The Wedding Planning Process

Let's Chat About The Wedding Planinng Process

Cape Town Wedding Planner Tips: Let's chat about the wedding planner process and where to start

So, you have gotten engaged, yay! You might be wondering what to do next so let’s have a chat about the wedding planning process and what you’ve got to know. But don’t worry because we will be taking you through several of the most important wedding planning steps to ease this process for you and your fiance.

Before we get into the 15 wedding planning steps below, we just want you both to remember that this is your wedding day and all the decisions you make should make both of you happy and excited to spend this magical day with your family and friends. Remember that this beautiful day represents both of you as individuals but also represents the unity of you both as a couple.

So, what are the 15 wedding plannging steps to get you started on yoru wedding planning journey? Here is our take on the professionally tried-and-tested planning process

  1. Establishing your wedding budget
  2. Deciding on a wedding venue
  3. Booking your marriage officer
  4. Booking your photographer
  5. Booking your videographer
  6. Booking your hair and makeup artist
  7. Having your wedding stationery designed and created
  8. Catering, Bar and Staff requirements
  9. Booking your wedding musicians and/or DJ
  10. Choosing and booking your wedding cake
  11. Flower and decor bookings
  12. Fun and unique ideas
  13. Any other items left over
Bronwyn & Kuhle at Au'D Hex - Cape Town Wedding Planner

Establishing your wedding budget

Bronwyn & Kuhle at Au'D Hex - Cape Town Wedding Planner

The first step and probably the most important step when starting your wedding planning process is determining your budget. Now as wedding planners we always want to find out what you have in mind for your wedding in terms of venue, décor, and the number of guests (to name a few) to give you a rough estimate. But, whether you have a budget of below R100 000.00 to above R350 000.00, remember that both of you must be comfortable with the amount of money you’re spending on your wedding day.

A few things to consider when determining a wedding budget:

  • Number of guests
  • Location of venue
  • Menu and bar costs
  • Summer/Winter wedding
  • 1-day wedding or a 3-day weekend wedding

Once we have established your wedding budget amount, we would then allocate a percentage towards several categories such as Ceremony, Reception, Photography/Videography, Music, Flowers & Décor, Attire, Stationery, Transportation, Gifts and Extras. Now that we have one of the most stressful steps out of the way, we can move on to the fun steps in the wedding planning process.

Sneaky wedding planning tip, a wedding planner can help you save more than just money! I may be prejudiced, but it is certainly worth budgeting for a wedding planner.

Ready to start planning a celebration of your own in Cape Town? Read more here about how much a wedding planner in Cape Town costs.

Deciding on a wedding venue

Bronwyn & Kuhle at Au'D Hex - Cape Town Wedding Planner
Au'D Hex
Luxury wedding planning package. Cape Town Wedding at Nooitgedacht Wine Estate. Luxury wedding planning package.
Nooitgedacht Wine Estate
Ayesha & Kenneth at Loch Lynne Estate
Loch Lynne Estate
Cape Town Wedding Planner - Webersburg Wine Estate
Webersburg Wine Estate

The second step and probably the one that will set the tone for the rest of the wedding planning process is deciding which venue you will be having your wedding at. This is one of the more time-consuming steps as a lot of research has to be done, whether it is looking at wedding photographs at each venue, downloading wedding brochures or conducting site visits (which is my favourite part).

A few things to consider when deciding on your wedding venue:

  • Are tables, chairs, cutlery & crockery, and glasses included in the venue hire?
  • Do you and your wedding guests have exclusive use of the venue?
  • Any accommodation on-site? Is it included or will that be extra?
  • Staff such as waiters, bar staff, and set up staff or is that all extra?
  • Does it include an on-the-day coordinator?
Wedding venues that we love working with:

The above are just the tip of the iceberg questions/thoughts that you should think about when deciding on the perfect venue to have your wedding day.

To see some of our favourite wedding venues in Cape Town and surrounding areas view our blog about the Luxury Wedding Venues in Cape Town – The Wedding Fairy

Booking your marriage officer

Now that you have completed two of the major steps in the planning process, you can move on to focusing on smaller (but not less important) aspects of your wedding day. A marriage officer is important to have at your wedding ceremony, for two reasons: to conduct your wedding ceremony and to take care of the legal aspects of getting married in Cape Town.

A few things to consider when choosing a marriage officer:

  • Do they do religious ceremonies?
  • Do they do civil ceremonies?
  • Can they perform different cultural ceremonies?
  • How much input do you have (as the couple) in how the ceremony takes place
  • What is included in their package price?

With the above being said, you can always consider a priest/reverend in your church or an ordained family member, the above is just to keep in mind when looking at marriage officers who you do not know yet. We would also recommend meeting with your marriage officer before the wedding day to go over aspects you would like to include as well as familiarize yourselves with the marriage officer.

