First Steps to Planning a Wedding
Congratulations! Your partner popped the question and you can’t be happier! Immediately people will start asking about the wedding plans! What now? Here are the first steps to wedding planning.
How long to be Engaged?
While there is no right or wrong, the average time from engagement to marriage is 14.5 months. You and your partner must, however, decide this together. There is nothing wrong with a long engagement! Some couples need to save some money to afford their dream wedding, while others are engaged for a month and do a quick wedding at the magistrate’s office.
How long does it take to plan a Wedding?
To stay on the safe side, give yourself about 12 months to plan your wedding. Yes, weddings have been planned in a week, but allowing you more time has its perks!
- You will have time to carefully pick your vendors, therefore, saving money!
- Venues are usually booked months in advance so the sooner you book your venue, the better!
- Just enjoy the special engagement phase! It is a magical and romantic time!
- You can start a solid savings plan to pay for your dream wedding!
- Get your health in order. Start a training program and get that body healthy!
How to start planning your Wedding
Decide on a wedding budget
The wedding budget is very important, as it will influence every aspect of your wedding. How big is your venue? How many guests will you invite? To start with your wedding budget, ask the question: who is paying for what? Chat to your parents to see if they want to contribute. Some brides’ families still pick up a big part of the tab, but nowadays couples finance a big portion themselves. Allow your parents to be a part of it as most parents save money to be able to help with the wedding. When you have allocated extra funds, discuss the budget with your partner and stick to it! Saving about 20% of your salary every month will allow for some extra “funny money” that can go towards your honeymoon or little extras.
How many guests to invite
The guest list can turn into a nightmare for a newly engaged couple! Parents start to add on people, then you feel guilty about not inviting your work friends … before you know it you have a guest list that is completely out of control! Here are a few tips to keep the list short:
- Allow your parents a certain number of invites and keep them to it.
- As a rule of thumb, you don’t have to invite colleagues if you are not friends outside of work.
- Keeping kids off the list can be a big saver, as you don’t have to feed or entertain them.
- Cut the “plus ones”. If your friend is single, he can fly solo (and maybe meet a nice girl at the wedding?)
Set the Date
What atmosphere would you like at your wedding, as the season will set the mood! Do you want a summer soiree, drinking cocktails on the beach or are you dreaming of a white wedding in the crisp winter months with Irish coffees and a cosy fireplace? You can save a lot of money by getting married in the winter, as it is a quieter time for service providers… When deciding on a date make sure to keep the following in mind: Is it in the middle of the month, will people be able to travel if you have a destination wedding and will most people be out of town due to the festive season? You want to take your guests into consideration so be smart when setting a date!
Choose a Venue
When you have your first draft guest list and a rough idea of number of guests, you have to book a venue. Book your venue as soon as you can as the best venues are usually booked way in advance! If you haven’t been to the venue, make an appointment to visit and remember to ask what the venue includes in their price. Sometimes your dream venue might not make financial sense if you have to hire in everything from chair and tables to cutlery! Make sure the wedding suits your wedding theme and season – do they have a nice outside area if your wedding is in the summer? Is there a fireplace for your winter wedding? See our selection of amazing venues in South Africa.
Wedding Theme Ideas
It is important to not make a decision about your look and feel too early! Trends tend to change so quickly so give yourself enough time to research and decide what you would love your wedding to look like! Your theme will influence everything from stationary to flowers so it is important to make the right decision! Have a look at the Pink Book Pinterest for some inspiration!