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Is it ok to be late to your own wedding?

The short answer is NO and Celebrant Susie Roberts is going to tell us why.....

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The Importance of timing at a ceremony

Timing is vital on a day as important as your wedding day.  It's a juggling act with numerous balls in the air, so having a well timed out schedule and sticking to it will help the day run smoothly. If you've planned correctly and timed it all out in advance then you be free of stress knowing that you've done everything you can and the rest is in the hands of 'whatever happens now is what happens'.

Here is why timing is vital to your wedding day...

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Don't Be Late!

Don’t be late!


Is it fashionable for the bride to be late to the ceremony anymore? 
Was it ever fashionable?  


There are valid excuses for being late:


Car trouble, traffic, wardrobe/hair/makeup malfunctions, nerves, forgot something vital to the ceremony… but intentionally planning to keep your guests waiting because you think it’s a tradition or so you can make a grand entrance is not necessary. 
Being late is as much a tradition as it is lucky when it rains on your wedding day - it's just something people say... and your entrance will be grand regardless of what time you arrive.



Image source:

The same excuses can be allowed for guests, however intentionally arriving any later than 15+ minutes before the ceremony is due to start is not ok.  


Perhaps people assume that the bride will be ‘fashionably late’ and therefore what’s the point of arriving early? 
But what if this bride is considering the comfort of her guests and valuing her celebrant/photographer/videographer/musician/other ceremony service provider’s time and arrives on time for the ceremony - then you run the risk of missing the beginning of the ceremony or causing a ruckus coming in half way through.


Let’s ditch this idea that the bride (or groom) should be late to the ceremony.



Image source: Pixabay

Let me tell you an extreme, and yet very true story of what can happen if you choose to be late on a hot day.  


Imagine, if you will, a very hot day - sweltering in fact... I'm talking up and over 40℃




Your guests have arrived 15 minutes early as instructed.  They are dressed in their finery, ladies in heels and make up, gents in long pants and suit jackets.  You have opted for the magnificent location of that park near that lake where there’s not a lot of shade.  Your guests have not thought to bring hats or umbrellas, possibly not being familiar with the park’s shade offerings.  So they stand uncomfortably in the sun, holding their clutch purses over their faces, slowly melting, silently hoping that the bride will be on time.



Photo credit: Shell Brown

The groom and his best man are dressed in their 3 piece suits, looking marvellous except for their glistening red faces and parched lips.
The bride is sitting somewhere in air conditioning having the finishing touches done to her hair and make up.  The girls are having a last champas before getting into the air conditioned car to get to the ceremony….. it doesn’t matter if we’re a bit late, they decide - it’s fashionable, right?



Image source: Pixabay

Cut back to the park where the guests have now been standing in the blazing sun for 30 minutes, with no bridesmaid filled vintage limo in sight.  The guests haven’t brought any water, as they didn’t think they’d be standing there for this long.  One of the nanas has thought to bring a fan with her and she is starting to look way too flushed. Her breathing slows down as she slumps slightly in her chair.



Image source:

The girls are finally in the limo and are super excited to be on their way.  The guests have been waiting for 45 minutes now and people are losing their patience and good humour.  The limo pulls up to the park, it’s another 10 minutes while the bride has some photos in the car, then gets out of the car and has more photos in front of the car, then with the bridesmaids, then one with her dad, then a few of the bride with the bridesmaids fussing around her dress…. 



Image source: Pixabay

The guests can see she has arrived and are wondering, as they wipe the sweat from their eyes, waterproof mascara running, why she hasn’t started walking towards them yet.  People can get cross and fed up in the heat.


The bride finally arrives and can’t understand why her guests all look furious and a little damp.



Sure - this might be far fetched, but people can get cranky in the heat! Image source:

Nana manages to make it though the ceremony - only just and is then taken to hospital with heat stroke.  Another two guests opt to go home because standing out in the heat has made them feel sick.


So… to be late or not to be late?



Image source:

If you would like some advice on how best to plan your ceremony so that everybody makes it through to the reception, why not #askacelebrant? 
You can contact a TCN Celebrant by clicking this link.


And if you do have a guest suffer from heat stroke - here are some handy hints 

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