We have the greatest pre-nuptial agreement in the world. It’s called love.
Aside from the bride and groom, the bridal party are the most important people at your wedding day. Their role is to support you from start to finish, including the planning process and making sure everything runs smoothly on the big day. It is important to choose people who you can trust and understand what is required of them. The main assistants for the bride and groom are the chief bridesmaid (sometimes called the matron of honour or maid of honour) and the best man.
They will be your left hand man or woman throughout your engagement and on your wedding day, as well as organising your hen and stag nights. The best man is expected to give a speech at the reception, and it’s becoming more popular for the chief bridesmaid to say a few words too. The bridesmaids and ushers will help out the chief bridesmaid and best man. The bridesmaids will help the bride to get ready on the morning of the wedding, and accompany her on dress shopping trips. In ancient times the bridesmaids were used to ward off evil spirits who tried to kidnap the bride by providing a decoy; however her role is much more of a supportive one nowadays!
Once you have chosen your wedding dress and wedding style, you will then want to work on finding the perfect dresses for your bridesmaids, maid of honour and flower girls. It is now very fashionable in the UK to have all the bridesmaids’ dresses coordinating with each other. You have a wide range of choices when it comes to the bridesmaids dresses, they can be long, short, sleeveless, strapless, simple or extravagant. Most designers will supply matching dresses for the bridesmaids, maid of honour and flower girls as well, to give you, the bride, and the widest choice possible. Your bridesmaids will be thrilled if they get to come shopping with you for their dresses and have some input on the decision.
Bridesmaids Gift ideas
Your bridesmaids deserve much more than the usual keychain or strand of faux pearls. Get creative and personal their gifts with these unique ideas.
1. Tickets to a musical or dinner theater
2. Magazine subscriptions
3. Silk pajamas
4. A Moroccan-inspired robe
5. Personalised stationery
6. A scented candle
7. All-natural soaps
8. A fabulous bottle of bubbly, a nice ice bucket or a wine club membership1
9. A gift certificate to a favorite restaurant
10. A Spa day
Traditionally the speeches are given before, during and after the wedding breakfast with the groom, best man and father of the bride all giving speeches. These days not everyone sticks to this tradition and many brides and fathers of the groom also give speeches. There are in fact no rules in particular, just do what you feel comfortable with on your wedding day. If you would like to say a few words, but don’t feel confident about making a speech, let your new husband say a few words from the both of you.
- Don’t be afraid to give the best man a few rules. If there’s something that could ruin your day if he mentions (something rude or embarrassing if said in front of your friends and family) don’t be afraid to tell him to avoid it. In most cases the best man will target the groom and leave the bride alone, but never leave it to chance!
- Traditionally the groom thanks the mothers or anybody else who has been especially helpful and gives out any thank you gifts, while the best man thanks the bridesmaids/flower girls/page boys and gives out those gifts.
- If you don’t have a toastmaster to announce the speeches, appoint one of you ushers to take charge of announcing each person and help give a sense of order.
- Remember to organise a microphone and an area for the speeches. There is nothing worse than not being able to hear as that can lead to guests becoming bored.
- Give each speech a time limit and spread them out before, during and after the wedding breakfast.
- Props and pictures all help to keep guests interested during the speeches. If you want to do a slide show be sure to organise the equipment with the venue in advance and find a blank wall it can be played in view of everyone.
Your Wedding Vows…..
Your wedding vows are extremely personal and play a very important part in your wedding. They are the priceless words that will represent your commitment to one another. The variety of traditional and non-traditional, religious and secular wedding vows can get you started on finding the right ones for you. If you are getting married in a religious setting, check with your officiant as she/he may have specific words that you cannot deviate from. Otherwise, feel free to add your own embellishments, loving words, funny promises (I promise to always make your favourite chocolate cake!) and inside jokes.
Examples of traditional wedding vows:
I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. I, (name), take you, (name), to be my partner, loving what I know of you, and trusting what I do not yet know. I eagerly anticipate the chance to grow together, getting to know the (man/woman) you will become, and falling in love a little more every day. I promise to love and cherish you through whatever life may bring us.
Entertainment With The Young And Old In Mind…..
The success of your wedding entertainment can be measured by your guests’ response after the wedding. Your enjoyment is almost guaranteed, but you must also take your guests into consideration when you’re planning the entertainment. Start with your guest list to evaluate the age range and make sure that there is something for everyone. Good food, witty speeches, and eye pleasing décor will delight and impress most of your guests, but you’ll have to provide something more to keep the younger ones entertained. Children who are bored become restless and cranky, and they will influence their parents’ ability to enjoy the reception. Suddenly, you’ll have two groups of people who are not having a good time, and that is something you don’t want at your wedding.
Entertainment For The Young
There are many fun ways to cater for children’s entertainment at a wedding reception. Designate an area where you can set up a children’s table decorated with children in mind. Forget the fancy linen and elegant props since these niceties are lost on this crowd. Instead, you can use a paper tablecloth and leave lots of pens and crayons to keep busy fingers active. Replace the party favors with games and toys to keep children occupied during long speeches. Face painting, treasure hunts, bouncy castles, and magicians are all popular ways to keep children entertained. Finally, when it comes to the band and music most children can get down with the grownups, but if you have the resources you can set up a special room for music and dancing for the children.
