Date Tags wedding

The bridesmaids, best man and ushers must be at each of your respective locations in plenty of time if they have not been there the night before. It is best only to have the key players around at this stage; too many people milling about makes it difficult for everyone to get ready.

Never underestimate how much there is to do, no matter how much has been organised beforehand. It is always sensible to allow extra contingency time for last-minute crises and delays.

THE BRIDE

  • Plenty of time should be allocated to getting ready. Rushing can cause fraught nerves and accidents.

  • No matter how nervous you are, try to eat something. You will need plenty of energy for the day ahead.

  • Put on your underwear before you have your hair and make-up done.

  • Once your hair and make-up is ready, the chief bridesmaid and your mother should be the next to prepare, followed by any remaining bridesmaids. This gives the chief bridesmaid and your mother time to help you into your dress.

  • You should put your dress on, followed by the shoes and veil or headdress, half an hour before leaving.

  • Jewellery should be added last of all.

  • If the wedding dress goes on over your head, make sure your face is fully covered with a scarf so as not to ruin either your make-up or the dress.

  • Anyone helping you should wash their hands or wear clean white gloves and keep shoes off.

  • Plenty of time should be allowed to get you into your dress, which is likely to have complicated fastenings. Although there should have been a practice run, nervous fumbling is inevitable.

  • Once dressed, you should avoid sitting down so as not to crease the back of the dress.

  • Take a few moments to compose yourself and perhaps enjoy a glass of champagne with your parents and bridesmaids.

THE GROOM AND BEST MAN

  • While getting dressed is a less drawn-out procedure for the men, they should still allow plenty of time to avoid unnecessary panic.

  • It is traditional for the groom, best man and ushers to meet for breakfast or lunch before going to the church or ceremony venue.

  • They should double-check that all the components of their suits are ready, and that they have all the necessary accessories, such as cufflinks and tie-pins.

  • The best man and groom should have a final run- through of their speeches (separately) if required.

  • The best man should reconfirm that all the cars and taxis will arrive on time and know where they are going.

  • The best man should check on buttonholes and rings and gather any cards, emails or messages that are to be read out at the reception.

PRACTICALITIES

There are various items that the groom, best man and chief bridesmaid need to remember to take with them on the big day.

CHIEF BRIDESMAID

  • The chief bridesmaid should carry everything the bride will need on the day, including make-up for touch-ups, in a small, elegant handbag.

  • She should also have a mobile phone so that she can contact the best man if necessary, or be the point of contact for the bridal party.

  • If required, the bride's overnight bag, handbag and other essentials for the following day can be left at the reception venue in advance.

  • The bridesmaids should also leave everything they might need at the reception venue, such as a change of shoes, camera and a wrap or wedding shawl.

THE GROOM

  • The groom will need a mobile phone and his speech notes. Presents for the bridesmaids, car keys (if needed), cash and an overnight bag can all be left at the reception venue the day before.

  • He can also arrange for flowers for the mothers to be delivered to the reception venue that morning.

THE BEST MAN

  • The best man will need the rings, his mobile phone, speech notes, spare cash and enough money to cover church fees and final payments for relevant suppliers.

  • He should have a note of all emergency transport or contact numbers (including the chief bridesmaid's and caterer's phone numbers). It is a good idea to bring a fountain pen for signing the register.