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How To Plan A Wedding


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p r e t t y (2)I recently went to a very pretty wedding. It made me think about how much work goes into planning one and making it extra special. After extensive research, here’s the pointers for planning your big day from the experts.

16 Months Before

+ Begin leafing through bridal, lifestyle, fashion, gardening, design and food magazines for inspiration

+ Determine how much you have to spend, based on your families’ contributions and your own

+ Pick your wedding party

+ Start a guest list – make a head count database to use throughout your planning process with columns for contact info, RSVPs, gifts, and any other relevant information

+ Decide on a date

+ Book your venue

+ Research a good photographer, band, florist and caterer

+ Hire a wedding planner if you wish

+ Throw an engagement party – remember that your invitees should be on your wedding guest list as well

Pretty weddings + how to plan them

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8 Months Before

+ Hire a photographer and a videographer

+ Book the entertainment, florist and caterer

+ Purchase a dress – you’ll need to schedule time for at least three fittings. Veil shopping can be postponed for another two to three months

+ Reserve a block of hotel rooms for guests – pick three hotels at different price points close to the reception venue

+ Create your gift register – sign up at a minimum of three retailers

+ Launch a wedding blog or facebook page – create your personal page through a free provider such as weddingchannel.com, wordpress.com or Facebook. Note the date of the wedding, travel information, and accommodations. Then send the link to invitees

Pretty weddings + how to plan themPretty weddings + how to plan them

6 Months Before

+ Select and purchase invitations

+ Start planning a honeymoon – make sure that your passports are up-to-date and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need

+ Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses – allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized

+ Meet the officiant – map out the ceremony and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding (these vary by county and religion)

+ Send the save-a-date cards

+ Reserve structural and electrical necessities – book portable toilets for outdoor events, extra chairs if you need them, lighting components etc.

+ Book a florist

+ Arrange transport – consider limos, minibuses, trolleys and town cars. Remember that low-to-the-ground limos can make entries and exits dicey if you’re wearing a fitted gown

+ Start composing a “day-of” timeline – draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (the cake-cutting, the first dance)

Pretty weddings + how to plan them

4 Months Before

+ Book the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner venues – negotiate the cost and the menu. If you’re planning to host a day-after brunch for guests, book that place as well

+ Check on the wedding invitations – ask the stationer for samples of the finished invitations and revise them to suit your needs

+ Select and order the cake – some bakers require a long lead time. Attend several tastings before committing to any baker

+ Send your guest list to the host of your shower – provided you, ahem, know about the shower

+ Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings

+ Schedule hair and makeup artists

+ Choose your music – what should be playing when the wedding party is announced? During dinner? To kick off the dancing?

Pretty weddings + how to plan them

3 Months Before

+ Finalize the menu and flowers – you’ll want to wait until now to see what will be available, since food and flowers are affected by season

+ Order favours, if desired – some safe bets: monogrammed cookies or a treat that represents your city or region. If you’re planning to have welcome baskets for out-of-town guests, plan those now too

+ Make a list of the people giving toasts

+ Finalize the readings

+ Purchase your undergarments and schedule your second fitting

+ Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception

+ Print menu cards, if you like, as well as programs

+ Purchase the rings -this will give you time for resizing and engraving

+ Send your event schedule to the vendors

Pretty weddings + how to plan them

2 Months Before

+ Touch base again with all the vendors

+ Meet with the photographer

+ Discuss specific shots and walk through the locations to note spots that appeal to you

+ Review the playlist with the band or deejay

+ Send out the invitations – the rule of thumb: mail invitations six to eight weeks before the ceremony, setting the RSVP cutoff at three weeks after the postmark date

+ Submit a newspaper wedding announcement – if you’re planning to include a photograph, check the publication’s website: Some have strict rules about how the photo should look

+ Enjoy a bachelorette party – arranging a night out with your girlfriends generally falls to the maid of honour. But if she hasn’t mentioned one to you by now, feel free to ask if a celebration is in the works

Pretty weddings + how to plan them Pretty weddings + how to plan them

1 Month Before

+ Enter the RSVPs into your guest-list database – phone people who have not yet responded

+ Get your marriage license – the process can take up to six days, but it’s good to give yourself some leeway. If you are changing your name, order several copies

+ Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations

+ Visit the dressmaker for (with luck!) your last dress fitting – for peace of mind, you may want to schedule a fitting the week of your wedding. You can always cancel the appointment if you try on the dress then and it fits perfectly

+ Stock the bar – now that you have a firm head count you can order accordingly

+ Send out as many final payments as you can

+ Confirm times for hair and makeup and all vendors

+ E-mail and print directions for drivers of transport vehicles

+ Assign seating

+ Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts – you’ll present them at the rehearsal dinner

+ Write vows, if necessary

+ Get your hair cut and coloured

Week of the Wedding

+ Reconfirm arrival times with vendors

+ Delegate small wedding-day tasks – choose someone to bustle your dress, someone to carry your things, someone to be in charge of gifts (especially the enveloped sort), someone to hand out tips and someone to be the point person for each vendor

+ Send a timeline to the bridal party – include every member’s contact information along with the point people you’ve asked to deal with the vendors, if problems arise

+ Pick up your dress

+ Check in one last time with the photographer – supply him or her with a list of moments you want captured on film

+ Set aside cheques for the vendors – put tips in envelopes to be handed out at the event

+ Book a spa treatment – make an appontment for a manicure and a pedicure the day before the wedding. (You might want to get a stress-relieving massage, too.)

+ Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events – typically, companies close their lists 72 hours in advance

+ Break in your shoes

+ Assemble and distribute the welcome baskets

+ Pack for your honeymoon

Pretty weddings + how to plan them

Notes

+ Get everything in writing from suppliers

Get everything in writing from suppliers and read the fine print. Written cost estimates should be carefully checked and physically signed off by you or your partner. Couples have been caught out in the past by, for instance, hotels that charge double rates after certain hours. Also, set a limit on your bar bill, because no-one wants to cancel their honeymoon just to pay off the tequila

+ Ask for a discount

If you get married on any day other than a Saturday, you may be eligible for major discounts. Most venues and suppliers set their rates for ‘in-demand’ Saturday afternoons, so ask for a discount because rates on other days may be cheaper

+ Choose the right marriage officer for you

Choose a marriage officer (priest, rabbi, imam or guru) who knows his or her stuff. They should be able to advise you about the legalities, paperwork and order of ceremony. For instance, a wedding is only legally binding if the register is signed in a religious building, private home or government office. Plus, South African citizens must present valid green ID books; passports are not permissible. Your marriage officer should cost between R1 700 and R1 800, and that should include about 10 hours of counseling and rehearsal time

+ Get it copied

Get a photocopy of the marriage register and your marriage certificate on the spot. Otherwise, this can take up to six months to source

+ Fix your will

Get your will amended because you’re now part of a new family. Sign an antenuptial agreement. Think long-term sensibility, even in the midst of the wedding planning and blissful excitement

+ Wedding planners

Wedding planners should charge a maximum of 10% of the total cost of the wedding – but only on invoices from suppliers they commissioned on your behalf. Make sure you check the suppliers’ clauses. For example, if a venue charges overtime, you’ll be paying that extra cost plus another 10% for your planner

Wedding Planning Companies in South Africa

Timeless Weddings 

The Little Pink Book

Wedding Concepts

 Wedding Photographers in South Africa

Cape Town

Cape Town

Stellenbosch

Johannesburg

Johannesburg

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth

Pretoria

Durban

❤ Africa, My Life in Africa

Do Gentlemen Prefer Blondes?


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Do gentlemen prefer blondes?

I dyed my hair brunette for a temporary change a few months ago. It was fun and interesting to see how people acted with me after. It led me to do some research on men’s attraction to different hair colours and why. I found an awesome article on psychology.com. Apparently in a recent article published in the “Scandinavian Journal of Psychology”, Viren Swami and Seishin Barrett conducted two studies in the greater London area. Studies 1 and 2 consisted of 120 and 126 male participants respectively.

The study

1. To determine whether the same woman would be approached by men at one of three nightclubs as a function of whether she was a brunette, blonde or redhead (her hair was manipulated with dye).

2. To gauge whether photos of the same woman sporting the the three hair colors would yield different evaluations by men along the following ten traits: physical attractiveness, sexual promiscuity, intelligence, introversion, neuroticism, approachability, competency, arrogance, neediness and temperamentality.

