If you’re planning your Johannesburg wedding, perhaps consider opting for city chic instead of picturesque countryside. The city of gold boasts many city hotspots that could give your special day a touch of sophistication, glamour and style.
As a melting pot of cultures, Johannesburg offers a lively, pulsating and cosmopolitan setting in which to exchange your wedding vows. The city wedding allows for meaningful simplicity, whilst wowing your guests with signature skylines and a sophisticated edge.
So where do you start?
We asked Etienne O’Connell, head of events at Radisson Blu Hotel Sandon, for his top tips to plan the perfect city wedding, both calmly and cost effectively.
It’s likely that your venue will ultimately have the biggest influence on the rest of your wedding and is usually determined by two thought processes:
You want a venue in the city that is close to transport, with options like Uber and the Gautrain available for the guests who do not wish to drive.
Type of venue
You may require a venue with gorgeous city views for photographs, or you may need one where the majority of your guests can choose to stay onsite. Venues that require a lot of modification will be costly, so try and find a central space that has all the facilities you need in one place.
There are a number of wedding planners in Johannesburg who offer an experienced and professional service, an extensive network in the wedding industry and mountains of creativity and passion to help you realise your vision for your wedding day.
The city wedding is the modern version of the fairytale wedding, so choose iconic, stylish and sophisticated decorations that really represent you as a couple. The simplicity and sophistication of a city venue will allow for many themes to sit comfortably, including delicate pastels and florals or dramatic deeper hues and metallics to reflect the city lights.
Remember to discuss with your venue coordinator what is available in terms of décor (e.g. tablecloth/napkins colours/chairs & chair covers etc) as there may be options available to you at no additional cost and which are a great foundation for adding other elements.
Nothing transforms a space quite like the right lighting. Candles, string lights, light bulbs, coloured lights and lanterns all create ambience and add warmth to your city wedding. Don’t be afraid to use subtle hanging lamps or Edison bulbs instead of strip lighting as these contribute to an intimate and cosy atmosphere. If your venue boasts a view of the cityscape, play up the display of twinkling lights that already surround you by using less draping and dimmer lighting options such as indoor candles.
With a city wedding, the options for gorgeous backdrops to your wedding photography are simply endless. Your personal value of photographs will determine how much you spend, but do your homework and set up interviews to make sure your photographer will be able to accurately reflect your special day. If you’re having your wedding in the city, set up meet-and-greets with your short-listed photographers at the venue. This will eliminate the need for a site recce down the line, which will save you time.
It’s good to book your entertainment early, taking into account your budget and venue space. Keep in mind the timing of your day, and remember to allow time for your special first dance. To really embrace the city vibe, why not choose a local band, and dance the night away to your favourite tunes whilst sipping a cold local beer or glass of wine.
Your wedding favours should be practical and meaningful, making sure they fit within your theme. Let your inspiration be the height of sophistication – go with whatever it is that you really love. A great place to look for gifts, or elements to make up or package gifts is your closest China Mall.
Enjoy your day
If you fell in love in the city, it is only natural to celebrate your love by getting married in the city. Embrace Jozi’s contemporary culture and never let go of your perspective and sense of humour. Time flies, so make sure you allocate enough time to get ready, eat and enjoy yourselves.