Congratulations! You’re engaged and we couldn’t be happier for you both. Your wedding will be one of the most meaningful and beautiful days of your lives – and as time goes by, it will be a treasured memory for you both to share.
During the first few weeks of your engagement, you are likely to be floating in the clouds with your feet barely brushing the ground. And that’s exactly how it should be. This time should be sheer bliss for you both. But when you do come back down to earth, you may need to hit the ground running!
You’ll very quickly discover what hundreds of brides before you found out: preparing for your wedding takes time, energy, patience and a sizeable slice of good humour. From discovering your dream gown, choosing your rings and finding a florist, to reception venues, caterers, musicians, menus and seating plans, your ‘To Do’ list will at times seem endless.
Which is why, before you launch into the planning of your unique day, we suggest that you take a deep breath, read The Bride's Diary from cover to cover and visit South Africa’s No. 1 wedding portal, our very own www.bridesdiary.co.za.
We have a wealth of experience and expertise gained from over seven years in the wedding industry, and we hope that through the pages of this edition, and through our online community of brides and grooms-to-be, we can offer you the assistance and support you need to create a wedding day that delights both you and your guests, and sets your style as a couple.
Need all the help you can get to make your wedding planning a breeze? Then use the stylish planner at the back of the current edition of The Bride’s Diary. The great bonus is that you will have a wedding planner, together with the details of all the service providers in one place. A copy of The Bride’s Diary will also make the most delightful keepsake of this special time. And don’t forget the free planning tools, extensive articles, and bridal fairs calendar on our website, not to mention the opportunity to win a dreamy honeymoon.
But before we move on and get into the nitty gritty of gowns, guest lists and groomsmen, there are a few basics to cover.
Let’s start with what you would like for your wedding day. Before your family, friends and wedding service providers become involved, sit down with your partner and dream a little. Remember, this is your wedding – and you need to choose a theme that expresses who you are as a couple. Will you go traditional or nostalgic? Cocktail or cultural? Urban or rural? Or, will you choose from your favourite colours to set your theme? There are numerous possibilities to explore before you decide.
Refer to the wedding style worksheet and checklist in our Wedding Planner and begin writing down your ideas. Nothing is set in stone at this point, so think freely and creatively. Spend time simply imagining your dream day.
Obviously, setting the date is a priority. You should take public holidays into consideration and remember that certain months are more popular for weddings than others. You will need to make bookings well in advance for these months and be prepared to pay higher prices for venues and other service providers. Also consider other family events, whether some guests will need to travel from overseas, your own professional and work commitments, and whether you have allowed enough time to organise your wedding.
Most weddings are held on Saturday with Friday being the next most popular choice. However, as long as your guests are able to attend a weekday wedding, this can be a flexible and affordable option in terms of venue and service provider availability, as well as substantial pricing discounts.
And what about the time of day that you will have your ceremony and reception? The time you choose will determine a wedding’s formality. Afternoon or evening weddings with a three course sit-down meal are considered the most formal, while less formal options include wedding breakfasts, brunches or cocktail parties.
The degree of formality will greatly influence a wedding’s cost – so now’s a good time to set your budget. Don’t know where to start? Register as a member on by following this link: http://www.bridesdiary.co.za/MyWedding/default.aspx (it's free) and go to the Budget Calculator. Our estimates are based on current industry averages for each service. Simply enter different service options and guest numbers until you find the budget that works for you.
Return to the Article Index
Engagement and Wedding Rings
The circular form of a ring is representative of an uninterrupted and unending bond. Your engagement and wedding rings will last a lifetime and become the tangible emblem of your shared life and love.