Bride To Be / Elle

Elle’s Bridal Diary: Love Don’t Cost A Thing

At any stage of planning a wedding you will be aware of the many, many expenses that come along with it. Our wedding is a small beach affair with endless DIY projects and you may have something similar or even more intimate in mind. Even so, there are some expenses that exist regardless of your budget savvy planning.

As we’ve passed the 150 day mark of our countdown we enter a new phase of our engagement. The thrill and excitement remains strong but is now accompanied with hints of panic as the expenses grow faster than our savings.

I have listed some surprises we have come across in our planning so far:


With a beach wedding like ours you need a municipal permit and this could be quite expensive depending on your requirements. In our case, we are only having the ceremony on the beach and the function coordinator at our reception venue has agreed to obtain the permit on our behalf at no additional cost. Many coordinators include the permit in their venue fee and can mark up the actual cost with an “administrative fee” while larger parties may also have your permit reaching in the thousands. Do extensive research and ask enough questions.

Marriage Fees

As part of our marriage preparation we are doing a course at our church. The course is offered at a small donation but the material is accredited and while this fee is nominal, it may be an expense we overlooked when we first got engaged. There are also legal fees and administrative fees that need to be considered should you require an anti nuptial agreement. Set time aside to make decisions in this regard, do the research and consider all outcomes. Anti nuptial agreement is not only a “safety measure” in the event of divorce, but could also be helpful should either bride or groom be self-employed or a business owner.


As much as we love our little seaside spot where my Bear proposed and where we will become Mr and Mrs, it is more than 100kms outside of Cape Town and our visits to our wedding venue need to be well planned and intentional. Thus far we have managed to schedule meetings with the function coordinator on days we would be spending in Paternoster making the trip more than worth our while. This could also be a great way for you both to build good memories in the place where you would be getting married but it is also valuable time to spend together in a beautiful place you may not often visit.

This brings me to my conclusion. You may find surprises like these and some that are different. Yes, there are fees and some unavoidable costs but the most important part of your wedding remains the promise you will make to each other. We have promised ourselves to not allow budgets, costs, disappointments and even pleasant surprises divert our attention from the main event: becoming husband and wife and starting our adventure of forever together.

Read more from Elle as she plans her wedding in our Bride to Be section.

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