How long does it take 120 people to file into a room? Do 60 people eat dinner quicker than 100 but slower than 30? When you’re trying to plan your wedding day, you’ll find yourself wondering this sort of thing as you try to create the perfect schedule. Finding the balance between relaxing and getting everything done is tricky, which why at Milton Hill House we have a dedicated wedding coordinator on hand to help our happy couples with all the details. Here are a few of our expert tips to help you plan the perfect day.
Plan the whole day before you book anything
When you’ve decided on the date, you may want to get everything booked as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on your preferred celebrant or band. However, it’s really worth having a rough idea of how you want the day to go before you book anything so you don’t find yourself wishing you’d started a bit earlier or later. Write down everything you want to happen on the day and any restrictions – a lot of hotels stop the music at 11 – and that should give you a clear idea of what times you can book the individual steps for.
Leave extra time where you can
Something will go wrong or change or be delayed – it’s just the way of the world. Schedule some flexible time where you can to compensate. A few good places are: ask guests to come for a drink 30-60 minutes before the ceremony starts; spend some time chilling out after getting ready yourself (give yourself an extra hour here if at all possible in case of delays); drinks between the ceremony and the meal (no one will mind if they only get half an hour instead of an hour because the celebrant was late); and when the dancing starts (you’ll have to pay the band anyway, but you probably don’t mind if your first dance is at 9 not 8).
Remember to feed your guests
Most cultures have fairly set times when people expect to eat. In the UK, people typically expect to eat lunch between 12-2 and start dinner around 6-8. This means that if you’ve got a ceremony starting at 11:30, your guests will expect lunch shortly after, and if your ceremony starts at 12:30 guests may not know whether to expect to be fed or not. This is one reason wedding ceremonies are often at 2-4pm as it leaves lunch firmly in the guest’s hands. If you want or need an earlier ceremony but can’t stretch to providing two full meals, get creative with alternatives – a cream tea is a lovely option or perhaps a retro street food van would suit your aesthetic better.
Don’t be afraid to be unconventional
Just because ‘everybody’ does things in a certain way, it doesn’t mean that you have to. As an example, if you’re planning a buffet for your guests, you may like to eat beforehand alone with your new spouse so you can spend some time together as newly-weds. You can then make a grand entrance and enjoy mingling with your guests without worrying about grabbing a bite to eat.
From skipping the first dance or cancelling the photographs through to arriving on horseback or in a fairytale carriage, at Milton Hill House our dedicated wedding planning team are on hand to help make your day truly special. Get in touch to see what we can do for you on 01235 831 474 or via our contact form.