What Is A Good Time For A Wedding Ceremony?

The flexibility of your ceremony's schedule will depend on the facilities available at your wedding site. If, on the other hand, you have the luxury of choosing when you'll exchange your vows, morning, afternoon, or night, you should give serious consideration to all three.

What Time Of Day Is The Best To Get Married?

The most popular window of time for a wedding ceremony is between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There has traditionally been a peak in weddings throughout these dates. However, you shouldn't feel obligated to follow convention. How about a wedding by candlelight or at sunset? Your ceremony can take place at any time of day, but there are a few details to think about before making any plans.

Time Of Day For Wedding Ceremonies

Everything Depends On Timing

The cost of your wedding may be significantly impacted by the time of day you choose to get married. The ceremony is typically held in the late morning or early afternoon because every couple wants their big day to last as long as possible.

If you're planning on leaving for your honeymoon in the early evening, having a wedding in the morning will ensure that the flowers are still in peak condition and that you have plenty of time to take pictures before sunset. On the other hand, if you opt for a morning ceremony, your costs may skyrocket compared to those of an afternoon or evening ceremony.

The cost of a wedding might skyrocket if you plan on having an early morning service followed by a reception all day long, as you will need to supply not only food and drink, but also activities for your guests. As it may take some time to set up the arrangements and prepare the cuisine, you should check with the venue to see whether they will be ready for your guest at such an early time.

Changes to marriage age laws have been implemented. Now weddings can take place in the evening, which is convenient for many couples. If you want to be married and then have a celebration, now is a fantastic time to do so. Couples are increasingly taking advantage of the nighttime hours by holding candlelit nuptials followed by fireworks celebrations.

Considerations For Scheduling Your Wedding Ceremony

The season of the year in which your wedding will take place is an important factor to think about. If your wedding is going to take place in the dead of winter, you might want to consider a midday ceremony. The shorter days and cooler temperatures at sunrise and sunset explain why.

If you plan your ceremony for the early morning or late afternoon, guests may have trouble travelling to the location due to inclement weather, and outdoor photography may be challenging due to the low light levels. There is a higher likelihood of unexpected costs arising from an early morning wedding.

Those on a limited budget or seeking a more unique experience can consider having their wedding in the evening or the late afternoon. If you do not want to feel pressured and prefer to take your time getting ready for the big day, a wedding ceremony later in the day may be the best option.

Determine How Much Time You Will Require For Pre-Wedding Activities.

Do you happen to be the kind of woman that needs 30 minutes or less to get dolled up and prepared for a night on the town? Or maybe you're not in a hurry and like to take your time doing your makeup and hair.

It's crucial to think about how long you'll need to get ready for the ceremony when deciding what time of day to have it. If you don't anticipate needing a lot of time to get ready, a ceremony in the late morning or the early afternoon would be perfect! A wedding in the late afternoon or early evening is preferable if you have a large bridal party or if you want to take your time getting ready.

There's also the matter of wedding photos, and whether you want them taken before or after the ceremony. Getting all the family and group photos done before you and your husband utter your vows could be tough if you plan a ceremony for the late morning or early afternoon.

Determine The Best Time Of Day For Your Wedding Ceremony On The Day Of The Week.

If your wedding day is a Saturday, you can have it at pretty much any time of day. Weddings on Fridays and Sundays, however, might present some unique challenges. Many couples who plan to wed on a Friday prefer to hold the ceremony later in the day or early in the evening.

Because of this, guests can take more time off from work to attend the wedding. On the other hand, brides prefer to have their Sunday weddings earlier in the day so that their guests can spend more time celebrating with them before they have to return to work.

In Order To Avoid Rushing Into The Reception, You Should Plan For Some Downtime After The Ceremony.

When deciding on a wedding schedule, it's also important to think about how much time you want to pass between the ceremony and the reception. The majority of the brides she assists have their weddings in the late afternoon or early evening, with the celebration beginning just after sundown.

These modern-day women look up the sunset timing on their wedding day online. After that, the bride can work backwards to establish the optimal time to begin the ceremony, taking into account time for a cocktail party and pictures between both the ceremony and reception.

Pros And Cons Of Wedding Timing

An Afternoon Wedding

If your wedding is in the afternoon, you won't have much time to get ready. There should be plenty of time for a modest, personal wedding, but if you've dreamed of a large affair, you might find it all to be a bit of a rush if your ceremony is at 2 p.m., followed by a reception at 4 p.m., and then you leave for your honeymoon at 6 p.m. If you want young children to be a part of your special day, it is better to hold the festivities in the afternoon rather than the evening, when they are more likely to become bored, weary, and grumpy.

