7 things you need to know when you plan your wedding
As a singer I’ve been to my fair share of weddings. I’ve seen the good the bad and the ugly (and that’s just the chefs). As well as plenty of “perfect days” I’ve seen fights, food disasters, cars breaking down and power cuts. So, from the point of view of the wedding singer, here’s my hit list for the perfect wedding.
1. Keep the speeches short.
It’s top of the list for a reason. The speeches need to be short and sweet. Mainly short. Your guests will give them some slack but not much. Ten minutes doesn’t sound long but it can seem like an eternity in the wrong hands. Limit speeches to five minutes maximum. If they want to talk longer tell them to cram all their best stuff into five minutes. That still means around 20-30 minutes of speeches altogether, which is enough for any bladder.
2. Make sure the bar is in the same room as the band.
No matter how good your band is or how much you’ve paid for them, people gravitate to the bar. If you want people to stick around for the band, keep the booze close. And while we’re talking alcohol…
3. Keep the drinks flowing.
People have more fun when they’ve had a few drinks. Sad but true. Weddings with a free bar are more fun than those without. A poll quoted in the Daily Telegraph revealed that “half of wedding functions give no drinks at all on the table and just a quarter (27 per cent) have open bars. I know which one I’d rather be at.
4. Check your colour scheme matches the room.
All your effort and money on peach napkins and chairs covers will be for naught if they clash with the wallpaper. When planning your colour scheme, start with the room. If you don’t like the colours, get a new room.
5. Use good people and let them do their jobs.
Brides and grooms can be high maintenance. That’s why I don’t play many weddings now. And it’s not just the stereotypical bride, it can be the bride’s mother, father and sometimes the groom. On one occasion I had the grandfather of the bride trying (behind his granddaughter’s back) to write my set list. If you’re paying good money for the catering, the stationary, the flowers and the band – trust them. Don’t micromanage. They’ve been to more weddings than you, they know what they’re doing so give them some freedom to work and let them get on with it.
6. Show your appreciation.
I can tell you from personal experience, if you look after the band, the florist and the emcee, they will be far more likely to do an exceptional job for you. Give them a comfortable place to change and relax. Make sure it’s stocked with hot and cold drinks and snacks. Make sure there is a mirror, an iron and somewhere to hang clothes. Please don’t expect them to get changed in the toilets. If you’re feeding them (and you should be) make sure it’s more substantial than a tray of sandwiches. Many of the people working for you will have travelled hours to get there, often well before you arrive, and after giving you their best they have to drive back home. Keep them happy and energised with a good meal and always show them respect. None of this will cost you much money and I promise you will get so much back in return.
7. It’s not all about you.
You may love crab paste and the Prodigy but your guests might not. If you want your party to be a success, consider your guests. Make sure your choices have the broadest appeal. Is the venue easy to get to? Will the food be to everyone’s taste? Will be band play something for everyone? I know it’s supposed to be your day, but let’s face it, this one’s for family and friends. You’ve got the rest of your lives to please yourselves.