Expert Tips & Advice to Ensure Your Big Day Runs Smoothly

Planning & Advice

Planning your wedding is a one-off experience that will be full of amazing milestones but it can come with the odd stress or two as well! To make sure it’s more enjoyable than stressful, we asked our venue experts and wedding coordinators to share some advice and tips to ensure your day runs smoothly. Here’s what they had to say…

Catriona from Shearwater Hotel & Spa, Galway – View Profile

Plan ahead, know your budget and be realistic with timing for meal seating. Your wedding coordinator should be there to fully assist you on your wedding day once you arrive to the hotel as he or she will know your requirements best.

Eileen from Springfield Hotel, Kildare – View Profile

Leave it to the experts and enjoy the day. Also preparation is key so table plan etc. should be done at least 10 days before as it’s one of the most stressful things for the couple.

Margaret from Ashley Park House, Tipperary – View Profile

Have the ceremony after 2pm or later as it gives everyone time to relax and enjoy getting ready and also guests are not too stressed trying to make the ceremony on time.

Sue from Lord Bagenal Inn, Carlow – View Profile

Remember what the day is all about, you and your families coming together sharing the most important day of your lives. No matter what you do, you will not please everyone so do remember to do what you want for your day… don’t look back in 10 years time and say ‘why didn’t we do that’!  Anyone who wants to share in your special day will do so regardless of what you choose to do if they really want to be there.

Sarah from Actons Hotel Kinsale, Cork – View Profile

Have a planner/diary. Keep it in your bag on the run up to the day, about 2 months before hand. Anything that may pop into your head, an idea, a concern, anything – write it down and address it with the venue, church, tailor or whoever it may be. Put your mind at ease, there’s no point stressing over something that can be avoided.

Rope in your close family and friends who know you well to help make the day run smoothly. If they know you, they know how you’d react in certain situations. Trust them to take care of the “nitty gritty” details on the day. After all, it’s your wedding day and you’re meant to enjoy it.

A good bit of advice from a Disney movie – “Let it go!” Just let it go. If something happens, that isn’t exactly according to plan, let it go. There’s no point crying over spilt milk. Just enjoy your day. Enjoy the company and enjoy the party!

Claire from Clanard Court Hotel, Kildare – View Profile

Be as organised as possible, don’t leave anything to the last minute. Plan to have as much done the week before your wedding as you possibly can. You don’t want to be putting favours or booklets together the day before your wedding when you could be having lunch with family and friends or getting pampered. Listen to your wedding coordinator and selected suppliers. They have a wealth of experience so use this to your advantage.

Caroline from Roganstown Hotel & Country Club, Dublin – View Profile

To ensure your day runs smoothly I would advise you to be prepared well in advance. Complete a time scale of your ‘to do’s’, for example, arrange favours, table centrepieces, 3 months in advance and so on. Your final appointment with your wedding reception venue should be completed two weeks before your wedding day to ensure everything is confirmed and that you are comfortable with the ‘running order’ of the day. You should also meet with your photographer 2 weeks prior in your wedding venue and discuss where you would like your photos taken. This ensures that there will be no confusion or delays on the actual day! Your table plan should be completed and sent to your venue at least a week before your big day. On our plan you can also include any special dietary requirements and children in attendance. All details for your wedding should be finalised the week prior which means you have nothing to do the week of your wedding except for dropping off your luggage and favours, wedding cake etc. the day before the wedding (better still, why not ask the best man or maid of honour to do this for you)!! On the actual day of the wedding, ensure you have pre-delegated any ‘jobs’ to your best man, such as keeping the all-important ‘presents of envelopes’ safe for you!

Bernadette from Randles Hotels, Kerry – View Profile

It might seem obvious, but make a list of everything! You’d be surprised what you might forget. Then you can work through the list and tick things off as you do them. I would also really recommend that you delegate jobs to willing and trusted friends and relatives, where possible. On the day itself, just relax. You can do no more so just enjoy your special day. Another important point is to allow plenty of time for everything – for the service, for talking to guests after, the photographs and the welcome reception before you sit down. You don’t want to be looking at your watch on the day worrying about time.

Joe from Rathsallagh House – View Profile

Make sure your photographer has worked in the venue before, if he/she has not, get a guarantee that they will scout the venue well in advance of the day so they are not wasting time looking for last minute locations due to weather and or other conditions etc. Make a list then of all the formal photographs you want and who should be in them. Give this list to your photographer, your bridesmaids/best men to make sure those listed are on site and ready for the photos when called. This will save you a lot of time on the day and will enable you to spend more of the reception time with your guests rather than with your photographer.

Get your band/DJ to pre-set well in advance of the meal sit down time so that all equipment is in place and tuning etc. done and the band is ready to go straight away after speeches as the best man announces the first dance. An integrated band/DJ is a first preference to ensure a continuous flow to the entertainment.

If you have young children at the wedding, it is worth the expense to hire child-minders or alternatively a designated relative to look after them. That way the children’s parents can relax a bit more and enjoy the day.

Karen from Galgorm Resort & Spa, Antrim – View Profile

Try and enjoy the experience of planning your wedding, make the most of it and keep calm. As wedding planners, we are there to provide you with ideas and ensure a stress-free journey in the lead up to your big day! Take advice from them and trust your venue, they have done this many times and have your best interests at heart.

Marita from Armada Hotel, Clare – View Profile

I would advise couples to make sure they decide everything well in advance of the big day and don’t leave things too close to the date. For example menus, drinks and decor should all really be decided two months out.

Main photo from Philippa & Conor’s real wedding by Massafelli Photography