It is important to understand the general order of a wedding day in order to ensure that you have organised and planned each part of the day thoroughly; this prevents any last minute worries and stresses over things that you may have forgotten. This is however the traditional order of a wedding day and this can be altered and personalised depending on what type of wedding you are having. If you decide to change this order dramatically you will need to discuss this with the owners of your venue and the people in charge of your catering as they will also need to make adjustments to what their used to when taking part in a wedding to suit the order of your special day.
If your wedding is taking place in the afternoon then the day will begin with the groom greeting your guests as they arrive and showing them into the place where you wedding ceremony will be taking place whether this is a church, garden or registry office. Usually your guests will then have a chance to have a drink on arrival and will be able to socialise with other guests and make them selves comfortable having a chance to relax and take some pictures before taking their seats for the wedding ceremony. The bride typically arrives about an hour after the guests have arrived so that they have had chance to take their seats and of course the allowing the bride to be fashionably late.
Your wedding ceremony will then take place. If you are having a religious ceremony then your guests should have an order of the service so that they know the order of the day and also the order of any hymns or readings that will take place. After your wedding ceremony it is common for a champagne reception to take place and this is where you and your guests can enjoy a drink and some light refreshments to keep them going until the meal or buffet later on. This could take place in a garden, or at a bar in the same place as the evening venue or in the reception room itself, this will all depend on where your wedding is being held. During this time professional photographs will be taken of the bride and groom and friends and family.
It also gives your guests a chance to take any photographs after the wedding ceremony. The wedding banquet will then take place, this is the main meal of the day, this could be a buffet or a sit down meal. Guests will be shown to their tables or seats and the meal will begin. During this time toasts and after dinner speeches will take place and any favours should be given out. The duration of your meal is entirely up to you, however you should consider what time you have booked your entertainment for as you usually would have hoped for everyone to have finished before the entertainment starts unless you have planned a sit down meal to take place whilst your guests watch/listen to the entertainment.
You have the choice to cut the cake straight after the toasts or whether you and your guests have chance to dance and have a drink before cutting the cake. Once the cake has been cut and you have had photographs taken of you doing this its then time for the evening reception to begin. This traditionally begins with the bride and groom having their first dance. A father and daughter dance may also then take place afterwards whilst other couples and guests also take to the dance floor and join in if they like. Your guests will be able to have a drink, socialise, have a dance and overall have a good time to celebrate your marriage.
Throughout the night an evening buffet may be available for you and your guests but this is optional. Once you have enjoyed your special day it is time to thank your guests and leave for your honeymoon. Weddings that start earlier in the morning will be in the same order but the meal will be a late lunch rather then an evening meal, morning weddings generally don’t tend to go on as late into the night as afternoon ones but its up to you, if you do wish for your wedding to be a whole day event then a buffet or food later on will be a must have.