Your wedding is a beautiful and exciting celebration of the love between you and another person. It is also an event, and events require careful planning in order to run smoothly. Sometimes when we are planning our wedding we get so caught up in the excitement of how it will look, that we forget to think about how the day will feel. The secret to a stress-free event is to plan as much as you can from the perspective of your guests. Keep reading to find out how to make sure your wedding runs smoothly (and that you actually enjoy the day).
Designate a day-of coordinator
On the day of your wedding someone needs to be in charge, and it really shouldn’t be you. Either hire someone or appoint your most organised friend. You want someone who has initiative, that you trust, is good in a tight situation, and who understands your vision for the day. The idea is to have someone else be the first point of contact for all the suppliers and key people, so that you can simply relax and enjoy the day you spent months planning. If there are questions about the catering, access, timelines etc., these should all be directed to your day of coordinator rather than you or your partner.
Plan things from your guests point of view
We know it’s your day, but it’s your day that you’re sharing with 100 of your closest friends and family. A big part of pulling off a successful event is having happy guests, and guests only need a couple of basic things to be happy. They need to know what is going on at all times, and they need to be fed. That’s pretty much it. Do as much as you can to keep your guests feeling informed and prepared as the day progresses. No one likes feeling lost, confused or awkward at a wedding. There’s nothing worse than not knowing what to do while the couple gets photos, where to put your card, where to sit, when to dance. These are small details, but the more of these you can work out ahead of time and find a way to communicate with your guests, the more smoothly your wedding day will run, the happier your guests will be and the less questions you will be answering all day.
Prepare as much as you can in the days (and months) prior to the event.
Don’t leave anything until the last minute if you can help it. This one is pretty self explanatory, but there are many ways that you can prepare in advance for your wedding day, even if you can’t actually set up and decorate at your venue until the day of, such as:
- Hair and makeup trials.
- Full outfit trials, including jewellery, shoes and accessories.
- Ceremony rehearsal, to make sure that everyone knows what they should be doing and when.
- Speech practice. Particularly important if you are nervous about giving a speech, practicing and being prepared can help you feel much calmer on the day.
- Practice walking in your shoes, and down the aisle.
- Make a shot list for your photographer. Make sure to give discuss and give this to your photographer at least a couple of weeks prior to your wedding so that they can plan equipment and lighting.
- Plan your food and snacks for the day – what will you eat for breakfast and lunch? Will you need snacks in between the ceremony and reception? Would you like a drink before or after the ceremony?
- How will everything be getting to the ceremony and reception location(s)? What day and time will be arriving, who is responsible for each item, and how will they be removed from the location after the wedding?
Nail your day-of organisation ahead of time.
Create a day-of document and make sure that all key parties have it prior to the day. This will help make sure that everything happens when it should and that the whole day runs smoothly. Include a run sheet showing what time things will be happening throughout the day, all relevant contact details (day-of coordinator, suppliers etc.), and an ‘items list’ – a detailed list of what is supposed to be moved when and who is responsible for each item e.g. “Bouquets – delivered to the ceremony venue at 11:00am by the florist”.
Have an organisation system that works for you and start using it early on.
The most successful events usually involve the most planning (boring but true). The little details are the things that make everyone feel welcomed, at ease, and ready to able a great time. Keep on top of all of your wedding organisation with a planning system. Having a dedicated space for all of your wedding planning documents, contacts, notes and inspiration will help you stay on track, avoid forgetting things and feel relaxed throughout the process.