Sponsored by The Biltmore Mayfair.
Everyone wants to enjoy their wedding day – but that’s not going to happen if your stress levels are at ‘code red’. And the surest way to a high-stress day? Realising on the wedding morning that something vital still needs doing. Whether it’s a back-up plan for bad weather or a ‘banned songs’ list for the DJ, it serves to brainstorm the small things well in advance. That way, you, your partner and your guests can enjoy every moment of the celebration you’ve put together. We spoke to Lisa Betteridge, Events Planner at luxury 5-star hotel The Biltmore Mayfair in London, about the tasks couples often forget to consider until it’s too late. These are the essential questions you need to ask yourselves, so on the wedding morning you’re all smiles, not all stress…
Who has all the supplier details?
The last thing you want is to be chasing a late performer or sorting out an incorrect bouquet on her wedding day. Make sure your wedding planner or on-the-day co-ordinator has the contact details of all of your suppliers, from the florists to the make-up artist to the entertainment.
Who will look after the gift table?
If your lovely guests greet you with wrapped presents and thoughtful cards, where will you put them and who will keep an eye on them? Organise this with a couple of days before the main event so you’re not left with a growing pile of gifts on the floor. You might consider having a wedding card box, which come in lots of different styles.
Are there any songs you don’t want to hear on the dance floor?
Is there a genre, artist or particular song you know your guests will roll their eyes at if it plays? Or any that have negative emotional connotations for you or someone close to you? If you’re not giving your DJ, live band or singer a specific playlist, make sure they’re at least aware of any tunes they should avoid.
Do your guests have allergies or dietary requirements?
A great time to collect this information is within the invitations. Ask guests to RSVP to the wedding with details of any allergies or dietaries so you have plenty of time to prepare with your caterer and aren’t met with any surprises on the day.
When will you do the group photo?
Spend time coming up with a reception timeline – and share this with your guests on the day, so they know where they need to be at what time. If you decide to have a group shot of your whole guest list, you don’t want half of the party mingling in the garden and the other half inside enjoying the food when your photographer is ready to go.
What happens if it rains?
Whether your wedding is on a beach, in a luxury hotel or a stunning church, always prepare for unpredictable weather. You may not be performing the ceremony outside but it’s likely your wedding party will need to transfer from modes of transport into your venue at some point. Have umbrellas, coats and/or covered walkways on hand just in case. Even better – check to see if transport can drive straight up to the door without exposure to the elements. At The Biltmore Mayfair, we have a dedicated entrance to the Ballroom Foyer and a covered driveway so the wedding party don’t need to worry about a drop of rain.
And afterwards… What happens to leftover wedding cake?
You may want to save every scrap of wedding cake to give to guests to take home, or you might wish to store it in your freezer to have on your first anniversary. Whatever your plans, let the venue know so they’re aware of where to put the leftovers and how to pack it, once the wedding is over.
Another thing that will make a big difference to how you feel about your day is your wedding party. And remember, you don’t have to go down the traditional bridesmaids/ushers route if you don’t want to – find out why in our guide to the rise of the bridesman.