Even though our wedding was a few years ago, it will always have a special place in my heart – as it should be! I’ve written a few posts about our wedding journey, but because my blog has started to go in a new direction I thought to consolidate all the posts about our wedding into one.
So this post will act as a catch-all place for all wedding-related things! I hope you find it insight full and that you find some tips along the way! Warning This page contains many photos!
Our Wedding Table of Contents
Click on any of the icons below to be taken to that section of the page.
Planning the wedding: Wedding Binder
Planning the wedding: Free budget worksheets
Planning the wedding: Color scheme
Doable resources to prepare for marriage
Our Wedding Day
Wedding Budget Breakdown
Wedding Budget Redo’s
If you came to this page through Pinterest, please click on the relevant pin to go to the relevant section on this page.
We are engaged!!! We’ve been together a long time (8 years), so I am thrilled that this milestone has finally come.
I must say that I’ve become anxious over the whole thing in June 2016, because I thought this was not important for Wiehann. But when we were in Cape Town for a quick holiday and he brought up the subject of searching for a ring and getting brochures from different jewelry stores to find something I like, I was over the moon.
I always knew that I wanted something plain and simple because my hand is small. My ring size is an “L” (or 5.5) so something with a lot of detail will not do. And the new trend of rose gold was just up my alley. I liked that it was different from the traditional gold or white gold. So I told Wiehann what I liked and he got the ring made through American Swiss when they had a huge diamond sale in August.
So I waited, and waited, and waited…. and patience isn’t even one of my biggest qualities… urgh. Even when he got the ring in September, he never showed it to me. And I knew he had the ring!! To say it was torture is an understatement.
The end of September he asked my Mom’s permission…
December rolled in, that’s when he asked Dad (before he asked me that same day).
We agreed that he would visit me in December because the last few times I visited him. Friday, the second of December, he surprised me by taking the day off from work and drove very early from Montagu to Plettenberg Bay. He didn’t tell me that he was tanking the day off so I was only expected him late that evening.
After I drank some tea and we chatted about work, he said he wanted to go to Keurboom Strand’s beach for the day. So I finished some of my work and we headed out to the beach. When we got there he opened up the car’s boot and he packed a cute picnic basket with snacks. That’s when I started to suspect something was up…
We walked to Arch Rock (which is quite a walk, might I add – and the wind messed with my hair, that’s why it is so flat) and this is where he asked for my hand. I am so happy and excited about our future and our upcoming wedding.
He packed the basket with the following:
- Sparkling wine (Blush from Four Cousins)
- Champagne flutes (which he bought that morning)
- Variety of biscuits
- Cheese and cold meat
- Spring onion and chives flavored cream cheese
- Cocktail tomatoes
- Strawberries (my favorite, I ate them all, because Wiehann is not a fan)
- And chocolate
- The two plates, knife, and forks he got from my kitchen when I was getting my stuff and changing clothes in the bedroom – sneaky right?
- And he got me red roses…
It was super romantic and the location was absolutely breath taking!
PLANNING THE WEDDING: WEDDING BINDER
Staying organized while planning a wedding is crucial. In this section of the page, I will share with you the wedding binder that I’ve put together to help me stay organized while planning our wedding.
In this binder, I’ve put together all the things I think I would need. Let me show you how the planner looks. May I add, I am very proud of how it turned out. (please note that all the pages in the binder are in Afrikaans, my home language)
I’ve made the material cover myself. One of the first sewing projects I’ve done with my sewing machine.
When you open the binder, you will find and a table of contents. After the table of contents, I’ve included checklists of things that have to be done for each category. I’ve compiled these lists after researching and reading through a lot of blogs and wedding books and I hope that I have included the most important things for a wedding to run smoothly.
The dividers I’ve made with cardstock and some beautiful scrapbooking paper that was on sale at my local craft store.
After the table of contents and the checklists, you will find the different categories. Let me break it down for you:
Budget and monthly timeline
This, I would think, is self-explanatory.
Here I will have the contact details of the pastor, and the church. (we are planning on asking a pastor that we know, but we want to use another church for the ceremony). I will also include any notes on what kind of décor I want at the church. And, more importantly, what Wiehann and I want the pastor to talk about at the wedding.
