Top Tips for Weddings – In no Particular Order

Overarching Tip: Be aware that in order to enjoy the day a Bride must leave her OCD tendencies and her mental lists at home

1. While it is important to be relaxed on the day, a bride should not be too casual – instead she must be bridal. She should reflect the gorgeous gown that she is wearing which in itself should encourage her to be demure, refined and sophisticated. No loud- hailing, no raucous laughing, no drinking out of bottles (definitely no pints), no phones and the dress, which is trailing, must be gathered elegantly as she moves. She should never ever even get tipsy. If she is a mother as many are, she should not cut up her child’s meat while in her wedding attire – this is a day to delegate!

2. The same applies to the groom. He likely need not worry about a trailing dress but his tie/neckpiece should remain in situ.

3. Couples should know that crowds are not controllable – in fact they are the opposite – and therefore they should not try to control them as this is stress inducing. They have invited this group to be together and after that they have to be prepared to let them individually do their own thing. If the crowd does not move in synchronised formations at your bidding – do not be surprised or disappointed. Just realise that they are most likely enjoying themselves and appreciating your hospitality which was your aim in the first place

4. At the Civil Ceremony have live music instead of electronic music – it adds gravitas and formality that mirrors the important step that you are taking. Guests appreciate the ceremony – it is an important part of the day for them too – so make it worthwhile.

5. It is my experience that the vast majority of people do not enjoy very loud music yet it seems that we are all forced to tolerate it at every wedding we attend – indeed weddings and too-loud-music seem synonymous. Advice: have a very serious discussion with your band about this in advance.

6. Provide some kind of food for guests for when they arrive and during the pre-reception drinks. Often they have skipped lunch; even breakfast can be sacrificed to the demands of the beauty parlour – they are often really starving.

7. Bear the above in mind if you are planning to have speeches before the meal. Couples often opt to do this in order to relieve the bridal party of the terror, which enables them to, at least, enjoy the meal. However, long speeches before a starving and comparatively sober audience can be disastrous. Advice: split the speeches; allow the fathers off the hook – they are likely to suffer the most stress while waiting. But it is nice to have something after the meal, which can otherwise be anti-climactical – what will happen to all of those bets garnered as guests get to know each other? Wine enhances the merriment, jokes will be more readily laughed at. Anyway, what else is a Best Man for?

8. Leave the wine bottles on the table. Sometimes couples want them stored elsewhere and want the waiting staff to top up the glasses. Guests often get stressed as they see the wine disappear and know then that they are at the mercy of a waiter anticipating their needs. Far better to be able to reach out and pour it yourself as it is quite possible that the busy waiter may be remiss in this duty.

9. If you are going to have the big day out then err on the side of plenty – the cost of the heavier hand is miniscule in the greater scheme of things. The last thing that you want is to seem mean. That is exactly the opposite to the impression that you have set out to give.

10. Do what the wedding coordinator advises during the planning stages: s/he has done this before; they are not there to extort monies from you. It is essential for them that your day runs smoothly and that you are happy with your experience; besides that goodwill they are also concerned with the venue’s reputation. If they ask for a decision or a piece of information by a certain date – accept that this is for good reason and obey!