Booking your wedding photographer

For step four, you want to focus on who you will be choosing to take photographs of your wedding day (now you may be thinking about an uncle or cousin with a camera that can take your wedding day pictures) we urge you to get a professional photographer. This step also has a research component to it, as you need to make sure they fit within your budget and that you also get the most out of the package.

A few things to consider when picking your wedding photographer:

  • Are you just getting photographs of your wedding day and no other extras (such as an engagement shoot)?
  • Will there be one or two photographers?
  • If your venue is further out, do you have to provide accommodation?
  • Look at the reviews available on their website and social media platforms
  • Read the about section to see if you connect to the photographers, whether it is the story of finding their passion or their personality.
Some of our favourite wedding photographers:

So, take some time going through each prospective photographer’s packages to see what you get, but also look at their portfolio to see some of their work.

We always recommend going with an 8-hour package as that will cover most of the festivities of the day and most photographers have great deals on that package too.

To view our gallery of real weddings in Cape Town, click here.

Cape Town Wedding Planner
Micke Creative Photography
Cape Town Wedding Planner
Picturess Photography

Booking your wedding videographer

Similarly, to booking your wedding photographer above, deciding and booking your wedding videographer should be just as important – if this is something you both want for your wedding.

A few things to consider when choosing your videographer:

  • Will there be one or two videographers?
  • If your venue is further out, do you have to provide accommodation?
  • Look at the reviews available on their website and social media platforms
  • Is videography included in the photography package or is this extra to be purchased (at a lower cost)?
Amazing wedding videographers that we love to work with:

A pro tip is choosing a package from a photographer that includes videography as this just saves the time and effort of further research, so you can focus on other steps of the planning process.

Booking your hair and makeup artist

Now grooms, if you don’t mind we’re going to focus on the bride with this next step, hair and makeup artist. When choosing a hair and makeup artist it is best to do it with the same company, but if not and you’re choosing two different suppliers, it is not a train smash. With this step also just research the company or the hair and makeup artist to see what they have done with previous brides (great way to find some inspiration as well).

A few things to consider when choosing a hair and makeup artist:

  • That you connect with their hair and/or makeup style
  • Research their website and social media platforms to see what they’re capable of
  • Communicate to your hair and makeup artist about what you want
  • Look at previous clients’ testimonials
  • Always go for a trial, and is a trial included in the cost?
Amazing hair & makeup artists that we love to work with:

Remember brides that with this step you also must consider how many other ladies’ hair and/or makeup needs to get done, such as yours, your mother and mother-in-law, your bridesmaids as well as your little flower girl (just to name a few). Also, always make sure to go for a trial at least a couple of months before the BIG day.

Bronwyn & Kuhle at Au'D Hex - Cape Town Wedding Planner
Sophie Jean Beauty
Cape Town Wedding Planner
Donna Taylor Hair & Makeup
Cape Town Wedding Planner
Sophie Jean Beauty

Having your wedding stationery designed and created

Having your wedding stationery such as your invitations as well as your save-the-dates designed is one of the most important guest factors in your wedding, as these two give a glimpse of what your colour scheme/theme is without saying a word. When designing your wedding stationery, you could either do it yourself or get a professional to design it and you just add the finishing ‘personal’ touches.

A few things to consider when designing your Wedding invitations or save-the-dates:

  • Are these going to be printed or sent out digitally?
  • Think of your colour scheme/theme way in advance, before designing any of the above
  • Research designs either from Pinterest or Instagram and create your own from those
  • Research those who design wedding invitations and look at their previous work
  • Remember that these should reflect your wedding day but also both personal tastes
Our fav wedding stationery designers:

These are the first memories that your guests will have of your wedding day before it happens, so make it special and memorable. Remember to keep it plain and simple but also effective. Other wedding stationery items include the seating chart, programs, menus, table numbers and name cards to name a few.

Catering, Bar and Staff requirements

There are two things guests look forward to when attending a wedding, one to see the beautiful bride (and handsome groom), and secondly wanting to taste the delicious food and drinks available to them. So, it is fair to say that this step will take the biggest chunk out of your budget if it is not included in venue hire already.

A few things to consider when determining food, beverage, and staff requirements:

  • Number of guests
  • Any food allergies or dietary requirements
  • Open-bar or cash bar
  • Food styles you enjoy as a couple
  • Serving style options
Some fantastic chefs that we work with (we are spoilt for choice in Cape Town):

Staffing is a great (optional) extra at the end of the day as they ease the serving throughout the evening. When it comes to bar requirements, it is best to do an open bar with a limited bar tab and have a cash bar for the rest of the evening, to give your wallet a break. With catering requirements, food trucks are in right now, as you can have as many food trucks as possible at your wedding offering a variety of appetizers, main courses and desserts.

