It’s no secret Bontle Bride is a huge fan of Ri.Ch factory. The way Rina(the designer) puts African print materials together is super creative and admirable. Therefore when I see a bride wearing Ri.Ch factory, you bet Bontle Bride will always get their wedding story and have them grace these pages.
Today’s bride, Samukelisiwe’s story reminds me of my own story. My journey was a few years ago. The planning was the most difficult part; to say the least. Planning a wedding from abroad isn’t for the faint-hearted and can be frustrating at times. However since the popularity of Instagram nowadays you can see suppliers work instantly and make up your mind whether or not their style gels with yours. So the planning isn’t as tedious as it used to be.
Enjoy this wedding. I have to warn you though, have a box of tissues nearby. The vows are beautiful and heartfelt. I had goosebumps when I watched the video.
We had our wedding at Lavandou, a gorgeous venue in Pretoria East. My family is from Durban and my husband’s family is from Zimbabwe so we decided to have it in Pretoria as a “half-way” point.
I did a lot of online searching! We were in the UK while planning the wedding so the internet was my best friend. We had a budget in mind so that was the first criterion I used when looking at venues. This helped shorten the list very quickly because a lot of venues out there are quite pricey. In the end, I made a shortlist of three venues which we liked and fit our criteria. I made appointments to visit them the next time we were in South Africa.
Although the other two venues we saw were beautiful in their own right, I knew straight away when I visited Lavandou that I wanted to have our wedding there. Firstly, we wanted an outdoor ceremony and Lavandou has an enchanting forest chapel. Secondly, the venue is laid out very well with the forest chapel, a garden area for welcome drinks and entertainment, and the main hall was spacious enough for our guests and most importantly for me, there was a big dance floor! Thirdly, we felt it was great value for money. The venue was almost all-inclusive. The only things we had to outsource were the cake, the marriage officer, stationery, the photographer and videographer. The venue took care of everything else – food, dj, decor, everything. This made the planning process less stressful. Most venues charge you an additional fee for decor, furniture etc. so we saved money by using a venue that included decor in their fee.
I knew that I wanted my dress and my bridesmaids dresses to be made by Ri.Ch Factory – come hell or high water. I emailed the team and we took it from there. With me being abroad there were several back and forth emails and Whatsapp messages but in the end, it all came together beautifully. One thing I was concerned about was trying on my dress for the first time less than a week before the wedding – leaving very little time for alterations. But luckily the stars aligned when Rina told me that she would be in Paris for a few days so I booked a flight to go for my first fitting. It was crazy but very worth it. I flew there in the morning, did the fitting in her hotel room and flew back in the evening. Along with getting a chance to do the fitting, it was also a great opportunity to meet Rina and Dimo. I ended up having a few drinks with them at the hotel bar before heading to the airport, they really are a great team to work with and I now consider Rina a friend. In the
Again, the internet was my number one resource. I looked at suppliers’ websites and their social media profiles to get an idea of their work and quality. When I found a supplier I was keen on, I emailed them to get more info. For our pink and grass flower walls we went with Making Memories Events & Décor, and Flora Mystique for the white flower wall. For entertainment we went with an awesome marimba band from Drums and Rhythm. We chose Ulandi Sanders as our photographer and VlakVark Productions as our videographer. Our beautiful, and tasty, cake was made by Nomfundo Hlubi and Ziyanda Mabaso, my sister and makeup artist, did my makeup.
Know what you want – this makes the planning and decision-making process so much easier.
Budget – agree on a budget and stick to it.
Your wedding day is about you guys – don’t worry about what other people want or think. Do what will make the two of you happy.
Bonus tip – have fun! The day flies by.
If you loved this wedding, you’ll adore this one here.