I had the unfortunate pleasure of joining my husband for a Golf Club charity event a few weeks ago. Now when I say the “unfortunate pleasure” – it wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the golf, the champagne or the gorgeous dinner – it was the Golf Course etiquette, of which I knew nothing about, that really caused my day to be one long anxiety attack.
How was I to know that there was an order of play? Or that I had to hit off a different coloured pin ( I think they called it that! )? By the 3rd hole I was a nervous wreck because I was completely unaware of what was right and what was wrong.
A wedding day can be a bit like this – whilst you should always remember it is your day, and therefore you should plan it to be how YOU want it, there are certain parts of a wedding day schedule that have become almost law!
To help you out, I have summarised the main things that a majority of guests will expect to happen on your day, and in a rough order. Now before you too have a nervous breakdown, this is just a guide – if there are any of these parts you were not going to do, don’t lose sleep over it. Your wedding day is for you to remember, not anyone else!
If you are worried, you can be rest assured that when you book a wedding venue with us, we have fully trained wedding co-ordinators who can advise and help on every aspect – you’re not alone!
So without further ado – here’s my checklist to a successful day :
Ceremony – This is the really romantic part where you become man and wife – but before you get carried away, agree the actual running order of the ceremony, including any hymns, readings, and of course the all important vows. Leave nothing to chance!
Photographs – Think of photographs as memories. Before the day, make a list of all the shots you know you want. Meet your wedding photographer and talk to them about what you expect, the venue and when and where you want photographs taken. If you leave it to the day, you will in all likelihood be at the mercy of the photographer, and they may neglect to take that all important shot of you and the girls together – and instead you end up with a photo of your Monster In Law and a random cousin you don’t even know the name of!
Reception – Tradition has it that you will meet all your guests in a receiving line. However, this tradition is fading in place of a drinks reception where you can circulate and chat to guests at your pleasure. Certainly a more relaxing setting and one that most people now prefer.
Dinner – The dinner is the part where you can start to relax – just a little. There will be an ever increasingly complex table plan to negotiate ( we have a guide to this coming up very shortly ), but this is your chance to sit with your new husband and actually eat something as a married couple – oh and a glass or two of wine at last as well!
Speeches – The dreaded speeches! They can really make or break a wedding day, but in our experience they are often the funniest and most heartfelt part of the day. Tradition dictates that they follow the dessert plates being cleared away – and if you were wondering about the running order, don’t, here it is :
Brides Father – Usually a fairly low key speech, simply welcoming the groom to the family, and maybe one or two anecdotes of when they first met the groom as a spotty teenager etc. The final part of each speech is always a toast to the newly married couple.
The Bridegroom – Your chance to watch your new husband address the room, and he should thank your family for allowing him to take your hand in marriage, he will surely compliment you on how beautiful you look on this special day, and finally he will thank everyone for attending.
The Best Man – if you have one speech to fear, it is this one! The bridegroom will undoubtedly have a few funny tales about the groom from days gone by, and maybe a tame story from the stag do – but ultimately, whilst humorous, this speech should stay within boundaries. Whenever we are asked for advice on this, we simply say to remember that grandparents and children will be in the room , so aim the risqueometer at them, rather than at “mate” level, and you won’t go far wrong!
Cutting The Cake – The cutting of the cake is really a good photo opportunity, so expect to stand with your hand and knife akimbo of the cake for some time – once you have made the 1st slice, the catering staff will take it away and slice and dice it to be served.
First Dance – The first dance is the signal that the party is about to begin. You and your new husband take to the floor to a song that is special to you – whether it be Bryan Adams or Gangnam Style, it is purely your choice! You should then have a dance with your father, and your husband with his mother….and then it’s time to really relax and enjoy the celebrations!
The only other optional extra to the day is if you leave before your guests – hopefully to catch a plane to an exotic place for your honeymoon! Then guests should make two lines and you should be serenaded between the two lines to your waiting car.
I hope this helps take some of the mystery out your day – if you cover these points, you have established a traditional wedding day, and it really isn’t as stressful as you may think.
As I mentioned above, if you use us for you wedding day, we’ll be there to hold your hand through every aspect.