We are so excited to have Janice of Bellwether Events sharing more At Home Wedding Tips and Advice with us! Today’s topic is the last of 2017, but it is definitely a necessary one or you wouldn’t have any guests! Janice is talking about at home wedding transportation and parking.
Hello UWL readers! I am so thankful that you are checking out my advice post today. In this month’s wedding advice post, I’m talking about transportation and parking for your home wedding. When your guests arrive at your home wedding, they are making their first impressions of your wedding day, which will stay with them for a lifetime. I know you will want their arrival to go as smoothly as possible.
Please don’t miss my earlier posts filled with wedding planning advice about pets and kids at your wedding, wedding day first impressions, wedding restroom trailers and generators, home wedding stationery, lighting for your home wedding, wedding tent floor plans, an intro to wedding tents and the basics of home wedding guest lists and budgets. The editors of United With Love recently wrote about DC wedding transportation options, which you might want to check out. I also have a brand new wedding planning website that I encourage you to visit.
If you are going to have more than a handful of cars driving to your wedding, or if on-site parking is at all tricky at your home, I recommend having valet. Think about the times when you are going someplace fancy. Aren’t you so happy when you arrive and discover complimentary valet? You should give your wedding guests this warm and fuzzy feeling, if you can.
The valet service needs to begin 45 minutes before your ceremony is slated to start, and you should schedule them to stay at least 30 minutes past the designated end time of your reception. You also need to designate a (preferably sober) guest to take the keys of any cars not picked up by valet when their contract is over – or be prepared to go into overtime with the valet staff. Don’t forget to make sure that your guests’ path back to the valet station is safe and well-lit.
If you are lucky enough to have a large area for your wedding guests to self-park their cars, I recommend at least having a couple of lot attendants to help direct traffic. I, personally, have been stuck in a lot, boxed in on all sides, by other drivers who either weren’t paying attention, or were super inconsiderate. You don’t want this to happen to your guests, so parking attendants are a must! You will also need very clear and obvious signage to direct drivers to this lot, as well as lighting for this area so that guests can safely get back to their cars at the end of the reception.
If you are bussing your guests to your home wedding, you will need to think about the best route for the buses to take once they are on site. Is there an easy spot for them to off load and turn around? Where will they park during the event? Will they be able to maneuver easily once the sun goes down? Having large coach buses and some mini buses at your home wedding require planning and forethought so that they can easily move your guests around. Guests do not like waiting on buses – few things make them angrier, in my experience!
Sometimes the layout of the home wedding is such that the ceremony spot is a good distance from the reception area. If this is the case, you may need to plan for transportation to move either all of your guests, or at least the less-mobile guests from one place to the other. This can be anything from golf carts to mini buses.
Finally, think about any special rides you and your future spouse might want to take either before, during, or after the wedding. I’ve had clients take a spin around the property in horse drawn carriage. I’ve had clients take a vintage car to and from their wedding. These are the fun, extra transportation ideas to consider when planning your home wedding!
I really appreciate you stopping by my monthly advice series on planning a home wedding. If you need more advice, and just can’t wait until next month, you can visit the Your Wedding At Home blog or you can download my free ebook, The Elegant At-Home Wedding.