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New York-Hudson Valley

Ceremony Time on Invitation

I am having my ceremony and reception at the same location. We plan on starting the ceremony at 5:30pm. 

My question to all of you- what time did you put on your invitation? Did you put the actual start time or something earlier?

I am on a tight time schedule with my cocktail hour starting at 6pm so it would be nice to have some padding on the time, but I don't want to be rude and have guests sitting around for awhile.

TIA!!

Re: Ceremony Time on Invitation

  • kristinanddankristinanddan member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    If the ceremony starts at 5:30, put 5:30. People should be arriving early. If you put 5 but the ceremony was 5:30, I would be there by 4:45 (if not earlier). If I had to wait 45 minutes to an hour I would be livid. Don't punish the people who are on time. If someone is late, they're late.
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  • ssagessage member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My ceremony and reception were in the same venue and I put the actual start time (4PM).  I agree with pp that people will show up in time...and u will always have those people who arrive late...nothing you can do about them.  People in general know to show up before the start time.
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  • edited December 2011
    My ceremony was at 7:30 and my invite time was 7. In my opinion, it is the norm to have the ceremony actually start a little later. I find that most people come 10-15 min early before the invite time. In any event, my venue was prepared at 7 with champagne and a few light snacks/treats while people congregated and chit chatted. My venue started seating people at 7:15 and depending on how large the ceremony is, it can take a few minutes to seat everyone. Its really not that big a deal. In fact, I can't remember a single wedding I've ever been to where it started at the precise time stated on teh invitation.
  • edited December 2011
    Does your venue offer champagne or chilled water or anything to guests as they arrive?  Our venue told us to put a start time of 3 for a 3:30 wedding because they had serve champagne and chilled water for guests.  They were able to have everyone seated and start right on time so it didn't interfere with the CH.  I think it's a different situation when it's at a church and there's already a gap between the ceremony and CH so if the ceremony starts 15 min late, it only cuts into the gap time. 
  • edited December 2011
    agreed!
  • lawyer707lawyer707 member
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    our had 11:30 for a 12:00 ceremony time. Guests were served champage and non-alcoholic spritzers. Plus, the bus with the majority of the guests was late (came at 11:45) so it ended up being absolutely necessary.
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  • kristinanddankristinanddan member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I think that it's different if the venue will be serving champagne beforehand because then the guests aren't just sitting in seats. We had a church service, so making guests sit in pews for 45 minutes before the ceremony even started would have been rude.
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  • jeanna85jeanna85 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    if you're having a church service i think its very rude to put an earlier time. people will be sitting around and its not fair to them. if you have some sort of cocktail thing beforehand, i think its ok.
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  • edited December 2011
    true - i can understnad that. if its a church service i say no. if its at a venue its more than acceptible - its almost expected!
  • edited December 2011

    My only thought, if you put 5:00, people will show up 10 or 15 minutes before. Even with champagne and water, that's a long 40 or 45 mins to wait. I would probably be a little annoyed if I was a guest, whereas, if you wind up waiting 5 or 10 mins for the ceremoney to start, that is not unusual.

    It sounds like it is a newer trend, but I have never been to a wedding where the invite was for earlier than the ceremony.

  • ssagessage member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    i agree with nyharley.

    my ceremony was at the venue, not a church, and most people i was told arrived about 15 minutes early, including the bus from the hotel.  I think you go with your gut.  My guests were all seated and ready to go...I believe we started about 4 (maybe a few minutes late).
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  • edited December 2011
    30 minutes before actual start  time
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