The joke between my hubby and I was that I would just rock up on our big day and him, the moms and my closest girlfriends would’ve planned everything. I wouldn’t need to do a thing. As it turned out, having gone through planning a wedding, I am quite a control freak, a Nazi about detail and planned everything down to the last second.
After setting the date, selecting a venue, getting quotes and choosing suppliers, I started getting the ‘what time must the food be put out’, ‘what time should we be there…’ questions. The only answer I had was that the ceremony would start at 4pm, but no, suppliers wanted to know what time they must be there – I don’t know.
The best way for me to establish who must be at the venue and what time – and what needs to happen when, was to create an Excel spreadsheet and work it out. Work it out I did – down to the last minute cause that’s what brides do, right?
Turns out not a single one of my friends or past brides (that I/the suppliers knew of) had such a detailed programme of events. Oh, don’t get me wrong, most knew what was happening in which order, but the actual time? Not a chance! Weddings have a dynamic of their own and things happen which you have no control over. True, but it turns out that I got quite twitchy when I didn’t know what time the next step would take place – or what the next step would be.
My programme of events soon became colour coordinated (based on who is responsible for what) and had notes column (of things the responsible person MUST NOT FORGET).
This programme of events was not only emailed to every single person involved, but printed out and put into (pretty) folders and given to people.
Ok, perhaps the exact time stamps were a bit much, but in my defense, I thought that is what brides do. The suppliers loved knowing what time they must be where, what the order was and what they were responsible for. They loved that there was no need to run around (after people) and that things went smoothly. Give your supplier that – in which ever format you prefer.
My matron of honour and MC were put in charge to ensure that things happen smoothly, flawlessly and 'on time'. Do that. Have responsible people do the running around so you can chill. My matron of honour was amazing in lining the ladies up for their hair and make-up, and our MC was brilliant in ensuring that everything went smoothly.
But be flexible. Weddings do have a personality of their own, but things somehow work out. Plus, you've left people you trust in charge.
In case you are wondering… Things didn’t happen exactly according to the times on the schedule. In fact we were about two hours ahead of schedule with hair and make-up, which wasn’t such a bad thing, as I got to do a mini-bridal boudoir shoot with the photographer.
We remained ahead of schedule for pretty much the whole wedding, which was great, cause instead of starting the party at 21:30, we started at 20:57.