*Edit: At the end the pastor gave his own sermon that he felt was fitting for us – and I loved it.
Here you will find contact details of the place where the reception will be. A list of the music that we want to play, a worksheet of the things that we want to hire for the reception. I will also include pictures of décor ideas and activities for the guests to keep themselves busy while we take some photos. I will also include the contract of the venue here.
Caterer and Wedding cake
Here you will find the menu and also the baker’s contact details and pictures of wedding cakes for inspiration. After we select a baker, I will put the contract here as well.
Florist’s contact details and the contact we will sign with them. I want to include pictures here to explain to the florist what I want and ask him/her if they will be able to do achieve it and give me advice for alternative flowers that I can use if the ones that I want are not available.
Videographer and photographer
Again, contact details and contracts. This category also includes a list of photos and moments I want the photographer and the videographer to capture our special day.
Bride and groom
Here I include pictures of what I want my wedding dress to look like and ideas for the groom as well. There is also a checklist of all the attire related items that we need to buy or rent.
I am going to ask our bridal party to buy their own clothes. But here I will keep track of who has what and the gifts I am going to buy for them.
Guests and stationary
Here I will put the final guest list with their contact details and keep track if they have RSVP’d.
I’ve found this cute little notebook on sale at Typo’s and I keep this one in my handbag for random thoughts and notes that might pop into my head. I plan on taking the binder with me to appointments only.
Pens and a calculator will accompany the binder most of the time.
At this stage, I am not sure how much this binder cost me because I’ve had most of the materials already. I’ve created the pages in word and printed it off my home printer.
I would love to hear what you think of my wedding binder. Would you rather buy a binder that is ready-made or make one yourself?
PLANNING THE WEDDING: FREE BUDGET WORKSHEETS
While planning our wedding, I only used one page for the budget for our wedding.
I must admit, I wasted a lot of paper by printing a whole budgeting section for my binder. But I am not too hard on myself about this, I didn’t know that I was going end up not using all of the pages.
The page consisted of two sections. The top section had a place to write who will be contributing money towards our wedding and how much. This gave me the total budget that was available to us.
The next section was divided into three columns. The first column I wrote in all the different categories. Then, in the second column, I wrote the amount I thought I would need per category. And in the last column, I kept track of how much of that money I was spending.
I wrote the categories in pen and then the amounts in pencil. So every time I bought something I updated the last column, or if I went over budget in one category I adjusted where I can in another category.
All the receipts I kept behind this page and that way I kept track of what I spend in each category.
This was not how I intended to use the budgeting section, I just ended up using it that way.
Disclaimer: We had a really small wedding with only 48 guests. So I think that is one of the reasons my budgeting system ended up being so simple. I didn’t have a lot of things to keep track of.
But I thought if it worked for me, it might work for someone else. But because I know not everyone’s budget and wedding are the same, I split the categories into two pages. That way you have more room to write :).
This system ended up working super well for me and I am so happy that we didn’t go over budget.
PLANNING THE WEDDING: COLOR SCHEME
I always thought that I would have a spring wedding with soft pastel colors. But that changed since Wiehann and I started to discuss color schemes. He quickly put an end to my pastel dream.
There wasn’t even a way to persuade him. When I asked him why his answer was: “the colors are dead”. My reaction: “WHAT?!” and then we had to choose the date… another nail in my pastel dream, because spring was out, and so was summer… I can almost feel your frown through my computer screen at the moment, but don’t worry, mine was also almost carved into my forehead.
The reasons why these seasons was crossed off the list, was simple. Summer in Oudtshoorn, South Africa is extremely hot. Some days reaching 40˚C. So that was a no-no in both our books. No melting make-up and no sweaty armpits on the wedding photos!!! Springtime is also problematic because of my allergies. So that left autumn and winter. And to make a long story short – we decided on May, because we started to date in May, and May 2018 we will be together for 10 years – so some sentimental value was a big push for that specific date.
But after that discussion, and a bit of disappointment, I had to change my vision. Which is not always a bad thing. After all, the day is not all about the bride (even if you want it to be 😊). So I started Pinterest-ing my way through alternative color schemes.
