There are often very valid reasons for a wedding ceremony to start on time and the wedding party having to stick to a tight schedule.

This could include:

  • The celebrant having to go onto another ceremony.
  • You only have the ceremony area booked for a certain time and another couple will be using it after you.
  • The timing of arrival at the reception venue can be critical as there is a strict time schedule for the preparation and serving of food that has been discussed and agreed on weeks in advance.
  • The ceremony time has been set to take advantage of the sunlight at that time of day. If the ceremony is postponed due to late arrivals that precious sunlight can be lost or the time you have to get that perfect shot i.e. sunset could be completely lost.

Therefore, it is often beyond the couple’s control to delay the commencement of their wedding ceremony.

Unfortunately, there’s no polite way to tell guests to turn up early or even on time. You just have to put down the actual start time on your initiations and expect that your guest will get there in time to park and get seated.

Remember this is your day and you do not want people upsetting your plans for how the day should run. If there are guest running late that is their issue not yours. Don’t play into their dramas- your ceremony your time schedule- that’s that

This may seem harsh and there will be exceptions to this rule of course, but it’s a good place to start.

As a couple you need to decide on who is important enough to delay the proceedings. These are your VIP guests. This will probably include parents of the couple and possibly grandparents.

 For everyone else, too bad – start without them. It’s your day after all.

For VIP guests that you feel may be in danger of being late, a contingency plan is always a good idea. This may include having someone in the family responsible for them by picking them up, putting then on the bus or have them stay at the ceremony venue etc. Sometime’s it’s also about having a conversation with them ahead of time – if they understand why you have to stick to the schedule, they are more likely to turn up on time.

We have some tips on getting your guests to your wedding on time here.

Ultimately though, it’s important to remember that your day is about you and your partner. You can’t let the details worry you on the day. Do what you can ahead of time and make sure that you focus on the reason you are having a wedding in the first place when the day comes.

If you’re planning your wedding and looking for a beautiful ceremony or reception location, we would love to invite you to tour The Secret Garden. With plenty of locations to choose from you can tailor your wedding to your personal tastes and create the wedding of your dreams. Get in touch here to book your wander through the garden today.