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Don't let your wedding descend into chaos

The importance of a running order on your big day.


You may have been planning your wedding for mere weeks, or you might have been dreaming of your special day for years, but if there’s one thing that all of the people involved will agree on, it’s to have a specified running order for the big day. The last thing you want is for your wedding to descend into chaos and for guests to be milling around, not knowing where they need to be, or worse, for your suppliers to not know what is going on or what you had planned. You want guests to remember your wedding day for all the right reasons, not for being a disorganised mess.
Why do you need a running order?

Even if you’re a couple who prefer to let things evolve naturally and go with the flow, there will be a need to have at least a small element of planning for the day itself. If nobody knows where they need to be and when, you could end up with cold food, no champagne for the toast, rushed speeches (or even worse, speeches that go on for hours, unchecked) and no music ... not to mention the horrifying prospect of your afternoon or evening guests turning up at the very point at which everything else is unravelling. Communication with your suppliers is key!

What is a running order?


If you and your wife or husband to be are traditionalists, then you will know that a well organised wedding is the key to a happy, stress-free day. 

What do we mean by a running order? Well, usually a wedding will happen in clear and distinct stages, namely:

  • Getting ready (this may or may not involve a photographer, but it will be the first ‘official’ stage of the day).
  • The ceremony.
  • A drinks reception, or some kind of break in proceedings to allow for more photo opportunities and for people to relax (canapes or snacks would be a good plan, too).
  • The wedding breakfast, or more informal food arrangements – either way, people will be hungry by this stage and will need some sort of sustenance.
  • The speeches, or if you’re going less traditional, you could jump straight into the next stages, but please, make sure everyone knows what you’re doing!
  • Cutting of the cake and/or the first dance.
  • Evening reception/meal/trip to the local pub.

Now, you might be thinking that this is common sense and that people should know when things are happening, but take it from us (we have attended lots of weddings and usually the proof of the pudding is in the planning), if you don’t publicise some sort of timings or running order, proceedings can go south very quickly. The most enjoyable weddings we have attended, both as guests and as bar providers, is where the happy couple have put a board up in a prominent place that gives approximate timings for each stage; even if this is not stuck to rigidly to the last second, it will at least give some comfort to the venue, bar staff, DJ, band, etc., as they will know roughly when they need to do certain tasks. This will avoid unnecessary stress for you on what should be the happiest day of your life.

You don’t need to spend thousands on a wedding planner, unless you are the most disorganised people in the world, but having a single point of contact is always a good idea. If any creases do appear, a planner can smooth them out, usually with minimum fuss and disruption to the proceedings. Even the bridesmaid/s or best man/groomsmen could assume this role to make sure that you and your soulmate can just enjoy the day with your nearest and dearest without any unpleasant hitches.

For more information on booking a mobile bar or marquee, contact Mat – info@neptunebars.co.uk
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