Marriage Officer Cape


So, you’re planning your wedding....

Don't freak out or have a nervous breakdown. Stay as calm as you can and keep your mind where it should be, and that is the planning of your wedding.


Things That Could Be Important


If you want to stay sane, don’t give your private cell phone number to any of the people who are going to be working on your wedding. For the duration of the wedding planning, it is a good idea to have another phone with another number in it, this is the phone where all of the service providers will be able to get hold of you.

·         Don’t leave the posting of your invitations too late, it is a good idea to send them out around 6-8 weeks before the ceremony.

·         A firm order should be made and a commitment from a dressmaker should be received at least 6 months prior to the wedding ceremony in respect of the bride’s dress and the bridesmaids dresses.

·         Both bride and groom should have their hair cut, coloured of groomed around 14 days before the ceremony.


A Year Or More Before the Ceremony / Wedding


·         Tentatively decide on a date,(open to suggestion and change) make sure that your parents meet with your fiancée’s parents, allow all concerned to be able to give some feedback, if you don’t allow all parties to have  a say, one could probably end up with disagreements and you do not need that on your wedding day

·         Decide whether your wedding will be formal or informal.

·         Sit down together and start making up an exploratory guest list. Once you an idea of how many guests you are going to have, then one can start working out what your marriage is going to cost you.

10 months to a year before your Big Day

·         Finalize the marriage day and time of ceremony

·         Make your decision as to whom your minster will be at the wedding to officiate for you. Make sure that your marriage officer / pastor has booked you for the day

·         Make sure that you book the venues for the ceremony as well as the reception, pay the deposits, these will assure you that your venues do not have to be worried over. Remember that you will need to be careful as some deposits are not refundable, so choose wisely.

·         Now it is time to tell everybody about your engagement, have a small party or get together and have some nice engagement party photographs taken.

·         Now you have to sit down with all concerned and talk costs / budget for your special day.

·         Decide at this early stage, who is going to pay for what? It is better to finalize these matters so that they don’t become a problem later.

·         Work out what kind of theme (if any) your big day is going to have.

·         If you and your other half decide to use a wedding planner/ co-ordinator, Please book him or her now to avoid disappointment

·         If you are having an outside wedding, please remember to have an alternative venue indoors, should the heavens open.

8 to 10 Months Before the Big Day

During this time you have to make some important decisions, such as what colour scheme will be used at your ceremony and reception and how may people are to be invited to share your day with you.

It is a good idea to now start writing up a list friends along with their telephone numbers and contact e-mail addresses. To get an idea of how many people will come to your wedding, perhaps an e-mail or card to them to tell them to save the date and time in their personal diaries.

At this point comes the delicate task of choosing your Best and Groomsmen as well as your maid of honour and flower girls. Make sure that you get their measurements as you will have to start at this point to arrange their suits and dresses as well as shoes.

Choose your venue, pay for it to confirm that it is yours for the day and plan your reception.

Find yourself a caterer who will do as you please and pay her or him in advance too.

Book a photographer and make sure that your date is booked with him. Also if you are having a video done of the wedding, choose a videographer and put him and the photographer in contact with one another.

Make sure that you have confirmed your florist and that you have a confirmed booking with either your DJ or live band. While dealing with musicians, you should also select all of those who will be doing special things during your ceremony, such as a soloist, organist or special musician for the ceremony.

Ah yes, what about you invitations, serviettes, thank you notes and programmes for the wedding day. All of these are important, so don’t forget to order them now. When you do receive them from the printers, it might be a good idea to start addressing them to all of those who will be invited, this includes the return address and postage stamp on the RSVP cards so that all that your friends and family have to do is tick a box and pop it into the mail. I am sure you are aware of the thank you notes, it is also good to pre-address then whilst you are doing all of the other addresses, this will be a time saver in the future.

It is a good idea to have maps printed on how to get to the wedding and reception venues. These can be posted along with the invites.

Make sure that you get enough postage stamps for your RSVP cards, wedding announcements and thank you cards. Make sure that you check with the Post Office about the cost of sending the rather thick letter to each of your invitees.

If you re going to have a rehearsal, it would be wise at this point to book a place where this rehearsal dinner is to take place.


4 to 6 Months Before the Big Day

Check costs and availability in your local newspapers for the wedding announcements.

If you have guests coming in from out of town, book their accommodation now.

Go shopping for the following

1)      Wedding shoes

2)      Dress

3)      Jewellery and tiara (if using one)

4)      Bridesmaid’s dresses

5)      Mother’s Dresses (both sides)

6)      Choose the music that you want to walk down the aisle and leave the church with.

7)      Wedding rings

8)      Plan your honeymoon getaway.

9)      Make sure that your passports and documentation are in order for your honeymoon.

10)  Lastly but not least, look out for a lovely wedding cake.

2 Months Before the Big Day

Finish addressing and send out your invitations.

At this point it is time to order your wedding cake, finalise your vows and speeches as well as finalising the ceremony details with the officiant.

It would be good to come to final understandings with all of your service providers.

You must also do the following:

Get a small gift for each of the out of town visitors, this should be left at their bedside for them to discover.

Purchase a guest book so that all of the invitees can write a little something for you.

Remember the place cards, if you haven’t started, do them now.

Make sure that there is a decent knife and cake server available when the cutting of the cake happens.

If you are intending to do the traditional thing, remember that the bride has to have a garter to throw to the men. Also traditionally the bride has to wear ‘something old, something nw, something borrowed and something blue.’

Make sure that you have your final appointments set with your hairdresser, nails lady and makeup artist.


1 Month Before D Day

Do the final fittings of the wedding and bridesmaid’s dresses

While dressing up in your wedding gown, this would be a wonderful opportunity to have a formal portrait done.

Contact all of the contractors who have been commissioned to attend to your transport needs and confirm the dates and times with them.

Tradition decrees that the bride must buy a gift for each of her attendants, this the time to do it.

Buy a gift for your other half (husband to be)

It is very important that you keep careful records of gifts received before the wedding, as you have to send each of those people a thank you card.

Make sure that you have a level-headed person in charge of your guest book.

You will need to check up, to see that all of the men’s apparel has bee ordered.

It is now time to pick up the rings, make sure that they the correct size.

If you have made accommodation bookings for out of town guests, it is now time to reconfirm these bookings.

Have somebody word your wedding announcements for you and when done, send then on to the newspapers.

To those guests who have not responded to the wedding invitation, it is now time to send them a reminder.

 2 Weeks Before the Big Day

To those guests who have not responded to the invitation – contact them

If either of you are going to have a bachelor’s (STAG) party or a bachelorette party, now would be the time to plan them.

Look at a copy of the schedule for the big day, if any changes are needed, do so now.

Now comes one of the most difficult tasks, you need to sit down and plan the seating arrangements at the wedding reception.

Ask your matron of honour to contact all of the bridesmaids so that they can arrange final fitting of dresses etc.

If you are leaving the home that you are currently living in after the marriage, arrange that your wedding gifts get transported to the new address.

The bride will need to ensure that the groom gets his hair cut.

At this point, 2 weeks prior to the big day, the bride should too have her hair cut and if she likes coloured as well.

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