Cosmopolitan.com http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za Cosmopolitan.com http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za/images/cosmo_logo_toolbox.gif Money en-us catherined at cosmopolitan dot co dot za Copyright 2009 Engagement Party Advice http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/engagement-party-advice So he's dealt with his commitment issues, and realised life isn't worth living without you at his side; he asked, and you answered; you've phoned your folks (happy dance), phoned your bestie (happy shrieks), posted the #SaidYes selfies, and recovered (a bit) from the euphoria. (But you know - pinch self again/admire ring AGAIN - still sooooo excited and loved up) ... Now it's time to celebrate. Because, hey! this is the first of the last parties you'll attend as a non-spouse and it's spotlight on you time! Whoop...

Ready? OK, take notes, Ms Almost Mrs! These tips were shared with us by Aussie site Polkadotbride.com

1. Ignore Timelines
While sometimes timelines apply when it comes to celebrating your engagement, if it takes you a little longer than three months to get your head around your sparkly new stage of romance, don’t stress. Those who love you won’t care and will celebrate with you anyway!

2. Hire a Photographer
If you’re a sentimental sort consider hiring a photographer. For such a casual event you can look at budding photography students. Even if it’s for a few hours you’ll get some gorgeous photos of yourself in engagement glow, and your loved ones.


3. Stop
Make sure you find your partner in amongst the celebrations, hold their hand and say 'LOOK, We’re at our engagement party!' Stop and smell the roses, soak it in!

4. Don’t be afraid to host it yourself
Seriously, it’s not a big deal to throw your own engagement party. It doesn’t have to be hosted by parents, or friends. You can host your own and have a ball doing it!

5. Send thank yous
Get in practice for the wedding by sending thank you cards. I’m not sure why this tip has to be written but each guest needs to be thanked for attendance, and if they gave a gift.


6. Break the ice
It’s true that your friends and family are adults, but it’s fun to include a few fun things that can get people mingling – especially as this may be the first time your various friendship groups have come together. A photo booth is a tried and true classic (easy to pull together yourself with some fun fabric and a few props) but setting up fun games like croquet and bocce, a DIY cocktail station, photos of yourself and your beloved taken over the duration of your relationship, even a different kind of interactive guestbook, can all get guests talking.

7. Don’t invite guests that won’t be there for the vows
Allow me to get a little Emily Post on you. While it’s hard to know your guest list when you’re still in the engagement haze, it really is impolite to invite guests to your engagement party that you won’t invite to your wedding day (except if you’re eloping, of course!). Sit down and think through who you might want at your wedding and make sure you think through the actions and reactions. As with every decision around the wedding there are choices made which have repercussions long after the day. The question is, whether those decisions are worth the invitation!


8. Eat like a king
Make sure you provide enough food and drink for your guests. It’s funny, food and drink is often a lasting memory for guests (and we have all heard the stories of people having to stop by a fast food chain on the way home!) So whether you are hiring a caterer or catering yourself make sure you provide enough food (taking into account guest’s dietary restrictions) and alcoholic and non alcoholic options for beverages. It needn’t be expensive or fancy- things like serving a fun cocktail can cut down on bar costs and there are plenty of options for parties with low food budgets- an afternoon tea or a dessert function are fun ideas!

9. Get really organised
Set up a dropbox or Google document and share it! Itemise your vendors involved and break down your costs against your budget. Note whether the vendor has been booked and confirmed. For parties outside of home, make a list of absolutely everything you need to cart to the venue (including often forgotten essentials like sticky tape, scissors and even aspirin). Number the boxes and make yourself a list so there are no last minute “where is the guestbook pen?” Write up every task that needs completing (hanging lanterns, greeting caterer, passing around the guestbook) and delegate. The more organised you are, the less stressed out you’ll be and the more you can sit back and enjoy!

10. Do it your way
Especially for those hosting their own parties! The engagement party is really the first time most couples face the challenges of the combined family & friends celebration in such a large format. So make sure you stay true to what you want for your party – whether that may be a picnic in the park or a dinner with friends. Make sure it’s fun and reflective of what you both want. (Oh and traditions? It’s completely up to you whether there are speeches, cake or any other formalities!)


