Making The Perfect Simcha

Advice from the professionals so you can sit-back, relax, and enjoy your big day

By Chandrea Serebro


CHUPAS Weddings are beautiful, yet no one can deny that they can also be stressful af-fairs. Too often, many wedding parties get so stuck in the details of the look and feel of the wedding that they lose sight of the end goal: the happiness of the chosson and kallah standing under the chupa, get-ting married! One of the essentials is choosing a nice chupa within your budget to help add to the visual atmosphere of this special mo-ment, as well as enhance that moment in your memory and in your photographs for time immemorial. At the end of the day if you really want to enjoy your moment un-der the chupa, relax, and let go. Don’t lose sight of the gravity of what you are doing and the immense power of the moment, and be open to letting everyone, and ev-erything – including your designer chupa – bring you happiness on your special day.

Nati Crouse, Natan’s Chupas



A skincare routine is so important in achieving that “picture perfect” face. Al-ways make sure to keep hydrated and go for regular facials. Choose a makeup artist that you are comfortable with and can communicate with openly. Your makeup should complement your dress and style. I always encourage my brides to go for looks that are timeless and elegant, whereas bridesmaids and guests can opt for trendi-er makeup looks. If you’re having a trial, make sure the outcome is what you envi-sioned. You don’t want to make any chang-es on the day. Ask your makeup artist what products you’ll need to touch up with on the day and put a friend in charge of mak-ing sure you always look fl awless.

Nati Crouse, Natan’s Chupas


The more time you give your makeup art-ist, the better, so make sure you’re on time. After you’re made up, there’s noth-ing left for you to do except forget about what your lipstick looks likes and focus on enjoying your magical simcha!

Danit Gordon, Danit Gordon Makeup


Be sure to book a videographer well in ad-vance. It’s important that the videographer has a clear understanding of your specifi c needs and you understand the service that will be provided, so that there are no sur-prises on the day. If possible, meet before-hand at the venue in order to communicate your vision of the simcha, and fi nd out what would look best on camera. It’s so im-portant to let your videographer know if anything out of the ordinary will be hap-pening at the simcha, such as separate dancing for men and women, fl ash mobs, fi re dancers, or other entertainment – and when such events are scheduled to take place – so that these extra special mo-ments aren’t inadvertently missed.

Lara Nochumsohn, Opal Creations


Shop for your outfi t or see a designer/dress-maker at least 8 weeks before your simcha to allow for su ffi cient time. Be clear on what your budget allows and state up front what your price point is so that there are no nas-ty surprises. Fashion may dictate, but com-fort is key. Ensure that the garment is suit-able for your body type and that the colour that you choose suits your skin tone. Th ere’s no such thing as white, there’s win-ter white, ivory, off -white, cream – fi nd the one that suits you best. Don’t worry if they all look the same to you – your designer will be able to advise you. Choosing an outfi t that is too slinky or too revealing makes for an uncomfortable simcha, especially if you need to wear tight fi tting undergarments. Fabric choice plays an enormous role, and be sure to take into account the season and the venue. Research your designer or dress-maker. Ask to see a portfolio and check ref-erences. You need to have trust and confidence in the person you select. Wear shoes that are not only beautiful, but comfortable. Remember, you want to be able to dance and move about with ease without blisters and painful feet. Ensure that you receive your outfi t in good time before your simcha so that there is no last minute pressure. En-joy your simcha whilst looking and feeling beautiful!

Marion Pohl, Layers & Lace


Do you imagine that wedding planners get asked to schedule in some spiritual time on the big day? A simcha has its own natu-ral energy that puts even the most organ-ised mind into a frazzle – especially on the day of the simcha. Th ere is so much to do and to coordinate and so many small tasks to cross off  the list that it’s so easy to get caught up in the madness and become en-tirely focused on the nitty gritties. It’s easy to forget what the essence of a simcha is.

