Congratulations on your engagement. Now the fun starts as you start your wedding planning. The ideal length of time for an engagement is roughly ten to fourteen months, as wedding suppliers are generally booked up well in advance.
- Give yourself time. There is a lot to discuss and plan. Discuss your ideas with your fiancé and make a list of what is important to both of you.
It is important to set a budget. Determine who is paying for what, and decide which are your priorities and which are not. Make a list of all the components – photography, cake, décor, etc. and divide the budget up.
3. Wedding Planner
If your budget allows, hire a wedding planner. Someone who reflects your vision. A wedding planner will guide and advise you throughout the whole process and will relieve you of a lot of stress.
4. Wedding Venue
Choosing a venue is one of the most important decisions you will make. The location affects almost everything else, and will probably account for most of your budget.
Decide on your style of wedding as this will reflect on your choice of venue. Once you have decided on your style, visit several venues which go with your theme, and make notes as you go along.
Also consider the size and, if you choose a destination wedding, what guest accommodation the venue can offer.
Most venues offer various packages which include catering, tables, chairs, waiters and barmen.
5. Marriage Officer
You will need to book a marriage officer well in advance, as without that, the marriage can’t take place.
6. Guest List
Make a guest list. Find out what the cost per head will be and cut the guest list accordingly. Send out ‘save the date’ cards to all those who will receive an invitation.
Decide on your theme and colours and create a mood board. Take time to look for ideas for décor, flowers, cake, invitations, table décor, draping, lights, photographs, etc. A list of wedding tools and suppliers are available here.
Consider the season, the location and the weather. You may need a venue with a backup plan if your dream is a garden or beach wedding.
9. Marriage Contract
The least romantic part of the wedding but a very important aspect. Get an attorney to draw up a marriage contract for you. This regulates the terms and conditions of a marriage between spouses and has to be registered with the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa.
10. It’s important to discuss everything with your fiancé and your families as this will lay a good foundation for your relationships in future. You may each have to compromise, but that’s what marriage is all about.