Recently I was sitting across the table from a couple and when I asked them what time the ceremony was scheduled to begin they said “ 5 o’clock or so. You know weddings never start on time.” It got me to start thinking and after about a two dozen phone calls to wedding planners, DJs, Photographers, and other officiants I found a couple of reoccurring trends.
From the conversations I had, I asked wedding professionals a couple of questions: What percentage of the time do your weddings start within the first ten minutes of their scheduled start time? and “Are there any trends that you see that affect a wedding starting on time?”
Most of the wedding professionals that I spoke with had horror stories as to why some weddings start terribly late, but most had to admit that most of the weddings they work at start close to on time. Of the professionals that I spoke to I was told that more than 90% of the time the weddings start on time. Other than cultural trends of being late, couples were more likely to start late if they (in order of frequency)
1. Do not hire a planner
2. If they do not stay near the ceremony location.
3. They have a close family member that has the tendency to be late to everything.
4. They have a vendor that makes them run late: (only three mentioned: hair/makeup, photographer, unreliable transportation—the limo broke down)
Remember starting late for your ceremony cuts into your cocktail hour and reception. This affects your DJ, food, bar, venue rental, photographer, etc. Many wedding vendors are scheduled for a certain period of time and if you are late then they will be forced to charge you a late fee or they may not be able to stay at all. Read reviews, tell your vendors that you want to start on time, and invite guests that you expect to be late to come 30 minutes before the ceremony.
It is your wedding day, filled with lots of great memories. You don’t need the stress of running late or feeling like the white rabbit ”I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date.”