You’re getting ready to say “I do” to spend your life with your partner — but first, you get to celebrate your union at your wedding! But if you ask most married couples, they’ll tell you it’s easy to lose track of time on your wedding day. Before you know it, the night is winding down and you’ve hardly shared a moment with your new spouse.
It’s true — weddings go by in the blink of an eye. If you’re not careful, you might go through the motions and get lost in the busyness of your big day. And while you now have a lifetime together, your wedding is a day for togetherness!
Don’t worry. If you want to ensure plenty of one-on-one time during your celebration, there are many ways to carve out special moments just for the two of you. Try incorporating a few of these seven ideas to prioritize closeness on your wedding day.
Spend the morning together
If your ceremony is in the afternoon, consider having a leisurely morning with your soon-to-be spouse before the hustle and bustle sets in. It’ll make both of you feel grounded and connected as you prepare for the day ahead.
Aly Raddatz of Elevated Events offers an AM recommendation for couples: “Have breakfast together on the big day. Not only will you get the fuel you need, but you’ll also have uninterrupted time to express how much you mean to each other — a great way to start your new life together.”
Or, “if you don’t have a wedding party, consider getting dressed together,” suggests Kawania Wooten of Howerton+Wooten Events. “It will help the two of you relax, and it will make for incredibly sexy (and romantic) ‘getting ready’ photos.”
So go ahead and toss out the tradition of not seeing each other beforehand! Your wedding day is all about the two of you, so why not savor every moment?
Plan a pre-ceremony first look
Should you see each other before the ceremony? It’s one of the biggest questions in wedding planning, and there’s no right or wrong answer. However, if you want to maximize your time together on the big day, experts encourage couples to schedule a private first look once you’re all dressed and ready.
“I highly recommend having a first look,” confirms Laura Maddox of Magnolia Celebrates. “This will allow you to see each other much earlier in the day and allow for you to spend those pre-ceremony hours with your friends, family, and each other taking pictures.”
If you’re a stickler for tradition (or you want that emotional down-the-aisle shot), Tracy Autem of Tracy Autem & Lightly Photography recommends doing a “first touch” instead.
“A first touch is an easy way to add some one on one time before the ceremony,” Autem says. “This can be done back to back or around a door, but no matter the setup, you get to touch, talk and be together while keeping with tradition. Share notes, exchange gifts, or even read private vows to one another that you want to keep away from all ears at your ceremony.”
Plus, first looks offer an extra benefit. Many couples who see each other before the ceremony find it reduces jitters and puts them at ease before heading down the aisle!
Steal a moment during cocktail hour
Once the ceremony is over, your guests will enjoy refreshments while you and your take portraits with your wedding party. But this transitional period is also an excellent opportunity to create space and soak it all in as newlyweds!
“Give yourself a little time right after the ceremony to be together and celebrate what you just did before joining the group again or pictures start,” encourages Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events.
If your ceremony and reception are in different locations, Lilia Shatnaya of Plume and Stone Invitation Studio urges couples to travel together for a private moment. “Book a limousine just for the two of you so you can spend some alone time while on the way to your reception,” she suggests.
Want to make it extra romantic? Plan ahead to have your newlywed suite or limo decorated with rose petals and stocked with a bottle of champagne for an intimate toast!
Schedule a grand reveal
After so much work goes into planning your dream wedding, a grand reveal provides a moment to take it all in before the reception space fills up with guests.
“We incorporate a grand reveal of the reception into our timelines, allowing our clients an opportunity to fully appreciate everything we created together and for them to have a private moment together,” shares Sandy Brooks of Timeless Event Planning. “It’s important to have your photographer and videographer there capturing these moments from a distance.”
Ask your planner to set aside ten minutes for you and your partner to sneak into the reception area while guests are mingling. Prepare to be in awe!
Enjoy a private dinner
Does eating in a noisy room with all of your guests seem…well, less than romantic? If you’re looking for a more intimate dining experience, Catherine Taylor of Woodland Fields Photography suggests having a private dinner elsewhere on the property.
“A good percentage of couples don’t get the chance to eat the meal they’ve worked hard to plan, especially since they are typically pulled into conversations or asked questions during this time,” Taylor explains. “It can be made to feel like a private room at a restaurant — think low lighting & candles. You will get a good chance to actually talk privately with your new spouse!”
If you prefer to stick around for dinner, Jen Sulak of Weirdo Weddings pushes couples to “opt for a sweetheart table,” which is a table-for-two set apart from the rest. “You can be completely alone while you eat, drink, and listen to toasts and people-watch,” she notes.
Once dinner is over, you’ll be busy greeting loved ones, giving speeches, and showing off your moves on the dance floor. So take the time to settle down, enjoy each other’s company, and eat before the real party begins!
Sneak away from the reception
When the drinks are flowing and your guests are having a blast, consider stepping away from the hubbub and taking a moment for yourselves.
“No one will miss you for five minutes,” assures Shannon Tarrant of Wedding Venue Map. “Grab your new spouse and sneak into a quiet corner or outside of a window and just watch for a few minutes. Take a moment for yourselves to take it all in!”
Or if you want to go the extra mile, Sarah Chianese of Mangia and Enjoy! offers a fun way to create one-on-one time with each other. “Talk with your planner to get super creative about mini-rendezvous activities that can be snuck into the schedule,” she says. “Perhaps even a game that requires the couple to sneak off every hour to find a treasure together with clever hints, allowing them to sneak in 5 minutes of alone time and laughter.”
Of course, the idea is not to disappear to the honeymoon suite for an hour. Your guests are here to spend time with you! But a few secret moments away can create a quiet space for intimacy and reflection on your incredible day.
Send guests home (a bit) early
If your wedding day is go-go-go from start to finish, you might want to consider cutting the celebration short — even if it’s just five minutes earlier. That way, you can see your guests off and still have time to sit down and soak it all in before heading home.
“You could have an early departure for guests via a late-night send-off,” affirms Jackie Watson of Jaclyn Watson Events. “This can give the couple some extra time to spend together after the reception, even if it’s just a few minutes — that’s all they need to take in the moment!”
Remember: You create the rules on your wedding day! So if you want to prioritize intentional time together, work with your wedding planning team to create a timeline that meets your needs.
And a final tip from Shatnaya: “Make a pact to hold hands during the entire wedding celebration. Welcome guests together, say hello and walk around together. Hold each other’s hands, and don’t spend a moment apart.”
It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of your wedding day, but if you agree to do every moment together, you won’t have any regrets about how you spend your big day!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.