* Allow time in the schedule for things to not go to schedule! If you want time after the ceremony to chat to guests before the official photos make sure you put that into your timeline.
* Keep travel to a minimum so precious time is not spent travelling.
* Be aware it generally takes at least 10 minutes, from when the bride arrives at the ceremony to when she walks down the aisle. Often the same with the reception. Allow this extra time in your schedule.
* All try and get plenty of sleep the night before, so the day isn't just one big blur and you can't wait till it's over!! - yes, it's happened!
Ladies - Bridal gowns, hair and makeup
* Make sure you try on your dresses at least one week before the wedding, after the dresses have hung and all the adjustments have been made. Sometimes the brides dress is too tight. If this is the case, you have time to make adjustments. Double check the length to confirm the gown hasn't dropped and there will be no bride tripping up walking down the aisle!
* Comfortable shoes make a more comfortable day! - if you want to wear heels, you may like to bring flats to walk around after the ceremony etc.
* Ensure the hairdresser is very clear about the time schedule and allow extra time for them to finish late.
* If you are the bride and you have a fringe and really want it straight and without a gap, make sure its pinned and hair-sprayed so you don't have to keep worrying about it during the wedding day!
*give the make-up artist photos of what you like and what you DON'T like (maybe an example would be dark eyeliner) so they know their boundaries
* Have some of the beautiful details in your hair at the front if possible - we see and photograph the front a lot more than the back!
Gentleman - boutonnieres, rings
* Grooms boutonnieres (lapel flowers) often get squashed and look less than ok halfway through the day. Think about having something that doesn't matter if it is squashed a tad! As an alternative you could get two boutonnieres made so you can put one that is squashed on for the official photo time. At a minimum choose a colour that doesn't show up the brown on the edges!
* Have a list of all the things that need to go with you to the ceremony. It may include the rings, your speeches and your sunglasses.
Getting Out the Door!
* Have a list of things that have to be taken from the house/hotel to the service and check it off just as you are going out the door. Include ALL the bouquets (flowergirls too) and the hats/headpieces of all the bridesmaids. Include the rings, speeches and vows if applicable. Allow 10 minutes to get out the door. Better to drive around the block a few times than run the day late.
* You could have a snap lock bag of things for emergencies - cotton and thread, bandaids, safety pins, lip gloss, eyelash adhesive etc!
* Do you need umbrella's? - make sure they are in the car before you leave.
During the Ceremony
* Look at the marriage celebrant during the service, rather than the audience. You may need to work out how you are going to do it so you don't feel awkward!
* It's normally nice to be able to hold hands during the ceremony. Make sure the microphone isn't preventing this!!
* Make sure the marriage celebrant has a copy of both your vows before the ceremony!
* Families love that congratulations hug/handshake, when you are coming back down the aisle so take your time and include as many people as you can - this saves anyone being offended!
* Check ALL the drivers of cars have printed directions for where they are going or at least a link on their phones.
* Encourage those doing speeches to keep them positive - brides especially don't want to be run down on their special day! If you suggested 5-10 minute speeches, then most guests will love that and the speeches are often enjoyable that way!
Rainy Wedding Day?
* have a fabulous 'if it rains' option so you don't feel so disappointed if it does decide to pour and don't panic about the rain - you can have fun and get great photos in the rain! See here for more tips on rainy day weddings!
Hot Wedding Day?
* if it's going to be a really hot day, try and encourage all your bridal party to drink lots of water the day before so they are well hydrated on the day. Keep the bouquets in water on the way to the ceremony if there is travel time and have a towel to pat dry when you get there. Have water at the signing of the registry table and stand in shade as much as you are able. Have ALL the bridal party wear sunscreen and have it handy for guests if an outdoor wedding.
Finger Food Meals
* For finger food meals - make sure the caterers know the time schedule and serve food at a reasonable hour rather than serving hot food late into the night when some guests need to leave.
* Make sure your caterers have a plan to distribute the food around to all the guests - some shy guests can go hungry if caterers don't have a strategic plan and make sure everyone is well-fed.
* It's great if water is easily available at all times during the reception.
* Don't forget a knife if you have a cake to cut and your wedding venue doesn't supply this.
* If you are have a sparkler exit - make sure the person organising knows how long they burn for and time it so that they haven't burnt out by the time you are walking through them - could get the long sparklers rather than the short ones - they burn for a lot longer, though they can give out a lot of smoke so you just have to watch that!
Enjoy the Day!
* Relax, it usually doesn't really matter if things don't go as planned - it normally adds to the happy story of the day! Here's some more tips on how to have a RELAXED wedding day!
Tips by Verity Edgecombe Photography