Thursday, 23 July 2015

Zimbabwe wedding planning tips

Zimbabwe Wedding Planning: I recently had a chat with Tsitsi from The Emporium which is based in Mount Pleasant. The Emporium encompasses The Events Emporium and The Wedding Emporium. Tsitsi is a professional wedding planner as well as a decor specialist apart from being an experienced events coordinator.

Tsitsi was behind the successful hosting of The Emporium Bridal Expo held in July 2011 which I also wrote about here in this We Went, We Witnessed, Now The Results post. The event attracted up to 900 walk-in visitors and several exhibitors including Rooney’s, Mahobohobo, Occassional Flowers,
Zimbabwe wedding planning tips
Portabletoilets.co.zw, Kuyana Designs & Decor as well as P.M Sunflower Creations specialising in your wedding stationary and many others exihibitors.

By way of background The Emporium which Tsitsi runs is envisaged to be a fully fledged one-stop-shop for all your wedding requirements. I found out that for most brides who plan their weddings whilst at work The Emporium is an ideal place to visit as it houses most services you will need under one roof. Your wedding gown, your decor, your stationary, your photography and videography and even your wedding cake including your hiring requirements.

If you are, like many planning couples, in a situation were you hardly have time to visit a lot of service providers you may consider paying The Emporium a vist in Mt Pleasant at 5 McGlew Close, Arundel, Harare. I am a mighty advocate of physical inspection of your service provider premises or showroom. You will know why if you take a few moments to read my other post here on this blog titled

A little while ago i also did yet another blog post here titled How To Start A Viable Business Out Of Your Wedding. I am mentioning it here because this is excatly how Tsitsi started her wedding planning business. She told me she was highly annoyed to find her centre piece done wrong amongst many other things that went wrong on her wedding day.

Tsitsi’s Insight On Family Wedding Committees
As you and i might know whether from within of from obeserving from a distance, African weddings traditionally have been planned by what are known as family committees. These committees essentially involve representatives from both sides as well as friends of both the bride and groom and sometimes even church elders.
In our chat and relying on her extensive experience in the industry she felt that on the whole family committees have become fertile grounds for planning to fail. This is because most of the people on the committees hardly know anything about a specific area they are given responsibility to handle.
For example, babamukuru (uncle) is delegated the responsibility to handle your wedding decor. This is an area he absolutely has no idea how it works and what is required. This will lead to possible frustrations and clashes with your decor expert.

Tsitsi thought that if family wedding committees are to be effective and stay relevant which they are really struggling to do, only experienced individuals would need to be appointed to the committees and delegated responsibilities that they understand and have an experience in.

The Relevency Of A Professional Wedding Planner To Your Wedding Planning
We were agreed that there is a deep need to respectfully give greater currency to a new way of planning weddings in Zimbabwe in an African setting. This must involve you as the wedding planning couple realising the importance of a professional wedding planner.

This is nolonger about being fancy. Nor can you afford to continue looking at it through those blurred glasses. It’s actually become a necessity to have a professional wedding planner handling your wedding.
This will rid your planning process of a whole lot of stress and issues that many couples encounter. The most important role you can play as a couple is to help your professional wedding planner gain acceptance in your family circles; for them to function effectively they need a solid buy-in from everyone involved in the family.
Where ever i have visited wedding venues, venue onwers have expressed their highest degree of frustration brought about by family wedding committee members. They all tend to want to call the shots on your wedding day. You will be seated right up on the top table whilst there is a war going on outside with service providers – everyone trying to give instructions wanting to let this one in and change this and reduce that.
Most venues in Harare have included a very strong clause in their terms and conditions making it clear they will only deal with your recognised, introduced and agreed upon coordinator on your special day. As i meditated on how this will evolve i found myself writing this Open Letter To Josh And Tari (please read it if possible).

Tsitsi, made me realise with greater concern the fact that most weddings that are family committee planned will have no focused co-ordinator on the actual day of the wedding. Yet a professional wedding planner coordinates your wedding on your special day to ensure that everything flows smoothly.
How Tsitsi Approaches Your Wedding Planning

I was keen to understand, as a professional wedding planner, how Tsitsi made your wedding planning different, more effecient and still YOU centred in our Zimbabwean context. To begin with she told me that she aims to develop a personal relationship with you the bride or with you the wedding couple.
It is for this reason that she only has one wedding to plan every three months which translates to only about 5 weddings per year. This, she says, gives any good wedding planner reasonable time and flat-out work on your wedding without trying to juggle too many weddings at once. She essentially becomes your “slave” for the planning period from what i picked as she explained her approach.

There are essentially three key stages that she takes you through:
Consultation – this takes about 02 hours and will be charged at a non-refundable fee of $200.00 which is deducted from her total bill of $1500.00 to plan your entire wedding. In this consultation you talk about what you want and she talks back to you about what she can do. You also give her your budget and she does what can be done within that budget. She was clear that wedding planners are trained to work with your wedding budget but cannot do miracles. I tend to agree.

Theme Building – after you conclude the consultations, if you are happy with her insight you can then move on to the next stage which is the theme building stage. Here your ideas are taken in and the wedding planner helps to get your theme settled.

In fact when i visited Tsitsi for this discussion at The Emporium i witnessed the process from a distance with several wedding couples coming in to discuss their plans with her (some were inquiring about her decor services). By the way your theme will determine your wedding venue. For example, a vintage wedding is best achieved at a venue such as Wild Geese than anywhere else in Harare right now (save for out-skirts venues such as those new ones in Ruwa etc).

Service Provider Shortlisting – This stage is when the wedding planner helps you identify the best service providers. The creteria here is not cheap or low cost. It is within budget but with great results.

Your professional wedding planning services will involve a walk-by-the-hand type of approach were you will have numerous meetings as made available in the professional planner’s package. What i mentioned here is a skeletal approach to the process. The process is quite detailed and certainly exhaustive of as many ideas.
Compaired to regional and international standards, professional wedding planing services in Zimbabwe are still very much on the inexpensive end of the spectrum. Internationally you start seriously talking about professional wedding planning at about $8000.00 onwards.

You may contact Tsitsi by Email or by phone at +263 772 942 038Source: http://www.zimbridal.net




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