Weddings are a truly wonderful occasion. The amazing thing about them though is that no two are the same! Every wedding that I’ve been to is different.
The key to a successful wedding and reception is in the planning. You’ll want to break down these events into timings so that the guests, but most importantly you have an idea of the flow of the day. For some, their wedding begins with a ceremony at 12, with canapes and refreshments shortly afterward before the reception beginning at 6 pm and ending long into the night. For others, the ceremony starts at 4 pm, the party starts at 6 pm, and the carriages arrive for 10 pm. It’s also important to remember that the wedding timeline that you share with the reception guests, will differ from the one that you have in your head, which will also differ from the timeline that you share with your bridal party and groomsmen!
We have researched around and pulled together a small guide to planning the perfect wedding to you, leaving the timings and location up to you to decide.
- The bridal party gets ready together, in matching robes, eating breakfast and spending time with the Bride. Groom similarly prepares himself. Breakfast is an essential part of the day so that you don’t feel faint later on!
- Photographer arrives. Unless you want photos of the bridesmaids in their matching robes, bridesmaids should have their hair and make up ready to be in the background shots as the Bride gets ready with the finishing touches (jewelry, a spritz of perfume, last touches on the hair, zip of the dress).
- List the ceremony start time on the wedding program. The wedding ceremony begins with the entrance of the bride and the bridal party. This part of the day varies from person to person; a religious ceremony can last up to an hour or more, and a non-religious ceremony is typically about twenty minutes.
Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments
- Once the ceremony is finished, invite the guests to a round of canapes and light refreshments to give time for the Bride and Groom and family to take photographs.
- This is a great opportunity to provide some entertainment for the guests; whether a slideshow of couple pictures, a live band, or grass-games (croquet, corn hole, etc). This also gives you a break to re-energize for the rest of the day!
- Use this moment to capture the family photographs and the couple ones too. Take advantage of whatever surroundings you are in and plan what sort of back-drop you want.
- Sunset photos are an opportunity you probably do not want to pass by – find out when the sunset time is, let the photographer know in advance, and make sure to capture these shots.
- The party begins, and it begins with a feast! We’re now into the third section of your wedding, approaching the evening. This is typically the most fun. Invite your guests to be seated at their table as per the table plan.
- Enter after the guests have been seated. Have your MC announce your arrival, and be welcomed in by applause of loved ones who are celebrating your special day and exciting decision.
- Have the catering company/servers ready to serve the meal and let your guests tuck in!
- Bridal and Groomsmen toasts can begin as guests are wrapping up their main course. Family toats begin thereafter. Top tip: recommend that your guests stay within the five-minute limit in order to maximize guest attention span.
- After the speeches do the cake cutting, bouquet toss and begin the dancing.
- You could choose to include a mother-son, father-daughter dance, which works perfectly after the cake toss and right before the wedding party joins you on the dancefloor.
- Cue you’re leaving song with the DJ at the time you’re ready to leave as newlyweds and have your bridesmaids and groomsmen arrange for the guests to wave you out with sparklers, victory tunnel, confetti and a car waiting to carry you off to your honeymoon and married life!