Even if you have attended many weddings as a guest, you may not have noticed the small details that can make the difference between an awkward moment and a wedding ceremony going off without a hitch. Make your wedding ceremony special, memorable, and smooth for you and your guests with our 8 simple tips for planning a flawless wedding ceremony.
1. DON’T SKIMP ON SEATING
How many chairs do you need for your wedding ceremony? The same as your guest count, right? Not quite. Be sure to set out more chairs than you have guests. This enables groups to sit together, give your guests personal space, and saves late arrivals from the desperate search for seats.
2. HAVE AN UNPLUGGED CEREMONY
You’ve probably attended weddings where your view was blocked by a guest’s camera or cell phone at a critical moment, or Aunt Susie couldn’t resist stepping into the aisle for a better angle. This is disruptive for guests, distracting for you and – worst of all – can cause your photographer to miss the perfect shot of you walking down the aisle or having your first kiss as a married couple. You hired your photographer to get great photos of those moments. Make sure your guests don’t get in the way. A sign at the entrance asking your guests to refrain from taking photos is a good idea. And for guests who miss the memo, we highly recommend asking your officiant to make an announcement before your ceremony begins.
3. ONE MORE TIME FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK
You want your guests to hear every word of your ceremony, including (or especially) your vows. For small weddings in small spaces, this is no problem, but if you have a larger crowd or a cavernous venue, you’ll want to consider amplifying your voices with microphones. Your DJ should be able to help arrange this, and your guests won’t miss a word.
4. MAKE IT PERSONAL
Your guests are attending your wedding to celebrate you. They will be delighted to hear the story of how you met, your disastrous first date, or the moment you knew your fiancé was the one. Give your officiant some tidbits to include in the ceremony (especially if they don’t know you well) or write a favorite story into your vows. These personal details are what will make your ceremony special and memorable for you and your guests!
5. RESERVE SEATS FOR VIPS
Have you ever accidentally sat too close to the front at a wedding and had to move when Grandma arrived? Avoid the seat shuffle by clearly marking which rows are reserved for immediate family or other VIPs.
The Reserved sign pictured below is available at no additional cost to couples getting married at 48 Fields as part of our Something Borrowed collection.
6. GIVE YOURSELF A BUFFER
When planning the timeline of your wedding day, factor in a delay of 5-10 minutes at the beginning of your ceremony. This way, if guests hit traffic and roll in a few minutes late, they won’t be arriving while you’re walking down the aisle. Planning for this at the outset will prevent stress and keep your day on schedule.
7. CONSIDER GOING PAPERLESS
Do you need ceremony programs? Simplify your day and reduce waste by eliminating programs entirely. Still want to identify your wedding party and provide other key details? Replace the programs with a sign. If you’re doing a more traditional religious ceremony that requires guest participation in call and response or songs, you’ll want to keep the paper programs.
8. CELEBRATE THE BIG MOMENT
We love seeing couples end their ceremony with a bang! When your officiant pronounces you married, ask your guests to throw confetti or flower petals. Or go a more creative route, like this couple whose friend held up a sign saying “Standing Ovation”!
This couple had an American flag unfurl at the moment of their first kiss!
However you choose to celebrate, we hope these ideas will help you in planning a smoother, more memorable wedding ceremony!
48 Fields Farm is a Leesburg VA barn wedding venue for celebrations of all sizes.
Our countryside barn and vast fields are peacefully set in the heart of Northern Virginia wine country.