FAQ'SFREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
the A-Z of WEDDING PLANNING
This is our A to Z, which hopefully gives you a greater insight into the company and will help to answer some of the questions you might have. This will be informative and fun, but also very important to read. We suggest a glass of wine and a few minutes to have a read through.
If we are doing your wedding at a fabulous overseas destination or even at a location outside of Gauteng, we ask that you please book accommodation for us. Normally a hotel at the venue will work the best because we will work throughout the night, but an Air BnB can also work. Please ensure that we work on a food plan should we be in an AirBnb.
To ensure a smooth process when planning a wedding, it is important to always know who your assigned person is. They know your wedding details better than anyone else and are in the best position to help you with all enquiries.
Answers to emails:
We always endeavour to answer emails as quickly as possible, however we are often out of the office busy with the setup of a wedding; therefore please allow us a bit of response time, especially over the weekends.
*Please also see Mondays.
Myself and John have been struggling to find an amazing suit tailoring company for years now so we decided to start our own!! Please pop an email to email@example.com for details or to set up a personalised fitting appointment with our amazing tailors.
As a company, we charge a breakage deposit. This is to protect us if and when things break. This amount will get refunded to you when the wedding is over and a full recon has been done on décor stock items at the lowest possible replacement value.
It makes us very sad when we have to replace stock. It is however the reality of this industry. This is however why we have a breakage deposit in place, it is also to protect you from having to pay in any additional money after your wedding day.
As a part of the Wedding Planning Service, we will create a wedding budget for you. This is a vital part of the Wedding Planning process as it is important to be comfortable with what you are going to spend on the entire wedding overall.
It is so wonderful to have loving people who stand by you and support you on one of the most important days of your lives. Your bridal party love to feel important too, so make sure that they know their roles and responsibilities on the day to include each and every person involved. If you have not opted for the Event Management or the Wedding Planning Service, please note that these duties for them will include placing all of the on the day stationery and liaising with booked suppliers as they arrive at the venue on the day of the wedding.
You are welcome to send us some inspiration images of the type or style of bouquet that you love. We will always try to match this image closely, however, we will always also customise it too fit your personality and style perfectly.
We love to make the gents feel equally special on the big day. We make small floral clusters that get pinned onto their jackets. You are also welcome to send us inspiration images of what you would like these to look like. But first, make sure that your group of men actually want these, as many guys often opt for another unique or customised pin idea.
Cake set up:
Cakes honestly terrify us! We always suggest you use a professional company when it comes to your wedding cake. They have done it a million times before and know how to make sure it doesn’t collapse or cave in. Sometimes Aunty Mindy (as sweet as she is) bakes the cake the day before the wedding and this can compromise the structure of your cake. Please know that we are not responsible for the set up or collapse of cakes.
We normally suggest rose petals or natural and bio-degradable elements. This isn’t because we are boring as people, but rather because we know that most venues do not allow synthetic confetti to be used in outside areas. We can still advise on some fun options so please ask us in your styling meeting if you need a unique idea.
We have seen them in movies and they are fab! However most venues hate them, because the actual confetti pieces are near impossible to clean up. Let us know if you would like us to ask your venue about them.
The candles from your wedding are yours to take; so please feel free to ask us for them the following day. Should your candles be left with us, we promise to donate them to poorer areas without electricity, so that something good still comes from them.
We absolutely LOVE children, however we are not very good baby sitters and are not responsible for looking after them on the day of the wedding either. Please ensure that someone capable is assigned or hired in to look after the little ones on the day.
Our lawyers are everything they need to be; efficient, ruthless and terrifying. Please help us avoid talking to them if we don’t have to. Our contracts must be signed by both the bride and groom, as well as initialed on each page. If you need clarification on the correct signing procedures, please feel free to contact JOHN – he is our in-house legal advisor and you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the event that you have to postpone your special day, a new contract agreement will have to be re-signed based on the new event date.
