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Beginner June 2021

What time to put on wedding invitations?

Bella, on February 24, 2021 at 11:58 AM Posted in Planning 0 26
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Hi everyone I’m making my wedding invitations today. My wedding originally starting exactly at 6:00 PM. On the invitation I want to put 5:00 PM since I know people might not come on time since they come. Do you recommend me to put 5:00 PM or 5:30?

26 Comments

Latest activity by Kimberly, on February 28, 2021 at 4:29 PM
  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie ·
    • Flag

    I recommend putting the actual start time on your invitations. Most people know to arrive in plenty of time to park, find the place, and find a seat, so, if the start time is 6:00, many will arrive at 5:30. Are there some people who are late to everything? Yes. But you shouldn’t penalize everyone else because of a few rude people.

    If you put 5:00, I would should up at 4:30 and then be REALLY irritated when your wedding didn't actually start until 90 minutes later.

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  • Lauren
    Expert July 2021
    Lauren ·
    • Flag
    Put the actually start time unless you have something before hand. My venue has a hospitality time for a half hour before the ceremony where they serve bloody Mary’s, mimosas, pastries, and coffee. Anyone that comes on time will get to snack and mingle. It gives some time for people to be up to a half hour late
    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Expert September 2022
    Courtney ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    Same. Don't lie to your guests, that's incredibly rude.

    Put the start time on there, if you have certain people you know are always running late let them know you won't hold the ceremony on their behalf.

    If your immediate family are the people who run late, have them get ready with you or someone who does run on time and keep on them.

    I'm perpetually early. If I'm not at least 10-15 minutes early, I stress, but if I found out you lied about your ceremony time I'd be furious.

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  • EGD
    Devoted September 2022
    EGD ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    This, I'm one of those people who live by "early is on time, on time is late" If you put 5 oclock start time on your invite, I'd arrive at 4:30 to ensure I find the right place, can get a parking spot and what not, I'd be irked having to sit around for an hour and a half for your ceremony that you stated starts at 5 just because you're worried a handful of people aren't responsible enough to arrive on time.

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  • Sexypoodle
    Master October 2021
    Sexypoodle ·
    • Flag
    Put 6pm because that’s when the wedding starts and guests typically arrive 15-20 minutes early. But definitely don’t penalize your entire guest list for the sake of those few who might be late. You certainly don’t want your guests arriving at 4:30 and waiting around for a wedding that really doesn’t start until 6pm. If they miss it, they miss it!
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    Every group has some matriarch (mom/grandma/aunt,etc) who has attended weddings before and knows proper etiquette that the guests arrive to be seated up to 30 minutes before the time on the invite. They will make sure anyone who isn't aware gets there on time. If you are walking down the aisle at 6, then 6 goes on the invite. Don't punish anyone for arriving late because it will only make you look bad.

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  • Biaani
    Expert May 2021
    Biaani ·
    • Flag

    Just here to agree with everyone lol put the actual start time 👍

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  • V
    Champion July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag
    Neither! You should put the actual start time. Guests know to arrive early for a wedding. If you put 5:00 or 5:30 then will arrive about 15 minutes prior to that time if not sooner. It would be very inconsiderate of you to force your guests to sit at the ceremony for over an hour waiting for it to start. I went to a wedding where they told us to be there 30 minutes early and it was awful. It was mid-summer and the ceremony took place in a barn with only two fans. It was so hot! Guests were not only warm, but very annoyed to be sitting there waiting for the ceremony to actually begin. You could definitely tell people were angry they were lied to.
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  • Stacey
    Super May 2021
    Stacey Online ·
    • Flag

    I recommend you put 6:00. Responsible adults know to arrive before an appointment actually begins (i.e. doctor's appointments, concerts, dinner reservations, etc.). If you put start time as 5:00, I would arrive between 4:30-4:45, and I'd be incredibly annoyed sitting around for over an hour and begin wondering if the bride or groom got cold feet and didn't show up Smiley xd If you have people on your guest list who have a known history of punctuality problems, address them specifically in person and emphasize that the show begins at 6:00, with or without them.

