Post # 1
Fiance and I are ordering our invitations! I feel like once it’s in print then it’s really REAL.
Anyways. . . here’s my question. I went to a wedding back in January. On the invitation it said the ceremony started at 2. . . however, when I got there (early! at 1:45) and was handed a program, it said the ceremony actually started at 2:30. So I sat there for 45 minutes with everyone else listening to the prelude music until the actual ceremony started.
Is it normal to put an early start time on the invitations?
My ceremony start time is 11:30 am. Do I put 11:30 or do I maybe put 11:00? I’m so confused!
Post # 3
I put an early start time because my location was very remote and I knew people wouldn’t budget enough time. I was right.
If you are in a place which is easy to get to, I would put the actual start time.
Post # 4
Guests will start showing up at least 15 minutes before the invitation time. So if you say 11:00, people will start showing up at 10:45.
Put 11:30 on the invitation. Most people run late on their wedding day, so it gives you some wiggle room. If you put 11:00am and intend to start the ceremony at 11:30, but are running 15 minutes late, you will have guests who have been waiting an hour for the ceremony to start. Not cool.
Post # 5
@CityBearBride: Makes sense. Like the wedding I went to! I sat there for 45 minutes. I just didn’t know if it was standard to put an earlier start time on the invitations to be safe.
Post # 6
Perhaps you could put something like “2.45pm for a 3pm start.” That way guests know when the ceremony itself starts – some people read “3pm” and think it’s the time they need to arrive, or the time the ceremony starts, so you can get people arriving too early or late.
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2013 - The Down Town Club, Philadelphia
Funny, I just asked my planner this same question this morning. Our ceremony starts at 5:30pm, and she advised me to put 5:30pm. She said we will probably start 5-10 minutes late, but our guests will prob arrive 30-15 minutes early. Making your guests wait more than that seems wrong.
So, I’m taking her advice!
Post # 8
My venue told us to put a time on the invitation half hour before the ceremony start time so that people have time to get there. But I was worried about just what happened to you! I said people will be sitting around for 45 minutes! I put 4pm start time. Plan on having the ceremony begin at 4:15. I said fifteen minutes was plenty of time.
Post # 9
Put the actual start time. By putting an early time or “2:45 for a 3pm start” you are indicating to your guests that they don’t know how to arrive somewhere in a timely fashion. If people are late, they will be late no matter what. Don’t punish the people who do arrive on time (or early) by making them sit and wait.
Post # 10
Your guests should know that they need to arrive a bit early to get seated. Put the real start time. You will likely have to start a few minutes late as late comers get seated, but that’s fine.
Post # 11
I figured it was okay to give a little time, because I didn’t want anyone assuming that the invitation time was half hour before the ceremony start time if they are used to invitations doing that. (Since so many seem to) I went to a wedding where a couple people walked in during the procession because they thought that invitations gave an earlier time. I guess no matter what some people will be early, and some late. At least they will be giving out beverages before my ceremony starts.
Post # 12
i did. my ceremony starts at 1:30, my invitations say 1:00 because my family are last-minute-ers.
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta
The ceremony is across the street from where a lot of guests will be staying but I still wouldn’t put an early start time even if it was further away. I would assume people would have the respect not to show up late to a wedding!
Post # 14
On the invitations and our website, I put the real time. On the website, I also put “seating will begin at (half hour before start time).” Crossing my fingers that works!
Post # 15
I put our actual start time and on the information/direction sheet, I put that the ceremony will promptly begin at 2.