That's Totally Fetch


A Wedding on a Budget: Part One – Venue & Decor

8 January 2020 | 8 Comments

Well! Hello there. It’s been a while.

I know that this post is waaaaay overdue and I promised it but honestly life’s not always a peach. Anyway, this post is not about my crazy mental state but actually how I planned my wedding in two and a half months & on a budget. This is NO easy task and not for the faint-hearted. Planning a wedding in a year is already stressful in itself. For those of you who are new, a little background story. S & I got engaged at the end of April 2019 and set a wedding date for mid July 2019. Why? Well, it was the only time in a long time that the whole family would be in one place all at once. Also we thought we would have immigrated to Spain by now, but selling a house is proving to be difficult in South Africa’s economy.

So how did I even manage it? Simple answer: with the help of friends & family.

If there is one tip that I can give you with this entire planning process, it’s to accept the help and if need be ask for it. I don’t get why women feel the need to be superheroes during this time, you want this to be a pleasant and enjoyable experience, so why ruin it for yourself with unnecessary stress. I’m going to breakdown my wedding planning into parts, so today (if you didn’t already know by the title) is about the venue and decor.

Your venue is probably one of the most important things to sort out first. Everything else can wait. Finding the perfect venue for you can be very tricky. Weddings are a massive money making scheme these days and venues are ripping people a new one. As much as places like Lace on Timber, Rosemary Hill, Avianto, Shepstone Gardens & Oakfield Farm (to name a few) are absolutely beautiful, the price point that comes with them sometimes isn’t. If you are on a tight budget, and you know it, don’t torture yourself, don’t go view these places, it’s as simple as that. Alternatively, a winter wedding might just workout for you as most venues are cheaper during the colder season. The biggest tip I could give you is look for more unconventional places, restaurants with a beautiful outdoor areas, up and coming venues, parks. Try be open minded when viewing these places, get creative with how you could make it your special wedding venue. And trust me, your guests will love you for choosing somewhere different. If I have attend another wedding at Avianto (no offense) I’ll vomit.

For myself and S, we came across our venue by chance. The best part of it all, it wasn’t even a wedding venue. It is a photography studio. We popped into Culture Barn for a photography workshop and walked out knowing that this is where we wanted to get married. It was a gorgeous small space, with stunning finishes & that’s all we wanted. I called the owner, tried to convince him that my friends and family are civilized human beings and that we will not destroy the place. AND Voila! Just like that, our venue was sorted. We paid a fraction of the cost that we would have paid, had we gone for a traditional venue. Added bonus, we could bring in our own catering and decor. This is where we also saved BIG money, as most venues don’t give you that option. It’s all on their terms.

Before I get into the decor, I want to make it clear that I was extremely lucky. I use to work for a company called BlackJack Events and my best friend still works there. So yes, I did get a discount on my hire. However, on that note, I could have gone balls to the wall BUT I didn’t. As much as you want your wedding to be beautiful, chances are nobody is going to wake up the following day and say: “WOW! Those tulips imported from Holland were breathtaking, and did you see the orchids that were imported from
Asia? Magnificent.” Realistically, the following day those tulips will be dead and the orchids dehydrated. Be wise with your decor. There are beautiful cheap flowers that can be bought for table arrangements & they won’t break the bank. Convince your guests to take them home, so that they don’t just get thrown away the following morning. And if flowers aren’t your thing, get creative, browse Pinterest for some inspiration. You can do vases with floating candles and a few sprigs of greenery. You can do origami centerpieces (I actually know someone that did this and it looked so cool). You can do lanterns or vintage frames filled with memories of you and the people sitting at that specific table. If you and your man are bookworms, find old books and create a centerpiece with those, maybe even throw in some candles. The ideas are endless. Creating a magical ambience is easily achieved with fairy lights, which can be bought at a China Town for super cheap. Alternatively, you can get scented candles, as we are all about that scent therapy. Get creative, make this a fun experience, DIY some stuff (if you want DIY tips, let me know and I will do a whole post about it). Also, don’t get crazy about your tables and chairs. Chairs are fak expensive, I was shook! My thoughts were, as long as guests can sit their asses down, eat & drink, they won’t care that you have an antique chair & table from the 1875. So might as well go for something a HELL of a lot cheaper and add a cushion.

S and I always wanted something simple, we didn’t want centerpieces so high that our guests couldn’t see who was sitting across from them. S left the decor up to me (bless him for trusting me) & I left it up to my friends Nicky & Tayla from BlackJack Events. I gave them an idea of what I wanted and man oh man, did they deliver. Delicate, pretty yet simple. I did have an array of flowers but they were all in season and inexpensive. I took all my flowers home with me after the wedding and they lasted an extra 2 weeks. I loved (and still love) my guests but I wasn’t planning on spending a silly amount of money on tags with their names on it – which would be left behind or thrown away. I designed something simple on Photoshop, got a cute font. And had all their names printed on thick cardboard. So instead of spending R15 on each persons name tag, I paid R15 for everyone. I’m pretty sure the only person that took their name tag home was my dad, he’s sentimental like that. Don’t get caught up in all the commotion that has been created around the wedding industry. I know how easy it is to change your mind about your color scheme, the flowers and the shape of your tables. Just remember at the end of the day, no matter what you choose to do with the decor, the day will be perfect because you are marrying your perfect person.

Trust me when I say, your guests will love the day because they are all watching two very special people tie the knot. As important as the whole look and feel of your day is, there are other important things, like food.


To be continued…

(Photography by Kreativ Photography & DGS Photography)





Candice Smith says:

I love this! Thank you for confirming much of what we have felt looking into the planning. Super ideas and helpful tips. You are always so genuine, raw and real about everything, it’s the best! Much love for you!

Dee says:

Ah it’s such a pleasure 🙂 I know you’ve been waiting for these posts for ages. xxx

Cari-Jenna says:

Loved this post! I’m planning my wedding at the moment, a really good tip would also be to focus on yourself and your fiancé. Too many times your ideas get swayed by family & friends.

Dee says:

Totally AGREE! I’m talking about that in my next post. It’s so easy to be influenced by other peoples thoughts.

Amanda says:

And it looked stunning! Thanks for sharing Dee, will definitely be using your tips xx

Dee says:

Such a pleasure. I hope you have a magical time planning your wedding! xxx

Lavinia Lazarus says:

Love this post so much! I’m busy planning my wedding at the moment and I keep saying I want this day to be a true reflection of my partner and I’d personalities. Living in cape Town everyone expects the wine farm wedding so I totally love what you did. I’m going around everywhere looking for the most fun quirky venues.

Dee says:

Honestly, its best to just stick to what you want. It’s your day after all & I think the fact that you are going against the stereotypical CT wedding, it DAMN awesome. xxx

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