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Beginner May 2022

Shuttle Timing vs Hotel Checkin vs Start Time

Katelyn, on June 17, 2021 at 3:47 PM Posted in Planning 0 7

Hi There - I've just run into the biggest hurdle I've experienced so far in planning. Our wedding is about 2 hours away from where most of our guests live, so 90% of them will be staying at a hotel. We're working on getting room blocks at 2, which are about 10-15 minutes away from the venue. Because it's a small town (there's only 1 Uber driver haha), we have to arrange for transportation for our guests (definitely not into drinking and driving). I originally thought we could just have transportation from the venue to the hotel, but realized that if everyone's cars are at the venue, how are we gonna get them the next morning if there's only one uber driver?!

So we're arranging for shuttle to and from - but here's my issue: I want the ceremony to start at 3:30, but it turns out that hotel checkin isn't until 3, and there's no flexibility. I want people to be able to checkin and get settled before coming to the wedding, but they wouldn't be able to do that if I have shuttles departing at 3. I REALLY don't want to push my ceremony time back even more (I originally had it at 2pm), but I just don't know what else to do. Even pushing to 4pm would be cutting it close, so then I'd have to push it back to 4:30, which I don't want to do if I can avoid it...

Any creative ideas? If I don't arrange for transportation to the venue, does that give people more flexibility on timing? Should I just give them options on how to get their car the next morning, maybe expect people to carpool to the ceremony together to leave one car at hotel and one overnight at venue?

Also, do you think guests NEED to check in to their hotel ahead of time? Should I keep my timeline as is and let people figure it out, or should I cave and push it back?


Latest activity by Cristy, on June 18, 2021 at 4:21 PM
  • themost
    Dedicated October 2021
    themost ·
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    If 90% of your guests are really expected to stay at the local hotel, I'd push it back. 3 pm is the standard check in time at most hotels.

    As a guest, I certainly wouldn't want to travel directly to a wedding after 2 hours in the car - dressed for the wedding - to then have to go check in at the hotel after the wedding. Checking in can take a while, particularly if there's a rush if people checking in at the same time to go to the same event.
    And if I didn't have the opportunity to check in beforehand, I'd definitely be Ieaving the wedding earlier then I would have overwise.
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  • Yasmine
    Master October 2020
    Yasmine ·
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    I personally would want to check in my hotel prior, especially if I came a long way. I honestly probably would push the ceremony back an hour and let the guests know that we they can take their belongings to their room and freshen up. Have you contacted the hotel to see if guests can check in even 20-30 minutes earlier than 3pm?

    I wouldn't expect people to carpool, you definitely can suggest it but there will probably be a few people who don't want to carpool.

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  • Maureen
    Devoted November 2021
    Maureen ·
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    Do a room block to include the night before the wedding so it gives the guests the option to already be at the hotel the day of the wedding.
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  • C
    Super July 2020
    Cool ·
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    I really think you should move the ceremony time closer to 4:30.
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  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna ·
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    As an out of town guest travelling to a wedding and staying in a hotel, I would need at least 1 hour in the hotel room to shower, change, freshen up, etc. before leaving for the wedding. I would personally arrange to have your shuttles depart at 4 pm and start your ceremony at 4:30 pm. I once attended a wedding in a small town where the hotel check in time was only 30 minutes before the shuttles departed, and around half of the guests missed the ceremony as a result.

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  • S
    Super September 2022
    Sarah ·
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    Is your reception immediately following the ceremony, or is there a few hour break? If there is a break then guests can check in between (I did that for one wedding I went to). If it's just the cocktail hour between then they can't really check in afterwards. If I were a guest I would just request early check in (most hotels allow that) and would probably take care of my own transportation. Usually we just establish between myself and my fiance that someone will be DD. If you want it at 3:30 then have it at 3:30. Some people may complain, but the ones that care about you and want to be there will make it work.

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  • Cristy
    Master May 2021
    Cristy ·
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    Can guests arrive the day before the wedding, so there is no hassle with check in times? I just got married in Las Vegas, and even though it was a super small wedding (20 guests), everyone arrived the day before, so they wouldn't be rushing around right before the ceremony time.

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