Booking your wedding musicians and/or DJ

Entertainment for your wedding day, mainly the reception, is of utmost importance if you want to create a night to remember for years to come. Whether you want a live band or DJ or both, these elements bring the day together. Even though you would require their services at the ceremony, pre-drinks and reception, the focus for them would be the pre-drinks for some light music and the reception for the party tracks.

A few things to consider when choosing a musician and/or DJ:

  • Number of hours required
  • Package options and/or additional extras
  • Can they take song requests from guests?
  • Do they need a pre-selected music list?
  • Listen to their previous work on their social media accounts
Our favourite wedding DJ and Musicians:

You can never go wrong with live musicians or a DJ, just make sure that they come highly recommended. Even though your uncle or cousin may DJ at every family function, this is the one day when you and your fiancé can pull out all the stops – we’re talking LED dancefloor, fog machines and everything else your heart desires.

Choosing and booking your wedding cake

Many of you may think that this step doesn’t have to be such a big deal, well, on the contrary, we believe that your wedding cake should be the centre of focus at your reception venue. The cake you choose is an artistic impression of you both as a couple, not only the flavours you have chosen but what is created on the outside that represents you.

A few things to consider when determining a wedding budget:

  • The number of guests/How many tiers?
  • What flavour tier/each tier?
  • Are you serving the cake as dessert or just to do a cake cutting?
  • Summer/Winter wedding
  • Does the design you have in mind match your wedding colours/theme?
A few amazing Cape Town bakers that we love to work with: 

One trend that is very popular now is cutting up one or two tiers of the wedding cake (depending on guest size) and serving it as a dessert option. Remember to have fun with your wedding cake and (a sneaky tip), try to organize as many cake tastings as you can.

Bronwyn & Kuhle at Au'D Hex - Cape Town Wedding Planner
Sugar Fairy Exclusive Cakes
Cape Town Wedding Planner
Cake Me Happy
Cape Town Wedding Planner
Sugar Fairy Exclusive Cakes
Cape Town Wedding Planner
Wades Cakes

Flower and decor bookings

Now I want to prepare you both for this step because the first quote you receive will be quite a shocker. Décor and flowers are more expensive than they have ever been, but that does not mean that you cannot get everything you both want. Remember that sometimes less is more, if your budget allows you to go big then you can, but if it doesn’t it is not the end of the world.

A few things to consider when selecting flowers and decor:

  • Are the flowers you selecting in season?
  • Do these decorative pieces/flowers match your colour scheme/theme?
  • Do these decorative pieces/flowers represent you both?
  • How much can you save by using what is provided by the venue?
  • Do you need it?
Wedding flower & decor artists we recommend:

At the end of the day, it is a  reality shock but a great one at that, because now you see what décor and/or flowers you need on your wedding day. Some tips and tricks to get the quote lower are to have smaller arrangements and maybe make use of décor that is provided with the venue – but I can’t give all our secrets away now can I?

Fun and unique wedding ideas

Now, this may be your first wedding as a bride or groom, but you’ve probably been to many weddings before as a guest and may have gotten bored a few times. While this is the step for you to decide if you want to liven up your wedding with any fun and unique ideas to take place throughout the day.

A few things to consider when looking at fun and unique ideas:

  • Would you do/wear this as a wedding guest?
  • Does it make sense in the program of events
  • Make sure it is unique to both of you
A few ideas you can consider:

Remember that these ideas do not even have to be physical or something that your guests do, it can be in the dress code of your wedding or the type of activities during the reception or a flash mob if you want to dance the night away.

Any other items left over

Now even though you have made personal touches to the previous steps throughout the wedding process, this is the one step where you and your fiancé can go crazy, not in the literal sense, but just that this is your day so you should do things that you both would like to do.

Whether it is having a memory wall with photographs of loved ones who are no longer with us and couldn’t celebrate your big day or even having a karaoke bar because that is how you and your fiancé met or having a picnic the next day with all your guests because that was your first date.

Consider booking a Cape Town Wedding Planner

Now, these are most of the steps, yet each of them is of the utmost importance when it comes to the wedding planning process. Your head may be spinning more than it was when you read the article and you’re probably feeling overwhelmed as to what it takes to plan a wedding.

But do not worry, as that is where we come in. If you feel that the stress of planning your wedding is too much and need some assistance from the get-go or even after you’ve completed one or two steps contact us. Otherwise, our other service is also On-The-Day Coordination which means that you have planned your wedding by yourself (with the help of your fiancé of course) and just need someone to oversee the execution of your event.

So, whether it is a Full Wedding Planning Package or On-The-Day Coordination, having a wedding planner is a great help and lifesaver all in all.

Ready to start planning a celebration of your own in Cape Town? Click here to get a free quote today! 

Until next time…

Cape Town Wedding Planner

The Wedding Fairy


Cape Town Wedding Planner