Read this and got cold feet? Check yourself with Sheldon and co - 10 Signs You're Not Ready in Big Bang Theory Gifs

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Mon, 14 Jul 2014 12:00 +0200
14 Cosmo Readers' Romantic Proposal Confessions http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/romantic-proposal-confessions We asked readers to send us their proposal stories. We laughed, we cried, we clapped our hands like Disney-princess-loving six-year-olds... If you think your guy needs inspiration, print this out and leave it - oh you know - just lying around somewhere ... he'll spot it.
1. 'In the beginning of our relationship my husband and I had many dates watching the sunset from this one spot on the beach. We hadn't gone in quite a while but one day we got in the car and he wouldn't tell me where we were going. We end up at "our spot" at around sunset. I just think it's a cute romantic gesture to bring back memories of our early days, but he is super nervous. He kissed me what seemed like a million times, telling me over and over that he loves me so much. At this point I turn around to face him to ask why he's being so weird. Then he gets down on one knee and tells me how much he loves me and asks me to marry him. I have never seen a man so nervous, yet so beautiful at the same time. We ended up getting married at sunset in the same spot he proposed!' – ‪Catherine Rivera

2. I was getting dressed for work one morning when my now husband told me not to make plans for dinner as we were going out. It was a Monday so I didn't think anything was up, just a normal date night. At dinner, while waiting for dessert to arrive, he took my hand and told me we needed to talk. He proceeded to tell me that we couldn't be together anymore and wrote me a letter explaining why. I told him I wanted to see the letter. I was so hurt I started crying. I put my head in my hands trying not to cause a scene. When I looked up, he had the box open with a ring looking at me, and said, 'Because I want you to be my wife.’ I was shocked! I thought it was a joke at first. Ha ha. And still after 9 years, I still love him just as much. Ok, much much more. Lol . – Samantha Petersen

3. I went to a colleague’s birthday party and there was karaoke. I was preggie so no drinking. My boyfriend of ten years, very shy guy, starts singing Wet Wet Wet. Ok I thought this is crazy but ok. Embarrassed I laughed and started to find a nice hole to bury myself in! I was cornered! He went down on one knee, still on the mic, said these sweet sweet words, whipped out the ring and proposed! Was not expected at all. He had arranged this whole thing with my colleague! Loved it! – Levonne Thurston Nefdt

Take a look at this video of one of the best wedding proposals! Nicci St Bruce is the bride: 







4. He proposed on a week end away at the top of a waterfall in the river on one knee with his own written poem. – Alex Botha

5. We went for a walk with our dogs, stopped in the park, sat on a bench under a tree and he proposed with my perfect ring! I said yes and when we came home there was a bottle of champagne and a dozen red roses waiting for me. Every time I walk in that park I remember the second most amazing day of my life! The first being our wedding.Tamaryn Hare van Heerden

6. Instead of the cliche of having a ring in your champagne glass, my now husband took this quite literally. He had a glass specially made with the ring within the actual glass. I had to break the glass for the ring! On top of that he designed my wedding ring himself and had it made! Not necessarily the most romantic proposal but the amount of thought that went into the glass and ring made up for it! – Claudia Smit

7. Long story short. He made arrangements to get me out of our apartment, without letting anyone know why. When I got home that evening, there were candles, flowers and lanterns all over and he cooked me dinner and he was dressed in black and white... My ring was hidden in a dessert box and now we are getting married in October. ‪Nelia Groenewald

8. Coming home from work, walking through the front door, following candles to the bathroom with candles pointing to the bathtub filled with bubblebath and then spotting the ring box on the edge of the tub...... – Chanelle Herbst


Click here to see the signs that he's ready to commit!


9.
Mine was amazing – he rented a houseboat on the Vaal River for the weekend, and docked the boat in a very private area. We sat on the roof having a drink watching the sunset. After a while he told me to look at the awesome view behind me, I did and as I turned back around to him he was on one knee with the ring. I had drawn my dream ring a couple of years ago. He kept the picture and had it made for me!! – Karen Hayes

10. We were going to the UK and the plan was to stop in Paris to change planes but instead he surprised me with two nights there. And we went shopping for an evening dress, which I thought was for my brother’s wedding. He asked me to wear the dress for supper. Little did I know it was a romantic dinner in the restaurant on the EIFFEL TOWER! When my plate there was a message on it: ‘will you marry me?’ and before I knew it he was on one knee. It was so special and – bonus – he organised a photographer to catch every moment. – Danielle Rosse


If you're starting to wonder whether you're wasting your time, check out Will He Commit


