Friday, September 18, 2015

Five Ways to Fix Your Fake Ceremony Time (Los Angeles Wedding Planner)

Ohhkay, but they're still going to be waiting when you get there.
Photo: B&G Photography
Fake ceremony times are my very least favorite wedding thing. Putting 5:00pm on your wedding invitation when you're planning to start the ceremony at 5:30pm, or God help me, 6:00pm. You lose prep time, you lose photography time, and if you're not careful, you're going to freaked out and stressed out before any of this even gets started. Many couples do it, thinking they can trick known later comers into coming on time. But a latecomers pretty much know what's up, and your late people are still going to be late, and your first guest is still going to show up 30 minutes before the ceremony time. Yes, as in half and hour. Seen it once, seen it 50 times. But if it's a done deal, the only thing to do is make it work out anyway. Here's five ways to get it done. 

1. Wherever your guests are going to go to first needs to be ready at least 30 minutes before your fake ceremony time. THE priority is that they have somewhere to sit. So, ask your rental company or whoever is in charge of these things to please set up the ceremony chairs first. If you're serving water or lemonade, have it ready 30 minutes before your fake wedding time. I know, #weddingshaming. Sorry.

2. Adjust your pre-game schedule. It is not ever, never, ever going to take less time to do something than you think. Hair and makeup is going to take as long as the stylist tells you it is. Getting to the venue is going to take as long as it did the last time you went there. If anything, it's going to take more time, so give yourself plenty of it. If you have to leave the hotel at 2pm to get over to the your venue by 2:30, so you can take pictures for an hour before guests show up 30 minutes before your fake ceremony time, then you have to adjust your timeline. Start hair and makeup earlier. Pre-plan for failure (sorry) and talk to your photographer about how to divide the pictures up pre-ceremony and after. No crossing your fingers and hoping. No scrambling. 

3. Manage your expectations. Nothing you have to do pre-ceremony is going to take less than an hour. When your guests show up 30 minutes before your fake ceremony time, they might be there while you're taking your pictures. They might want to say hello to you. Stuff might not go as smoothly as you thought it would. Roll with it. 

4. Have a guest wrangler on stand by.  This is a job that I do, or that I assign one of my team to do. One of us is there to greet the first guest that arrives before your fake ceremony time. Make sure they're comfortable, have a chair, water, know where the restrooms are, and are given an approximate reality-based start time. If you don't have a planner, ask your venue manager, or depending on who's doing what, where, someone in your wedding party, or family. Don't leave your guests to their own devices. 

Or another option...

5. Flip the script a little, maybe? Last year, one of my couples, who did not have a fake ceremony time, started out their wedding with their reception. Appetizers, entrees, mingling with guests, and then tossed in a ceremony a couple of hours later. If you're not worried about seeing each other before the wedding, and your caterer and rentals are game for it, you might want to try that. That way your early birds can hang out and there's actually stuff happening. You show up, take pictures off to the side, and join the party. 

See you at the end of the aisle, 

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Contact me so we can talk about your wedding:
Call/text 323-592-9318

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