By SAM JOHNSON OF CARMELA WEDDINGS
We get it. You’re on the countdown to your wedding day and you wake up in the middle of the night in a panic! It’s easy to think of all of the things that can go wrong on your wedding day but there are ways to avoid them, or at least to do everything you can possibly do to try to prevent them!
It’s all about being organised and putting the preparation work in beforehand. These are our top tips to avert disasters.
Stick to the norm or try it beforehand
If you have a routine that you always follow in your normal life, then don’t suddenly change it a couple of days before your wedding! This means you grooms – if you usually shave in the evening, then don’t change that to shaving in the morning and end up looking spotty and rashy on your big day! Brides – if you don’t usually wear lashings of fake tan, the day before your wedding is not the time to experiment. If you must get yourself a golden glow then get it done gradually starting months before the big day to test it out. The same with makeup – have a trial before the big day and if you’re investing in new products to do your own makeup, try these out weeks before too!
Cross the i’s and dot the t’s
Read every contract or agreement that you are given from beginning to end before you sign it – including the small print. The last thing you want is for your band to be shut down because they are exceeding local noise statutes, or realising that the bar closes at 10.30 pm. You’ll be amazed at how many couples fail to read their contacts properly or even don’t get one at all. If you don’t have one for any service you are paying for, insist on getting one! When it comes to suppliers, make sure you have not only signed a contract but paid a deposit as it is much harder for a supplier to let you down on the day once money has exchanged hands.
It’s ok to delegate
But….be realistic and rational. Yes, your best man is a lovely bloke and will be amazing at charming the aunties, but don’t rely on him to be 100% sober and on top of his game by the time you are sitting down to your wedding breakfast and his A4 list of jobs is only half done! Only give jobs to those who you can count on and if you’re unsure at all….pay a professional to do it whether that’s the acoustic music during your drinks reception or making the wedding cake.
This is a big one and if every couple had a really good timeline that had been given out to all suppliers, 99% of disasters would be sorted! Allow enough, or preferably too much time. For everything. The main culprit here is group photos. In the real world, you’ll do well to get 5 done in an hour, so don’t plan hundreds of carefully choreographed shots of different groups of relatives, friends, pets in a half-hour spot squeezed in during the drinks reception! The result will be cold food, an angry chef and listening to the band soundcheck during speeches. Work backwards from the end of the night to see when your ceremony needs to start. It’s no good starting at 4 pm if you have a lot of entertainment and a 4-course meal to fit in but equally, don’t start at 11 am with no entertainment before dinner unless you want some bored guests in your photos.
Of course, you need a clear plan for the day, but you need to be able to flex. If you have a gorgeous cheesecake, and the weather forecast is sweltering, don’t bring it out at 9.30 am. No one wants to see you attempting to cut a puddle! The same goes for rain – we know you wanted all of your group photos outside at 3 pm but adapt to the situation and let your expert suppliers guide you.
Get to know your suppliers. Talk with them as often as you can from day one of your planning, right up to the big day itself. You need to know that you can trust them and that what they say they will deliver, will be what they bring on the day. Don’t book someone you’ve had no recommendations of and then wait for them to turn up. Have a list of your suppliers one week before and call them all, speak to them personally rather than emailing and let them know the timeline.
Or even better than this – get an ‘On The Day Planner’ – if you can’t afford full wedding planning, opt for this at the very least. This is not the same as a venue coordinator, who won’t really worry about any of the details other than those connected with the venue itself. Hiring a planner means any issues that occur throughout the day will not be issues for you to resolve but for the planner to sort out, and you can carry on in a blissful state of ignorance! (And in most cases you won’t even know they have happened until they tell you the next day!)
The last word of advice
As wedding planners, we want you to remember one thing. What you think is a wedding day disaster really isn’t. I guarantee you that your guests won’t notice that the blush shade of your bouquet ribbon didn’t match the tables or that the cake wasn’t displayed in the exact area you wanted it or even that the canapés served weren’t the ones you had chosen. What they will definitely remember is a couple truly in love, having a brilliant day with all of their family and friends. That’s what makes a great wedding (not a moody Bride!). So relax, don’t sweat the small stuff and get that beauty sleep!