Your wedding day should hopefully be one of, if not the happiest day of your lives together. Anticipation and nerves can create stress in the run up to your wedding, however on the day we want your wedding day to be as stress free as possible and we have several tips to help make sure this happens.
1 – Allow plenty of time in the morning
One of the first things that can cause stress on a wedding day is making sure you and your bridal party are all ready on time for the ceremony. There may be last-minute panics or sometimes getting ready can take longer that what was originally planned for. Our advice is to leave yourself an hour and a half before the ceremony time. This will give more than enough time for you all to finish getting dressed, have any last make up/hair touch ups that you need and have everything ready to walk down the aisle. It also allows time for those all-important photos or gifts you’d like to give/share. Creating a timeline just for the morning can help make sure this is all possible. That way everyone knows where and when they need to be there.
2- Leave time to meet with your registrar before your ceremony
One thing a lot of couples don’t realise is that you must meet with your registrar before the ceremony. The registrars will go through the legal part of the ceremony and go over the details you will have sent them before the wedding. You and your fiancé will meet with the registrars separately with each of your own witnesses. This meeting is another element that can eat into your morning timeline. Therefore, leaving that hour and a half cushion that we previously mentioned allows time for you to meet your registrars knowing that you are ready to walk down the aisle straight after your meeting with them.
3 – Give your bridal party jobs
Your bridal party is there to help you and your fiancé’s wedding day go smoothly. It may sometimes feel that they are there to dress up nicely, have a nice meal and smile in your photos but they have been given the responsibility of helping you both on the day too. Task them with keeping an eye on the timeline and making sure the day is running as it should. Ask them to look after family members and bring them over for the group photos you’d like them to be in. The bridal party could help the venue shepherd the guests for the speeches or your first dance. A lot of the time they want to feel included and useful so let them help you and your fiancé and you will appreciate how helpful it was at the end of the day.
4 – Allow time to arrive at your ceremony
This particularly affects those couples getting married in a church or different venue to your wedding reception. Consider how you, your bridal party and all your guests are getting to the ceremony. Are you all going in one car/vehicle? In which case will the driver have to make multiple trips to get everyone there? You will need to allow time for this in your timeline. Equally consider adding more time in for potential traffic issues. Research your ceremony venue’s local area for any possible issues that could take up more time such as diversions or local events.
5 – Arrival Drinks
Offering your guests an arrival drink can be both a bonus to you and your guests. Your guests will appreciate the complimentary drink. It is an easy crowd pleaser and is always a nice start to the wedding celebrations after your ceremony. However, it can prevent any long queues at the bar, it keeps you and your guests happy in that regard too. No one likes to wait for a drink and having arrival drinks such as Prosecco or alternatives like lager already on standby straight after the ceremony helps reduce the amount of guests standing waiting at the bar. They can simply pick up their arrival drink and continue mingling. Then the guests who would prefer an alternative drink to the arrival drink on offer can make their way to the bar. This creates a much more staggered queue at the bar, and no one has to wait too long keeping you and your guests happy.
6 – Leave enough time for photos after the ceremony
After your ceremony, you will want time to mingle with your guests and you will probably want to have photos with your friends and family members too. Smaller group photos can take extra time that you might not have allowed for as sometimes it’s hard to pin all your guests down if they’ve gone to the bar or toilet etc. Have a list to give to your photographer of all the group shots and mention to those friends/family members that you’ll be wanting photos with them after the ceremony, so they know to stay in reachable distance.
You could also allocate a member of your bridal party to be in charge of fetching all the necessary guests at the right time. This will ensure your guests aren’t standing around waiting for you to be finished with your photos and will hopefully make the period between your ceremony and reception more relaxed.
7 – Leave time to shepherd guests
This might seem like an odd one, but it can take time to gather your guests ready for the speeches, your cake cut or first dance. Guests are often content catching up with other wedding guests they might not have seen in some time or rush off to the toilet or wish to order another drink at the bar before they sit down. This is how it should be as they’re enjoying themselves at a wedding not back at school again. However, it is something to take into consideration when looking at your timeline as it can take more time than planned to usher guests through to their seats or to the dancefloor. Allowing extra time for your guests to get from A to B for where you wish them to be can help prevent any delays throughout the day.
8 – Give your speeches before your meal
There are a few benefits to this tip. It gives those who are giving the speeches a chance to get it over and done with quicker. Not many people are used to getting up in front of a room full of people and speaking from the heart, therefore it can be quite a nerve-wracking task. Getting it over and done with means they can then sit and enjoy their meal and their day without worrying over their speech.
After the wedding meal, you are more likely to lose your guests. Many get up to go to the bar, to the toilet or to carry on chatting to guests at other tables. This makes it much harder to get everyone’s focus back for the speeches, again adding more pressure to those giving speeches. If it takes too long to get all your guests seated again after the meal, you could also run the risk of your evening guests arriving early halfway through the speeches which could be a tad awkward.
9 – Sunset
If you’re wanting a wow photo from your wedding day, it might be worth looking at what time the sun will set on your wedding day. Bear in mind that you might be able to achieve some stunning photos in the golden hour just before the sunset and this could actually be half an hour before the time the sun is actually meant to set. It is definitely worth adding this time into your wedding timeline if only so that you and your photographer know to be on standby for the sun setting.
The time the sun sets could also affect your day timeline particularly if you are having a winter wedding. You won’t have as much daylight time to get any photos outside if you did want them so it might be worth having an earlier ceremony time to make the most of the day light.
10 – Take time to yourselves
You will both have waited a long time for this day to finally be here and the time you have spent planning and prepping will all have been worth it. You will no doubt spend the day chatting, dancing and socialising with all your guests and the people you consider most important to you and hopefully it will be the day you always dreamed of. But our final piece of advice is to make sure you add time into your day to spend time together. Your wedding day will go by so quickly and you’ll have spent so much time making sure it all goes as planned that it can be easy to overlook taking a moment together to take it all in and enjoy it together.