Avoiding Wedding-Day Amnesia

I’m delighted to welcome another guest to write for this blog. This time it’s Chloe Walker. She describes herself as:

“a twenty-something year old, freelance writer who’s focusing on wedding and event planning. When she isn’t thinking about her very own dream wedding, she can be found curled up by the fire with her dog, Bruce.”

Enjoy her thoughts!

Wedding-day amnesia affects a surprising number of newly married couples.

According to a survey from Sony, “More than 1 in 4 [married couples] admit to not remembering their wedding vows”

Many couples say that their special day has become just ‘a big blur’ and that they’ve forgotten all the finer details, even if everything was utterly perfect and the day itself was an emotional and exciting experience.

It’s hardly surprising that this happens. Weddings can be stressful and the day itself can often feel busy and even chaotic, even if you’ve carefully planned every detail and are head over heels in love with your partner.

But there is good news.

You can prevent wedding amnesia from rearing its ugly head and allow yourself to cherish the memories for ever. Here are six ways you can do just that.

1. Choose the right venue

Your wedding venue can make your wedding memorable for all the right reasons, or all of the wrong ones. That’s why it’s vitally important to get it right.

Make sure it feels like the venue of your dreams and offers everything you hoped it would. Let your heart guide you when making your decision here- that’s what will truly make the day feel memorable.

Opt for something that helps the two of you make the most of your big day and feel special, not something that you feel pressured into choosing by family or friends.

The venue should also give you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the venue and surroundings, your guests should feel comfortable and it should provide a sense of intimacy that helps you form those special memories that you can share with your grandkids.

Finally, ensure that you have full privacy on your big day and don’t have to share with anyone else.

Luxury wedding venue, Manor by the Lake say it best; “ The last thing you want is to see random people you don’t know wandering around your venue on your wedding day!”

2. Step away for a moment or two

On your wedding day, make sure that you find time to break away from the stress and busyness of the occasion and really enjoy the moment.

This will help ensure that your nerves don’t get frazzled and you have enough energy to make it through the day, and help your brain form those memories that will last a lifetime.

Stop what you’re doing, close your eyes (if you can) and take some slow deep breaths. Aim to make your exhales longer than your inhales to help you feel a deep sense of calm.

As you do this, soak up your beautiful surroundings, your gorgeous dress and the exciting event as a whole, then go back to enjoy the celebrations feeling refreshed.

3. Connect and reflect before you walk down the aisle

Just before the ceremony itself starts, take time to sit and reflect. Be quiet and sit for five minutes or so. Bring to mind memories from your relationship so far and soak up the moment.

If you can, sit with your partner, hold hands and enjoy this sense of deep connection and union before you get married. Doing this will help you escape from the organisational chaos that has led up to the event and you can reconnect with your loved one.

4. Enjoy a short walk after the ceremony

Instead of finishing the ceremony and rushing off for photographs or to the reception, get outside into nature and take a short walk. Even 15 minutes will be enough for you to reconnect with your partner and absorb the exciting fact that you’re now a married couple!

This also provides a great opportunity for your wedding photographer to snap some beautiful, scenic shots that you can enjoy for the rest of your lives.

5. Eat together

When you’re trying to talk to everyone and have so much to do, you might find yourself forgetting to eat at your own reception. Don’t make this mistake! You’ll only find your stomach grumbling and your stress hormones going through the roof!

Just take five minutes with your partner, grab a plate and fill it with as much food as you like. Then sit and enjoy it together, uninterrupted. You’ll build beautiful memories, feel better and have enough energy to make it through the day too.

6. Write it all down

Prevent your wedding day memories fading away by writing down everything that happened on your special day as soon as you can.

This will create a vivid record of your wedding day that you can refer back to whenever you want. When you have it down on paper, you’ll stand a far better chance of remembering those tiny details like conversations, expressions and events that you loved so much on the day and really bring those memories back to life.

If you’re not a fan of writing, you can always record your memories digitally using the voice recorder app on your smartphone. Just be sure to back it up afterwards for safekeeping.

