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wedding planning advice that will help you have a relaxed & enjoyable wedding ceremony

Quotation Mark You can never have too many great ideas to make your wedding day go smoothly! Having performed over 1,000 ceremonies, I can recommend the following tips to ensure you have a relaxed wedding ceremony.

  • Make your bookings with wedding specialists early to ensure that you get what you want. Have a checklist of questions and items with things that are important to you.
  • Prepare and follow a checklist. Arrange your plans so that all preparations are completed a day or two before your wedding date. This gives you plenty of time to relax and spend time with family and friends.
  • State clearly on your wedding invitations the arrival time and ceremony start time. This encourages people to arrive on time.
  • Delegate as much as possible. Friends and family usually love to get involved and help out.  Be clear with your directions to them and what you want… and then relinquish responsibility! If you have any last minute running around to do (i.e. pick up suits, flowers, decorate tables…), ask someone else to do it! You will enjoy your wedding day if you can arrive at your ceremony feeling relaxed, unflustered and ready to celebrate!
  • Your wedding day is very special. On your wedding day - rest and relax – allow yourself to be pampered! Enjoy a walk along the beach, go for a surf or swim, have a game of golf or a massage. Enjoy getting your hair done, being with your family. Whatever it takes for you to have fun and relax!
  • To keep your energy levels up, make sure that you eat breakfast  - and lunch if your wedding is in the afternoon. This is especially important for the brides who have hair and make-up appointments at lunchtime. Ask one of your friends to make a beautiful platter and take it along with you. Drink lots of water and avoid drinking any alcohol so that you arrive clear-headed and ready for the wedding ceremony.
  • Arrive on time! This allows guests to feel comfortable and for everything to unfold as planned. This is important if you want to create a sense of sacredness and respect about the commitment and honouring that you are about to share. Also, your celebrant may have another commitment to attend afterwards.
  • If you are arriving in the traditional manner, with the bridegroom arriving first:   
    • For the groom: Allow yourself plenty of time to greet guests (about 15 – 20minutes).
    • For the bride: When you arrive in the car, stop and take a few deep and gentle breaths to help you relax and become present in the new surroundings. When you have stepped out of the car, if you can see your wedding guests, it can help to make eye contact with a few friends and family. Then take a relaxed breath again. Before you walk up through the guests, stop again and make eye contact with your beloved. Remember to keep breathing and enjoy! The ceremony can seem to go really fast – so slowing down the arrival can really help you to become present.
  • If you are walking in together, take five minutes beforehand to be quiet together - give each other a hug until you are relaxed.
  • Ensure that someone in the bridal party will have a tissue or handkerchief available – even if you think you won’t need it.  On very hot days, it is wise for the men in the bridal party to keep their jackets off until the last five minutes.
  • Choose music that is special for you both. You will have the opportunity to select music for the beginning, the signing of the documents and at the end of the ceremony. Make sure the lyrics are appropriate to your celebration. Delegate the task of managing the music to someone who is confident and relaxed. Ask them to familiarise themselves with the CD player beforehand and also the music. Give clear directions as to when you want the music turned on and faded out – a Post It note on the cover with instructions works well. Try to use the original CD’s or check that ‘burnt’ CD’s work on the player that you will be using on the day.
  • Consider fun things for the children to do! Bubble blowing provides lots of fun for them! If there are young children coming – especially if they are the bridal couples’ children – nominate a special carer. Make sure that the person looking after them has a supply of drinks and nibblies for them and that the child goes to the toilet beforehand! A special pillow can be made for them to sit on (this is more special to the child if given on the day). If they are very young, decide what will happen if the child gets upset and wants to be held during the ceremony. Will you hold them or will someone take them out who does not mind leaving the ceremony? Discuss this decision with your celebrant.
  • If you are having an outdoor wedding, have a back up plan ready to go! This minimises the stress if you have to change plans due to wet weather.
  • In the build-up to the wedding day, remember why you are getting married! Keep the communication open between you both. With regard to the wedding plans; discuss what your expectations and needs are; discuss any difficulties or stresses that are happening and work together to find a resolve. Take time out from the wedding planning to just be together. Relax and enjoy!
May the love between you continue to blossom and be nourished by your wedding celebration. May all of your family and friends be touched by the love you share.
Wendy Haynes Signature

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what people say

Heidi, Cairns
Hi Wendy, I have been reading through your site and from feeling overwhelmed at the whole wedding planning now feel more relaxed!

Candy & Lincoln, Sydney, NSW
Your book gave us an insight as to what the important aspects of a perfect ceremony are. Had I not read your book I don’t know whether I would have put so much thought into the most memorable part of our wedding.
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