Anton Rautenbach from The Wedding Emporium tells us how to get a city wedding just right.

  • Many brides are opting for hotels as their wedding venue. From London to Johannesburg, you always know that a five star hotel is going to be well-maintained and that you should have great service.
  • Urban venues such as hotels or conference centres usually have very effective security too.
  • A hotel wedding reception means there will be plenty of accommodation for out of town guests.
  • For the bride and groom, a city wedding can usually be held in their home city, meaning less driving around the countryside for you and your guests.
  • When planning your wedding schedule, always remember to factor in the time it will take you and your guests to drive from the actual ceremony to the reception venue.
  • You can usually have more guests at a hotel venue than at most country venues. This depends on the hotel, though.
  • At a hotel, employ the services of a bar auditor who works with the staff to ensure all bar orders are recorded accurately. If you have more than 250 guests, it is worth finding out when guests start ordering French Champagne!
  • A great idea for a city wedding reception is to set up drinks stations around the room, as opposed to placing open bottles of red and white wine on each table. That way people only order wine when they need it and don’t leave unwanted, half-full bottles on the table. This will be a significant saving on the bar bill.
  • City wedding photos are very different to the green country photos. However, the architectural landscape makes for a slick sophisticated look and couples should make the most of it. Anton says one of his clients opted for the streets of Melrose Arch for their wedding shoot; another travelled to a nearby air force base to be photographed in the hangar. If a hotel has a glass lift, it makes a dramatic setting for photographs too.
  • The Wedding Emporium has found clients love their idea to turn the reception venue into a nightclub once dinner is over. With lights, draping and many other effective tricks, the venue can be transformed and guests will party until late in the night.
  • Ensure your guests who don’t want to dance, don’t leave, by creating cappuccino or cocktail lounges in other parts of the venue. And don’t chase smokers away either – create a smoking lounge generously stocked with cigars and a few popular cigarette brands.

Contact: The Wedding Emporium in Johannesburg (011) 883 0012 and Cape Town 082 852 9851 or


Ceremony venue: The Forum Gallery

Reception venue: The Forum
(011) 575 3888

Bridal gown: Guy Granger Couture for the Wedding Emporium 082 417 0234

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Kristen Masters, Garnish 082 684 1630

Hair and make-up artist: Karen Van Wyngard 072 264 9714

Wedding design, co-ordination, flowers & décor: Wedding Emporium
Johannesburg (011) 883 0012
Cape Town 082 852 9851

Photography: Patrick Furter
082 550 0139

Videographer: DVI (011) 615 2468

Stationery: Wedding Emporium
Johannesburg (011) 883 0012
Cape Town 082 852 9851

Cake: The Tart (011) 6464781

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