However, the oldies at your wedding are unlikely to be as nimble as your friends in their twenties and thirties and you're going to have to do a little bit of pre-planning to make sure they enjoy every moment of your day. So we've put together some advice for you to be considering.
15 Tips For Caring For The Oldies On Your Wedding Day
- Older people tend to feel the cold more (they can't always move around as much and as freely) so make sure your church or ceremony venue isn't chilly. Check with the venue what the plans are for keeping the temperature comfortable (the same applies in hot weather) and if it's nippy, pile some cosy blankets in baskets so that people can cover their knees.
- Think about how audible your voices are going to be when you say your vows. As we know, a person's hearing tends to become less sharp as they become older, so position your grandparents near you or near a speaker so they can keep in touch with what's being said.
- The same goes for eyesight, so position your older friends and relatives as near the front of the church as possible and at the end of the pews so they can see the beautiful bride walking down the aisle, and the new husband and wife walking back up it! (Also it's easier for somebody to sit at the end of a row of seats, rather than shuffling down juggling a walking stick.)
- Don't forget to check out wheelchair access and make sure ramps are in place for navigating stairs - ask your venue what's on offer.
- Many old people no longer drive, so have a plan in place for getting them to the ceremony and the reception afterwards. This is probably a job to delegate to the best man or chief bridesmaid. You'll also have to organise a taxi home for them or to wherever they are staying after the party.
- Make sure that paths to and from the ceremony and venue aren't slippery and if it's wet, make sure the ushers are out in force proffering umbrellas.
- Remember your choice of venue may decide some older people on whether or not they can attend. If you're holding your event at the top of a tall building, make sure there's a lift!
- Old people may not be able to stand in line for long on a receiving line, so make sure you and your husband greet them at their tables to welcome them to your party. They may also need a bit of a hand finding their tables - so again, ask your chief bridesmaid and usher to guide them.
- If you're having a drinks reception, make sure there are some chairs for the grannies and grandpas to sink into - they aren't going to want to stand up gossiping for over an hour (although you may be surprised!)
- In fact, always make sure there is somewhere for the older generation to sit - don't just clear tables away after the wedding breakfast to make way for the band - make sure there's a peaceful chillout room with tea and coffee to enjoy and plenty of seating to relax in. Otherwise you may find the oldies leaving earlier than you'd like.
- Don't forget to ask the band/DJ to play some golden oldies that the elderly will enjoy. In fact, why not find out what your grandparents' first dance song was and get that played. Sure to shed a tear or two!
- Traditionally, nobody leaves a wedding until the cake is cut and if you've had a long wedding day, some of the older generation might be feeling a bit weary. So be considerate and don't wait too long.
- Make sure somebody is at hand to find coats and organise lifts home/walks to hotel for the oldies.
- Don't forget to have a photograph taken of the pair of you with your grandparents.
- Then make sure you send your grandparents a framed copy - they're probably not that into digital photography and iPads!
Have you made any special provision for grandparents and elderly friends on your big day? Any tips to share with us?