SA Weddings

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The Answers To All Your Wedding Questions

Planning a wedding is no easy task and interviewing potential wedding co-ordinators can be a daunting item to tick off that never-ending list. The team at SA Weddings asked the ladies behind Aleit Weddings to give us the scoop on the most frequently asked questions from their brides.


1. How is a bar deposit calculated?

Calculating the bar deposit normally falls to your wedding co-ordinator. The reason for this is that your co-ordinator is most probably on friendly terms with the venue. You will find that most venues will differ in price terms of their bar list, so your co-ordinator will base their estimate on the indiviudal list and also how much wine will be allocated to each guest.

The bar deposit is also dependent on whether you plan to have a full cash bar or a full open bar. Your average bottle of wine equals four glasses. A bottle of spirits contains thirty shots and a bottle of bubbly averages a serving on 6 glasses. Also- remember to take into account the season and what's on your menu, as food and wine pairing are obviously very important.

2. In your total budget, is the bar cost one of the most expensive factors?

This is all dependent on your amount of guests, the type of guests, the venue and the type of alcohol you're going to be serving. You'll need to decided if you would like a cash bar, a running tab or both. It can be a difficult decision and some couples choose to cover all the wines, where the guests are then asked to pay for the hard tack!

Another important fact to remember is whether there is a corkage free - let's hope not!

3. Are setup staff really neccesary?

Yes, most certainly! They can be hired from a bar and staffing company and will help you lay your tables, fold napkins, polish cutlery and glassware. Let's face it- you’ve got bigger things to worry about on the day – so we say, use a preferred service provider for this so you can focus on getting wedding-ready!

4. How many waiters do I need?

The average here is 1 waiter to every 8-10 guests. It's also advised that you add an extra 4 waiters to your quote to help with wine pouring and food service (this helps when things get a little busy later on!)

5. What about health and safety at my wedding?

The South African law states that in any event over fifty guests, you are required to get a permit. You do not require a permit for your wedding if your venue is a permanent structure, however if you are erecting a structure from scratch it's definitely needed!

It also falls to the type of client attending the event. If you are hosting high profile guests, you will need to take out a permit in case of an emergency. If an accident does occur and you have a permit in place, it will notify emergency services and they will be able to do their job more effectively as they know who, what and the amount of people on location.

But luckily, your venue has all the permits and public liability insurance sorted on your behalf.

6. What about sound restrictions at my wedding?

A question that is always asked is 'how long can I party till'? This is a common misconception at weddings. Many venues fall within a residential area so sound restrictions are in place to avoid grumpy neighbours and potential complaints.

Most wine estates will allow to you party until 2am as that is when the the bar will close according to liquor laws. You must also remember that if you do party longer, you'll need to pay all your service providers over-time.

So, always be sure to keep in mind the possibility of sound restrictions when planning your big day.

7. Do I need a wedding cake?

The trend is changing, wedding cakes are seeming a little superfluous as nobody eats them at the end of the day. We find lots of brides nowadays are looking at a plated dessert option or a dessert station. There are so many incredibly creative cake alternatives to consider- from cheeses, donut walls and ice cream trucks, the list is endless and can add some serious quirk to your big day!

8. Should I have a contingency fee?

Yes, yes and double yes. If there are any breakages, shortages or overtime payments required or anything you really want last-minute on the day, this is basically 'emergency money' that you can use. For example, your guest count went up or it's raining and now you need a bedouin tent- you can use your contingency fee to fix it al!

9. Is decor a big requirement?

This all depends. Furniture is usually the first cut to be made from the budget, this is mainly done to avoid ruining the look and feel of the wedding but remember that most of the time, your venue will offer some seating options for your pre-dinner that you can make use of to cut costs.

10. What trends do your foresee for the year?

We are seeing Marsala make a colour come back this year instead of the Pantone Colour of the Year. Brides are choosing the more dark colours over the usual wedding pastels. Nude is also popular as well as pops of colour, something that is currently trending is the use of black chairs and candles, who would have thought?!