Since the duration of an afternoon wedding is typically shorter, it will be less difficult to stay to a strict budget. A simple afternoon tea party would be a lovely follow-up to your ceremony. Tea, coffee, and soft drinks are acceptable alternatives to champagne for the toasts. An afternoon tea with a retro theme is a wonderful way to celebrate any occasion, and if you need to rent some beautiful china to complete the look, you can do it with ease.

Having a wedding in the afternoon can also expand your options for reception venues; for example, you could host a formal ceremony in the conservatories of a stately home or country house hotel, with guests arriving to the sounds of a string quartet.

A Wedding In The Evening

Legal restrictions on when a wedding can take place have recently been loosened, making it possible to have a nighttime ceremony followed by a celebration.

A stately mansion or National Trust site may be available because they only host weddings during the evening or on weekends, when they are not open to the general public. Make sure you ask the venue what can be done. If you're having a party in the evening, don't feel pressured to serve a formal meal. It's a good idea to serve a buffet if you want people to socialise at your event.

Still use a seating chart if you want to seat people, but instead of a traditional dessert course, set up a sweetie table where visitors can help themselves to treats. A DJ or live band is a common way to keep guests entertained during weddings that take place in the evening. In that scenario, make sure there's a place where people can hang out if they'd rather not dance the night away.

Without music competing for attention, they must be able to communicate effectively. Consider where your elder guests will be seated if you need to move tables out of the way for dancing. You don't want folks to get uncomfortable and depart early.

Since more people are likely to attend an evening wedding, the cost of the food and drink served to them may be more than that of a lunch or brunch wedding, depending on the style of catering you choose. It's a good idea to plan for a quiet area where young children can snooze or watch an iPad if they'll be in attendance.

An All-Day Event

If you're planning on entertaining your visitors from noon till midnight, you should give some serious thought to their demands and needs. Prioritize your financial resources. If your ceremony is at 2:00 pm, you should provide refreshments in the form of a cocktail reception or afternoon tea for your guests soon following.

Evening events require the same preparations as daytime ones, including the serving of beverages and canapés to visitors before serving a meal, which can be either a buffet, a formal sit-down dinner, or an informal hog roast. You'll need to send out two sets of invitations: one for the afternoon/evening event, and another for only the evening event.

Your nighttime guests should not feel like second-class citizens. They've made an effort to come to your wedding, they've presumably brought you something, and you want them to have a wonderful day. It's helpful for everyone involved if there's a brief respite between the evening and afternoon events, since this will give you time to rest and reapply your makeup and hair.

To get ready for the evening's festivities, guests can return to their lodgings if the event is being held elsewhere, where they can shower, change, and reappear in high spirits. A babysitter may help get the kids ready for bed and give them a bath while the parents go out on the town.

Considerations To Make When Selecting The Start Time For Your Wedding Ceremony

Venue Restrictions: Duration Of Your Venue's Permit For The Rental Space.

This may seem like the most apparent, but several brides are caught off guard when they learn that their location is not booked by the day, but for the duration of their event. It's important to schedule your ceremony so that you have plenty of time to be ready (if you are getting ready at your venue).

Sunset Time Restrictions In Nature.

After the ceremony, you are going to want to make sure there is a good amount of daylight left so that you may take pictures of the newlyweds, their families, and their wedding party. This can range anywhere from one to two hours.

In Terms Of Time, How Long Do You Anticipate Your Ceremony To Be?

Knowing when the sun will set is important since it will dictate how long you can have your wedding ceremony. There are 7-minute ceremonies and others that can go up to an hour and a half. Talk to your officiant about the rituals you'd like to include in your ceremony. The length of your ceremony is something they can help you plan.

Catering A Meal Or Hosting A Reception With A Simple Cake And Snacks And Drinks?

When planning your catering, keep in mind the length of your ceremony, cocktail hour, and the typical meal times of your guests. The time you decide to have the ceremony will depend greatly on this data. Receptions consisting just of cake and drinks should be scheduled for times that are not also prime eating windows.

Will You Have A Traditional Ceremony Or A First Look?

This will be the aspect that determines how much time is required after the ceremony to take photographs of the entire wedding party, the families of the bride and groom, and the bride and groom themselves! You may be wondering if a First Look is appropriate for you.

What Are Your Wedding Guests' Average Age & Personalities?

How young is your typical patronage? Those seeking post-wedding activities that continue the celebration late into the night The wedding could take place in the late afternoon or evening. Do your guests prefer to have quiet conversations and forego the party? Do not dismiss the possibility of a wedding that takes place during the brunch hour or early afternoon.

Do The People Attending Your Wedding Have Kids?

You might try contacting them with your prefered times and dates to find out if they are available and if they would be interested in attending. By 7:30, most toddlers and preschoolers had passed out. We don't want to be "those folks" whose child is overtired and sobbing during the wedding ceremony, therefore a nighttime wedding is out of the question for us.

