It’s racing towards your wedding day, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve discovered a million things you have to do or tell people before the day, and your brain is about to explode. How on earth will you remember it all?! Having said that, we have worked with many a super-organised client who have given their ushers 10 page running orders too. Either way, we thought we’d offer our help with this short list of things you may have forgotten in the midst of all the wedmin, to help us or any of your suppliers and guests – so there isn’t that one thing you just forgot to do.
You can use this list for any of your suppliers, and definitely us if you choose to have us perform on your wedding day.
Have you told us of any parking restrictions?
Not every church or venue has a car park, especially if it’s central in a city. Your musicians and suppliers will have equipment to bring in, and will need somewhere to park for at least 4 hours. You may need to cover parking charges if they will be incurred but the most important thing is that we know and can prepare for any parking restrictions. Otherwise, it makes for a stressful beginning to our day and most likely delays in setting up.
Have you told your vicar / venue our time of arrival and made sure the venue will be open?
We arrive 2 hours before a ceremony, or 2 hours and 15 minutes before, if we are singing before your ceremony. It may seem like a lot, but it flies by – we much prefer to be early and chilled out than rushed and stressed. There have been times where we have found out at the last minute we can only access the venue 45 minutes before the ceremony, meaning we only had 30 minutes to set up before we started singing. We can make it happen, but it’s not ideal. Other times, the church is locked, even though we’ve made our set-up times clear. Our advice is to check, check again and remind whoever is in charge of our arrival time!
Have you saved seats for your bridesmaids?
You may think this is something you’d never forget but we’ve been at a few weddings where the bridesmaids have had to stand at the side for the entire ceremony. What a shame! Therefore, carefully count how many reserved seats at the front you need.
Have you checked the lyrics of your hymns in the order of service?
Please do ask for us to check over your lyrics and orders of service for you, it’s all part of our service! Our eagle eye will be able to spot mistakes or discrepancies really quickly as we have sung at so many weddings. I recently went to a friend’s wedding who had a completely different version of ‘Be Thou My Vision’ in the order of service to those in the worship band (who also had different lyrics to each other) and no one knew what to do! It was a car crash, and it would have only taken five minutes for someone to check over.
Have you told your officiator what we are doing in the ceremony?
Occasionally, you come across registrars and vicars who have very set ideas of what should be happening in your service – and it’s not what you want! A good example of this is the entrance music. Now, we shorten the length of the entrance to around 2 minutes, but for some that will still leave time for the bride and groom to be standing at the front before we finish. Some registrars will make all sorts of actions and movements to get us to stop before the end of the song so they can move on, embarrassing themselves and disrupting the atmosphere when we don’t end it – it’s difficult to stop a song mid-flow! This can also happen in the singing of the register. It’s best to have a chat with them beforehand to make sure they are on board with everything that you are doing!
Have you checked the venue allow music outdoors?
This is something the reception venue will probably tell you, but it’s always best to check verbally in case it’s stuck in some Ts and Cs you skimmed over. You may never have thought it, but some venues need a licence to play music outdoors, sometimes only for the evening, but sometimes all day. So your lovely idea of having music outside during drinks may be vetoed very close to the day. Always best to check at the time of booking!
Can you hear those speaking in outdoor ceremonies?
For outdoor ceremonies, a tip and offer from us, is for your readers, and officiators if needed, to use our microphones for spoken word. With wind, background noise, readers with light voices and officiators who think they can be heard, it can be difficult for all the guests to hear what is going on at the front, and of course, this is the most important part of the day! We also extend this to the bride and groom themselves for the ‘I do’s, ‘I will’s and vows.
Have you made sure your suppliers have all the correct information?
This one sounds obvious right? But recently one of our clients neglected to tell us their ceremony and reception were in different locations. It’s just one of those things – so obvious to you, you can forget to tell others. Check over the contract and make sure all the relevant information is on there.
Have you checked if your suppliers need food?
We rarely require food when singing for just the ceremony, but with ceremony and reception, or evening events, we do require a meal and refreshments. To make it easier for you, we have an option to add £10pp to buy and bring our own instead. For evening events though, it will be required, and for the most part will usually be by your other suppliers. Check with your venue and suppliers what you arrange for this, the venue will unlikely be able to provide anything on the day without prior notice.
Do you have anything to add to this list? Anything you / a friend / family member forgot on their big day? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know so we can add it on!