Planning a wedding is BEYOND stressful! There are a billion reasons for that, but the thing that made me the most frustrated was the lack of communication from service providers. If you e-mail them, some of them will literally never come back to you! (If you’re planning a wedding – brace yourself for that!) But there were a few service providers who did an excellent job that I am happy to recommend. These are the top 6 service providers I used to plan my wedding in 2016 (in no particular order):
1. HAVE SOME CAKE – WEDDING CAKES
Marelda of Have Some Cake is one of the first people I spoke to who made me feel like there would be any joy and hope in organising my wedding. With poor communication from the venue co-ordinator, silence from dozens of services providers and draping dramas, I was really hating the process – before I spoke to Marelda. She was a light during dark times and made us an incredible, incredible cake AND cupcakes.
I had seen one of her masterpieces at a previous wedding I had attended, mailed her and she came back to me in no time. It’s amazing how well some people run their businesses and how badly others run theirs! She was clear, concise, gave me quotes, colours, flavours – all the normal things one would expect from a cake business and I was able to make a decision, order the cake, finish and klaar!
The cake was AWESOME on our wedding day and I knew people would love it! It was so special, perfect for Mr John and everyone could snack on cupcakes. My only regret is that I didn’t let everyone eat the cake too! I took it home, which was so stupid! Anyway, I plan to eat many more of Marelda’s cakes in my time. If you’re looking for a beautiful cake maker, PLEASE PLEASE consider her. She’s amazing.
PS I kept our Lego figurines and they still smell AMAZING! I have no idea how she made then! But I intend to keep them for as long as possible 🙂
2. ROBYN ROBERTS – BRIDALWEAR
I had a very specific dress shape in mind for my wedding, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it anywhere. Most wedding dress shops only stock one size of dress, so you can’t even try it on if you DO like it. I wanted to walk in, buy a dress and walk out, but it wasn’t meant to be. So it seemed I would have to consider having one made – NOT something I thought I had time or energy for. But I asked the Twitterverse and the BookFace and EVERYONE came back to me with the same answer, Robyn Roberts. So I figured I’d just get a quote; if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have to go for it.
Well Robyn, too, was one of the only parts I enjoyed about organising my wedding. When I knew I had an appointment with her I felt like she was in control and I wouldn’t have to spoon feed the entire process. She takes what you’d like seriously and doesn’t try to change your mind. However, she will offer polite advice to ensure your decisions create the best outcome. She is so calm, professional and has a good sense of humour – she must do with working with brides who are going insane from organising their weddings!
The dress she made me was exactly what I wanted. Robyn and her team did alterations right up to a few days before because I wasn’t 100% happy – and at that point I was REALLY at the end of my tether and had lost all the fun in the process. Her calm influence really helped us and I will always be grateful for her guidance and craftsmanship. I love my dress and definitely feel like it’s both “me” and kicked ass!
PS Robyn was also able to provide me with the delicate birdcage veil (with Russian lace) I was after, not something easily found OR can look cheap quite easily. She made mine so have a chat with her about what veil she can create for you if you’re a bit stuck.
3. SHOUT MUSIC COMPANY – WEDDING MUSIC
OK, I know I’m totally bias here because it’s my brother’s company, but we have worked at A LOT of weddings and we have seen quite a few things in our time. I 100% went with my brother’s company, Shout Music Company for my wedding music and sound, because I know FIRST HAND the quality service he expects from his musicians, what they offer and how they execute it.
Dan Shout has worked in the Cape Town music scene for nearly 20 years and has pretty much seen it all. This is why he runs such a tight ship and ensures that his musicians are dressed smartly (because actually it does matter and seeing a wedding DJ in their pajamas isn’t cool), know their music (they’re prepared not just talented) and put on a great show. Weddings are meant to be fun! If the band doesn’t look like they’re having fun, no one is going to really think they’re that great. Shout MC never fails to deliver. If you’re looking for a band or wedding DJ for your wedding, trust me, use them. You won’t regret it.
4. JHB PHOTOGRAPHY – WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
Mr John and I have worked with John-Henry for quite some time and have watched him grow in leaps and bounds from a “hobbiest” photographer to full blown award winning photographer. His wedding photography has made the professionals sit up in the industry and he delivers.
I chose JHB Photography for my wedding as I wanted moments captured. Personally, I’m not that interested in the dress hanging up, the rings on a table, shoes somewhere or other, I wanted PEOPLE. I wanted to capture my loved ones having a blast and that’s EXACTLY what JH did. Naturally, he still did the normal family wedding pictures and stuff, but when I scroll through the images of my wedding day now it takes me RIGHT back because he captured the essence of people, their emotions and the feeling of the day. JH shot all these images himself (no assistant on this day) and that’s why I highly recommend JHB Photography.
5. TEN OF CUPS – WEDDING CUTLERY & CROCKERY
As mentioned, many people will hardly write back to you when you’re enquiring about anything wedding. It’s incredibly frustrating and adds to the stress. When I found Ten of Cups I was over the moon because they have a quoting system on their website. This way you are able to gauge what things costs and where you’d like to direct your funds. I wasn’t over the top sentimental about my wedding, so I wanted to get things done, which was incredibly difficult to do when no one mails you back and you’re working full time. The Ten of Cups website has nearly all their items on it, which allows you to price check, get quotes, start making decisions and crossing things off your wedding ‘to-do’ list. They were very easy to work with and delivered everything perfectly on the day.
6. JEAN KEYS – OFFICIANT
Jean Keys is a wedding officiant that I found on the interwebs. Whenever I’m looking to work with someone new who I don’t know anything about, I look for a music reference. Our family being so involved with music, it’s always my way of using it as a little sign.
Mr John and I met Jean at Canal Walk one evening, just so that we could ‘sus’ each other out and make sure both parties were making the right decision to work together. I have a cross section of friends from all walks of life and I wanted a non-religious ceremony that would really resonate with people. Well, to put it plainly, Jean killed it on the day! Her ceremony was absolutely awesome, she made everyone laugh and I know people left the room really blown away by her words.
I am so grateful and appreciative of Jean for doing such an amazing job. If you’re looking for a neutral officiant, 100% use Jean.
There are some service providers that I hope not to have to work with again in the future, but these top 6 Cape Town wedding service providers were an absolute pleasure to work with and I highly recommend them to anyone who is in the process of planning their wedding for 2017/2018.
And a special mention goes out to…
Flowers – Engelke Blomme
We all know fresh flowers can be hella expensive. So we decided to do our own arrangements and save a few thousand Rands. When I was the Twitterverse, Engelke Blomme were recommended. Based out in Ottery, this family run business sells flowers fresh from their small holding. Unfortunately, they can’t guarantee any particular type – it all depends on the season. So I recommend going to take a look 2 months before the time, getting an idea of what you want and then chatting to them to secure the quantity of flowers. I was very happy with my arrangements as I wanted something very simple (sometimes flowers take up too much space and block the view across the table, I wasn’t into that).