The Bride is dressed, relaxed, eager. The Groom is ready to go. The guests? Well we appear to only have a third of the seats full. Let’s wait a few minutes. Okay. Maybe a few more minutes. 15 minutes later we still only have half the seats filled – and the ones that are filled are growing restless. I guess we’ll have to start without them.
So our 5:30 ceremony is now starting at 5:50. Ceremony ends at 6:05 now instead of 5:45. So the cocktail hour that was supposed to be from 5:45 to 6:45 while the bridal party poses for photos (because we didn’t do any before) is now either only 40 minutes or, more realistically, lasts until 7:00. Dinner will now be served a good 20 minutes late (and possibly cold).
I wish I could say this is an isolated incident. Or that I am exaggerating. Alas, I am not. This has been happening at more of my weddings lately than I care to count. And I am baffled as to why.
Sometimes guests intend to come and something happens last-minute and they can’t make it. But more often than not, they are just late. I happen to be an overly punctual person – I usually arrive a good 15 minutes early wherever I am expected. I get flustered if I am just on time. And I understand that makes me unique (I like to think in a good way).
I have never understood the perpetually late. You know who they are. Years ago I had an assistant that was 15 minutes late for work EVERY day. Seriously. Her excuse was always the same: traffic was bad. Then leave 15 minutes earlier! I eventually had to adjust her start time (in my head) by half an hour so I would stop being upset by it – in all other ways she was a really wonderful assistant.
Some people just can’t be on time. I don’t understand it – and probably never will – but there it is. And as a result, I am going to start recommending to all of my couples that they put the ceremony time at 15 minutes before they really want to start. Anything more than that becomes too rude to your guests that actually do show up on time.
It’s not that adjustments to your timeline can’t be made on the fly – I do that all the time. But starting off your event 20 minutes behind schedule throws your entire evening off. And if you are having an outdoor wedding? Your guests are sitting outside in the hot sun an extra 20 minutes.
I don’t think that really puts them in a celebratory mood, do you?