A well organised wedding flows seamlessly from start to finish, with guests entertained, well fed and watered throughout the day. But how do you achieve this without any standing around, rushing or interruptions? As guests we’ve all experienced a bad wedding, and hopefully, a good one too! But if you’re not in the business of wedding planning and are faced with orchestrating your own big day, where do you start? Here are our top tips for a seamless wedding day.
1. Arrival and the Ceremony
Your guests will arrive at your wedding venue up to an hour before your ceremony. We’re often asked by couples what time to put on their invitations. Generally it’s best to say the ceremony time but also make it clear that this is when the marriage will take place. For example, “You are invited to the wedding of Georgina and Richard at 2pm on the 27th of April at Crockwell Farm.”
Bearing in mind that guests will arrive early, it’s a good idea to think about what they will do from arrival to the ceremony. At Crockwell, the bar will be open before the ceremony so guests can have a drink and relax. The bar is a great gathering place for your guests.
2. Rely on an experienced Wedding Coordinator
We’re often asked if couples really need a wedding coordinator? It’s highly recommended. At Crockwell, we have a small team of very experienced coordinators who will be on hand from the afternoon before your wedding until the morning after. They are here in the background, making sure that the day runs smoothly and on schedule. They are here to help you, to guide you and to worry about the small stuff so you don’t have to.
3. How long should we allow for reception drinks and photographs?
At Crockwell, we will put together an outline plan for the day for you, based on your ceremony time (we recommend a 2pm ceremony if it’s available). After your ceremony, it’s good to allow an hour and a half for reception drinks for your guests and photos. Think also about where this will take place; does your venue have separate break out spaces from the ceremony and dining areas? If not, there is likely to be a transition period while furniture is moved and rearranged. For Crockwell guests there are plenty of options; from the spacious gardens to the rustic bar and the stone barn for rainy days. Bad whether always needs to be allowed for.
4. Speeches! Before the meal or afterwards?
Speeches can be a highlight or a low point for your guests depending on how and when they take place. For those making a speech, there’s often a wish to get it out of the way as soon as possible in order to enjoy the day. If that’s your preference, it’s a good idea to make sure your guests have at least had something to eat before they sit down. Some canapes are a good option. You may also want to consider some sharing boards on the tables which can be tucked into while the speeches are happening. The more traditional option is for speeches to take place after the meal. For confident public speakers, this can be a more favourable option. A party of well fed (and watered)! guests can be a kinder and more interactive audience.
5. Getting the party started!
For most couples, a good party is high on the list of priorities. Think about where the dancing will happen, where your band or DJ will set up and how this will happen. Having a dedicated dancefloor at Crockwell is a huge bonus. Hidden during the day, it allows the evening set up to take pace out of view. When it comes to taking to the dancefloor, we open the curtains and away you go. The surprise for your guests adds to the drama and really kicks off the evening party. Being able to open up the venue in the evening into one open plan space changes the atmosphere and creates a bit of magic. It’s these little touches that go a long way in ensuring that you and your guests have a brilliant time, and a day and night to remember.
Any questions or need advice? Please do get in touch!