The Classic British Wedding: Order of the Day
Words by Utterly Printable
It’s your wedding and it can take an format that you want it to. However, there is something quite nice about sticking with the classic British wedding traditions. If you are looking for a running order that is tried and tested, then this run-through the classic British wedding schedule is a good place to start. Let’s go!
Sticking to Timings
It is always helpful if you can stick to the timings of the day, in order to ensure that the plans go off smoothly. Everyone needs to know where they should be and when, and this will make the whole thing seem flawless. This should be shared with your event coordinator before the big day begins. Likewise, give a printed run down to the celebrant, as well as your best man, bridesmaids, and ushers. You can have a copy pinned up on the display board as the guests arrive, so they know what to expect but this is not mandatory. Also, some people opt to print a schedule for guests in their traditional wedding order of service.
You should allow yourself 3 to 4 hours here. Of course, traditionally the bride and groom will be getting ready in separate venues. The bride, her mother, matron of honour and bridesmaids traditionally all get ready together and this is the time that you will need to arrange for your hair and make-up artist to arrive. Meanwhile, the groom and his best man and ushers will be preparing somewhere else (with maybe a trip to the pub before the ceremony…for the nerves you understand).
The traditional ceremony in a village church can last anywhere up to an hour and a half. Normally, the ceremony will start in the early afternoon. Make sure everyone turns up to the church on time by clearly detailing the start time and venue address on your traditional wedding invitation, or wedding info sheet. The groom and ushers should arrive at least 20 minutes before the start to welcome guests and take their positions. The bride should try not to be too traditionally late…though little late is common.
Once the confetti has been thrown, it is time for pictures and socialising. Traditionally, drinks and canapés will be served, and the guests have a chance to mingle. The bride and groom may be asked by the photographer to step back into the venue to take some better shots on their own. These sorts of pictures are what we think work best when printed on your personalised wedding thank you cards. This will last about an hour and a half.
This is a term that can cause confusion; however, it is not actually breakfast served in the morning this refers to your meal. Whether this is sitting down or buffet style, the bride and groom should be announced into the room by the master of ceremonies before the guests are seated. Guests will know where to sit by using you table plan to find their way to their wedding table place cards. And make sure you have laid out your wedding menu cards so people know what they’re eating. Allow two hours for everybody to eat.
Speeches traditionally take place after everybody has eaten. Within this one-hour time slot there is also a traditional order as to who should speak and when. The first person to speak is the father of the bride. Once he concludes, the groom stands up and speaks and then finally the best man.
Cutting the Cake
This will only take about 5 to 10 minutes and is another big photo opportunity. Once the first cut has been made by the bride and groom, the cake will be taken away by the event staff and it’s either served later at an evening party or boxed up for people to take away.
The Evening Reception
Traditionally this starts at about 7 o’clock, and if there is to be food is served by eight. Once you think everybody has arrived you should allow time for the first dance. The evening-do will probably end around 11:30 pm and it is entirely up to the bride and groom whether they slip away early or are the last to leave having said goodbye to their guests.
And that’s the order of play for the great British wedding. If you’re about to start organising your traditional big day, then maybe start by printing yourselves some classic wedding save the date cards. Or if you’re looking for a modern quirk, why not take advantage of our WhatsApp save the dates? They are an incredibly affordable and climate friendly alternative to classic wedding stationery.