It’s that time of year where you’re all busy planning the details of your wedding day and will be thinking about your timeline. You start with when your guests should arrive. For those of you having a ceremony you obviously want your guests there before the Bride makes her entrance. So, why not invite them a little earlier than needed and have some drinks served? Your guests will have a nice chat and a drink and it will be a really lovely way to start the day. Right? Maybe not. We’ve seen this approach used and let us explain how it goes….
Guests arrive and are excited and happy for the day ahead. Friends and family begin mingling and are delighted the bar is open. They have a drink, then another – they are so up for a great day! Everyone is asked to take their seats for the ceremony – guests with drinks take those drinks with them as they sit down. A few of the guests make a dash for the bar to grab a drink to take with them for the ceremony.
The Bride arrives but we’re just waiting for the guests at the bar to be seated, so the Bride waits a little longer. The ceremony starts. As the Bride enters she notices a few empty beer bottles at the side of chairs / the side of the aisle. The flower petal aisle runner doesn’t look quite so good with these additions. Photos are being taken throughout and the photographer is working hard not to get guests swigging beer in the background! Nevertheless, the ceremony is going well. Oh hang on, a couple of guests have just had to nip off because they need the loo. And a few minutes after that someone else has got up to go the bar for a refill.
Your ceremony takes on a whole new vibe.
The only drink I’d advise being available before the ceremony is water. It just doesn’t work well when guests drink alcohol before the ceremony. As well as what is described above, your guests will be drinking on an empty stomach. The whole point of canapes at the drinks reception is that people do not drink on an empty stomach. When they do, you will notice the effect of this later on in the day. Trust us.
This advice is based on experience. We understand the idea of providing drinks before the ceremony sounds nice and civil but it often doesn’t work out that way. We’re all used to going to church weddings where we know there will be no drinks prior to the service. There is no need to make any changes to your timeline because your ceremony is taking place in the great outdoors.
And if you need any more help with your timeline, take a look at this.