(Closed) Guest RSVPing Says They'll Arrive Late

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 16
8774 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

nowthisistaken :  “I often make a bigger deal about things in general” — I think that’s the case here as well. Most weddings have a few late-comers and it’s not a big deal. You have a planner and a door person. They should both be well versed in being able to judge when it’s ok to let someone in. I think it’s petty to say if you’re not here on the dot you miss the whole thing. This guest was trying to be considerate by letting you know in advance. If you make it a big deal, the lesson will be to just not say anything next time. Obviously people shouldn’t be shuffling in while you’re exchanging vows or during the kiss, but there are plenty of moments throughout the ceremony where someone could slip in and grab a seat in back.

Post # 17
13533 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

My ceremony was in a marble rotunda, so I get the echo thing!  We had all the doors closed when the ceremony started and our wedding planner and venue staff stood in front of them to make sure no one came in.  If people were late, they had to wait until the ceremony ended.  It might be harsh, but I wanted to be in the moment and I very much value punctuality.  After all that, no one came late for ours. 

In your situation, I’d contact the couple and let them know about the venue and say that no one will be admitted after the ceremony starts.  If they come while the ceremony is still in progress, they’ll have to wait until it’s concluded.

Post # 18
808 posts
Busy bee

I don’t think asking guests to arrive 30-mins priror is rude…I’ve seen many people do this, and not just for weddings. Arriving about about 30-mins early is standard practice for considerate people, however I personally know people who purposefully show up late to things unless otherwise told. The 6:30 arrival request is just to ensure that even late people get there on time…it’s not like asking people to wait 30 minutes is an unrealistic request. We certainly don’t want anyone walking in on the queued bride just before she walks down the aisle, or something. 

As for your question, I agree that you should have a doorman not letting anyone in once the ceremony begins. I think it would definietly be considerate to let that guest know, however. I’d word it something like: “Hello XX! We’ve received your RSVP and are so glad to have you! Our ceremony will begin at 7:00PM, and at which point no one will be allowed entry until the end. We expect it to last about 30-45 minutes, so XX may prefer to come at a later time.” 
However you’d like to word it, I only suggest avoiding calling him out specifically as a possible interruption…It’ll be more understandable if it’s noted that all fashionably late guests will be barred from the ceremony (even if he’s likely the only one, he won’t know that). 

EDIT: While I understand other PP who say late guests should be able to quietly join since the planner will know a good time to seat them, I think it depends on the ceremony. I had a traditional ceremony with hymns and a sermon. There were plenty of appropriate moments to get up or be seated. However, in a short ceremony, I can’t really imagine a good time to let someone come in unless it’s the exact moment the bride meets her groom at the end of the aisle or the officiant just begins speaking…otherwise they’ll be interrupting the procession, vows, or the kiss. It really doesn’t take long, so any late guests should be able to wait. Only OP knows if there would be an appropriate time for her wedding though, but I just wanted to say that I don’t think it’s always rude or petty to not allow late arrivals to join. 

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