Planning your wedding can seem overwhelming, but the trick is to plan everything in steps. Before you contact any service, venue or caterer, set your date. The bride and groom should brainstorm a little about what you like or dislike. This will help resolve hiccups beforehand, it is important to remember it is your day as a couple, each partner should be taken into account. Find the midway - which suits both the groom and the bride. The family also should be taken into consideration, however there is a limit. It is your wedding, not your father’s, siblings’ or mother’s!
Create a wedding-board with pictures of anything that you like from wedding magazines, articles, flower arrangement ideas or anything else. This will help you not to unnecessarily waste time on things you don’t like. When you showcase your thoughts through pictures, it is easier to accomplish what you want and your caterers have a better idea of what you want.
Also see our Beauty Schedule and Diet Tips for tips on a foolproof plan to look your best on your wedding day. A proposed timeline to ensure all gets done before the big day.
9 - 12 MONTHS
- Decide on a wedding Date.
- Decide on the maximum number of guests you are going to invite.
- Decide whether you want a morning, afternoon or evening wedding.
- Decide on a wedding theme/colour scheme or style of your wedding - try to stick to one if possible - it can save you lost of money and make the planning go faster and smoother.
- Contact a wedding planner (if you want to use one).
- Choose and book the venue of your choice. Pay the deposit as soon as possible.
- Appoint and book the Minister or legal person who is going to marry you.
- Decide the budget and who is going to pay for what.
- Search and book a photographer and pay deposit if necessary.
- Make a specific guest list together to ensure both parties are happy with who is coming to the wedding.
- Decide whether you are going to buy, hire or make a dress. If you want to make your dress – now is a good time to search for a designer with a good reputation.
- Choose your bridesmaids, flower-girls, best man etc. and if possible their specific dress/attire.
- Decide on the type of reception/food (whether it be a buffet, plated, canapés or a braai) and appoint a caterer.
- Send a “save the date” email or card to all the invited guests.
- Choose your musicians, band and DJ and book in advance.
- Book your hair and makeup artist.
If you have decided on your wedding theme/colour scheme or wedding style
- Visit a few florists to discuss the type of flowers that will work well with your theme. Ask whether the flowers will be in season at that time and the costs if you are on a wedding budget.
- Meet with décor consultant and lighting specialist to discuss your wedding style and see what they have on offer. Get as many pictures and ideas on your theme as possible.
- Start with the menu and wine/alcohol planning.
6 - 9 MONTHS
- Setup ‘n gift registry or list. Also add some cheaper items on this list for the guests who might not be able to spend much money. (Remember to work through the list nearer to the wedding date – because some of the items might not be on the shopping rack after a few months).
- Start to organize your honeymoon.
- Design and order your invitation cards.
- Finalize your wedding dress and buy your wedding shoes and wear it.
- Start with your facial care or skin treatments.
- Place details like your wedding registry and accommodation suggestions on your invitations or create a website for your wedding where your guests can view all the information online.
4 - 6 MONTHS
- Send the invitations out (earlier if many of the guests live far away).
- Decide on the attire of your groomsmen, bridesmaids and everybody who will be part of the wedding party.
- Finalize transport for the wedding day.
- Plan your seating list for the reception and/or church program.
- Visit jewelry shops for inspiration on your wedding rings designs.
- Decide whether you are going to give gifts to the guests and get it ready.
- Decide if you want a traditional wedding cake or something more modern like cupcakes. There are various venues who also give this as part of their catering service like The Terrace, but if not try to get at least 3 different quotations from Wedding Cake Specialists.
2 - 4 MONTHS
- Buy the wedding rings.
- Buy any accessories that will suit the dress.
- Write your wedding vows – if you are writing your own.
- Let one of your friends or bridesmaids organize the kitchen tea or/and bachelorette’s party.
- Let the best man or one of the groom’s friend organize the bachelor’s party.
- Consult with a lawyer over the pre-nuptial agreement and arrange the wedding license.
- Order the alcohol (if it is not provided by the caterers).
- Consult with the minister or the legal person who is going to marry you about the type of message you would like on your wedding ceremony and any other details.
1 - 2 MONTH
- Go for your trial run makeup and wedding hair session. If it is possible try to have your wedding dress fitting with all your accessories on the same day, in that way you can make the last changes if necessary.
- Make sure the mother-of-the-bride and the mother-of-the-groom has something to wear and that your bridesmaids dresses are ready.
- Finalize the seating list as far as possible and draw a seating plan.
- Make or plan your final wedding stationary – seating plan, order of service etc. Leave the seating plan for the last two weeks - in case anybody can't make it to the wedding.
LAST 2 WEEKS
- Make your last wedding stationary or decorations if necessary.
- Get your Wedding Dress.
- Make sure your groom’s attire is ready.
- Book and make sure of your honeymoon arrangements.
- Arrange for somebody to take your wedding gifts home after the reception.
- Make sure that everybody that is involved knows what to do and when.
- Confirm final guest lists (call guest that hasn’t responded).
- Confirm the number of guests, time, place and other details with the caterer.
- Confirm everything necessary with the florist, photographer, videographer, DJ and any other service providers. Make sure everything is on paper and that there is enough extra time to counter any problems.
3 DAYS BEFORE WEDDING
- Pack your honeymoon bag.
- Pamper yourself with a beauty treatment or massage (no facials!).
2 DAYS BEFORE WEDDING
- Have your rehearsal dinner and just go through the last minute details.
LAST DAY BEFORE WEDDING
- Give the wedding rings to the best man.
- Spend some time with your family and loved ones.
- Also see our Beauty Schedule on what else you have to do today.
ON YOUR WEDDING DAY
- Eat a healthy breakfast and have a light exercise like swimming, yoga or pilates to calm down any nerves.
- Smile a lot and enjoy your day!
AFTER THE WEDDING
- Sort out any last payments.
- Dry clean your wedding dress - if you rented your wedding dress this won't be necessary.
- Send thank you cards to everybody that was at the wedding or to those who gave gifts.
- Inform any Authorities (Bank, License Card etc) as soon as possible of your name or address changes.