Have a Plan B: All outdoor weddings should have a Plan B in case of inclement weather; the reception site is ideal if it is indoors. With destination weddings, be sure to have the cell phone numbers of all in your wedding party and ask everyone to have the phones with them for a couple of hours prior to the ceremony. You can then be notified if there is any problem or delay.
Watch your heels: Give yourself the option to not have the aisle runner as they can prove to be a hazard when shoes get caught on them. Consider creating an attractive walkway with flower petals or some similar element. The aisle runner is an old-fashioned holdover from a time when brides had to walk through muddy lanes on their way to the church. Also, avoid candles — they may blow out or catch a dress on fire.
Have 2 pair of shoes for your wedding day! 1st pair for the ceremony, pictures, etc. 2nd pair of satin slippers, or low comfortable shoes for dancing the night away! Decorated cloth sneakers work well too!
Music: If you have readers and/or vocalists as part of the ceremony and you have a DJ, please ask him/her to provide microphones for these people so that your guests can hear them. If the wedding is small and you choose to manage your own music, perform a soundcheck prior to the ceremony to be assured that all of your guests will be able to hear the music. Wind can play a factor in how the sound carries.
Unity candles: Unity candles should be used indoors only; a gust of wind can inauspiciously blow the candle out during the ceremony, The sand ceremony is a good alternative and the symbolism is much the same. Another option is to perform the unity candle ceremony indoors during your reception.
Ceremony location: When planning the orientation of your ceremony, take into account what the background will look like in your wedding photos. Better to have a natural landscape than a cluttered look with buildings, cars, telephone poles, etc..
If you are not hiring a professional wedding director or coordinator, ask a close friend or relative who is organized, responsible and is not in your wedding party or immediate family to serve as your wedding director. He/she can assist with the order of processional and recessional as well as who will usher in and out the grandparents and parents of the couple. He/she can gather the people together and cue them in on the wedding day and cue the musicians as to when the ceremony will begin.
The Day of the Wedding
It is a good idea to have your cell phone (or designate someone with a cell phone) with you and turned on until everyone in your wedding party has arrived so that you can be reached if someone is delayed. Be sure that everyone has that cell phone number and you have theirs.
Brides—use the bathroom before you put on your dress! Hang your veil with your dress so that it is not left at home on your wedding day.
Bridesmaids, groomsmen, bride and groom should all remember to stand with “soft” knees. Locked knees take a lot of energy and they will be standing for about 20 minutes for the typical wedding ceremony.
It is a good idea for the wedding party to have something light to snack on and non-alcoholic beverages to drink just prior to the ceremony as hunger or dehydration along with nervousness and standing can contribute to fainting. Hot weather and an outdoor wedding make the chances of dehydration greater. A growling stomach is quite distracting as well!
Have the marriage license handy when the minister arrives along with the two witnesses so they can sign it prior to the ceremony.