Your guest list is complete, invitations ordered, addressed, stamped and mailed. You’re now ready to plan practical steps in managing all those wonderful guess they’re about to attend your big day and making sure that they have the time of their lives at your wedding. Below are a few tips we have seen incorporated into real weddings that help to make the day flow flawlessly:
Be Conscience of The Time
It’s a great idea to have the groom and groomsmen at the church ready to greet guess about a half-hour before the ceremony starts. Many family members and older guess appreciate being at the ceremony site well in advance. Having a friendly face there will help to put them at ease and starts the ceremony time off in a warm and welcoming manner.
One of the biggest surprises I find for brides on the wedding day is guess arrival to the ceremony. You may have written 1 o’clock on the on the invitation but the reality is your ceremony will likely start around 1:10 or 1:15. The “delay” isn’t usually because the bride is late but because many guest will likely arrive right at 1pm and still be trying to jockey for a parking space and ceremony seat. It is very normal for guests (typically those who are in their mid-30s or younger) to arrive just on time (or 5 min late). Knowing this can help you and mentally and preparing your nerves and your timeline ahead of time.
Be Sure to Schedule Hugs and Kisses
Even though most ceremonies only take 30 to 45 minutes we always advise couples to plan a full hour for the ceremony. This allows for that 10 minute delay that will likely happen at the beginning but also gives extra time at the end for hugs and kisses. All of your guests are so excited for you and can’t help hugging kissing on you once the ceremony is over. Building that “xoxoxo” time into your wedding day schedule will allow you to stop and enjoy every moment of it.
Give great directions
Beyond making sure that the address for the ceremony and the reception are included in the invitation (as well including maps if you are getting married in a rural location) it’s a great idea to give your guest step-by-step instructions throughout the day. People appreciate the information and want to do their best to make your day perfect.
Nothing kills a party mood more than confusion. Make sure your officiant knows how to direct the guests at the end of the ceremony. A simple announcement giving clear instructions about cocktail hour, reception time and where they are to go next can help your day flow beautifully along.
If there’s a large gap between the ceremony and the reception time it’s a great idea to include “things to do” in the area for out-of-town guests who are unfamiliar with that location. Including a list of coffee shops, tourist attractions and other fun spots in the area is a warm and friendly gesture towards your guess when they receive their invitation to your wedding day.
More than anything, your guests are looking to love on you at your wedding day. Regardless if you have a formal receiving line or not they want to spend time with you. Make sure that you schedule a time to greet each guest and receive their well wishes. Walking together around each table at the reception is a beautiful way to allow for this to happen.
You worked hard on your wedding day to make it beautiful having guest experience it in a magical way is key for lasting great memories.