(Closed) Time of ceremony on invitation?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: What time should go on the invite?

    Exact time that the ceremony begins

    Half-hour before the actual ceremony begins

    Split the difference (15 minutes before)

  • Post # 3
    302 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2014 - Barn

    what if you did 7:15?

    Post # 4
    665 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    What will happen if the evening runs a little behind schedule? I’d put exact time because it’s a wedding and anyone who is late is extremely rude.

    Post # 5
    9792 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I have the exact same problem.

    I was planning on putting the official start time… (I want mine to start exactly at 5:30)

    Trying to remember…but I think most weddings I’ve been to started at the time stated on the invitation (or maybe 5 min late).

    I think you should put 7:30 and maybe plan to start at 7:35.  Is it ok for you to start the ceremony a little bit late?  I was planning on doing this…

    Post # 6
    164 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: February 2013

    There are those who are always early no matter what, so if you put 7:00 they could be there at 6:30 and be waiting on you for an hour.

    That’ll seem rude to them as they will view it as YOU being the late one, and your wedding starting late, not as them being exceptionally early. 

    Post # 7
    1375 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I’m compulsively early, so if I arrived 15 min early to get a good seat and your wedding didn’t actually start for another 45, I’d be very annoyed.  It’s just as rude for you to mislead guests about the start time as it is for them to show up late for your wedding.

    Post # 8
    954 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I think you’ll be fine if you put the start time on your invitations.


    My ceremony/reception/dance were all at the same venue.  The wedding started at 2:30, sure, there were people who arrived BEFORE 2pm, but have a little faith in your guests.  People aren’t going to barge in like goats….a lot of people do pictures BEFORE the ceremony.


    The hotel we got married at had a iittle area to corral the guests who arrived early for the wedding.  Contact your venue coordinator to find out more details on that stuff.

    Post # 9
    2947 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 1998

    7.15pm I’d put on the invites because waiting for 30 mins is soooooo annoying.

    I just wish people could just be on time it really annoys me!!!

    Post # 10
    3625 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I’m surprised that your banquet manager suggested that. All of my vendors, including our venue coordinator, said to just put the actual time you plan to start. It’s rude for people to show up late and it’s rude to the people who cared enough to show up on time.

    If the crowd is looking a little thin at the correct time to start, you can delay it that day by five minutes and see if it picks up. I think most people make it a point to show up on time to a wedding though. I’ve never heard of fashionably late to someone’s ceremony.

    If your earlybird guests really do show up 1 hour early (which is rather extreme), you can have staff there that will kindly inform them that they are WAY early. If you want to be super nice, you can offer self-serve water and lemonade. That’s what we did. Our venue staff kept people out until about 20 minutes before it started (we had a smaller wedding) and then they were welcomed with fruit-infused water and lemonade.

    Post # 11
    407 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2014 - Morton Arboretum

    My venue stated the same thing.  guest arrival at 5pm ceremony to start at 5:30pm.  So I did just that on the invites I stated Guest Arrival Time. 

    I think a half hour will give people time to talk and time to find seats.  That way everything can start promptly at 5:30pm.

    If you have a program of events then your guests will know they have time.  But my ceremony and reception are all in the same location.

    Post # 12
    633 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    My wedding planner specifically said to make the actual start time of the wedding 15 minutes later than what the invitation says, e.g. our invites say 5PM, we are planning a 5:15 start time. Even though it might be rude on a guests part to come late, you still wouldn’t want the inevitably late guests to be loitering around when you are supposed to be coming down the aisle with your people, trying not to be seen in your gown! 

    If you have nice music playing, people will be chatting about the decorations, the music, catching up with people they haven’t seen in a bit. Give yourself a 15 minute cushion!

    Post # 13
    4434 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

    That is ridiculous and SO RUDE!  

    I am always SUPER early, especially if it’s a venue I don’t know about exact location, parking, etc.  So if you say your ceremony starts at 7pm I will most likely be in my seat by 6:30pm LATEST.  At 7:30pm I’m thinking you’re not going through with the wedding and headed out the door!

    Adults can plan for themselves.

    Post # 14
    1832 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I would not be very happy with your banquet manager!  I arrive a solid 20 minutes early for a wedding.  I might chat with a friend outside, run to the ladies room one last time, or i might just go sit down, but I am always seated minimum 15 minutes prior to start time.  The overwhelming majority of people are on time for a wedding.  Those are the ones you should cater to, not the ones who run late.  Have an usher by the door incase someone arrives late and he can take them to a seat in the back and not disturb the ceremony.  Grrr to the banquet manager!!

    Post # 15
    3366 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I would put 7:15 like the other ladies suggested. I know as a guest I would be pretty upset if I got there at 7pm and had to wait 30 minutes. 

    Post # 16
    1731 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    You need to give them the exact time that it starts. Circulate recommendations about what time to actually be there (allow 15 min for traffic, parking, weather, etc) via your wedding website or word of mouth.

    Most people will arrive at least ten minutes early to get settled. You should have an usher to seat people as they arrive OR friends and family who are aware of the time start the move to sit down a few minutes before “kickoff.” We had mingling and ambient music, and then when the music turned off (about 5 min before the start time), people knew it was time to find a seat.

    Whether they’re seated or just mingling, your guests will notice if things kick off fifteen minutes late, and they will REALLY notice (and start to gossip) if you’re thirty minutes late.

    Which would you prefer on your wedding day and thereafter — people wondering and whispering if someone got cold feet or totally screwed up the schedule, OR any late stragglers apologizing profusely to you for their screw-up?

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