Hello. This is the third post in my series on planning a stress free wedding. I’ve written these with more than a little help from professional wedding planner Sarah Tugwell of Sprinkle of Magic Wedding Planners. Want to see the others? Go and look at the rest of the blog.

The big news today is that our ebook – Stress Free Wedding Planning – is now available. To get your free copy, click here.

In this post we deal with two more subjects central to the very idea of a wedding – the ceremony and the reception.

The ceremony

Church wedding ceremony less stressful

Churches always look good in wedding photographs. I love the patch of light illuminating the groom checking his watch in this picture.

What fits in best with your beliefs?

Do you want a religious service or a more general civil service?

Is it going to be at a church, synagogue, temple or other religious establishment, or at a registry office or a licenced venue such as a hotel?

Think about the music – do you want a live string quartet, organist or steel band; or an ipod with your favourite music on?

Also decide if you want any readings, and if you want to select these or leave it up to the readers to choose.

Who else would you like to be involved in the ceremony in some way? How can you include them – e.g. ring bearers, flower girls, etc.

Do you want a long or a short service? Will there be young children present who will start mucking about?

Do you want all your guests to come to the ceremony, or just a few? Will they fit? Does that rule out certain venues?


The Reception

Tips to make your wedding less stressfulPlanning a stress free wedding at The Belle Epoque in KnutfordThe Wedding Breakfast – so called because it’s the first meal you eat together as a married couple – can be whatever you’d like.

A formal sit-down meal is still the norm – at more traditional venues anyway – but a buffet or barbecue can work extremely well and is more relaxed. Think about what will fit in with your venue or theme – a hog roast at a barn wedding, for example.

Go with what you think you’ll enjoy the most – you don’t have to give people a three-course meal just because you think they expect one.

Are you having music at your reception? Would you prefer a DJ or a live band? Do you want to set the playlist to music you like, or leave it up to your musicians/DJ?

Your reception can be whatever you want it to be – it’s your celebration!

Tips for a stress free weddingWhat’s your favourite sort of party? Something classy with cocktails and canapés or a big rave?

Do you want everyone to come to the whole thing, or perhaps invite more people in the evening?

What else do you want? Are you having speeches? Who should make them? There are traditions, but really it’s up to you.

Many people now have their speeches before eating, to get them out the way. It’s very common to be nervous before a speech – it’s the one thing we find grooms are most nervous about. Some chaps even have a couple of public speaking coaching sessions before their wedding, to give them confidence on the day.

However, it’s your wedding and everyone is on your side – remember that we’ve seen hundreds of speeches and they always work out fine!

Planning a wedding reception for less stress
Less stress when planning wedding
Hargate Hall in Derbyshire for a relaxed stress free wedding

Planning a stress free wedding

Thank you for reading this post – there are others to be found on the blog in this series on planning a stress free wedding, so if you’ve found the gentle guidance Sarah and I have offered helpful, please go and look!

Please share this post too – just click on the icons over to the left hand side.

We’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and experiences as well. Please comment below, and remember to tick the “also post to Facebook” box 🙂

Very best of luck in your wedding planning!

-Tim & Sarah



SFWP banner3