In my earlier post (where did the day go?), I wrote how I couldn’t believe how fast the big day went and how my memory was blurred too. So, I decided to post some advice about the “wedding whooosh” effect, which proved to be very popular.

This post will hopefully help keep your wedding day on track, by highlighting areas where time can overrun.

Running late means that you will lose time somewhere else, like time spent with guests before the wedding breakfast OR your evening guests having to wait around while day guests finish their dessert. So it is clearly better for everyone if the day stays on track.


Strike a balance between:-

leaving enough time between ceremony and wedding breakfast, to allow for all the things you want to do and
not having your guests fainting with hunger or too much bevvy.

2 to 2.5 hours is a good amount of time as a rule of thumb. Canapes are a great idea and essential if you’re going to extend this time.

The small things

What I mean, is that 5-10 minutes here and there soon add up and before you know it you are scrabbling around trying to turn back time.

For example, even if a bride does arrive on time (unlikely, no offence girls!), it’s going to take 5-10 minutes to get out of the car once photos have been taken and the dress has been extracted too. Then it’s another 5-10 minutes to have a welcome chat with the minister and then process down the aisle. So already, things are running 20 minutes late, if you didn’t factor this in. All the small things add up!


I was at a wedding recently where the bride and groom arrived at the reception venue just in time to have a quick group photo with all their guests and be piped into the wedding breakfast…ZERO time spent with guests before the meal. And that was because the bride arrived 15 minutes late; then took 10 minutes to go into the church; the service was an hour long (planned for 45 mins) and the photographer took 2 hours to take family photos.

Photographs can, without doubt, be the biggest gobbler of time and I would urge couples to check how long photographers need for photos before booking them, because a photographer like the one above, in my opinion, can spoil a day. Some photographers (like Greg from Napier Wedding Photography) are great, but others give the impression that they are the most important person there and that everyone else can wait.

Herding cats

This is something that catches people out all the time. If you have around 80 guests it will take them at least 15-20 minutes to move from one room to another, so if you have a schedule which says that guests are to be seated for 4.30pm, you need to ask them to be seated around 4.10pm and ideally your coordinator should give them a 30 minute warning before that, so that people can plan a bathroom break. So, any time you are moving your guests from one place to another, allow time for that to happen. Unless you you are Harry Potter of course.


Consider having your ceremony and reception in one place, as it saves on travel time between venues (so more time for other things) and it means that everyone, but especially elderly relatives, can get a drink and something to eat whilst waiting for the ceremony to begin. It also means that you have no chance of a breakdown between venues and your guests don’t need to sit in a car or a coach instead of enjoying themselves with you. Ministers, celebrants and registrars are all licenced to marry couples just about anywhere, so why not ask them along to your venue of choice.

Does the venue have a separate room for the wedding breakfast and the evening reception or does it need time to turn the room around? If the band are playing in the same room as the wedding breakfast, can they set up without interrupting your guests? Do they need to set up before the wedding breakfast or do you leave time between eating and the band starting, to allow them to set up? It all takes planning and TIME.

So who can help?

My suggestion, is to ask friends who have recently been married; wedding suppliers with plenty experience and to do some research on some wedding blogs. I would also say that David Cranna at The Cruin on Loch Lomond, knows what he is doing and is a very good MC and there are other recommended services on my wedding suppliers page.

If this has raised more questions than answers, please get in touch with Keith on or 07786 683445 for more information.

Next time, I will be offering some advice on the groom’s highland attire. I hope to see you then.

Wedding Piper Glasgow and Loch Lomond

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