The Engagement Shoot
If you decide to do an engagement shoot, it’s definitely a pre-wedding item to do at least 6 months in advance and find a place where you can spend the weekend and relax. Try and use the same photographer as the one you will use on your wedding day so that he/she can see how you move and interact with each other and position themselves best to capture those special moments. Stop along the way, be adventurous and dress comfortable. Don’t pack more than 3 outfits; it’s an invite photoshoot, a fun and comfortable shoot, not a modeling portfolio shoot.
Pre-Wedding Shoe Tip
Make sure you buy your wedding shoes at least 1 month in advance and walk them in at night when you get home from work. There is nothing worse than a shoe chafing your heels and toes even before the first dance. You are going to be stressed and you don’t want to show signs of irritation before the night has begun.
Keep a buff or cloth close by to clean up dust of scuff marks should you walk in the field or on a dirt road. Pack in some comfy shoes as a back-up, should you wish to pull off some cool dance moves that don’t need fancy shoe-restrictions!
Photo by Cindy Baffour
A very important pre-wedding tip; organize your bachelors at least 30 days in advance. The boys do tend to get creative and you are bound to end up with a scar or two that need healing before your photo-shoot on the day. Let’s be real honest though, no bride wants to see a hung-over groom the day of the wedding, best to remember this tip…
Wedding Registry vs Cash
Be practical and sensible when doing a wedding registry and a home store as part of your pre-wedding planning. If you’re a young couple, get what you need, not what you want. No one is going to use the Russel Hobbs 7 purpose cake mixer of R6000! Get a blender, a decent kettle or small coffee machine, and a few got pots and non-stick pans.
If you’re a couple, already equipped with everything you need, because you’re merging two households as one, don’t feel bad asking for a cash gift rather than something from the home store. You can’t make any better toast with a 3rd toaster, don’t have space for another knife set and can rather use the money to make a deposit on a new home or new dining room table or leather couch you both need, will use, and can enjoy.
An Awesome pre-wedding thought: A Cheese & biscuit table
The traditional wedding has a big fancy cake that looks nice, but no one eats it because they are so full or dislike marzipan. Some weddings don’t set time aside especially for the cake, to either share it with the guests or give the guests the opportunity to help themselves, this leads to no-one ever getting a slice of cake.
Consider have a cheese table with biscuits and biltong and some fresh fruits for your guest to nibble on while having a drink while the 2 of you slip away for a few hours to go do your photoshoot. This gives the guest something to do and also helps to line the belly so your party does not end at 21:00 after main course!
Photo by Rod Long
Speeches & Que cards
A pre-wedding tip for friends and family; keep the friends and family speeches under 30min in total and not more than 4 people. This will ensure a longer party, more time to mingle with your guests and less time for people to make up excuses to get tired and leave early.
Have 2 printed copies of your speech ready, or que cards. And make sure you have a digital copy on your phone for those pesky friend who steal your notes or Eskom’s infamous load shedding moments.
You know your friends best and what they like to drink. When you have your meeting and follow up meeting with the venue, make sure they have enough of what you and your friends like and request them to buy extra if need be. There is nothing worse than running out of your favorite drink early in the evening and can be a big mood spoiler for all.
If your friends are quite the party people, it could be a good idea to limit the drinks to a set per person, if you’re paying the tab. Or have a cash bar for guests, to help themselves to as many drinks as they can afford.
Photo by Micheile Henderson
Gifts On The Wedding Day
Did you know that it is customary to send your bride or your groom a gift to their room as token of your love an appreciation on the day of your wedding? This does not need to be expensive. But it need to be thoughtful and something they will love and use going forward. Try and keep it under R1000.
Better yet, dive into your sensitive and personal side and make it something that will allow your partner to reminisce on loved memories.
ID’s (more for the ladies)
Make sure you go to Home Affairs soon as you get your marriage certificate and go change all your credentials and new address details at the bank, shops where you have accounts, and update your passport details for travel.
Adding this to your pre-wedding tips checklist will allow smooth sailing after the wedding. Not sure what documents will be needed for a marriage certificate and ID name changing? You can view it on Home Affairs’ website.
The Not So Much Pre-Wedding Tip, But Keep In Mind Your Routine
Don’t change your way of doing things or times of doing things if you don’t need to. The person you married chose you for who you are, including your routine and how you do things. Changing routines or being told you can’t do things you have done in the past like playing games with the boys or going for a drink after work could put strain on your relationship very early on.
Toning down might be suggested or occasionally inviting your better half to join an activity is suggested, but you both need to have your own time and own thing you do to create a bit of (positive) space and environment to relax with your own thoughts.
Ah the admin; Will & Insurance
Sort out you wills soonest before or after marriage. Add it to your pre-wedding checklist to ensure you don’t forget or neglect the admin part, this could become very challenging for your partner and family should something unexpected happen to you.
As for insurance, make sure you specify all new jewelry, electrics and gifts and be sure to take photos and keep a list of receipts in a safe place or mailed to yourselves, in case something happens. Remember to increase your clothing insurance regularly, you have more expensive clothing than you think, and household insurance does not always cover more than R5000-R10 000 of your clothing should something happen.
Don’t feel overwhelmed by the information shared here, by taking it one item at a time; you’ll be able to complete your pre-wedding checklist. Speak to one of our Marriage Officiants for more wedding related questions on formalities.
Browse our vendors to assist you with some items to check off on your wedding list.