Your big wedding day is getting close and you’ll want to make sure that everything is on time and going to plan. If you are using a wedding planner then this is something that they will normally put together for you. All weddings days are different and involve many different aspects but we have put together a step by step guide that we think may help to keep you on track.
8.00 – 9.00 am
Get up and have breakfast. You may be thinking the last thing you want to do is eat, but its important, even if its just a banana or some cereal. Have a glass of bucks fizz to calm your nerves but don’t over do it too early.
9.00 – 10.00 am
If your bridesmaids didn’t stay overnight with you then you want to make sure they are with you by now. They should be dressed in something light and easy to get on and off without ruining any hair or makeup. Your photographer should also be with you so they can capture some shots of you getting ready. As the bride, you should have hair and makeup done first so you have more time to perfect things. Ensure everyone around you is calm and relaxed and the chief bridesmaid is on hand should you need anything.
10.00 -11.00 am
Now is the time for the bridesmaids to have their hair and makeup done. You should still be relaxed, if you feel a little peckish definitely eat something. You still have a fair few hours until you will be eating a proper meal.
11.00 – 1.00 pm
Next, everybody should be getting into their dresses. Bridesmaids first so they can be ready to help you into yours. If you have a big dress, make sure you step into it rather than trying to pull it over your head. If you have bought jewellery for your bridesmaids to wear, now would be a nice time to give it to them. Once everyone is dressed the photographer can take some personal photos of you with your bridesmaids and close family. If you have organised cars to take you to your ceremony then you should now be thinking about your bridesmaids heading off before yourself. This gives you an opportunity to have a few minutes alone with your Dad before you also make your way to the ceremony.
1.00 – 1.30 pm
The Groom, Best Man and Ushers should now of arrived at the ceremony to welcome your guests. Traditionally the Brides family will sit on the left-hand side of the aisle and the Grooms on the right. Today many brides and grooms choose to mix everyone up to create a more relaxed feel.
2.00 – 3.00 pm
Your bridesmaids will arrive first followed by you and your Dad. Its time to get married. If you have any flower girls or Paige boys then its sometimes a good idea for them to go in first. This can be a cue to start the music and they can then sit with their parents. Its up to you whether your bridesmaids go first or whether they follow you in, if your dress has a particularly long train then it is sometimes good to have your maid of honour hold it off the floor for you while you walk. Most ceremonies last between 20 and 40 minutes before people make their way outside. This is when confetti is thrown and your photographer can get some action shots of you with your new husband.
3.00 – 3.30 pm
This is when your guests will make their way to the reception location. You may choose to go straight there or go elsewhere for some more family photos.
3.30 – 5.00 pm
Now is the time for a drinks reception and canapes, your guests can mingle and enjoy a couple of drinks while you take the opportunity to have some formal and group photos with friends and family.
5.00 – 6.30 pm
If you are having a formal 3-course meal then you should really allow around an hour and a half especially if each table is being served individually. A buffet or afternoon tea may take less time depending on how many guests you have.
6.30 – 7.00 pm
Speeches, now it is time for a couple of people to read their speeches. Traditionally the bride’s father would go first followed by the best man. If you wanted to make a small speech then a good time would be after the best man. Prepare for a couple of tears and a lot of laughter, your photographer should also still be snapping away to capture the moments.
7.00 – 7.30 pm
This is a good time to cut your cake, you can then make sure there is a piece for all of your guests including any extras for the evening. This is something your caterer can take over from you after you have made the first initial cut and of course been photographed. Now is also a good time to pop to the loo and have a quick refresh of your hair and make up ready for the evening.
7.30 – 8.00 pm
If you have invited any evening guests then this is the time they should start to be arriving. Remember, they have come to see you so it would be nice if you and your husband were there to greet them.
If not all then most of your evening guests would of arrived by now so this is a good opportunity to have your first dance. Arrange for your chief bridesmaid to get the band or DJ to announce this for you so everyone can be present. Your photographer should also still be with you to capture this moment.
8.00 – 10.00 pm
If you have organised a band then this is when they would start playing for you and your guests to have a good dance to. During this time your evening food can also be served. Remember your day guests will still be pretty full so there’s no need to go over the top. Depending on how long you have requested, your photographer may choose to head on, it is now up to your guests to snap away on their own phones and cameras.
10.00 – 12.00 pm
Your DJ may now take over from your band and its time to let down your hair and have a good party with your husband and bridesmaids. Take everything in and soak up the atmosphere before departing before your guests to your honeymoon suite for the night.
This is just a guideline to help you plan your day. There are many websites and apps that can help you out with a schedule including timetables and planners.
The Abbas Team