probably helped pay for your big day.
One important key leading to your big day is communication.
Here are four tips to help you deal with those difficult future in-laws in a drama free way:

1. Hear them out:

Every in-law, especially the future mother-in-law, is going to want to drive the planning in their own direction.  Allow them to say what they want, and then go ahead and do it your way anyway.

2. Be patient:

Future in-laws are going to try to ‘meddle’ in the arrangements and demand certain things be done their way. But it’s your day, not theirs. Regardless of what you say or do, everyone is going to give his or her opinion. It’s up to you whether you are going to allow it to upset you, or choose to ignore it.

3. Give them an active role in the planning:

Avoid the family drama and decide what role each in-law may play in your wedding planning. Something simple, like deciding the seating arrangements or sending out the invitation, can help them feel like they played an integral part in your special day.

4. Compromise… slightly:

This is your day, and no-one is going to spoil it for you. But sometimes it’s a good thing to hear someone else’s point of view when it comes to the flowers and décor. Hear what their ideas are, and perhaps play around with it. Often, one can come to an arrangement which suits all parties involved without causing drama and family feuds before the big day.
Remember, this is your day and you are allowed to stand up and speak up if you do not agree with decisions made regarding the wedding.

No wedding is complete without a bachelor’s party prior to the occasion.
It is a time of celebration, welcoming the start of a new lifestyle as the groom-to-be bids farewell to the single life.
However, there are certain rules to abide by when throwing a bachelor’s party.

The dos and don’ts of a bachelor’s party:

1. Don’t plan the bachelor’s party for the night before the wedding, as no one wants to have a hangover on their wedding day.
2. Don’t do anything silly or potentially dangerous. The bride will not be amused if her groom arrives on their wedding day with an arm cast or neck brace.
3. Don’t go to a strip club, especially if the bride and the groom do not agree with it. If you take the groom to a strip show without everyone’s permission, it will only cause tension and put a strain on friendships.
4. Do make sure you have tailored the bachelor’s party to the groom’s tastes. If he enjoys sport, get together for a friendly rugby, cricket or soccer game and enjoy a few cold beers together.
5. Do cover the costs for the groom. If the party is to take place at a restaurant for supper, followed by a few drinks at a bar, let everyone contribute towards the groom’s tab, as he does have a honeymoon to plan for.
6. Do proper planning for the night ahead. This means setting up an itinerary, which will allow for the unexpected and to ensure everyone keeps in check.
7. Do plan to spread the bachelor’s party over the weekend, as this will be one of the rare opportunities where the boys can spend time together.

It’s a tremendous honour to be chosen as best man.
This decision is a show of faith by the groom, effectively allowing you deeper into the wedding process.
So of course you should rise to the occasion.
If you’re unsure what to do, here’s a breakdown of what is expected of a best man before, during and after the wedding:


The look

As best man, you need to assist the groom in looking the part.
Your duties will include helping him rent or buy an outfit of appropriate style and colour – don’t make him stand out more than his betrothed. You’ll also need to coordinate for matching groomsmen’s fittings.

The bash

Bachelor’s party duties are your responsibility. You could organise a fun outing with the groom and friends, or something a little more gritty if he’s the type. A word of caution – no strippers or tonnage shots please!
The best weddings are those where the groom can remember saying his vows, and not miss it nursing a hangover.

The attitude

You’ll need to be a constant pillar of support and a regular shoulder to cry on for the groom.
Be there to listen and provide that emotional backing.
Getting married is a big decision, and you’ll need to step up whenever his mind is in doubt.

The flowers

If they are being used, organise the boutonnieres (flowers to pin onto the lapel) for all the groomsmen.
Then see to it they are pinned on the wedding day.


The outfit

Helping the groom look entirely like the husband-to-be is another important duty of the best man.
Make sure he’s entirely kitted out beforehand.

The travel

The last thing anyone wants is a groom who’s late.
Nothing worse for a bride, so be fuelled up and ready, and get him to the altar before his wedding party sends a search party.

The rings

The best man keeps a safe grip on the rings until the right time, so make sure your pockets don’t have holes.
This is one of the most important tasks a best man is given.

The speech

You’re expected to give the traditional first toast to the bride and groom, but do keep it clean.
It pays to prepare the speech ahead of time.

The girl

You will need to escort the maid of honour and the mother of the bride down the aisle after the wedding is complete.

The papers

You may be asked to sign as a witness on the marriage license, as well as any other relevant documentation.


The dance

Whether it’s during or after, be prepared to dance with the maid of honour, bride’s mothers and anyone else who might not be partnered up.
Some lessons beforehand might come in handy here.

The photographs

You’ll need to corral the groomsmen and other parties together if there is a photo shoot before, during and after the ceremony.
You must also be present in photos where required.

The reception

Prepare something nice to say during toasts at the reception.
Again – keep it clean although you can be a bit more relaxed than you were during the wedding proper.

The getaway

Ensure the happy couple have transport away from the venue and to their honeymoon destination.
If they have flights to catch, get them there on time!
Also ensure the couple’s vehicle is appropriately decorated for that final moment they drive away from the venue.

The rentals

Any rented outfits, vehicles or other accessories are left to you to handle.Make sure these are returned on time and be prepared to step in with any payments still outstanding.
The Executive House Tel: 087-170-0864
The Executive House Tel: 087-170-0864
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