Wedding Tips

If you’re not sure of the best format & schedule for your reception these suggestions may come in handy.

It is YOUR wedding & it should be done exactly the way you want. The following suggestions may come in handy to ensure your special night goes off without a hitch.

Provide your coordinator with a mobile phone number to contact you or a member of your bridal party during your photo session (even the photographer’s number is okay). It is also recommended that you have the contact details of a person arriving at the venue prior to the function so that if for any reason you may arrive earlier than expected or later than expected your contact person (e.g. your MC or a close relative is usually the best person) will be able to liaise with your coordinator to manage your arrival in turn with managing your guests needs.
Your MC announces the bridal party’s entry. Bridesmaids stand on the right of the groomsmen and entry order is the bridesmaids and groomsmen first with the bride and groom coming in last. Parents, relatives or siblings can also be added prior to the bridal party entry.  Music for this can be either soft and mellow or something a little bit up-tempo depending on the bridal party’s personality. Ask the MC to get all guests with cameras in one spot – this will allow your official photographer to find a location where his/her shots won’t be jeopardized by an enthusiastic guest. About a 20 second gap between couples should allow to cameras flash to recharge. If your guests all stand up when you enter probably the only people that will see anything will be the people in the front row. Nowadays no one is upset or offended if they remain seated. This almost becomes mandatory if you have a professional video. They can’t get good shots if everyone stands up in front of them.
These can make or break your night; a good way is to do group photos as part of your staircase photos on your arrival or table shots between each meal course. Your meal will be served first so you should be finished first, grab your photographers & have photos taken with your guests at their table then move onto the next table and so on. This can be done at a relaxed pace but your coordinator does need to allow time in the agenda so do discuss this as part of your needs for the night. The goal is to get as many as possible finished after the entrée whilst tables and guests still look fresh and presentable! Try to avoid photos after the bridal waltz! This is your relaxation time.
These are best done after your main & prior to dessert. A tip especially for the bride is to get the MC to let the bride powder her nose before giving the guests 5 minutes notice before speeches. Imagine the bride and 5 or 6 other ladies in the restroom together. This can lose a lot of time. Earlier we mentioned about remaining seated during the entry, well during the speeches it’s a lot more comfortable for everyone to remain seated during toasts and the people being toasted stand up. Even people seated at the back of the room will be able to see. The speeches can be done in any order. Try to get all speakers to use the microphone at a pre-determined location. Try to avoid the MC asking if anyone would like to say a few words, you will never know who could come forward.
 These are great to liven up even the dullest of speeches, but they can be dangerous. Sometimes groomsmen can’t be trusted to censor them enough as not to offend anyone. If you would like to receive messages from guests in attendance arrange forms for guests to complete as part of what your co-ordinator is to place out onto guest tables (these can make great keepsakes!). Once collected they can be given to someone you trust to screen them making sure that nothing offensive is read out. Then the groomsmen read them. The more modern version of this is to arrange for a guest book, photo or picture for guests to sign as part of your keepsakes from the day rather than messages being read out.
At the conclusion of the speeches guests will quickly move in different directions. Cutting the cake only takes about 2 minutes so before they have a chance to depart, get your MC to invite the bride and groom to cut the cake, Music while cutting the cake is not as important as you may think. You look into each other’s eyes and you will be on another planet. Keep your favourite songs for the bridal waltz.
 This should be highlight of your night. A good way to start your bridal waltz is by assembling all the bridal party as well as the parents at the edge of the dance floor and then the MC announces that this is your first dance together as husband and wife and is for the bridal party and parents. Bride and groom then proceed onto dance floor, after a set time the bridal party and parent follow at about 15 second intervals. At the beginning of the second song quests are invited to join in. This will ensure no-one taps the groom on the shoulder wanting to cut in during the first song and also means the bride’s father can have the opportunity to dance the second song. Usually 4 songs make up the bridal waltz before livening things up.
MC announces all single ladies onto the dance floor. Remember if a lady hasn't got a husband regardless of her age she should be on the floor. Older ladies will get a thrill to be invited to participate. Garter next, get all the guys to participate as well. If the bride stands with her leg up on a chair someone may get a camera in a position that could lead to a tacky photo. Sitting with the groom on his knees in front of her will ensure the bride’s modesty and dignity is kept intact. When the garter is removed ensure the groom does not make any gestures like a dummy throw to the single guys, they are very unpredictable and may charge forward to retrieve the garter. Wait till the bride is clear of the floor before throwing. 
Traditionally, after garter and bouquet, guests to form a large circle ensuring parents are standing side by side. Bride and groom start with in-laws and go opposite directions thus ensuring they finish with their own parents. Keep an eye on each other so as to finish at the same time. Try to have parents standing near exit door so they can follow you out. Other options for rounding out your reception can be a farewell arch (allows for a quick departure!) or a last dance.