(Closed) What time should I put on my wedding invitation

posted 6 years ago in Paper
  • poll: What time should I put on the wedding invitation?
    6pm - when the doors open : (13 votes)
    28 %
    6:15pm - middle ground : (15 votes)
    33 %
    6:30pm - exactly when the ceremony will start : (18 votes)
    39 %
  • Post # 3
    12893 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I would put 6:30 on the invitation since that’s when the event starts, but spread through word of mouth that the doors open at 6 and guests are welcome to arrive at 6 to be seated. 

    If I received an invitiation that said 6, I would show up at 5:30/5:45, and be confused about why I couldn’t be seated yet. 

    Post # 4
    1304 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    We listed a time that was 20 minutes before the planned ceremony start time.  We also put lemonade and iced tea by the reception area.  (It was an outdoor summer wedding in a rural location, so this beverage choice matched the setting.)  It worked out fine.  Most weddings seem to start a little late anyway.

    Post # 5
    53 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    Why don’t you put down 6:15, but plan to actually start it at 6:30? I guess the only downside is if your inlaws are pathologically early and won’t be able to get in : ) 


    We put down 4 and are planning to walk down the aisle no later than 4:15. 

    Post # 6
    3618 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    In my area people put 30 minutes before the ceremony start time. I got tarred and feathered on there though when I said that before, so my guess is it depends on your circle of friends and family. If you know your family is always going to be late, then put 6pm.

    Post # 7
    4275 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    When the ceremony starts. People usually start arriving about a hour ahead of schedule anyway.

    Post # 8
    16217 posts
    Honey Beekeeper

    I’d put the exact ceremony time on your invitations. That’s most fair to all of your guests. If you have some late-comers, you can always start the ceremony a few minutes after 6:30 if need be.

    Post # 9
    2105 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    All the weddings I’ve been to started at the time stated on the invitation (the last one I went to actually started early!!)  I think most people tend to arrive early anyway, so I wouldn’t put 30 min early on the invite.  Then people will have to stand around for awhile before the doors even open for seating.  

    Post # 10
    23636 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2011

    This one is a huge cause for debate on the bee!  I personally did the half hour early thing on my invitations, but lots of people here think it’s not kosher! 😛

    Post # 11
    443 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I am 90% certain that we’ll also be listing the time as 15 minutes before the actual start – we absolutely MUST start the ceremony at 5pm (long story) and don’t want to risk pushing it back because of stragglers. My fiance and I went back and forth on this one a few times, and genuinely feel for guests who might arrive at 4:15pm, expecting a 4:45pm ceremony, and then must wait until 5pm. But I think the number of guests who arrive that early will be fairly small. I hope.

    I am curious to see how others respond to this thread, maybe it will encourage us to use 5pm after all.

    Also, in your invitation, would you have room, in addition to the start time, to write: “Doors open at 6:00pm”? I believe I’ve read that on invitations before. At the very least, you could write that on your wedding website.

    Post # 13
    2305 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2016

    I didn’t realize this would cause so much debate lol. Every invite I’ve ever got always says something like

    “Ceremony starts at 4:30”

    And we all start showing up at 4. But that could just be us. 

    Defs put it on your website, and have someone you trust gently remind your typically late guests that it starts at 6:30, and they should be in their seats before then.

    Post # 14
    4485 posts
    Honey bee

    The start time listed is when you make your entrance, and that is the only time that is included on the invite. Everyone knows to arrive 30 mins early to get a seat.

    Post # 15
    1512 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I’ve never heard of putting anything other than when you plan on starting. Most people will arrive early, and if they don’t, they miss part of the ceremony. That’s how all the weddings I’ve been to were anyway. I had to wait until the bridal party had walked at one friend’s wedding because we got lost. They made us wait outside until there was a break where we could come in. If people aren’t on time, it’s their problem.

    Post # 16
    2869 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    oh god… no, ive been living in los angeles for the last 9 months…. put an earlier time than you want.  its different from the rest of the country, you can allow for traffic and still get screwed.

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