Avoiding Wedding Foul-ups

In my profession of civil celebrant, I sometimes find myself in “marriage counsellor mode”. But rather than look at putting right what may have gone wrong after marriage, in this blog I look at ways to prevent wedding foul-ups.

Prepare thoroughly

It’s always a difficult path to tread: do you hire a wedding planner or do it yourself? This is a subject I have discussed in my blogs already, but it is  something only you can decide on. If it’s a large wedding, there is so much that may be overlooked, so a wedding planner is an obvious choice.

Wedding planners don’t always turn out to be exorbitant and, in the long run, they may even save you money. What they certainly offer, which is invaluable, is peace of mind.

If you’re arranging it all yourself, you have to make a check-list of suppliers you will need. Next comes sourcing them – (first, vet and evaluate them, then be prepared to chase them up.) You need to make plenty of lists (well in advance) and be very careful not to miss anything out.

Be thorough in your research. Are there any local laws or regulations you need to know about – possibly, regarding the marriage licence or the venue’s requirements?

How are you going to organise the reception – and will there be that dreaded seating plan to draw up?

Keep your guests in the loop

Whom to invite is a potential minefield, but, if you have special requirements for your guests (eg theme, wedding list, dress code, unplugged wedding, arrangements for destination wedding, children not wanted, etc.), make sure these are clearly communicated.

Prepare participants

Ensure the best man (if you have one) has the ring(s) and knows what is required. If you have a reader or singer, will they know their cue? Do you need to warn any speech-makers about keeping it brief, and not offending others? Do bridesmaids and ushers know their roles?


On the day

Always allow more time than you need – for applying make-up or getting dressed calmly, traffic hold-ups, co-ordinating with photographers/videographers, or checking room arrangements with the venue.

Quite a lot to bear in mind, I accept. But if you proceed calmly and bear all the above in mind, there should every reason why your wedding day will be a resounding success!