Start Time

This is often a matter of preference for each couple. There is no right or wrong time to have your ceremony. To make a decision consider your morning getting ready time and the cocktail/canapé hour. A Ceremony usually takes 30 mins. Once you have figured out a timeline that suits, the day will run smoother for you. Some couples will go straight to the reception but if you’re not having an evening reception, then an early ceremony followed by a nice meal will work perfectly.

Ceremony Space

If you are hiring a licensed venue for your ceremony then there’s no doubt the venue staff will be quite seasoned in how the room should be set up. If you are using a Celebrant ask if a table is required, possibly for a Sand Ceremony or any symbolic action.


Are you having guest readings? Think about where they will stand, is enough room for everyone?

It’s always lovely to ask a special guest to perform a reading for you, it’s such a personal way to be involved. My advice here is to make sure the person you ask is completely comfortable with public speaking. It’s not easy to get up and speak in front of 50-100 people!

Outdoor ceremony

You can get creative with the space and use a unique set up, like arranging the chairs in a semi-circle.

Reserved Seating

Remember, whoever is making an entrance down the aisle will need somewhere to either stand or sit at the front. It is important that these key people can be seated easily.

Not forgetting that you want your closest family at the front and maybe even guests who have hearing difficulties.

Also make sure to leave a space for anyone in a wheelchair to sit with their family rather than feeling left at the back of the room.


It is your choice if you allow guests to take pictures or video on their phones throughout the ceremony. If this is your wish, I will not stop you BUT in my opinion, having lots of phones thrust up in the air as you make your entrance or make your heartfelt vows to each other can take away from that special moment. Also think of guests sitting a few rows behind a phone, it’s amazing how a phone the size of your hand can actually block the view of the couple completely. It’s happened to me!

As well as this, if you’ve hired a professional photographer then I’m sure you have paid good money for them to capture the memories for you. The last thing you want to see is blurred screens of mobile phones in the background of your beautiful day.


I hope this blog has made you think beyond just booking your venue and adding some décor.

If you are looking to hire a Celebrant in the Herts, Beds, Bucks area please get into contact with me:

Kelly Hawes

07827 927947