Final thoughts

Even though you’ve likely poured months or even years into planning your wedding, it can all go by in a flash.

That’s why you should do your best to preserve those memories and cherish them forever.

Choose your dream venue, take moments through the day to soak it all up and enjoy the occasion. Then you stand a better chance of avoiding wedding day amnesia and of remembering it all.

If you want to contact Chloe, her e-mail address is chloe.walker@harbourmail.co.uk.

Photo: Matt Penberthy

Tips for Bride and Groom on the Big Day

Tips for Bride and Groom on the Big Day

Most of the bride and groom’s big day will go past in a whirl. They will be the centre of attention. It’s wonderful – but they may feel bewildered at times. They – and others, notably family members – may well feel under considerable stress.

Obviously, the main protagonists (at least) should be enjoying themselves. However, all concerned may need to make a special effort to show common sense and good manners.

Patience is a particular virtue at such a time (as is a sense of humour). Not least when it comes to the in-laws (or, indeed, your own family).

As a civil celebrant myself, I have to point out that the celebrant should be able to play a role in smoothing the way much of the time, but not everything will be within their control!


  • Getting drunk is not a good idea! Apart from the unfavourable impression this may make on the new in-laws, you may not be able to fulfil the roles you are undertaking. It’s also worth pointing out that lots of people will be taking photos. You don’t want compromising snaps to haunt you in later life!
  • Try and make sure you speak to all your wedding guests (they have come to support you, after all). It may mean you miss out on some of the food and drink, but you should acknowledge that people have put themselves out to be part of your celebrations.


  • Much of the stress in the run-up to the wedding day is borne by the bride. Do what you can, especially on the day, to share the load.
  • Be punctual – arrive between 30 and 60 minutes before the ceremony.
  • Don’t hide away with your mates; meet and make conversation with your new wife’s friends and even relatives.
  • Don’t get rolling drunk! You have a speech to deliver effectively and the comments I aimed at the bride apply to you just as much.

Sometimes, just a little thought and consideration will be all that is needed to avert a melt-down. Then your wedding can be the fabulous event you have been dreaming of.

To gain the reassurance of professional support, talk to Michael about being your celebrant!

Wedding Day Stress

We all know that your wedding day is supposed to be a happy day – indeed, the happiest of days. But what if things go wrong? What if you make a fool of yourself? What if something gets forgotten? Few people avoid wedding day stress.

One key step

You can make it far more bearable with good preparation. If you have organised things well in advance (or maybe you have employed a wedding planner to do this), then you should be able to enjoy the day without worrying about last-minute details.

Just to depress you, I’d like to point out that, of course, almost anything CAN go wrong. Your car may not collect you on time, it may break down, tremendous traffic – or weather – may hold you up. The venue may have a power cut.

And that’s merely the beginning of the list!


You can fear the worst – or anticipate the best. Rather than become totally paranoid, accept that there are certain things you cannot legislate for – but that are highly unlikely to happen. You can spoil the whole day by worrying about something that just isn’t going to happen.


That’s not to say that you should be casual or negligent. You are most likely to be safest, if you employ good professionals – whether caterers, celebrants, florists, photographers, event planners or others.

If you have to deliver a speech, there are things you can do to prevent this from becoming a ghastly experience. I really can’t do better than refer you to a couple of blogs I have written on this subject.


It’s worth checking with your suppliers a day or two in advance that everything you have stipulated is in hand and that they know when and where they are expected.

The venue should have a planner who will cover this, but if you have the chance to arrive early, make a visual check of the room(s) . Can you spot anything potentially dangerous, like  trailing wires? Is anything missing?  Is there enough of whatever you will need?

On the day

It is natural and almost goes without saying that you will be nervous. Whether bride, groom, parent, best man etc., you will have at least a moment in the spotlight as centre of attention. Chances are, you are  unused to the limelight.

A bit of adrenalin won’t harm you. And you do know that everybody will be on your side, willing you on.

