12 Wedding Tips with no Regrets

By Julie Ndagire

Like most women. Glenda has been dreaming of her wedding since she was a little girl. But now that it’s around the corner, she is weighed down by all the things she needs to to to make her wedding the fairtale that she has always wanted. She never thought that planning a wedding a wedding could be such a headache. From the day her fiancé popped the question, the great elation she felt has since dwindled to near distate for the big day.

Nobody said that planning a wedding would be easy but many brides and their grooms don’t expect it to be so overwhelming. Once you zero in into the details, there is a lot to plan for. Apart from the real work, there is the money aspect of it.

Weddings are getting more and more expensive and the bigger your dreams is, the bigger the budget. Many a couple find themselves weighed down by planning and the stress actually impacts other aspects of their lives especially the relationships itself; with brides turning into ‘bridezilla’ if they are not getting their way.

It is possible to have a wedding and still keep your keep your head about you? Can you plan your wedding without alienating your family, friends and most importantly your fiancé? Yes you can. Here are tips to help you plan.

Do not procrastinate
From the moment you know that you are getting marries, start planning, Rogers Kisitu of forever events says that you need about a year to plan your wedding. “These days, you need about a year to book your church venue and even people getting married. You might get the church booked but find that the venue of your desire is unavailable on that day. That is why I would advise couple to start a whole year in advance so that they avaoid any disappointments or be forced to have their wedding during the week,” he says.
Spreading out on your planning overtime will also ease the burden of it so get on it as soon as possible.

Ask for help
Tell your friends what you envision your wedding to be like and ask them to help you come up with themes, colour schemes and other ideas. You will get more wonderful ideas with a little help.

Social media
Utilise social media to plan with your committee. You can have an e-mail group or facebook page where you can keep your friends updated with your planning and also get ideas from people without having to meet in person. This gives people time to contribute to your day in their free time without hassle.

Plan & Budget
Once you have set the date for the wedding , draw up a plan , a kind of timeline to guide you on planning for the big day. Once you have listed all the things you will need to do, put them down on the timeline so you have a spefic time allotted to a specific item.

Also, make a budget and stick to it. Pelga Origasha of Dashing Tale Events acknowledges that weddings are getting bigger each year, with couples breaking the bank to fund weddings they can’t really afford.’
“Stick with what you can afford so that you can avoid unnecessary stress, “ she says. “I would advise brides to do research beforehand and put a price on all the things they want like the gown, hair, nails, makeup etc. So you have a distinction on what you can afford and what needs to be out on the wedding budget for the meetings.”

Limit service providers
The less people you have to coordinate, the better. Kisitu of Forever Events say if you can get several services from one provider, utilize that opportunity. For example, get a venue that can a venue that can also provide the tables, chairs, linen, lighting, music and PA systems and even food plus drinks. This way, you will get a discount easily and also minimize the number of contacts.

Get a wedding planner
If you should shoulder the expenses, hire someone to shoulder the burden for you. Good wedding planners are available these days to help plan your wedding. Don’t feel like you are abdicating your role to someone, you can still make all the big decisions but she/he will work out the details. Pelga says that they are especially important in identifying the best service providers and can even get you good deals.

Me time
When you feel you are getting stressed out, take off time to exercise either by running, walking or going to the gym. Pelga advises brides to also use this time to have a facial and nails done months before the big day. A massage with your bridal entourage could also help release some stress. Also, by keeping fit and maintaining a healthy diet, you will have more energy to expand towards your wedding preparations while you are also keeping in shape for the big day.

Be flexible
Sometimes you might not be able to afford your dream wedding but it is not the end of the world. You should b willing to work within your budget. If you can’t have lilies, settle for roses. If you can’t afford expensive band, get a cheaper option. Remember that the wedding is only the beginning of the rest of your life.

Be realistic
Sarah Akwi says she had six months to plan her wedding but all pleasure she felt came from herself or fiancé.
“A wedding is special but it is about two people who are in love and have decided to make a commitment to each other and that is what matters most. We have such unrealistic expectations of the wedding day that we make it bigger than it really is. Think of it as a beautiful, important but fun day”, she says.
Once people look at a wedding more objectively, they will be less stressed.

Managing wedding stress is all about understanding just how much you’re capable of handling and in turn, recognizing when you’re way in over your head. “Think critically about all the tasks you have on your plate relating to the wedding, everything from meeting with the decorator to compiling the guest list. While some things will obviously have to be handled solely by you, determine what task can be delegated and enlist close family members, friends and your bridesmaids to help execute all those finicky details,” says Pelga.

As the wedding draws closer, your committee should take over all responsibility and liaise with the service providers. You don’t need people to be calling you on your wedding day.

Time for Each Other
The stress of planning and money worries can put a strain on the relationship, or limit your time spent with your together. Purpose to spend time together not talking about the wedding – not easy but achievable. Always remember that the end goal is the marriage not the wedding day only.

Benjamin says the last month to his wedding was nightmare that had him and his fiancé fighting to no end. Two weeks to the  to the wedding, he called up his fiancée and drove them to Entebbe to spend the day at the beach. They laughed off the stress and came back determined to enjoy the rest of the  their time.

You can’t please at all
“It is your wedding. Friends and family members especially parents often want to have a say in your specially day. Try to remind them that you and your partner are the ones getting married and be firm with this,” says Pelga. You cant please your old school parents who want traditional dancers and also your friends who want traditional dancers and also your friends who want guest artistes at the wedding without breaking the bank. This might mean putting your foot down.

As you plan for your wedding, there will be some stress but you can decide how much it affects you. There is nothing like the perfect wedding; so don’t kill yourself trying to be perfect with every details. So exercise, rest, play and enjoy the planning. You are the star of your wedding so don’t let the stress dull your shine on the big day

The Beautiful Mind of Preston Bailey

The king of event design Preston Bailey is renowned for his remarkable gift of creating oppulant magnificence! He is in the magical business of space transformation and we think his portfolio is just spectacular.

Take a step into his world of elegant fantasy and see for yourself.....

Meaning of Wedding Flowers

By Julie Ndagire

Flowers are symbolic. Some of the common flowers on the market are roses, Carnations, sunflower, baby breath, ferns and tiger lilies.

Some scholars suggest that the carnation’s name comes from the word ‘corone’ (flower glands) or ‘coronation’ because of its use in Greek ceremonial crowns. Carnations symbolizes love, fascination and distinction. Each colour carries a unique meaning. The white carnation means pure love and good luck. The light red carnation symbolizes admiration, while the dark red one symbolizes deep love and affection.

The Anthurium

The one with open-heart shaped flowers, symbolizes hospitality. It is also known as the flamingo flower or boy flower or painter’s palette because of its distinctive shape and colour.

Baby Breath
It also symbolizes innocence. It is usually referred to as the bridal rose. It is associated with young love, truth and loyalty with the message “I am worth of you”

The sunflower symbolizes adoration, haughties and devotion.

The Rose
Regardless of colour, the rose has been regarded as a sign of confidentiality. The latin expression sub rosa (literally means ‘under the rose’) which is something told in secret.

The yellow rose in Victorian times symbolizes jealosy. Today, it implies friendship, joy, warmth, gladness, care and affection. While the white rose also symbolizes purity, humility and innocence, a pink rose symbolizes gentility, femininity elegance and refinement while deep pink symbolizes gratitude. Pale shades of pink stand for grace, gentleness, admiration and happiness. Orange stands for enthusiasm, desire, admiration, attraction, passion and excitement. Lilac or purplr roses stand for enchantment, desire and love at first sight.

The red roses is also known as the lover’s rose. It alsoe represents romantic love and enduring passion.

A combination of red and yellow roses symbolizes gaiety (cheerfulness) and happiness. A red and white combination symbolizes unity.

Yellow and orange roses symbolizes passionate thoughts. The white dried rose symbolizes that death is preferable to loss of virtue. A single rose means “I still love you!” A bouquet of red rose buds means innocent love and ‘you are forever young and beautiful’ while a thornless rose stands for ‘love at first time’

A pink rose symbolizes a mother’s undying love that is why it is worn on Mothers day and given on the first wedding anniversary.

The Lily
It symbolizes majesty, wealth, pride, purity and innocence. The white lily symbolizes purity, modesty, virginity and majesty. The message it spells out is ‘ it is heavenly to be with you’. The orange lily symbolizes flame and the message it passes on is ‘I burn for you’. A yellow lily symbolizes walking on air, lily of the valley symbolizes the return of happiness, purity of heart, sweetness, ‘you have made life complete’, humility and love’s good fortune.

These symbolize rebirth and new beginning. They are usually given on 10 th wedding anniversary.

Caring for Nails on Wedding Day

By Betty Among

Finally having the wedding band on is one of the highlights of bride’s day. It follos that the bride’s hand should be in good condition and the nails presentable and pretty to look at.

