A wedding, if anything, is a closely timed event. There can be an event-altering domino effect if the timing is off. Time is of the essence.
A lot can happen when a wedding starts late. Flowers will wilt if left in the Phoenix sun too long. The banquet can over-cook and dry out. The officiant or musician may have to leave to attend another scheduled event. The photographer may have concerns about the remaining daylight. Children will be bored if forced to sit and wait. Guest may lose interest and leave early. Overtime charges can accumulate with the facility and contracted vendors. There may not be enough time left at the end of the event to get everything done.
One might think that a well-planned wedding would start and end on time. Perhaps a professional wedding coordinator is involved, helping keep things on track and reducing the natural stress of a wedding day. They all seem to carry a handy "time line" for the wedding.
Most weddings start within ten minutes of their published starting time, and to start any later is disrespectful to the guests that made the effort to attend on time. Consider these five reasons an Arizona wedding might start late and how they can be prevented.
5 - Forgot the license. The bride and groom must apply for a marriage license together. It must be done in advance of the wedding. Read the instructions clearly, because Arizona State Law prohibits a wedding ceremony to take place without the valid marriage license present. No license, no ceremony. It's the law.
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4 - Forgot a bra. A recent country club wedding was postponed 40 minutes because the bride forgot to pack her wedding bra. When the word got out, there were plenty of laughs.
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3 - Not enough guests have arrived. 150 seats are set, but only 75 guests are present at starting time. Welcome to Arizona where, for some reason, being late for a wedding is too common! This is another circumstance when a difficult decision will have to be made to begin the ceremony without everyone present.
If there are invited guests known to be chronically late, sometime be sure to mention that if they miss anything, it isn't out of disrespect to them. Chartering transportation from sedans to party buses is also a possibility.
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2 - Feeling light-headed. Many wedding ceremonies begin late because someone in the wedding party drank alcohol or didn't eat correctly and as a result, can't stand up. Starving to squeeze into a bridesmaids dress can make one light headed and feeling sick. Packing snacks and lots of water can really help. There is always time for one more tip to the restroom.
1 - Wrong Place and Time. If the location can be a challenge to find, be sure to include a map and written directions with the invitations.
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If delaying the wedding appears to be inevitable, immediately appoint someone to poll the facility representative, the officiant, musician(s), the caterer, and everyone involved serving the wedding. Make sure everyone is comfortable working with the new schedule and possible extra charges.
A wedding, if anything, is a closely timed event. Time is of the essence and right now it's on your side.