As with any company, there are many people who work behind the scenes to ensure that your wedding is perfect. It is important to know who to mail so that you can get the most accurate and helpful response in good time. We all do everything and more, but a very simple list like the one below might help narrow things down when getting in touch:
– Zavion: CEO and all round good guy – he is also the chief wedding designer and stylist.
– Savannah: Wedding Planner and Events Coordinator
– Zhan-Mishal: Events Manager and Coordinator
– Cobus: Events Manager and Coordinator
– Reynhardt: Flowers, Decor and Logistics Manager
– Saskia: Account Manager and CFO
– John: Marketing Manager and CEO
DJ’s do charge overtime as per your contract with them. Should you go overtime with them, please know that this then falls outside of our contract and you will have to pay them directly for this after your wedding. This is because their overtime falls after the formalities of a wedding and therefore after the conclusion of our time with you as Event Coordinators.
Décor is not to be taken... Please:
We love it when you and your guests take flowers at the end of your wedding. We however just ask that no one takes the décor vases or related items with them when they leave.
Should you require décor items that we do not have or are not willing to stock, we will always be happy to help you source them elsewhere. They fall outside of our insurance policies and if brought in by an external company, must be cleared by them when the wedding ends.
In every J-Lo wedding movie there is always an OTT Wedding Planner giving advice on the wedding dress whilst at the dress fitting. We feel that there are so many more meaningful opinions from the family on the day and therefore think it is best to rather leave such a personal moment to your immediate family members. We are however definitely able to recommend some fantastic designers.
This is a wonderful service that ensures that your wedding day runs smoothly and as “on- time” as we can manage. (Speeches often throw us off though). Please chat to us about what the Event Management Service and team can do for you!
When we order flowers, we always order for the worst case scenario. When we do have extra flowers, we will happily decorate the bathrooms and various areas for free for you. This is however not something we can guarantee for each and every wedding.
Some live singers are bigger drama queens than you would expect. They often have a hospitality “rider” which includes the need for anything from a private room for hours prior to the act, to only blue jelly beans. (Bizarre we know). If they require alcohol or anything that we need to bring in additionally, we will let you know about these costs prior. Please also always let us know if your Aunt Cher is planning to make an appearance at the venue – we will need to know of this ahead of time.
If you are getting married at Inimitable, you will be happy to know that they have 4 of these for you to use for your wedding stationery signs. If you are getting married elsewhere, let’s check with the venue before we rent them in for you – Every small saving counts.
Final meetings are VERY important. They are held 4-6 weeks prior to your wedding date. All of the final details and information will be discussed at this meeting and no further changes to your invoice will be allowed thereafter. If you would like information as to what will be discussed at the meeting, please feel free to speak to your contact person and they will be able to assist you with this.
Flowers and décor, on the day, wedding responsibilities:
When we are booked to do the flowers and décor setup of a wedding, we will set up all areas as agreed upon (Ceremony, Canapés, Bridal Party and/or Reception Hall). We will only set up what you have paid for with us. It is not our responsibility to pack out stationery, thank you gifts, furniture or anything extra that you or an outside supplier is bringing in. This is a great task for bridesmaids or badly behaved groomsmen. If you would like us to do the above tasks, please consider the Event Management Service.
Flowers the next day
In an ideal world, flowers would last a lifetime, but sadly they tend to die the next day. We will always ensure that your flowers are put to the side so that you can collect them the morning after the wedding. Please remember that some venues do not keep any flowers and throw them away that night. At Inimitable, your flowers will be kept until noon in the passage alongside the children’s room.
As we work with a living product, we often face external issues that can complicate flower availability. A snow storm in Kenya wiped out their entire export of roses a few years back and it was impossible to get those flowers in SA. We will always do our best to find a way to source all the floral textures and varieties you love. (That is why you pay your final flower bill a month before your wedding date – so that we are able to pre-order and access import flowers).
Venues have very strict rules regarding fireworks. Please let us know if you are interested in fireworks for your wedding and we will investigate this on your behalf.
