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What Time Do You Put on a Wedding Invite?


It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? At Dotty About Paper, we’re often asked what time you should put on your wedding invitations, and it can be complicated for all sorts of logistical reasons. You don’t want people arriving too early or too late for the ceremony itself, so should you put the actual start time of the big event or bring it forward half an hour?

Avoiding early birds and latecomers

It’s worth remembering that most people turn up early for such occasions anyway. Most of your guests will probably arrive in their finery a good half hour before the ceremony, giving them plenty of time to mingle, find their seats and settle in. Some brides worry that they will end up arriving at the same time as their guests, but in most cases, you can ask the venue organisers to hold the bridal car back and help chivvy people to their seats.

Watercolour Sunflowers Wedding Invitation
Watercolour Sunflowers Wedding Invitation

Churches can be quite relaxed about the bride arriving a little behind schedule, but other venues such as registry offices work to strict timetables and you can’t afford guests arriving too early or too late. That’s when you need to think a little more carefully about the wording on your invitations.

Choosing the right words

In most cases, simply putting the start time of the ceremony itself will be adequate. Guests will know that they need to get there in advance, and even if there are one or two latecomers, most of the time they can quietly slip in unnoticed. If you’re concerned that your venue is working to a tight timetable, then you can add some turns of phrase which emphasise the importance of arriving on time.

Elegant Monogram Foil Wedding Invitation
Elegant Monogram Foil Wedding Invitation

You could, for instance, say ‘2.30pm for a prompt start’ or ‘Please arrive in good time for a 2.30 start’. On the whole, guests will use their common sense and judgement to arrive in advance, but a gentle nudge doesn’t go amiss if timing is one of your biggest concerns.

If you’re still unsure and need help with wording your invitations, we’re always here to offer additional guidance. Penning your invitations shouldn’t be a stressful task, so simply go with your gut feeling and write whatever comes naturally to you.