11. We went hiking up the mountain at Wonderboom Nature Reserve to see the fort built there years ago. He took me around to see the structure, taking pictures and enjoying the history. Then he disappeared for a few minutes and called out to me, I walked in his direction and saw him waiting there on one knee in the middle of this historic place. He asked me to come up in front of him and close my eyes. I then joked and asked him not to put a bug in my hand. He then asked me to open my eyes and in his hands was a beautiful diamond ring and then he asked me to marry him. I SAID YES and we are excitedly planning a wedding for January next year. – Le-andra Deneal Levin

12. It was my birthday and I’d just turned 25. Woke up on that Saturday morning all excited for what he has planned for me. Then he phones and tells me that he has to work but his going to take me for breakfast and then head back. I was so disappointed. Anyway I got dressed (nothing fancy) and he fetched me around 10am. On the way, he tells me he just wants to stop at the beach to check the water (he’s a huge fishing fanatic). As we get to the sand he gives me a page and tells me read it … we’re walking on the sand and I’m reading the sweetest letter about how he met me 12 years before and never looked back and as I get to the end of the letter he gets down on his knees in front of a heart shaped sand castle which he made before and there’s a beautiful ring on the apex of the heart.... He had his friend duck behind some trees on the beach and take photos of the whole episode.... two years later here we are married. 14 years later here we are still together. – Sohini N Saaghir





13. Our families open presents on Christmas Eve. Being on his side of the family’s farm that year, we invited my parents as well since it’s a game farm and my dad loves nature. Paul was playing Santa and gave everybody present... everybody except me. I was shocked that I didn’t get anything from him. He asked me to help pick up all the giftwraps and papers etc. Everybody looking and sharing his or her presents (at least I got some from other family members haha). Then he walked to a nearby tree to reach for something behind the tree and suddenly he looked at me, told me how much he loves me and went down on one knee...cameras were flashing and I asked him "are you serious?!" And nodded YES! Funnily enough just the night before we were having a braai at friends and I said to one friend that we'd been together for four years already and still no ring. After 3 years engagement we had the perfect wedding and our baby boy is due 11 June! – Jennifer du Plessis

14. We had won a free weekend stay in the outer banks that included an aerial tour in a small airplane. The whole time my guy was texting and messing around on his phone and I started to get really annoyed. After the flight was over we were getting in the car and he asks, ‘What do you wanna do?’ I said well let's go back to the hotel for a little bit and then go somewhere from there. When we pulled up in front of the hotel there was a banner hung across the front that said ‘Chelsea will you marry me?’ I was so shocked and surprised when I turned around he was just sitting there with the box smiling. In the plane he had been texting one of our friends trying to tell him where we were flying so they could go out on to the beach with the banner! Lol. – Chelsea Bean

Click here to blow him away with the move they say will get you the ring...



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Fri, 11 Jul 2014 12:00 +0200
A Taste of Heaven http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/a-taste-of-heaven
Fortunately, we had the perfect place in mind: Morrells Boutique Hotel in Northcliff, Johannesburg. This guesthouse will take your breath away; every corner reveals a scene more beautiful than the one before, from the ivy-covered walls to romantic pathways that whisper an invitation for a stroll. The bedrooms are cosy and intimate, and the common rooms are lavishly decorated with a hint of opulence.

After you’ve said ‘I do’, Morrells Farmhouse is the ideal place to spend your first night as a Mrs. Boasting a rich history, it was the first house to be built in Northcliff during the late 1800s, and was originally a dairy farm. It has since been lovingly restored to create a guesthouse, complete with seven magnificent en suite bathrooms featuring some of the original fittings. A fireplace blazing in the lounge and dining room adds the finishing romantic touch.

It was an absolute joy to shoot in this picturesque location. It’s our first choice for a lovers’ getaway or a fairy-tale wedding venue – plus, since it’s in the heart of Jo’burg, it couldn’t be more convenient. Check out our gorgeous COSMO Hitched shoot from the August issue here


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Mon, 26 Aug 2013 12:00 +0200
COSMO Hitched Digi-Event http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/cosmo-hitched-digi-event
We got some of South Africa's top wedding experts together in a gorgeous penthouse at the Colosseum Hotel in Century City, and got brides-to-be from across the country to send us their most burning wedding questions. Whether it was diamonds or dresses, photography or family politics, make-up or man problems, we got the answers from the experts for you. It was a morning of delicious food, drink, and, most importantly, a lot of learning. We got advice and tips we would never have thought of, and we think we speak for all our fun, fearless brides when we say we're all feeling a little more ready for 'I do'! Thank you to Yellow Pages for helping us make this day so special.

