Often couples focus all their planning energy on their reception and forget the main event is the wedding ceremony. When you overlook the importance of your ceremony it can lead to common mishaps that can ruin one of the most meaningful moments of your life.
Your wedding ceremony should be just as well planned as your reception to ensure everything goes exactly as you imagined it. Here are ten wedding ceremony mistakes you don’t want to make and can avoid with a little planning.
1. Wobbly Ankles and Dangerous Shoes
You got caught up finding the ultimate heels for the bride and bridal party, but did you give them a test run to make sure they’re safe? Many brides and their ladies have twisted an ankle or taken a fall simply by making bad shoe choices.
While your shoes should be fashionable and present the perfect look from head to toe if those toes aren’t used to a particular shoe style, your chances of wipeouts rise. Brides and their wedding parties are on their feet for longer than you might think. Therefore consider the look but also consider if you can stand in those shoes for hours.
Next, nothing looks worse than a bride or her bridesmaids wobbling down the aisle or teetering on too high heels. From dangerous marble floors in wedding ceremony halls to floral petals on the aisle, white carpet bumps to plain old ankle twists, the right shoes and a little practice walking down the aisle will help avoid stiletto-related accidents that can keep more than the champagne at your reception on ice.
2. Major Wardrobe Malfunctions
Now that you’ve got the shoe dangers sorted don’t forget about the dress and veil. Men are lucky because very little can go wrong with their wardrobe. However, brides should beware of the following potential wardrobe malfunctions:
Long veils and trains
Long veils and trains are the epitome of the dreamy princess bride. But they are also more likely to lead to troubles such as getting twisted up due to light breezes or, worse, high winds; the more likely risk of getting caught in car doors; tripping hazards; taking a muddy dip in a puddle or footprints from getting stepped on: cleary, the long veil or train is not practical.
Be sure you make plans to accommodate the length with someone to maneuver it in and out of the limo, as well as to keep it neat and aligned as you walk down the aisle! What’s more, be careful once the ceremony is over.
Many a bride has been so excited it’s over that she turns and twists herself up in the material and takes a tumble. Make sure your maid of honour arranges the material carefully once you arrive at the altar so you can strategically turn and make your way safely back up the aisle. Gathering it under your arm can also help make it easier to maneuver.
Not all veils are designed to cover the face, so consider if this is something you prefer. Visions of dad lifting the veil from your face as he hands you over to the groom are very emotional and touching, but again.
If dad doesn’t get how this highly specialized fashion statement works, he is more apt to make a mess of things when he tries to lift it. If you’re wearing a face veil, make sure dad knows how it works, and let him try it out so he doesn’t embarrass himself or create a scene!
3. Not Having a Kid Wrangler
You’ve pictured your adorable nieces and nephews leading the walk down the aisle, but have you considered if they have the focus to pull it off? Kids are unpredictable and might have a hard time making their way down that aisle.
Getting them to practice is critical, but even then, when faced with row upon row of beaming faces on the wedding day, they might lose their nerve and enthusiasm. Boredom or just a lack of walking experience can also cause issues.
Don’t forget schedules. For example, you don’t want them to be walking down the aisle when their internal clocks are set on a nap or snack. When in doubt, bribery helps. So does having their parents standing at the altar, off to the side. This is the best way to keep kids focused on their target destination and to wrangle them into obedience.
4. Check, Check, Check Your Audio System
Whether it is readings or music, making sure the sound system works is a basic requirement before your wedding ceremony. Have someone assigned for mic duty, and make sure they speak to whoever is in charge of the sound system at the wedding ceremony hall to learn how everything works.
Then have them perform a thorough mic check and make sure they remain on hand just in case anything goes wrong. If your ceremony is outdoors little things like wind can wreak havoc with sound systems, so have a plan B just in case.
5. Ring Toss
Wedding jitters and shaky hands can lead to ring drops and tosses that can gum up the ceremony. The easiest way to avoid everyone dropping to their knees and trying to find the ring is to have an agreement pre-ceremony that the best man will be the one to go in for the search.
6. Vows Misspoken
Back to the whole nerves thing, it can be easy to forget your vows as nerves set in and the impact of the moment moves you. While it’s a nice idea to memorize vows, the odds are against you.
Choose to have the vows written on cards so you can refer to them in a pinch. If you have a wedding planner, another idea is to have them hold the cards and feed you the lines, just like in the movies. Practice makes perfect as well, so running your lines several times leading up to the day can help keep things smooth and natural.
7. Free For All Seating
Ushers aren’t just an excuse for the groom to have his best buds and favourite cousin squeeze into a tux since he has to! Ushers serve an important purpose, which is to get guests seated.
If you fail to have someone greeting and seating guests, formality is cast to the wind, and you could end up with a free for once the ceremony is about to begin. Ushers guiding guests to their seats helps keep things moving, while also discouraging people from gathering outside, or chatting in the aisles and foyer.
8. Cell Phone Etiquette
While one would think it is common sense for guests to turn off their cell phones during a wedding ceremony, addiction to social media and simple forgetfulness can throw a wrench into the works. Make sure someone requests all cell phones be turned off just before the ceremony begins to keep things quiet and avoid disruptions.
Another option is to have a sign at the door of the wedding ceremony hall saying “Cell Phone-Free Ceremony” so people can leave their phones in the car. You can also have your ushers request people turn their phones off when they are seated.
This also helps avoid people taking selfies, recording the ceremony or taking distracting pictures. Your officiant or a designated family member can announce no photos during the ceremony unless you decide you want people to take pictures!
9. Photobomb Officiant
Some couples don’t mind having their officiant appear in their first kiss photos. However, many prefer the focus remain on them. Speak to your officiant about your preference, and request they step to the side once they announce, “you can now kiss the bride.” This provides a focus for you and makes for nicer pictures.
10. Passing on the Rehearsal
Most people haven’t been married before, so a rehearsal is important. Some people like the idea of a more spontaneous ceremony or simply want to avoid the need for yet another event before the wedding. However, a full rehearsal with your officiant present, the full wedding party, parents of the flower girls and ring bearer, ushers and anyone else involved should be held to ensure everyone knows what to expect.
These tips will help you avoid wedding ceremony mishaps for a perfectly romantic exchange of vows.