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Being a wedding planner in one of the worlds’ favourite wedding destinations, Cape Town, is an inspirational pleasure! Not only do we have a myriad of diverse, and equally as alluring locations to choose from, but our currency continues to favour bridal couples from abroad, and our top notch industry resources abound, from fabulous florists to gastronomic genii – jewellery designers to couture magicians, the wedding industry in Cape Town offers a myriad of world class talent and passion for craft…

And then, of course, there is our weather!  

Milder winter temperatures and sparkling, sometimes blistering summers broadly defines Cape weather, with the addition of the summer South-easter wind that has uprooted many a bedouin in our time, and the famed but furious winter storms that have demanded us to ensure detailed ‘plan B’s’ are more than in place.

Sadly, the rain foe that was simply an inconvenience to us in the past, has driven us to develop a ‘plan C’ into practise. And this one, now for a lack of rain, allows us to execute the wedding of your dreams, in a drought, and in the event of there being NO water at all!

It has tested our levels of creativity and forced us, not only out of the box, but to trust and rely on the collective efforts of our industry colleagues more than ever before. It is not just up to us as wedding planners, to have our ‘B’s and C’s’ firmly in place – but it is our duty to ensure that we align ourselves with best-practices across our supplier circles. Our ‘plan C’ is only as good as the ‘plan C’ of each and every service provider contracted to the wedding team. And hence, we have come to define our ‘C’ as: Collective, Committed, Creative, Collaborative, Caring, Considerate, Careful, Challenging - driving an already mammoth task into new territories.

But above all else, our primary concern lies with our clients and instilling and ensuring their peace of mind, which reminds us how grateful we are to be able to lean on the collective efforts of a brilliant pool of like-minded wedding industry professionals. Salute!

Here are a few considerations that form part of our collective ‘plan C’:

  • Consider venues that are 100% ‘off the water grid’ and harvest their own water for supply and irrigation. Better yet, explore ‘off the beaten track’, more intimate venues that have their own abundant spring water supply
  • Ensure that the menu does not rely on using volumes of water during the cooking process. Challenge the chef to tailor accordingly – you might be surprised at the results – chefs are trained to think imaginatively! Stay away from courses that require preparation in the form of steaming or boiling, opting rather for fresh, flash fried, smoked or grilled options.
  • Discuss with the venue/ catering company, ways to minimise dirty dishes, without detracting from the sophistication, elegance, ambience of the wedding feast:

           - creatively served canapes – think bamboo, recyclable paper cones and cups, sushi served with chopsticks, finger snack style (finger being the operative word)

           - one-pot, single plate/ or plattered mains

           - candy-shop style dessert tables offering recyclable “gourmet doggy box” containers

           - personally monogrammed recyclable coffee cups, paper straws, linen-like paper napkins (alleviating the washing of linen napkins)

  • Did you know that florists can use up to 500l of water for a large wedding! Opt for ‘water wise’ floral and design elements such as: succulents (bang on trend!) and responsibly foraged braches, grasses, cones and leaves
  • Opt for less fresh floral design elements and concentrate on lighting, lighting, lighting and softs using a variety of natural textures such as wood, ceramics, glass and old, mixed with new metallic detailing
  • Ensure that your guest and bridal accommodation options have water back-up plans in place
  • And, a summer wedding by the sea, prompts swimming as a means of bathing, which in itself is cleansing, invigorating….and, and, and…

Also, we advise that you ensure that budgetary contingencies are in place for water sur-charges that are a new reality for many venues and service providers.

We feel strongly that one should keep in mind that your guests (who are hopefully the group of people whom you love most in this world, and are therefore attending your wedding for all the right reasons) will be mindful of the fact that your wedding may be taking place during a drought. More often than not, they will be profoundly understanding, gracious and keen to partake in water-saving efforts and possible departures from the norm. As in the case with Capetonians currently, these kinds of circumstances often bring out the best in people. And by simply adjusting ones expectations of the ‘perfect wedding’ you might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome that might very well carry far more meaning at the end of the day.

And lastly, keep praying for rain…not only has it become our friend, it is also undoubtedly a sign of luck on your wedding day.

Written by: Nancy Hoepner (Creative Director & Owner - Heartistry)

Images: Unsplash