If you are having a church wedding ceremony, the time planning process is crucial to making things convenient for your guests. Plan things correctly and the guests will arrive at the perfect time right as the wedding facility is ready to open the doors. Get it wrong, and your guests will be sitting and waiting in a parking lot. Here is the solution…
Find out the entire duration of the ceremony. If you are having a receiving line at the church, add on an additional 15 minutes per 100 guests. On your free time, make the drive from the church to your wedding reception facility. If the route requires travel on a major highway, look into traffic issues. The highway will have different conditions for a Friday evening compared to a Sunday afternoon event. Calculate that time in and factor on your guests arriving 5-10 minutes before the reception start time. NEVER assume anything. You don’t want the wedding guests showing up 30-60 minutes before your contract start time. This can get ugly.
I have seen wedding guests forced to wait in the parking lot, or crowded into a hall way with the doors locked to the facility. Even if your hall lets the guests in early, it is a bad first impression when your guests are standing in a room where the staff are vacuuming and setting up tables and the DJ is doing a sound check.
If a caterer has another wedding during the day, they will need time to clean the room. Never assume that your guests can go wait outside in the garden area because what if it rains? What if there is a ceremony going on from another party? Always call your wedding facility and ask their policy on guest arrival. Get your facts straight and in advance so you know what to expect.
Don’t get your dream wedding reception off on a bad note. Plan ahead!