Six Things To Do After Getting Engaged

So he’s popped the question! You’re officially engaged and riding the high, but what do you do next? Here’s everything you need to do after getting engaged. Brace yourself for the best time of your life.

signing the register Six Things To Do After Getting

Six Things To Do After Getting Engaged

Have a breather

It’s a big moment so make sure you enjoy every secondAfterwardsfterward, take some time to let it sink in. Get those nails finely manicured in preparation for the roadshow you’re about to take that ring on. For the first couple of weeks, try not to worry about the wedding or planning, simply revel in the moment.

Who to tell first and how

Whilst an announcement on social media seems an exciting and more effective way of telling more people in one go, its’s not always the best. It can go a long way to call close family and friends first to announce the big news. You could even use it as an excuse to have a family get together and make the announcement together. Then on, course, share online.


Marriage takes two people and a lot of careful decision making. Therefore, your brainstorming sessions should include everything from the general feel and look of the room, through to the specific venue, location and the food. Having a brainstorming session together makes the wedding planning so much more collaborative and exciting. There will always be some things which appear on both yours and your partners’ wish lists which you can use to build the foundations of your special day.

champagne reception Six Things To Do After Getting Engaged!

The Budget

Once you know what you want, the best way to kick-start the process is, to begin with the venue search and getting some quotes. Asking friends who have recently got married is also very insightful. From there you can begin to really figure out how long it will take you to save up for the wedding of your dreams.

RELATED: How Romantic Was Your Partner With Their Proposal To YOU?! Find Out Where He/She Is On The Romance Scale! [1]

Be Open Minded

When you’re on the hunt for a wedding venue, don’t be too quick to discount those which don’t have everything you want. It’s similar to buying a house, when you find the right one it will just feel right and you will be able to overlook the fact it may not everything on your list. It is recommended to always view a variety of places before paying a deposit.

Remain Strong

Once you announce you’re engaged you will no doubt be inundated with people offering a helping hand. Although this can be helpful, remember it’s your big day and not theirs. If Aunt Sally thinks 80’s style plastic flowers are a must if it’s not what you want to remember you can just say no.


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account.To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ Find Out Where He/She Is On The Romance Scale!  (
  2. ^
  3. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  4. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (
  5. ^ here (

10 Tips for Keeping fit Over the Festive Season

With all the mince pies, boxes of chocolate and pigs-in-blankets about, Christmas isn’t always so kind on our waistlines. So we’ve pulled together our 10 top tips for keeping fit over the festive season.

woman stretching in park 10 Tips for Keeping fit Over the Festive Season

Keeping fit Over the Festive Season

Keep Yourself in Check

It’s easy to indulge in a few extra mince pies during the festive season, so keeping yourself in check is essential if you don’t want any extra pounds making their way onto your waistline. An easy way of doing this is to buddy up with someone and make sure you are both on the same page. It’s really easy to feel like you are ‘missing out’ if you’re doing it alone, but you are more likely to stay focused if you are given the task of motivating someone else. Food diaries are the perfect way to keep track of calorie consumption as well.

keeping-fit-festive-Measureing waistline

Set Yourself Goals

If you set yourself a goal, for example, still being able to fit into your favourite LBD by the end of the festive season (without the aid of a whalebone corset) you will be more likely to reign yourself in. Try it on once a week to see how you’re going. This is far better than weighing yourself as your actual mass has very little to do with what shape you’re in. Also, signing up for a half marathon or 5 mile Race for Life taking place in the New Year is another way to keep on your toes.

Don’t Treat Yourself to Food

Make sure a piece of crackling or an extra mince pie isn’t something that you allow yourself as a reward for ‘good eating’. The most important thing is that you don’t associate the reward with food. If you manage to stick to your goals, treat yourself to a blow dry or new lipstick instead.

roasted colourful root vegetables wedding dress plan

Walk it off

This time of year is notorious for lovely long meals with many courses and a glass or two of wine or bubbles. If after every one of these you take yourself off for a brisk 30-40 minute walk, you’ll aid the digestive process and stop yourself from wanting a snooze. Also, after a big meal, your blood will concentrate on your digestive area which can make you feel sleepy. By keeping it pumping around your body, you will speed up the metabolic process.

