Wedding Planning in South Africa: Planning Tools
So you are engaged. Congratulations! Now comes the excitement of planning your wedding. This can be quite overwhelming and so here are some important tips to help you get started.
For some couples the hiring of a professional wedding co-ordinator would be the way to go. This will eliminate a lot of stress and list making as a co-ordinator will deal with every aspect of your wedding. However, if you are very creative, then this will be a wonderful opportunity for you to indulge your artistic ability. It will also be a lot easier if you are working to a tight budget.
Your first priority is to consider the budget. In some instances the cost of a wedding is shared between the bride and groom and both sets of parents. This can be a tricky issue so it’s important to be sensitive and considerate in your expectations. Set a budget and stick to it. Expenses can run away with you before you realise it. Decide what aspects of the wedding are most important to you and your fiancé and spend more on those and less on others. Make a list of each component and decide more or less what you would be able to spend on each. Have a wedding planning book and keep notes of ideas, expenses, etc. so that you can tick off as you go. This will eliminate a lot of stress if you have every detail in one place.
When you set the date consider the seasons and determine which will be best for your type of wedding. Summer is a good choice but in some areas of South Africa it can be excruciatingly hot. Between seasons the temperature can be mild and dry. Considering the time of day is also a good idea as in Johannesburg, for instance, afternoon thunderstorms are common. In KwaZulu-Natal the best weather is between April and August when it’s not so humid.
Next book a venue that fits with the style of wedding you have chosen. This needs to be done well in advance as does the church or temple, if it is not a destination wedding. When setting your date, bear in mind long weekends when people may be away. Valentine’s day is a popular choice, but flower prices will be at a premium.
Most important of all is to book a marriage officer. Without him or her the marriage will not take place! It is their responsibility to see that the marriage register is signed and witnessed at the ceremony. They will then ensure that the marriage certificate is signed and approved at the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa.
An attorney will draw up a Marriage Contract or Ante-nuptial Contract for you. This regulates the terms and conditions of a marriage between spouses. All marriages have to be registered at the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa.
Now that you have dealt with all these details, it’s time to enjoy and plan the creative side of your wedding.