What to Do If You’re Late to Your Best Friend’s Wedding

On the wedding day, timing is everything. In fact, the invitation isn’t just a suggestion! If your friend’s ceremony is set to begin at 5:00 p.m., she will be walking down the aisle no later than 5:15 p.m. But what if the bride isn’t the one running late, but you are? Here’s what to do if you’re late for one of your best friend’s wedding.

Just remember the first thing: Do not — we repeat, do not! — call the bride or groom. They’ve got other, much more important things on their minds, and the wedding will go on whether or not one of their guests is in attendance.

What to Do If You’re Late to Your Best Friend’s Wedding

If you’re running late to the ceremony, be as quiet as possible upon entering. Quietly take a seat in the last row or, if the church or temple has an upper balcony, head up the stairs instead so you don’t wind up in the back of any of the pictures. Keep in mind that some more strict venues may not allow you to enter until there is a natural break (such as the congregation standing or sitting), so be prepared to wait quietly.

Did you miss the ceremony entirely? Don’t make a big deal out of it! Instead, head directly to the reception venue. Get into the receiving line, or proceed to cocktail hour and start mingling. And keep your tardiness to yourself when you see the happy couple! Instead, congratulate them and thank them for inviting you. Sure, it might come up in conversation later, but the fact that you missed the ceremony isn’t a big deal as far as they’re concerned. They’re married now, and that’s what matters!

Of course, if you want to see what you missed, you can ask a member of the wedding party or the bride and groom after the wedding to send you a video of the ceremony. Wedding videos are almost guaranteed to make you tear up, so it will be just like you were there all along!

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