Click on the reel below for pics from the COSMO Hitched digi-event.




 
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Mon, 13 Aug 2012 12:00 +0200
Hitched Digi Event 2013 Expert: The planner Mondisa Goduka http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/hitched-digi-event-2013-expert-the-planner-mondisa-goduka Pink-pearl.co.za

To join our Hitched Digi event, log onto Facebook or Twitter on 16 August 2013 and ask your questions to our experts!

Click here for event details

Other experts:
The co-ordinator - Robyn Cooke
The jewellery expert - Michelle Brand
The photographer - Catherine Mac
The designers - Klûk/CGDT
The baker - Jacqui Biess
The makeup artist - Diana Maphapho


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Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
Hitched Digi Event 2013 Expert: The photographer Catherine Mac http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/hitched-digi-event-2013-expert-the-photographer-catherine-mac Catherinemac.com

To join our Hitched Digi event, log onto Facebook or Twitter on 16 August 2013 and ask your questions to our experts!

Click here for event details

Other experts:
The planner - Mondisa Goduka
The jewellery expert - Michelle Brand
The co-ordinator - Robyn Cooke
The designers - Klûk/CGDT
The baker - Jacqui Biess
The makeup artist - Diana Maphapho


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Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
Hitched Digi Event 2013 Expert: The designers Kluk/ CGDT http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/hitched-digi-event-2013-expert-the-designers-klk-cgdt Kluk.co.za

To join our Hitched Digi event, log onto Facebook or Twitter on 16 August 2013 and ask your questions to our experts!

Click here for event details

Other experts:
The planner - Mondisa Goduka
The jewellery expert - Michelle Brand
The co-ordinator - Robyn Cooke
The photographer - Catherine Mac
The baker - Jacqui Biess
The makeup artist - Diana Maphapho


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Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
Hitched Digi Event 2013 Expert: The jewellery expert Michelle Brand http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/hitched-digi-event-2013-expert-the-jewellery-expert-michelle-brand
To join our Hitched Digi event, log onto Facebook or Twitter on 16 August 2013 and ask your questions to our experts!

Click here for event details

Other experts:
The planner - Mondisa Goduka
The designers- Klûk/ CGDT
The co-ordinator - Robyn Cooke
The photographer - Catherine Mac
The baker - Jacqui Biess
The makeup artist - Diana Maphapho


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Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
Hitched Digi Event 2013 Expert: The baker Jacqui Biess http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/hitched-digi-event-2013-expert-the-baker-jacqui-biess Charlysbakery.co.za

To join our Hitched Digi event, log onto Facebook or Twitter on 16 August 2013 and ask your questions to our experts!

Click here for event details

Other experts:
The planner - Mondisa Goduka
The designers - Klûk/ CGDT
The co-ordinator- Robyn Cooke
The photographer - Catherine Mac
The jewellery expert - Michelle Brand 
The makeup artist - Diana Maphapho


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Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
Hitched Digi Event 2013 Expert: The makeup artist Diana Maphapho http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/hitched-digi-event-2013-expert-the-makeup-artist-diana-maphapho Infidels.co.za

To join our Hitched Digi event, log onto Facebook or Twitter on 16 August 2013 and ask your questions to our experts!

Click here for event details

Other experts:
The planner - Mondisa Goduka
The designers - Klûk/ CGDT
The co-ordinator - Robyn Cooke
The photographer - Catherine Mac
The jewellery expert - Michelle Brand 
The baker - Jacqui Biess


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Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
Hitched Digi Event 2013 Expert: The Co-ordinator Robyn Cooke http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/hitched-digi-event-2013-expert-the-co-ordinator-robyn-cooke Styleguideweddings.com

To join our Hitched Digi event, log onto Facebook or Twitter on 16 August 2013 and ask your questions to our experts!

Click here for event details

Other experts:
The planner - Mondisa Goduka
The jewellery expert - Michelle Brand
The photographer - Catherine Mac
The designers - Klûk/CGDT
The baker - Jacqui Biess
The makeup artist - Diana Maphapho


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Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
WIN: Diamond jewellery worth R70 000 from American Swiss Jewellers http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/win-diamond-jewellery-worth-r70-000-from-american-swiss-jewellers
Send us an awesome picture you really love from a wedding you’ve been to (it can be any wedding – your BFF’s or even your own) and you could win a diamond pendant, diamond studs and a full diamond eternity band.

