Well, it’s finally here. You’ve woken up and it’s your wedding day!
After what feels like forever, all the plans and dreams you’ve been working on for the past year are all coming together. Just take a deep breath, follow our guide, and have the best day ever!
Give everyone something to do
Delegation is the name of the game today. The chief bridesmaid, best man and ushers are there to take on any last-minute jobs so leave them to sort out any issues – they can work with the venue’s co-ordinator.
You come first
On your wedding morning, it’s the bride who needs to get ready first. Leaving your hair/make-up/dress until last is a common mistake. Bridal parties think that if everyone else gets ready beforehand, then they’ll be free to assist her. But it doesn’t happen that way – trust us!
Get your hair and make-up done first, then have your hairdresser and make-up artist move on to the bridesmaids and mums. You may require touch-ups, but that’s better than having your look rushed at the last minute because a bridesmaid’s hair took twice as long as anticipated, for example.
Try to avoid negative energy people or fussers, and surround yourself with people who will have a calming influence on you. Anyone that is making you feel stressed should be asked to leave the room. Keep music to a minimum – you want to create an oasis of tranquility about you.
Remember that the venue’s co-ordinator will lead you through timings and proceedings – they’ll have done it plenty of times before so will have masses of experience. Don’t try to take over their role – just enjoy your day as they take you from the ceremony onto the drinks reception and the celebratory wedding breakfast.
Strike a pose
Another individual playing a major role is your wedding photographer. You’ll have given him or her a list of the wedding photography you want so nothing should be forgotten. However if he or she has ideas for poses you find ridiculous (like climbing a tree) just decline and move on. All couples need direction, but if it doesn’t feel right then don’t do it.
With your photographs wrapped up, we’d recommend that the two of you sneak away for a few moments to reflect on the day so far. Just look around and drink in the atmosphere – it’s a common complaint of brides and grooms that they never really saw one another much after the ceremony!
When it’s time for the wedding speeches, traditionally the father of the bride speaks first, then the groom and then the best man.
“Too many best men write their speeches with a bunch of friends over a few beers,” says speech writing expert Lawrence Bernstein. “This can be fun at the time but often results in a speech high on rude stories and innuendo but low on sincerity. Strike a balance. The audience will enjoy some jokes at the groom’s expense, but in a context that demonstrates he’s a good friend with some decent qualities.”
“If you want to make a speech as the bride, it’s best not to leave it too late”, warns Lawrence. “Some brides want to use their speech to mark the end of the celebrations. This can be dangerous. Some guests will have left, many will be drunk and you may have missed the moment. I’d suggest speaking directly after your husband, providing a female perspective, and leaving the best man to finish things off.”
Start the dancing
Opening the dancefloor with a first dance is a great way to get the evening started but we’d recommend that you learn a few moves first. Having a plan and some steps you’ve practised will do wonders for your confidence.
“Not even professional dancers wing it!” says Tamra Lind from Your Wedding Dance. “Learn some moves from a pro or at least take some time to push back the furniture and experiment. Watching three minutes of the ‘hug and shuffle’ can kill the party atmosphere for your guests. I recommend you dance for part of the song, and then use the rest as an opportunity to get friends and family involved.”
One of the best things a bride and groom can do is to leave the party while it’s still in full swing. ‘Always leave them wanting more’ is a good mantra here. Leave before the overhead lights come on and the atmosphere goes.
You’ll need to have someone in charge of paying the suppliers, and cash ready in an envelope is usually best. If you don’t delegate this job, the suppliers will find the most obvious person to ask for payment (and that’s usually the woman in the white dress!).
Finally be prepared for there to be some minor glitches on your big day – there will be a few hiccups however carefully you have made arrangements. You can’t guarantee sunshine and you can’t guarantee that your cute flowergirl won’t wake up covered in chickenpox on your big day.
Just keep things in perspective – you’re marrying the love of your life and you’re going to spend your future together – and that’s the most important thing. Good luck!
P.S. After the big day, don’t forget to send Wedding Ideas a few photos and we may ask to feature your wedding!