Gift cards & Gifts:
No member of the Zavion Kotze Events Company Team will ever be responsible for your gifts or gift cards. Please don’t give them to us. We would hate to be blamed if something went missing. Rather place a responsible (and perhaps somewhat sober) family member on safeguarding these throughout the night and following morning.
Gift card holders:
Some venues have a coded envelope safe (Inimitable has one), but others do not… It is always best to check in with them first and see if another gift box option needs to be made.
By definition: A groom who begins to panic about all details anywhere between 24 and 48 hours before the wedding. Should you encounter one of these, let us handle it… We are trained and ready!
There is nothing more special for us, than meeting your friends and families. They are always a reflection on you and after the journey we all walked together, it is an honour to meet them. Please remember that they are your guests and if one goes rogue, we will have to chat to you first so that we always keep you in the loop before addressing someone or solving a situation should it arise on your special day.
We work 6 days a week and rather late and bizarre hours too. Therefore; to help our staff not kill John or I, we like to give them some leave days. This also allows them to rest up between wedding seasons and helps them to be fresh for your wedding. We close every July for the entire month as well as a short break over the festive season. We will still be available on emails, but please allow us a little bit of leeway when it comes to the response time.
Although we don’t sleep a lot in this industry (especially over weekends), we do like to sleep during the week. Please note that we will not answer the office phone at night time, before office hours or on a Monday, unless it is indicated as a true situation of emergency.
We know all the super places to go – so if you ever need advice on what and where is great, we will be able to help. As a wedding planning company we have also partnered with Priority Escapes to help give our couples the best prices and unforgettable honeymoons. Please chat to us about this – It is SO worth it and John and I speak from experience.
So Pretty!! BUT please always let us know the rough age of the children or adults wanting these. The size of a flower girls head vs your dad might differ and then they just won’t look as stunning hehe. Also make sure the person is comfortable wearing this and won’t perhaps prefer a woven basket with petals or a small bouquet.
Information for final meetings:
There is a lot of information that we go through at the final meeting and each meeting is different based on the service that you have opted for. Please ask your contact person ahead of the final meeting as to what information you will need to prepare.
Your invoice will be paid in 4 parts to make the payments easier to manage on you. 25% of the invoice will need to be paid upon booking. 50% of the invoice will need to be paid 6 months prior to your wedding date. 75% of the invoice will need to be paid after your mock up. 100% of your invoice will need to be paid in full 30 days prior to your wedding day. Please feel free to speak to our Accounts Manager if you are ever unsure about something with regards to your invoice, to can reach Saskia via – email@example.com
All invoices can be altered and adjusted up until 30 days prior to the wedding day. NO further changes will be accepted after this deadline as we place all orders 30 days prior to your wedding.
We are closed for the entirety of July. This is to help the staff rest up for the new wedding season. We will still be on mails, but please allow us a slightly longer reply time.
John is a director of both Zavion Kotze Events Company and Inimitable Wedding Venue. He is mostly responsible for venue related matters, however, as a wedding planner he is more than happy to help if need be. He also has great jokes.
Keys for the rooms:
Wherever you are getting married, please don’t take the keys for any rooms. It causes a lot of panic the next day. Any ZKEC staff member is also not responsible for keeping or taking any keys to the rooms – this is due to the venue’s insurance clauses.
We prefer to keep the number of candles and hard liquor on kids tables to a minimum (naturally) so please let us know if you have a different idea of a kids table and we will do what we can to make it not only wonderful for them, but also keep your reception hall looking gorgeous!
Lighting always maketh the wedding! Please chat to us about the different lighting options that we can provide. We promise you won’t regret it. If however you decide to hire in lighting from an external supplier, please ensure that they take responsibility for delivery, collection, installation and electrical connection of all the lighting structures.
As mentioned our lawyers truly are everything they need to be; efficient, ruthless and terrifying. We try not to talk to them if not needed. However please let us know if you need any clarification on legal clauses. John is our in-house legal consultant and can advise you on how to sign contracts and clarify any points on your contract.
Your mock up is a very important part of your wedding day. This is when we set up a table preview based on what we have discussed at the first styling meeting. This is especially important when we have had to make changes over email to the look and overall design. This also gives you a great opportunity to play around and see what you like or don’t like and make changes accordingly.
Moving of flowers:
We are always happy to help you move flowers from one area of your wedding to another. Sadly floral arches weigh in at about 200kg and are near impossible to move without damages.
Moving of valuables:
We LOVE your new black diamond studded Christian Louboutin shoes and the matching earrings. Please do not ask us to move them for you. We would hate to be blamed if they went missing or were accidentally damaged in any way.
We are closed on Mondays. It is our one day off a week. Please let us sleep – odds are we only got a few hours sleep from Thursday through the weekend as we are working at weddings. We need this day off, so please excuse us for not taking your calls or answering your emails.
Nice gestures with regards to flowers and candles:
We will always try to make sure that any left over flowers get to live another day.These will be donated to old age homes if the flowers are in good condition and not taken by you. Candles left behind are also donated to nearby areas and homes without electricity.
Overtime of suppliers:
When it comes to overtime for a DJ, Photographer or any other supplier, these invoices will come directly from them and not from us. By us offering to carry credit for you may be in breach of a few laws. As this overtime falls outside of our working hours, we ask that you please chat to the suppliers regarding their invoices post wedding.
Our office hours are from 09:30 to 16:30; Tuesday to Friday and 9:30 to 12:00; Saturday to Sunday. We will do our best to accommodate you outside of work hours where possible.
Payments: Flowers and Décor / Event Management:
Your invoice will be paid in 4 separate payments:
25% – Paid upon booking and acceptance of the estimate invoice.
25% – Paid 6 months prior to your wedding day.
25% – Paid after the mock up and table preview.
25% – Paid 30 days prior to the wedding day.
Changes will be accepted on the invoice up until 30 days prior to the wedding day. NO further changes will be accepted after this deadline.
Payments: Wedding Planning:
Your invoice will be paid in 5 separate payments:
50% – Of the Wedding Planning fee upon accepting this service.
25% – Of the ZKEC estimate invoice to be paid upon accepting the invoice.
25% – Paid 6 months prior to your wedding day.
25% – Paid after your mock up and table preview.
25% + 50% (Including the Wedding Planning fee) – To be paid 30 days prior to your wedding. Changes will be accepted on the invoice up to 30 days prior to the wedding day. NO further changes will be accepted after this. The invoice will also be adjusted continuously as the final costs of suppliers come through.
Please send us a copy when you make a payment. John seems to have a filing fetish, so the more info you can send us to place on file, the better.
We know you MUST HAVE THEM at your wedding, however mother nature sometimes has other plans. Peonies grow for a very limited time of the year. They bloom at the end of April through May. However from open, they only last 10 days – this makes getting them into SA rather tricky. We will do everything in our power to get them for you. (We even have a grower in France who helps us out of season where possible, but we cannot always guarantee this).
Process (Flowers and Décor Weddings):
The process for flowers and décor weddings is as follows:
1 – First styling meeting (Where we discuss the full look that makes up your wedding day).
2 – A quotation is sent to you based on the first meeting notes.
3 – Adjustments to the quotation (You can let us know if there are any adjustments that we need to make or a budget we need to stick within). 4 – Acceptance of the quotation and 25% deposit of the quotation to be paid.
5 – We will book you in for a mock up (so you can see the look of the wedding).
6 – The invoice will be adjusted based on the changes at the mock up and a further 25% of the invoice is to be paid.
7 – 25% of the invoice to be paid (6 months before) – this may move in order dependant on when your wedding is taking place.
8 – We will book you in for a final meeting.
9 – Final adjustments to the invoice is made and the full remaining invoice amount is then due.
10 – The wedding day, we will set up all items as per the final invoice – YAY!
Process (Event Management Weddings):
The process for Event Management weddings is as follows:
1 – First styling meeting (Where we discuss the full look that makes up your wedding day).
