The wonderful thing about having your wedding on a holiday is this: more of your loved ones can come and celebrate with you. Of course what will become apparent then is this: more people will also be out on the streets, plying the roads to travel out of town, or just do some holiday shopping. The first step in dealing with holiday traffic and the wedding of your dreams is to stop being in denial. Know that given the streets of Manila, the probability's pretty high that there will be traffic. And you've got some help, too! Here are some tips on how to make your wedding day as painless as possible, given the problem of traffic, on holidays and otherwise.
Re-imagine your route
You know those maps we make for our wedding invites? We usually choose the shortest routes for making those because we think it's the quickest. In reality, these standard routes are also the ones that more people will take, and as such are the more congested roads. Re-imagine the route to your wedding venue, and pick the streets that have no malls or commercial areas on them, no barangay or city halls, no palengkes or jeepney stops. This route might make your map bigger as it is the longer way, but it will also mean a quicker way to get to your wedding, with not a whole lot of heavy traffic to worry about.
Ask about fiestas and parades
The worst traffic experience I've had is one on the way to Laguna, where we were uninformed about a fiesta happening in one of the smaller barangays, but which spilled over to the main road as expected. When a street turns into a parking lot, well, there's nothing to do but wait, and regret that we didn't ask about fiestas and parades for this day. It was then that I learned the value of research. Search the Department of Tourism site for the bigger fiestas that we hold on the streets that lead to your wedding venues. If that isn't enough, call up the local city hall where your church and reception will be and inquire about festivities that might be held on the day of your wedding. As they say, knowing is half the battle won. You can then put together a map that will take these celebrations into consideration.
Coordinate with public officials
In the age of no wangwang, a police escort seems to be out of the question, but this doesn't mean you can't make use of services available to the general public to begin with. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) which takes care of the main roads of Metro Manila may be contacted with regards to major events that may close down streets, as well as road maintenance and repairs that may slow down traffic on the route to your wedding. They're also active as @MMDA on Twitter and will give you traffic updates for the roads that you'll pass on the day itself. Have someone on your wedding team monitor traffic via and coordinating with MMDA online, and give the same person the responsibility to text the more important members of your wedding entourage about major route changes that need to be made.
Give clear instructions
Don't think that just because you're getting married outside of Manila that traffic will necessarily be lighter, and things will be easier. The thing is if you're going up to Tagaytay to get married on a holiday, chances are there's a bunch of people headed in that direction, too. Other than coordinating with the local officials of the province where you're getting married, make sure that your guests know their way. Too much time is lost in, well, getting lost. Give your guests a more relaxed time getting to your wedding by giving them clear instructions about which exit to take and where to go from there. An out-of-town trip also means a limited set of route choices, so give your guests--and yourself--a realistic assessment of how long it might take to get to your wedding venues.
It helps no one to want to rush to your wedding so much so that traffic rules are ignored. This can only be more stressful, and the goal really is to arrive at your wedding in one piece. There's no point in rushing. Tell your driver just as much. In the end, know that you can only prepare for traffic as much as you can, and at some point you will face it as it comes. Know to leave what you can't control to the universe, take a deep breath, and cross your fingers.
Keep your cool
There is no point in tapping your foot and sweating it out when your bridal car hits some traffic. In fact, there is no point in even asking where the rest of your bridal entourage and team are. Let someone else worry about the traffic, and someone else to inform people about where you are. Take this time for what it is. It's time to relax as much as you can, and compose yourself. There will be no other time for quiet and calm and solitude other than this one. You're getting married today! And in truth, nothing else matters.
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