With fashion recalling the trends of the early 20th century, it’s no surprise that jewellery is doing so too. The mood leans towards the nostalgic and feminine – a modern take on the glamour of a bygone era.

These pieces are set in 18ct white gold. The exquisite Love Diamonds solitaire pendant is set with a 0,5 carat round brilliant cut (valued at R17 000); the earrings are matching round brilliant-cut 1ct diamond studs (valued at R30 000); and, to complete the gorgeous all-diamond look, there’s
a breathtaking 1,35ct diamond eternity band (valued at R23 000)

E-mail your favourite wedding pic to cosmopolitan@assocmedia.co.za before 14 August. Tell us your name, the name and phone number of the photographer, the names of all the people in the shot, and when and where it was taken. Our panel of Hitched wedding experts (see page 4 of COSMO Hitched) will judge the best picture and notify the lucky winner of this magnificent prize from American Swiss Jewellers at the COSMO Hitched Digi Event on 16 August 2013.
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Sun, 21 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
Wedding Day Freak-Outs http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/wedding-day-freak-outs-pg1 Jersey Shore? Try again. Planning a wedding can feel like your very own drama-filled reality show. And having a few doubts about your fiancé is part of the script. 'After all, you're dealing with new issues like combining finances,' says bridal coach Beth-Ann Schacht. 'Plus, problems you've ignored might bug you more now because you're committing forever.' But certain feelings mean you should rethink things. Below, find out if your freak-outs are trying to tell you something.

You feel like you're on pins and needles. It's similar to the anticipation you experience before a trip or (when you were single) a big date - except more exaggerated.
When you're super stressed out, you turn to your husband-to-be to help you relax. He's generally able to put you in a better mood.
You're anxious about the wedding day itself (like saying your vows in front of 200 people). But when you picture being married to your fiancé, you feel happy and sure.
While you might not want to have sex as often as usual, you two still sometimes have wake-up sex on a weekday, and there are nights when you just want to tackle him. Your nervousness waxes and wanes - at times you're a complete basket case, but there are also windows when you're pretty calm and confident.
Disagreements you have with your man are over petty problems, like when he leaves his cereal bowl sitting in the sink or watches sport for hours on Sundays. You fantasise about having a last fling or flirt with guys when you're out with friends or during your bachelorette party, yet you can't imagine ever actually cheating.
You may fleetingly wish you knew your fiancé better, but you've been together long enough to be sure he's the one. And you're excited to learn more about him.
Even if you find that you and your man are bickering more than usual, you never seriously question whether you love him or whether he loves you.
No matter what happens, you totally trust your guy. You know he has your best interests at heart, will be there for you when you need him and is always on your side.

If Your Symptoms Fall Under Just Jitters:
You need to relax. Make time to enjoy non-wedding related activities, and keep communicating regularly with your fiancé about how you'll integrate your separate lives.
 


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Tue, 07 Aug 2012 12:00 +0200
Deal With Wedding Disasters http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/deal-with-wedding-disasters-pg1

To prevent this unimaginable disaster, ban anything colourful like juice, soft drinks, red wine, dark lipstick and nail polish from any room you'll be in wearing the dress. If the unthinkable happens anyway, make sure one of your bridesmaids brings white chalk along on the day, and cover the stain with the chalk as best you can. You'll be amazed at how well this works. And remember, people are looking at you, not your dress - they won't even notice.


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Mon, 30 Jul 2012 12:00 +0200
It's Your Day! http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/its-your-day-pg1
Bridesmaids can go from being your saving grace to having a badly timed meltdown - à la Britney Spears - in a flash. But there are ways to get what you want and keep the peace.

If you don't want bridesmaid drama, start with not creating drama yourself. Yes, it is your day and you're allowed to be a selfish princess. But there's a fine line between being the gracious queen, and being a dictator. Be nice when you can, and firm when it is called for. But if you're always throwing a tantrum your bridesmaids will start to resent you and retaliate with similar behaviour.


