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NelsonsGirl
Expert August 2015

Friday Night Wedding Start Time

NelsonsGirl, on February 19, 2015 at 10:49 AM Posted in Planning 0 20

Hi Ladies,

We are thinking of starting our wedding at 6:30pm (on the invitation it will be 6:30pm and 7pm will be the actual start) instead of 8pm. Our wedding is on a Friday night in August. Is 6:30pm too early?

FH bought up a good point - people may be rushing from work. (We live in NYC). However, wedding is smaller in size (~75 people) and 50% of invited guest are out of town, so they'll be in town anyway.

Thoughts? As a guest, what would you think/prefer? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

20 Comments

Latest activity by Heather, on February 20, 2015 at 10:49 PM
  • Mandigurl
    Super July 2015
    Mandigurl ·
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    I'd prefer 8pm. It would give me time to finish work freshen up and get a bite to eat. Even if I was from out of town I could have some dinner and head to the venue.

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  • Elyse
    Master September 2015
    Elyse ·
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    If you are starting at 7, put 7 on the invite. It's unfair to make your guests wait for a half hour.

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  • 8815wedding
    VIP August 2015
    8815wedding ·
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    I think I would prefer 7:00 PM. Even though it might be harder to get there after work, I might also be tired on a Friday after a long week of work, and starting later would mean ending later.

    I also would be kind of mad if I rushed to your wedding to get there by 7:00 only to find that it doesn't actually start until 7:30. Perhaps you can say doors open at 7:00 and the ceremony starts at 7:30 (or whatever it ends up being), so people have some warning?

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  • NelsonsGirl
    Expert August 2015
    NelsonsGirl ·
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    Thanks for your thoughts ladies!

    We were actually going to have live entertainment (a band) from 6:30 to 7. We're nervous about people underestimating NYC traffic on a Friday evening, especially the out of towners.

    We're also serving dinner at 8pm, so I hope people don't eat first. Yikes!

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  • Future Mrs. D
    Expert May 2015
    Future Mrs. D ·
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    I am having a Friday night wedding as well. Our church ceremony is at 4 PM but I am not concerned if people cant make that.

    Our cocktail hour starts at 7 and party goes till 12:30.

    I agree that I would not lie to guest about start time. Thats odd to me.

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  • Maltese
    Master June 2015
    Maltese ·
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    I'm a very prompt person...if your invite says wedding starts at 6:30, I'll be there at 6:15. And I'd be pretty pissed off to know that I got lied to and the wedding wasn't starting till 7pm. I'm an adult who knows how to tell time (even when I'm in a city I don't live in), I don't need to be tricked like that

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  • .
    Master October 2013
    .... ·
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    Live entertainment or not...don't lie. Put the time you will actually start on your invitations. Adults know how to arrive on time.

    I think it's fine to start at 7.

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  • Danielle
    Dedicated September 2015
    Danielle ·
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    We are also having a Friday night wedding. Ceremony starts at 6 and that's what is on our invitation, then cocktail hour 630-730 then reception. We are having a I guess you would say average size wedding around 125. We feel that the people that want to be there and want to be there on time for our ceremony will figure out arrangements. Our families, bridal party and groomsmen are fine with everything. All other guest said that they are either leaving work early or not even going to work. So don't rearrange YOUR day for everyone else. Do what makes you happy and what you are comfortable with.

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  • Jillian
    Master May 2015
    Jillian ·
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    I have a Friday night wedding. We are starting at 5. Ceremony 5-5:30, cocktail hour right after (all same venue) while we do pictures, dinner at 7 along with all the other normal things

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  • A
    VIP July 2015
    Alyssa ·
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    Our Friday night wedding will start at 6:00 pm, as stated on the invitation.

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  • Jamgirl
    VIP July 2015
    Jamgirl ·
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    Our Friday evening wedding will start at 6:00pm and that is what's listed on the invite as well. There is traffic everywhere, I think people will take that into consideration when they are making preparations.

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  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
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    The invite time thing comes up about once a week.

    Invite for 7:00, do a hospitality time with sparkling water and wine until 7:30 and then start exactly at 7:30. No one who is not from here has a grip on what Friday traffic is like in the tri state area, and having been at almost 200 weddings last year, I can tell you that if you wait for guests to arrive you'll be waiting until mid cocktail hour. They simply don't honor your start time the way they should. You can absolutely put 7:00 and start at 7:00, but I many of your guest who are not hotel hostages won't be there. If I was a guest, having a half hour to chat with people I haven't seen, have a glass of wine and a little buffer time would be much more relaxing than rushing in at 7:00 and rushing to my seat. This is the way pretty much every venue here does it. They all recommend that you invite for earlier, with very few exceptions. They are not going to make people sit in their seats like math class for a half hour.

    On Fridays in August, leaving work early isn't an earth shaking concept, so I don't think that a decision to be at 6:00/7:00/8:00 makes much difference.

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  • Becky
    Dedicated May 2015
    Becky ·
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    My wedding is on a Friday night starting as close 6 as possible. I'm with Danielle. The way I see it is if I've invited you to my wedding, we're pretty close and I've given you plenty of time to make arrangements to leave early/take off work/whatever. The people that want to be there will be there will bells on and on time. Besides, it's a Friday, not a Tuesday.

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  • NelsonsGirl
    Expert August 2015
    NelsonsGirl ·
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    Thank you all. And thanks Celia!

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  • Angie
    Super October 2015
    Angie ·
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    Our wedding is on a Friday at 5pm. We are hoping to get married at sunset or right before.

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  • Charla
    Super March 2015
    Charla ·
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    I'm having a Friday wedding and we're beginning at 6:30.

    1. Because my mother and grandmother are superstitious and believe my wedding needs to start on a :30

    2. Because I didn't want to start the dinner portion too late. We worried that starting later than 6:30 would mean guest wouldn't have dinner until after 8:00- 8:30 PM.

    So, 6:30 ceremony, 7-8 cocktail hour, and 8:15- 8:30 dinner begins.

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  • annakay511
    Master July 2015
    annakay511 ·
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    Do not put a fake start time on your invite, that's super rude to your guests. You should start like 5 mins. after the start time if you're worried about it, MAX. If people are late, they're late, and they don't see the ceremony, too bad! I like celia's advice because she obviously knows the area so I can't comment on the time, but don't put a fake start time on the invitation.

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  • Tahoegirl
    Expert September 2015
    Tahoegirl ·
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    My wedding is on a Friday. We are starting our ceremony at 4pm and the reception at 5pm. Eating at 6pm

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  • NewestHess
    Super May 2015
    NewestHess ·
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    Our wedding is on Friday as well, and our start time will be 6. Our location is about 40 minutes out of town, and I'm actually hoping that makes people rsvp no Smiley winking

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  • Heather
    VIP October 2015
    Heather ·
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    Our wedding is on a Friday. It starts at 6 and invite says 6. If people are late they can watch my backside as I walk down the aisle. Everyone knows about Friday night traffic. I will also write it on the website.

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