But excuse us for a second as we make light. 7.39pm? Surely no-one really expects timings to be that exact, do they?
Usually and fortunately not, but sometimes, just sometimes, and if one or other of the bride and groom is a project manager, we get an itinerary list that is so detailed you wonder if a drill sergeant might be overseeing, let alone a toastmaster.
Happily, this was absolutely not the case last night for Charlotte and Blue’s wedding at the Port Lympne Mansion House.
For the record, we were exceptionally well looked after (and as a band, we respond very well to that, subtle, subtle, hinty, hinty). We were provided in a timely fashion with our hot meals, made sure we had enough to drink, and provided with a change and chill room. All in all, splendid.
All perfect except for one minor detail. The wedding over-ran. By quite a lot actually.
The band arrived at 6pm, to be set-up by 7.30pm, ready for the arrival of the evening guests. A quite usual arrangement. Now, as we aren’t tardy sorts, we were there, but – as often is the case – the room where we were playing was also the room where everyone was eating, toasting and merry-making, and in the end, we didn’t manage to get set-up until just before 9pm.
Hence, the bride and groom’s careful itinerary out the window. Not that it mattered, everyone had a chilled attitude and were enjoying themselves. However, this situation can sometimes make the evening event difficult.
At weddings, the one thing more likely to punch a hole in the schedule and over-run is the wedding breakfast, especially the speeches.
This is not a rant though. As a band, we don’t mind if the wedded couple run late. In fact, we expect and make contingency for it. You see, almost every wedding – with perhaps the exception of one that springs to mind in London – runs late.
So fathers, grooms, best men, chief bridesmaids and brides – a word of advice. When writing and planning your speech, don’t forget – that is if you don’t want it to delay the evening function – to include some time for people to laugh heartily (and in some cases heckle) your hallowed monologue. And remember, that story you think is going to take thirty seconds to recant? Add a little longer ‘cos once you get going…
From our years of wedding experience, we have one piece of advice when planning your itinerary. Always allow at least 3 times as long for the speeches.
Not that the band really mind though… just as long as they’re looked after 😉 and isn’t that the first priority?
What do you mean, “no”?