Image by Rockrose Photography.
At Huntsham Court in Devon, they are lucky enough to have a fantastic group of knowledgeable, resourceful, and experienced wedding event planners. The team have come together to pass on their tips and ideas to help with the smooth running of your wedding day.
The first feature in this mini-series covers my favourite part of the day – the getting ready! Emma, one of the wedding planners at Huntsham Court, has put together her essential tips and advice to help make sure your morning runs super smooth.
Notes from Huntsham Court
The morning of a wedding can sometimes be super stressful for the couple. With last minute details, outfits to put on, guests to greet and many items on a seemingly never-ending list, it can feel like you’ve done a whole day’s work before the ceremony has even started!
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Really, it doesn’t!
I have put together a list of helpful tips to guide couples on the easiest ways to make the wedding morning relaxing and care free.
The circumstances of a wedding morning will differ from couple to couple, depending on whether you are staying onsite the night before or staying somewhere else.
If you are staying onsite the night prior then make sure that you get as much prep work done as you can before you go to bed! This can include setting up decorations (or boxing up and labelling decorations for others to tend to in the morning), briefing your wedding parties about their duties the following day and pre-prepping your ‘getting ready rooms’. Make sure that you have got all items of clothing, hair accessories, make-up, jewellery etc. ready and waiting so that you’re not running around trying to find that missing shoe that you might have left at home!
If you’re not staying onsite the night before then make sure that you load up your vehicle(s) with all of your belongings before you go to bed – just make sure nothing is visible and that anything super precious is left until the morning. Not only will this allow you to have some extra sleep time in the morning but it also prevents a last minute melt down if something doesn’t fit or you can’t find your ‘something blue’!
Utilise your ‘helpers’
Whether you have decided to have an event manager present during the morning or you’ve opted to use your bridal party and your families, make sure that you have every job covered so that you can sit back with a glass of Champagne and be pampered.
Having an event manager on site means that your bridal party and families can relax with you. The decorations, seating reserved signs, greeting of suppliers and Champagne top ups will all be taken care of so your loved ones can have a leisurely morning alongside you.
If you decide to allocate jobs to your wedding party then make sure they have been shown what to do in the week running up to the wedding. Make a list and allocate a job each to your friends and family so that they all have one simple job to take care of. This makes it easier to remember for everybody instead of giving a long list to one person that they may struggle to complete on time!
Try to be early
You’ve probably heard of the phrase ‘the bride is always late’. If these are words that you’d like to stick to then by all means, take your time! However, if you’d prefer to be on time instead of keeping your guests waiting then try to stick to a strict schedule!
My advice for a bride is to be in your dress half an hour before the ceremony starts (if you’re staying onsite). This may sound like a long time but if you are having a civil ceremony then you will have a meeting with the registrars 15 minutes prior to the ceremony, only leaving you with a couple of minutes for photos with your wedding party before you walk down the aisle. If you are ready in your dresses half an hour before the ceremony starts, then you will have plenty of time for all of the photos you’d like with your loved ones.
My advice for a groom is to be ready in your suit at least an hour prior to your ceremony start time. If you’re having a civil ceremony then you will also need an interview with the registrars beforehand. This usually takes place half an hour prior to the ceremony. Once the interview is over, you will have around 15 minutes to help to seat your guests and take your place at the top of the aisle. The longer you are ready before your interview, the more time you will have to greet your arriving guests and to get those all-important photos with your groomsmen.
Don’t forget to make sure your groom’s party have their button holes in place!
Sip a tipple
Nerves are super common on the morning of a wedding. It’s completely expected and therefore some couples may need a little help to relax. Why not enjoy a glass of Champagne (or a glass of whisky!) and share a toast with your loved ones before the ceremony starts. It makes for a great photo and will help you with those pesky nerves.
Be careful with this one though, one glass can be very helpful to get you down the aisle but nobody wants you slurring your vows! In fact, it could stop proceedings! So pace yourself throughout the morning, you will have plenty of time for a celebratory drink later on in the day. Also don’t forget that there is a ‘no alcohol’ rule in your interviews with the registrars and also in the ceremony room before everything starts. It is a good idea to pass this on to the wedding party to oversee this detail ahead of the ceremony.
That moment right before the music starts, whether you’re standing outside the doors ready to walk in or waiting at the top of the aisle for your other half can be overwhelming for a lot of people.
Remember to just take a deep breath and focus on your person, waiting for you. All of your friends and family have gathered to support you both and this day is all about your love for one another. Take a breath and have fun!
With these tips in mind, I’m sure that your wedding morning will be super relaxed and one of the happiest mornings you will ever experience.