Post # 1
I was planning on having our ceremony start time at 5pm, but after attending two friends weddings recently, I’m thinking about changing my mind. A lot of their guests (like 50%) are guests to my wedding as well. One ceremony was set for 4pm and the other was set for 4:30pm. Both ceremonies started 20-30 minutes late. Both were on weekdays, so I think they may have had some late guests because they might have worked a 1/2 day instead of taking a full day off work. Our wedding is on a Friday.
We are having the ceremony and reception in the same indoor venue (August in Florida = mandatory air conditioning!), and there is only one main entrance to our venue, which is also where the isle will begin. I don’t want late guests to be stuck behind us and get in the photos, and based on these past two weddings I know there will be late guests.
I am thinking of putting 4:30 on my invitations and be ready by then, but be prepared to wait 15-20 minutes if necessary. I don’t want to punish those who actually arrive on time, but I don’t want to plan too little time if many people are late, which is practically inevitable.
What do you think?
Post # 3
I think that is probably fine. That said, if you’re starting your ceremony later than your friends did, that should be fine anyway? Maybe just go with the flow, if a lot of guests are still arriving at 5:00pm, just delay the ceremony a bit. If most people are there and seated, start right on time.
Not one guest at my wedding was late to the ceremony. Even my friend who is notoriously late for everything arrived just in time for it to begin!
I personally usually plan to arrive at a wedding ceremony 10-15 minutes in advance. If the ceremony was pushed back another 10-15 minutes, I’d be cool with that.
Post # 4
Wait, I’m confused. You already have a later start time than your friends’ weddings but you want to push it up and then wait anyway? It seems to me that having a later start time would help guests even more! 🙂
And truthfully…I’ve never taken a day off to go to a wedding. If you can have your wedding at 5 or 5:30, I think that would be the best option for your guests being there on time and not getting in your photos.
Post # 5
Honestly, I wouldn’t. There will always be the guests that show up 30 minute early. So if you put the time down as 4:30, expecting it to start at 5, you’ll have people there at 4:00 sitting around for an hour and probably very annoyed. We had a plan for if people got there late: someone was outside the door and the latecomers weren’t allowed in the ceremony area until I had finished walking down the aisle so that they wouldn’t be in pictures or distract everyone.
ETA: Just realized that it was a Friday wedding – I would say the later the better. A lot of people aren’t going to be taking the day off work, so the more time you give them to arrive, the better!
Post # 6
@sunkisthappy: This is the age old debate on the boards! I did this, our ceremony started at 6 but we put 5:30 on the invitation, and guess what? Two people STILL almost missed it!
Post # 7
I’m totally against lying on the invites. I’m someone who’s always punctual (when it comes to weddings atleast) so if I’m told to be somewhere at 4:30, I’m there at 4. If I had to wait around for an extra 20-30 minutes ON TOP of the 30 minute cushion I’ve already given myself just to accommodate those who can’t manage to show up on time, I would be annoyed.
We were married on a Friday and 98% of our guests were there with plenty of time to spare. We had one couple come in as we were lining up but the ceremony was outside and we were inside so their tardiness didn’t affect anything other than them seeing me before hand which wasn’t really a big deal to me.
Post # 8
I arrived later than the time I stated on the invite. This all depends on the type of guests you have. I have guests that are notoriously late, my Mother-In-Law arrived after me!! So I had to sit in the limo and wait for her to arrive. Several of the guests also go there after me. Even though I had put a start time of 30 mins ahead of when I showed up. If your guests are mostly punctual then go ahead and put the real start time. But for me that would have made no sense
Post # 9
We are planning on giving our guests a 5-10 minute window to be late. Our invitations say a 5:15 ceremony, but our “internal” timeline has it starting between 5:20 and 5:25. Our ceremony musician is starting at 4:45 and we are having a welcome sweets buffet/pre wedding cocktails, so guests who arrive early can grab some goodies and a glass of sparkling wine/cider and mingle pre-ceremony. My side of the family is always early, his side of the family tends to run late, so we’re hoping this will allow most guests to arrive and be seated before everything begins.
The last wedding we went to, the bride and groom actually ended up pushing the ceremony back because guests were running late (5:30 Friday ceremony in a bad traffic area). My fiance and I were the first ones there at 5:20.
Post # 10
Please do not do this, some people tend to be early and I am one of them. If someone did this to me, I would be upset that I came early and had to sit and wait and wait and wait when the invite said the wedding would start at this time and it was a half an hour off. Yeah I would walk out…
Post # 11
Yeah, as someone who tends to be early, this would REALLY tick me off as a guest. I would’t do it, it just seems rude. If they are late, they are the rude ones, but if you do this you are being rude to all your guests, which is not fair to punish them all.
Post # 12
I dont think starting 15-20 mins later would be a bad idea but I wouldnt lie on the invite. The last wedding I went to however, started an hr and a half AFTER the supposed start time, which was 5p. Fiance and I arrived 15 mins late but really?? An hr and a half later they start the ceremony? I was very upset and thought that was just very distastful on their part. My wedding HAS to start on time and we cant lie on the invites because if people do show up too early they will be seeing the bridal party outside taking pics. I dont know how to word an invite just yet to let guests know the wedding will be starting PROMPTLY at 6P but I have time. We only have 4 hrs total for our ceremony and reception.
Post # 13
Personally I think marking 15 or 20 minutes early is fine, though I like one of the pp’s ideas of having drinks or snacks before if it will be 30min or more. When I get a dinner invite it’s not served until 30-60 minutes after the invite time, I’m sure people can mingle for a few minutes, I wouldn’t walk out. Brides are late all the time if you believe the wedding shows anyways. Maybe you can phrase it as something like we will be meeting at blank time, ceremony to be started at blank time. It shows what time you expect people to be there without “lying” about the ceremony.
Post # 14
@misspeanut: This- assign one of your ushers to help keep latecomers out!
Post # 15
I put 10:45 for an 11am ceremony. It’s generally accepted where I’m from though to show up early…Future Mother-In-Law wanted me to put 10am on the invite but I thought that was insane, mother wanted 10:30, I ended up putting 10:45. There is a cool beverage station available from 10am on in case people do show up really early (and so the Bridal Party can get cool drinks while we get ready). I’m going to see if the venue can have someone keep latecomers out once the ceremony starts, which shouldn’t be too hard….there is valet and the valet guy can just be like, yeah they’ve started so wait outside (especially because the entrance to the garden is closer to the ceremony’s front end then back end)
Post # 16
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
We put 5:30 and we started at 5:30. No one was late, but I did let everyone and their mother know that we were starting on time no matter what. We needed as much sunlight as possible for photos, so there was no room for negotiation. I did get married on a Saturday though. Most people show up like 15-20 minutes early.