Have you had restless nights thinking that your guests showed up late to your wedding?  When it comes to planning your wedding there are several factors to consider to ensure that your guests arrive on time and don’t walk in during the middle of the ceremony.

When we sit down with our couples to discuss the timeline of events and what time the ceremony is starting, most couples assume that the time on their invitation is also the time that the ceremony actually begins.   That moment that you begin the seating of the mothers, or the officiant walks up to the microphone.  If you say your event starts at 5pm, will that mean that your guests are then going to show up at 4:30pm, which means your DJ, or live musicians should then start 30 minutes prior to your contracted time with them, if you are paying for 5 hrs of time, then will 30 minutes come off the back end of the event?

It sounds very confusing and is there the right answer?  The best advice I heard from Marlene Widawer with www.invitationmaven.com who knows first hand about timing, suggests to include the following on your invitation “Ceremony will begin promptly at 5:30pm”  this should give a good signal to the guests that they will have to account for the following:

1-Travel time

2-Traffic in the area (get the Waze App on your phone if possible)

3-What is the parking situation

4-How far of a walk from your car to the ceremony location

5-Where to drop of the gift prior to sitting down

6-Weather conditions- do you need a Jacket or an umbrella

7-how easy is your seat access (avoid walking in front of photographer)

8-just as a bonus ( don’t forget to silence your cell phone)

Always keep in mind the weather if you are planning an outside wedding, if its going to be hot, check out the location at the same time you plan to have the ceremony to ensure the sun is not beating down on your guests. will your venue provide a water dispenser, or provide fans.

Always have a plan B, if you are checking the weather, and there is a slight chance of rain, let your vendors, especially the ones with electrical equipment have the option of being placed under a canopy or umbrella.