A - Z Wedding Countdown
FIRST: Find a husband!
THEN: Do the following as soon as possible
DATE & TIME
There are a few things you have to keep in mind when getting married in the Klein Karoo or Garden Route... The time of year is important - keeping in mind the weather conditions. The perfect time to get married ( bush wedding or beach wedding ) would be during September/October or March/April.
If getting married in the Klein Karoo - heatstroke can be a problem during December, January and February.
There are the most beautiful garden wedding venues in these regions, offering spectacular mountain and ocean views complementing your memories. Watch out for the morning and noon sun, as it can often be too bright to take good photographs.
You can download our online budget planner to help with your wedding budget. A wedding can be very expensive, so you have to determine who pays what. Sharing expenses is not a bad idea.
Determine the colour scheme, formality and size of your big day. Keep in mind that a formal wedding would be more expensive than a informal wedding.
It is always better to know before hand how many people you want to invite to your wedding. This would determine what venue will be suitable and what budget you can work on. Set a maximum number of people and stick to it. Divide the number of people in two and give each of the parents a list.
Make appointment with the Minister for your pre-marriage counselling.
Choose your bridesmaids, best man, flower girls and ring bearer. Decide what they have to where and what they have to do during the ceremony.
Book a car for the bride & groom as well as the retinue.
This is a job for your fiancé - he has to decide on the location and start booking. If there are serious travelling arrangements to be done - do it now. Also arrange leave from your job.
SAVE THE DATE CARDS
This is just a card to tell people that there will be a wedding on that date and that the invitation will follow soon after.
It is the best to pay the following list of deposits at the same time, for the Venue may be available, but your desired photographer may be fully booked.
- Chapel / Church / Synagogue
- Venue: If you have an out of town wedding – start arranging accommodation for guests attending the wedding. Make sure - if you have a beach wedding - that you have a back-up venue if the weather is unpleasant. Enquire if a permit is necessary to have a ceremony on a public beach - you can contact the local Municipality.
- Photographer: Set an appointment for 3 months before the wedding to finalise the photography arrangements. You have to inform your photographer beforehand if the venue is out of town, so that he can arrange for accommodation and travelling expenses.
- Videographer: Set an appointment for 3 months before the wedding to finalise the videography arrangements. The videographer must also be informed about the venue, so that they can arrange for accommodation and travelling expenses.
- Musician: Set an appointment for 3 months before the wedding to finalise the music arrangements.You have to inform your photographer before hand if the venue is out of town, so that he can arrange for accommodation and travelling expenses.
- DJ: Set an appointment for 3 months before the wedding to finalise the music arrangements.You have to inform your photographer before hand if the venue is out of town, so that he can arrange for accommodation and travelling expenses.
- Catering: Set a budget per head that includes drinks - then make sure you stick to it, whatever happens. If you have a home reception, consider a marquee in the garden to make sure that you have enough space. Doing your own catering will save money but it can be time-consuming. Make sure you arrange for additional help. Get quotes from caterers in writing and ask them to specify everything that’s included, such as cutlery, crockery and linen. Set an appointment for 3 months before the wedding to finalise the catering arrangements.
Wedding Cake: Choose a cake that you like - it is what is inside - that counts. It is always better to have samples to taste before deciding. Once you have determined the style of your wedding - it is easier to select the style of your cake: Extravagant, playful, whimsical, classic or simple?
Saving with your wedding cake: Consider incorporating a memorable quote or saying into your cake design. Order a cake for half of the guests: “half-servings” can be served which you can supplement with ice cream or fruit or have the cake of your dreams made on a small scale for a price you can comfortably afford, and then order a cheaper option of the same flavor to be cut in the kitchen.
- Florist: When ordering your bouquet consider ordering another smaller one for you to toss to the awaiting throng of single maidens at the wedding - this way you get to keep and preserve your original bouquet for posterity and it won’t get ruined. Set an appointment for 3 months before the wedding to finalise the floral arrangements.
When planning to get married outside of town, bear in mind that the photographer, videographer, caterer, florist, DJ and musicians will be charging an extra fee for traveling costs and accommodation.
Normally you'll have different people for the different toasts.
- The brides parents
- The grooms parents
- The brides grand parents
- The grooms grand parents
- The wedding couple
- Master of ceremonies - Thanks
Inform bridal party of fittings times
FIRST NIGHT ACCOMMODATION
Book your first night suite – normally the place where you will get dressed. Do not let anybody know where you are getting dressed before the wedding or where you are spending your first wedding night.
