The Top Two Reasons Why Weddings Start Late

The scheduled time for the wedding was 11:30am. The time set with the venue for a sit down lunch was 12:15pm. The bride arrived just before noon because of two reasons.

A bride and groom can do all the planning they want. But if the day starts late there is a ripple effect to the whole schedule. Even with the help of professional wedding planners, things can go off schedule. At least they know how to bring it back on track.

This bride ran into the two top reasons for arriving late at the wedding ceremony:

Hair and Makeup.

There are various reasons why hair and makeup can run late. In the case of this bride, the hair people arrived late. Other reasons are:

  • the bride doesn’t like the look and wants it redone
  • the hair or makeup provider did not bring enough people to do the job on time
  • the bride wants more people done than was agreed upon
  • difficulty in achieving the wanted look


After everyone’s look was completed, then this bride ran into traffic issues. There was unanticipated volume of traffic that slowed them down. Other reasons include:

  • driver not knowing how to get to the venue (it happens)
  • construction along the way
  • road accidents
  • road closures because of events (e.g. road races)

In the case above, I spoke to the restaurant manager asking how much I could push the end of the ceremony so that he could still deliver his full service. He gave me an extra 15 minutes to 12:30pm.

The couple prepared a beautiful ceremony with many people reading, a sand and candle ceremony. If I was to perform all this, then the service would go over the limit given.

When the bride arrived, I presented her with the situation. I proposed that I cut my talking, keeping the rituals and readings. She and groom agreed.

They kissed at 12:25pm and I instructed the guests to immediately get seated for lunch, bypassing the bar, as cocktails would be served at the tables. The bride and groom still loved their ceremony and I had them back on track.

Lesson for brides and grooms is to allow sufficient time for hair, makeup, and traffic. Ensure that for hair and makeup you go with the plan that was agreed upon with clear start time and finish time to give you flex for travel.