Black Pearl Weddings of London is
a superior boutique wedding planning
and consultancy service.

Friday, 28 November 2014

"Ethnic Bride Series" - Destination Weddings Africa

A magical continent, rich in culture and tradition, and with some of the most scenic landscapes on earth, Africa was a natural choice for Black Pearl Weddings to explore the destinations available for your weddings. This week, we take pleasure in sharing our three favourite so far..!

The first breath-taking location we discovered was South Africa.

This incredible country isn’t just steeped in political history and a bench-mark in social progression, but is also home to the awe-inspiring Waterberg area and Eastern Cape, home to the five big game animals. A malaria free zone, this is truly the pinnacle in outdoor (or “bush”) weddings; as well as boasting the “Garden Route” and area magniloquently known for spectacular flora and fauna, with possibly one of the greatest sites for beach weddings, as well as world famous mountain ranges.

Secondly, but by no means inferior in any way, is Zambia. With the Royal Livingstone overlooking the formidable Victoria Falls, or South Luangwa Valley, truly the romantic heart of the African Bush lands encapsulating the divine Lake Malawi which offers heavenly islands to relax upon and enjoy your honeymoon, Zambia is also famed for the Lower Zambezi Valley, considered by many to be the most scenic place on earth. Boasting sunsets that offer insight into the universal worship of the sun among all cultures, the Lower Zambezi Valley turns golden during these unforgettable miracles of nature, and shortly afterwards, is home to  dream-like starlit skies.

Finally, moving into Northern Africa, Black Pearl Weddings were stunned by Kenya. Famously boasting renowned Safari Parks populated by as many exotic species as one could possibly wish for and then some, Kenya is also home to truly leading architecture such as the KICC building, or” The One”, Africa’s Tallest skyscraper.

However, while we have offered the above selection as our top three so far, it’s important to remember that a continent as large and varied as Africa has incredible features in every corner – keep watch for our second part to Destination Weddings – Africa.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Venues- (The info a bride should know)

When it comes to venues or more specifically ‘your’ venue knowing the possible hidden costs from the start will save you a lot more money than you think. Here’s a breakdown of what to look out for.


When deciding upon a venue it’s important to ask what’s included as well as the hire cost. Certain venue prices depend on the time of year and where in the country you decide to get married, reception halls tend to charge the highest fees for Saturday night weddings so a tip to bring the cost down would be a Friday or Sunday night celebration instead.

Some venues offer wedding packages that can include additional extras such as overnight accommodation or floral arrangements.


Ask the venue for a sample contract to take away and study before you sign to avoid any unwanted surprises, check if VAT is included and look out for the words ‘additional costs may be occurred’, ask about service charges/delivery/costs of set up.


Be sure to find out exactly what your venue supplies, for example chair covers, don’t assume these will be provided and if not, remember to check if the venue have a recommended supplier as sometimes the chairs for use may be specially made so ordinary chair covers might not fit.


Ask if there’s a minimum/maximum number of guests they cater for. The cost of waiters/ waitresses may need to be considered.

Cake cutting fee, the fee is for someone from the catering company or venue to cut the wedding cake and pass it out to guests. Cake corkage fee applies if you bring in a wedding cake from an outside vendor.


Consider the cost of bartenders, corkage fees, check what the bar will serve as it may not stock the brands of refreshments wanted and you’ll have to pay extra to have these brought in.


Be sure to ask about parking for you and your guests as this may not be included when booking.

Outdoor wedding venues

Outdoor venues require a number of permits. From city regulations to fire regulations they will need to be strictly adhered to. Tents/marquees might have to be rented and every rental item in the tent will be your responsibility, including electricity generators, air conditioning, sound systems, heating, tableware, dance floor, drapes, lighting, bar/staff and toilets.

Overtime charges

Remember not to overrun your venue hire time as this will result in you being charged at supplement. 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

"Ethnic Bride Series" - The Money Dance

A custom in Africa, favoured particularly in Nigeria, the “Money Dance” is a tradition actually enjoyed the world over.

The tradition is that the first dance, as the floor is being opened up to the guests, is carried out by the Bride, often with a backing group of dancers, or perhaps close female friends of the Bride such as the Bridesmaids.

As the bride undertakes the dance, guests and well-wishers dance toward her on the dance floor, approaching her to shower her with money, in note form. The customary showering of the bride with cash is to wish the happy couple well on their journey as husband and wife, with each donation being a token toward a stable and prosperous future.

As the dance progresses, the Groom will dance toward his wife, accompanying her for the first dance, as the well-wishers move away having deposited their kind gifts. This dance will then lead to the dance floor being available to all guests to come and share in the happy occasion and enjoy the party for the rest of the evening.

See the perfect demonstration of this elegant dance below..  

Aside from the customary depositing of notes, often the guests will fashion items out of cash for the bride, such as garters made from bills or simple jewellery fashioned from coins.

In fact, so renowned are the spectacular Nigerian weddings and tradition of the "Money Dance" that a whole styled shoot was undertaken by photography byobi, following the inspirational Black Barbie shoot for Vogue Italia