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wedding guide

Bride and Groom

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wedding planning advice that will help you have a relaxed & enjoyable 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.  Source free wedding handbooks or websites relevant to your area.
  • 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 invitations the arrival time and ceremony start time. This encourages your guests to arrive on time. Let your celebrant know if you are consciously planning a late starting 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 – ask someone else to do it! (i.e., pick up suits, flowers, decorate tables) You will enjoy your wedding day if you can arrive at your ceremony feeling relaxed and unflustered and ready to celebrate! This is even more important if you are planning a wedding at home. Delegate and call in your support teams.
  • On your wedding day – rest and relax – allow yourself to be pampered! Enjoy a walk along the beach, a special breakfast, go for 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 those in the wedding party who have hair and make-up appointments at lunchtime. Ask one of your friends to make a nourishing 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 to help create a sense of sacredness and respect about the commitment that you are about to share. Also your celebrant may have another commitment to attend afterwards.
  • If you are arriving at the same time as your guests allow plenty of time to greet them (about 20 – 30 minutes) and then ten minutes before it is time to start the ceremony go for a short walk or go to a quiet room to give each other a hug in private, to relax and ensure you both feel really present.
  • If you are making an entrance (either on your own or together) before you enter the ceremonial area stop and take a few relaxed and gentle breaths to help you relax and become present in the new surroundings and the next important stage of the day – your ceremony. 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 another relaxed breath.
  • Before you walk up the aisle and through the guests, stop again and make eye contact with your beloved if they are waiting at the front of the ceremonial area, or if they are standing next to you. Remember to keep your breathing relaxed 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 (in the car, house etc.) to be quiet together – give each other a hug until you are relaxed.
  • Ensure that someone in the wedding party will have a tissue or handkerchief available – even if you think you won’t need it. On very hot days it is wise to keep jackets off until the last five minutes.
  • You will have the opportunity to select music for the beginning (processional), the signing (the interlude) and at the end of the ceremony (recessional). Choose music that is special for you both and 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 chosen media player and selection of music beforehand. Give clear directions as to when you want the music turned on and faded out – a card with instructions works well. Bring the music and chosen media player to the rehearsal and test the equipment and sound if possible.
  • Consider fun things for the children to do. Bubble blowing provides lots of fun! If there are young children coming – especially if they are the wedding couples’ children – nominate a special carer. Make sure that the person looking after them has a supply of drinks and snacks for them and that the child has gone to the toilet beforehand. A special pillow can be made for them to sit on – this can be special if given to the child on the day. If they are your child/ren and 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 backup 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!

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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