Your Wedding Day Programme

Your big day is here and you have popped your eyes open. All you can think about is that moment you say, “Yes, I do!” Stop! Slow down for a minute! You need to prepare yourself mentally, physically and emotionally.

Before you jump out of bed, say your prayers, affirmations or meditations, to put you in the right frame of mind to deal with all the emotions you will go through today and to prepare you for all the people you will encounter throughout the day. OK, now you can get out of bed. Eat some breakfast and afterward get a quick glass of wine or your favorite drink!

Your bridal party will soon arrive to prepare you all for hair and make up. Keep your spirits high and savor the final moments before you become Mrs. You may have opted for your photographer to capture these moments while you get ready and prepare for your ceremony. Remember that she will not only photograph the make up, dress and accessories but will also document this time with your closest friends and family. You may be showered with some gifts during this time.

By this time, your groom and his groomsmen will also be getting ready. His guys will help ease his mind and celebrate him tying the knot.

As your wedding ceremony draws near, you will get dressed and have the final make up touches done just before you leave to join the procession. In more recent years, some couples have strayed away from the tradition of not seeing each other prior to the ceremony and instead take a brief moment to pray with each other.

The Mothers will start the procession by being seated, the Groom’s mother to the right, the Bride’s mother to the left. The bridesmaids coupled with the groomsmen will follow – Bridesmaids standing on the left, groomsmen on the right side, left of where the Groom will stand. The groom then enters from the side entrance and stands to the right side of the altar. Your Maid of Honor will ensure that your veil and dress are fixed before she walks down the aisle with the best man. He will stand to the left, next to the groom. The ring bearer follows. Your flower girl will scatter petals or confetti to prepare for your grand entrance. If you are following “Lucian time” this may be about an hour after your scheduled time. So now, here comes the Bride!

The ceremony starts and will sometimes include special readings, words of advice from your wedding officiant, pastor or priest, exchange of vows, signing for the register, then you will share your first kiss. Your ceremony will be wrapped up with the pronouncement of Husband & Wife.

Your guests will enjoy cocktails while your photographer proceeds with the bridal party for formal photos. It may be a few hours till you and your husband are able to enjoy time alone so have your wedding planner discuss you having a few moments together. Your photographer may choose to focus on your bridal party while you take this time, or allow you to walk ahead while she takes photos from the back. Take these few minutes to bond and prepare for the next leg of your celebration.

When the photos are over, the bridal party will precede your entrance. Expect hugs, kisses and well wishes from everyone as you walk through the crowd.

Although the format of receptions many vary with each wedding, the elements all remain. The first dance often comes first. The Bride and Groom will then be seated and then dinner. As you nears an end, it is custom for the best man and Maid of Honor to give their speeches. These speeches will often bring tears, laughter and more well wishes for the future. Grab your glass and toast to your renewed future. Mother/ son and Bride/ father dances, tossing of the garter and the bridal bouquet follow. Are you ready for cake, because you’ve reached cake cutting time!

Now the party really begins! Enjoy the dancing and celebration of your union with your closest family and friends. You may decide to have a final song with your husband before you leave. This may wind up your reception. You can also have your guests join you outside to bid you farewell.

Remember, this is your day and you may not include all of these aspects and in some cases you may even add or alter the day’s events. Nothing is a must except for some legal formalities. Tailor your day to suit your hopes and expectations. But apart from the format, be sure to take time for yourself and with your husband so you can be mentally and emotionally in tune with yourself and each other to make your day one that you will never forget.