Week 13 Wedding tips

Wedding Tips: The R10 000 per hour bride (Week 13)

As a wedding photographer, I have the luxury of being right in the middle of all the action, but also having that outsider’s look on the whole occasion of a wedding day.
After around 400 weddings I have seen my fair share of different type of brides. EVERY type of personality you can think of, I’ve met her. It’s amazing what a pressure cooker a wedding can be. In a way, it brings out one’s true self.
Some take it easy and enjoy the day for what it is, but some other brides… they get a bit frantic.
It has happened numerous times that I have a bride telling me at the consultation meeting that she is super relaxed about this wedding – and everything is under control – but then she is still micro-managing everything on the day! I feel empathy, because one only gets married once (hopefully if all works out well!) and I know you’ve been dreaming about this day for a long time and that is why everything must be perfect. The irony is, everything is perfect already! Why? Because you’re marrying the love of your life in front of everyone you love and care for, what a blessing! In fact, still managing everything, stressing about the little bows being tied perfectly around a little flower on the left side of the table, is actually making your day less perfect for you. Who wants to still worry on this, the most important day?

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for being super organised before the time: lists, files, spreadsheet, costings – my wife and I went through the same thing. But girls, on your wedding day, PUT THE FILES AWAY!
Let it all go and enjoy every last second of every moment, as it rushes past one in an instant.

Let’s do a little exercise.
Budget-wise weddings can differ quite a lot. Anything from R10 000 weddings up to R1 000 000 weddings. Let’s work on an average of R100 000, everything included.
Usually, a typical wedding is around 10 hours. From 16:00 until 24:00.
That amounts to about R10 000 per hour. If you as a bride are still organising, stressing and micro-managing on the actual wedding day, then these (very expensive) hours are slipping past you and you’re not making the most of it in terms of ENJOYMENT – basically, you’re throwing this money into the water. You cannot be a planner and a bride at the same time.
YOU are the most valuable and important person on this day. Without Bride and Groom, this wedding is not a wedding. If your memories are only about worrying about the candles, the weather, buttons on the dress and a myriad of these trivial little things, you missed the point. As a child, I always heard this saying (and I really despised it), but it is true: “Spyt kom altyd te laat”.
With this, I am not saying that you have to get a wedding planner. Not at all, not everyone has this luxury. Most of us plan EVERYTHING ourselves, down to the very last detail. But it is truly crucial that you put your phone away on the wedding day – and just focus on being a bride. You had months of being a planner, today is the only day that you truly are a bride, so ENJOY it! And have faith in your planning and organisational skills beforehand. If need be, get a coordinator for the day. Pay a friend or ask your sister to double check all the last details, but you, let it go. 99% of everything arranged will happen as planned. 1% might be a surprise, but that is part of the awesome story you’re telling your grandchildren someday.
Your time is the most valuable on this day. R10 000 per hour to be exact.
Relish every moment. Everyone attending the wedding will, in any case, think it is perfect – especially if the bride and groom are totally relaxed and having a good time and enjoying everything as it comes.
PS. I started writing this article a few months ago but only managed to finish it now, so it’s not written for once specific bride 🙂

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Riekert Cloete

Riekert Cloete

Celebrating 14 years as a professional photographer, Riekert Cloete is living in Durbanville, Cape Town, with his wife (Iza) and sons (Wilhelm and Jan-Frederick). He has an unhealthy affinity for litchis, loves rugby and sometimes fluffs bridal dresses on Saturdays. He lives for telling stories through photography. He also refers to himself in the 3rd person when writing his own bio.