I’m Late! I’m Late! for a Very Important Date!

My family is not know for their punctuality. Some have taken to scheduling a get-together for 30 minutes after the time they tell my family it begins. We are notoriously late.

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It’s not intentional—I think every member of my family really does try to adhere to a schedule. And their running-late habits generally don’t bother me much. But on our wedding day? The story may be a little bit different.


As I’m sure I’ve already mentioned, our wedding will be nearly 140 miles away from our home. While a lot of the Husky family and most of the wedding party will arrive on site the day before, it will take some advanced planning for the single-day participants to get there in time for our 2:00PM nuptials. Assuming light traffic, they would probably need to leave their house by 11:00AM. I think all of them know this, but I’m concerned they won’t actually do it.

I’m trying to encourage people to arrive early—we will have music and refreshments before the ceremony begins. But I’m somewhat confident that there will be some stragglers who roll in at the last minute, or even past the time when the wedding is supposed to start. Do we wait for them to get the ceremony started? Or just move forward as planned? Before the wedding, we will have some people directing cars to appropriate parking spots—how do we handle that once the ceremony has begun?

Have you dealt with guests that have a less-than-punctual reputation? How did you handle late guests at the ceremony?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Husky

Location:
Denver
Wedding Date:
October 2010

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  1. Member
    trugem 5473 posts, Bee Keeper @ 6:15 pm

    I have the same issue too, but usually because my family feels that family functions never start on time so they come late. We can allow up to a 15-20 minute late start, but I don’t want to (I’m not telling anyone that we can afford to be a little late).

  2. Member
    jlam 19 posts, Newbee @ 6:17 pm

    Both of our families are notoriously late! We are actually printing the wrong start time on our invites on purpose. They will say the ceremony starts either 15 minutes or a half hour earlier than actually planned. We don’t plan on waiting for anyone who’s late–the most important people will be there early to help get things ready.

  3. Member
    eileen marie 1644 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:27 pm

    I am a late person myself. I think it’s kind of inconsiderate of other people’s time, so I have really tried to be a lot better about this. I have heard of brides who put a fake start time on the invite! I would maybe wait 15 minutes and no more. Our pastor said the wedding would start at 1:30 whether I was there or not (I was an hour late to my rehearsal. :( ) I was there at 1:25, which was exactly when I was told to show up -nowhere to wait. I crushed one of my mom’s predictions that I would be late to my own wedding and my own funeral. I will see if I end up having kids just like myself. :)

  4. Member
    amariem25 3753 posts, Honey bee @ 6:34 pm

    you don’t handle them! you have the ushers handle them! I would never wait around for people to arrive to start the ceremony. They might not be coming! We had some people that only came to our reception. Imagine if we had waited for them to show up to start the ceremony. We never would have started it!

  5. Member
    crayfish 10384 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 7:21 pm

    We don’t have a gap between our ceremony and reception, so starting late would be really bad for us. I’ve made it clear to my family that we will be starting on time….no matter what, *extra serious face*, so hopefully they can walk the two blocks from the hotel in time!

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Chelsey, Guest @ 7:23 pm

    My fiance’s family is the same way. Even though they are supposed to be at the site early in the morning (they are also staying there), I can almost guarantee that they will be late to the wedding. I’m glad that you wrote this post and I hope someone has a good solution.

  7. Member
    ebs1123 357 posts, Helper bee @ 7:39 pm

    His family is notoriously late to everything, just as yours seems to be. I was worried about their timeliness and contemplated telling them to be there earlier than they had to be (we did pictures before, so I could set the time), but decided to go with the truth and trust.

    And it worked. No one was late. SO…. hope?

  8. Member
    jlp2w71611 298 posts, Helper bee @ 8:13 pm

    This is a tough one.. I can’t really offer useful advice but hope you come up with a good plan!

  9. Member
    MissMargie 769 posts, Busy bee @ 8:33 pm

    My family is SO bad about being late, including myself. I will most definitely not be late to my own wedding :0) But I do worry about my extended family; my plan is to start right on time, with or without the late stragglers!

  10. Member
    cheert16 265 posts, Helper bee @ 9:35 pm

    I am starting 10 minutes late to make up for the straggelers… but if they dont make it in that 10 minutes… too bad!

  11. Member
    tweds 448 posts, Helper bee @ 9:56 pm

    Printed my invites for 4:30 for a 4:45 start time. Horrible, I know. But I don’t trust my family either.

  12. Member
    MsBunting 229 posts, Helper bee @ 10:19 pm

    I’m worried as well….we’re getting married in a historic mansion and the front door is right next to the ceremony site….P.S.-I just asked my FI what we should do if someone shows up late and he suggested we lock them out and stone them :)

  13. Member
    Miss Sequoia 394 posts, Helper bee @ 11:33 pm

    I think we will print the “wrong” time as well — and then, if everyone is there, then we will start. If not, we will start at the printed time. It will let everyone involved relax a little more. And we’re having it on a patio, so unless they walk in *with* me, they can straggle in and not disturb the ceremony, or they can watch through the glass doors without making a commotion.

    I was once half an hour late to a wedding due to traffic (really, really, bad traffic), and although we snuck into the back of the church without opening any doors or disturbing anyone, we missed her walk down the aisle (not the vows), and the groom was incredibly rude and mean about it when we fessed up later. I urge you to please not stone guests unless you know they were late due to lack of planning! There was no way we could have planned around it. I suppose we could have skipped the ceremony or the whole day, but we didn’t know if there were assigned seats (there weren’t).

    Anyway, for our wedding, we’ll plan the best we can and leave the rest to chance! And no friendships will be ruined over punctuality.

  14. Member
    glasses 2749 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:16 am

    Some of my friends are notoriously late as well. I figure, most weddings start a wee bit late anyway, but we will start regardless of who isn’t there yet.

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    CazS, Guest @ 7:41 am

    I was pretty prompt for my wedding, but my friends and family less so :-)

    I was waiting in the foyer (for want of a better word!) having some final pics taken when lots of friends and family snuck past hugely apologetic for being later (wedding was 3pm it was around 3.05 at this point!)

    I laughed it off, by that point i was so nervous and excited i didn’t mind! I guess really late comers just sneaked in the back, i didn’t notice!

  16. Member
    locket 2821 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:59 am

    I am worried about this too! My family is constantly late because gathering up all the folks takes time. I am going to tell them they need to get their much earlier just so they get there on time lol!

  17. Member
    sand dollar 1334 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:56 am

    Good luck with this! As we’re having a quick, standing ceremony, I think this is one of the few worries I won’t have. Now, as for uninvited guests showing up, that’s another issue!

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    Katie, Guest @ 12:06 pm

    This is a tough one… because obviously you want the people that are most important to you to be there… but I also think that people who are constantly late need to learn the hard way. If you are always accommodating them by waiting until they show up they will never learn how rude and inconsiderate they are being.

    That being said giving them an earlier time to get to the ceremony couldn’t hurt…

    In my case we had all of our family pictures before the ceremony so everyone important was there on time.

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