So after months of careful preparation, your big wedding day has finally arrived and you’re a bundle of nerves. To ensure the day runs smoothly, here are just a few things to add to your to-do list, from delegating people to help you out to remembering to pack a spare pair of undies for your honeymoon.
Vanessa Muggianu, events manager at beautiful Melbourne venue Berth, has worked in the industry for more than five years and has guided many jittery brides and grooms in the hundreds of weddings that she’s been involved in.
“Every single couple that comes to us on their wedding day is just really over-the-moon and overwhelmed. They just need people to walk them through the day so they can relax and enjoy themselves,” she says.
During her years at Berth, Vanessa has managed a diverse range of weddings at Berth, which sits on top of the water at Docklands and features sensational panoramic views of the city. From private, intimate soirees to large gatherings of up to 200 and weddings from all kinds of cultures, such as Greek weddings featuring plate-smashing and Colombian celebrations that are more like street-parties, Vanessa is well-experienced in throwing a great party for her clients.
Here are her top tips for brides and grooms on their wedding day.
Pack your bags for the honeymoon
The last thing you want to discover when on your wedding night with your new husband or wife is that you’ve forgotten a clean pair of underwear or toothbrush, says Vanessa. Pack an overnight bag with whatever essentials you need and make arrangements for how it can get to the venue, such as asking your best mate to bring it along to the reception for you.
Delegate someone to take care of your presents and cake
Make sure you ask someone trustworthy and responsible who can collect all your gifts, cards and wishing well money, so you don’t have to worry about what to do with them afterwards, suggests Vanessa.
Another thing to remember is that if you intend to save the top of your cake and freeze it to enjoy on your wedding anniversary, ask someone to to take care of that for you after the guests have eaten their share at the reception.
Organise a basket of thongs for the guests at the reception
Your female guests will absolutely love you if you brought along pairs of thongs for them to swap for their sky-high stilettos on the dance floor.
“We’ve had a lot of people take off their shoes on the dance floor and obviously people often break glasses and bottles at the reception, so being barefoot can get a bit dangerous. The ladies are always dying to take off their shoes, so make sure you bring along a basket of thongs for them,” explains Vanessa.
Remember not to drink too much before the speeches
No matter how much you might be dying for a beer or a glass of champers to help you calm down those jittery nerves, be mindful of the amount you drink right before giving your speech at the reception. Unfortunately, Vanessa has had a few occasions where she’s had to go looking for a bride right before the reception at Berth, who was feeling a little under the weather.
“There was one instance when the bride and groom had begun drinking in the restaurant next door and by the time it was the reception, she was drunk and the mother-in-law was also drunk,” recalls Vanessa. “So within the first hour of the wedding, the bride was in the toilet throwing up and the groom’s mother had swung on her chair, fallen back, hit her head and an ambulance was called.”
Vanessa also advises brides and grooms to make sure that they eat during the reception so they have enough energy to make it through the event and the bubbles and beer don’t go to their heads.
Call your in-laws ‘mum and dad’ in your speech
This is a surefire way of scoring brownie points with your new family, as well as perhaps even inducing a few tears during your speech. But in all seriousness, if you feel comfortable with it, calling your in-laws ‘mum and dad’ in your speech is a wonderful way to celebrate the first day of your lives together as a whole family.
“Speeches are a sentimental thing, For a lot of parents, being called mum and dad by their new son or daughter is special and really helps to bring the two families together,” says Vanessa. “The mums will cry and the dads will cry. It’s just beautiful.”
Relax and have fun
For most brides and grooms, the wedding day is a culmination of many, many hours of organisation, planning, stress and the odd bout of tears. While it’s easy to get caught up in all the technicalities of the bomboniere, the flowers and the entertainment on the day itself, don’t forget to enjoy the moment with your loved one.
Put trust in your wedding venue and the expertise of the suppliers that you’ve hired to help you out – they’ll guide you through it all on the day and they know what to do, says Vanessa.
“People often overthink things on their wedding day. We know what we’re doing, but we find brides and grooms sometimes get tense and caught up in the logistics and they don’t need to, because that’s our job,” she says. “They’ve paid us to worry about the wedding and make sure everything’s taken care of before they arrive. So relax and everything will work out.”