2 – A quotation is sent to you based on the first meeting notes.
3 – Adjustments to the quotation (You can let us know if there are any adjustments that we need to make).
4 – Acceptance of the quotation and 25% of the quotation to be made.
5 – We will book you in for a mock up (So you can see the look of the wedding).
6 – The invoice will be adjusted based on the changes at the mock up and 25% of the invoice is to be paid.
7 – 25% of the invoice to be paid (6 months before) – this may move in order dependant on when your wedding is taking place).
8 – We will book you in for a final meeting and start working on your wedding event timing document.
9 – Final adjustments to the invoice is made and the full invoice amount is then due.
10 – The wedding day, we will set up all items as per the final invoice as well as ensure that the entire wedding day runs smoothly – YAY!
Process (Wedding Planning Weddings):
The process for Wedding Planning weddings is as follows:
1 – First styling meeting (Where we discuss the look and various suppliers).
2 – A Wedding Planning services quotation is then sent to you.
3 – 50% of the Wedding Planning fee is to be paid.
4 – A full wedding budget is sent to you based on the discussions at the first meeting as well as a mood board.
5 – Adjustments to the budget (You can let us know if there are any adjustments that we need to make).
6 – Acceptance of the budget which will then be invoiced to you.
7 – 25% of the invoice is to be made.
8 – Suppliers will then be booked according to what we have agreed upon to book on your behalf and as per the budget.
9 – We will book you in for a mock up (So you can see the look of the wedding).
10 – The invoice will be adjusted based on the changes at the mock up and 25% of the invoice is to be paid.
11 – 25% of the invoice to be paid (6 months before) – this may move in order dependant on when your wedding is taking place).
12 – We will book you in for a final meeting. 13 – Final adjustments to the invoice is made and the full invoice amount is then due.
14 – The wedding day, we will set up all items as per the final invoice. We will also be there to ensure that the wedding day runs smoothly – YAY.
Weddings can be very stressful for our brides and grooms, if you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch with your contact person and we will gladly assist you with anything wedding related.
This is the first “estimate” that you will receive from us. It is however only an estimate based on all the ideas we have spoken about in your styling meeting – so please don’t get a fright if things start off a little high, we can always make adjustments. Let us know if you would like any changes or if you would like to change to budget amount so that we can ensure you get the most value and ideas for your spend.
Rooms at the venue:
For Inimitable, the person to contact is Ivan. He is our Hospitality Manager, and he is awesome! You can reach him via firstname.lastname@example.org. He can help you book rooms as well as inform you on what hotels and accommodation options are alternatively available in the area. If you are getting married at another venue, this will more than likely fall to their Hospitality Manager.
We have done many weddings around the world and have been blessed enough to be part of almost every type of religious ceremony, however, if there are aspects of your religion that you would like us to be 100% sure on, please let us know. It is always our goal to not only respect, but celebrate every religion.
I think it is generally an American thing, but sometimes couples want to do a rehearsal or walk through. Please let us know if we can help in any way in conjunction with the venue’s availability.
Lovely to look at, lovely to hold, but if you put them down on tablecloths, they will scald. What a terrible rhyme; sorry. Please note that we will always try to assist with people to gather sparklers after their burn period, but they can damage tables etc if they are put down whilst still hot so please do keep this in mind.
If you have not paid for the Event Management Services, we cannot put your name cards etc out for you. Your bridal and groom’s parties will be responsible for this. We also do not stock any stationery that we can borrow or hire to any clients, including table numbers.
Yes they need to sit down and it shows great respect towards them if you offer them a seat at a table. It is always much easier to seat all suppliers at one table, usually not with the guests as this can make it very awkward for your special guests.
Suppliers food + drinks:
Please feed them. They are working at your wedding and will get hungry at some point. It is the right thing to feed them. We do however believe that they should never drink alcohol on your wedding day- they are there to work – we can tell them that on your behalf if you would like.
