Perhaps you know Robyn Cooke from her brilliant fashion blog Style Guide Cape Town or maybe you’ve seen her in magazines or online – she is one stylish gal-about-town you should know – especially if you’re about to embark on the wedding journey. Or perhaps you’re already on the road to saying ‘I Do’ and you could do with some input or some expertise on the day itself – well hello there…what are you waiting for? Read all about what Robyn and the team at Style Guide Weddings can do for you dear brideys.
Q Tell us about yourself and Style Guide Weddings?
Style Guide Weddings is run by Robyn Cooke – that’s me – and I have a background in marketing and events as well as fashion and food. I spent 15 years running events for large corporate organisations like Dimension Data and EDS here and in the UK. I then changed career paths and became a fashion editor and blogger for over five years. I thought that wedding planning would be a creative way to bring all my favourite things together.
Q How did Style Guide Weddings come about?
Style Guide Weddings started from months of conversations I was having with my friends at my weekend house in Stanford. Stanford is a wedding hot spot of course, and we have had many long chats about how we would do it differently. Not everyone wants a classic wine farm wedding, but where do brides turn if that’s not their thing?
Wedding planners can do amazing things for brides these days, but how do you get that perfect blend of using a wedding planner, but your wedding still feels like you have done it yourself? That’s what I wanted to help with.
Q What’s different about SGW?
SGW does not require a massive budget or for things to be absolutely perfect. But SGW does require a personal point of view and a good sense of humour from our bridal couples. I love it when our couples have a blast, and feel like everyone sees them the way they see themselves. I like them to be relaxed and to enjoy themselves. I also feel a kinship with people who love stylish things and great food. That’s what SGW puts the emphasis on: personality, style and deliciousness.
SGW also offers a product called “On The Day Wedding Coordination”, which allows bridal couples who want to plan their own wedding to call in the cavalry to do all the hard work on the day. No bride wants to be telling people where to put the flowers while she is having her hair done, so we step in on the day to help out. SGW is also available to these couples in the couple of weeks leading up to the big day, and the week after. It is a mini service, for those who just need some stylish hard workers to take care of things.
Q Your idea of a perfect wedding day?
My favourite weddings are the ones that are relaxed, informal and filled with love and good food, when everyone is having a nice time. Nothing else really matters if you have this down. Of course a bit of sunshine, everyone dressed beautifully and friends and families that are unselfish in their support of the couple make it absolutely perfect. And no Gangham Style on the DJ set list please!
Q The kind of brides you love to work with?
I am particularly partial to an ‘older bride’. One in her thirties or even much older, as she is more relaxed about the exact shade of lilac that the flower comes in, you know? I think that an older bride is much more centered into what the days means and less about the trapping so of the day. So if we can makes those trappings seamless and beautiful and an easy expression of the bride, then she can just get on with her vows and her guests and having an amazing day.
Q How could you make a bridal couple’s day easier?
I think a wedding planner needs to blend in with the background. It is not about the planner, but it is about taking all the pain out of putting together a big function with many moving parts. If I can do that quietly and no one notices, I have done my job.
SGW is very well connected with dress designers, and obviously provides a personal styling service for the bride and her retinue as part of the package. No one else can really do this.
We have also built personal relationships with wonderful photographers, caterers, DJs and bands so we can ensure that these are all painless parts of the wedding event – and don’t cost a fortune.
Q I don’t live in CT, can you help with organising my wedding – what do I need to do and what can you do?
When you are organising a wedding in a distant location, your wedding planner has to be able to represent you at the location. SGW does this happily. We use Skype to have meetings with the bridal couple, get to know them, and get their brief. After that, regular check-ins are essential to get all the decisions made, but we make sure we only present the best options so as not to waste your time.
We can also manage all your logistics, including flights and accommodations and enjoy putting together a programme for your family and friends to enjoy the Cape while they are here.
There are great options for weddings in Cape Town that can make the occasion memorable for everyone who attends.
Q What wedding trends are you tapping into?
There are two key trends that I am finding most popular. First there is the rustic, ‘home made’ décor option. This is great for creative people who want things to reflect their personal approach to style. Because décor items are made specifically for their wedding, it never feels like anyone else’s wedding, which I think is fantastic.
Secondly, we have a revival of the twenties through the dresses and the décor styles. This is very appropriate as the twenties were a decade of celebration and opulence. This makes for a very indulgent feeling at your wedding and everyone enjoys the sparkle and wit.
Q What won’t you find at a SGW wedding?
You mean apart from Gangham Style on the set list? Well a SGW will never look or feel like anyone else’s wedding. That’s the key. You will never find a cheap bauble or too little food or people running around uptight and shouting. This is the opposite of what SGW stands for. What you will find are people having a laugh, enjoying themselves and feeling warmth, comfort and style.
Q Current fave wedding venue?
You can’t fault Tintswalo Atlantic for the best view in the world, should you want a beach wedding. For foodie paradise, Ottimo Cibo is the best-kept Cape Town secret. And for an inner city urban gem, Rust en Vreugd is my absolute favourite.
Q Hen parties and pre-wedding soirees?
Bring it! We have so much experience organizing anything from an intimate table for dinner, through to hen party weekend trips. Most weddings these days have several smaller events leading up to the big day and we see that as part of the package.