While it might be convenient for families to hire a babysitter, it isn't always possible to locate one who is also available to help with bedtime. Then plan your wedding during the morning if you want all of the relatives to attend.

Which Formal Wedding Farewell Would You Prefer?

Sparklers? Lavender? Bubbles? Petals from a Rose? Think about how you want it to photograph before deciding on anything else! Sparklers, for example, are best photographed at night, while landscapes and portraits fare better during the day.

The walk down the aisle following your wedding makes for a lovely opportunity for a formal farewell. You can do it at any point throughout the reception; it's not required to wait until the end.

When Would You Prefer To Begin Getting Ready?

The average time it takes a bride to get ready for her wedding is three to six hours. That may sound excessive when you go up into the six-hour range, but by the time you factor in getting your hair and makeup done by a professional, taking pictures of you and your wedding party, having your first look, and hiding before your guests arrive, you won't have much time left over!

When Would You Like The Pictures Taken That You Want?

There is no "one size fits all" wedding timeline because every wedding is different. We'll work around your schedule on the big day to get the shots you want. When choosing the time for your wedding ceremony, it is a good idea to consult with your photographer. Keep in mind that the sun's setting hour is the one element of your wedding day over which we have no say. We recommend finishing a ceremony at least 1.5 hours before nightfall.


Between 11 AM and 1 PM is the most common time slot for a wedding ceremony. A wedding that starts early in the morning and continues into the evening with a reception could end up costing a lot more than you expected. Candlelight weddings are becoming increasingly popular as couples want to avoid prying eyes. Figure Out How Much Lead Time You'll Need For Pre-Wedding Events. A late morning or early afternoon ceremony might be great if you don't think you'll need much time to get ready.

Evening and late afternoon weddings are perfect for those on a tighter budget or looking for something truly special. Sunday weddings are increasingly being scheduled for earlier in the day so that guests may enjoy more of the festivities. It's possible to choose from a wider range of reception locations if your wedding is in the afternoon. Following your ceremony with a modest afternoon tea gathering would be a great gesture. Many grand venues, such as those owned by the National Trust, are only available for weddings on weekday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Guests will likely get thirsty if they wait around for the ceremony to end, so plan on hosting a cocktail reception or afternoon tea after the wedding. Everybody might benefit from a little break between the evening and afternoon activities. While the parents are away, the babysitter may help get the kids ready for bed and perhaps give them a bath. How long your wedding ceremony can last is dependent on the time of day. The average age of your customers.

Those who want to keep the party going long after the bride and groom have said their vows. Evening or late afternoon would be fine for the wedding. Most preschool-aged children have gone to sleep by 7:30. We can't have our wedding at night. Three to six hours is the typical time it takes a bride to get ready on the day of her wedding. Consult with your photographer before deciding on a time for the wedding ceremony. Photographing fireworks at night is ideal, whereas landscapes and people should be shot during the day.

