Wednesday, May 26, 2010

For wonderful weddings

If you're engaged, congratulations! Now all the planning has to start... And who better to help you than Leipzig Floral Design, a Stellenbosch-based florist and venue design company. In fact, it needn't even be a wedding - they also do all sorts of functions and corporate events. I spoke to Anneke from Leipzig recently, so read on to find out more about this creative enterprise!

Images: Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen

Anneke, why don't you introduce us to the team at Leipzig. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it? How did Leipzig start?

Leipzig opened its doors for business in 2002. Founder and owner Izette Carinus grew up on a flower farm nestled in the Nuy valley. She put her natural talent to work in building a reputation of excellence. Since then the company has grown tremendously and now employs 5 full-time and 3 seasonal staff members. Leipzig is currently based in Stellenbosch. 

It must be wonderful working in the beautiful wine estates and historic churches of the Western Cape. Do you have any favourite venues where you love working, or any particular venue you've done a lot of weddings at?

We work at various venues in and around the Western Cape; stretching as far as the informal beach hut, Strandkombuis, in Yzerfontein to the posh Marine Hotel in Hermanus. Each season brand new venues enter the wedding industry, Molenvliet Estate as an example has experienced overnight success. This season we did a lot of weddings at Vrede & Lust and worked with Yolanda Kotze. It’s definitely one of our favourite venues with unbelievably beautiful surroundings.

Can you tell us a bit more about what's popular in flowers and event décor at the moment? 

The 2009-2010 wedding season has seen the return of vintage glamour. Lots and lots of lace, embroidery detail, damask linen, opulent flowers etc. Proteas and indigenous flowers have been extremely popular.

The coming 2010-2011 season will most likely feature pastel pantones to kickstart the spring season and then take a more serious tone in more saturated hues during summer and autumn. Yellow, purple and blue are the unexpected pantones that will make a shy appearance at some of our more individualistic clients’ weddings. Lace will continue to be a popular tool to portray timeless elegance and detail. Mixing lace detail with an underlying “less is more” approach will result in the meaning of “modern elegance” taken to a new level. With the World Cup fever running on high, the proudly South-African infection will probably result in another season of indigenous flowers mixed with classical blooms (such as roses, peonies etc.). Asymmetrical flower designs are very popular at the moment.

What should brides take into account when planning the flowers for their wedding? Any tips for brides on a budget?

There are so many things to consider when planning your special day. But finalising the major areas such as your wedding date, venue of choice, photographer, décor and flowers, stationery etc. will be a good starting point. When planning your décor and flowers, try to minimise unnecessary costs by making sure your venue hire includes beautiful tables, chairs (even table linen and serviettes, which are included at some of the venues).

Try sticking to items that are not only beautiful on the tables but also practical. Chair decorations can be avoided if you invest in a stunning chair such as the Tiffany or Bikini chair. Underplates and serviette décor can be replaced with beautiful, rich linen, contrasted with plain cream / ivory serviettes.

Try to make use of the flowers that are in season at the time of your wedding. This will keep costs down, for example tulips are only available during winter months and peonies are only available during November in SA. Importing a specific flower will result in unnecessary expenses and hassle.

Less is more. If you keep the amount of labour involved to a minimum the overall cost is likely to be much less.

Try to keep delivery costs down by choosing a supplier situated close to your venue of choice.

Use your bridal bouquet and place it on the register table when taking pictures of signing the register.

Round/ square tables can work out cheaper, depending on the amount of items you would like to place on each table. For example, one container filled with loosely arranged flowers versus a variety of six small containers each filled with a floral design.

Note that if your wedding falls on a day that’s significant on the floral calendar, such as Mother's Day, Valentines Day etc., you are likely to pay double for your flowers due to the great demand for flowers over this period of time.

Wow, thanks for all these useful tips, Anneke! Weddings tend to be expensive affairs these days and we need all the help we can get. You can send Anneke an e-mail here or make enquiries for your function here. Visit Leipzig's website for lots of beautiful inspiration.

Aren't these photographs unbelievable, by the way? I'm going to check out the photographers' websites right now. And don't even get me started on the flowers! I absolutely adore fresh flowers.

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