Behind the brush...

Wedding Date had a quick chat with make-up artist and wedding image consultant, Gerda. Gerda is the founder and owner of Making Faces, based in Johannesburg, and traveling the world.


Gerda,please tell us a bit about where your passion started for perfecting a brides image on her big day?

In 2003 bridal makeup became part of my life. If you miss having your own daughter there is nothing more rewarding than spending special days with brides. To work in the bridal industry is very rewarding but a passion for your work is the key.

-Please tell us a bit more about wedding image consulting?

After completing a full time professional makeup course at the makeup school in Cape Town I realized that becoming a bridal artist takes a lot more work. It felt wrong for me to call myself an artist as I needed to have my own signature in this industry which is now flooded with artists.  I work in my skincare clinic during the week and on weekends I spend time with brides doing makeup, also attending their weddings to provide an extra service doing touch ups on makeup. Behind the scenes I learned so much about the image of the wedding that it soon became part of my service to my brides to help with image detail they can easily overlook.  


-Out of your experience, what is the best tip you can give to a bride regarding makeup on her wedding day?

If you choose a wedding makeup artist she will be able to create the look you want under the stress of the day. You need to have confidence in her skills. Be careful with too much fake lashes and black liner which will create dark shadows around your eyes.Remember your guests will send cell phone photos around before the edited ones of your photographer are available.      

-Should a bride consider her dress and hair when choosing a makeup style?

Bridal makeup and hair must enhance your features and have nothing to do with most dresses.  I even like to do a change of makeup and hair when the bride do the opening dance just to create a mood.  

-How important is it to book a trial before the wedding?

It is more important to meet your artist before than to do a trial makeup.  You will immediately know if you trust her experience and her personality before you waste time and money on a trial.  It is easy to do makeup changes with a session but it is difficult to have an artist with you in the room on your wedding day that gets irritated with the demands of your bridal party.  


-Should one do make-up or hair first on the wedding day?

It is important for the artist and the hairdresser to communicate on the day of the wedding.

I will always try and do foundations before hair and then finish off the rest of the look after hair is done.  

-What does skincare coaching entail?

Skincare is the basis of good long-lasting makeup. If brides are able to choose a makeup artist with skincare experience it will be an advantage as she needs to prepare her skin months before the wedding. My image consultation involves a skincare talk with the bride which is just as important as the makeup… If the bride consult with another skincare therapist I need to know her routine as I will be the one at the end facing the bride for the final look however if I do have a last minute crisis with breakouts etc. I will be able to take care of it.

Do you do airbrush and what is the difference?

-The application of foundation is to me the most important part of the look and if you find a product that works for photography and makes your bride happy you stay with it. I learned about airbrush long before it came into this country and decided to stay with my technique of application.  

-So you think it’s important to book the makeup artist for the whole bridal party?

There is a new trend of having 6 bridesmaids and the experience artists will be out of the brides budget. She will then have to make use of the more affordable artist that she will later find cannot cope with the bride and the bridal party. I agree that its huge expense for the bride but the answer is not the inexperience artist that will leave your bridesmaids unhappy. I still prefer the weddings with not more than 3 bridesmaids where I can give them all the look they want with the time available and a less busy bridal room. Let us face it, we hardly have bridal dressings rooms available that cater for so many people when your photographer arrive.


-Any other thoughts or advice for our brides?

If you book service providers that have a history of good service in the industry meet them as often as you feel. You need to then sit back and enjoy this time as they need to take care of you and know how important this day is for the couple. After all the future of our businesses lies in the approval of the service we provide to our clients.


Thanks Gerda for your time and tips, we really appreciate it!

Behind the planners perspective...

Runaway Romance is a specialised wedding planning company based in Johannesburg. They focus on small, non-traditional weddings, elopements and destination weddings to South Africa. We have chatted to Rebecca, the owner and founder of Runaway Romance.



-Where did your passion for wedding planning first start and what do you love the most about it?

Well my interest in wedding planning actually came from my own, not so great wedding planning experience (I was young and just went with what I thought was the right thing to do and it was stressful, emotional & definitely not the best experience).


I then worked at a beautiful wedding venue and for a high end wedding planner. Mix all the lessons I learnt and things I saw from those 3 experiences together and I really felt there should be an alternative way of doing weddings.

That is why I created Runaway Romance, and that is now what I love the most - giving my couples different (more authentic) ways of celebrating their love, wedding days and start to their marriage.

-What makes Runaway Romance unique and different to other suppliers?

Mmm look there are many other wedding creatives doing amazing things, so in a way Im not all that different to anyone.

I think on a personal level I am just a simple, no nonsense type of person which attracts a very special kind of couple. So you could say what makes me different is not really me as much as the amazing couples I get to work with.


-How long before your wedding should you book a wedding planner?

Good question. Not such a straight answer though. This is totally up to the type of wedding you are having.

If you have a lot of overseas guests giving them 10-12 months notice is great for them, this means booking a planner at least 2-3 months prior to that to allow them to help you find your perfect venue.

