29 Dec Wedding Checklist made simple
Wedding Checklist ideas
Great news, you are getting married, before you rush out and invest in planning tools, hire a wedding co-ordinator and re-invent the wheel have a chat with the ladies in your life who have been here before.
It’s like a walk in the park when it’s kept fun.
A wedding checklist will help make your big day a happy day but don’t become obsessed with the detail, let it evolve, keep it fun and you will enjoy this aspect almost as much as the actual Celebration. Involve your partner at every stage and remember it really is a Celebration not a conference.
Today there are some really cool tools available that will certainly make it all a lot easier than it was for your parents.
At Saltcote Place we have a selection of tools that we share with the couples we take on, they can adapt these to fit their own needs and we remain available as needed to assist. One example of a useful tool would be “digital invitations” where you use Google Docs and a spreadsheet of potential guests and then from within the Google doc you send out great looking invitations asking them to save the date. Nearer the time you use this same list to invite those who “Saved the date” to let you know about their dietary preferences as you will want to share this with the catering team. Guests can also indicate arrival times, leave you special notes and even ask for details about places to stay in the area.
Watch as the list of attendees grows, because you agreed the cost of the food and drink with our catering team you have absolute clarity about your costs.
Sometimes Couples feel as if they are losing control over the guest list for example if you start asking the in-laws and the outlaws “is there anyone else you can think of”?
A simple rule of thumb is do you love them and care about them, are they great fun and you really love being in their company? These people go to the top of your list. We all have distant relatives, some are kept at a distance, others are thought of affectionately and seen only at Weddings and Funerals.
Don’t think for one moment that everyone you invite is super thrilled to take three days out of their schedule to attend, after Covid we learned that remote participation is possible and could be a preferred option for your favourite Aunt in Australia who frankly may not want to spend AU$6,000 to attend but would love to see your Celebration over Zoom. and we have all seen Guests who send the text on the day “Sorry something came up”. They fail to understand you have paid for their food and drink in advance, perhaps some accommodation and worst of all there could have been someone you really did want to attend but you invited the wrong person.
OK this sounds harsh but for the best day of your life do you want to risk tempers, tantrums and disappointment ? Of course not.
Pick a table not a side it’s a Celebration
Your venue will know what works and really should be keen to see that you and your guests have the best possible time, after all it’s their opportunity to shine.
Pinterest is handy, Why not collate images about how you see guests dressing or how the venue and marquee will look and share it with your guests.
There are so many details concerning a wedding that you will benefit from using a wedding checklist to be sure you don’t forget anything important that may detract from the day. Delegate where possible, the best man, bridesmaids can all play their part, in most cases they really want to and even a little task given to your Uncle could make his day as special as yours.
Parents and close family can also be relied upon as touch points for your suppliers, once your Brother knows your choice of music it could be he is placed in charge of organising everything for the DJ unless you are using Spotify! Just make sure he knows the remit so he stays on track.
Your list can be tailored for your specific needs and desires which will help you stay focussed on the fun things, if you feel stress at any point then take a step back and remind those who are stressing you that it’s got to stay light hearted, and fun.
Within six to twelve months before the celebration your checklist should include the actual wedding date and time, the registrar, church or Celebrant and would usually have a good idea about your florist, whilst your catering team were selected a year in advance.
At Saltcote Place Rye we like to invite you and your photographer to pop in to start thinking about lighting and backdrops, use of scenery and props. Your suppliers will be used to providing proof of insurance and PAT testing for electrical equipment and will want to discuss setup and take down times with us.
Your wedding checklist needs to include other important details such as, choosing who will be in the wedding party and ordering the invitations, you can get some great deals from China but make sure you order well in advance.
Stuck for ideas for your Celebration ? here are some ideas we really liked.
Picking your wedding dress is going to be fun once you have sworn everyone to secrecy and of course a few bottles of prosecco on the day will help afterwards.
Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Your local seamstress could easily take elements of your Mothers dress and incorporate it into yours so that only you and those close know it’s there.
Wedding Rings – did you know your small independent jeweller may have a workshop out the back and nothing would please them more than to incorporate your Nan’s ring into your Wedding band.
Hamlet and a tea party – One couple decided to lay on a tea party instead of a full on wedding breakfast and also included a condensed version of Hamlet, although only lasting 5 minutes it was hilarious and each guest received a small copy of the play in the form of a book. Later the Ceremony was a little more formal when the Chinese Tea Ceremony, we have seen quite a few of these here. For details about a Chinese Tea Ceremony have a look here
Picture walls to include missing relatives who may have passed, remember there are two families coming together and to see Grandparents Uncles and Aunties being remembered, respected and involved is going to be remembered for a long time.
