· Be rested and relaxed. So many of our grooms but especially our brides are completely exhausted by the last half of the reception. Instead, be rested, take it easy in the weeks leading up to the wedding and know that there will be lots of ‘loose ends’ to organise during that time. Then when the day comes, you can be (relatively!) relaxed and really celebrate.
· Know your dress. Know how the bustle works and what you will need (and do you need assistance from Mum or bridesmaids) when hooking up the bustle at the back for the bridal waltz and for dancing the night away. So often we see the dress being stepped on by others accidently on the dance floor, not to mention the difficulties for the bride keeping up the dress up at a length so she can dance!!
· An idea for assistance in lifting the dress to a more manageable height, without the bustle, is to have a ring or a ribbon that is lower on the dress, and when worn by the bride, it lifts the skirt in that area. A particularly lovely way to show off petticoats or pretty layers that make up the skirt.
· Have safety pins and scissors stashed away somewhere – believe us when we say we’ve seen brides and bridesmaids trying to tackle long threads of cotton through to broken bustles before the bridal waltz, and general tidying and falling down of parts of the dress. It’s a long time to spend looking so glamorous in what can be such a unique and unusual dress compared to normal evening attire – be prepared!!
· One strategy we’ve seen and would recommend, would be that if you are interested in truly dancing the night away, then purchase or design a dress that works for you – that is easy to move in, is light, relaxing to be in, and you can move your legs without worry. Or the best idea would be to have one dress for ceremony, and then change into a stunning and easy to dance in party dress for reception – just some food for thought!!!
The Bridal Waltz
· Ok, so it’s easy for men to dance in a suit – but for ladies we recommend that you practise your bridal waltz with a family member or friend, with your bridal gown on, in the days before the wedding, and BEFORE you dance it with your new husband at the reception. The is highly recommended, because this dance is all about love, and not about worrying about whether or not you’ll slip on the fabric and wobble or fall in front of all the guests – especially after a champagne or two!
· This tip is from a recent groom of ours, April 2010. Having an experienced photographer is important, and so is keeping within budget. An idea is to find a photographer or company that has perhaps 2 or 3 years experience, but hasn't quite reached the stage where they have lifted their prices up yet from since they began.
· This is something we've noticed. If you have a few photographers who you are selecting between, go with the one with the winning personality. Time and again we've witnessed the camera and the personality work wonders with a crowd, letting guests know who's in line for the next photo in a fun way, keeping everyone smiling and relaxed...after all, that is what the camera will capture.
· If the day is hot, dress the flowergirl and groomsmen last of all, or if they must be dressed early, keep an eye on their temperature. We've had stories of kids overheating in their suits / garments and either fainting or becoming ill in the hired cars on the way to the ceremony. Also, kids can get nervous too! Bring a damp face washer and a comb in a little bag in the hire car if you can when travelling with your page boy and flowergirl.
· Look at where the dance floor and the band are situated, and base your seating with that in mind. Elderley people and small children should not be seated right next to the dance floor.
· If the parents of the bride and groom are either divorced, widowed or remarried, work out a strategy before the wedding of who will dance with who when it comes to parents joining in for the bridal waltz. PLEASE make sure that if one of your parents is single, organise a friend or another family member of the opposite sex, to dance with them during the bridal waltz. This makes everyone happy and is a loving gesture towards that parent. (At some weddings parents are announced at the reception, prior to the bridal party entrance – this hint is also for this moment.)
· MC – choosing an MC takes some consideration, and we find that often the most successful weddings are those where the MC is a family member or friend who can provide a ‘personal touch’ to the event. Professional MC’s are great, but don’t underestimate the humourous reflections and the relaxed atmosphere that can come from someone within the family or friend network that both of you know and trust. We provide an excellent MC service and are often thanked by grateful bridal couple because they wanted all of their family and friends to be relaxed and enjoy the night rather than have that responsibility.