This is very important to have for the day to ensure that everyone knows which table they are seated at. We suggest placing these at the canapés area as this is the area that the guests spend most of their free time and they have an opportunity to find their names before heading into the reception hall. It is also normally helpful to then move these to just outside the door of the hall as guests enter. The venue will normally assist with this.
Every man knows what looks great on them and what suit they want for the special day. As much as we would LOVE to see them looking dapper before the wedding day, we do not get too involved with these meetings. If however you do need some suggestions as to where to go, we are happy to assist with recommendations – Like the incredible team at Brereton Bespoke, wink wink.
Travel costs for away weddings:
For all weddings outside of Gauteng, it is the clients responsibility to ensure all travel costs for all suppliers as well as the set up team is paid for. This may include petrol costs, flights, rental cars or any other transport modes that are needed to get to the wedding and to do our jobs effectively.
Tables - Max per table:
No matter how hard you try, you cannot fit more than 10 people at a round or square table. Even if your cousin Sharon’s new paleo diet has helped her drop to a size 28 waist, we simply cannot do it. During Covid-19 we suggest you rather opt for a maximum of 8 pax per table to allow for proper social distancing.
Thank you gifts:
Thank you gifts are a very traditional way to say thank you to all the special people in your lives that made an effort to be at the wedding. This tradition is becoming outdated and can be a wasteful spend of your budget. If you feel that you really would like to give them something, we suggest that it is something that they can eat or drink – these gifts always go down well.
We will happily do a wedding timeline when you have taken our Event Management or Wedding Planning Services. This will cover who needs to arrive when, what is happening as well as all of the MC’s announcements and duties. We will send you the draft after the final meeting for you to alter and sign off before we send this to suppliers in the week leading up to the wedding.
Most venues have umbrellas for just in case. Inimitable has 200. But if you are worried, we can always check with your venue on your behalf.
Inimitable Venue & ZKEC are separate companies:
We know that Zavion and John own both Inimitable Wedding Venue and Zavion Kotze Events Company. They also own a multitude of other companies in SA. However please note all companies are individually registered and are stand alone companies. Payments to either company need to remain separate to help our accountants make sense of it all.
So pretty and such a cool way to make your dance floor pop! Your supplier will need to take responsibility for the installation of this. None of us were any good at Arts and Crafts at school, so perhaps not a good idea to make us stick it down.
Wedding suppliers are there to ensure your wedding day is perfect and to take care of you, the beautiful couple. Each vendor however requires different things according to their contract (For eg. a soft drink every 2 hours to be covered by the bridal couple). Please ensure that you inform us and cover all of their needs to make them as happy as possible on the day as this will return the best possible service delivered back to you.
Wedding Planning fee:
The Wedding Planning fee is paid for in 2 separate parts. 50% of the fee is paid upon booking and securing our services. The final amount will be due 30 days prior to your wedding day. The Wedding Planning fee is also adjusted after the final meeting. The final Wedding Planning fee is costed at 10% of the overall budget spent with us.
Some brides love to practice walking. You are welcome to – we might even join you if able too! Please just let us know if you want to do a walk through at the venue and we will schedule it in for you.
No, he or she is not welcome and we have security guards to help with this and for a few other obvious reasons as well haha!
Gossip Girl here… We do walk a great journey with you towards your wedding day and we love to create wonderful relationships with you. You are welcome to share all of your ‘gossip’ with us too.
Your wedding day:
Zav and John have been known to cry at weddings. They are big teddybears – but more importantly we all get so excited for your day! We are so proud to be there and be part of your special day. We are passionate and will do everything we can to ensure that your day is perfect in every way!
Zavion is the director of a few companies, as well as someone who seems to pop up on TV now and then. Please know that as much as he wants to be at every wedding, he cannot always be there. Paying for the services of ZKEC or Inimitable does not mean you are paying/hiring Zavion himself on the day – Paying for a person is illegal and sort of borders on prostitution – an Icky industry into which we probably won’t enter any time soon!