Artificial Nails such as acrylic, fibre glass and gel are commonplace. The advantage of wearing these nails is that, done well, they give a perfectly groomed appearance and the nail polish will not chip once it has set.

Artsy: Using henna to create intricate designs on the bride’s hands is becoming increasingly common at weddings, but more so at traditional wedding functions. This is especially for the Muslim brides.

The manicure
The white –tipped French manicure is a popular choice for the wedding day, while a lot of bride today are going very bold at introduction ceremonies and going so far as to coordinator the colour on their nails to the color- scheme for the day

Why hands too need attention
Our hands perform a multitude of tasks, they are often subject to scrutiny on a day-to-day
Basis. On the wedding day, a bride’s hands and nails will be the focus of attention while at the altar, at the exchange of rings, signing the register and certificate s and shaking hands with guest. These are moments and details which photographers love to capture. It simply will not do for a bride to have unkempt, unattractive hands and nails.

Nail care tips leading to the Big day
For hands that will look soft pampered and groomed on the wedding day, every bride needs to make a conscious decision to put in extra effort starting at least six months to the wedding. Here are a few tips to get the process going;
Have a professional manicure and pedicure done at least once every two weeks in the six months leading up to the wedding.
Avoid wearing acrylic nails during this period so that your nails can benefit from the various strengthening and nourishing treatments on offer.
Make sure your hands are constantly moistured by having a good hand lotion constantly handy.
Avoid exposing your hands to harsh detergents. If you must do the laundry and the dishes, wear household gloves.
Use gardening gloves while working in the garden.

Marriage & the step parent dilemma

The society in which we live today is filled with wonderful blended families that come in all shapes and sizes.  We're not just talking about couples coming together from different cultural backgrounds, but also couples coming together, each with children of their own. (How could we forget The Brady Bunch - if only it was that easy). So many of the couples I see as a celebrant have families like this.

The joining of two families can be a really wonderful experience, but it would be remiss not to mention the fact that it can also be exceptionally difficult and fraught with potential disasters, particularly when combined with the stress of planning a wedding. Step parenting is never easy and we all know very well that planning a wedding can be overwhelming, even for the calmest of couples, but combining the two can see some couples in total despair.

To any of you who have successfully brought two families together while planning and executing an amazig wedding, we commend you. You truly deserve a round of applause.

BUT, for those of you (and I'm sure there are many) who are currently struggling with a suddenly much larger family, while trying to plan your big day and include children and step children, then we symapthise and are here to help.

In working with many couples in this situation I have put together a few ideas I wanted to share with you that may hopefully help you in finding ways to include children and step children and ease the stress of  any family tension that may be lingering.

I have found that finding ways to include and unite the family on such a public level really helps to strengthen the bond and puts the focus on inclusion and unity rather than exclusion and individuality.

Here are some ideas to help:

1. If the children are old enough allow them to act as junior bridesmaids/groomsmen. Asking them to stand beside you earns them a level of importance and respect that you may find helps them to feel apart of it all.

2. If you are each coming to the marriage with a couple of children it may not be practical to have them as attendant in the ceremony. I once did a ceremony for a couple where they each had 3 children and so they bought each of them a gold letter (the childs first initial) and as part of the ceremony each child was asked to come forward as the step parent placed the necklace on and gave them a kiss. All  the guests were crying and the children were so proud and pleased it was beautiful.

3. Include a unity ritual in your ceremony. A great way of making children feel included is by having a unifying ritual. A sand ceremony is a great example (see our sand ceremony for an example) I perform many sand ceremonies with families which usually requires a vase of coloured sand each different and representing the particular family member, They each then pour their sand into the large vase so the colours layer beautiful and then the vas eis then sealed. The glass can be engraved with the wedidng details or an engraved plaque put on the front. Once on display in the home the significance of the once single colours of sand that can now never be seperated again from the others is a constant reminder of the families bond.

4. If they are not wanting or confident enough to take part in the ceremony then give them a job. Ushering guests, handing out rose petals or bubbles. This will allow them to have a purpose on the day.

We really hope this helps and if you are still stuck feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help with more ideas.

The Wedding Gurus

Wedding Flowers – How to Choose The Right Type

By Julie Ndagire
Flowers are so beautiful that they add a special appeal to the wedding ceremony. You can get different colours of flowers to match the theme colours to grace your big day. Here is what to consider when choosing flowers for your wedding.

