The Matzav Rant: Come To Simchos On Time


chupahBy Shmuel Miskin

I want to discuss, very briefly, something that has bothered many people for a long time that perhaps can be rectified in the near future. I am referring to coming on time to simchos. Why can’t even one simcha in our communities start at the time the baal simcha called it for? Why should we cause the baalei simcha unnecessary aggravation because we start getting ready to leave at the time they requested the guests to be there?

This is especially so regarding simchos where the music must end at a specific time. Those people who do want to be there on time end up feeling uncomfortable coming then, because nobody is there yet and they have to wait around. Why should the baal simcha have to write that he is starting the simcha an hour and a half earlier than he really intends to start?

Until you are in the baal simcha’s shoes, you will never understand how hard it is to be waiting, looking at your watch, hoping people will start showing up. You’ll have mixed feelings about the whole thing, thinking about how much money you just wasted, with only half of the tables taken. You may even think that nobody is interested in you or your simcha. Let us take the feelings of our fellow friends into consideration. By coming on time to simchos, we’ll be working on our bein adam lachaveiro, which will bring Moshiach a step closer.

{Shmuel Newscenter}


  1. Is it not the Baalei Simcha who are in charge? If it would happen that Chupas would start on time – even with just 10 guests- very quickly we’d learn when to show up.

  2. I don’t think baalei simcha wait till say, 2/3 of the people they invited come. The people who need to be there – immediate family, mesader kedushin, etc. – are often there on time. Not sure what all the factors that hold up simchos are but I don’t know if this is the primary one.

  3. I made a simcha, and knew people would show up late. So while the invite time was 1 pm on a Sunday, I asked the music to show at 2pm, and saved myself an hour’s fee.

  4. If baal simchos were to start on time no matter what, people will come on time. People come late because simchos never start on time, why should I waste my time.

  5. Problem is nobody wants to be the first few to start the new trend. Most people end up waiting even if they wanted to start on time; they want to celebrate with all (most, at least) of their family and freinds.
    Incidently, my own chuppah, just a few short years ago, started on time with the majority of the guest yet to arrive. I understand both sides. No simple solution.

  6. I wish people would start showing hakoros hatov to their guests for being able to show up at all and stop kvetching about what time they show and how long they stay!!! There are many of us who B”H have a difficult time getting out of the house. Parents cannot just leave at 7:00 at night. People who work often do not get home until later than that. this baal simcha wants everyone to adjust their schedules so he can have everyone there ontime. In today’s times people have BA”H many simchos to attend and cannot a few times a week drop everything including their own families to make you happy and come on time. Enjoy the fact that you are making a simcha and that your close relatives are there early and appreciate the rest of your guests when they come. Understand that they too have many things going on in their lives and don’t make it a pressure to come to your simcha. they will feel much more b’simcha with you if they know you appreciate that they came instead of feeling like they are jumping through hoops to make you happy!

  7. by my weeding, the 7:00 chuppah started at 7:15. We finished bentching and third dance by 11:00.
    Don’t drag your feet, get the show on the road!

  8. People from Lakewood who come to a NY chassunah get really annoyed at the lateness. I recently was at a chassunah and left BEFORE the first dance started and got home 10:45ish. If I stay for the dance and then maybe actually to eat, I would get home earliest at 11:30-11:45, and with work the next day, that’s too much to expect of someone who isn’t a close friend/relative.

  9. People come late because mothers have to put children to bed. People come late because they have to come home from work first. People come late because of traffic. People come late because the baby sitter they hired a week ago went to someone else instead and didn’t inform them. People come late because they haven’t come home on tie from a doctors appointment yet. there are so many millions of reasons why people come late. I like 2 suggestions. Tell everyone an hour later, Also call the musician an hour late. Do what ever works for your pocket. May we be zocha to many more simchas in Klall Yisroel

  10. I’ve B”H made a few simchas (weddings) and both started on time, and moved along so could finish on time. I refused to pay for the food and not have people there to eat. BOth chuppahs started on time (we made sure to tell the people who had kibuddim to please be there by a specific time) and one even finished 10 minutes ahead of schedule, since the mesader kedushin had to catch the last flight out to return to N.Y. It can be done, but both sides have to be strong about it, and stick to their plans.

  11. People come from far away, get nervous that they are dressed ok, and didn’t forget anything. The kids start whining before you leave and that takes more time. You need to pick up the babysitter, forgot to get gas, get stuck in traffic, or had to stay later than you thought at work, etc. People are human, and they come late sometimes.

  12. My wedding invitation had Kabalos Panim at 6:07 pm and Chuppah at 7:18 pm. You can bet people were there on time. Even if they were not on time, we would have started promptly.

  13. I agree with the author – it is such a horrible thing – you have to be there all dressed and waiting with all the expense being wasted, and nobody shows up for two hours – as a guest, i don’t even know what to do anymore, as if you come on time, nothing is happening and nobody is there – so nobody knows when to go anywhere – it is such a waste of time, of money, of unnecessary aggravation – PLEASE LET’S FIND A SOLUTIOn

  14. My wedding was on time. Anyone who knows my father knew it was going to start on time, and they came on time too. so much soo that my husbands chossans tisch was less than 10 minutes because there was an accident on the highway and the photographer was late and so was his whole side of the family. pictures ended up going past the allotted time. still the chupah was called for 730 and it started at 740

  15. The real problem lies with the photographers. They are the ones who waste the tziburs time. When you are waiting & waiting & waiting for the first dance to start so you can be mesameach the choson and kalla so you can race home to take the babesitter home before midnight, and the photographer is still snaping pictures of the kalla’s third cousin twice removed, – we have a major problem!