Short and Sharp

While there is probably a long list of things that you would rather be doing, make sure you set aside 15 minutes twice a day to do short, sharp bursts of exercise. Studies show that the intensity of your workout is far more important than the time spent doing it. There are also numerous apps that will give you a workout in 15 minutes or less.

keeping-fit-festive-SP colour trainers

Get it Over With

The lack of sunlight at this time of the year can be very demotivating, but don’t wait until the afternoon to get your workout in. If you have a house full of extended family, try to get up a little earlier and pop to the gym before they rise. Not allowing your routine to be knocked off kilter is something you need to be disciplined about.

Cook it Yourself

One easy way to keep your nutritional intake in line is to make everything for yourself.[1] While this might be a very labour intensive thing to do, the reward is far greater.

Festive Family Exercise

Pop your ice skates on and get moving. You’ll get an excellent workout without feeling like you’re over-exerting yourself. Your legs and core will thank you later.

keeping-fit-festive-Stretching SP

Eat What You Want

If you are not willing to give up on all the treats that come at this time of year, there are two things you need to know to keep on top of your wedding-ready body. Firstly, don’t go overboard. Keep your portions small and discipline yourself to only allow the bare minimum in order to get your kicks. There’s no need to have four roast potatoes when just one will do the trick of satisfying you.

Secondly, you will need to work harder in the gym to counterbalance the massive increase of calories you are taking in. It’s simple maths; if you eat more than you burn, it will be stored as fat.

Try a Winter Sport

Finally, this is a great one for those that like to keep active no matter what the season. Winter sports are often very sociable and are great for your core. A six-hour day of skiing can burn up to 3,000 calories.

How To Decorate A Romantic Winter Wedding

If you’re planning a winter wedding, we have plenty of hints and tips to help get you started. There’s plenty of scope for you to play around with themes and ideas, plus the colder months lend themselves perfectly to elegant and romantic weddings.

kissing couple at snowy wedding Decorate Your Winter Wedding With these Decorative Ideas

Decorate Your Winter Wedding With these Decorative Ideas

Start with candlelight for a simple way to create a warm and romantic atmosphere. When teamed with gilded mirrors and gold hurricane vases[1] you’ll achieve a beautiful glistening and glamorous effect for each tabletop.

festive table setting with tapered candles and leaf green runner winter wedding decorations

Rich and luxurious colours and textures also work well this season. Try plush velvet serviettes, sequin table runners (get one in rose gold right here[2]) and deep burgundy and navy accents. For subtler supporting colours, try shades of taupe, antique white and natural linen.

Buy some tapered green candles here. [3]

If your venue has a selection of tables and chairs available to use, or you’ll be hiring them in yourselves, the warm tones of dark woods will enhance the rest of your decorations to best effect at this time of year.

framed pictures and flowers winter wedding ideas

You might associate the sweet fragrance and pretty colours of flowers with summer weddings, but they are absolutely as essential in the colder months, too. Again, keeping to a colour scheme of opulent, jewel-like tones will add the warmth and grandeur that makes a winter wedding feel truly magical.

Add Some Greenery

Garlands of greenery add natural texture and look especially good in the wintery half-light when paired with the silvery blue shades of eucalyptus. You’ll spend more time indoors, so use garlands to highlight your venue’s amazing features, like a sweeping staircase or a fireplace.

rustic wedding setting, tree trunks with lanterns and greenery winter wedding decorations

Buy some cylinder vases like these here[4].


With early nightfall, a winter wedding is the perfect call for sparklers. Hand these to your guests to use when you and your new husband make your big entrance. When it comes to wedding sparklers, bigger is always better, you don’t want your guests standing around with a small dead sparkler. Buy some giant wedding sparklers here.[5]

Wedding sparklers


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account. To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[6][7][8]


  1. ^ gold hurricane vases (
  2. ^ one in rose gold right here (
  3. ^ Buy some tapered green candles here.  (
  4. ^ Buy some cylinder vases like these here (
  5. ^ here. (
  6. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  7. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (
  8. ^ here (

5 Reasons To Propose This Christmas

There’s no better time than Christmas to pop the question but how do you pick the perfect moment to propose? Here’s how to make the most of this magical season and make it extra special.

Man holding a bouquet for 5 Reasons To Propose This Christmas!