A good strategy

Best to practise this well in advance, and on the day this will be a great calming exercise: take a few moments out to sit and concentrate on your breathing. Aim to slow it down, but don’t breathe too deeply – after all, it’s not a great idea to pass out!

A less good strategy

Alcohol is the answer to all problems. Well, no, it isn’t, although, for some, a small amount may settle a few nerves. Getting drunk (“to forget”) is a big mistake and may increase stress (often for other people!).


If, despite my suggestions, you fear that it will all prove too much for you, then I recommend EFT (or “tapping”), which can be remarkably effective in dealing with extreme cases.  Isobel has many years of experience in helping to create confidence in any situation. Reach her at www.intherighthands.co.uk.

If you simply want a bit of reassurance and guidance, then please contact me. I take pride in putting people at their ease on their big day.


Helpful Hints for Your Wedding Day

As the wedding season swings into gear, it is easy to overlook certain tips that may make your wedding day that bit better.

Obviously, common sense and good manners will guide the vast majority of us very smoothly, but weddings can be a time of stress (we’re dealing with other people, after all!), and behaviour may be altered as a result.

As a civil celebrant myself, I have to point out that the celebrant should be able to play a role in smoothing the way much of the time, but not everything will be within their control!


  • Ensure you don’t get rolling drunk! Apart from anything else, there will be plenty of embarrassing photographic evidence to haunt you later in life. It may also not make the best possible impression on your new relatives!
  • Try and make sure you speak to all your wedding guests (they have come to see and support you).


  • Much of the stress in the run-up to the wedding day is borne by the bride. Do what you can, especially on the day, to share the load.
  • Don’t hide away with your mates; meet and make conversation with your new wife’s friends and even relatives.
  • Don’t get rolling drunk! You have a speech to deliver effectively and the comments I aimed at the bride apply to you just as much.

The bride’s mother

It is good to remember whose big day it actually is – it’s really your daughter’s. So be there early, be willing to help, but don’t criticise either other people or arrangements. This just compounds any stress being experienced.

Be prepared to play second fiddle.

The Groom’s mother

As with the bride’s mother, be supportive rather than domineering or critical. Be helpful and open and say nice things to the bride! Don’t try and get revenge for a perceived slight during the wedding planning.

The Father(s)

Just like the bride and groom, you need to be sober and in control, not least when toasting the couple’s marriage.

Don’t use the opportunity to get even with somebody who you feel has affronted you during the wedding build-up.

The Best Man

You have a huge responsibility (so it’s possibly even more important that you do not get blind drunk).

  • You need to keep the groom on schedule
  • You need to check the groom hasn’t forgotten anything (a check-list is a great idea)
  • You will probably be responsible for the ring
  • Depending on what’s been arranged, you may need to look after logistics (eg helping the photographer organise the photo shoot or liaising with the venue over certain arrangements)
  • As you will presumably be delivering a major speech, remember advice I have already offered elsewhere (https://vowsthatwow.co.uk/?p=507 ). As a minimum, ensure your speech is clear, funny, inclusive, reasonably brief and in no way offensive (either personally, politically or religiously).

Maid of Honour

It’s worth having a bridal emergency kit ready on the day (safety pins, wipes, even chocolate). Reassure the bride wherever possible.

Ushers (groomsmen)

Exercise your charm when showing people to their places. At the reception, dance with single ladies (especially older ones). Be on your best behaviour (and that includes controlling your drink intake).


Ensure you are on time and ready on the day. Your job is to look beautiful and support the bride. Button up any negative criticisms you may have. Stay reasonably sober too.


If children are participating, make sure they have been well briefed, that they understand their role and the behaviour that will be expected of them. If their patience is likely to be stretched during the ceremony, have somebody responsible keep an eye on them, and offer them distractions such as a book.

At the reception, there may be a children’s table and activities, but be prepared to occupy a potentially tired, bored and fractious child. And don’t get drunk out of your mind and expect others to look after your offspring!

I hope these tips will prove practical. They are the fruits of observations of potential pitfalls and pratfalls. Most of the latter can be avoided relatively easily with sense and control. Good luck!

Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe.