A few minutes ago during the post event meeting we usually hold to review a recently concluded event, as we talked about the strengths we needed to consolidate and the weaknesses we needed to improve in regards to our events management skills, we came to the conclusion that many couples struggle with making the final wedding day program. Below therefore are some useful tips to guide you as you make the final wedding day programme.
A good programme should start when the couple wakes up. Many couples forget this crucial detail. The wedding day programme should capture in detail all activities that will occur on this special day. In most African traditions, the day begins with representatives of the groom going over to where the bride spent the night to find out how she is. This usually occurs in the early morning hours say from 4:00am – 6:00am (Ugandan time). It is important to plan this so that you have details of the travel party, bride’s location, transport to the venue, as well as the traditional activities that will occur at the bride’s location. You may also need to purchase certain items to go with to the bride’s location as per the dictates of the tradition.
Salon visit. For the bride-to-be, this must begin the last couple of days to the wedding day. This is because it may involve details like artificial nails which may need a little more time. Ensure that the bulk of the salon work is done prior to the wedding day itself so that on the wedding day, only hair styling is left. Arrange with the video crew to be at the bride and groom salons ahead of time so that they capture all the happenings. Also ensure that the grooms men and bridesmaids arrive on time as well to avoid unnecessary delays. Finally, ensure that there is a provision for the bride and groom and their entourages to dress from their respective salons immediately after the haircuts and styling is completed.
Cars: The cars to be used by the couple and their entourage should be taken by the service provider to the washing bay very early on the wedding day. After they have been cleaned, the decorator must then go find the cars at the bay and decorate them. Some car service providers provide decoration services as well. Once the cars have been decorated, they should be sent to the respective salons immediately.
Church: The most crucial aspect here is the time factor. Some churches offer fines for late arrival and you do not want to incur extra expenses on something that can be avoided with better planning. It is advisable to have an advance team at the church that will distribute order of service booklets, welcome your guests, sit them and even assist with parking. But be careful, different churches have different rules and you might find your actions limited. Set off at least an hour before you are expected at church and it is always advisable to choose a salon close to church if you can.
Photo shoot. This is one of the most important activities on your special day because once it is all told and done, all you will be left with are memories and the photo shoot is intended for just that. Ensure therefore that you give it ample time. It is also a chance for the couple to take a breather and also enjoy a snack before they set off for the reception.
Reception: This is the first dinner you are hosting your guests to as a married couple so you need to make it memorable. Plan when your guests should arrive at the venue and also when you, the couple will arrive. Who will receive and sit your guests as they arrive? Who will be the master of ceremony? When will the first drink be served? What entertainment will be available to your guests between the time they arrive and when you arrive? What type of music will be played and when? Any other form of entertainment available? What time will lunch / dinner be served? How about the cake distribution lists? When will the reception end?
Gifts. It is common practice for your guests to carry along with them gifts to congratulate you on the occasion of your wedding. Make sure you have a plan for how the gifts will be received and temporarily stored for you to access later. Plan also to thank all those who went the extra mile and brought you gifts. This may be done through calls or short thank you messages.
Transport from the venue. This is one of those small details that are often forgotten yet is critical. Don’t forget that after the rented wedding day cars get you to the venue, they immediately leave. The couple must therefore plan how they will travel from the reception venue to their next destination. If you have a personal car, ensure it is available for this purpose. Also, it is advisable that you get a designated driver for this role because you will be too tired from the day’s activities.
So, there you have it. Go ahead and make that wedding day programme already!
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