Who thought that there were so many options available. Pinks, purples, reds, blues, etc etc…. after a while I realized that I have to narrow down my search because I didn’t find anything that I liked! I mean I liked a lot of them, but not like-like you know?
Lightbulb! I started to search for autumn and winter weddings. And I swooned… OH MY WORD!!! Winter and autumn weddings are beautiful! All those rich dark colours that were available just made me so excited!
After another long scrolling through Pinterest, and showing Wiehann a few ideas, we decided on:
These colors just make me so happy! They are warm, inviting, and cozy for autumn. I have so many ideas it feels like my head wants to explode! Here are a few images that I’ve found that are my source of inspiration…
I love how they combined the rustic with the elegant! Show you that everything can match if you just put the right things together!
DOABLE RESOURCES TO PREPARE FOR MARRIAGE
Preparing for your marriage is oftentimes overlooked while planning your wedding. But it is even more important to prepare for marriage than planning the wedding. The wedding is unfortunately only one day, but you want your marriage to last for a lifetime!
I created a post with all the resources that I found extremely helpful in preparing for marriage. I hope you will find it just as helpful!
OUR WEDDING DAY
We finally said “I Do” on the 5th of May 2018!! The sweetest (and long-awaited) moment ever was when the pastor said I now proclaim you husband and wife!
The wedding day for me started at 7:00. I took a relaxing bath and then ate some breakfast with my mom and sister. After breakfast, we went straight to the hair salon for our hair. The hair took a bit longer than expected but we were still on time for the makeup girls. We got our makeup done at my Grandmother’s home and we also got ready.
Wiehann’s day started with a bang, because he and my mother in law, sister in law and had to set up the whole reception before 12:30 when he got ready. Afterward, I only heard about all the drama that went on, I was blissfully unaware of it all!
We say ‘I Do’
We said I do in the NG Moederkerk. It was a must for me to get married in this church. I love older buildings that have iconic architectural styles. My theme for the wedding was to achieve a Baroque vibe, but a lot simpler. Such an opulent wedding would have cost us a fortune! And the church was the closest I could find to this particular style, even if it was built in the Neo-Gothic style. I just overall love the architecture of this church.
Interesting fact: the angels that surrounded the pulpit were made in Scotland. The church commissioned six angels but only five arrived. They send two photos of two local girls to Scotland so that the artist can make the angels to look like these girls. The church was concerned that the angels would look too much like European girls otherwise!
After the ceremony, we took the family photos and then we did the couple photoshoot! All of the stress disappeared after the ceremony and we just enjoyed ourselves. Here are some of my favorite photos, but honestly I love them all!
The food was delicious and everyone enjoyed themselves. We got so many compliments that we had a great wedding and that is all that I wanted! For me the highlight was our first dance because we got help from a professional to choreograph the dance. It turned out beautifully!
Everything is how I wanted it to be. We and our guests enjoyed ourselves. I wish sometimes that we could have the day over. Maybe in 10 years’ time, we will do a vow renewal and do it again!!! So much fun!
WEDDING BUDGET BREAKDOWN
Weddings are expensive, and I knew that when we set up our wedding budget back in 2017. But still, some of the quotations were just outright ridiculous!
I searched hard to find affordable options to choose from in our hometown. But I am so happy with the choices that we made and how everything turned out that I don’t regret anything.
So grab a coffee and let’s get down with the numbers. (The numbers are rounded to give you an estimate)
Disclaimer: If you are an international visitor, the numbers are in South African Rand, not USD.)