Sharks at a Wedding – Absolutely, why not, when Beccy and Matt mentioned an interest in sharks we never thought Beccy would walk down the isle to the theme from Jaws! Another amazing Celebration with a lovely couple. Even the top table was named “Great White”.
Mad hatters theme with signage to ensure everyone knew where to go – Katie and Ben were amazing to work with, total fun all the way.
Wedding Favours they will remember – One Celebration stands out more than others simply because of the Wedding favours which formed part of the seating plan. Instead of spending a fortune on plastic or gimmicks the couple went through their photo albums and social media to collect the faces of every guest who would be attending. The images were printed onto one side of a calling card, on the other side each had written something lovely, sincere and with love to thank the Guest for being there and made it clear how special that guest was to each of the couple getting married. One image was used on the easel at the entrance of the marquee whilst the other was sat where the Guest would be sitting. Not a single card was left as would have been the case with expensive favours. Also included was a clear invitation to meet up within 90 days to go for a meal.
Charity Lottery Tickets – During the initial meet with the couple we met Dad, although unwell and pulling an oxygen bottle this lovely man did not make it to the Wedding. The local Hospice of St Michaels are staffed with amazing people who do a great job. Each guest had a Lottery Ticket and a scratch card, all Guests knew the significance; although only £200 was spent the winnings came to just under £2,000 which all went back to the Hospice.
On your wedding checklist be sure to put reminders for details that will be happening closer to the date. At Saltcote Place we are a little more than just a Wedding venue we have the systems in place to help our couples never miss an opportunity to make the Celebration very personal and bespoke and when time permits the occasional bottle of wine and a pizza give us all the opportunity to embrace your plans to ensure we are all on the same page.
About a month to six weeks before your big day you should really have paid for everything, this way you and your suppliers commit to your schedule and forget about money. The price you pay is only money, the memories from a well organised event are priceless.
This can take a lot of stress off of you and your family and allow you to relax and enjoy the process and the actual wedding day. Remember your “Friend” who was married last year is not an expert, she may have learnt from her mistakes and can sometimes be a great confidant but at the end of the day it’s your celebration, relax and have fun.
If you do not have a wedding checklist and just want to see if your Celebration could take place here then we look forward to having a chat.
We have some of our trusted wedding suppliers here
Draft Wedding Checklist.
Now for the end document that gives and indication of timings. You will want to share with your Venue and Catering team as early as possible a Google Doc is an ideal way to share this.
It’s not obligatory it’s just a suggestion but in the few days before the Celebration come and get involved in your marquee decoration, it’s a great way to have some fun and extend the Celebration.
The Day before
Couple arrive at Saltcote from 12:00, settle in and Guests arrive from 14:00 then off to drinks reception unless it’s been arranged at Saltcote Place. The drinks reception achieves a couple of things, you settle in your guests and renew friendships with those you have not seen for a while. You know your Guests are all present so the catering will work tomorrow 😉
On the Day try these suggested timings.
Breakfasts start from 08:30 remember it’s ladies first.
Hair and Makeup arrive between 08:30 and 09:00 and setup whilst breakfast is taking place.
09.30 Photographers arrive
Band and DJ setup in Marquee from 11:00 to 12:00 and sound test before guests enter the marquee.
2.30pm Wedding breakfast followed by speeches
6.30pm Evening guests arrive & DJ starts
7pm Cutting of the Cake
7.15pm First Dance
7.30pm Band – first set
8.30pm Evening buffet
9pm Band – second set
10.15pm DJ plays until close
11:30 Carriages arrive – book taxis well in advance and perhaps Rye Community Transport
12pm Non staying Guests Depart, you and those staying at Saltcote may stay on as agreed
Suppliers are listed below with times of arrival and contact details – share this with the venue, We have a process to ensure your suppliers have the best opportunity to deliver their part to the highest standards.
8am hair & makeup: Phone and Email here
9.30am Flowers arrive – florist details here Phone and Email
10am Photographers- Phone and Email here – Catering usually supplied
TBC Caricaturist – Phone and Email here
Magician – Phone and Email here
DJ and Band Phone and Email here – Catering usually supplied
Let us know if you would add anything to this by writing to email@example.com