Lexie
Dedicated July 2020

Ceremony Time on Invitations

Lexie, on January 30, 2020 at 11:25 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 19
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Hey everyone! I'm writing out our invitations by hand (because I made all of the paper out of old papers and I don't think it can be put through a printer) and I'm just curious about what time to write on them. Are you guys writing the true time of your wedding on your invites or are you telling your guests to be there earlier? (For example, since our ceremony starts at 4, tell people to be there at 3:30) I have no idea what the heck I'm doing 馃槀 Thanks in advance! I'll attach a pic of the paper just for fun. Ceremony Time on Invitations 1


19 Comments

Latest activity by Fmv, on February 1, 2020 at 11:33 AM
  • Givemeallthepups
    Expert February 2020
    Givemeallthepups
    • Flag
    I would tell people the actual time. Many people will show up 30-45 minutes prior to the stated start time regardless. If you plan to start 30 minutes late, those people will be there waiting an hour plus.
    • Reply
  • Mandi
    Master October 2020
    Mandi
    • Flag
    I have 3:30 on my invites. I plan to start bo later than 3:40.
    • Reply
  • Mandee
    Devoted September 2020
    Mandee
    • Flag

    It is considered extremely rude to put a time on your invitations that is not the actual start time of the ceremony! If people arrive late, have someone stationed by the doors of the ceremony venue and direct them to the seats at the back of the venue at an appropriate time.


    • Reply
  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn
    • Flag
    You should put the actual time. I would show up between 3 and 3:15 for a 3:30 ceremony and would be extremely annoyed if I had to sit there for an hour because you were dishonest on the invitations. Assuming your guests are mostly adults, they know to arrive early or on time.
    • Reply
  • Private User
    Dedicated September 2020
    Private User
    • Flag
    I'm putting the actual time. I wouldn't wait to start the wedding no later than 5 min after that. If people are late, that's on them. They've had the time for weeks, if not months, so if they are late that's on them. My family and my fh family are notorious for being late, but I have to stick to a schedule.
    • Reply
  • Chrysta
    Master November 2022
    Chrysta
    • Flag
    I am learning that it is rather common practice to put an earlier time on the invitation 鈥 never knew that before now! I would say not to put it any earlier than 15 minutes though, because most people will show up 10 to 15 minutes before the time printed on the invitation, and you don鈥檛 want people waiting 30+ minutes. We are having our ceremony at sunset, so it is hard to put an exact time on that. According to forecasts, it should be at 5:12pm. So we put 鈥淕ather at 5:00 PM. Ceremony to begin at sunset.鈥 That way people are aware they need to be there at 5 and will be waiting a little bit for the ceremony to start. We will be having a string quartet start playing at 4:45 so guests are not waiting bored in silence. I think if you were having people arrive early and wait for the ceremony to start, you should make sure the DJ, quartet, etc. provides music during this time. I have even seen people open their bar for a mini cocktail hour prior to the wedding so guests are entertained while they wait, when a 30 min 鈥渂uffer time鈥 was printed on the invites. I think the most important thing is to not be rude to your guests. If you are going to have them arrive early, I would make sure they are entertained in some way during their wait time.
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  • Sherry
    Master September 2019
    Sherry
    • Flag

    We told people the actual start time. People will show up early to get a good seat.

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  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari
    • Flag

    You should write down the time you want the ceremony to start, but expect that the ceremony won't start exactly on time, because it rarely does with weddings.


    Our ceremony start time is 4pm and the plan is to start at 4pm but my venue coordinator said realistically that means we will start around 4:15pm by the time everyone is seated and in position. Our timeline is arranged accordingly. I definitely would not buffer more than 15 minutes because guests usually show up early for weddings and if you give them too much time they'll be waiting around for a while before the ceremony begins.

    • Reply
  • Lexie
    Dedicated July 2020
    Lexie
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Okay, thank you so much! Both of our families are rarely on time to anything. This is super helpful!
    • Reply
  • Lexie
    Dedicated July 2020
    Lexie
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Okay, thank you so much! We're having a really chill backyard wedding and I feel like I don't know enough about weddings to organize this entire thing by myself lol. Wedding Wire has been my best friend.
    • Reply
  • Lexie
    Dedicated July 2020
    Lexie
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Same here! No one (in either of our families) is ever on time to anything. This makes me feel so much better, thank you!
    • Reply
  • Lexie
    Dedicated July 2020
    Lexie
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Our guests are mostly adults, but neither of our families are ever on time to anything. This is a good point though, and exactly why I was hesitant to write an earlier time on the invitations. Thank you
    • Reply
  • K
    Dedicated October 2019
    KAREN
    • Flag

    Tell people the actual time. They're adults and should be able to schedule their own time. LOL

    • Reply
  • Lexie
    Dedicated July 2020
    Lexie
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Should is the key word. Our families are late to everything 馃槀
    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD
    • Flag

    You should put the actual time, people know to show up prior to that. We went to a wedding that said 3:30 PM ceremony time, so we showed up at 3:15, and the wedding didn't start until 4. I thought it was super rude.

    • Reply
  • Aida
    Devoted May 2021
    Aida
    • Flag

    We're going with the true time, if they're late, that's on them. I'm starting on time.

    • Reply
  • Littlebride
    Dedicated January 2020
    Littlebride
    • Flag
    We put the actual time, but in parentheses wrote please be seated 30 minutes prior.
    So our wedding started at 12 p.m and wrote under that ( please be seated by 11:30) so people knew the actual start time, but were advised to be seated by 11:30.
    • Reply
  • Andrea
    Master January 2021
    Andrea
    • Flag

    I was initially considering putting a time that was 10-15 minutes before the start. However, we decided against that and are going to put the actual start of the ceremony which is 6 PM. If 6 PM is approaching and there are still a lot of guests that are not there yet, we may delay it a bit further but if it's only a few guests not seated yet, then we'll go ahead and start the ceremony. Our list is comprised of mostly adults and they should know how to arrive to a wedding on time. If they don't, unfortunately that's not on us.

    • Reply
  • Fmv
    Super October 2020
    Fmv
    • Flag
    I already ordered my invited and the ceremony is 330. I wrote 3pm. We have alot of out of town guests and they are always extremely late
    • Reply

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