Sunday, 21 October 2012

Fan-tastic Fans!

My dear friend got married exactly 8 days ago, and I'm still giddy with excitement for them! It's such a wonderful thing when someone close to you gets married.

In the days leading up to the wedding, Harare was experiencing a heat wave. The temperatures, I cannot talk about them, I think back and I start to sweat. While I was crispifying in the heat one day, I realised my friend was such a genius for getting us fans for the wedding instead of  bouquets. They totally came in handy... and... they're so fun!

The fans our friend bought for us at her wedding... Super fun!! $5, Pink, Joina City, Harare

Other places to look are at Floral Wonder at Sam Levy's Village, and Favourize, along Kwame Nkrumah avenue in the Harare CBD.

To the Zimbo brides in the diaspora who love shopping online, check out this and other beauties on
Gorgeous antique ivory fan

Another place to look is
Gold Lace wedding fan
The list is by no means exhaustive, I advise you to shop around, and make your wedding cool and creative!

What do you say ladies? Will we be seeing fans at your wedding?

Monday, 8 October 2012

Kitchen Party Outfit Ideas

Phew! I’m surfacing from the tidal wave of kitchen parties, just long enough to write this post and dive in again into the sea of “5 more days before my friend gets married!” So we went for our final dress fittings, we’re getting our hair done tomorrow, and yep, we’re still practising masteps! So this’ll be a short post, with lots of pictures!

I’ve had kitchen parties on my brain for a while now... planning and attending so many will do that to you. It’s such a huge deal for a Zimbo bride to have a kitchen party, and for many it was the highlight before the wedding. With the diasporisation of our nation, the kitchen party format has changed. For some, the tete no longer does the planning. Nowadays it can be the bridesmaids, a female relative, or even the mother, when at some point it was taboo for her to even attend! With the modernisation of kitchen parties, comes the addition of themes and dress code. It’s pretty much the norm in other countries, but frankly quite new in Zimbabwe, where we’re still paying to see the muroora’s face! So when you receive an invitation with a dress code, here’s a handy little guide for you:

Many kitchen parties don’t really have a dress code, so it’s safer to stick to the casual dress code. Here are a few ideas:



If the kitchen party doesn’t have a dress code, the above ideas would be appropriate if the kitchen party’s hosted by the bridesmaids, and has lots of young people, with a young speaker, or one who’s young at heart.

Smart Casual
I would put the majority of kitchen parties in this category. Where the party’s hosted by the bride’s in-laws or her female relatives, you could expect a lot of older ladies among the bride’s friends. The mood is a bit more formal, and your dress should reflect that:


Some kitchen parties are becoming fancier and fancier, with the invite specifying a smart or formal dress code. Here are some ideas:


If you like your outfits a bit more edgy, try the following:

I found all these ideas at Asos Fashion Finder. Check out their website for more ideas.

What do you say ladies? What would you wear on your kitchen party? What did you wear? What other outfits would you like to see on this page? I’d love to hear from you!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Vaperekedzi's Bill of Rights

My dear readers, I apologize for my hiatus. It’s been quite hectic, with moving cities, trying to figure out the logistics of planning a wedding across the country, and settling in to the rhythm of work. But I am back and ready to inspire!

I’m a bridesmaid at a dear friend of mine’s wedding, on the 13th of October. It’s been a fun journey; I’m in the thick of making phone calls, comforting an anxious bride, and practising for steps. Ah... masteps.... I’m loving the gown she got for herself, and the dresses she picked out for us, and I’m truly excited for the both of them.

In the midst of all the planning, I came across an article in Glamour SA, “The Bridesmaids’Bill of Rights”, and I could not help but laugh. Wedding planning is so stressful, sometimes we need a good laugh. So I’ve written our own version, the Vaperekedzi Bill of Rights:
  • The right to refuse to be placed on any committee that wakes you up at 6am to discuss the mundane issues of the wedding. Like cutlery. And who’s going to buy cabbage for the salad.

  • The right to walk down the aisle with a full stomach. “When I was a bridesmaid, the bride’s mother woke us up to an amazing breakfast,” says Samantha, 25. “I’m truly grateful to her for her thoughtfulness, because the next meal we had was at the reception in the afternoon.”

