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Posted by on in Ceremonies
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Wedding Ceremony - Tips from a Celebrant, ignore at your peril! Reminder!

Wedding Ceremony - Tips from a Celebrant, ignore at your peril!  Reminder!


Coming into wedding season again, and we thought that we would re publish this post.... It was some great tips regarding wedding ceremonies!


I had a really interesting conversation in the Paramount Event Hire Showroom with one the Hunter Valley' s most prominent celebrants -  Fiona from Heart Felt Occasions.  Fiona made a comment that really resonated with me  - she stressed the importance of the wedding ceremony for setting the scene and tone for your the rest of your wedding day.  Fiona commented 'I have seen so many couples skimp on such items such as chairs for their guests, often borrowing mis-matched ones from friends.  Or not paying any attention to decorating the aisle - a simple bamboo arch, or carpet that signals to the guests exactly where you will be walking down the aisle and 'here comes the bride'.  




First Impressions Count



Doesn't matter if you are having a garden wedding or a wedding on the beach.  The ceremony is the first thing that their guests see, and sets the expectations for the rest of the evening and their entire wedding, especially when no expense is spared for the wedding reception table decorations.  'It is so important that couples put some emphasis on the ceremony & set the scene to create a sense of occasion.....hopefully, for many it is something they only do once, so it has to be memorable!'  Fiona also mentioned that these items will be featured in years to come, in the official photographs of your wedding, not to mention shared on Facebook, YouTube etc.



Consider an Usher 


Another vital tip shared, is to also consider an usher to guide your guests to the ceremony chairs.  Many guests, especially if they are not family, are reluctant to take a seat in case they mistakingly chose one that is meant for someone 'special'.  A good idea is to have a really simple removable label - this can easily placed on the seats in the first couple of rows so they are reserved for the extra special, close to the heart, guests.  If you have hired a wedding planner, they will often guide your guests with minimum fuss.  There are plenty of other reasons why I suggest you hire a professional wedding or event co-ordinator, but that is another entire post! 



How many chairs do I hire for my wedding ceremony? 


Also, to answer a question that a wedding decorator gets asked all the time - "Do I have to have chairs for everybody"?  The simple answer is no, you don't.  A rule of thumb is approximately 30% of chairs for your guest numbers.  However, plenty of brides do arrange a chair for all guests. 


But what we agreed is absolutely essential is a wet weather back up plan - not every day turns out as beautiful as Jenna's did!  Kerry Cornes the florist, did a beautiful job of Jenna's flowers.



You must have a wet weather alternative


Don't be like the bride last week in the Hunter Valley that didn't have a wet weather option for her ceremony, she was relying on the 'fingers crossed' technique that it wouldn't rain on her big day,  and had to find a wedding ceremony venue at the last minute.  Be a smart bride like our Newcastle bride, that had a wet weather alternative organised early.  


What you need to know:

  • It can rain, hail and shine TOO  much - have you really thought through getting married standing outside in the middle of the hot Australian summer.  Do you really want to insist that your man, his groomsmen and all your guests, sweat in the 30 degree heat in all that polyester?  Not too mention, your carefully applied Napoleon makeup melting…
  • Have you considered getting married in the cooler months? At least the sweat factor will be minimal, and it generally rains less.  Winter weddings can be amazingly intimate and romantic. 
  • If it rains, and you have to change venue, have you thought about how that will get the message out to all of your guests?  You need to delegate this task - you will not have time to be calling/ texting your guests when your pre ceremony shots with your parents are occuring. 
  • Are you a stressed out bride?  How anxious will you feel the morning of your wedding constantly watching the skies for signs of grey.  If so, maybe an outdoor ceremony may not be for you.
  • Have you hired white folding chairs, red carpet, signing table etc especially just for the hour and half?  Have you discussed with your Event Decorator what happens to all these items if you have to change venue at the last minute.  Our outdoor ceremony terms and conditions are here, with notice, we are happy to change venues on the day.  
  • Be mindful that with council run sites like KIng Edward Park, and Shepherds Hill, you have the site strictly for 1.5 hours, your wedding decorator has only a 15 minute window either side of your start and finish time to get all the hire items setup and removed.  You will often see an army of staff swarming in to ensure that this gets done on time for you. 
  • Hiring an wedding decorator or event hire company to setup your wedding ceremony will save you considerable stress - whilst Uncle Charlie has offered his ute, do you trust him to set up your ceremony the way that you want it?  Does he do this every weekend?


Are you looking for an alternative venue for your ceremony?  In Newcastle Longworth House, Harbourview Function Centre, Newcastle City Hall and Noah's on the Beach all offer wet weather alternatives, even if they are not hosting your reception.  


If you are hosting your Wedding ceremony in the Hunter Valley, Tamburlaine, Kirkton Park, Ironbark Hill to name a few, also offer under cover ceremony options.  


Just a few tips from a Wedding Decorator…..


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