I have many years experience as a marriage celebrant and witnessed many fabulous weddings.  I hope these tips will help you in planning your wedding.
Newly wed couple laughing together

1. Select your venue.
If you are a little bit flexible with dates you are more likely to be able to have the venue you would like. This is the first thing to book because until you have decided when and where you can’t book anything else. Cars, flowers, hair appointments and so on can then slot in around these bookings.

2. Time to start

The time for the ceremony to start is usually determined by when you want to start the reception and if you want time between the two for photos. Some couples want to move quickly from one to the other. Others want time for a couple of hours of photos.


3. Length of ceremony

There is no right or wrong length for a ceremony, but generally most go for about 20 to 25 minutes. Signing papers can take another 5 minutes. So allow for 30 to 40 minutes.


4. Greeting guests

Sometimes the groom greets and chats with guests before the ceremony, but not all grooms feel like doing this. There are no rules. If possible allow time to greet all your guests straight after the ceremony. Guests are keen to offer congratulations and speak to you and they have not had a chance to speak to the bride. This is also a lovely time for your photographer to get some candid photos.


5. Celebrants and photographers

Busy, professional marriage celebrants get booked well in advance, as do photographers, so once you have determined your time and venue book a celebrant and a photographer.


6. Time on invitations

It’s a great idea for your invitations to indicate a time 15 to 30 minutes earlier than the ceremony is planned to start. This allows for late-comers and also gives everyone a chance to mingle before the ceremony begins. Book your celebrant for when the ceremony is to start, which may not be the time on the invitations.

Aim to be on time. It is a myth that brides are always late. All your providers will be delighted if you run to plan and on time.


7. Chairs

Plan to have some chairs. For a guest list of 70 about 30 is ideal. This caters for grandparents and others who may need to sit. It also breaks up the crowd so that everyone can see well.


8. Setting up the venue

If you are setting up the venue yourselves aim to have it completely done an hour before stated on the invitations, which gives you some leeway if it takes longer than expected.


9. Wet weather

Ensure you have a wet weather option and decide who will notify guests. This is another job to delegate to the best man and groomsmen.


10. Shade

Think carefully about shade. Full sun in very hot weather can be unpleasant for everyone.


And now you can concentrate on the dress, and the celebrations afterwards! Of course if you have any questions whatsoever about any of these tips, please contact me, Judy Aulich Canberra Marriage Celebrant.

Have a great day!


If you’re looking for more helpful advice and tips from a professional and friendly Canberra wedding celebrant, please contact Judy Aulich Canberra Celebrant.


Photo courtesy of Steven Murray, Creative Image Photography