In any wedding, no matter how carefully and
meticulously planned, something big or small may still go wrong, turn out a
little differently or be totally unexpected. You can’t possibly plan for every contingency.
But you can follow these 10 tips to ensure the ceremony runs as smoothly and
calmly as possible.
1. Allow time for Wedding Prep
Create a Timeline with space for the
unforeseen built into it. Have the aesthetician come to you for hair, nails and
makeup. If that’s not possible, allow yourself lots of time to get from one
appointment to the other.Leave plenty
of time to dress and to get to the wedding venue at least half an hour before
the advertised starting time – the one you put on the invitations.
2. Choose your pre-ceremony photo shoot location wisely
If you are having a pre-ceremony photoshoot
somewhere other than at your home or wherever you are getting ready for the
ceremony, build in lots of time to get to the venue. Ideally, schedule your
photo shoots at wherever you are getting ready for the wedding and then also at
the venue. That way, at least you are on the premises!
3. Decide yes or no to guests snapping during the ceremony
Decide whether you’re OK with yourguests snapping away, texting and instagrammingduring the ceremony. If you’d rather they didn’t,
ask your officiant to spell that out
right at the beginning of the ceremony. That way you won’t be distracted or
annoyed by snappers and they won’t interfere with the professional photos being
taken by the professional photographers.
4. Happy Baby, Happy Bride
You want to carry your baby up the aisle in
your arms. But he’s demanding to be fed, having a meltdown or has just fallen
asleep. Just give her time to calm down or finish feeding or to gently wake up.
As long as you let your guests know what’s happening, they’ll smile and
5. Make a Plan B for the Ringbearer
If you choose to have a small child, say
under the age of six, as your ring bearer, have them carry the rings securely
tied to a pillow or in a box. Make sure the Best Man retrieves the rings once
the child has walked up the aisle, so the rings are available and ready for the
Exchange of Rings part of the ceremony. Better still, have the ringbearer carry
fake rings. Just make sure the Best Man has the real rings in his pocket!
6. Be flexible with whether children participate as
scheduled in the ceremony
Children are usually thrilled to be
participating in a wedding ceremony. On the actual day, be prepared that they
might be overcome by the excitement and get stagefright or have a meltdown. So
be understanding andflexible and don’t
force the issue. Remember, Happy Child means Happy Couple means Happy Guests.
7. Keep all the children happy
If you are expecting lots of guests with
very young children, hire a child minder or two for the ceremony and the
reception. Have the officiant announce that there is childcare available, and
also ask that guests comfort a crying child during the ceremony by taking it
out of the room or space so as not to distract from the ceremony.
8.Be doggone sure
you want that dog in the ceremony
Pets are notorious scene stealer. Do you
want to share the limelight? If you do, just make sure the dog has done its
business just before the ceremony, has a designated person to walk it up the
aisle and to take it aside once it has delivered the rings
9. Punctuality, yours, the guests, and everyone else
Traffic is often unpredictable, taxis are
late or don’t show up, the bus you hired to bring the guests from their hotel
to the venue inexplicably fails to materialise.
So find a balance between respecting the value of the time of those who are at
the venue on time, and giving those who are not on time, through circumstances
beyond their control, a chance to be at the ceremony.
10. Stick as closely as possible to the advertised start time
of the ceremony
Nobody expects wedding to start exactly at
the advertised time,. But if you start the ceremony more than, say, 20 minutes
late, you may incur additional charges for the extra time,throw off the tight schedule for cocktails,
post-ceremony photos, andthe reception.
Be sure to check with the officiant, the musicians, the photographers and the
venue as to what flexibility they have with delaying the ceremony. Agree in
advance on a cut-off point beyond which you will not wait for that last guest
Finally, remember there are some things you
can’t control. Know that by the end of the day, you will be married to the
person you love. All the stresses will be forgotten in that joy. And don’t
forget to breathe, and enjoy every moment of your special day.