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What Start Time Do I Put On My Wedding Invitation?
On 2012-02-02 By Karen

One of the questions I get all the time is this: If my wedding invitation says 4pm, doesn't that mean that I actually walk down the aisle at 4pm?

The answer is simple: no.

If your wedding invitation says 4pm, that's the time the actual ceremony begins. That doesn't mean you start the ceremony 10 or 15 minutes early so that you can actually walk down the aisle at 4. As with any other event with an indicated start time, your ceremony should start at the time indicated on the invitation. Also, you don't want guests arriving a few minutes before 4pm only to be told that they can't enter because the ceremony has already begun.

Another question I get quite often is this one: I'm afraid that my guests will be late to my ceremony. Although I want my ceremony to start at noon, is it okay to put 11:30am as the start time to compensate for late guests?

Again, the response to this is no.

Many brides are terrified that they will have late guests who will arrive after the ceremony has begun. You don't want the on-time guests (the ones who show up at 11:30am) to sit and be frustrated because you're actually holding the ceremony until noon. You should always start the event at the time indicated on the reception.

The way we prefer to handle late guests is to keep them from entering until the bride has made her entrance. If the bride is okay with this, we will allow late guests to sit at the rear of the ceremony once the bride has made it down the aisle. If you are getting married in a church with a balcony, you might want to allow late guests to take their seats upstairs to avoid interrupting the ceremony with the noise of people entering on the main floor.

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Karen Clark is a celebrity wedding planner who publishes the "Perfect On A Penny" weekly e-zine. Get your FREE audio seminar: "5 Super Secret Tips That Will Save You $5000 On Your Wedding" at www.PerfectOnAPenny.com

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