5 Reasons To Propose This Christmas

Proposing to the love of your life[1] is possibly the single most nail-biting experience one could ever face. The stress of getting that one special moment right can be the biggest decision you will ever have to make. If you’re thinking of asking for your partner’s hand in marriage, now’s the perfect time to decide just how you’d like to do it.

The Perfect Christmas Gift

This Christmas, express your adoration with the perfect gift that symbolises love, commitment and desire – and that is with the diamond engagement ring of her dreams. Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a girl’s best friend. Present it on Christmas morning, during a walk or over breakfast in bed.

At a Special Gathering

If you’re a confident person and want to show everyone just how much your partner means to you, why not propose in front of your friends and family around the dinner table? Alternatively, if you want that special moment just to be between the two of you, pop the question in private and then make the announcement later in the day. Let everyone be part of your joy.

The Christmas Glow

There’s no denying that the Christmas[2] period holds a certain magic in the air. Why not pop the question while you’re putting the finishing touches to your decorations? That way, your first selfie as an engaged couple[3] will be in front of all those sparkling lights.

RELATED: 11 things they don’t tell you about getting engaged…[4]

The Christmas Sales

Now amongst all the emotive reasons to propose, we have to enclose at least one practical suggestion and that, of course, is money. One of the many great things we love about Christmas is its winter sales. Whether it’s been a good year for you or not, we all love a sale, so why not take advantage and buy her dream engagement ring at a fraction of the cost.

Winter proposal outdoors 5 Reasons To Propose This Christmas!

New Year, Fresh Start

The end of the year often represents a time of growth for many couples. With a few weeks away until the New Year, resolutions tend to occupy our minds. Why not take that leap of faith and look forward to the next step that love can bring by binding it all together with a lifelong commitment.


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account. To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ Proposal (
  2. ^ Christmas Theme (
  3. ^ first selfie as an engaged couple (
  4. ^ 11 things they don’t tell you about getting engaged… (
  5. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  6. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (
  7. ^ here (

5 Real Speeches to Make Your Guests Laugh

Ready to raise your glass to word-perfect wedding speeches? Do you want the whole room to be roaring with laughter or holding back happy tears? One thing’s for certain: you don’t want your speeches to be a flop. Take inspiration from five real speeches to make your guests laugh. If these couples can nail their wedding speeches, you can do too.

Bride and groom laughing 5 Real Wedding Speeches to Make Your Guests Laugh

5 Real Speeches to Make Your Guests Laugh

Surprise songs from the best men

Even though they opted for a laid-back wedding, Alexa and Jamie were happy to have the traditional speeches too. The best men and a good friend ensured that tradition went out of the window, however, when they then became a fantastic band and sang a couple of hilarious songs about Jamie and Alexa.

Furthermore, they had only practised once or twice in the back of a van prior to the wedding. The whole party loved the thoughtful chorus.

Video messages and perfect poetry

When Sally and Martin married, the bride’s mother read a wedding-related poem, ‘He’s Not Perfect’ by Bob Marley, as a speech.

“She read it out to me in the morning while I was getting ready and had the whole party in tears. I asked her to read it again before the speeches!”

Sally’s brother Jack couldn’t make the big day, so as a surprise he recorded Mcfly’s ‘It’s All About You’.

“A projector displayed his singing, which was accompanied by photographs of me and Martin from over the years,” remembers Sally.

“I’d managed to hold back the tears all day until this point!”

Bride’s speech

For Jaime and Blake, the speeches kicked off with Jaime’s mum and brother doing a joint speech with loving stories and childhood memories. Blake gave a heartfelt speech.

“He left no one out and really honoured me and our families,” smiles Jaime.

“I spoke last, I felt it was important to say thank you to everyone that made the day so perfect for us.

“Our wedding day also fell on the same day that we held my dad’s memorial service eight years ago, under those same flat-grown trees on the farm. It was a great way to honour his memory and bring him alive on our big day.”

laughing bride 5 Real Wedding Speeches to Make Your Guests

Prizegivings, heartfelt words and howling laughter

A twist on tradition, Jess decided to give a short speech herself, thanking the bridesmaids, best men and her parents. In place of wedding favours this fun loving couple arranged a duck bobbing competition. Jess announced the winners and gave out the prizes during her speech, before the men the stepped in with their own.

