Planning your wedding should be a fun collaboration as a couple – this is an exciting time for you! If you get organised early on in the planning process, it shouldn’t be a stressful affair. Today, we’re sharing what your combined wedding duties are so you can enjoy this special time. To read more, see our Responsibilities of the Bride, Responsibilities of the Groom and Responsibilities of the Maid of Honour posts. Remember the wedding day is a reflection of both of your personalities. Share your ideas and decide what will work the best to make your day a reality – men might pretend that they don’t have ideas – but trust us, they secretly want to give their input too!
As mentioned in our previous posts – determining the budget is the most important aspect. Your expectations should be realistic, especially if you are paying for everything yourself. If your parents are helping out financially, it is important to discuss your budget first and then approach them. It will set them at ease to see you are prepared. Read our Top 9 Budgeting Tips for your Wedding to get started.
Set the Date
One of the first fun experiences for the couple when planning is finding your perfect venue. As soon as you’ve found a venue you love, you can set a date for the big day and decide on the style/theme for the wedding.
This is a truly important decision to make – your photographs are all that is left after the big day. Do plenty of research to find a photographer whose style both of you love. Many photographers offer an “engagement” shoot as part of their packages, which is a great way for you as a couple to get comfortable with the photographer and being in front of the camera. Read this article on 7 Reasons Why to Choose the Expensive Wedding Photographer.
Finalise Guest List
Both of you should have made a guest list and included your parents’ requests (if you are letting them invite some of their friends) – now you should combine your lists and start fine-tuning your lists. Remember, it is also acceptable to invite only your closest friends and family, the courtesy invitation is a thing of the past.
You can ask your caterer before you book them to send you menu and drinks options. You need to decide whether you want a plated menu or buffet style, whether your bar will be an open tab, limited to wine only, or a cash bar, whether canapés will be served and whether you will be supplying predrinks. Once you have decided, you can go through your caterer’s options and discuss final details or requests with them. It’s a good idea to finalise the food and drink early on, to include that in your budget. Many caterers also offer the option to taste their menu first – enquire about a tasting to be sure you love the food.
This is a really fun part of planning your wedding! Decide whether you want cash or gifts early on – this is information that needs to be included on your wedding invitations. If you are registering for gifts, decide on the store/stores where you want to register and set aside some time to browse and compile your registry.
These details include whether you want a very traditional religious ceremony or whether you would like your officiant to go with a more secular ceremony, whether you would like to include a hymn or two or if you have specific content you would like them to use. If you are getting married in South Africa but are not a citizen, there is extra paperwork you will need to take care of. The officiant will be able to tell you what he needs, but this will include a Letter of non-impediment from your Embassy – this is a letter stating you are free to marry.
When you have decided who your wedding cake baker will be, you should arrange a tasting with them. It’s best to have an idea of the flavours you might want and the look you want, and even better if you take some pictures along as reference when you meet with the baker. Visit our Wedding Cake Inspiration board on Pinterest for some ideas. The best part – a day of cake tasting! This is something even the guys will love!
Book your Main Vendors
Once you have decided on who your vendors will be, pay their deposits to book your date and then have a consultation with each of them to discuss your theme and ideas. It’s always a great idea to do a walk-through of your venue with your coordinator, florist and photographer so they can visualise when they start planning. You can divide responsibilities here – the groom doesn’t really have to attend every flower and décor consultation – just remember to incorporate both of your ideas to reflect both of your personalities on the day.
Write Wedding Vows
This is not an absolute must, many couples choose not to use their own vows. But if you decide that you would like to do personal vows it is important to start writing them quite early, so you have enough time to tweak and get comfortable with what you want to say.
This is also not compulsory, but it is a lovely gesture to thank your Bridal Party for their support and help during the planning process. This can be small and sweet, like personalised cufflinks for the men or dainty handkerchiefs for the girls. There are many options for gifts out there, and you could even put a little care-box together for each person.
Choosing your wedding music is a fun time to reflect on those songs that bring back the memories – your first date, your favourite songs, the soundtrack of your life together! Finding the perfect DJ is quite important – they will set the tone for your evening. Read our Ask a DJ article for top tips on choosing the right DJ. When you’ve booked them, make sure they are very clear on the type of music you would like for the entire day. It is a great idea to make them a playlist of about 20 songs to show them what your music taste is. You can also find some inspiration for your first dance by reading our Top 10 First Dance Songs.
Send Thank You notes for all Gifts (After the Wedding)
This is a step that is very often forgotten after the wedding day. Remember that your guests made the effort to buy you a truly meaningful gift, the least you can do is let them know how you appreciate it. You can take care of the bulk of the effort before the wedding, by getting your wedding stationer to make up Thank You cards, or ask your photographer if they can do it. This ensures your can just fill them out after the honeymoon.
Have a look at our Duties of the Wedding Party board on Pinterest for more!