  •  The right to make the bride get up and dance each time she unwraps her kitchen tea present, because hey, she’s making you practise for masteps!

  • The right to not go into debt  over your friend’s wedding, because frankly, she’s not the only one who’s getting married.

  • The right to be genuinely outraged when a guest wears a dress just like your bridesmaid dress. “My friend’s future sisters-in-law were upset at not being made bridesmaids, that they went and had their own dresses made, that looked exactly like the bridesmaid dresses,” says L, 27. “I couldn’t say anything, I was too shocked.” True story.

  • The right to fight over that bouquet. That little superstition could have some truth, so bring it on!!!

  • The right to not be considered fair game for every single guy attending the wedding. “I was a bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding, and one of her uncles got drunk and started harassing me. I literally had to fight him off. It was quite awkward.”

  • The right to ask the dance coach to choreograph steps that are better than “kick, lock, 1-2-3...” and the infamous bus stop.

  • The right to gang up on and speak some sense into a fellow bridesmaid who’s not picking up the slack. Because we’re all in this together. And it’s not about us, it’s about our friend who’s getting married.
  • The right to celebrate your friend on one of the happiest days of her life, with no regrets.

What else would you add on this list? I would love to hear from you!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Emporium Bridal Expo Recap Part 3

Yeah! The final instalment of my Bridal Expo Recaps! I feel like Peter Jackson with the Lord of the Rings! Or Twilight... this is my Twilight post! Trilogies are so in nowadays *chuckle chuckle*. Though technically, Twilight wasn’t really a trilogy... or was it? They had 4 movies, but the book set, had 3 books. But I digress... back to work. This recap deals with the rest of the vendors who exhibited at the Bridal Expo.

Equipment Hiring & Decor
1.       Rooney’s
You know you’re Zimbabwean when you’ve been to a function that hired equipment from Rooney’s. They’ve stood the test of time and they just keep getting better. I loved this quote from their pamphlet: “We’re not saying we are good because we’re 60 years old. We’re saying we’re 60 years old because we’re good at what we do.” Happy 60th, Rooney’s!
144 Seke Road, Harare, Zimbabwe
P.O. Box 1351, Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel(Skype): +263 4 748621-7, 771560-3
Fax:+263 4 770348

Arundel Office
Arundel Village
50 Quorn Ave
Mount Pleasant, Harare
Tel(Skype): +263 4 302417, 302421

2.       Dreams Hiring Services
I came across this company at work when I was considering a certain venue for my upcoming wedding. They’re good at what they do. I have not dealt with them personally, but from afar, I love their  work!
Address: 303 Empowerment Way, Willowvale, Harare
Tel: +263 4 2911527/8
Mobile: +263 772 254 959, +263 772 700 283
3.       Oreac Events
I remember Oreac from Bulawayo, so you could imagine my excitement when I saw them exhibiting, and telling me that they’re also based in Harare! They do it all! Not only do they do equipment hire, they do decor, catering, they supply PA systems, DJs, photography and videography. Excellent!
Address:18 Suffolk Road, Strathaven, Avondale, Harare
Mobile: +263 772 937 972, +263 772 815 195

Suite 201, 2nd Floor, Sterling House
82A Jason Moyo St, btwn 8th Ave & L. Takawira St. Bulawayo
Tel: +263 9 77044/5
Mobile: +263 772 937 972
4.       Weddings Forever
Weddings Forever was established quite recently, and they have done quite a fair number of weddings so far. They are still new, but they are great at what they do, judging by their stand. They will go all out on your wedding day, cause they are still making a name for themselves, and for sure you will not be disappointed. They also supply wedding gowns and wedding accessories.
Address: 4 Edmonds Road, Belvedere, Harare
Mobile: +263 779 668 871, +263 713 357 049, +263 716 063 346

1.       P. M. Sunflower Creations
I visited their stand and I was impressed beyond words. Not only do they have the normal invitation cards, favour boxes and table numbers, but they also have seating charts, gift boxes, and so on and so on. It’s delightfully overwhelming! If you want it, I guarantee, they probably have it. They also can do wedding websites, which is such a great help if you have family in the diaspora. So in other words, go get that wedding website! J
Address: 5 McGlew Close, Mount Pleasant, Harare
Mobile: +263 734 620 501
2.       The Posh Paper Place
I loved the creativity of this stand. Not only do they have amazing stationery, the owner, Denise, has such an eye for colours and beauty. It’s great to work with someone who can take your vision and make it into reality. You will not be let down.
Address:Willowmead Junction (upstairs), Cnr Willowmead Lane and Rolfe Avenue, Rolfe Valley, Harare
Mobile: +263 772 269 500

Hair and Beauty
1.       Lee’s Hair Salon
They do microbonding, highlights, blow waves, bridal styling, hair weaving, haircuts and relaxing. Go check them out!
Address: 5 McGlew Road, Arundel, Harare
Mobile: +263 772 330 254
2.       Makeup by Nyasha
Nyasha blew me away when I went to her stand! She knows her craft, and is truly skilled in it. I’d recommend booking her 6 months in advance, where she tells you how to prepare your skin. 2 months before, you’ll have your first makeup trial, and then make up for the day. That is professional! I was highly impressed!
Address: Mezzanine Floor 1, Rainbow Towers
Mobile: +263 773 827 079

PA System and DJing
1.       Premier Sounds Solution
They did the sound for the Bridal Expo, and if you were there, you would agree that they did an amazing job. So take that amazing...ness, and have it at your wedding. You’ll have a nonstop celebration!
Address: 44 Auckland Road, Southerton, Harare
Mobile: +263 772 679 825 (Romeo)
+263 772 950 860 (Tinashe)
+263 733 867 217 (Tanya)

1.       Cake Link
Cake Link has been in existence for 11 years now, and they do gorgeous cakes in a variety of flavours. There was a cake tasting at the Expo, and I tried their red velvet cake. I now know what the fuss is with red velvet cake. It. Is. Divine. If you’re like me and you absolutely cannot stand fruit cake, Cake Link is the place for you. They also do special orders, special needs cakes, and their prices are  reasonable.
Address: 6 Normandy Road, Alexandra Park, Harare
Tel: +263 864 406 9958
Mobile: +263 773 372 295/6, +263 772 329 059

*Sigh* The Bridal Expo Recap Trilogy is complete. I’m now pumped, what will be the subject of  my next trilogy? Just kidding, lol. I would love to hear from you, if you have worked with any of these vendors personally. All these reviews were just my views from my interaction with them at the expo. I recommend them all, if you’re planning your wedding, just give them a call, and see whom you’d love to work with!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Emporium Bridal Expo Recap (Part 2)

Hello Zimbo Brides! Here’s Part 2 of my Emporium Bridal Expo Recap. This part is focused on the wedding attire (dresses, suits and accessories) and florists.

Wedding Attire
1.       Angelic Looks Bridal
Angelic Looks stocks wedding gowns from some well-known designers: Alfred Angelo, Pronovias, Sincerity, Benjamin Roberts, Modeca, Tia, Bonny and Linzi. If you want the dream designer gown at a reasonable price, this is the place to go! I know a certain bride (*cough* Nyasha *cough*) who’s got her eye set on a certain Alfred Angelo dress...
Address: 9 Frinton Ave, Mabelreign, Harare
Tel: +2634334208/+26342900360
Mobile: +263 772 278 885/+263 772 804 671
2.       EuStellar House of Brides
EuStellar surely is a one-stop shop for the couple and their team. They stock gowns, bridesmaid dresses, groom and groomsmen suits. They also do hair, make-up and nails. This is the place to go for the fuss-free bride. For our Bulawayo brides, EuStellar House of Brides is in your city as well.
Address: 7 Admore Close, Chisipite, Harare
Mobile: +263 773 404 470
Byo Address : 37a Brentwood Road, Matsheumhlope, Bulawayo
Mobile: +263 772 703 017
3.       J.B. Couture
I love the fact that we have local wedding dress designers!!! Joanne Burger offers wedding and formal dress designs that are in a class of their own. They are purely breathtaking! She designs according to your taste and body shape, and consultations are strictly by appointment. I would recommend her to the fashion-forward bride and bridesmaids, or someone who wants a personal touch to her dress.
Address:16 Kew Drive, Highlands, Harare
Mobile: +263 776 188 137

4.       La Collezione Dei Conti
Haute couture? No, it’s hott couture (I’m allowed one corny statement per post); Italian designs for the discerning couple. The company is based in Sandton, but you can place an order and have it delivered here in Zimbabwe. And with the designs that were on display, you’d want to place an order. There was this gorgeous bustier made of pearls that was on display, the only one of its kind. Oooooh... if I hadn’t already had a dress, I would’ve splurged on it!
Address: Shop U20c Upper Level, Michelangelo Towers Mall, No. 8 Maude Street, Sandton 2196
Tel: +27 11 025 3839
Mobile: +27 76 878 6878
5.       Brides & Dames
Brides and Dames has lovely wedding gowns and accessories, all you need to complete your wedding look. Fittings are strictly by appointment, so make sure you make a booking before you show up at their store. Word on the street says that they have new gowns in stock, so make that booking fast to see their new styles.

P.S.: Check out their wedding planning and decor company as well:
Address: Shop 5 Mon Repos Mall, Newlands Shopping Centre, Harare
Mobile: +263 735 752 762
6.       Status-Quo for Men
Visit Status-Quo for suits at reasonable prices. Pick up a shirt, tie and cufflinks while you’re at it. All you need for the groom, groomsmen and the fathers is in Status-Quo.
Address: Shop 15 Mon Repos Building, Newlands, Harare
Mobile: +263 775 676 100
Emergency No: +263 712 800 183

1.       Kirsty Jean Flowers & Decor
All I could say when I saw the stand for Kirsty Jean was... wow! I say it again, two weeks later... wow! Gorgeous decor, excellent centrepieces, and the wooden shelter that housed their creations? Erected it themselves! I’m a creative person, and I believe in celebrating creativity. Kirsty Jean, I celebrate you!!
Address:12 Knowles Close, Mt. Pleasant, Harare
Mobile:+263 772 289 557
2.       Barbreanne
Confession time: This stand caught my attention because of the floral arrangements which had purple flowers. I love purple and our wedding theme includes purple, so obviously my first question was whether I’d still find purple flowers for my wedding in a few months. I loved her honesty and the way she was so helpful. A refreshing quality when all you hear sometimes is, “Ha, don’t worry, tinazvo zvese (we have it all)!” I recommend them highly.
Address:39 Argyle Road, Avondale, Harare
Tel: +263 4 2930234
 Cell: +263 774 077 600

I hope you find Part 2 useful. Again, this is only from my first impressions on visiting the vendors’ stand. I’d love to hear from brides who’ve had personal experience with our above vendors. The last part, Part 3, will showcase the rest of the vendors who exhibited. Equipment hiring, cakes, sounds, you’ll find it all there!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Emporium Bridal Expo Recap (Part 1)

Last Friday and Saturday were great days for future brides and wedding enthusiasts as Zimbabwean wedding vendors came out of hiding and gave us a great event. The expo was held on the 27th and the 28th of July 2012. Hosted by the Wedding Emporium, it made me realise that we’re stepping up our game when it comes to weddings. The previous generation’s view on weddings is being replaced by our own. Brides and grooms are now taking control of their day and fulfilling their vision for their special day!  I’ve decided to write my review outlining my personal experience with the exhibitors. I’ve added their contact details for those who’ll want to work with them.
These are the venues that exhibited. I unfortunately could not take pictures, but their stands were gorgeous!
           Bliss Garden and Hiring services
The event coordinator, Rutendo, was representing the above venue. I fell in love with her immediately, not only because we share the same name J. She knew her job, and was very professional. She is very accommodating, and is someone you’d want to work with. Not only is it a garden venue, they also do decor and equipment hire.
Address: 10 Elsworth Avenue, Belgravia (off 2nd str. Ext)
                        Cnr Huyton and Pringle Road, Mandara
Tel: (+263) 4 795144, 795162, 795067
Cell: 0773 215 343
2.       Wild Geese Lodge
The representative for Wild Geese Lodge was a treat to talk to. I got to the stand, and had no idea what to ask her. She must have sensed my trepidation, cause she got up and started to ask me various questions and told me about their venue. By the time she was finished, I had all the important details of their venue and how they coordinate events. From my first impression, they’re great to work with if you need people who can pre-empt you, and will do above what you ask them to do.

Address: 2 Buckland Lane, Teviotdale, Harare, Zimbabwe
                         Tel/Fax: +263 4 2930379, 2917977-9
                         Tellular: +263 772 145 103

3.       Dunhu Ramambo
Dunhu Ramambo consists of 3 lodges: Chengeta, Pamuzinda and Umbozha Houseboats. Not only can they be wedding venues, they also can double as honeymoon getaways. They sound great for those couples who wanna get away, but don’t want to travel too far.

Cell: +263 772 573 022 or +263 772 568 832

4.       Pamvura-By the Water
I had no idea this venue existed until I went to the Weddings Wow Stand! I thank God for events like these. Pamvura is located on the North Shore of Lake Chivero. I can imagine weddings by the water, pun intended, and Zimbo versions of beach weddings! I’m not too sure about kid-friendliness though...

Tel: +263 4 2930234
 Cell: +263 774 077 600

P.S: From the people that give you Pamvura, also give you  the African tree of Life, a metal baobab tree that has glasses filled with a signature cocktail for leaves. I thought that was such a creative idea! For those who want to add a bit of novelty to their cocktail hour, this is the way to go!

            Precious Memories Photography
I did not manage to speak to the owner of this company, but from the flier I saw, they must be brilliant. They also do special event and studio photography.
Bridget Doran
Mobile: +263 772 415 590

2.       Wild & Wonderful Photography
They do Weddings, Bridal Photography, Portraits, corporate functions, special events, wildlife, and so on. Again, I did not manage to see their work, but from their flyer, they must be good!
Mobile: +263 774 935 185

Phew! Here’s a little snippet of what I experienced, and I hope future brides will find this helpful. Look out for Part 2, where I give you details on where you can get dresses, as well as decor and flowers.
 This is a review based on first impressions, not personal experience; if any brides have had personal experiences with these vendors, we’d love to hear from you!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Pros and Cons of Garden Weddings

One of our readers asked us what to take into consideration when thinking of  having a garden wedding. Here is the answer, Zimbo style.

Sarris Gardens
Zimbabwe is a predominantly sunny country and a great place to hold outdoor weddings. Garden weddings are trending more and more in Zim, and because of that, we’ve come up with a short list of the pros and cons of having a garden wedding.

Mystique Weddings
·      One stop shop venue
Many of the garden venues in Zimbabwe are big enough for the ceremony and reception to be held in one place.  Photos can be taken there as well, which is great news for us. You know how us Zimbos love our garden photos!

·      Less floral décor needed
The beauty of a garden wedding is that it does not need much floral décor. Using the flowers and plants of the venue to accent your décor is a great way to save money.

·      Unlimited number of guests
    Garden Wedding venues range from open spaces to intimate garden restaurants. Whether you want a small wedding for less than 50 or a huge wedding for more than 200, there is a venue that can cater for all tastes.

Florence Chisholm Park
·      Weather Dependent
Zimbabwe has beautiful weather, but our summer season is also our rainy season. The rain is unpredictable, so if you’re having a summer wedding, make sure you have a back-up indoors plan or you have hired a tent.

·      Ensure Guests are Comfortable
The Zimbabwean sun is brutal, be it summer or winter. Ensure guests have water, fans and an umbrella, or if you can’t provide for all your guests, make sure you include the information on your invitation.

·      Limited Dress Code
Ladies! Garden weddings and stilettos are a no-no! I know, I’ve done it before! It is not comfortable walking around on your tiptoes to avoid having your heels sink into the soft red soil! Wear wedges, stacked heels and chunky heels instead; they are trending nowadays.

·      Experienced Planner Required
A garden wedding is difficult to plan, with the additional expense of hiring equipment such as chairs, tables, and so on. Nowadays the garden wedding venues provide all the equipment needed, but in cases where the hiring is to be done from outside sources, an experienced planner is needed to keep track of all your vendors.

Buxton Park 

Garden weddings are quite difficult to plan, but when executed well, are memorable events. All you need is to keep the above points in mind.
We would love to hear from our brides who are planning a garden wedding or who had a garden wedding. What did you go through? What other pros or cons would you add?