So, you are engaged and to be married and now you need to plan your event to be held at an exclusive wedding venue in South Africa. Because you want your day to be perfect, you need to ensure that you’re following all the right wedding etiquette – but where do you start? Here’s a helpful guide:

Wedding etiquette

  • Asking the parents’ permission: If you are of legal age, this is not compulsory but it’s still seen as an important part of traditional wedding etiquette. Asking your fiancé’s father permission to marry his daughter will not only earn you respect as his future son in law but put his stamp of approval on the marriage.
  • Who pays for what? It is traditional for the bride’s family to pay for the reception, church fees, groom’s ring, invitations, flowers, music and the gifts for the bridal party. On the other hand, the groom’s family is responsible for paying for the bride’s ring, clergy fees, the bride’s bouquet and corsages, alcohol and the gifts for the groomsmen.
  • Invitations: The invitations are sent out by the party paying for the wedding – which traditionally would be the bride’s parents. It is also considered wedding etiquette to indicate the required dress code on the wedding invitation. Be sure to include the RSVP date on the invitation and, if you have not received a reply within one week after the RSVP date, you should call the guest and confirm over the phone. Children over the age of 18 should be given their own invitations.
  • Presents: If you are a family member and unable to attend the wedding, it is considered correct etiquette to send the bridal couple a gift in your absence. However, if you are a friend or work colleague it is not necessary to send a gift. If the couple has a gift registry at a store/s it is wise to include this information in the invitation. Alternatively, the bride’s mother or bridesmaids could be contacted for this information. If the couple is moving out of town, giving a cash gift is preferable over any other gift.
  • Between the ceremony and reception: If you are taking photos after the ceremony, it is correct etiquette to consider your guests and limit the photo session. Keep your guests entertained with live music like a string quartet and ply them with snacks and drinks to keep their minds off their watches.
  • Bridal party’s dress code: Traditionally, if it is your first wedding, it is etiquette for the bride to wear a white wedding dress. However, these days a bride is free to wear whichever colour dress she wants. Keep in mind that it is the bride’s day and she should outshine and attract the most attention. Therefore, when selecting your bridesmaids’ dresses, keep in mind that you are the princess of the day – not them!

If you’re still in the process of looking for a beautiful, country-style wedding venue in South Africa, visit our website or contact Idle Winds today.