If you are wanting a weekend wedding in one of the popular wedding months (March and April) as far in advance as possible.

If however you are wanting a non traditional celebration then anything from 3-6 months is good. I personally find couples who plan for more than a year in advance are tiered by the time they get to their wedding days. I am all for short, intense focus..but that is just me and very much my advise for my smaller, non traditional couple & celebration.

-What advice would you give to a bride getting married being a wedding planner?

Gosh, this is a tough one because every person comes with their own views, fears, priorities and excitement.

As a broad answer I would say, keep the input to a minimum (this means Pinterest, bridal fares, other peoples opinions, trend articles etc).

If you are honest with yourself you know what you like, you know what is important to you and all that other stuff as helpful as it may seem, is just a distraction that will do more to water down your vision and confuse you than help you.


-Which moment do you consider the most special that brides will always treasure on the big day?

So I do not know which moment each bride or couple will remember and treasure the most but the one I treasure the most are the vows!

No matter how busy my day is or what needs to be planned I make sure I am there to listen to the couples vows…because when you take everything else away from the wedding day, these words and promises are the only thing that really matter.

They are the reason you are getting married (and your marriage is waaay more important than anything you may or may not experience on your wedding day)

-What is your favorite part of the planning for the big day?

I personally love the mood boards.

I always work backwards, so I focus on the logistics first ( the where, when & how of the day) and from that we move into the pretty…

So by the time we get to the mood board stage of planning the hard work is done and we really get to start playing with the creative stuff. This is really where I get to show the couples personal style & creative unique things for them. And I love that.


-Please tell us a bit more about elopements?

Ooooh how long do you have? I could talk about elopements all day! They are hands down my favorite type of wedding celebration.

Traditionally elopements are when just the couple (2 people) get married in secret. Think full on Romeo and Juliet vibes. For my planning I say elopements are anything under 10 people.

I find they are an intensely romantic way to celebrate your marriage and work really well for couples who have been married before and do not want to do the same big fussy thing, for couples who are private or a little on the shy side but mostly for the adventurous.

Because there is such a small group of people elopements allow the couple to get married nearly anywhere they like (in the forest, on top of the mountain, in a 100 year old wine cellar) your imagination (and a few logistics) are the only limitation here. It also allows the couple to spoil them selves and their small group in a way their budgets just could not with a bigger guest.

Think caviar for 10 vs butternut soup for 110.

Elopements are very freeing, luxurious and can happen at a fraction of the cost in a fraction of the time.



Thank you for sharing your thoughts with Wedding Date Rebecca, we wish you all the best for the future! Be sure to check out more of her stunning work on .

Photo credits:

Niki M -

Andries Combrink -

& Story -

Wedding shoes : high or low?

Footwear is just one of the many decisions you have to make for your wedding day, and by typing wedding heels into google you might just be overwhelmed by all the sleek, eye-catching and unaffordable options.  We have put together some tips to consider when deciding which shoe to choose.


1. It is recommended to choose your shoes before your dress fitting, this way the length of your dress would be tailored perfect, and there would be no risk of tripping or having a leg sticking out!

2. Make sure to walk in your shoes for at least a week to ensure they fit perfectly on your day.

3.Do not try to wash/wipe them on your wedding day, the material might not be waterproof!

4.If you only want the high heels for that perfect photo, rather bring them along instead of wearing them the whole day.

5.If your high heels has any beading / sequence on, make sure it will not get stuck in your dress.

6. Try not buying them online, they might not fit perfectly and you might not have time returning them.

Consider high heels if:

-You are not taller than your partner wearing them.

-You are comfortable wearing heals and wear them at least once a week.

-You have a bad posture, wearing heels will pull that posture right.

-Your wedding venue is flat and not slippery! We do not want to see you on a Youtube compilation of brides falling.

Consider low heels / pumps if:

-You are taller than your hubby-to-be.

-You seldom wear high heels and are not comfortable in them.

-Your wedding venue only has grass! Grass = sinking!

-You are planning a -So you think you can dance- show for your first dance.


Planning your wedding might get overwhelming and you might forget to book a DJ or order your cake, o no! No bride has time for such drama!

Print out this checklist and get ticking, ensuring you will not miss anything for your big day!


Wedding invitation anatomy.

Wondering what goes on to your wedding invitation?

1 - Who is hosting? This could be the bride?s parents, both the groom and bride?s parents or the bride and groom and their families. If the couple is hosting themselves, leave out this part.

2. The Bride and Groom?s names. The brides name comes first. If the parents are hosting, the last names are left off. If the couple is hosting, both the last names are used.

3. The invitation.

4. When. The month, day, year, time. If the invite is formal, spell out the date and year.

5. Location. Address of the ceremony and reception.

6. Additional information. Use the back of the invite for this. Accommodation. Cash bar. Gift ideas. No children. Dress code.

Your Wedding Date timeline - this will certainly help with setting out every task to tick off before thee day :)