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From wedding planning advice and articles to pulling back the curtain on how ByChenai Events are put together, the Blog is an invaluable source of inspiration for those on their wedding planning journey as well as those who love to read about the art of celebration.

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This one is an essential read friends. ESSENTIAL. Wedding season is upon us and in this blog post I give you the definitive guide to good wedding guest etiquette. I’m going to start with what I’ve observed to be the most common irritations caused by Wedding Guests and what you shouldn’t do

  • Don’t steal the couple’s thunder. You’ve been invited because the couple care about you and want you to share in THEIR special day. Avoid unplanned and unsanctioned speeches or ‘performances’. Unless you’ve been asked to contribute, don’t think you can rock the mic because you’ve had a few glasses of fizz and are feeling extra confident. I personally feel proposals at someone’s wedding are a HUGE no no. It speaks to a lack of creativity that you would choose someone else’s special day to propose to your partner. Unless ok’d by the bride & groom , but even then….It’s a no from me.
  • Don’t wear white. I know of late we’ve certainly seen a trend for brides or grooms to have their bridal parties in all white also which can be really impactful. The age old question about whether it’s ok to wear white however, still remains. My guidance is to err on the side of tradition and just don’t do it . Don’t do it especially if the dress you want to wear could be considered remotely ‘bridal’ . To add to this, if a couple specifies a dress code, do your best to stick to it . (My two absolute pet peeves are jeans at a wedding (day guest) and flip flops at a non beach wedding. Get out of here!)
Illustration by Alexandra New
  • Don’t challenge invite decisions. If you’ve been invited to the reception only for example, it’s really not ok to send a text asking why you didn’t make the cut for the full day. Similarly if a couple request no children at their wedding, respect this. Don’t try to negotiate or guilt trip. Suck it up, make your childcare arrangements then go and have a great time. Often, these decisions aren’t personal and based purely on finances , venue availability, venue restrictions and the prioritisation of close family etc. Making someone else’s wedding about you and your desires, is a huge irritation.
  • Don’t be a badly behaved guest on the day – I’ve personally witnessed some outrageous behaviour at weddings that has caused the breakdown of relationships as a result. Remember you are a guest, behave how you would at your friend or family’s home. There’s nothing wrong with having a few tequilas and a spin on the dance floor with Uncle Rupert but keep your clothes on and your mouth shut when you are boozed.
  • Don’t bring extra people to the wedding. Some of you will be perplexed by this. Stick with me. This is a common occurrence in some cultures where parents and family members play a big role in the wedding preparations and planning. The guest lists get larger and the invitations become more informal to the point where a table plan is used as a guide rather than an exact representation of what will happen on the day. I’m from Zimbabwe and my close friend actually had a ‘just in case’ table put at the back of her hotel ballroom to account for this. Low and behold, some distant relatives turned up who had been informally invited by her parents. True story.
  • Don’t challenge meal options. Allergies and medical conditions ofcourse must be taken into consideration seriously and most people will do their very best to accommodate those affected. It isn’t always possible and affordable to have multiple meal options just because you don’t like something. Most venues and caterers include meat, vegetarian and vegan but beyond this , try not to impose your individual meal requirements on the couple.

Finally , a really big one for me …

  • Don’t accept an invitation and just fail to turn up. That’s the worst. The actual worst.

WEDDING GUEST ETIQUETTE

August 13, 2019

Wedding Planning Advice

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1. Take time to really enjoy it.

Share the news, bore your best gals/guys with the proposal story. They love you so they too will share in your joy. Throw a party! (Ok so this isn’t necessary at all but I love any excuse to do so ) ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

2. Don’t rush into major decision making about the wedding.

You will be bombarded with well meaning offers of help and advice, news articles and magazines telling you what you should be buying etc. Again take time to distil some ideas, get inspired and start thinking about what kind of day you want.

3. For crying out loud don’t go on a dumb diet.

Don’t do it. Wellness is important, yes, so keep going to your classes and training if that’s what you love, eat well, prioritise rest and quality sleep but the last thing you need is unnecessary pressure to fit into an ideal that may not be right for you. And to invite insecurity and self doubt during what should be an awesome and exciting time. ⠀

4. Ask for help.

Once you’re over the initial excitement and have had time to think about a date for your wedding, where you might want it to be etc, hire a wedding planner. I am here to take care of the logistics and help you have the day you want your way. If you don’t think that’s right for you, asking those closest to you to help with tasks to make the wedding planning journey smooth sailing, is a must.

NEWLY ENGAGED ? These are the 4 things you must do first.

January 8, 2019

Wedding Planning Advice

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I spend alot of time thinking up wonderful ways to give the best advice when it comes to wedding planning. I recently shared some great tips with Award Winning wedding photographer Laura Babb , who is also founder of SNAP Photo festival. This piece was centred around the things you should consider in order to maximise the resources you have available to you when planning a wedding specifically.

1. Be clear on your vision and priorities for your the day and stick to this!

Having meaningful and honest conversations with your partner about what you want the look and feel to be , will guide you towards making the right decisions about what to wear , how you want your ceremony and receptions to look and what kind of experience you want to provide for your guests.

Real life couple and favourite clients. Photo by Tom Weller


2. Once you’ve decided what your priorities are, apportian money in your budget accordingly.

If you want to have a great food , drink and entertainment experience and aren’t too concerned with heavy flora or decor styling, move that cash money to the ‘entertainment ‘section of your spreadsheet knowing that you will get the band/Dj and catering you really want.

3. Don’t spend on small (especially disposable) decor items.

Pinterest is a wonderful tool but also a curse to the ‘about to be wed.’ The temptation to want to fill your wedding spaces with ALL the DIY trends often proves too much for some. As a stylist I always seek to create a focal styling point, a statement piece that will draw the eyes of the guests straight away. Spend more on your floral arrangements which can elevate a room so beautifully without the need for too many other ‘bits’. If flowers are not your bag, then go wild with lighting or a ribbon canopy but don’t try and make a multitude of party favours or table decor knick knacks which guests may not really pay attention to and will end up being waste.

4. Use your network.

I mean this literally. Identify friends and family who have talents and skills which you can use in your planning and ask for their help. This doesn’t mean you can assume you will get freebies across the board , unless they specifically offer it to you as a gift, don’t look horrified when they give you a price (with family discount). However, the obvious benefit here, is that if you have a cake baker, hairstylist, makeup artist etc in your close friend or family circle- you can really save on these often major costs.

5. Hire a professional wedding and event planner.

‘ Wait a minute, that’s just spending more money isn’t it?’ . Well, their job is to deliver your vision within your budget, giving you , your time back to focus on your life, relationships and work. Time is money. Many couples to be don’t feel comfortable relinquishing control in this way granted, but for those who are time poor or live in a different country to where they will be married etc this makes good sense. As professionals, planners and stylists won’t have the same level of emotional attachment which often leads couples to make allowances for things not accounted for in their initial plans, only to find their budgets busted by more than a few hundred pounds. A good planner will guide you in all the above, a great planner will do their utmost to ensure that ‘sticking to the budget’ doesn’t feel like a chore and will always manage your expectations with honesty.

Ways to maximise your wedding budget

February 4, 2018

Wedding Planning Advice

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