I thought I would put a few tips together to help you on your wedding day. It's not every day you get married and I find a lot of couples have so many questions such as "how do you tie a cravat?", "does the bride stand on the right or left of the groom?" "How do I hold my flowers?" etc., etc., so I hope to answer all those little questions here.
Firstly the guys............
Ties and cravats
The most popular way to do a tie is a Windsor Knot - click on this link to view a video on how to tie a windsor knot
Next the suit - which button do you button on a jacket and when wearing a waistcoat the jacket should not be buttoned up
A man's buttonhole always goes on the left and never through the buttonhole on the lapel but placed over it.
And finally make sure you don't have phones, wallets etc in your pockets
And the bride .........
Have a trial run through of your make up and hair before your wedding day
When getting ready everything takes a little longer than expected so work back your timings from when the photographer has asked for you to be fully made up and dressed and then add another half an hour to the timings. I personally like the bride to be ready at least 30 minutes before she is due to leave for the ceremony venue so that we can get photographs of everyone (bride, bride and bridesmaids, bride and parents) before they leave for the ceremony. I then like to head off to the ceremony 10 minutes before the bridal party leaves so that I can be there when they arrive . This then gives the bride and her party a few minutes just to relax, perhaps have a glass of bubbly before heading to the venue or church.
Photographs of your dress hanging up - try to have either a nice wooden hanger or a bespoke bridal one
Putting on the wedding dress and veil can take up to 25minutes. Laced dresses can be particularly tricky and may even taken a little longer so make sure you have someone who knows exactly how to lace the dress up.
If your dress has buttons then a croquet hook is very useful tool to get those buttons fastened up.
Next the bouquet - this video explains perfectly how to hold your bouquet. The temptation is to hold it too high, - think tummy button and hold it at tummy button level.
Where does the groom stand? - the groom will be standing at the front on the right hand side, with his best man, if he has one, on his right,
The old tradition was the bride's family and friends sit on the left hand side and the groom's family and friends on the right, but these days many couples ask guests to 'choose a seat not a side'. The bride's mother and close family sit at the front on the left hand side and the groom's parents and close family on the right hand side. The bridesmaids will sit on the bride's side, which is the left hand side.
Walking down the aisle (church aisle or the aisle at a civil ceremony) do the bridesmaids go first or behind the bride? This is a personal choice although many brides seem to opt for the bridesmaids to go first. If the bridesmaids go first then the bride and whoever is escorting her should wait until the bridesmaids have taken their seats before commencing the walk so that everyone, and most importantly the groom, has a clear view of the bride's entrance.
The walk down the aisle is one of the most beautiful and exciting moments of your big day, but it can seem daunting. If you’re worried about tripping or messing up your walk, you can ease your fears by practicing the walk ahead of time. With a little effort, your trip down the aisle will look absolutely flawless!
When walking down the aisle the bride links her left arm with the person walking her down the aisle
As you're preparing to walk down the aisle stand as straight as possible to show your confidence, put your shoulders back and take a few deep breaths to loosen up. Raise your chin to avoid looking at the ground. Hold your bouquet slightly lower than what feels natural. Many brides want to hold their bouquet close to their chest, but that can be unflattering and make your walk more difficult.
Walk at a slower pace than what is normal for you. Smile as you make your way down the aisle. (Smiling is a great way to prevent yourself from crying if you are an emotional person).
Should the groom turn to watch his bride walking down the aisle? Again this is personal choice but I think it is rather nice that he does.
Photography during the ceremony - this isn't usually a problem with civil ceremonies but some churches do not allow photography during the marriage service. So if having photographs during the ceremony is important to you and you plan to have a church wedding then do check with the vicar before booking your wedding at the church.
Unplugged weddings - An unplugged ceremony is a wedding ceremony in which only the professional photographer is allowed to take photos. Guests are asked to switch their phones off and refrain from taking photos or videos during the ceremony. This is a personal choice (although some church weddings will not allow guests to take photographs during the ceremony anyway). I have found that more couples these days are opting for an unplugged wedding, preferring to see their family and friends' smiling faces rather than rows of phones, cameras and iPads.
At the end of the ceremony the bride and groom walk down the aisle - the bride will be on the groom's left. Walk slowly, acknowledging your guests and smile.
Confetti - check with your venue that confetti is allowed. If it isn't then an alternative is bubbles, but if using bubbles then I would advise getting a bubble machine.
Formal group photos
I usually do these as soon as possible after the ceremony. If a group shot of all the guests has been requested I often try to do this one first before the guests wander off. I prefer to take this photo from a height, an upstairs window, a fire escape or if none of these are available then a step ladder. This helps to see everyone's face as if taken at the same level only the front two rows will be seen clearly.
I recommend that the group shots be limited to approx 12. It is a good idea to have one of the ushers, the best man or a family member who knows the families to assist the photographer in calling for the people for the group photos. You should allow approximately 5 minutes for each group shot.
Bride and Groom portraits
I always recommend that the bride and groom portraits are done away from the guests. This gives the couple some quiet time to themselves. About 30 minutes should be allowed for these photos.
All couples want a sunny day but this is something we can't control and even in the middle of summer you could have rain. But don't worry about it. It's all part of the day and I will do my utmost to get the best photographs I can. Have umbrellas ready, just in case (my philosophy is you have them ready then you hopefully won't need them). The plastic, see through umbrellas are ideal and are not expensive to buy. Even if it does rain we can still get photographs done outside.
Receiving line - I recommend against haven't a receiving line as it can take up so much time, for 100 guests it could take an hour. Far better I think for the couple to circulate the tables during downtime at the wedding breakfast.