Jess says,

“Jordy did an incredible speech that was very emotional and heartfelt, I felt so proud of him. My dad did a great job of making everyone laugh and cry and Matt,
Jordan’s best man, had the whole room howling with laughter to finish!”

Silly hats and embarrassing photos

Finally, the two best men at Natalie and Kieth’s wedding brought props along to their speech.

“The speeches were very entertaining, involving everyone in the room putting on silly hats that they had secretly brought with them. 

“There were embarrassing photos of us as children and a very emotional speech from Keith,” says Natalie.

The two best men finished with a joint speech, including funny anecdotes with lots of references to Keith’s love of useless information and random facts too.


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page, and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account. To join in the conversation, share your stories here.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  2. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account. (
  3. ^ here (

Should your Groom see Your Wedding Dress?

It’s a given that your dream dress will be discovered in the company of your best girls, be that your mum, sisters or friends, but should your groom see your wedding dress too? If you’re a stickler for tradition or err on the side of superstition, your answer will likely be no, he can wait until you get to the aisle.

Twirling bride- Should your Groom see Your Wedding Dress?LOLAROSEPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Should your Groom see Your Wedding Dress?

For some couples, seeing each other before the ceremony has become the new favourite, taking away their nerves, giving them a private moment together, and allowing for some beautiful first look photos to be taken.

So we’ve rounded up some arguments for and against letting your groom see your wedding dress so you can decide what is right for you.

Keep it Secret

  • It’s bad luck to even see each other before the wedding, let alone for him to see your wedding dress, too!
  • You want it to be a surprise for everyone, including him, so you can fully enjoy your big moment.
  • As you step down the aisle, emotions will be high, so when he sees you, his beautiful bride, for the first time it’ll be ten times more amazing.
  • He loves you for you, so you know he’ll love whatever dress you choose.
Just married couple- Should your groom see your wedding dress Credit: Jessica O’Shaughnessy

Let him see

  • You don’t have to show him ages in advance, it can still be a surprise for your wedding day, but by seeing each other in the morning before the ceremony, you can reassure each other and whisk away any wedding nerves[1], letting you enjoy the moment fully when the time comes.
  • These days, many photographers give you the option of first look photos (add them to this list[2] of your essential photos so your photographer knows what to get). This way, you won’t be leaving it to chance to capture your groom’s expression when he sees you – they’ll do that for you.
  • Depending on how traditional you are intending to go, your bridesmaids may be dressed the same. In the old days, the tradition[3] was to dress your bridesmaids the same as the bride, in white. This was to confuse evil spirits
  • If you had a say in his suit choice, it’s only fair that he should get to give your dress choice the once over too, right?



  1. ^ wedding nerves (
  2. ^ this list (
  3. ^ tradition (

12 Wedding Ceremony Songs – Walking in and Walking out

You may have spent a long time discussing your first dance song with your partner, but don’t forget the all important wedding ceremony songs for walking in and walking out.

When choosing the music for your wedding ceremony, you’ll need to make two important choices – your processional and recessional songs.


Wedding Ceremony Songs – Walking in and Walking out

A processional song is the music that you and your wedding party will walk down the aisle to – you can have one song for everyone, or choose a separate song for your grand entrance. At the end of the ceremony, you and your new husband leave the venue to your recessional music, which tends to be more upbeat than the processional.

There are traditional[1] choices for both of these pieces of music, but we’ve given you a couple of options to consider. Listen and enjoy!

Processional Wedding Ceremony Songs

1. Bridal Chorus, Wagner

Often known as Here Comes The Bride, this piece of classical music is the traditional choice for the procession of the bride, and is often played on an organ. We’ve chosen a slightly more modern arrangement by Vicente Avella on classical piano – that way you can keep the element of tradition without the drama!

2. Canon in D, Pachelbel

Another very popular choice with brides. This gorgeous piece of music sounds beautiful played by a traditional quartet, but we also love this version by Per-Olov Kindgren on classical guitar.

3. A Thousand Years, The Piano Guys (originally Christina Perri)

Often couples can’t decide between a classic instrumental or a more modern lovesong with vocals for their processional music. Why not get the best of both worlds with an instrumental cover of one of your favourite songs? We seriously love this piano and cello cover of Christina Perri – check out The Piano Guys for more classical covers.

