So as you all know I love to support local and started a segment where we could share, learn and inspire!
This is a special feature, as I discovered WE DO WEDDINGS after we got engaged and Covid hit, as I was searching for something that went against the norm. I never wanted a proper traditional wedding (sorry!) and with Covid joining our world, new options presented themselves and this was one of them. We are the most indecisive couple and the thought of planning a wedding brings much anxiety and stress.
So WE DO WEDDINGS, run by the most lovely lady called Anna Granig, offers unique elopements and micro wedding for couples who are looking for something special and different. As part of the packages, you get to have Polly ( the mobile chapel) join your day! She is the first of her kind in South Africa, so a very special guest indeed.
Interested? Keen to share with friends? Great! Please give WE DO WEDDINGS some love and follow them on Facebook and Instagram, and check out their website to find out more about what the packages include, and your options of venues and colour schemes etc etc.
We chatted to the lovely Anna, and she shared all about her business, the learnings and weddings in a time of Covid.
In a nutshell?
We curate affordable, intimate, super stylish elopements and (tiny!) weddings wrapped in a stress free menu of options and enhanced by Polly, our vintage caravan who acts as ceremony altar, drinks bar and super awesome photo backdrop!
You started your own business – How does it feel to be a successful #girlboss that inspires others and loves what she does?
Yaaaaaas, I did! After MUCH thought, research, angst, multiple crises of confidence and a large shove from my husband, I did! #girlboss ha ha! I’m nearly 50. Do I still qualify?
—–> of course you qualify! And you inspire and continue to inspire me! <——
I’ve not heard that I’ve inspired anyone to start a business(!), but I do hope, and know, that we are inspiring and giving confidence to engaged couples to pause and think more mindfully about their wedding planning. We love a tiny wedding, clearly. But are not trying to prescribe to anyone that they are the only way to go regarding getting married, we just want to let couples know that there is another totally viable option to costly recipe that is a traditional wedding in most cultures..
Too many couples are locked out of marriage as they just can’t financially, and often don’t want to, bow to society’s expectations of a big, traditional wedding. The US wedding industry alone is worth a massive 75 billion dollars a year so it’s no wonder that media fuels the myth of a wedding day as ‘the best day of your life’ in order to sustain that. Couples who don’t want to blindly follow costly traditions and feel pressure to meet family expectations of a big bash, but also don’t wish to go the impersonal route of a registry office were a bit stuck.
That’s where Polly South Africa’s first mobile wedding ’chapel’ comes in!
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
Three! Three? I am only allowed to list three?! I have twenty five billion!
1. Time and ideas are worth money! It’s often hard to price one’s own creativity, knowledge and effort. But not charging for that is ultimately poor for your and your business’s health. Connected to this is knowing when to pull the trigger on getting in extra help. There is a point where you may not be able to easily financially afford an extra pair of hands. Finding that line is tricky, but if you see it looming, don’t delay. Get the help!
2. OUTSOURCE tax and legal compliance from the get go and pre-schedule your social media using an App which keeps you a little distant from the mania which can be the constant posting and monitoring of the small business owner.
3. I am my own worst enemy! Second guessing, double and triple checking and perfecting, costs me lots of time and headspace!
What is your advice to women out there wanting to start their own businesses but are
I am not a blindly enthusiastic entrepreneur.
I’m absolutely, definitely the cautious, safety oriented, ‘what if’ type (shout out to all the other Enneagram 6’s out there!).
So for me a lot of opinion gathering and industry research was vital to help me move forward with “We do, weddings”. I will say, cliche as it is, that we usually regret what we don’t do rather than what we did, so go for it. But at your pace or panic will paralyse you.
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
I’ve found my tribe. This is a happy business. I have only ever had above averagely lovely interactions with clients, and those investigating our services. No bridezillas here! So I get a lot of personal satisfaction from these relationships and having my idea and taste and organisational skill ratified by my couples has been personally confidence boosting. That’s only one, but the others are cliches again so I’m not listing them here!
How has covid affected your business?
Covid has given (forced!) a lot of couples ‘permission’ to pause and really examine the traditional wedding industry, the hefty price tag that comes with it and whether that is actually what they want for themselves. It’s also highlighted that marriage, and weddings, are about committing to each other, and demonstrating your love to each other (and not actually about the big party).
Once you eliminate napkin folds and seating plans you really can focus on the ceremony and vows and including the traditions that are meaningful to you, and not those that are just routinely followed.
Having said that, our couples are actually not generally ‘covid couples’. The majority are those who just want a classy, affordable, ceremony focussed wedding. So we hope that those determined to have their BIG, big days get them soon, and that our tribe, continues to love our offer.