As a wedding planner, I will let you in on a little secret: much of the success at an event is based on how the guests were communicated with in advance to prepare. And if you are getting married in Lake Tahoe or its vicinity, it is more important than most places to empower your guests with critical information that will affect your event and your vendors, due to our unique weather and logistics. Here’s why:
As you plan your wedding and secure your vendor’s services, there are time factors involved for every vendor. They all begin and end at a certain time. In some cases the product or service that they are providing could actually be ruined if the timeline or schedule goes too far off (think of food and beverage and carefully timed cooked meals), and recovery is not possible. With other vendors, the worst-case scenario is a surprise bill the night of the wedding or after for hefty overtime charges for their services or staff. Regardless, events that go off schedule in a major way are never welcome and have a domino effect that can snowball.
One of the many ways to help prevent this from happening is by making sure your guests are empowered to be there, be on time, and be ready for your style of wedding. To do this starts long before they begin their packing, and in fact, should start the moment you send Save the Date notifications.
I always recommend a wedding website by which the couple can keep updates on the wedding plans, logistics and timely information and reference it in Save the Dates and in correspondence with guests prior to the wedding. The most important information to set the stage for your wedding guests happens before they even buy their plane tickets and secure hotel reservations and it is this:
What is the nature of the venue at which you are hosting your wedding? Do they have a long way to travel from the nearest hotel? Once they arrive to the wedding location, must they take additional mass group transportation (i.e. shuttles, hay wagons, or simply walking a distance)? Be clear about the distances and timing involved. Your ceremony invitation time is not the time guests should be arriving. Your professional wedding planner can work with you on ways to ensure a timely ceremony start time . Hint: it involves how and what you communicate to your guests in advance as well as on the wedding invitation itself.
Guest Comfort: if any portion of the event is outdoors, guests should be informed and encouraged to dress accordingly, based on the time of day or night it is outdoors (example: if outdoors in the middle of a summer afternoon, they may wish to dress more cool, if on the beach, wear sunhats, sandals, etc; if outdoors in the evening, they may wish to bring shawls or coats; if held outdoors on a ranch or winery property, heels may not work and ladies should be discouraged from wearing them). Ladies who arrive in stiletto heels to a winery wedding on grass and soft ground with a distance to walk to the ceremony site may actually hold up the timeliness.
Finally, and especially, in a place like Lake Tahoe, knowing the weather and road conditions in advance- and making sure your guests do, so they can take alternative routes or leave extra early- is mission critical to keeping your wedding and event running on time. I recommend http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/tahoe.htm for regular updates on road conditions in Tahoe.
Again, your professional wedding planner can help you with verbiage and how to manage your guests in advance so everyone comes on time, comfortable, and ready to spend an entire day/evening celebrating with you and enjoying every possible moment!