Get married, but do things different

The tie-the-knot experts from Wedding Concepts share ideas to help you think out of the box for your big day

The Royal Wedding may have inspired some boys to propose to their girlfriends, but when it comes to planning 'the big day' many couples start asking themselves: What can I do if I want my wedding to be different? We talk to Richard and Christina Holt from Wedding Concepts and  sister company, Travel Concepts in Cape Town, along with one of their coordinators Kate Rawbone, who shared some ideas on special entertainment, interactivity and timing for your out-of-the-ordinary wedding day.

Cape Town has just been voted as the Number One Travel Destination by voters in TripAdvisor’s Travelers Choice Awards, but it’s surely also the number one wedding destination and a known wedding-trendsetter worldwide. Cape Town’s premier wedding management consultancy, Wedding Concepts and sister company Travel Concepts, are driven by the will to continuously push the boundaries of expertise and cutting edge excellence and offer a sophisticated service for the discerning client. With their internationally experienced team and network of the finest service providers, you will find integrity, innovation and passion with substance. They carefully monitor every single element before, on, and after your handcrafted wedding – including bespoke honeymoons, mini moons and holidays. At Travel Concepts, their enthusiastic team are constantly searching for flawless places to stay and have scoured Southern and East Africa, testing bed linen and tasting wines; tracking authenticity and scrutinising standards to ensure they recommend only the finest facilities to suit your style.

What to do if you want a different wedding:

A venue with a view of its own
Marquees are no longer a strange face at bespoke weddings. They are still the dream wedding venue for many couples who’ve already found their perfect outdoor setting. With unique concepts and creativity in design, we’ve transformed the most unlikely spaces into boutique venues offering individually customised ceremony, pre-drinks, reception and chill out areas.  Christina Holt adds: "The final result exceeds most couple’s expectations and tends to render a sensation among guests. People always stand in awe of an exquisite and personalised setting with a truly unique and stylish feel.  Marquees, by their majestically thrilling nature and unpredictable appearance, always win hands down."  With clear span marquees, treat your guests to an unblocked view of the gardens and chill areas around the tent – and offer those who are relaxing outside an illuminated, glowing vision of the festivities inside. These marquees create an unbelievably fresh and modern atmosphere with an unhampered sense of space and connectedness that transcends the time of day and weather.

The flavour industry
Food is one of the key ingredients of a memorable wedding day. The latest food trend: uncomplicated food dished up to encourage social interaction and to minimise interference with the natural flow of events on the day. Create a fusion of food to suit your theme and stylise it in such a way that it fits in with your décor. For a rustic summer wedding, during pre-drinks, position picnic baskets filled with tins of antipasto, nuts, fruits, bread sticks and dips and some local cheeses. Allow guests to sit on blankets with oversized cushions for comfort. Serve your starters on wooden boards and opt for bite size desserts. At lunch wedding picnics, guests can be enticed to make their own pizzas and for those who are still hungry, wedding cake slices can be boxed in quaint parcels and sent home as stylish doggy bags. Gone are the days of predictability and boredom; the era of fun food has arrived and is here to stay.

Says Kate Rawbone: "Take a feather out of Eastern Cuisine’s Hat: bowl food, circulated spontaneously is currently a well-received trend. So are platters meant for sharing between guests at their tables. Sushi and wok stations with 'live chefs' will have people running back for seconds. Ingredients are full and flavoursome and local - often combining South African with culinary European trends."

Have your cake, and eat it
Whilst we’re chatting about food, the name Cape Town is synonymous with cutting edge design, décor and creativity. Respected around the world for its gastronomic and culinary delicacies – not to even mention its wines! Richard Holt elaborates: "These days, both local and international couples can literally pick and choose their service providers from an array of acclaimed caterers, internationally awarded restaurants and chefs, trendy and funky musicians; and top notch, super-talented photographers!" Christina adds, "For incredible entertainment why not add diversity with an African Children’s Choir for your ceremony, followed by a Marimba band or Jazz Trio to perform at Predrinks and finish the entertainment off with a highly acclaimed local band to take your party into the early hours of the morning?" Kate agrees, "A couple‘s wedding can also include some celebrated local dishes like ostrich or crocodile on their menu in an effort to bring an authentic African and unexpectedly beautiful element to the big day."

Wedding day timing revisite
The traditional formula for a wedding is receiving a complete make-over with couples now willing to take a brave leap in creating unconventional timings and formalities for their celebration. Who says you have to stick to the usual modus operandi? Here we recommend two scenarios that have been tried and tested by the Wedding Concepts team, and both were absolute hits amongst the guests as well as the bride and groom!

An early afternoon ceremony
A midday ceremony, followed by jazz and cocktails that then flow into an elegant afternoon luncheon (picture long banquet tables with platters of food being passed around encouraging guest interaction and wine in crystal decanters) – ending with cocktails, fun snacks and dancing as the sun sets.

The most unorthodox of all
Bride and groom both meet in the later half of the afternoon for photographs before the ceremony. Guests arrive around one hour prior to the ceremony’s commencement - which in this case would be closer to sunset. Drinks and snacks are served at this time and everyone relaxes. The couple joins their guests - socializing with them and sharing in all the excitement. Near sunset, everyone is asked to take their seats and the couple both join the minister under the canopy or walk down the aisle together. The ceremony is decorated with lots of candles rather than flowers which gives it an ethereal feel. The service is then delivered followed by a shorter congratulatory period afterwards and straight into dinner, speeches and ultimately the dance party.

Wedding Concepts
1 Park Road | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 426 5783 |

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