For this answer I got to cheat with 2 decades of knowledge from my wedding photographer wife 🙂
I’ve gotta say, as un-pc as it is to say as a wedding professional on a public forum – but my pet-peev are wedding guests that arrive AFTER the bride!! Come on guys… if the initiation says ‘ceremony commences at 3pm’, then that means that you have to allow enough time to arrive at the ceremony venue (allowing for potential traffic), park, walk to the ceremony space, greet the groom or other bride and be seated (ready for the bride or other groom’s arrival)
Woosa… lol… that said, when it comes to our job and the service we provide to ensure a smooth ride all the way, the times below are a good indication of arrival times…
- First partner’s arrival to the ceremony: at least 30 min before ceremony go-time. This is to greet guests that should be arriving and also your marriage celebrant. If the first partner has been tasked with décor or preparation duties – then this time will be much earlier.
- Second partner’s arrival to the ceremony: 5-15min before ceremony go-time (depending on the distance between the vehicle drop-off location and ceremony space) This allows for some deep breaths, zhuzhing, and photos exiting the kombi. In the case of elopements, often the celebrant will require 2min to get some signatures before the ceremony commences… allow for this too.
- We will help you to work out how long it will take to get from your pick-up locations to your ceremony… keeping in mind that a vintage vehicle takes longer to maneuver through traffic. If you are being picked up, then allow time in your scheduling to gather your ‘must take’ items, lock up, get from hotel room to the lobby etc. It’s amazing how quickly very minute adds up 🙂
- When it comes to the return to your wedding reception after location photos, consult with your photographer – they may need to return for ‘room shots’ before guests enter the reception space. Your event planner, may want you back at a certain time to prepare you for your ‘grand entrance’. Allowing 5 to 10 min for a bathroom break to freshen up before your entrance is also a good tip and often forgotten time.
When it’s all said and done, allowing sufficient time for all the key items makes for a smooth, stress-free wedding day – and let’s face it, stress-free allows you to fully enjoy yourself and new marital status!