Organising your wedding day is one of the biggest jobs of your life as a couple. Even if you’ve got lots of help and support and the services of a wedding planner, all the big decisions come down to you. Here are some of the pitfalls to avoid - the mistakes it’s important not to make so that your guests, and more importantly, you, have a good time.
Having Enough Time
One of the most important resources on your wedding day is time, and you’ll never have quite enough of it. Failing to allow enough time for essential preparations or just giving yourselves breathing space during the day can make for a stressful wedding experience.
Look at the different sections of the day - the ceremony, the reception and the evening party, for example - and consider how much time you’ll realistically need before and during each one. If you’ve got people helping you dress or doing your hair and makeup, reach out and ask how long you’ll need to get ready. Rushing to the church or wedding venue feeling underprepared is a terrible way to start a truly important day. You deserve a wedding day feeling relaxed, prepared and confident.
One of the best things about your wedding day is getting all your friends and family in the same room to celebrate together. But one of the most awkward things about your wedding day is getting all your friends and family in the same room together! Different groups of friends from different times in your life may not know each other well and initially have little in common.
This can lead to awkwardness, and people who feel awkward and uncomfortable have less fun, which could put a crimp in your post-reception partying.
One way to help people gel is to focus on your seating plan. This is your chance to help your guests mingle and stop your wedding party from turning into insular groups that don’t bond. Break up big groups into two or three-person units, and pair them with other units from other groups of friends or family. If possible, try to put together people with a mutual interest to help the conversation flow - you could even personalise table settings with ice breakers, suggesting the guest turn to their left and ask about dinosaurs, gardening or Renaissance art!
This is where CherryTop wedding favours can help! If your guests find one of our booklets at their table setting, they’ll discover it’s a perfect icebreaker, with questions and puzzles to work on together, reminding them of the key thing they’ve got in common: the married couple!
This is an issue that can affect you and your guests together. There’s usually a loose and less defined time between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. Guests often relax with drinks while you focus on photographs, whether together, apart or with various family groups. This all takes time, and it’s time before you eat.
To save stress and keep your guests happy, plan for this interim period and make sure snacks are available. Whether you have waiters circulating with well-stocked trays or a side table buffet for people to help themselves, an opportunity to refuel will keep your guests buoyant and prevent spirits from flagging while you move onto the next phase of the day.
Don’t neglect yourself in these plans. You’re not likely to be spending much time with the rest of the guests at this stage in the day, so you’re not going to be where the food is! Whether it’s your wedding planner, a member of the venue staff or a trusted friend, recruit someone to make sure you have a plate of food put to one side and saved for you. If you have five minutes in a quiet room to enjoy a drink and a snack with your partner away from the hustle and bustle, this can boost your mood and ensure you have some peaceful, personal memories of the day together.
It’s nothing but an unfortunate mistake, but something that can have lasting effects is forgetting to thank someone who’s helped you make it all possible. There are so many speeches to make and so many people to thank; it’s pretty easy to leave someone out accidentally. Nine times out of ten, they’ll understand how grateful you are and how difficult a wedding is, but to avoid either you or them feeling disheartened, keep a master list of everyone who’s helped with your wedding from the first stages of planning, and work with it when you’re constructing speeches to make sure no one is left out.
Some contributions might be a lower priority and must make way for others. Still, it’s important to make conscious choices about who you’re thanking and why, and especially important to make sure those vital contributions are acknowledged. Thanking close family, especially where they may have contributed to the cost of the day, and friends who’ve been vital to the day itself are where to start. Also, if anyone’s donated what would be professional skills - a friend with a small business who’s helped you with printing invitations or catering, for example, the least you can do is acknowledge them publicly!
CherryTop Weddings could have a part to play here too. You could give these people a special mention in your farewell message in your booklets, or even create one of the puzzles, such as the "Picture This" drawing challenge, around all of those who have helped you!
Not Having Fun
The worst thing that can happen on a wedding day is that you lose track of what it’s all about - you! Everyone is here to celebrate you as a couple, as friends they love and as part of a new, extended family. If you’re so worried about the details, about people getting on, about the speeches and food that you can’t enjoy yourself, you’ll miss out on one of the best, most joyful days of your life. So, prepare well, make plans, but on the day itself, trust your friends and relax. Enjoy every moment.