The findings

Brunette: Scored higher than the two other hair colors on physical attraction, intelligence, competence and arrogance. Scored higher than the redhead on approachability.

Blonde: Scored highest on approachability than the two other hair colors, as well as highest on neediness.

Redhead: Scored higher than the two other hair colors on temperamentality and lowest on approachability. This seems to be a manifestation of the “fiery redhead” stereotype.

There were no differences in the findings on impressions of sexual promiscuity, introversion, and neuroticism.

The bottom line

It would appear that blonde women are approached more frequently in a nightclub but are generally judged more harshly along a wide range of traits. This could explain the lower score than the brunette on physical attraction in the photo. It’s logical men subconsciously take into account these traits when making a first impression. Hair colour preference is likely driven by individual idiosyncrasies as well cross-cultural differences (i.e. this is a preference that is rooted in evolutionary principles; that lighter hair is associated with youthfulness, a trait universally fancied by men).

How interesting!

❤ Digital

Scriptures on Healing


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Scripture on Healing
Me at Marble Arch, London. A very peaceful place
Exodus 23:25 And you shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless your bread, and your water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of you.
Psalms 103:3 Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases;
Psalms 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore health to you, and I will heal you of your wounds, said the LORD; because they called you an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeks after.
Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
Matthew 9:12 But when Jesus heard that, he said to them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give.
Matthew 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.
❤ Digital

What is Your Truth? (Part Two) Working with Chakras


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Working with Chakras

Now that you’ve read this awesome post on how to get comfortable with yourself, we can focus on how to get all aspects of you working together in harmony. This part is about working with chakras. Energy work is one of the best ways to feel whole and balanced. It’s why yoga all over the world is so popular.

Although originating as a Buddhist belief, I’m Christian and still find it useful. With a few stretches, you focus on each of these centers and what they represent. It works for anyone. You always finish feeling energized. Take a few minutes as you concentrate on each energy center and do a yoga pose while you think on what they teach and how it applies to your life.

ROOT CHAKRA / RED

This chakra is based on being physically aware and feeling comfortable in many situations. If opened, you should feel well-balanced and sensible, stable and secure. You don’t distrust people around you for no reason.You feel present in what is happening right now, and very connected to your physical body. Think about:

– Accepting all that has been

– Forgiving yourself and others for mistakes and releasing bad energy

– Holding onto wisdom you’ve learnt

– Remembering where you come from

– Anchoring yourself in all that you are: your history, your culture, your religion, your nationality, your family, your education.

Find Your Truth Base Chakra

Yoga poses to open Root Chakra

SACRAL CHAKRA / ORANGE

This chakra deals with feeling and sexuality. If open, feelings are released with liberty and are expressed without you being over-emotional. You are open to affinity and can be passionate as well as outgoing. You also have no problems based on sexuality. You are free without comprimising your integrity or health. Think about being open to receive the romantic energy of a partner in your life; the idea of power in collaboration and strength in unity. You feel comfortable in exploring and expressing your sexuality with someone. Work on believing there is a committed, good, loyal person who will compliment you and love you unconditionally.

Working with Sacral Chakra in Finding your Truth

Yoga poses to open Sacral Chakra

 SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA / YELLOW

This chakra encircles confidence, especially when in a group. When open, you should feel in control and have a good feeling of dignity in yourself. This is because you recognize your self-worth and take pride in all the achievements, victories and triumphs you’ve enjoyed in life. Spend time on this chakra honouring yourself and what you’ve built – that which you have created and manifested. It’s important to thank yourself for what you have worked hard to achieve. Think on the opportunities you have taken hold of. It’s about the success of inspired action, progess, reputation and good intentions towards others. Part of your self-worth is standing your ground on your values and moral principles. Through this power chakra, you feel confident in life and embrace the endless possibilities of the future.

