Weddings can be a stressful event as things may happen on the day that are completely out of your control but with enough preparation and support from your friends and relatives it can be the most memorable and joyous event you’ll remember for a long time to come. Here are some handy tips to bear in mind to ensure that your special day goes as smoothly as possible:
- Be aware of time: at the start of your day time moves slower than normal (“it’s only 10:00 am, I’ve been up hours”), but once you’re an hour away from the start of proceedings it goes into overdrive; and take time out together during the day – it will be over before you realise.
- Allow plenty of time for marks from bra straps and socks to fade.
- If you’re getting ready in a hotel, make sure you have a pair of scissors for cutting the tags off new items.
- Leave plenty of time for doing up the dress if it has lacing at the back. It looks easy in the shop when they show you how to do it, but on the day it can add to the stress levels if you’re short of time!
- Have an emergency kit: (sewing kit for the groom to repair his trousers?), scissors, Bachs Rescue Remedy for stressed mothers, hair grips, rubber bands. Make sure that the groom has cuff links if his shirt needs them.
- Plan the day and then hand over the detail to someone else. If necessary, hire a professional wedding coordinator for the day so that you don’t have to worry about anything. And if things don’t go to plan, don’t worry, your guests will probably not even notice.
- Don’t ask your photographer for too many posed family shots as you will get tired/bored/fidgety and miss the chance to be with your guests – and prevent your photographer from getting those special informal images.
- Ladies hats: make sure that there is an understanding that hats will or won’t be worn during the wedding breakfast; and if not that there is somewhere for them to be kept; photographers, incidentally, prefer it without hats!
- Timing: a one and a half hour interval between the start of the reception and the wedding breakfast is usually good; this will allow plenty of time to mingle with guests as well as for photographing the couple and the family shots. But see next point.
- Receiving lines: the irony here is that if you have a lot of guests and want to make sure that you meet all of them, then a receiving line will do that for you, but will also take a considerable time (an hour for 125 guests at a recent wedding). It may be better to wander around the tables between courses.
- If you have guests joining you later in the day, designate someone to meet and greet – nothing worse than turning up to a party in full swing and not knowing where to go, or what to do if the speeches are still going on because things are running late.
- Confetti: if there’s going to be confetti thrown, get the ushers to organise a couple of lines. If it is just handed out to the guests without a plan, they will eventually wander up to you and throw some – usually against the wind!
- The weather: a nice day is a great bonus – but if it rains, just smile and enjoy. And as far as photographs are concerned, if you want to go outside, make sure that it’s the photographer that gets wet, not you!
- A lipstick tip from makeup artists: to avoid leaving some of it on your glass, wet the lip of the glass before bringing it to your lips – how you do this is up to you!
And remember, this checklist is only a guide. It’s you who will be living out the day with your friends and family. Do your best to prepare as much as you can beforehand and when the big day finally arrives relax in the knowledge that you’ve done everything possible to make it a success. After all the hard work is done, your job is now to have fun and enjoy each memorable moment that happens on your wedding day.