Category Archives: Wedding Tips

Budget for your upcoming wedding

Once the engagement glow has faded, it’s now time to sit down and plan for the big day, you’ll find it very hard to get anything accomplished without a good wedding budget. A budget will give you an outline of what you should spend on each item, so as to ensure you don’t spend more than you intend to.

Who’s funding the wedding?

Although in Kenya traditionally the grooms’ parents pay for the whole thing, this has now changed, couples can now both help each other in funding the wedding. If you can pay for the whole thing yourselves, that makes things easier. If you want your families to help you out, or pay for it all, you should have a frank discussion with them about it. You should be prepared to answer questions, such as “How much do you think the whole thing will cost” and some other questions that you might not know the answer to.
There are several options:

  • Parents can say that they are contributing a specific amount, and then the couple decides on a wedding budget and makes up any difference themselves.
  • Parents can say that they want to pay for specific items such as the bride’s gown, or the catering. The couple then has to figure out how to pay for everything else.
  • The couple can set a budget and then ask to split it evenly. This is particularly a good solution for divided families.
  • Friends and relatives can set up a wedding committee but remember the African set up you have to be supportive to other people for you also to be supported.

Figure Out a Basic Wedding Budget

Start off by using a wedding budget planning worksheet to figure out the basics (below is a sample of the budget worksheet get the actual worksheet in the Samantha’s Bridal Magazine which is available at our offices).

Budget Worksheet
Budget Worksheet

If you already know some of the costs, such as the hall rental, put the actual figures, and adjust the other figures to make up for it. You can also ask other brides who have had weddings in your area what they spent on vendors to figure out if these numbers are realistic, or need to be adjusted.

Budget Worksheet
Budget Worksheet

Make room for what really matters

Prioritize what’s important to you, choosing 2 to 3 most important items. Writing down questions and filling them may help in this process. You may decide that you want to have a great photographer, but you’re happy to hunt for a bargain on the gown. If you’re having a small wedding, your catering bill won’t be big in the percentage of the budget. You can adjust your budget figures to reflect your priorities.

Save your wedding budget

Start by looking through the budget and crossing off anything that you don’t need. For example if you’re having both the ceremony and reception at one location, you might not need to include transportation. Use your contacts. Don’t be afraid to ask recently married friends who they used and what they paid. Ask friends in the wedding industry to help you out, and give you a discount if possible. If the numbers still aren’t working out, ask yourself what’s really important to you.

Once you’ve set a budget, stick to it. It’s easier said than done, but an important thing to do.

Flower set Up for your wedding

The wedding table set up has the power to judge a brides personality, quaky bride don’t go for elegance rather they go for a fun and playful feel.

  • Peaches and pinks are very classic and feminine, relaxed with no fuss. This set up fits a bride who loves flowers but in minimal doses. For a trendy look, use silver for base layer and drop in hints of coral between the different shades of pink. See the photo below:

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  • This set up is perfect for a bride who wants to fuse style with elegance, while maintaining an earthy and laid back feel on her wedding table setup. The table of white roses as the base layer before topping it over with natural wedding colors.

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  • For a bride looking at using minimal flowers on her set up, use a lot of glass in different shapes and sizes to achieve an elegant look. Placing candelabras as part of the decoration injects an abundant dose of elegance in the air.
Photo: Digital Eye
  • While glitter on the wedding décor is not practical, blinged and glittering candles will add a fairy tale look on the set up. This will most fit the modern vintage themed bride. A touch of lighting on the décor sets the mood of the occasion, especially when installed in different hues.
Photo: Digital Eye
Photo: Digital Eye
  • This set up uses a lot of exotic flowers wound into massive, almost flamboyant bouquets which create texture and variety on your table.

As the specialists put it, when you are getting married, ensure your table reflects your personality.

Party Is On

Wine has been served in weddings since time in memorial but how do you know when to serve what?

