If you are planning a summer wedding in Seattle, be “traffic savvy” to avoid traffic and/or timing issues that may create unexpected problems on your wedding day.

Here is a “crash course” to help you navigate heavy summer car and ferry traffic in Seattle as you put together the time line for your wedding events and your wedding day.

1) Implement The ’30 Minute Rule’ For Your Seattle Wedding: Because traffic during the summer months in Seattle is often unpredictable and more nuts than usual, one of the best tactics you can employ for all events around your wedding day is to implement the “30 Minute Rule.” If your wedding ceremony is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m., put 5:00 p.m. on the invites. If your rehearsal is set for 1:00 p.m., tell your family and friends to arrive at 12:30 p.m.

Seattle traffic is insane in the busy Summer months. Nothing creates more stress for a bride or groom than late starting wedding events and family/friends and wedding party members who are late. So, be pro-active and opt for the “30 Minute Rule” and plan your wedding around this principle for more ease and less stress.

2) Plan Your Wedding Around Seattle’s Monster Summer Events: Each Summer, Seattle hosts a number of big annual events that create mini traffic tsunamis. If your wedding is on one of these Summer weekends, you will need to insure that your people take alternate routes, avoid certain bridges and/or leave plenty of “fudge time” for traffic congestion and road/bridge closures. Examples include:

~ Torchlight Parade Weekend ~ Streets in downtown Seattle area closed for a big Saturday night parade that creates traffic congestion for hours.

~ Seafair Weekend ~ The two bridges across Lake Washington are closed at different times over 4 days for a weekend in August (usually the first or second weekend of August), creating traffic nightmares between Seattle and the Eastside. Check out the Seafair website for bridge closure information and plan accordingly.

~ Road Closures ~ Each Summer, the Washington State Department of Transportation schedules big road projects and/or road closures throughout the Seattle area. Visit the WA State DOT website for updated information:http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/trafficalerts/PugetSound.aspx.

~ Bellevue Arts & Crafts Festival ~ A huge festival in downtown Bellevue creates serious local traffic problems on the last weekend of July.

And these are just 4 examples, in addition to the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon and Hempfest!

3) Do Your Seattle Wedding Plans Involve A Ferry? If your wedding plans for Seattle include a ferry ride, plan for longer ferry lines in the Summer months and create ‘buffer time” as you plan your wedding events. Ferries most impacted: downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island, Edmonds to Kingston, downtown Seattle to Bremerton, Port Townsend to Keystone, Mukilteo to Clinton and all ferry runs to/from the San Juan Islands. The Washington State Ferry system website has all updated information.

4) Plan Your Seattle Ceremony and Celebration At the Same Location/Venue: One of the best ways to insure that your Seattle wedding goes off without a traffic hitch is to plan your ceremony and celebration at the same venue.

If your plan is already set for two Seattle locations on your wedding day, consider a bus or shuttle to more conveniently get your guests from one venue to another.

Annemarie Juhlian is a Wedding Officiant,Minister & Celebrant in Seattle, Washington and every weekend she navigates crazy Seattle traffic between wonderful weddings.  

Take a peak at https://www.marriedbyannemarie.com or call 425. 922.1325