in the spotlight - guy granger
Guy Granger has been a leader of creative influence in the South African wedding industry for over 25 years. He has an unwavering commitment to excellence, and an impeccable eye for style. His unique and personable approach to creating unforgettable occasions has led to a long list of satisfied clients, both in South Africa and abroad.
He began his career in the wedding industry 17 years ago when he exhibited at the first ever Wedding Expo in 2002. At the time Guy was a couturier, creating exquisite bespoke wedding gowns for clients from South Africa and abroad. He was recognised as one of the best designers in the wedding industry.
In 2006 Guy expanded his horizons and opened The Wedding Emporium – one of SA’s first full-service wedding design companies. With Guy’s creative genius the Wedding Emporium soon found success, becoming a major player in the industry. Guy’s client list reads like a ‘who’s who’ of South Africa’s A-list, and his events featured regularly on Top Billing.
In 2010 Guy ended his career in couture, and concentrated fully on designing breath-taking events in SA, Mozambique, Botswana and Mauritius. The Wedding Emporium had a huge impact on the wedding Industry. They were instrumental in changing the way weddings were done at the time, injecting a much-needed element of uniqueness, glamour and sophistication.
Guy left the industry in 2017 to concentrate on a career in interior design, however, the love of the wedding industry had too greater pull and he recently announced an exciting new partnership with Tamara Jonah-Goka of Lionheart Events in Ghana with offices in both Ghana and South Africa. Tamara worked with The Wedding Emporium for many years, and has successfully run Lionheart Events in Accra since 2009. Together, these two giants of the wedding industry will be offering exclusive weddings for discerning clients across Africa.
We interviewed Guy recently, and asked him a few questions:
TWE: What have been your biggest challenges over the years?
G: “The most challenging aspect of designing weddings in Africa is educating the client in terms of what they desire, what is available and what is affordable. Websites like Pinterest make it even more difficult, because they are flooded with gorgeous images from weddings in other countries that cost hundreds of thousands of Dollars or Pounds, and the clients have an inflated idea of what is possible for their own event. There seems to be a lot of confusion and uncertainty about what a wedding costs – but that all depends on the type of wedding the client wants. It’s really impossible to work out an “average” cost for a wedding because there are so many variables which are dependent on the client’s expectations. There is often a large gap between what the client wants, and what they can afford to pay, and navigating that gap can be challenging. This is exactly why it’s important for couples to work with a planner who has experience.”
TWE: What are your thoughts on the wedding industry in SA today?
G: Over the years I have seen many companies enter the wedding industry and then leave within 6 months or a year. There seems to be a misconception that this is glamorous work, but it’s really not. The industry seems to be flooded with people who call themselves “wedding coordinators”, but in reality all they have is a certificate from a 6 month course they did at some college. It really concerns me because potential clients are often misled into thinking they are working with a professional, when in reality the person has little or no experience.”
TWE: What do you love about the wedding industry?
G: I love the fact that I work with couples during one of the most exciting events in their lives. I love that weddings bring family and friends together, often from all over the world, and often for the first time in many years. For me, the most exciting part of any wedding is witnessing the creation of memories that will last forever, special moments of intimacy and declarations of love that are so lacking in the world today. I often tell my clients they are going to experience emotions they have never felt before, and witnessing those emotions unfold on the day is my favourite part of any wedding. Our role as coordinators is to make space for our clients to fully immerse themselves in their wedding experience, and savour every moment of this very special day.”