Working with Solar Plexus Chakra in Finding Your Truth

Yoga poses to open Solar Plexus Chakra

 HEART CHAKRA / GREEN

This chakra is all about love, caring, and endearment. When open, you seem to be compassionate and friendly, always working in amicable relationships. This chakra is about emotional empowerment, including that which you give yourself and that which you give others. It is nurturing and kind; seeing only the beauty in others. It’s acknowledging all the good people you’ve met along the way. It’s focusing on the abundance of people in the world who are happy in themselves; balanced, supportive and sweet. It’s asking God to send you more of them. It’s agreeing to honour others if they honour you; practicing mutual give and take. It’s caring for the planet and loving your environment unconditionally. The heart chakra sits right in between the three lower chakras and the three upper chakras. The three lower chakras have everything to do with your physical body, while your upper chakras are more about your spirit. It’s a deeply balancing chakra.

Working with Heart Chakra in Finding Your Truth

Yoga poses to open Heart Chakra

 THROAT CHAKRA / BLUE

This chakra is based on self-expression and communication. When the chakra is open, expressing yourself is easy. Art seems to be a great way to do this. You express your truth with comfort. You also receive others’ truth well and can assimilate information with clarity and deep understanding. It’s listening and communicating clearly, maturely and equally. It’s knowing what you want out of life and not being afraid to ask for it. It’s focusing on offering creative, helpful advice. It’s receiving the thoughts and opinions of others with humility. It’s taking responsibility for your needs and what you need to say. When it’s open, any blockages in your speech and communication dissipate and the peace of God flows through you. It’s about the nourishment of authentic communication so you can live a happy, enriched life communicating and receiving ideas freely. It’s about the potency of prayer and talking – to yourself, to others and to God.

Working with Throat Chakra in Finding Your Truth

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 3rd EYE CHAKRA / INDIGO

Like it’s name, this chakra deals with insight. When open, you have excellent clairvoyance and tend to dream a lot. You are sensitive to your “gut” feelings of intuition and follow its promptings where you can. You know your intuition has your best interests at heart. As a result of work on this chakra, you have a “knowing” of what to do or how to act in any situation. You bring out the best in any person you’re with. You adapt to situations as your intuition tells you to. You sense emotions when you’re with people and change your energy to suit the mood so you leave them feeling good about themselves. You know you can give your peace and love freely because it will flow back to you from God’s limitless fountain. As a result, you enjoy fruitful interactions and productive outcomes. It’s about versatility through higher wisdom. It’s about flexibility in thought and connecting with people in a way that generates the best result. In helping others, you enjoy the mastery that deep spiritual intelligence brings. By the same token, this chakra is about sensing danger and “seeing” ill-intentioned people so you can avoid disaster. It’s your compass to navigate through the world; sticking around the good and steering clear of the bad.

Working with 3rd Eye Chakra in Finding Your Truth

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CROWN CHAKRA / VIOLET

This is the seventh and most spiritual chakra. It encompasses a person’s wisdom and being one with the universe. When this chakra is open, prejudice disappears from your “To Do” list, and you seem to become more aware of the world and it’s connection to yourself. You access a higher wisdom; a connection to the Divine. You acknowledge your potential; all that you could be. You welcome God’s plan for your life, knowing it is good. You acknowledge that all manifestations are a result of what you think and believe. It’s about being open and asking for Divine guidance. Subsequently, it’s about receiving messages from God through people and nature. It’s owning that we’re all dreamers with the power of intention within us; creating our own reality via our thought life. We are equal parts of the same whole that is humanity. This chakra is about integration; of us with ourselves and of us with the universe God created. It is connection to lower, middle and higher self. It’s perspective on life and the ability to see the bigger picture. It’s transcendence, spiritual awakening, growth and ascension.

Working with Crown Chakra in Finding Your Truth

Yoga pose for Opening the Crown Chakra

Other yoga poses to try:

Cover Photo: Death To The Stock Photo

Brand Promos

Valentines Giveaway!♥


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To celebrate Valentines Day this month, I’m holding a giveaway courtesy of Catrice Cosmetics. All you need to do to win a divine gift bag with some fantastic goodies, is send in 2 photos of yourself – before and after makeup!

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Lucky Charms


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The All Important Birthday

I’ve recently been invited to a 21st birthday celebration. I always get excited for occasions because it’s a reason to spoil your loved one and show them how much you care. Of course, the quest to find the perfect gift for my friend has begun and I’ve just struck gold with a fabulous idea!

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