So the wedding planning train is still chugging along and slowly gaining momentum. There have been many stops this month, but now it’s full steam ahead, to destination: married. Here’s May’s update from Sharmain and Jeremy and their journey from Engaged to Married.
All you need is love and … a wedding rehearsal.
Fridays in wedding season are rehearsal days for our house hold. Why? … because I believe a rehearsal is an essential part of the wedding planning process.
I have a checklist that I use for every wedding rehearsal to ensure that I cover all the essentials before the big day.
Here’s whats on my checklist:
Logistics – where is everyone going to stand, the guys – hands in front vs behind, suits open vs closed, how far apart will they stand?
Rings – Who will have them, are they carried by the ringbearer, or just held by the best man? If carried by the ringbearer when will he give them to the best man at the beginning or will he be responsible enough to hold onto them throughout the ceremony and then give them to me for the ring exchange?
Signing of the marriage licence – who are the witnesses, do they know they are signing, where are we going to do the signing?
Procession (walking in) – the order of the processional, how the bridesmaids should walk, where to, where they should stand. Where should the flower girl/ring bearer walk to and stand during the ceremony.
Double check of all pronounication of names – do I have the pronounication correct?
Recessional (walking out) – where to walk to, who’s walking with who (sometimes its the first time bridesmaids/groomsman meet each other)
Touch base with the MC – who are they, what time will they be there on the day, let them know I will be giving the couples copy of the marriage licence to them on the day, and remind them not to leave it on the back seat of the taxi (haha)
Music – who will be controlling the music? If we are using my PA then teach who ever is going to be in charge of the music how to control the volume etc. Also use the rehearsal to time the music to make sure the bridesmaid and bride know when to start walking etc.
Any special elements – if there are any special elements to the wedding – ring warming/unity ceremony etc, its a good chance to make sure everyone knows where that’s going to be done, and how.
Microphone – test the volume for the event.
Pick up the licence – take the licence from the couple, so I have it for the wedding day, and there’s no chance of it being forgotten.
Vows/Readings – show the bride and groom how the vows are written out for them and that I will have them on the day for them, and show whoever is doing a reading how that is written and where they will stand while they are doing the reading.
Wedding rehearsals can be done anytime during the week leading up to the wedding, if you have little people in your bridal party I think it’s best to do it the day before, because they have such small attention spans/memories, they need to know what they are going to do tomorrow, not in 3 days time, they won’t remember that far away.
A rehearsal settles everyone’s nerves, a wedding day can be stressful enough, so my aim to to make sure everyone feels happy about where/what/how they are going to do on the day.
All you need is love and … a good wedding day time line.
Many a bride has been stressed out trying to figure out how to fit everything into the wedding day morning, and many a bride has been a tad later than she may have wanted to be to the ceremony because of unexpected things cropping up, and everything taking longer than you expected.
Here’s a rough guideline for a bride and her girls to follow on D Day. It may look extreme in terms of how much time has been allocated and the time things need to kick off, but it gives you some down time. And in my personal opinion isn’t it better to have time to sit around and hang with the girls than be rushing and stressing and getting flustered. This time line is based on a 3pm kick off.
9.00am – Sleep in, enjoy the time in bed, relaxing before the chaos of the day. Have breakfast, remember you’re going to need fuel to get through the day. Make sure you keep your fluids up too (and I don’t mean champers!) it’s going to be a long day.
9.30am – Shower and wash your hair (although you may want to check with your hairdresser first, sometimes slightly unclean hair is better for up do’s than clean hair). Put on a button down shirt, or a dressing gown, something you’re not going to have to lift over your head later when you get dressed.
10.30am – Hairdresser arrives. You may want to start by getting your hair down first, that way if it takes longer than expected, the hairdresser won’t be rushing with your hair at the last moment.
11.30am – Make up starts. You may want to decide whether you want yours done first or last (to make it last longer). My opinion is to get the bride’s done first, that way you know you and/or your make up artist isn’t rushing.
12.30pm -Photographer arrives at the grooms to take photo’s of the groom and the boys getting ready.
1pm – Photographer arrives for shots of bride and her girls getting ready. They will want to take shots of the bride by herself, but also shots of the dress, shoes etc.
2pm – Mother of the bride leaves for the venue. Groom and the boys leave for the venue.
2.30pm – Bride leaves with her girls and her dad. This leaves time for photo’s of the bride arriving at the venue.
3pm – It’s wedding time.
This is a brief run down, you may want to ask your hairdresser/make-up artist and photographer what they think about the timing. You want to make sure you have more time than you think you’re going to need, in my experience everything will take longer than you think it will. Nothing is going to ruin your day more than being stressed out about running out of time, and keeping people waiting.
All you need is love and … a Plan B.
This post is bought to you by the letter B, as in Plan B!
Sometimes as much as you plan your little heart out, the weather gods don’t understand and don’t play ball. You can cross your fingers and toes and anything else you can cross, but sometimes it just doesn’t work in your favour.
It’s really important when you’re planning your wedding to have a ‘Plan B’, you may not want to think about it, or talk about it, or imagine it or dream about it, but it’s a necessary evil. Your guests will thank you for it, in the long run.
When you are visiting potential venues, you may like to ask about what the Plan B option is. Do they have somewhere where you can hold the ceremony if (god forbid) it’s not ideal weather? Do they have somewhere onsite or will you need to have another location as backup? As much as your heart may be set on an outdoor location in the sunshine (and as Kiwi’s we love a good outdoor wedding), you need to consider, if it’s threatening to rain on your day, do you want to be stressing about whether that downpour will will show its face just at wedding 0’clock, also think about your guests having to traipse around on sodden grass in high heels, do you want your and your bridesmaid’s dresses dragging through mud on the way to the ceremony? Do you think gumboots are appropriate footwear for a wedding?