Content Summary

  1. The amenities at your wedding location will determine how flexible you can be with the time of your ceremony.
  2. However, if you have the option of picking the time of day for your wedding, you should think carefully about each time of day, including the morning, the afternoon, and the evening.
  3. The hours between noon and three in the afternoon are the most sought after for wedding ceremonies. Historically, more weddings occur between May and September.
  4. You're free to choose any time of day for your ceremony, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you make preparations.
  5. Scheduled Wedding Ceremonies During Which Part of the Day?
  6. The Timing Is Everything.
  7. Your wedding budget may change dramatically depending on what time of day you decide to tie the knot.
  8. Many couples prefer having their nuptials in the evening because of work and family obligations.
  9. Planning Your Wedding Ceremony: Some Things to Think About
  10. Planning your wedding at the right time of year is essential.
  11. You may wish to have your winter wedding towards the middle of the day to avoid the cold.
  12. There is a risk of guests being unable to attend if the ceremony is held too early or too late in the day owing to bad weather, and outdoor photography may be difficult due to the lack of light.
  13. An early wedding ceremony is more likely to result in unforeseen expenditures.
  14. It may be preferable to have a wedding ceremony later in the day if you do not want to feel rushed and would rather take your time getting ready for the big day.
  15. Figure Out How Much Lead Time You'll Need For Pre-Wedding Events.
  16. When deciding on a time of day for the ceremony, it is important to factor in how much time will be needed for preparations.
  17. A late morning or early afternoon ceremony would be great if you don't think you'll need a lot of time to get ready.
  18. If you want to take your time getting ready or if you have a large bridal party, a wedding in the late afternoon or early evening is ideal.
  19. You must also decide if you want your wedding pictures taken before or after the ceremony.
  20. Choose the best time of day and day of the week for your wedding ceremony.
  21. If your big day falls on a Saturday, you can pick whatever hour you like.
  22. For this reason, many engaged couples choose Friday afternoons or evenings for their wedding ceremonies.
  23. Consider how much time you want to elapse between the ceremony and the reception when making plans for the big day.
  24. Most of the weddings she plans for brides take place in the early or late evening, when the festivities can truly begin.
  25. The bride can then calculate backwards to find the best time to start the ceremony, taking into consideration the time needed for a cocktail party and pictures between the ceremony and reception.
  26. The Benefits and Drawbacks of an Afternoon Wedding
  27. There won't be much time to relax and get ready for your afternoon wedding.
  28. A 2 p.m. ceremony, 4 p.m. reception, and a 6 p.m. departure for a honeymoon should be more than enough time for a small, intimate wedding, but for some who have always imagined a grand celebration, it may feel like too little, too late.
  29. If you want small children to enjoy your celebration, plan it for the afternoon instead of the evening, when they are more prone to get bored, tired, and grumpy.
  30. Following your ceremony with a modest afternoon tea gathering would be a great gesture.
  31. Recently, laws have been changed to make it permissible to host a wedding and reception at any time of day or night.
  32. Find out what accommodations can be made at the location.
  33. Don't feel like you have to provide a whole meal just because it's dinnertime.
  34. A buffet is a great way to get guests mingling and talking to one another at your event.
  35. Evening wedding receptions typically have a DJ or live band to keep guests amused.
  36. If you need to clear the dance floor of tables, think about where your older visitors will be seated.
  37. If you're expecting a large guest list, you may want to consider having your wedding in the evening rather than at brunch or lunch to save money on food and drink.
  38. You should give some serious thought to your guests' wants and needs if you intend to entertain them from noon to midnight.
  39. There will be two events, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, so you will need to send out separate invitations for each.
  40. Timely preparation is essential, so plan your ceremony accordingly (if you are getting ready at your venue).
  41. Nature Imposes Time Limits at Sunset.
  42. How long your wedding ceremony can last is dependent on the time of day.
  43. Discuss the rites you wish to perform with your officiant.
  44. They can advise you on how long the ceremony should last.
  45. Think about how long the ceremony and cocktail hour will last, as well as when most of your guests eat, while organising the food for the reception.
  46. With this information in hand, you may set a date and time for the ceremony.
  47. Those looking for nighttime festivities to participate in after the wedding Evening or late afternoon would be fine for the wedding.
  48. Weddings that take place at brunch time or early afternoon should not be discounted.
  49. You might ask them if they are interested in going if they are free on the days and hours you have in mind.
  50. It's not an option for us since we don't want to be "those parents" whose child is too sleepy and miserable to enjoy the wedding.
  51. Hiring a babysitter can be helpful for families, but it can be difficult to find someone who is also available to assist with bedtime.
  52. If you want everyone in the family to be able to attend, have your wedding in the morning.
  53. Nighttime is ideal for photographing sparklers, for instance, while daylight is preferable for landscapes and portraiture.
  54. The procession down the aisle after the reception is a beautiful setting for a solemn farewell.
  55. It's not necessary to hold off until the reception's last moments.
  56. Three to six hours is the typical time it takes a bride to get ready on the day of her wedding.
  57. On the big day, we'll do what you need us to do to get the photos you want taken.
  58. Consult with your photographer before deciding on a time for the wedding ceremony.
  59. An ideal ceremony completion time is at least 1.5 hours before sunset.

FAQs About Wedding Ceremony

While the official wedding ceremony start time will be listed on your invitations, your guests may want to know how early they can and should arrive.

To answer this, talk to your venue about when the doors will open, and guests will be allowed to enter the space. You can then recommend that guests arrive 15 minutes or so before the official ceremony starts so they can get settled before the proceedings. 

Sharing the indoor/outdoor breakdown of your wedding day is important so guests can dress appropriately, choose the right footwear, and bring any necessities like sunscreen, a hat, and bug repellent for a summer event or a jacket, shawl, or gloves for a cooler-weather wedding.

If there are certain items that your guests should bring to ensure their comfort, feel free to make recommendations. You can also share if you'll provide any weather-related items, like fans or blankets. 

While you can't predict the exact forecast for your special day, you can give guests an idea of what the weather is typically like in your wedding location at that time of year. Again, this information will help your guests choose their attire. 

An important question, particularly if you're opting for an unplugged wedding. Let your guests know your preference for photo-taking and social media usage during your wedding. If you're going the unplugged route, including signage and a note in your ceremony program reminding guests to put their phones away on your big day. 

It would be best if you had a distinct area on your wedding website devoted to the registry. Still, you can also include the information (retailers and links to your registry) here in addition to having a separate section.

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