(Closed) What time do I list on my wedding invitation?

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Hi!  I think if you’re planning on definitely starting at 5:30, you should list a time that’s a little earlier … maybe 5:15?  People often assume that "these things never start on time" and arrive either right on time or a little late.  If your ceremony is only 10 mins, I would definitely want to make sure everyone is there and seated before 5:30.  The other option would be to list 5:30, and then start a few minutes late (have your DOC determine if "most" people are there before starting). 

Post # 4
Member
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I’ve always assumed that the time on the invite is the start time, not the time we should arrive. I would list the time that your ceremony is supposed to start and most people will have enough sense to make sure they get there early to take their seats, etc. Also, even if you plan your day down to the last second, you are probably not going to start on time anyway due to pictures, makeup, hair, etc. so you should be fine.

Post # 5
Member
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

The time you would like them to arrive.  My wedding was on August 9th — we put 5pm on our invite — the ceremony started at 5:20 and we still had a few people show up during the ceremony. Most people do not understand ettiquete.

Post # 6
Member
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

if you look at the way it’s worded, the time you are supposed to put on the invite is the time you are getting married at. You are inviting them to witness you getting married at XXX time. Now, I agree that people will be late, but most people know that means get there early and if i was invited for 5, I would get there about 4:45…then if the ceremony didn’t start until 5:30, I would be peeved. 

Post # 7
Member
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2007

I’d list the actual start time.  If people are late, that’s on them, and I’d just as soon have polite people like Kate who know to come early not be pissed than cater to people who don’t know how to be on time.

Post # 8
Member
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

I’m with LNickle, I would put 5:15

Post # 9
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

The actual start time.  Yes, some people might be late.  If you think it’s complicated to get to your venue, I would include directions and a map with your invitation.  Our venue was also a little hard to find, but of 130 guests, all but three were there before the ceremony started.

On the other hand, Darling Husband and I went to a wedding two weeks ago that started almost 30 minutes AFTER the time listed on the invitation.  Again, almost everybody was seated by the time listed.  And then we all sat there for almost 30 minutes.  People were annoyed.  Asking people to show up early and then just sit and wait is quite rude, IMO.

 

Post # 10
Member
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

We listed a time 15 minutes prior to our actual start time.  Our venue is outdoors and lovely and we’ll have a refreshment station there so people can drink and mingle. 

Most weddings do start late, but this is often because guests are late.  That said, no need to overly penalize those who arrive early/on time.  Fudging by 15 minutes helps ease that gap and allows for some minor delays.  Most people shouldn’t be annoyed to wait 15-30 minutes.  More than that is a little much.

Post # 11
Member
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

You should put 15 minutes earlier.  If you write the exact time, it throws off everything.  Yes people can show up late, but they can also show up right at the time you are walking down the aisle, and everything can get screwed up.  Our venue told us to write 15 minutes prior.  Then the people who normally arrive early aren’t super early, and the people who arrive late are on time, and then the wedding can start right on time, and won’t throw off the rest of the night.  Seriously, when you right the exact time, you will most likely end up starting late….if its not at a church, the coordinator will most likely hold you until it looks like everyone is there.

Post # 12
Member
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

It depends on how it is worded. On most invitations it will state something to the effect of, "X & Y invite you to share with us as we join hands in marriage at 5:30pm on X date in X place". If this is the case than I would put the actual time you wish for the ceremony to start. Anyone with half a brain will realize that this is the start time and that they should be there PRIOR to this time. As previously stated, if you put 5pm or 5:15pm for your 5:30pm reception you will have people showing up prior to the time you stated and they will likely get annoyed that they had to wait.

I like the suggestion of a map. Maybe you could include estimated times as well (how long it takes to get to the location from different landmarks on your map).

Post # 13
Member
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

PS. You can always delay the start time of the ceremony if it looks like a lot of people are late!

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