4. Glasgow Love Theme, from Love Actually[2]

Walking down the aisle to a song from your favourite film soundtrack is another way to incorporate instrumental music with a personal touch into your ceremony. There are loads of options to choose from – Love Actually is a great place to start, and will have you welling up before you know it.

5. Marry Me, Train

If you want a modern song but aren’t sure what sort of thing to go for, then we think this a great choice. The melody and lyrics are both beautiful, and the tempo isn’t too fast for a processional.

6. Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

For something a little bit different, you can’t beat this gorgeous ukelele cover – it’s sure to get everyone smiling!

Recessional Wedding Ceremony Songs

7. Wedding March, Mendelssohn[3]

This is the traditional choice for the wedding recessional. This grand organ piece is definitely all about the high drama, so is best suited to larger or religious venues.

8. Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Handel

This classical piece may be intended to signify an arrival, but it works perfectly for a recessional – it’s high tempo and undoubtedly joyful. Perfect for more traditional couples.

9. Don’t Stop Believing, Vitamin String Quartet (originally Journey)

Another classical cover of a modern tune – we love this version of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing as played by a string quartet, as it strikes the perfect balance between traditional and contemporary. You can download it on Amazon Prime Music here.[4]

10. Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Stevie Wonder

One of the most popular modern choices – and with good reason! After all, you and your new husband have just signed the wedding register, so the lyrics “signed, sealed, delivered – I’m yours!” are particularly meaningful.

11. First Day Of My Life, Bright Eyes

This adorable acoustic song is a great choice for couples looking for a quirky alternative, and we think it’s a lovely way to start the first day of your married life.

12. Now That We Found Love, Heavy D & The Boyz

For those looking for something truly different, we’ve loved this song for a wedding ever since we saw Will Smith and Eva Mendes get down to it in the last scene of Hitch. Do you think you and your new husband can beat their moves?

Depending on the venue you may be limited on live performances or online-based playlists, so you can always opt for this fail-safe CD[5] with some classic wedding songs both old and new.



  1. ^ traditional (
  2. ^ Love Actually (
  3. ^ Wedding March, Mendelssohn (
  4. ^ Amazon Prime Music here. (
  5. ^ this fail-safe CD (

Wedding day schedule – Get your timings right on your special day

We know you are going to want to make the most of every second on your big day so it’s essential to get your timings and wedding day schedule right. Knowing exactly what the agenda is, removes the risk of nasty surprises and rushed proceedings.

Follow our handy, hour-by-hour plan and everything should run like clockwork. Remember this is only a guide. We have theoretically assumed the wedding is starting at 2 pm.

Top Tip: You should build in extra time in case of bad weather.

Your 10 Hour Wedding Day Schedule

9:00 am

You’ll probably be awake way before this time with excitement, but 9 am is a good time to rise and have breakfast. We’d advise against something too stodgy but you definitely need something filling. What about smoked salmon, eggs and avocado? A glass of champagne is encouraged but limit yourself to one as you don’t want to overdo it too early on.

wedding day schedule

10:00 am

The bridesmaids[1] should be with you now. Make sure your bridesmaids are wearing button-down tops that can be easily removed without ruining their makeup or hairstyles. As the bride, you should be having your hair done first so the style can be perfected.

Try to avoid having too many people in the room – only the bride, bridesmaids, photographer, make-up artist/hairdresser and perhaps mum should be with you now. Too many people can cause stress and create a manic setting. Keep the numbers low so you can enjoy it and stay relaxed.

11:00 am

We would recommend you have a small snack to keep your blood sugar levels up. The last thing you want to do be fainting at the altar. A banana is a great option.

At this point, bridesmaids should be having their hair done while your make-up is being applied.

12:00 – 12.30

All hair and make-up[2] should be done now and it’s time to get your dress on. Slinky sheath dresses[3] should be put on over your head, taking care not to smudge your makeup. If you’ve got a big dress then you should be able to step into it.

This is the time to give your bridesmaids their presents, especially if you’d like them to wear their gifts on the day. Your photographer will want some time to take shots of you and the girls before you leave for the ceremony, so now is the best time.

Delegate someone to be the main point of contact with the coordinator at your venue, and give your phone to that person – last-minute issues are not your problem now. As everyone else is getting ready to leave for the ceremony, have a quiet few moments alone with your Dad, this is a big moment for him too.

