It doesn’t matter how relaxed you would like your wedding day, you really need to spend time working out your timings. I suspect we’ve all attended a wedding which we’ve found a little boring so it’s worth some military-style planning to ensure you enjoy every minute and your guests remember the day for all the right reasons.
Choose the time of your ceremony carefully
If you get married too early it can be a very long day filled with food, drinks and entertainment. Not only is this expensive it can also be draining for you and your guests.
As an example, if you get married at noon, guests will arrive expecting lunch and an evening meal. If you get married at 2.30 pm they will arrive having eaten lunch so you will have a more flexible afternoon for drinks, photos and entertainment before the wedding breakfast. You may also be able to reduce the catering you provide thereby saving money to spend on something else.
Work out your timings and triple-check them with others
We have found that timings can be wildly out! If all guests are at the wedding throughout then it may not matter too much. But if there are evening guests, it’s critical to be ready to greet them. Similarly, you don’t want a live band or DJ arriving to set up in the middle of the speeches.
Firstly, work out what you’d ideally like to do.
Secondly, walk through the timings as if you were a guest and make any adjustments.
Thirdly, ask your suppliers for their comments – they will have good input based on their specific experience with the venue.
Allow longer than you ever think you will need. Most brides are late even at Little Quarme where they are staying on-site! Often this isn’t an issue but if the registrars are due elsewhere later that day it really does matter. It’s also very stressful for everyone. Be ready early and you’ll have time for a glass of bubbly and some relaxed photos.
Try to get your group shots done early on. Then plan a time later in the day when your guests can be left with drinks, games etc to get your more romantic photos taken. This way guests won’t even notice you’ve disappeared for an hour or so.
Plan entertainment for your guests
The best weddings have plenty of entertainment. There is always some ‘hanging around time’ when you are busy being photographed, checking in with family, or guests have just spent long enough drinking! The entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive – think treasure hunts, welly throwing competitions, home-made photo booth with props, lawn games (jenga, coits etc).
A relaxed wedding = a well-planned one!
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Credits for Photos used in this blog: Howell Jones Photography & Acronym Photography