Time, it’s a funny thing – in particular people’s definition of being on time. When I was growing up, my Mum ALWAYS ran late and it drove me crazy. In hindsight, the fact that she got anywhere while raising 2 kids, running and growing her own business and managing my dad was an amazing feat in itself but I digress. I hated it, so I vowed that when I was an adult I would always be on time – and I mostly am with the exception of those, I can cram one more thing in before I leave, days!
Now being on time for a wedding is a question that is very much open to interpretation. Does 3pm mean that the ceremony starts at 3pm or be there by 3pm for a 3:15 or 3:30pm start? As an experienced celebrant, I find that Melburnians fall very squarely into 2 camps.
There are the organised souls who go with benefit of the doubt that 3pm is the start time, and therefore arrive at around 2:30/2:45pm. There are even some that are super organised that beat me to the ceremony venue!
And then there are the group who interpret 3pm as arrive by 3pm so arrive at 3pm give or take 5 minutes.
And finally there is almost always one guest (and everyone will know who their’s is) that arrives just in time for 3:30 whether that is when the ceremony is or isn’t.
So how do you as the bride or groom juggle all of this to ensure a smooth, stressfree wedding?
I always suggest putting at least 15 minutes (preferably 30 minutes earlier) on your invitation than when you actually want your ceremony to start. Yes, you will have guests milling around for a while before the ceremony starts but it reduces the risk of Doug (as it was in my case) arriving just after you have.
If you have a Doug, it might also be a good idea to give them a specially printed invite with an earlier time – though make sure you let Doug’s family and friends know so there isn’t widespread confusion.
If you are a guest – please please PLEASE make sure you are there by at least the time on the invite if not before – you don’t want to miss anything including the bride’s big entrance.
So one final tip before I get off my soapbox – going to a wedding in a new, different or unique location? Allow yourself and your guests some extra time to get there, I do a lot of work in the Dandenongs and the Yarra Valley and quite often guests have gotten lost or disorientated on the way to the wedding.
Soapbox rant complete – I hope you found that helpful – please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or want to talk about how to make your wedding day and smooth, stress-free wedding day.