Here are some aspects to consider when selecting the wine for your wedding reception. Matching wine with food is almost impossible so in this case opt for a light, well balanced and easy to drink wine both as red and white. For a more formal and plated meal, ask the advice of your caterer or your wine supplier and simply try the wines with some of the food yourself!

You’re Guests

What kind of wine do they like? How about your friends and family? Do they prefer red, white, rose, sparkling, or a dessert wine? Would your guests enjoy one or two really nice glasses of wine to sip as they socialize? Or is wine not that important to your guests?

Generally in Kenya, we have a sweeter taste for wines; so wines with a fruity and not too dry taste are normally a safe choice.

Time of day

Are you having a lunch or evening reception? People prefer to drink less at an afternoon wedding than an evening affair and they also prefer lighter wine. A good alternative for a lunch reception could be a nicely chilled rose wine. Some of the wines to look out for are South African wines. For an evening reception a choice of white wine and red wine is nearly a must.


If you intend to pair wine with food, you may want to ask yourself, are you having a buffet menu or a sit down and more formal lunch? A buffet offers several choices of food hence matching wine with the food is almost impossible. In this case opt for a light, well balanced and easy to drink wine both as red and white. For a more formal and plated meal, ask the advice of your caterer or your wine supplier and simply try the wines with some of the food yourself.

What’s your budget?

Most of us do not have an unlimited budget to spend on wine, and looking at cost is inevitable. So several options are available to you:

Ask for a wine package: generally for lunch, quantities of wine required can be calculated by 2 glasses of wine per person, sp approx ¼ ltr per person. If you have 100 guests you will need 25 bottles of wine. For a plated dinner, one should count at least 1 bottle of white wine 75cl for 4 people and 1 bottle of red wine 75cl for 3 people. These proportions can be reduced or increased depending on your type of guests as well as the drink selection you will offer.

For a drinks reception, count a maximum of 1 glass of wine per person especially if other drinks like beer, juices and soft drinks are also be available, if you ask for a maximum number of bottles, then you might want to consider a cash bar.

If the caterer or the hotel allows it, look into bringing your own wine bought from your reliable supplier, though be ready to pay for corkage (a charge paid per bottle up to kshs1000).

Discuss with your supplier to have your wines on sale and return basis, this means that if not all the wine is drunk, you will be able to return the unopened bottles to your supplier only make sure that the labels are not damaged.

By Phillipe Cauviere

Director-WWW Bar and Shop Ltd


A Letter to the Bride to be-

Congratulations, you are getting married! In all the excitement and stress of planning your wedding over the next few months, one of the most important things you will purchase is your wedding gown. The first thing you should do before actually heading to the bridal shop is get an idea about which style of wedding gown you prefer.

During the Samantha’s bridal wedding Fair I got to learn a few tips on what to do before making that big step of purchasing your wedding gown, here are the tips:

Do research. Before you even begin to look around for a wedding gown first do a research on gowns. You should always have a bit of knowledge about dresses before you even set foot into a bridal shop. There are also many bridal magazines that will provide you with a ton of information e.g. The Samantha’s Bridal Magazine

Decide on a shape. Wedding dresses are made in different design shapes. Before considering anything else, you should know which type of gown will flatter your figure the best. Look at photos of each type by browsing through website photos of real women wearing gowns.