1:15 pm

Groom, best man and ushers should have arrived at the ceremony by now, welcome guests. Remember the bride’s family sit on the left and the groom’s on the right.

2:00 pm

Bridesmaids arrive at the ceremony, shortly followed by the bride and her father. It’s time for the big gig. Your coordinator will signal for the processional music to start and then it’s time to make your entrance.

If you’re having a flower girl or pageboy, send them first. If you’re shy, you can send your bridesmaids down the aisle ahead of you, or if they are following you, make sure they keep an eye on your train.

3:00 pm

Time for the confetti and post-ceremony pictures. Make sure your photographer[4] has a detailed shot list so no special pictures are forgotten. Leave the confetti somewhere obvious so your guests can get handfuls – or cupfuls- of it.

3:30 pm

This is likely to be when the drinks reception begins. The couple and main bridal party will go off to have their formal pictures taken which will usually take 30-40 minutes. Wedding guests[5] will be mingling at this point, enjoying the bar and canapes.

5:00 pm

The wedding breakfast[6] is served. If you’re having a three-course meal, allow around an hour and a half for service, there is likely to be teas and coffees too before the real party begins.

6:45 pm

Speeches times! Father of the bride[7] goes first, then the groom and then the best man[8]. If you want to make a speech it’s best to go after the groom. Everyone should have a glass of Champagne or similar for the toasts.

7:15 pm

The cutting of the cake – to be served with coffee. This is a good opportunity to sneak away and refresh your hair and make-up before your evening guests arrive.

bride-groom-cutting-white-wedding-cake-three-tiersCredit: iStock

8:00 pm

The first dance[9]. This is a big moment for you, enjoy it. No doubt, you’ll have poured over your first dance song for months. If you’re nervous, ask the DJ or band to invite friends and family on to the dance floor halfway through.

8:30 pm

This is when the evening buffet should be brought out if you’re having one. Only cater for 80 per cent of the guests as the day guests may still be full from their earlier meal.

10:00 pm

Find your husband – yes, you will get separated throughout the evening – and take a few moments to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the wonderful day that you have created.

11:45 pm

Bride and groom depart. Your carefully decorated reception room will not be a pretty sight when the lights come on, so leave while the party is still on a high. Goodnight, Mr and Mrs!


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[10], and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[11] to join in the conversation.


  1. ^ More top tips for maids (
  2. ^ Elegant hair and make-up ideas (
  3. ^ Find your wedding dress here (
  4. ^ See new real wedding pictures here (
  5. ^ Fab ideas for your wedding party and guests (
  6. ^ Fab ideas for your catering (
  7. ^ Father of the bride (
  8. ^ the best man (
  9. ^ Need tips for your first dance? Look here! (
  10. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  11. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (

What Time Of Day Should You Get Married?

What Time Of Day Should You Get Married?

While 11am or 1pm remain the most popular ceremony time historically, sunset and candlelit weddings are pretty appealing too, wouldn’t you say?! So, how should you choose what time to get married?

11am and 1pm are conventional, but there's a world of romantic choices up for grabs! We walk you through choosing your ceremony time and what to

When you first meet with your venue co-ordinator, you’ll be presented with options for the scheduled timings of a traditional wedding day[1]. While they may be popular for good reason – a 1pm ceremony gives you plenty of time to get ready and take photographs with your bridal party – there’s nothing to say that your perfect day has to fit the same mould.

Over the last few years, here in the UK marriage laws have relaxed considerably. These allow for more relaxed schedules in turn. So, if you’ve been imagining a sunrise elopement with the dawn chorus or exchanging vows beneath the stars, they needn’t be pipe dreams anymore.

How To Choose…

There may be times that are particularly sentimental for you as a couple. How about the time of your first date, of the proposal, or other relationship milestones, for example. You could use these to guide the time you marry too.

The time of year you choose to tie the knot will influence the time you choose to hold your ceremony. If you want a candlelit ceremony or to have your couples portraits at sunset, then you’ll be able to tie the knot much earlier in the day during the winter months than in the summer.

