Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I’m Late… For a Very Important (Wedding) Date! I’m Late!

Filed under: Wedding Articles,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

I often get asked about the start time of a wedding.

Should it say 6:00 p.m. on the invitation if you don’t intend to start until 6:30 p.m.?

iamlateAbsolutely not!

I suggest you list the start time on the invitation and start at that time. Sometimes there are 5 to 10 minute unavoidable delays, but rarely ever 30 minutes! Especially if the wedding is in the Greater Phoenix area and outdoors. We are in the desert. You do not want to keep your friends and family waiting in the heat!

Emily Post (her daughter, Peggy) says, “There is absolutely no reason to wait for, let alone plan for, late arriving guests. The ceremony should start on the dot of the time stated on the invitation as a courtesty to all the guests who did arrive on time.

Imagine , as a guest, arriving at 5:45 p.m. for a 6:00 p.m. wedding, only to wait 45 minutes for the ceremony to begin. Intentionally making the guests wait would be rude on the part of the hosts.

Far better to instruct staff or ushers on how to deal with any latecomers. There are a variety of possible options ranging from not allowing latecomers to enter at all to establishing times during the ceremony when they may be discretely seated at the back.

Being on time, whether as host or guest, is the right thing to do.”

Guests. . . PLEASE arrive on time! Get there at least 15 minutes before the ceremony begins. Never arrive late. Take into account extra time for traffic snarls, bad directions and last minute runs to the convenience store. Do a MapQuest for specific directions. Unfamiliar with the location of the venue? Do a trial run.

If you do arrive late, approach with caution! Wait quietly at the back of the room until an appropriate moment.

If the ceremony is underway, the processional may also be in progress and you really don’t want to be strolling down the aisle beside the wedding party. If an usher is available, make your presence known and ask for assistance finding a seat. Never walk down the center aisle after the bridal party!

If the processional is underway, please wait quietly and patiently in an area outside and/or out of the way until the processional has been concluded.

runninglateIdeally, there should be someone to direct you as to when you may enter and take a seat. Use a side aisle rather than the center aisle. Always exercise discretion.

Although you may prefer to be seated up front, arriving late greatly diminishes that opportunity so locate a seat quickly and quietly in the back and avoid drawing any attention away from the ceremony that is underway.

If you have arrived after the ceremony is underway at an indoor wedding and cannot find an open entrance, avoid the temptation to knock! You may feel badly that you are missing the ceremony, however, you will only make matters worse by interrupting the ceremony.

Bonus Articles: “Tips for Wedding Guests: How to Avoid Embarrassing Faux Pas,” “Planning a Summer of Love. . .,” “Getting Married in Arizona? Here’s the Latest Scoop!“ and “PLEASE Be on Time! (for your own wedding!).”

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. –

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Wedding Priorities – First Things First! Getting Married in Arizona? Here’s the Latest Scoop! I’m Late… For a Very Important (Wedding) Date! I’m Late! Sorry, I Don’t Need a Wedding Consultant… My Venue Has […]


    Pingback by Things Someone Should Have Told You Before Your Wedding Day | Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG — Wednesday, June 18, 2014 @ 7:32 am | Reply

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