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Stuck on your Wedding Day Timings? Here’s our Upthorpe Wood suggestions.

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

Now, how do you go about planning timings for your big Woodland Wedding day? Here at Upthorpe Wood your day can run exactly as you wish, it’s your day after all!

The following blog is here as a guide to help you... only if you need it.

However, there are some things which may need to be considered when it comes to organising those all important Wedding Day timings.

If choosing to have a woodland wedding with a legal civil ceremony, your first port of call should be our local Registry Office, based in Bury St Edmunds. Give them a call and they can advise you on their available time slots for your chosen day. If choosing our Upthorpe Wood celebrant for a woodland blessing, Allan can acommodate your preferred time.

The ceremony time will be the starting point for setting out the rest of your day.

It’s quite tempting to choose the earliest time available to you but before you make that all important decision.... Read on...!

I’d say... don’t start too early. We’d strongly recommend that your ceremony doesn’t start before 1.30pm at the very earliest.

Here at Upthorpe Wood we will open the gates to your wedding guests 30 minutes before your ceremony time.

Tip 1: Guests will start to arrive up to an hour early!

Brides, bear in mind that before your ceremony even begins, if you’re having make up artists, hair stylist for your bridal party, this can take up several hours of your Wedding morning.

Your suppliers, such as florists, dj, bar company, caterers, stylists etc will need time at the venue on your Wedding morning to set up before your guests start to arrive.

Tip 2: if you hire our in house On The Day Wedding Co-Ordinator, she will co-ordinate your suppliers throughout the morning, she will also prevent guests milling around amongst your suppliers who will be trying to finish their work.

Your wedding professionals will always work around your timings but, a florist, for example, can take a good three hours setting up large installations which need constructing onsite. Discuss set up times with your chosen suppliers to give you an idea of their required timings.

Very rarely will the bride make an appearance at the woodland on the Wedding morning, therefore last minute jobs such as bringing alcohol onsite, collecting ice deliveries, table decorations, will fall to the groom and his men.

Tip 3: If on a tighter budget, it’s a great idea to get married later (after 4pm) so you may only have to provide one meal for your guests and then just a light evening snack... or wedding cake! It will also mean that you won’t have to provide as much afternoon entertainment.

Your woodland wedding ceremony or blessing will take between 20-30 minutes depending on the type of service/number of readings/music you choose.

Following this, a confetti line works really well, leading to a relaxed couple of hours filled with first drinks, photos, mingling. During your wedding reception it’s also a great time to provide some afternoon entertainment such as an acoustic duo, flower crown workshop, henna bar etc.

Next we’d recommend feeding everybody. You’re spoilt for chose when it comes to catering, from cute vintage street food trucks to a full on formal woodland wedding feast served in either the Cartlodge, woodland or garden, or how about gorgeous grazing tables for guests to snack from.

Allow at least 90 minutes for a formal sit down meal whereas snacking from grazing tables will be a much quicker affair, 20-45minutes.

Speeches are great at any time of day not just at meal times.. if you’re looking at ways to extend your entertainment times, how about speeches in the woodland during early evening? Give everyone a set time for their speech as these can easily overrun! thus putting out times for the rest of your day. For this exact reason, speeches after a meal rather than before, work well.

Between afternoon food and evening entertainment there can be a bit of a lull so now’s a great time for more entertainment, maybe an ice cream truck, cocktail hour, storytelling in the Wood, donkey rides? Space things out so there’s always something going on.

If you plan to have evening food, around 8.30pm works well but make sure it doesn’t coincide with your first dance. If having a wedding cake, pick an appropriate time to cut it, maybe just before the disco starts or even during the afternoon lull. Check that your caterer/family member will portion this up for you. Once cut by the couple it can take 30minutes to portion up.

Once your evening entertainment begins you can sit back in the knowledge that timings are complete. Now’s the time for your On The Day Co-Ordinator to retire from your big day.

Oh, just one last thought, we often see a sparkler send off... great photo opportunity however your photographer has probably long since left so ask a friend/family member to be responsible for taking some fab shots!

If all of the above seems to much to take on, how about hiring a wedding planner, to take away some of the stress? They can make your day a whole lot simple. Ask us for our recommendations.

Here’s just a suggestion of an average timeline to follow/adapt for an earlier timed wedding:

9am. Suppliers/ groomsmen arrive

1pm. Guests arrive

1.30pm. Ceremony

2pm. Confetti line, first drinks begin/acoustic duo

2.30pm. Photos

3.45pm. Wedding breakfast/speeches

5.15pm. Flowercrown workshop

5.45pm. Henna bar

6pm. Acoustic duo

8pm. First dance

8.30pm. Evening food/firepit lit

9.15pm. Cake cutting

11pm Sparkler send off

11.15pm Carriages

Look out for our previous blog all about our in house On The Day Wedding Co-Ordinaror. If you’re unsure if it’s something you’d need... check it out!

Get in touch for more details or to come along for a personal show around to discuss your requirements.

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