If you’re planning your wedding, you have a million balls in the air at once – creating your perfect day, keeping to your budget, managing family politics, ensuring everyone is up to speed on the plans for the day and their jobs and, oh yeah, it would be nice if you got to enjoy yourself too. There’s a lot going on crammed into a short time period – here’s five ways to simplify your day that will also make your guests happy too.
Bar Etiquette – Let everyone know in advance the state of play when it comes to buying drinks. I’m not sure anyone expects a free bar nowadays, cash bars are cool but let your guests know in advance (especially if there’s no cash point on site and your venue doesn’t have card facilities)
Keep your Ceremony Sweet and Simple – Now that’s not to say you should ever cut any element that’s important to you or your faith but the ideal civil ceremony length is said to be 30 minutes or folks can start to get fidget (everyone will expect a longer service if it’s a religious ceremony). Keep in mind guest comfort as well. For example, if you’re having an outdoor ceremony, it can be kind to provide water and shades.
Avoid ‘Dead Time’ in the Day – As the bride and groom, along with members of the immediate wedding party, you have difference responsibilities to your guests. So while you’re attending to these, between the ceremony and reception or during the lull after eating before the evening reception begins, it’s nice to give your guests some entertainment. What you do depends on your budget. You could book a professional entertainer such as a magician or caricaturist or hire a bouncy castle (definitely not just for kids). Or you could DIY your entertainment – garden games, ice breaking activities, photo walls, treasure hunts, photo booths or anything else you can think of.
Speeches Need to be Heard – These can be a source of a little anxiety for the speakers but lots of your guests will really be looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say. It’s such a shame when they actually can’t and it happens a lot Check with your venue if they have a PA system if you have a large room, or a quiet speaker – that way everyone can enjoy hearing the groom say lovely thins about the bride and the best man telling embarrassing stories about the groom.
Keep Group Photo Time Short – I know I’m a photographer so obviously I think photos are fun but I’m well aware that this not the favourite part of the day for a lot of people. We’ve all been to weddings were we are left in limbo unable to go the bar (or even to the loo) in case we are called upon for pictures. It doesn’t have to be like that with a little bit of planning alongside your photographer. I’d always recommend doing the largest groups first, that way the majority of your guests can drift off and start the party while the wedding party stays for more photo time. Everyone is involved in your pictures and part of your wedding memories but there’s the least amount of hanging around time.
Of course your wedding day is exactly that – YOUR wedding day. You should have the day you want and incorporate all the things that are important to you. The tips above can just keep it simple for your guests in terms of their planning and involvement – keeping everyone smiling all day long.