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Wedding-day timelines are an absolute necessity. Knowing when vendors will arrive, what time your first look is scheduled, and when the band should be ready to play your first dance song keeps everyone on-track — if only you could distribute that pages-long, minute-by-minute timeline to your guests to make sure they're where you need them to be! The biggest timing detail guests need to keep in mind is the start time of your ceremony, so how can you make sure everyone shows up with time to spare? Here are a few tips to make sure no one is late to your wedding.
While you might be tempted to print an earlier time on your wedding invitations, resist the urge. Most guests know that a wedding ceremony will begin promptly at the time stated on the invitation, so they'll plan to arrive at least 20 minutes in advance to park and find a seat before you come down the aisle. If you tell guests the ceremony is at 5 p.m. instead of 5:30, they'll arrive at 4:45, which means they'll be waiting a full 45 minutes for you to make your appearance — not the way you want to start your celebration!
Instead, make sure the start time is clearly communicated, from your invitation and wedding website to the notes in guests' welcome bags. Worried about traffic? Include that, too! Advise guests to leave a little extra time for travel, whether it's due to a long-term construction project or a venue in a high-traffic area where parking can be tough.
A foolproof way to make sure guests arrive right on time is to eliminate the potential for human error and provide a shuttle service, instead. Distribute the shuttle schedule in your welcome bags, and have your shuttles leave with plenty of time to get to your venue. This will have everyone arriving exactly when you want them to, so no one will be late!