Entertainment For The Old
In your planning for your spectacular wedding day, spare a thought for your grandmother and her friends. This group might not appreciate music by Maroon 5 or Little Wayne, so throw in a few songs on your playlists just for them. Ideally, the band or DJ should be able to play music that would appeal to everyone at some point in time. The goal is to get everyone up and dancing, and when your grandmother has had enough of the dancing make sure that you have an area ready where she, and others in her age group, can sit down and relax, without the sounds of music blasting in their ears. Your wedding music should be the unifying feature at the wedding, bringing younger and older generations together in celebration of your union. Choose the right playlist, provide adequate place for dancing, and work with your band to keep the mood going. Most important is to provide a place for people to relax comfortably when they want to take a break from the dance floor.
It’s time to dance…..!
A great wedding day event leaves a lasting impression. Use an entertainment band to keep the energy up and get your guests moving on the dance floor all night. Book the band well in advance and make sure that you choose one known for injecting a lot of energy to the crowd. Put in a request for popular songs from various genres to get everyone involved. Follow the steps below to get everyone dancing.
Choose Your Entertainment Wisely
There are many different styles of live bands to choose from. Consider the theme of your event and choose a band that best fits. Rock or Pop bands and Latin bands will get more people dancing than a blues band – again it’s all about what you want your audience to do.
Consider The Audience
Choose the entertainers and music based on the audience. Would you have an older crowd, younger one or a cross section? Whatever it is the music should match.
Plan The Flow Of Music With the Band
The planning must take all aspects of the event into consideration. For instance, what music will you use when dinner is being served? How will you keep the music going when the band takes a break? The goal is to keep your guests entertained and dancing if they feel like it this is also where a reputable entertainment agency can help manage the process a lot easier. Bands normally play in sets of 45 minutes, and if you’ve booked two or three sets, you’ll want to use the play time wisely.
Separate Singles From Couples
Keep singles together in your seating arrangements. This way they’re likely to bond over dinner and have partners to pair with on the dance floor.
Let The Music Set The Ambiance
For the dance part of the party, the music should set the tone. Choose songs with personality to get your guests involved and going on the dance floor. It is also important to choose popular songs that people know or at least choose songs that are infectious.
Recruit A Few People To Keep The Dance Floor Active
People are more likely to dance if they see others on the dance floor. If the party is a bridal reception, you can recruit the bridal party to get on the dance floor and since people gravitate towards the bride and groom you’ll have to spend some time there too. For corporate or other events, you can hire a few dancers to draw people from the audience on to the dance floor.
Keep The Music Upbeat
People – especially singles – are more apt to leave the dance floor when slower songs come on. Keep the music upbeat to hold your crowd on the dance floor.
Rely On The Band’s Expertise
The band will have a huge responsibility to get the crowd dancing. This is why it is important to work with an experienced band. They’ll know how to interact with your guests and maintain the tempo.
How To Put On A Memorable First Dance
The first dance could be the most nerve-racking part of the wedding for some couples. It’s the time when all eyes will scrutinize your dance moves. Guests could understand your nervousness when you say your vows, so a little squeakiness in your voice is expected. But during the first dance, you’re back in the spotlight and this time you’re expected to perform. This time, looking flustered or out of it won’t be excused. Get ready for your first dance and bring it on with the following steps.
Get the band or DJ to compose a mix of your favorite song with that of the groom for a meaningful mix of songs.
Change both your outfits just before the first dance is announced. The outfits should say that you’re ready for dancing. You can always change back if you love your wedding dress.
Recruit a musically talented friend to sing along with the band. This will add spark to the dance and put a smile on everyone’s face.
Get dance lessons beforehand and wow friends and family with your professional moves on the dance floor.
Have the emcee pull a prank on the guests before you come out and start the dance. It’s up to you to determine the nature of the prank.
Instead of the prank, you can ask your dad to escort you onto the dance floor and introduce you and your new spouse. This will draw a collective sigh from the crowd.
Include other guests in the dance. Make it fun but remember to spend at least half of the dance in the arms of your spouse.
Break from the norm and surprise your guests. There’s no rule that says you must have the first dance after dinner. Launch into your first dance number when the introductions are made at the start of the reception.
Get the staff at the venue to turn off the lights when you’re about to dance and perform by candlelight or with a spotlight on you and the groom.
Tell the story of how you met and fell in love with projected images while you move gracefully across the dance floor. This will take some of the focus off your dancing if you’re feeling overly self-conscious.
Up the ante by get a few selections from married guests and ask them to join you on the dance as the band sings a medley of songs.
Get your entire bridal party involved and have them surround you and the groom in a coordinated dance number. This will also wow your guests and take some of the attention off you.
Distribute copies of the lyrics to the guests and ask them to serenade you as you dance with your groom.
Do an abbreviated version of the song, so you’re not stuck on the dance floor for what seems like hours. You’ll have to ask the band to prepare that version and pass it on to you well before the big day.
Recreate a dance scene from your favorite movie. Use the songs and some of the moves and it will definitely be a crowd pleaser.
Here at earcandy we would love to help your organise the live music, so why not get in touch with a professional entertainment agency that can help you make your day extra special.
I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance,
A church filled with family and friends.
I asked him what kind of a wedding he wished for,
He said one that would make me his wife.