  • Ball gowns have very full skirts and generally will look beautiful on any body type unless the bride is very short and small. For a short lady the gown may look very big for her. Ball gowns generally either have petticoat inside to support the shape of the gown. This extra fabric can be heavy and bulky and will require extra care to wear.
Photo By Digital Eye
Photo By Digital Eye
  • A-lines usually have a fitted bodice with a skirt that flares gently from the waist to form an “A” shape. They generally work for everyone as well, and are a great choice for someone who would like to hide lower body flaws, but does not want a ball gown. A-lines are not as full as ball gowns.
  • Sheath has a slim shape that follows close to the line of the body. Its best on women with slim, balanced figures. This type of gown shouldn’t be worn by brides who dislike their figures, it doesn’t hide any flaws. Don’t try to pull it off because you found a gown you love in this style. You don’t want to risk being uncomfortable or self-conscious on your wedding day, or regretting your choice every time you look at your wedding photos.
  • Empire waist gowns have a skirt that falls from just below the bust. They are a wonderful choice for a casual, non-formal wedding, or weddings in a tropical climate. They’re usually made of light, flowing fabric. They’re also excellent for pregnant brides, because they provide extra room in the waist, making them a comfortable choice. They also won’t draw as much attention to the belly as a dress with a lower waistline would.
Photo by Digital Eye
Photo by Digital Eye

Consider the type of occasion. A variety of factors can affect what makes a particular dress appropriate for an occasion.

  • Formal ceremonies usually call for floor length gowns and long trains, while informal ceremonies for example garden weddings or destination weddings are a suitable place to wear a shorter gown without a train, in some cases, strapless gowns are considered inappropriate for formal ceremonies.
  • If you’re getting married in cold season, you may not want to be in a very light, thin fabric unless you plan to be indoors the entire time. If you’re having a beach wedding in, you may consider wearing a very light gown.
  • Most traditional wedding ceremonies will call for a white gown, but wedding dresses don’t have to be pure white anymore! Many women choose dress colors that best complement their skin tones, ranging from diamond white to actual colors i.e pink, blue, red. Pick the color you feel most beautiful and comfortable in.



Dress-up your bride’s maids

While retaining her signature aesthetic of classic elegance, Wambui Mukenyi is giving the collection a lighter, fresher, more feminine edge. Using only the best quality fabrics , the new collection upholds the standards of quality and design integrity for which Wamboi Mukenyi is renowned.

Wambui MukenyiWambui Mukenyi has created a collection of Exquisite bridal gowns and brides maids dresses. Each gown has been designed to make every bride feel and look amazing on her special day. You can expect to see delicate laces, flowing chiffons and feminine embellishments, all making this collection both stylish and on trend for the fashion conscious bride.

Wambui Mukenyi 22Visit stand number 46 on the Samantha’s Bridal wedding fair at the Sarit centre and get your brides maid dressed up.


Get your perfect Wedding Gown

The Bridal Place is committed to helping brides-to-be find the perfect wedding dress for the most important day in their lives. It provides a professional and welcoming environment where the latest creations from renowned international designers can be discovered in comfort. All of The Bridal Place gowns have been handpicked for quality, workmanship and individuality, complemented by the boutique’s wide array of bridal accessories, including veils, headpieces, belts and shoes. Check out their collection in this photoshoot with Brenda issue number 26.

Visit them at Chaka road, Titan Plaza ground Fl and Samantha’s Bridal wedding Fair 2016 Stand number 13.

Photo by David Macharia
Photo by David Macharia

Bridal Place 2 Bridal Place 3 Bridal Place 4 Bridal Place 5 Bridal Place


Take yourself to the peak

Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club Nanyuki is an exclusive retreat and guess what they have confirmed participation to Samantha’s Bridal wedding Fair. Situated on the slopes of Mt. Kenya, Fairmont gives a relaxed elegance. many of the worlds most famous names in film, politics and royals seek it out as a secluded haven where you don your safari gear during the day and always dress up for dinner. Sir Winston Churchill was reputed to have been a founder member of the club. The list of those who joined the Club after 1959 read like an international “who’s Who”, it includes Prince Berhard of the Netherlands, Lord Louis Mountbatten, author Robert Ruark, Lyndon Johnson former US president, Conrad Hilton, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and bevy of celebrities.