Thank you cards
Bible guest book
|Church||R 1 390|
|Pastor||R 500 (this was to cover the cost of Home Affairs to Change my surname and to register our marriage)|
|Programs||R 0.00 (My mom printed a few at her work)|
|Wedding Contract||R 2 500|
|Pew Decor||R 60 (We decorated only six pews and we used eucalyptus tree branches and tied them to the pews with ribbon. The ribbon worked out R60, the branches Wiehann cut down on the farm)|
|TOTAL||R 4 450|
|Venue||R 0 (We used a restaurant and they only charged us for the food)|
|Decor and Flowers||R 4 500|
|Table numbers||R 200 (I got them custom made)|
|Renting of candles||R 225|
|Guest favors||R 0 (Ferraro Roche Chocolates – Sponsored by my mother-in-law)|
|Food||R 12 750|
|Corking fee||R 600 (the sparkling wine was a gift from my mother-in-law, so we|
only paid for the corking fee)
|Wedding Cake||R 0 (present from one of our friends)|
|Music||R 0.00 (we asked my sister-in-law to be our DJ and she played music from a playlist)|
|Photo booth||R 0 (used Wiehann’s DSLR camera and we asked my sister-in-law to take the photos)|
|Card box||R 400|
|Stay at the hotel||R 790|
|TOTAL||R 19 465|
|Dress||R 7 950|
|Underwear||R 1 600 (bra, panty, stockings, garter)|
|Makeup and hair||R 930 (this included the trails)|
|Beauty Treatments||R 270|
|Perfume||R 760 (Yes I know, I spoilt myself)|
|Earrings||R 0 (Christmas gift from Wiehann)|
|Wedding Ring||R 3 500|
|TOTAL||R 15 300|
My dress and veil were made by the fabulous team of Bridal Inn in George.
|Suit Hire||R 550|
|Pants||R 450 (he didn’t wear the pants from the suit that we hired)|
|Shoes||R 0 (wore his own)|
|Accessories||R 0 (Wiehann paid for his own tie clip, cufflinks and watch)|
|Ring||R 1 500|
|TOTAL||R 2 900|
Maid of Honor
|Dress||R 0 (I won a competition from Hoiden saving us R1500)|
|Shash for her dress||R 170 (made it myself)|
|Shoes||R 0.0 (her own)|
|Jewelry||R 0 (her own)|
|Hair and Makeup||R 430|
|TOTAL||R 1 850|
My sister’s beautiful dress was made by Hoiden.
Mother and Mother-in-Law
|Hair and Makeup||R 620|
My mother and Wiehann’s mother was responsible for their own dresses. I paid for their makeup and hair.
|Suit Hire||R 0 (He hired the suit)|
|Shoes||R 0 (wore his own)|
|Accessories||R 0 (Wiehann paid for his own tie clip, cufflinks and watch)|
Photo- and Videographer
|Videographers||R 7 500|
|Photographer||R 6 500|
|TOTAL||R 14 000|
|Dance lessons||R 1 100|
|Miscellaneous||R 1 500 (Stuff that I bought we didn’t use, and unforeseen expenses)|
Lizette from Absolute Dance in George was an absolute star! She helped us with our first dance and it turned out exactly how I wanted it!
There are a few purchases that I didn’t keep track of and some purchases that were such a waste of money. But more on that in the next section.
Grand Total R 65 000
For my international readers – Under: $4000
We had a lot of help from family to pull everything together in the end. Which I am extremely grateful for! It was a magical day and I wish we can have it over. The guests had a fabulous time and we got so many compliments! Which is the best feeling ever that it was a successful day and event!
WEDDING BUDGET REDO’S
When I did the last post of our wedding budget break down, I thought of the things I would do differently. The one thing that I noticed is that the budget can quickly go out the door if you don’t keep track of the things that you spend money on. And the small things are the budget breakers!
There were a few purchases that I regret. For example, I bought two pairs of shoes that I thought would make great wedding shoes, but I ended up wearing old shoes that I love and planned on wearing from the beginning. Oops!
Don’t get me wrong, I was adamant to keep within our budget, I checked the budget regularly and we paid for the wedding in cash. I am super proud of ourselves for this. We even had money over and we are planning to use it for the honeymoon!
One thing that I regret is that I didn’t keep track off is the small items. For instance, the stamps for the invitations that I posted. I did in a way keep track of them, but I didn’t put the receipts into my wedding binder. If I look hard enough for the receipts, I will find them.
I also ordered things from Aliexpress, and I didn’t make a note of how much it cost. Aliexpress uses USD currency and the exchange rate changes all the time, so I am not sure what I paid for the items at the time. I know it was so inexpensive though that it couldn’t have broken the bank!