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  • Milada
    Super October 2021
    Milada ·
    • Flag

    Are you using a wedding website? Our wedding starts at 6pm as well. I'm putting the correct time on the invitations and letting them know on the website that they should arrive no later than 5:30pm in the FAQ questions section.

    • Reply
  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    DO NOT put 5!! Even 5:30 is too early to me. Invitations typically state the ceremony start time as the time. People know this and arrive earlier. So if you put 5, you’d have people there already at 4:30 and they would likely NOT be pleased to be waiting around over an hour. If you feel you absolutely must put an earlier time, I wouldn’t go any earlier than 5:45. If you put as early as 5:30, I would provide some level of hosting for that pre-ceremony time , like champagne/tea/lemonade/water to keep them happy and entertained while they wait


    Also bear in mind things to happen and ceremonies get delayed— so you wouldn’t want that to happen on top of them already sitting around for a while !
    • Reply
  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna ·
    • Flag

    I think you could definitely get away with putting 5:45 if you want the ceremony to start at 6. Anything else seems too early to me.

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  • Alyssa
    Devoted October 2023
    Alyssa ·
    • Flag

    I know I have friends that may show up late, although me and my FH are those two who are always late, but have always been ontime to weddings. If 6 is the time you plan on walking down the aisle, then I'd put something earlier. But if 6 is the time your FH is going to walk up to the "alter" and the music starts at 6 to signal everyone to take seats, then 6 on the invite.

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  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    Put 6 pm, then at the bottom in small print write " seating will start at 5:30 pm." It would be really unkind to all the people who always arrive 15-30 minute early to be stuck waiting 1.5 hours, because you put a fake earlier time for a few who always run late. Through the years, I have seen very few late-comers to weddings.
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  • L
    Lady ·
    • Flag

    Put the actual start time. I would be so annoyed if you put 5 and I showed up 15-20 minutes early and then you made me sit there for over an hour. That's so rude. If people are late they slip in quietly. You literally will not even notice.

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  • Rebelle Fleur
    Rockstar July 2021
    Rebelle Fleur ·
    • Flag
    I put 30min earlier than the actual time. My family is notoriously late for EVERYTHING but his family is always on time. There will be champagne and some mini pastries served during that time.
    • Reply
  • A
    Devoted May 2021
    Ally ·
    • Flag
    If you are going to put an earlier time, out 5:30. But people might get annoyed if they are told the wrong time because most people try to get there a little early anyway
    • Reply
  • L
    Dedicated August 2021
    Lw ·
    • Flag
    Put the actual time and put someone in charge of making sure your family arrives on time. I would be pissed if I was lied to and sat for an hour.
    • Reply
  • Melody
    Expert April 2021
    Melody ·
    • Flag

    Typically you'd want to put the actual start time on your invitations. I would never put more than 30min early, since some people would still get there 30min early for that. We put 1:00 on our invitations and plan to start the ceremony at 1:15. Reason - my county basically runs on "Poly Time". Poly Time refers to the fact that the local university has their classes all start at 10min past the hour and most people who live here either attend that university now or previously did. Because of this, "on time" in our county is technically 10min late. The vast majority of our guests run on that time and the rest of them typically show up to events within 10min of the listed start time, but no earlier. We'll have beer/wine/chips & salsa available for those who do come early. If you do decide to put an earlier time on your invitations, make absolutely certain that you have something (snacks, drinks, entertainment, etc.) available for those who come earlier than you're actually starting.

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  • C
    Super December 2021
    Casey ·
    • Flag
    Omg I'd be furious. If it says 5pm I'd get there at 4:45, maybe even 4:30. If I get there at 4:45 and it starts at 6 I'm grabbing my gift and leaving lmao.
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