Your Budget
Your budget will determine the kind of flowers you will have for your wedding. If you want particular flowers that are off season, these will be more expensive than those that are for the season. The more the flowers you want, the higher the Cost.
Roses are the most expensive flowers to have so if you want a low-budget wedding, consider using roses.
According to Lilian Adriko of Homes and Gardens in Kampala, Ordhis are expensive but make beautiful arrangements.
The beauty of the floral arrangement is important, this is something to consider when choosing flowers for the décor,
If you want to include tiger lilies in your floral arrangements the cost increases because these are imported from Kenya. A couple can have floral arrangements from Kenya. A couple can have floral arrangements with exotic flowers I they can afford it.

The theme
Your theme colour will also determine the kind of flowers that you choose. For instance , for the florist to get the colour scheme right, the bride or groom can take a piece of fabric of the outfit they will wear to the florist.
Still in regard to the theme, Adriko reveals that one can choose a tropical theme to depict the nature of Uganda. This theme can be reflected in the décor for the day.

To choose something different, one can use flowers in different colours. Florists in many towns say some couple prefer using four to six different colours of flowers.
Some couples use flowers to define the sitting arrangements at the reception. For example parents might sit at a table with red roses while friends sit at one with orange roses.
Another alternative is to mix and match two colours of roses for each table’s centerpiece for that unique touch. What is important here is to ensure that the choice of colours blends with the theme colours of the wedding.

Create time for people
Florists should create adequate time to listen to the couple’s interests and likes when choosing flowers for their wedding.
Today, couples are more demanding. They want something new and different not what they saw at a friend’s wedding. This puts pressure on florists. It becomes more complicate when a couple goes to a florist with lots of wedding magazines to illustrate the kind of décor they would love.
A Rose Decorated cake

It is important for the florist to relate to the age group of the couples that are wedding because it makes choosing the flowers they want easier.

What to choose
This depends on the personalities of couple. For someone who loves yellow for their décor, she or he can use sunflower with yellow roses.

At homes and Gardens, the sunflower has been skillfully used for decorations at weddings by sticking single flowers on a white table cloth to potray its beauty dramatically.

With red as the colour of love one might choose red roses to potray that. With red roses this is the perfect way to go.

Brides should be advised on the kind of bouquet to choose that will flatter the style of their gowns and the bridesmaids’ dresses. The bouquet should compliment the gown and not overshadow its style.
The couple should also be guided on whether to choose flowers according to their meanings or only the colour scheme.

Best Wedding Suits

By Julie Ndagire

A best wedding suit is everything for an outstanding groom. Despite of the colour, style of the suit, one should try as much as possible to look elegant on his wedding day as a groom. Wedding suits can be got from any bridal shop provided in that particular colour, design, make and style.

Black Wedding Suit with White Half Coat and Black Tie

Dark Grey Wedding Suit

Stripped Grey Wedding Suit 

Dark Blue Wedding Suit

Black Wedding Suit

Grey wedding Suits with Maroon Ties

Black Wedding suit with Cream Half Coat and tie

Dark Grey Wedding Suit With tie and white stripped half coat

Kate Moss & Jamie Hince Wedding

Kate's wedding gown by John Galliano is a perfect picture of romantic elegance

The page boys military jacket (by Bill Bull) and flower girls dresses (by Bonpoint) 
Lila Grace (Kate Moss' Daughter) wild flower bouquet and floral head garland
Kate Moss with Daughter Lila Grace and father Peter Moss
Arriving in a silver vintage rolls royce Lila Grace helps her mum (wearing gorgeous Manolo Blahniks).
Kate's 1920's inspired lace veil with flower embroidery was just stunning
Kate with her 13 flower girls and 2 page boys arriving at the chapel where 138 guests await to see the marriage

St Peters Church Southrop
Kate's vintage ring was inspired by 1920's icon Zelda Fitgerald
We are sure Jamie Hince (dressed in a blue suit by Stefano Pilati) is stunned by his new wifes stunning radiance

This 6 tiered cake (each layer a different flavour may we add) is by talented London bake Peggy Porschen

The reception, held in a Edwardian Marquee was beautifully decorated with flowers by Scarlet and Violet
The function was catered for by Londons Dorchester Hotels and The Ritz Carlton Paris
Teepees were erected in the field for the children to rest

*Photos of Kate Moss Wedding originally from Vogue and photographed by Mario Testino.