Other things to consider: when are you going to make the call about the change of venue? Who’s going to make the call? How are you going to contact your guests, vendors, celebrant if you do need to change location? Do you need to decorate the back up location in a different way than your original location, what may work in one spot may not work in your alternative.
If you are having an outdoor wedding, you will need to nominate alternative location on your marriage licence, just incase.
It may be slightly devastating to not have your wedding in the location of your dreams on a warm sunny afternoon, especially if you have been planning it for a loooong time. But what I say to all my brides is ‘remember what the day is about, it’s about marrying the love of your life, and at the end of the day that’s all thats important’
All you need is love and … the best wedding planning advice ever!
This wedding planning business can make even the most sane person a little (or lot) crazy. Where do you think the term Bridezilla came from? It’s so easy to get caught up in the hype, but here’s a list of a few key points to keep in the back of your mind, as you navigate your way to planning your big day.
- Don’t get caught up in ‘perfection’ – don’t get so obsessed with getting everything perfect, in fact some of the best moments of the day can be when things don’t go according to plan, the flower girl who lifts her skirt up to show everyone her knickers.
- Savor every moment, it will fly by quickly – take some time during the day to just breathe and take everything in. Make sure you have a little time at some part of the day to have a moment with your new husband/wife to just revel in the joy of the day.
- Prioritize – pick what are the most important elements of your wedding to you as a couple, and spend the most of your budget on those. Is it the photos, is it good music?
- You can’t/won’t please everyone – the best/worst thing about wedding planning is that everyone has an opinion. You are not going to make everyone happy, and you will do yourselves a disservice if you try to. Remember it’s your wedding day so make yourselves happy.
- Remembering whats truly important – it’s easy to get caught up in choc cake vs carrot cake, and completely forget that the weddings about you getting married to the love of your life.
- Eat and Drink – Your wedding day will absolutely fly by and it’s important to eat when you can and keep up the fluids (not just the bubbles) if you want to be able to party into the night.
- Only do things you can afford – don’t put too much pressure on yourselves financially doing things that you think you need to do just to impress your guests.
- Start early/finish early – Start the planning process as early as you can, to give yourself time to get everything done and to minimise the stress, and finish as early as you can to give yourself time to relax and enjoy this time.
- Delegate – Ask for help when you need it. Communicate clearly as a couple what your expectations/jobs are for the wedding planning process.
- Stand your ground- Don’t be pushed into something you don’t want just to keep Great Aunty Fanny happy.
- Treat your bridesmaids as you would like to be treated – Make sure you communicate your expectations to each of your bridal party, to give them a chance to decide if they’re up to the job.
- Invitations need more time than you think – Send out your invitations earlier than you think, and set your RSVP date earlier than you need to, and you’ll still need to chase some of your guests. Make it as easy as you can to RSVP for your guests.
- Have Fun – remember it’s your wedding day, enjoy it.
All you need is love and … to keep calm on your wedding day.
We all know weddings are stressful, especially if you’re a bit of a control freak, like me. You have that overwhelming feeling that no one is going to be able to do it properly except you.
Here’s some tips to keep the stress levels down and let you actually enjoy your wedding day.
- You don’t have to please everyone – your day is about you and your groom, not your mother in law, not Great Aunty Fanny, but the two of you. Make sure your wedding day reflects who you two are.
- Keep communication lines open – if you’re nervous, let someone know, if your feeling overwhelmed, let someone know. You will be surrounded by loved ones on your wedding day, tell someone how you’re feeling so you can get help if you need to.
- Delegate – you picked your maid of honour, or bridesmaids because you trusted them right? So now is when you call on them to help you out. Make sure they are aware of your expectations on the day.
- Look after yourself – make sure you eat the morning of your wedding, breakfast and lunch. Make sure you stay hydrated. Get some exercise in the morning if you know that will make you feel better. Take some time to yourself among all the chaos, to just breathe and reflect.
- Have an emergency kit organised – make sure your bridesmaids know where it is and who’s responsibility it is to take it with you. See previous post https://angelaport.com/2015/10/03/all-you-need-is-a-wedding-day-emergency-kit/ for what should be in your emergency kit.
- Remain focused on what’s important – it’s not just an expensive party, you’re getting married !!!
- Pace yourself – it’s going to be a emotional, long day, filled with friends and family. Don’t drink too much before you even get to the wedding ceremony. Remember it’s ok to take some time for yourself or for the two of you to sneak away for a quiet moment together.
- Have an itinerary/timeline of the day – make a detailed timeline of the day, who’s going to do what, when etc, and make sure everyone has a copy of it, especially the groom. It will make everyone feel a lot more relaxed on the day.
- Make some “Call anyone except the bride” cards – these cards list contact details of everyone who has responsibility on the day. It means you won’t be contacted if the flowers don’t get delivered, or great Aunty Fanny gets lost, let someone else handle that.
- Plan B – at the rehearsal, decide who will make the call if Plan B needs to be executed, due to weather etc, then that person needs to contact anyone who needs to know about the change in plans. Decide at what time the decision will be made, so everyone’s on the same page.
Remember everyone you have invited to the wedding loves and cares about you, so only want the best for you. They won’t mind if things don’t go according to plan, or you cry during the ceremony. Just relax and remember it’s not just a wedding it’s a marriage you’re creating.