Author Topic: 3:30 pm wedding starts at 5 pm  (Read 320 times)

Offline Cushy Butterfield

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3:30 pm wedding starts at 5 pm
« on: June 16, 2019, 10:03:13 pm »
Isn't it reasonable to expect, if a wedding invitation says 3:30 pm, then the ceremony is going to start somewhere in the neighborhood of 3:30 pm?

I thought so, too. Then SO and I arrived at "Mike" and "Molly's" wedding about 3:10, only to discover that we wouldn't be allowed into the room (ballroom in a hotel/restaurant complex -- ceremony and cocktail hour were to be in that room, reception in another ballroom) until 4:15.

Mind you, the invitation and the wedding website both said 3:30. Period. Not "Arrive anytime after 3:30, doors open at 4:15, ceremony at 4:30." Just 3:30.

We earlybirds-who-didn't-know-we-were-earlybirds trooped down the hall to the bar to kill time until the appointed hour.  Then it's back to the ballroom, where we mill around, take our seats, and wait ... and wait ... and wait. I'm sitting there watching my post-wedding plans go down the drain. Yes, I did make plans for later when I thought I'd be able to leave in the 6-6:30 range. SO had been at another, physically grueling event Friday night through this (Sunday) morning and was exhausted, so we had agreed to take off as soon after dinner and cake cutting as we could manage.

A few minutes before 5, the ceremony still hasn't started. SO can see my distress and tells me that if I want to bail, he can get a ride home with a fellow guest we are friends with. I actually got up to leave, only to encounter Mike, his mom and his best lady (yes, his honor attendant was female, not that there's anything wrong with that /tm Seinfeld) in the hall getting ready to go in.

No way I was going to walk out in front of the groom, so I went back in and stayed for the ceremony, which got underway a couple of minutes after 5 and was lovely. I went through the receiving line and congratulated the HC, then made a quiet exit.

I admit I was rude for leaving before the reception when they'd paid for my dinner, but in June my weekends are scheduled tighter than a cow's arse in fly season, and something like this can throw everything off. Also, I am dealing with a temporary vision issue that makes it extremely difficult for me to drive at night. With the reception start time looking like 7 pm, there was a good chance I would have to make at least some of the drive home in the dark. (My post-wedding plans, which I did get to, wrapped up before sunset.)

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Offline lowspark

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Re: 3:30 pm wedding starts at 5 pm
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2019, 08:33:32 am »
Wow! Now, y'all couldn't have been the ONLY guests to arrive early, or even to arrive within a few minutes of the invitation time. Were there other people waiting to be admitted to the ballroom? Was the whole "audience" seated and waiting all that time? Or were there people arriving after the doors opened, thus indicating that they knew the wedding wouldn't start till later?
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Offline Cushy Butterfield

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Re: 3:30 pm wedding starts at 5 pm
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2019, 12:24:50 pm »
There were quite a few of us -- I'd say 25 or 30 -- who arrived before 3:30. I was looking at the bride's Facebook this morning and someone had asked her about the timing, and she told them the ceremony would start at 4:30. I guess whoever saw that came later. We didn't.

Offline Crispycritter

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Re: 3:30 pm wedding starts at 5 pm
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2019, 08:57:23 pm »
I would only be ok with that 1 1/2 hour (!!) delay if it was due to some unforeseen circumstances that made it impossible to avoid, and I would expect/hope for an apology or some explanation.  If only when you arrived for the 3:30 wedding, someone had taken the time to have a left a note with the bartender, or a good friend to be there and explain/apologize on behalf of the bride and groom - anything!  I once went to a wedding that accidentally put the wrong address down for the venue.  They pretty much got a hold of each and every invited guest before the big day - but just to be sure, they also posted a note at the wrong address (a different section of the park in a pavilion) the mix up and where to go from there. 

I also avoid driving at night if at all possible, and it is understandable that you needed to leave.  I hate having to be overbooked and not being able to just go with the flow - in a couple of months I have two weddings to go to on the same day.  I don't know what time either will be, so if something like an hour and a half late start were to happen - I might be in the same boat as you. 

Offline Cushy Butterfield

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Re: 3:30 pm wedding starts at 5 pm
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2019, 10:32:46 pm »
There was no apology or explanation, which is part of what has me still bothered by this.

This was a Pagan/Jewish wedding. They had the kuppa and the glass breaking and Hebrew prayers, but they also had a handfasting and other Pagan traditions. Part of me really wants to reach out to my Pagan and Jewish friends on Facebook and ask if this setting the time an hour before the actual ceremony is a Pagan thing or a Jewish thing. But I'm afraid that, no matter how tightly I lock down the post to only those specific people, word will get back to the bride or groom. There is lots of overlap in our various communities. And I definitely don't want to ask or complain to the HC directly.

I overheard a couple of the other earlybird guests speculating that the time was given as an hour early because the groom is one of those chronically late people and this was a way to ensure he got there on time. I doubt that is the case, though, as the HC spent the entire day at the venue -- bride posted about the breakfast she had there.

Offline Crispycritter

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Re: 3:30 pm wedding starts at 5 pm
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2019, 08:12:33 am »
I'd say to just hope for a comment about it in the thank you note.  Or look on facebook and see if someone else has already asked about it.  If you did ask someone - I'd go with the thought of how you don't understand why you
"misunderstood" the time and don't want to make that "mistake" again in the future.

Offline lowspark

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Re: 3:30 pm wedding starts at 5 pm
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2019, 09:01:48 am »
It's definitely not a Jewish thing.  I'm Jewish and have been to many Jewish weddings (including my own!) and they generally run on time, or at least within a few minutes. Just like every other wedding, regardless of religion or lack thereof that I've been to.

I just don't get why anyone would deliberately do this to their guests but it sounds like it was deliberate and I don't think there's going to be any explanation or apology forthcoming.
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Offline Pandorica

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Re: 3:30 pm wedding starts at 5 pm
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2019, 02:35:30 pm »
The only thing I can think of would be that *maybe* they had a change of plans after the invitations were sent out and thought that word of mouth would be good enough to let people know of the change?  Otherwise, I got nothin'.  It's pretty rude to keep people waiting that long.

Offline whiterose

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Re: 3:30 pm wedding starts at 5 pm
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2019, 11:38:51 am »
Was there a major emergency?

If there was a change of plans, they should have noticed everyone by email or text. Not just verbally. Not just on one Facebook post. And they should have left a large sign stating the later start time- not to mention notify the venue staff.
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Offline MrTango

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Re: 3:30 pm wedding starts at 5 pm
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2019, 03:30:28 pm »
If the invite said the wedding was at 3:30, I would have waited until 4:00 at the latest unless someone volunteered a good reason why the wedding was being delayed.  At that point, I'd have left.

Offline Lula

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Re: 3:30 pm wedding starts at 5 pm
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2019, 04:01:24 pm »
Definitely not a Pagan thing, either.