Wake up to a lovely wedding breakfast, doesn’t the thought just make you go Gigi gaga? imagine white lacy tablecloths, real china and fresh flowers set out in-the beautiful backdrop of Mt. Kenya, with guests arriving in exquisite frocks…, fresh squeezed juice and mouth watering pastries and strawberries and cream, sunshine and blue skies, butterflies and birdsong…could anything be sweeter than that?

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You can also feature in this list of great people who have visited Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, come to the Samntha’s Bridal wedding Fair and straight head to stand number 47 and get to know the packages they have for you.

Photography Lessons for your Big Day

Good Light = Good Photography

Photography is all about light. When you want good images then you have to start thinking about light. If you are having an outdoor ceremony then any time from 3pm would be a good time to start. The sun is from one direction and there are no harsh shadows. Light at mid day is worst. Another good time for your portraits after the ceremony will be any time from 5pm. The light is golden and beautiful.

Photo By Ben Kiruthi
Photo By Ben Kiruthi

Bridal & Groom Prep

Ensure where you are getting ready in has a lot of room. Preferably hire a hotel room; they’re spacious, beautiful and easy on the camera. Keep it very neat. Assign someone to ensure that the room is kept spic and span. Have sufficient window light. It makes up for good make up pictures.

Group Photos

These are the traditional pictures taken after the ceremony Assign an MC or member of the planning team to have a list to help co-ordinate the session Make sure its orderly & short.

Bride & Groom Portraits

This will be the part of the day that your photographer’s style will come out the most. So be very careful when researching who your photographer will be. Let them guide you and pose you to get the best shots possible. If you have a particular idea, feel free to discuss it with the photographer. Make time. When you are planning your day, make some time in the schedule specifically to get some great couple shots. These are the ones you will want to frame, give to friends and use as thank you cards. The more time you give, the better the results will be.

Photo By Ben Kiruthi
Photo By Ben Kiruthi


Ask your photographer to either recommend someone they’ve worked with before or even subcontract the services. This way you have one supplier less to deal with and it’s down to them to organize the day in such a way that they are not getting in each others way.

Wedding Planners

Always work with a wedding planner. They are professionals and they will save you a lot of heartache not only during the wedding but also during the planning. They will take off the pressure of coordinating a wedding and will ensure that you will have your dream white wedding just the way you envisioned it to be.

Photo By Ben Kiruthi
Photo By Ben Kiruthi

Un-plugged wedding

Un-plugged means that you do not allow your wedding guests to take pictures at your wedding. You are hiring a professional photographer to do so. Your guests came to enjoy the wedding not to be photographers. By doing so they stand in the way of the hired professional and block everyone else from shooting. If they have to take pictures then let them do so from their seats.

Feeding your photographer(s)

It’s all good nature to provide a meal for your photographer. They will be with you from morning till night, and a meal is just good courtesy, unless well, you provide them with the one hour break to go get themselves something to eat.

Enjoy Your Day

Do not let anything dampen your wedding mood. If something will go wrong, then it will. And you cannot do anything to alter it. Just enjoy your day and let it be. A happy bride makes for some pretty good photos.

Photo By Ben Kiruthi
Photo By Ben Kiruthi

Get an Album

Always invest in getting a wedding album/book. Most photographers offer this in their package. Do not buy in the hype of getting images in soft only. DVDs and flash disks get lost. An album will be with you for the rest of your life if well taken care of.

Reasons why you shouldn’t miss Samantha’s Bridal fair

The 12th year anniversary edition of Samantha’s wedding fair taking place at Sarit Centre is the ultimate wedding planning day out – Kenyan style! Here are 10 key highlights and experiences at the expo!

