Can you be late for a wedding?

How to make sure everyone is on time for your wedding

You should never be late for a wedding—barring unforeseen or unavoidable disasters. One of the most important matters for guests to respect on your wedding day is to arrive on time—this means at the time specified in the invitation, give or take (maximum!) 10 minutes.

If you’re a guest, it doesn’t matter if your experience has been that none of the weddings you’ve ever attended started at the advertised time… It is still important to believe and behave aswedding etiquette if it will, so that the ceremony is not held up while everyone waits for you to arrive or that you disrupt the proceedings when you do arrive. This is good wedding manners. Your late arrival could mar the ceremony and affect the happy couple’s memories of the day.

Wedding Party Punctuality

Being punctual is particularly important if you are in the wedding party. The couple will likely be feeling rather stressed and excited, and you do not want to increase the stress by having them worry about where you are and when you will arrive.

Getting there on time requires a little work on your part. Figure out where you will be coming from and how long it is likely to take you to get there, allowing for traffic and weather conditions. This is especially so if you need to travel in rush hour, or from one end of the city to the other, or far out of town on a Friday afternoon, for example. If you possibly can, give yourself extra time to allow for the unexpected, so that you get there early instead of cutting it so fine that the chances are you’ll be late and stressed out.

If it is winter, be sure to allow for longer travel times because of snow or ice or generally problematic driving conditions—heavy rains and flooded roads perhaps.

Inform the Bridal Party

Of course, traffic or weather conditions or accidents are not something you can control. If you find you are running late, for whatever reason, if at all possible phone or text someone at the wedding to let them know what is happening, and when you think you will be there.

 Avoid Problems on the Wedding Day/at Rehearsal

You do not want to be like one notorious mother of the bride who arrived 45 minutes late for the rehearsal because she had underestimated cross-town traffic. And the very next day, for the ceremony, made exactly the same miscalculation, causing everyone from bride to musicians to officiant to groom to guests to be totally stressed out, and for the ceremony to be cut down from a 25 minute to a five-minute ceremony. The officiant had another wedding to go to, something which the couple and everyone else concerned knew. But the bride refused to proceed without her mother being present—after months of hard work and designing together a beautiful, meaningful ceremony, sadly, it had to be cut short.