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Mon, 23 Jul 2012 12:00 +0200
'What I Wish I'd Known...' http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/what-i-wish-id-known
Nobody Notices The Minute Details
'I spent so much time and energy, even on the day of my wedding, running around and making sure the table decorations and the flowers were exactly as I wanted them to be, that I allowed myself to get stressed and not enjoy this special day as much as I should have. Later, I realised people didn't even notice the decorations. What people remember is the general atmosphere, whether the food was good and how much fun they had.'
- Shereen*, 30

People Will Let You Down
'I had this idea that everyone would rally around and put their lives and feelings aside to make my big day perfect. In reality, people are people, whether you're getting married or not. Your mother will still say something stupid; your bridesmaids will be petty, and some people you thought wouldn't miss it for the world will choose not to prioritise it. In the weeks leading up to my wedding I allowed myself to be hurt and disappointed. In retrospect, I should have had lower expectations, and just taken everything as it came.'
- Joanne*, 27

If You Have Performance Anxiety, Don't Perform
'I really wanted Martin and I to write our own speeches and say them to each other, but I get terrible stage fright and hate public speaking of any sort. Having to speak in front of all the guests made me so nervous I couldn't sleep the night before, and the whole day I was in a total state. I pulled it off okay, but it wasn't worth the anxiety I suffered. I wish I'd just opted for "I do" at the end. I would have felt much more relaxed and enjoyed the day a lot more.'
- Karin*, 35

The Speeches Will Suck
'I guess I'd watched too many wedding movies, but I was expecting some really great speeches. Instead, the best man mumbled and nobody could hear what he was saying, my dad's speech was totally corny and embarrassing, and my best friend said nothing at all. Erm... fail! I've learnt that most people are not natural orators. The best antidote to this is to keep them to a minimum.'
- Thandi*, 26

It's Not Going To Go Perfectly According To Plan
'I had this very specific idea in my head about how I wanted the day to unfold. What actually happened was that my flower-girl got stage fright and refused to walk down the aisle; at the last minute it was discovered that the salmon for the appetisers was off and they had to rustle up something else, and the DJ played the wrong "first dance" song. Luckily, I was able to laugh it all off and still have a fantastic day. If you can expect the unexpected and understand you can't control all the variables, you'll end up having a much happier wedding.'
- Carla*, 32

*Names have been changed

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Thu, 19 Jul 2012 12:00 +0200
COSMO Hitched 2012 http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/cosmo-hitched-2012
As you know, planning is key for the perfect wedding – which is why we've got a downloadable wedding planner just for you. You can set your own deadlines and tick off what you've already done, making the months leading up to your special day a little less stressful.

These competitions are just waiting for a winner. Could it be you? Dream honeymoons, dream weddings, luxury luggage sets and bachelorette pamper hampers are all up for grabs. All you need to do is enter and we could be calling you with the happy news!

        

Download the wedding planner here.

               
 
For more information on how Yellow Pages can help you plan your wedding, click here.

For those of you wanting to attend the Wedding Expo, here are the details. The bridal workshops with celeb wedding planner Sarah Haywood (who gives insider advice in COSMO Hitched) will be in:

Event Details Johannesburg: Saturday 25 August at The Coca-Cola Dome, Northgate. Price is R450 per person and includes a delicious high tea, goodie bag, lucky draw prizes and entrance to The Wedding Expo.

Event Details Cape Town: Friday 31 August at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel, Constantia. Price is R350 per person and includes a delicious high tea, goodie bag and lucky draw prizes.

The actual Wedding Expo takes place from August 25 - 26 at the Coca Cola Dome in Jo’burg. Doors are open from 9am to 5pm. Tickets are R100 per person and are available at the door or online at www.wedding-expo.co.za.
 
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Thu, 02 Aug 2012 12:00 +0200
Money-Smart Wedding Tips http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/money-smart-wedding-tips-pg1

If you want a venue like a wine farm or a game farm forget about the summer months when everyone else wants to get married there, too. If you choose a date that's slightly off-season, like autumn, early winter or spring, these establishments are much more eager to procure your custom, allowing you to negotiate a better deal. Luckily in South Africa we have warm weather well into winter. Phone around and enquire about off-season rates. A few weeks could save you a small fortune.
 


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Mon, 16 Jul 2012 12:00 +0200
Magic Moments http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/magic-moments
Movie Trailer Proposal

Dubbed as 'The Best Marriage Proposal Ever' in cyberspace, we have to agree. This is probably the last thing you'd expect to happen while in the cinema to watch The Hangover 2.



Graffiti Proposal


If you thought Labrador puppies were adorable, watch this! The reaction on her face says it all…



Explosive Reaction


In one minute flat, this bride-to-be goes from sheer shock to utter happiness.



NYC Proposal

A love proclamation in front of a LOVE sign… either you think it's corny or very romantic.



Trevi Fountain Proposal

When in Rome, say yes! And so she did.