I loved my wedding binder, you can see how I put it together in this section, but one thing that I regret is the size. The large A4 binder made it difficult to take everywhere with me. I did take it with me most of the time or sometimes left it in the car if I traveled. But I really wished that I made it in an A5 binder or a book. That way I could’ve just put it in my handbag and take it where ever.
There are a lot of pages in my binder that I didn’t use. Which feels like a waste of paper now. But it did keep all of my information in one place and I knew exactly where to find everything. Which saved me a lot of time to not search through loose papers!
Another tool that I didn’t use is my phone! My phone is always on me, so I should’ve used it as a budgeting tool as well. I could’ve put my small purchases on my note-keeping-app. It wouldn’t have taken me 2 minutes to do that!
Tips for keeping your wedding budget in check:
So if I could give my past self some advice it will be:
- Get a smaller binder that fits in your handbag;
- Have another file or binder where you file other information (for example quotations; ideas for the wedding);
- Update your budget every day, or as often as you can (this one is just a reminder)
- Make a note (in a notebook or on your phone) of small purchases if you get home or put the receipt in the binder immediately;
- Make a note if you purchased something online, or print out the receipt to put into the binder.
- When paying cash, ask for a receipt.
- Take the binder/planner with you even if you think you don’t need it.
I don’t regret making the binder at all. It was a lot of fun and I will treasure it always. It is now memory binder, keeping all the wedding planning alive.
This brings my wedding journey to the end. Now that the wedding is over, both Wiehann and I are so much calmer and are enjoying married life. One doesn’t realize how much stress comes with planning a wedding. But like I said, I wouldn’t have changed anything of our wedding day for the world! I loved every moment of it!
HONEYMOON IN PHUKET
We’re going on a destination honeymoon in a month!! (Yes I know it is late, but to me, it still counts!) And the destination we are heading to… Phuket for 7 days!!! I can hardly believe it!
It will be the first overseas trip for both Wiehann and me, and to say that we are over the moon of excitement is an understatement! (You can tell by all of the exclamation marks right?)
The first question that comes to mind is: “Why didn’t you go right after the wedding?” My answer is simple. We only had enough money to pay for the trip in advance and didn’t have enough left for spending money. The wedding totally wiped out our funds. So we both decided to go a bit later.
The other benefit to me for going on honeymoon later is that we are both rested and will enjoy the trip more. Let me explain: after the wedding, we totally felt exhausted!
The week leading up to the wedding was stressful. (And on some of the photos you can see the fever blister on my nose to prove it!) Everything was under control and I didn’t really have a reason to stress, but I think it came with the territory. The few days after the wedding we were both recovering and resting. But now we are totally rested and we will enjoy our honeymoon to its fullest!
So the last few weeks, I’ve been researching everything related to Phuket as a honeymoon destination. We are going in August, which is the rainy season, but according to my research, it is still warm and humid and doesn’t rain all day. So fingers crossed we will have some pleasant weather!
The thing that I research the most is “what to pack for Phuket”. Apparently, you need a lot of mosquito-repellent and obviously a lot of sun-screen (Phuket is close to the equator). I don’t know what it is, but mosquitos just love me. I will be in the middle of a crowd and that darn mosquito will find me and leave everyone else alone, yes I am that person! So I will stock up on Peaceful Sleep and Tabard to be safe.
Bucket List for Phuket:
- See James Bond Island;
- Have a lazy beach day at one of the beautiful beaches;
- A relaxing spa day
- Old Phuket Town
- A shopping day
- And see Khao Rang Hill
I know we are only there for 7 days, so hoping that the weather plays along so that we can do all of most of these items on the list.
We are staying at Sunset Beach Resort, a resort is a must for a honeymoon right?
We used Flight Centre, a travel agency, to book our trip. Like I said, this is our first overseas trip, and we wanted all the help that we can get.
Is there any packing tips that you have for our first international flight. Or have you been to Phuket? I would love to know your thoughts.
Now over to you!
Did you find this page helpful? I would love to know if you are planning your own wedding. And if you are a newly wed, share your wedding tips so that others can benefit as well!