Planning a wedding has got to be one of the most stressful yet exciting experiences ever. Don’t believe us? Just ask Sevens Rugby Player, Stephan Dippenaar.
The famous sportsman popped the important question to his now fiancée, Louise Müller on 16th July last year, a day before her birthday in Vleesbaai, Western Cape.
Since it’s Stephan’s big day this coming weekend, we caught up with him to find out the wedding do’s and don’ts before he says ‘I do’:
- MAKING THE ANNOUNCEMENT:
If possible, tell both sets of parents in person. It makes it that much more special. We then shared our exciting news on social media because it was something we were both excited about and had to share with others.
- DELVE INTO DREAMS:
Sit down with your fiancé and talk ideas. Think about the style you like, the colours, the theme, the overall mood you want to create. People say that planning a wedding is just for the ladies, but I have to disagree as I too had idea’s for our special day. We opted to go for bright colours and didn’t want the traditional wedding décor with pastel and cream colours. Our bright colours include pink, purple, yellow, orange and of course greenery.
- ROUGH OUT TIMING:
As a sportsman, my schedule is pretty busy with tours and practice, so we had to find the perfect time that would suit all our guests, especially since some of my guests are my rugby teammates. Louise also has friends coming from abroad so we needed to iron out dates way in advance. Once you know your date, you’ll know how long you have to get things organised.
- TALK MONEY:
It’s rare these days that the bride’s parents pick up the whole bill, so decide on your bottom line. Even before getting engaged, if you know this is something you are going to do soon, start saving. You will be surprised, as time goes by, how unforeseen costs spring up, so rather be prepared. Something to also consider is: are you going to cover all costs of the bar?
- GET ORGANISED:
I was lucky enough to have a great PR company taking care of my brand, so they were able to assist me with many wedding matters, but if you are not as lucky, start making lists and more lists. Write down the amount you want to spend on the item and then note your expenditures. As you near your limits, you can start to figure out ways to cut costs. I would also suggest setting up a wedding email address to use as correspondence to track all items and as a platform to send out invites. Be sure to set a date whereby all Save The Date’s must go out, followed by the actual invite at least 2 months following that.
- FINDING YOUR VENUE:
The venue should portray you as a couple! Start looking around and schedule as many visits to venues as possible. I firmly believe though, that when you see your venue, you’ll just know. We wanted a venue where you did not need anything else but flowers, with a white backdrop to work with. When we saw Groenrivier we were instantly in love. It is one of the few venues that can accommodate 140 guest’s, is not too far from home and offers accommodation. We also saw it fitting to get married in Riebeeck West since it is our neighbouring town now and we wanted to show our guests just how beautiful the Swatland area is.
Once you know the look, feel, venue and date, start sorting out your stationary. We had the most fantastic team from Victoria and Rose Stationery. We opted for an electronic Save The Date as it was easy to control and manage through our email account. Victoria created a beautiful wedding logo which we incorporated into all our stationery.
- WEDDING ATTIRE – BRIDE & BRIDESMAIDS
The designer of Louise’s dress is a friend of the family, Kobus Dippenaar. Her dress will be long sleeved and classical/timeless. She always dreamt of having a winter wedding and felt that the long sleeves just complimented and accentuated the romance that winter brings. Kobus basically had free reign to make something for her frame and it will form part of his new collection, named after Louise.
Her bridesmaids had custom made dresses from Kameo Clothing, who helped us select colours that would stand out and match the theme of the wedding. The dresses are hand-made and customised to bring out the ladies personalities.
- WEDDING ATTIRE – GROOM & GROOMSMEN:
Myself, and my groomsmen will be dressed by TM Lewin. They had suits specially selected for us from the TM Lewin range, which perfectly matched my brief. I love modern and sleek designs. My suit is a classic royal blue, which goes with the look & feel of the wedding. My groomsmen and I also had a fun day out trying on shoes from Dune London, to go with the suits.
I wanted to do something special for my groomsmen, so I had the wonderful team at Silvery.co.za create personalised cufflinks with their initials, to wear on the day.
As a couple we are very healthy and active, but there was no holding back on our wedding cake. We met with Emma’s Cakes who offered us an amazing cake tasting experience. We went ahead and chose a 3-tiered wedding cake and wanted a little bit of everything – Chocolate Ganache, Red Velvet, Pistachio on the top covered with Meringue and a Cheese-Cake on the side.
- OTHER ITEMS TO CONSIDER:
Going back to bar costs, we opted to offer all our guests free wine on the evening. We met with the most incredible team at Nederburg Wine Farm who gave us a personal tasting session, and allowed us to select which wines we wanted to showcase at our wedding.
Entertainment – what do you want to offer your guests, especially as they wait for you to take pictures? For entertainment during pre-drinks we arranged for the talented Marthinus van Tee to sketch the guests as they wait for us to arrive. We also booked DJ Joe for the music and will have my teammate, Chris Dry entertain our guests as the MC on the night.
A few other items to consider is transport, accommodation, the menu and the honeymoon. But if there’s one thing I want to emphasise, it’s that wedding planning should be an exciting journey and shouldn’t cause any tension between you and your partner, so don’t sweat the small stuff.
Follow Stephan Dippenaar on Instagram