Post # 1
I want my ceremony to start promptly at 6:30pm. If it is running late, I want it to be my fault causing the delay, not guests arriving late. Due to the set up of the space, guests won’t be able to come into the ceremony space during the processial.
If my invitation says, “Half Past Six in the Evening” will guests assume that they should arrive at 6:30 or that the ceremony will start at 6:30.
I’ve been to 2 weddings recently. One said 7pm and the ceremony started 15 minutes later. I think that was something to do with the officiant running late. At the other one, the invitation said 4:30pm and when we got there at 4pm to make sure we were there with enough time, we were informed that the ceremony was to start at 5. They just wanted to make sure guests arrived on time.
Putting ‘Quarter Past Six in the Evening” looks funny to me.
Also, when it is half or quarter hour, do you also add the o’clock?
Half Past Six in the Evening
Half Past Six O’Clock in the Evening
THank you Bees for your words of wisdom
Post # 3
I had the “half past six” line on my invitations, and not a single person arrived late.
Post # 4
I would use the time the ceremony is scheduled to start. If I am one of the guests who arrive early to make sure I am seated before the start time, I would be annoyed if I later found out you never did intend to start until later.
Post # 5
We have “Half past five” on our invites. Real ceremony is at 5:45. I’d much rather have people wait, then have people walking to their seats when I’m walking down the aisle–and ruining the background of my photos. We’re getting married outside, so this is more of a concern than if we were getting married in a church or something. Sorry I’m not sorry, but I only have one chance to get this right. =)
Also, we’re using shuttles to control when people gets there. Not everyone will be on the shuttle though, so we’ll have a string quartet playing a prelude and the venue will be serving champagne & berries… so even if they’re waiting a few minutes, it won’t be super boring.
ETA: I don’t think of it as catering to the guests that are late, so much as it is catering to what I want… which is to get the most out of the photographer I’m paying $$$ for and, if that means my guests wait a few mins extra, I’m okay with it. My family is notoriously late, and I’d be pissed if they ended up walking through the background of my ceremony photos.
Post # 6
“Half Past Six in the Evening” sounds perfect to me. If anyone shows up late, they’ll just scoot in to the back rows and it won’t affect anything. You don’t want people standing around at 5:30-6 waiting.
Post # 7
@Pomapoo: the way the ceremony space is, guests can’t just scoot in the back during the processional.
my ceremony is taking place in an atrium off the hotel. to get to the atrium, there is a glass enclosed bridge/hallway.
i’m not going to be coming down for the processional until the very last second, but i wouldn’t want guests who arrive late to see me before i am ready to walk down the ailse.
Post # 8
I know a lot of people worry about this, but I’m not sure how often it is actually a problem. Whatever time is on the invitation I would assume would be the ceremony start time, and I would plan to be there 15-20 minutes prior. However, if you but a time on the invite that is before the ceremony I wouldn’t mind either if I had 15 minutes extra to wait.
Post # 9
Put the start time and then try to start at that time or within 10 minutes of that. If you said it started at 6:30 I’d probably show up between 15-30 minutes early. I would be very irritated if you didn’t start until 7pm and I arrived at 6pm.
Post # 10
I would put the time you actually intend to start. Like you experienced, it’s really annoying when you arrive on time and are informed that you’ve been duped.
Post # 11
I didn’t read the poll properly so I selected “when the invitation states” but I would actually arrive 15 minutes before. I would not give an earlier time on the invite because I would be very annoyed if I showed up 15 minutes early and then found out the ceremony actually wouldn’t be starting for a half an hour. Cater to those that are on time as opposed to the rude late people.
Post # 12
I try to arrive about 15 minutes before the stated start time. For our wedding, we were just running late, so we started about 20 minutes late. However, we still had guests arriving when I was getting ready to walk down the aisle!!
Post # 13
@pixiecat: thanks, i don’t know why i became so worried about people arriving late as i was figuring out the wording for the invitation.
Post # 14
Former ceremony wedding coordinator here: The time listed on your invitation should be the time the ceremony is planned to start. Polite guests will arrive 15-30 minutes early to get seated and enjoy your prelude music. You will have some not-so-polite guests that will arrive just on time or late. That’s how the world works. It’s not the end of the world. As it gets close to your start time your coordinator (or whoever is running the processional) should assess guest flow. If all guests are seating – great – go ahead and start. If there are still guests getting programs and being seated, your coordinator should wait until these guests are seated. This should usually not delay things more than 5-10 minutes. I generally, would also take a peak out the door to make sure nobody was walking up to the venue. Once all the guests who are there on time have been seated the coordinator should start the processional. Any guests that arrive after the processional has started will have to wait outside or in the vestibule until the procession is over. They can then enter quietly and be seated in the back.
Post # 15
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
I went to a wedding this summer where we arrived about 20 minutes early and were some of the later guests to arrive. The ceremony started an hour later. I wouldn’t want that to happen to my guests, so the ceremony start time is going on my invitations
Post # 16
You put the ceremony start time on the invitation.
DH and I were invited to a wedding where the invitation said it would start at 5:30. We declined to attend, but found out later that they were afraid people would be late and had planned for the ceremony not to start until 6:00. I’m glad we didn’t go, because we would’ve gotten up and left if we found out someone had pulled that shit on us.