Very few people enjoy a wedding that starts more than a few moments past the planned time. Late guests make the bridal couple feel unappreciated, and a late wedding makes wedding guests uncomfortable and bored.
So, how can you help ensure that your wedding ceremony will, in fact, begin on time and be enjoyable for all? Here are 5 tricks to try.
Hire Transportation. A wedding limo or executive car isn't just about creating a luxurious feeling on your big day. It can also be a way to get everyone to the venue on time. A professional driver will arrive punctually, will be able to navigate traffic and parking issues, and will lend an air of professionalism to the process of getting to the ceremony. Let the whole bridal party and family know when the car will arrive and tell them that latecomers will have to find their own transportation.
Know Your Audience. Do you have family or friends who are chronically late? Is your culture one of punctuality or one that generally follows the opposite? If you know that some or all guests or bridal party members are likely to be late, publish a start time that's earlier than your actual start time. Tell everyone — or just some people — the ceremony will begin 30 minutes or 1 hour earlier. If other guests are more punctual, let them know the "real" start time.
Don't Overbook. Brides, in particular, have a tendency to try to get too much done on their wedding day. The more you book your day, the less likely it is that things will run on time. Plan to do many tasks — nail appointments, ironing dresses, decorating the venue, or designing the flowers — the day before. Then, prioritize your wedding morning to no more than three errands or tasks.
Talk with Helpers. Make clear to everyone involved in your ceremony that the event will begin on time. Most importantly, be sure your planner, officiant, and volunteer helpers are aware of the entire schedule and how important this issue is to you. Assign a person to wrangle bridesmaids, children, and groomsmen to the right place at the right time. If you're serious about being on time, let everyone know that the wedding will begin with or without their presence in your wedding party.
Lead by Example. You, as the bride or groom, have great power to lead others the direction you want them to go. If you are punctual during all pre-wedding festivities and you plan your own day so that you will be at the venue on (or ahead of) time, others will naturally follow your lead. This requires planning and self-control, but you can't expect timeliness if you don't show that it's important to you.
Even though it will take effort to ensure a ceremony that begins on time, you have the right to have the wedding that you want. And if you want a wedding that starts on time, these tricks will give you the power to have just that.