Whatever your simcha may be, it has a powerful, spiritual core that if tapped into, can be a life changing experience where you can harness spiritual blessings and im-bue them into your life. But with all the details that need to be met on the day, how is it possible to make the time to access the beauty and spiritual power within a sim-cha? Here are some practical tips to ensure that you do:

  1. A few days before your simcha take out a pen and paper and start making lists – not shopping lists, but G-d lists. Have a list of everything that you want to daven for on the day of your simcha. Re-member, nothing is too minor or major for G-d. Have another list of everything you are thankful for. If you start this list-making early enough, by the time you get to the day of your simcha, you will have consolidated lists to use on the day.
  2. When you wake up in the morning on the day of your simcha, take a moment to give thanks. Th ank Hashem for giving you this day to celebrate this sim-cha. Th ere is no better way to start the day then with gratitude.
  3. On the day of the simcha take a mo-ment to look each of your family members in the eye. We often forget to say ‘I love you’ when things are hectic. Make sure to look at each person and re-mind them how much you value them. When you arrive at the venue, sit in your car for two minutes, breathe, take in the moment, give thanks to Hash-em, and remind yourself to feel and enjoy the simcha.
  4. When you arrive at the venue, sit in your car for two minutes, breathe, take in the moment, give thanks to Hash-em, and remind yourself to feel and enjoy the simcha.
Kallah Teacher and Rebbetzin, Tova Goldstein


Planning a simcha can be overwhelming and stressful. Th ere are fi ve foundation steps to follow to ensure you have a joy-ful, stress-free, and aff ordable simcha:

1. SET YOUR BUDGET: Be sure to identify all of your major expenses (food, hall, etc.)
2. BOOK THE VENUE: Tip: Add a special, comforting scent to your venue in a simple way: buy a spray bottle, add water and vanilla essence, and get someone to spray it around just before the guests arrive.
3. BOOK THE CATERER OR PLAN THE MEALS (IF SELF-CATERING): Tip: Esti-mate fi ve people per two-litre bottle. If it’s going to be a hot day, be sure to buy extra drinks above this amount.
4. DECOR: Tip: Decide if you’re going with a theme or colour combination, and then en-vision the fi nal scene accordingly. 5. NITTY GRITTY: Now it’s time to get stuck into the details, like: the guest list, the list of speakers, the band, the photog-rapher/videographer, etc.

Tip: it’s always handy to have an itinerary for the day’s events, but don’t be rigid about it.

Chavlaz Event Planning


Choose suppliers who have experience in their fi eld, and then trust them to do a good job. Don’t micromanage the event. Most people have a fi xed budget so focus on décor concepts that will have the most impact on the venue. For example, choose lighting over renting base plates because lighting is something that encompasses an entire room and can make an ordinary space magical. Having said that, details that tie in with your décor do make a big diff erence and they can be done cheaply at home – such as serviette details and such. Th e colour of the fl owers does not have to be a perfect match to the retinue colour. Also, using diff erent shades of a colour gives the centre pieces more depth and your overall event dimension. It’s a lot simpler and cheaper to have your func-tion at a caterer’s venue. If you do decide to use a diff erent venue, check the bar costs as they can be unexpected and often exorbitant. When comparing quotes, make sure you are comparing apples with apples. Cheaper quotes might mean far less fl owers, inferior décor, etc.

Kari Berkowitz, Flowers by Kari


Choosing the caterer is probably the most paramount decision. Choose a caterer who is on the same page as you and who will listen to you. Communication is the key to being successful in everything we do. Th ere are always going to be unexpect-ed obstacles and tensions, so try and fo-cus on the important things. It’s not al-ways possible to get everything you dreamed of – perhaps it’s not kosher or not in season. Work with your caterer to fi nd alternatives. One of the most stress-ful things is the seating plan. It’s impor-tant for your guests to know that this is your special day. You cannot put every-body at the so-called preferential tables and they should focus on being so happy that they have been included in your sim-cha, to enjoy your happiness, and make the occasion special no matter where they are sitting. Guests with special dietary re-quirements should notify the caterer be-fore the function so he has time to pre-pare for them. It’s important for the ca-terer to plan for the day and to have this coordinated for you so that you know ev-ery step of the way what will be happen-ing, from when you arrive at the venue until the end of the function.

Judy Mindel, Gary Friedman Caterers


Every simcha has its own unique story to tell, and after the food is eaten, the lights are turned down, and the outfi ts are packed away, your photos will provide the best memories to reminisce about your special day. Every photographer has a dif-ferent style, whether it’s specialising in candid photos, photojournalistic photos, formal portraits, or incorporating a mix of diff erent techniques. It’s important to do your research and decide what kind of pho-tos you want out of your simcha. Arrange for the photographer to see the venue in advance, at the time of day that the func-tion will take place, so that he will be famil-iar with the lighting and surroundings. Prepare a list of family members and close friends who will be included in the pre-function photo shoot and the function it-self so as to ensure that these important people in your life are captured. Trust that your simcha will be a special one and your family and friends celebrating with you will make it a memorable one.
Natalie Frame from Frame Photo-graphy,, 082 257 7857 JL

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