Ok, be prepared for a rant, because that’s what’s coming!
I was recently at a sheva brachos that was called for 6:30. The unfortunate minhag is to start late, and because of extraneous variables, I too, was late, showing up at 6:55. There were three other people there, including the host. By the time we actually started, I think it was 7:40. Now this was in no way the fault of the hosts, who worked tremendously hard and were actually ready at the appropriate time. It is 100% the guests fault for showing up as late as they did. Them, and the chosson and kallah. What is it about newlyweds that make them late to sheva brachos anyway? My wife and I were on time to every single one of our sheva brachos, coming earlier than most guests. I hate to be blunt, but its not like they’re ‘busy’ so why are they so late? It’s at the point where if you come on time, then people ask, “why are you here already” (as was the case with my wife and I).
I hereby move to make some regulations when it comes to sheva brachos. I think that if you’re hosting a sheva brachos, you have the right to announce when it will happen. Therefore, if we host a sheva brachos called for 6:30, I’m going to tell everyone (including the chosson and kallah) that they are more than welcome to come late, but with them or without them, we’re starting at 6:30. And unless you have a valid excuse, there will be no reheating of food either.