FINALISE YOUR GUEST LIST
SEND OUT WEDDING INVITATIONS
- Chair Covers
- Table décor.
- Bain-marie (double boiler)
THE BRIDES ATTIRE
- Wedding dress
- Beautician: You will have to set a date during month three to do the test for the wedding. Set the times at a later stage. You will have to give a deposit.
- Hair Stylist: You will have to set a date during month three to do the test for the wedding. Set the times at a later stage. You will have to give a deposit.
THE GROOMS ATTIRE
- Hair: Hair appointment must be at least one week before the wedding.
- Suit or Tuxedo
- Bow tie
- Cuff links
Organize insurance & health insurance for the honeymoon & your life together.
Finalise honeymoon bookings, arrange visas, vaccinations travelers cheques etc.
- The Legalities: Most of the world is shaped around the idea of a nation state, so beyond religious ceremonies is the need for legal agreements. These protect the individuals in the marriage, should there be calls for a separation of property later. It is important that you and your spouse-to-be decide which form of marital contract you wish to enter into. Here are the three options: In community of property, out of community property and accrual system.
- Health check-up
MEET WITH CHURCH VERGER
- May you burn candles in the church
- May you use confetti
- Arrange date for rehearsal, especially with large retinue
- Make arrangements for the musicians to rehearse.
Let the organist know what hymns must be played. Choose the pieces you like. When must the organist play which hymn.
Discuss the order of service
DJ OR BAND
You have to discuss the following:
- Dance floor opening song
- Reception entering song
- Lucky couple dance
- Other music you like
- Music during the food servings
Which flowers would you like to have, the colour and your arrangement ideas.
What type of food you like, time of servings, where to get the key for the venue and when will they be cleaning.
WEDDING CAKE MAKER
What type of cake, the time of delivery and where at the reception the cake must be placed.
Discuss which photographs you would like to have taken and also explain the order of service as well as reception.
Discuss which parts you would like to have taken and also explain the order of service as well as reception.
Bubbles, ostrich feathers, dried rose petals, live butterflies or fresh flowers
Go to a beauty salon or spa from now on once a month. Do not put on weight otherwise your dress will not fit.
Start finalising your Guest List - phone the people who did not respond within the RSVP date.
Meet with your caterer and finalise the number of people - then you can draw up the table plan in writing and have it done professionally through a designer. Give the number of guests to the caterer.
SEATING PLAN & PLACE CARDS
Avoid joining people who don't know each other or get along very well. This may cause major discomfort to your big day.
Finalise number of bouquets with the florist, as well as the buttonholes, corsages and hair flowers
Give the correct numbers through to the rental agencies
Start working on the speech. It must be funny, appropriate and concise. Acknowledge everybody who helped with arrangements.
ARRANGE GUEST PARKING
BUY WEDDING RINGS
JEWELLERY & ACESSORIES:
Consult dress designer & get everything together
Buy car decorations for example feathers, balloons and ribbons. Have umbrella handy.
Inform the caterer of the exact number of people for the wedding.
Work out exactly how the ceremony will go according to speeches, toasts, food servings, opening of dance floor etc. Discuss it with the Master of Ceremonies.
Make sure that all wedding documentation is in order.
Begin changes to your identification, car license etc.
- Collect your wedding dress and accessories
- Collect the bridal retinue clothes
- Collect the groom's clothes
- Collect the wedding cake, unless the cake will be delivered at the reception venue by the baker.
CHECK WITH EVERYONE
Make a checklist with telephone numbers of everybody involved and start calling them.
This is a nice way to thank your helpers. Do not buy expensive presents.
It is always good to pack needles and pins.
Pack your honeymoon clothes.
AFTER WEDDING ARRANGEMENTS
- Find someone to take care or return your wedding dress and accessories
- Ask someone to arrange the returning of the rented items
- Let someone take your wedding presents home or to a safe place
The day before the Wedding
- Stay calm, relax and get enough rest.
- Make a checklist of everything you need to take with you when getting dress elsewhere. Take everything to that location.
- Give your gifts to the retinue.
- Remind the Minister of the ceremony time.
- Go to bed early.
- GET UP LATE
- HAVE A STEADY BREAKFAST
- TAKE A NICE LONG AND RELAXING BATH
- ATTEND MAKE-UP & HAIR APPOINTMENTS
- GET DRESSED