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Previous: Deciding on the wedding guest list
After your guests have confirmed their attendance, preferrably with intended arrival and departure times, you have now the task of coordinating so-called wedding logistics. This consists of organising the transportation of guests, the bride and the groom, and ensuring that everything flows smoothly.
Ideally, you'd want to match guests without own transport to those with own transport. This is also a good way for your guests to get to know each other. It's not a matter of random allocation, however. Be sure you don't match a smoker to a nonsmoker. Make sure they speak a common language. Just like assigning names to the seating arrangement, it requires some thought as to how strangers will get along.
Not everyone would like to share, although festive occasions such as weddings do bring out the positive side of humanity. Some guests are fairly independent. They can find their own way around the wedding venues. Others require some hand holding. A good map, included in the invitation, can help but not everyone can understand maps.
When do you begin planning the wedding logistics? First of all, set your goal to have a worry-free day. This is one of the reasons for having a wedding rehearsal ---- to prevent the risk of something going haywire. Get everything that you've ordered or bought delivered as much as possible. Although this might cost more than having to pick them up yourself, it removes the strain of extra work and worry. You will need as much time and space as possible in the prelude to that important day!
A master of ceremony or a best man or best woman could take the load off your shoulders. But your instructions need to be clear. The last thing you want is someone to come up to you with their problems or having to make new decisions on your wedding day.
How do you cater for unexpected guests or guests that arrive late? I remember phoning the bride's mobile phone about two hours before the wedding when I realised I was running late in an anticipated two-hour car journey. Whether my phone call contributed to her late arrival at the church still puzzles me to this day. On another occasion, I phoned the mother of the bride on the morning of the wedding to confirm my attendance. RSVP is not a custom respected by all, nor do people realise how important it is to respond to an invitation. To cater for this, have some slack in your headcount and schedule ---- overbook and add slack.
Musicians and disc jockeys who are experienced at playing for weddings will know to arrive early to acclimatise to the accoustics of the venue. Make sure that they can get into the restaurant or hotel without having to contact you.
Don't expect to dance all night because your time will be divided between greeting guests who arrive and saying good-bye to those who leave.
Wedding logistics isn't just about getting to the wedding but also how to get everybody home. A reliable cab company can take care of that. After you've thought of everyone else, don't forget yourself if you are the bride or groom. Make sure you have arranged how to get yourself to the place where you will spend your wedding night.
17 September 2005 Saturday
Wedding Crashers: the most hilarious movie I've ever seen in years!!!!