But, while moonlit ceremonies do sound very romantic, you must consider the practicalities of your chosen times too. Your wedding needs to be held at a comfortable time for your guests to attend and suppliers to set up. Thorough planning in advance will make many things possible, though. Perhaps the set up[2] can be completed the day before and accommodation provided for your guests…

There’s also the question of whether you want exclusive use. If you’ve chosen a venue that is open to the public, then you may need to work around their opening hours to have the place to yourselves. You could encounter this if your venue is a country house with open gardens during the day, a gallery or a museum, for example.

There are benefits of marrying a little later in the day once the crowds have dispersed, though. A 5pm ceremony means you only need to cater for one meal, saving you a significant sum of money[3] that could be invested in your honeymoon instead.

11am and 1pm are conventional, but there's a world of romantic choices up for grabs! We walk you through choosing your ceremony time and what to

On the other hand, if you’ve booked multiple entertainment acts, then it makes sense to hold your ceremony earlier to give you time to enjoy it all. We’ve seen couples book everything from magicians and fire-breathers to photobooths, bands and bouncy castles. Some entertainment will be better suited to the daytime or evening. Anything for children[4] specifically should be planned earlier in the day.

What Next…

Once you’ve decided what time you’d like your ceremony to start and approved it with your venue, you need to consider the information sent out on your invitations. When stating your ceremony time, factor in room for guests or – dare we say it – you and your best girls to be running a little late (it happens!). Your groom will need to be at the venue ready to greet guests before the advertised time too, so make sure it’s not so early that his wedding morning becomes a frantic rush.

It’s also best to leave plenty of time between your ceremony and evening guests’ invitation start times. Allowing for the ceremony itself, the drinks reception, photographs and wedding breakfast, you’ll likely want four hours at the very minimum before your evening guests arrive. You’ll need longer if you’ll be having a religious ceremony or need to travel between venues. Adapt these rules of thumb to your own plans and you’ll be on track for a perfectly paced wedding in no time.

Want to make every second of your wedding day count? Follow our hour-by-hour plan[5] for a magical day that runs like clockwork!


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[6], and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[7] to join in the conversation.


  1. ^ scheduled timings of a traditional wedding day (
  2. ^ the set up (
  3. ^ saving you a significant sum of money (
  4. ^ Anything for children (
  5. ^ Follow our hour-by-hour plan (
  6. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  7. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (

Father of the bride duties: Things your dad can do for you

The father of the bride duties can sometimes be a neglected part of the big day. However, your father is a big part of your wedding day and should be made to feel like it too. So, here are some top tips to get dad involved in the planning!

Father Of The Bride Duties ©

Father of the bride duties

Is your dad contributing to your wedding? It was once traditional for the father of the bride to pay for the wedding. Thankfully, we’ve moved on from those days but if you dad is contributing to your wedding, have the conversation with him to establish budget and boundaries.


Men like cars and why not feed that cliche by giving your dad the responsibility of overseeing the transport on your wedding day? Ask your dad to manage your wedding cars/transport[1] to ensure it arrives on time to take you to your wedding.

It is the father’s responsibility to get the bride to the ceremony on time, make sure he is on top of the timings and wedding schedule so you don’t leave your groom waiting.

At church ceremonies, the father of the bride gives his daughter away. He will usually escort his daughter down the aisle before handing her over to her groom, a tradition that many fathers and brides choose to keep at civil marriages.

The father of the bride should thank guests for coming, offer some humorous and touching stories about his daughter’s life, welcome his son-in-law into the family and offer a toast to the bride and groom. Read our father of the bride tips here. [2]

Remaining responsibilities

The bride’s parents are traditionally the hosts of the wedding breakfast and reception. Usually, mum and dad are the first two people to greet guests, however, these days it’s more relaxed and everyone is left to intermingle. Your dad may want to choose this time to introduce himself to your guests and ensure everyone has a drink.

Traditionally the last to leave, the father of the bride ensures that everyone leaves the venue safely. He will make sure all suppliers are paid and that any wedding gifts are taken and stored safely.


Want more wedding information and inspiration? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Wedding Ideas Facebook page[3], and ‘Follow’ on our @wimagazine Twitter account[4] to join in the conversation.


  1. ^ wedding cars/transport (
  2. ^ Read our father of the bride tips here.  (
  3. ^ Wedding Ideas Facebook page (
  4. ^ @wimagazine Twitter account (