    PS. The “baal taava” photoraphers also tell the chosson & Kalla to pose in non Tzniusdika ways and we just let them get away with it!

  16. I am happy to attend simchas up to 2 hours away, and often do. To be there on time, I’d have to leave my house before my children are even home from scholl. There are also a limited number of occasions for which my husband can leave work early. I am sure the baalei simcha are able to start without me, and would rather see me after the chupa, than not at all.

  17. One solution is to schedule the photography like they do in Eretz Yisroel. Our daughter was married there. Most family photos were taken prior to the wedding, without the chosson/kallah appearing in the others’ family photos; after cheder yichud the only photos taken were of the chosson and kallah themselves. Dancing and the meal was begun fairly quickly therefore. Photos of the entire family together were taken after the wedding, at 1am!! Yes, we were sweaty and our sheitels were a little droopy; however those who anticipate this bring some quick makeup, hairspray and a change of shirts, and the photos come out so much nicer because everyone is so happy and relaxed by the end. Much less stiff. I recommend importing this custom!!

  18. Besides agreeing that the photographers carry a good deal of the guilt, I’d like to add something to the rant – the video guys who are all over the ladies’ section seeing all the girls and women dance. What’s the point of the mechitzah if you have men on the women’s side anyway? And they video the whole time, running the dancing, and it seems as if the whole thing has become a video production instead of a simcha. If you must have videos, at least have a woman photographer on the women’s side, not some fellow in a beard up on a ladder.

    I’ve stopped dancing at chasunahs because I’m too shy to a) be watched by men and b) be immortalized on video for who-knows-who to watch ten years from now – including guys I’ve never heard of.

    I’m not a chumrah freak, just trying to keep basic tznius.

    BTW, you think the baal simcha runs the wedding? Forget it – it’s the photographer and the caterer!

  19. # 15 – you are wrong. These days the photographer takes all the family pictures before the chuppah with a space to add the choson and kalla digitally. Also the photographer will take pictures how and when you tell them

  20. I think a lot of the problem lies in the preparation. If the person doing hair/makeup comes 20 minutes late and she has 6 heads/faces to do, it will take more time. If the music shows up late than probably everything will be. No one wants to ruin someones Simcha, it just happens.

  21. The “baal taava” photoraphers also tell the chosson & Kalla to pose in non Tzniusdika ways and we just let them get away with it!

    Agreed and appalled. Parents should tell the photographers up front that they will not pay for those photos.

  22. Halevei we have ONLY such problems:

    My chasuna ended 11pm (including a chasiddisha mitzva tanz) we had a HUGE crowd b”H.

    Whoever “wanted” came…

    Now with kids of my own b”H, i go late to simchas of my cousins and friends. At Immediate simchas, the immediate family makes an extra effort to be on time – and that OK. We do what we can and appreciate every guest whenever they come and for however long (short) they stay.
    Nor Oif Simchas!

  23. I live out of town and we agree that if a certain askan is ‘running’ the wedding, it’s going to be an on time affair. Even if it is on time, not everyone comes for the chupah, and that has nothing to do with the baal simcha. If he is ready to start, he’ll do it with only his close friends. Plenty of people show up later and that’s fine, but that shouldn’t stop the process of the wedding. Believe me, the close family will be there if they know it’s prompt.
    My husband and I work it out that we go to the second half of the wedding so we’re not there at all for most chuppahs- a baal simcha never held up his chuppah waiting for me. Many people do it that way- I don’t have 4 hours or more to give to every chasunah, so we make it for the dinner part, and that’s how it’s done here. what part of that is not bringing Moshiach closer? That I chose to stay home with my children extra or that my husband was able to learn before going to the wedding?

    You have to see things from all perspectives before passing judgment.

  24. ‘By coming on time to simchos, we’ll be working on our bein adam lachaveiro, which will bring Moshiach a step closer.”

    What a laugh. I’ll tell you why moshiach hasn’t come. It’s because all you fakers are wasting your time going to weddings. When you sing “od yishama be’arei yehudah”, the last thing you are thinking about is “arei yehudah”. All you think about is the money you saved by making your wedding in Beis Feige.

  25. 22, people just need to plan better. We splurged on the hair and makeup people (and few – not a few, but few – other things) and they coordinated it so well, starting in the AM, we were done long before pictures.

  26. Mr.Miskin – Have we run out of real issues that you feel the need to write about this. As many commentators above have mentioned – there may be many reasons as to why people come late to a simcha (and ALL baalie simcha know this – as they have also been late to others’ simchas). There are many REAL issues in the yeshiva velt that need to be rectified, this is not one of them!

  27. I don’t know what simchah is held up because the guests are not there. Most chasunahs are run not by the baalei simchah or photographer but by the caterer. B”H i have been zocheh to make 5 bar mitzvahs (we are just entering the shidduch parsha). The invitations announced the time and we planned to wash 45 minutes after that. it gave enough time for my family to finish their children’s homework and pick up their baby sitters and still be on time for the seudah. As for chasunahs, if you stick to the time on the invitation then guests will come on time.