The Daily Mail newspaper asked me to think back over the past year of weddings and name the top ten things that could go wrong at your wedding. The article is live here but I thought I’d share my answers in verbose here for my bloggies!
The bride’s natural predator is their mother. If you’re a mum reading this, particularly if you’re mine, please forgive us, but the numbers are heavily against you. Nine out of ten mothers (an unverified statistic) believe that they, and they only, know how their children should celebrate their marriage. They’ve planned the horse-drawn carriage and the perfect cake and their children absolutely hate it all. The truth is, mums, is that your children aren’t having “a wedding” or any old wedding or even your wedding. They are celebrating their marriage which is a once in a lifetime marriage and it’s celebration will be wholly unique.
Now that we’ve said that, are you still cool to cover the bar tab?
You can’t stop the rain, but the rain won’t stop you. If you’re a smart cookie you’ve planned or even booked a wet weather option that is comparable to your outdoors ceremony venue. But if you’re not that well planned, don’t stress, it’s only a wedding, not open heart surgery and a little bit of rain never hurt anybody. My tip is to find your closest dollar store and buy those clear umbrellas that sell for under five dollars.
If the baby is yours and it’s crying, then break from the formality of the moment and take some time to be parent before you’re anything else. As for guests babies, why not hire a babysitter for the day and enjoy yourself?
Little humans are popular at weddings. We love to give them chores like carrying the flower petals and diamond rings and our wedding photos are better for it. That said, not all children like to walk where we’d like them to walk or do what we’d like them to do. So let me offer this advice. Set the participating children up so they can have a win. We don’t want to be rousing on them in the ceremony, so maybe we need to have lower expectations and maybe don’t give them thousands of dollars of rings. Secondly, we’re showing our kids that this is how adults do really important things like marriage and relationships, so I’d love it if they walked away with a sense of equality, responsibility and most importantly, fun.
Despite the rumours, there are no bonus bridal points for saving a few cents and constructing everything yourself. If you’re anything like me you are probably also a terrible decorator, designer and set constructor and all those hours on Pintrest and Youtube won’t save you when it all falls apart on the wedding day. Hire a professional so that you don’t have to spend the night in emergency when the arbour falls on you (yes that’s happened to me).
Repeat after me
Some of the most enjoyable parts of weddings I’ve seen on Youtube have been when a celebrant or minister asks a bride or groom to repeat after them, and the words all fall apart. Instead of trying to listen and repeat vows, write them down and read off a card? Genius, right?!
So many people put drunkenness at wedding receptions down to serving alcohol and food liberally, or too liberally, and although that’s a contributing factor, let me throw you a side hook and say you’re probably inviting the wrong people to your intimate celebration of your marriage if they’re going to be your definition of a fool in a few hours. Let your guest list truly reflect your favourite group of humans and don’t invite anyone you don’t like sober or drunk.
There are two types of wedding photographer, in my opinion, the journalist or the director. The director will set up shots, move people around, push celebrants out of the way and get angry if a guest has mobile phone up for the perfect bride-and-guest-aisle-selfie.
Your journalistic photographer is capturing what actually happened and is way more chilled on the day.
Choose the one you’ll feel more comfortable with because this photographer will be hanging out with you all day.
I firmly believe that the most important, the most valuable, and the most exciting part of any wedding is the ceremony. That’s what we’re all there for. Everything after the ceremony is a celebration of how awesome is it is that the ceremony took place. And your marriage celebrant is the person leading the charge through the ceremony. Choose an awesome one. I tell people that my biggest competition is the beer. I want to be better than the beer, instead of people sitting through a boring ceremony just hoping there is a cold gold ale pouring out a tap somewhere soon. If I’m not your kind of celebrant, meet some others at the celebrant.directory.
Finally, the most common thing to go wrong on a wedding day is people being late. Celebrants being late, brides being late, guests being late. Here’s a rock-solid strategy to fool proofing it all.
Invite everyone to be there an hour early and put on a few drinks before hand, that way all the guests are there on time. As for your professionals like your celebrant and photo booth and other associated people. Hire the best. The best have that reputation for a reason: they turn up.
Finally, bride and groom being on-time. I’m a big believer in breaking the tradition of the bride arriving to a groom at the end of the aisle. So why not meet up with your favourite human an hour or so before the ceremony and get some photos together, maybe do a first look photo shoot and then arrive to the ceremony together, like the big, consenting, intelligent, adults you are. Plus if you’re together then no-ones; late are they?