Candice’s Bridal Diary: Advice from a Newly-Wed

posted on 20 May 2013 by The Tie The Knot Team
posted to Bride To Be, Candice

Advice from a newly wed

As a very newly-wed, I’m excited to share some of my wedding tips and planning experiences with you.  One of the first “hurdles” I encountered as a very newly engaged person was the devastation at how ridiculously expensive everything wedding related was. I think this is something that most brides will go through during the wedding planning process – and I hope to try and help you in some small (or not so small) ways.

This week, I’m thinking about the amount of guests at a wedding. It is very tempting to want to have everyone there to celebrate with you – aunts, cousins twice removed, colleagues’ husbands you’ve never met…and before you look you’re sitting with 200 guests, when you aimed for 60.

Now I understand that you want to have people around to you share your day with, but there comes a point when you have to decide whether it’s worth having Great Aunt Tilda there (you last saw her when you were 6) – if you have to pay R450 for her dinner at the reception.

We swiftly worked around this situation at our wedding – by having a two part reception – something quite a few of our friends have also done.

You invite absolutely everyone you want to your church ceremony, so they are there to witness your dedication to each other, and the actual reason for the celebrations. After the church ceremony, we invited everyone to treats and drinks in the church garden (you could do this at an informal tea / coffee shop too) – so everyone feels treated and special and spoiled. Then you only invite your very special friends and family to your actual formal reception (for us, we had 60 people at our ceremony, and 30 at the formal reception).

This means that everyone is able to celebrate with you and feel a little special and spoiled at the ceremony and treats – but you keep your reception bill down and limit the R450 dinners to only your nearest and dearest.

It works pretty flawlessly – all you have to do is make two separate sets of invitations – one for the ceremony and treats, and another including the formal dinner afterwards.

Advice from a newly wed

Read more from Candice as she planned her wedding in our Bride to Be section.

Photographs courtesy of and © Tiffany Burnham Photography

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What Do You Think?


  1. 20 May 2013
    Michelle says

    That is great advice … I was talking about this the other day and I also dont see the point in inviting a bunch of people you dont really know …


    • 21 May 2013
      Candice says

      Hi Michelle – absolutely agree. We invited absolutely everyone we wanted to..and still only had 60 people. You could make a rule that if you haven’t seen a person since you got engaged, you shouldn’t invite them to your wedding?


  2. 20 May 2013
    Tans says

    Good advice Candice, I hadn’t ever thought of doing something after the wedding at the church and then a more ‘intimate’ celebration for the reception.


    • 20 May 2013
      Candice says

      Thanks Tans! Our wedding budget was quite small, so we had to be creative and work around it – I think it worked brilliantly- everybody wins at the end of the day!