  1. Shop till you drop As a visitor you will find everything from stationery, beautiful blooms and wedding gowns to Jewelry, table décor and honeymoons to ensure your wedding day will be the most memorable. Also on hand will be the regions top wedding planners, photographers and caterers, each with a wealth of experience, expertise and advice on how to tailor your wedding to your individual needs.
  1. Also back due to popular demand is “the Make Me a Bride” activation where lucky brides-to-be will be transformed into beautiful brides, complete with hair, make-up and a wonderful wedding gown. They will be given tips and advice the whole way through the process, and will get to show off their new looks on a fashion ramp for all to see.
  2. Have your cake and eat it. You can taste and vote for your favorite cake in the Cake Challenge area and if your favorite cake wins you stand a chance to win the same for your wedding. As a bride-to-be, you have the opportunity to win other fabulous prizes towards the big day,
  1. Fashion shows: Additionally there will be daily fashion shows where visitors will get to sit in the front row and witness the latest local and international bridal fashion trends. Witness a sensational line-up of breath-taking fashion shows from exquisite custom designed bridal dresses and evening gowns from Wamboi Mukenyi and Ogake  to stunning ready to wear fashion from Kenya’s leading ready to wear bridal stores like Bridal Place, next boutique, etc. etc. and many more we have got you covered!
  1. Top 10 big day tips: The fashion catwalk will also host an exciting line-up of inspirational demonstrations and talks from beauty expert’s, leading fashion bloggers, leading wedding planners and many others from the world of beauty, fashion and dance.
  1. Talk to the editor: Your wedding is the beginning of life’s greatest journey, it is probably the biggest production you will ever put on and you definitely need help planning. Don’t miss the opportunity to chat with Catherine Masitsa editor of Samantha’s bridal Wedding magazine.
  1. Indulge Me PLATINUM VIP TICKET. Going VIP at the Samantha’s bridal fair is truly the ultimate indulgent experience! For those looking for an extra-special day out with the girls, there’s a glitzy VIP ticket package, which includes a glass of bubbly, an exclusive luxury goody bag and reserved seating at the catwalk shows. An exclusive lounge where one can rehydrate in a calm and intimate atmosphere with friends, family or your one and only! Indulge in an afternoon high tea and cake nestled in a tranquil setting within Samantha’s bridal expo hall – a perfect opportunity to relax and unwind after your shopping trip at the event. Your big day will go off in style, why shouldn’t the planning too? What’s more? Meet fellow brides Enjoy live entertainment and rub shoulders with the elite socialites, fashionistas and glamorous celebrities. PLUS you stand a chance to win every aspect of your wedding. What better reason do you need?
  2. Battle of the bands: Check out the Entertainment Stage where you can hold your own live auditions and find the act to set your perfect wedding reception buzz. Carol Oyunga will also be preforming
  3. Celebration creation area: Presenting caterers, flowers and decor dressings, wedding planners. This area of the Samantha’s bridal wedding fair will take stress out of planning your big day and is a must visit for every bride-to-be to see everything real up close and check out a wide range for every style and budget.
  4. Sparkle – they say diamonds are a girl’s best friends and at the Samantha’s bridal fair, you will be spoilt for choice from the rare to the huge your BF is waiting to be claimed!

Mara Wild Wedding

Ever thought of getting married in the midst of the wild? Then visit the Samantha’s bridal fair and head straight to the Sarova Hotels stand. Ask a bout the Sarova Mara Game Camp. Sarova Mara Game Camp lends itself naturally to the ideal exotic wedding flavored with the culture and traditions of the Maasai.

Weddings are held at the landscaped greens, at the Isokon Maasai Cultural Village with a Maasai Moran or a Maasai elder blessing the marriage or for the more adventurous tens of feet above the ground in a hot air balloon! sounds really great.

The camp is fully geared to take up all the arrangements so that guests can truly enjoy themselves without worrying about the details. These include: venue decoration using traditional Maasai fabrics, beads and handicraft, flowers, music and dance, sparkling wine, and tiered cake, bush dinner with traditional dancers and photography.

Sarova Mara

Sounds like a really great adventure awaits you, hurry and get to Samantha’s Bridal wedding fair and head straight to The sarova Hotel stand number 17 and 18 to know their package that suits you best.