Food Court Fail

This guy did not score any points for proposing in a food court, then again, why would he? You've got to feel for him a little bit though. Eek.



Need to hire a videographer? Click here.
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Thu, 14 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
Stuff The Groom Still Doesn't Know (Part Two) http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/stuff-the-groom-still-doesnt-know-part-two
A Rash Decision
'My husband made me swear that I wouldn't go to a tanning salon before our wedding. But I wanted to have a nice glow, so I bought a package of tanning appointments. I went a few times, and he didn't notice that I was getting progressively more bronzed. Then five days before the wedding, I squeezed in another trip to the salon. Unfortunately, I stayed in the tanning bed for too long and turned cherry red. So when I came home, it was obvious what I'd done. I lied and told him I'd only gone once, but he was still angry. Any normal person would never go back after that. But after a couple of days, my colour had faded, so I booked one last appointment. I ended up with a rash. Of course, I blamed it on that "first" tanning session.'
- Olivia*, 31

Two-and-a-Half Men
'My fiancé thinks I'm so sweet and innocent, but he doesn't know I have a wild past. When I was at university, I'd hook up with different guys every week - a couple of times, I'd even see two guys in the same night. And that's not all: During our first few months of dating, I was seeing my ex-boyfriend on the sly at the same time.'
- Mary*, 27

The Bridal Wars
'When it came time for me and my husband to create the guest list for our wedding, his little sister handed us the names of about 20 girls, most of whom we didn't know. I threw a fit and told my guy she had to cut some people. She, however, pulled the little sister card and got all her friends secured on the list despite my protests. My husband told me to just let it go. I still had the last laugh, though - I secretly threw away the invitations for her friends. When she began questioning why her friends never received them, I told her they must have gotten lost in the mail. My guy suspects I had something to do with it, but I'll never confess to him.'
- Irene*, 26

Naughty Vice
'I've been dating my fiancé since high school, and he knows everything about me. Well…almost everything. A few years ago, during a trip to Plett with a group of friends, I had too much to drink and ended up grinding with a random guy at a club and making out with him. My friends had to pry me away and practically carry me back to the hotel room.'
- Veronica*, 27

Till Dress Do Us Part
'Atter months of stressful wedding planning, I thought I was going to come to blows with my future mother-in-law. I didn't want my fiancé to know that I couldn't stand her, so I pretended everything was fine. Meanwhile, I devised a sneaky way to take out my aggression. She asked me to look at her choices for mother-of-the-groom dresses, some of which were more expensive and fancier than my wedding gown. She told me I could make the final decision, so I picked the ugliest one of the bunch - it was a hideous banana yellow and looked like a tacky matric dance dress.'
- Nabeelah*, 27

*Names have been changed

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Thu, 14 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
Stuff The Groom Still Doesn't Know (Part One) http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/stuff-the-groom-still-doesnt-know-part-one

I Do... Barely
'I was so nervous on my wedding day that I almost didn't leave the hotel room. If my best friend hadn't physically dragged me out, I probably wouldn't have gone through with it. But I'm glad I did, because it is the best decision of my life!'
- Roxanne*, 20

Holy Crap
'Before I say all this, let me assure you that I love my husband and we're happily married. However, there's one secret that I will never tell him. The night of my bachelorette party, I got pretty drunk, and things got out of control. I don't remember all the details of that night, but when I woke the next morning, I was lying naked with one of the men in the wedding party. It was the priest.'
- Sam*, 28

Break a Leg
'I had a Bridezilla-style meltdown in the parking lot of the church right before the wedding rehearsal. Usually I'm laid-back, but I was exhausted from doing all the planning, I hadn't slept, I was sick of family members asking me dumb questions, and my husband-to-be seemed completely clueless that I was overwhelmed. So I started crying by myself in the car. 'He walked over, knocked on the window, and asked me what was wrong. I didn't want to seem like a whiner, so I lied and told him, "I think I sprained my ankle." I got out of the car and limped toward the church. Of course, the limp magically disappeared as soon as I walked inside, and he got so swept up in the events that he forgot all about it.'
- Tumi*, 35

Un-ex-pected Guest
'I ran into my ex the night of my bachelorette party. A mutual friend had happened to mention to him where we were celebrating, and he showed up. He pulled me aside and confessed that he still had feelings for me. I didn't harbour any feelings for him and replied that I loved my fiancé. I never told my husband what happened because he knows my ex is the one guy I loved other than him, and I didn't want him to be insecure in any way.'
- Mpho*, 26

Twisted Sister
'My husband's sister, who was a bridesmaid in our wedding, was bitter that her younger brother was getting married before she was. So she acted like a total bitch and wouldn't co-operate with anything during the planning process. I tried to be civil to her, but by the morning of my wedding, I couldn't take it anymore. She was being rude to the other bridesmaids and to me. When she refused to take photos while getting ready I lost it. We had a screaming screaming match - she told me she hated me, and I said I felt the same way. We basically didn't speak to each other for the rest of the day. 'Later, after my husband and I had said our vows, he told me his family loved me and he was so glad I loved them. I never revealed that his sister and I had gotten into a huge throw-down because I didn't want to ruin his vision of a perfect family. I still don't get along with her and avoid her when possible.
- Jane*, 31

*Names have been changed

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Thu, 14 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
The Move That Will Get You Engaged http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/the-move-that-will-get-you-engaged
There's a difference between great oral sex and 'Holy cow, is this really happening?' oral sex. The second one is so amazing, he'll want to lock you in for life. The trick: Start slow and soft, gradually building the anticipation. Begin by holding his penis with one hand and placing it in your mouth. Keeping your tongue still, move his member back and forth inside your mouth, even letting it brush gently against your teeth. When he starts whimpering like a little puppy, run the tip of your tongue up and down his shaft. Then take all of him into your mouth and keep alternating between licking and sucking, so he never knows what to expect.

'The element of surprise adds an excitement factor,' says clinical sexologist, Dr Gloria Brame. After a few minutes, add more pressure. In addition to your mouth, put your hands into the mix. One strategy that will make his head spin: lightly pull on the skin of his testicles, tugging in sync with your mouth movements, then try some perineum play.

'The area between the testicles and anus is supersensitive because it's packed full of nerve endings,' says Lou Puget, author of The Great Lover Playbook (Gotham). 'Touching it puts pressure on the male G-spot.' To give him a pleasurable jolt he will never forget, use the knuckle of your pointer or middle finger to gently knead his perineum.

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Mon, 04 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
Always a Bridesmaid http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/always-a-bridesmaid   Even if she swears blind, your best friend will morph into a wedding-crazed Bridezilla.

  No matter how hideous your dress is, you must suffer in silence. Repeat after me, 'Pink ruffles? My favourite!'

  No matter how much you think you're suffering from wedding fatigue, you will start blubbing when your friend reachers her man at the altar.

  Be prepared for strangers to start running bets on whether or not you're going to get it on with the best man.

  Remember: you're lucky to be best friends with the bride. And if you want to keep it that way, when it's your turn, why not consider eloping?

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Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:00 +0200
Is He Ready For Marriage? http://www.cosmopolitan.co.za//Relationships/Hitched/is-he-ready-for-marriage-pg1
'When it comes to men and marriage, there's good news and there's bad news', says couples counsellor, Paula Turnbull. 'The good news is that his silence around the issue of commitment is not necessarily a bad sign. Men tend not to prioritise marriage in the same way women do. While little girls plan their frock and dream of their wedding day, men seldom think about it until it's time to do the deed. But, with a little encouragement, they usually muster up enough enthusiasm to show up in a penguin suit and fork out for the flowers.'

The bad news is if he hasn't mentioned marriage because he's not ready. There is nothing you can do to hurry him up. Men have their own 'biological clocks', and if his isn’t ticking to the beat of the bridal march, you could be in for a long wait. Remember the SATC episode where they compared a man ready for marriage to an empty taxi? When he's ready for commitment, his 'available' light goes on and the next woman he meets gets the rock. If not, he'll just keep stalling. Luckily, there are some clear signs to watch out for if he's ready to mate for life.

Acts Like a Husband As April Masini, author of Date Out Of Your League (Turnkey Press) explains, 'When a man is ready to become a husband, he starts acting like a husband. For instance, he will make plans for the future, introduce you to his friends and family, and not only call you, but want to tell you the details of his day and have a desire to hear about yours.'

Says Turnbull, 'If he's honest and open about all aspects of his life and refers to the future with you in it, he's more than likely ready to take the next step.' Other signs are his being comfortable with you reading his e-mails over his shoulder, meeting his mom for lunch and answering his phone.
Can Support a Family
Shuns The Singles Scene
Wants To Be a Daddy

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Wed, 16 Feb 2011 12:00 +0200