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Expert Advice from wedding guru, Sharon Naylor


Sharon Naylor

Sharon Naylor is the author of over 35 wedding planning books and a frequent guest expert on Get Married with Colin Cowie, Good Morning America, and other top shows. Recently featured in such magazines as Martha Stewart Wedding, InStyle Weddings, Brides, Modern Bride and Southern Bride, she is the iVillage Weddings expert and host of "Here Come the Moms" at Wedding Podcast Network.

She lives in Morristown NJ with her husband Joe, and loved using Wedding Mapper for her own April '08 wedding.


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Question_mark Question:

Hi Sharon, I was wondering how often people show up late for a wedding ceremony? I am trying to decide if we should put the ceremony start time 15 minutes earlier than the actual time on the wedding invitations. If a guest arrives late at our venue they will actually have to drive past the ceremony pavilion in order to park, that is pretty disruptive. So I want to avoid that if at all possible. But I was worried that the rest of the people would arrive much too early if we stated 12:45pm instead of the actual 1:00pm ceremony time on the invites. What do you suggest?
Thank you, Wendy


People do show up late, usually for traffic and parking reasons. They try to avoid being disruptive, but the layout of your ceremony spot sounds like this could be a problem.

I would add a note to your personal wedding website listing the guest arrival time for twenty minutes earlier than the ceremony start time, and thank guests for arriving in a timely manner due to the location's open-air proximity to the arrivals area. Guests get the picture.

I've found that guests like to show up 15 minutes or so prior, so that they have time to greet other guests in attendance. So putting a 20 minute buffer should work as well as possible.

You very likely will have some late arrivers if there are any traffic problems, and they'll SEE that your ceremony is in progress. Don't worry about them, and just keep your focus on the ceremony itself...if you're like me, you'll be in such a bliss bubble, you won't even notice what's going on around the setting!


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