Don’t Panic Tips

Celebrant Tips

In any wedding, no matter how carefully and meticulously planned, things may turn out a little differently from how it was meant to unfold or, indeed, be something totally unexpected. There is no way you can possibly plan for every contingency, but you can take steps to ensure proceedings run as smoothly and as calmly as possible.

Allow time for Wedding Prep

Wedding planners usually do an excellent job of creating a timeline with some space for the unforeseen built into it. For example, if you are getting hair, make-up, and nails done on the day of the ceremony, ideally have the aestheticians come to you, so you aren’t rushing from one appointment to the other. If that’s not possible, make sure you allow yourself time to get from one appointment to the other, and still have plenty of time left to dress and get to the wedding venue at least half an hour before the advertised starting time (i.e. the starting time you put in the invitations).

Wedding Photography at the Venue

Likewise, if you’re having a photo shoot somewhere other than your home or wherever you are getting ready for the wedding, build in lots of time to get to the venue. You don’t want to be like the brides who had a photo shoot in the far south-west end of town and the ceremony in the far north-east, and arrived a good 45 minutes after the ceremony was due to begin. Neither the brides nor the guests, nor the musicians, were in the best of moods when things finally got underway. Ideally, schedule your photo shoots at wherever you are getting ready for the wedding and then also at the venue itself. That way, at least you are on the premises!

Baby at the Wedding

OK, now let’s assume you’re safely at the venue and things seem to be running according to plan and on time. Then your baby, who is still breastfeeding, decides to go to sleep just as you are about to process up the aisle…but your plan was to carry him up the aisle in your arms. Or perhaps he has a meltdown, picking up the tension and excitement from all that flurry of activity going on around him, and there is no way you can do anything or go anywhere till he has calmed down. Well, just give him whatever time he needs to calm down. As long as word gets out to the guests as to why there is a delay, they will be understanding.

Weddings and Pets

If a pet happens to be part of your procession – the dog-as-ringbearer-routine – and the dog has just started throwing up, or is refusing to do its business so there will be no mishaps during the ceremony, just relax, and give it time, and let your guests know what’s happening. What nobody likes is to just be left hanging wondering what’s going on.

Punctuality and Politeness

We all know that traffic is often unpredictable, taxis are late or don’t show up, the bus you hired to bring guests from their hotel to the venue inexplicably fails to materialize. What to do? Ideally, find a balance between respecting the value and the time of those who are at the venue on time, and giving those who are not on time, through circumstances beyond their control, a chance to be at the ceremony. This can be a difficult balancing act. It’s important to check with the celebrant, the musicians, the photographers and the venue, as to what flexibility they have with delaying the ceremony.

Should you delay the Wedding?

Delaying the ceremony can have a knock-on effect on the rest of your wedding day. There are often tight timeframes for cocktails, music, beginning the dinner, or where the celebrant or photographer has another engagement and can’t delay. Don’t make the assumption that because it is your wedding day, everyone will just jolly well go along with whatever you want, delays and all. That is selfish and discourteous. Be aware that, even if celebrant, musicians, and photographers are willing to stay longer, you may incur additional charges for the extra time they will be spending waiting for things to begin. Also be aware, that you will need to make a cut-off point beyond which you will not wait, tricky as this can be if some of the bridal party or your parents are not there.

Finally, do realize that there are some things you can’t control. Know that by the end of the day, you will be married, and all the stresses will be forgotten in that joy.

Catherine Kentridge

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