Happy Tuesday, everybody! Today’s Tip of the Day is all about when to schedule your wedding ceremony! Our brides know that when you schedule your wedding ceremony has an impact on everything. It changes arrival and entry times, like when your caterers come and when your venue opens. It also changes when your photographer takes photos, which affects the overall theme of your wedding day. Because of this, we have a variety of times that we can do our wedding ceremonies.
For our wedding timelines, we follow this general rule:
“The time that you should have your wedding ceremony is from 1.5 hours to 2 hours before sunset on your wedding day.”
Have you ever heard of the golden hour? The golden hour is the hour before sunset and after sunrise. It is when the most beautiful, perfect lighting happens. Its when our photographers get that stunning glow: it’s whispy and romantic and the best time to shoot!
“The golden hour is the hour before sunset and after sunrise.”
We plan around that: we try to have your thirty-minute ceremony an hour and a half before sunset. This way, we are able to make sure that your newlywed photos and any other photos we do during cocktail hour have that beautiful glow behind them.
Sunset during May happens between 8:00-8:30 pm. The most ideal time for a ceremony is from 6:30-7:00 pm.
Sunset during October happens between 6:15-6:45 pm. The most ideal time for a ceremony is from 4:45-5:15 pm.
Sunset during January happens between 5:00-5:30 pm. The most ideal time for a ceremony is from 3:30-4:00 pm.
Yes! We LOVE morning weddings and morning engagement shoots! If you want to do a morning wedding, you will want to have your ceremony about 10 minutes after sunrise. This way, you aren’t getting married in the dark and you still have time to catch the golden hour for photos.
“If you want to do a morning wedding, you will want to have your ceremony about 10 minutes after sunrise.”
Sunrise during May happens between 5:45-6:15 am. The most ideal time for a ceremony is from 5:55-6:25 am.
Sunrise during October happens between 7:05-7:35 am. The most ideal time for a ceremony is from 7:15-7:45 am.
Sunrise during January happens between 7:15-7:30 am. The most ideal time for a ceremony is from 7:25-7:40 am.
I always recommend you consult with your wedding planner and your photographer. They can tell you the best time, and help you to schedule out your wedding day perfectly.
Then, you can build around it: when your caterer, DJ, officiant, photographer arrives. You’ll also want to work with your hair and makeup artist to create a schedule that flows for your bridesmaids to get ready.
Whether you have a morning wedding or an evening wedding, a 9 pm wedding or a noon wedding; always remember: the best time to get married is with each other. These are only recommendations. Don’t stress too much about them. If you hire an experienced planner, they will work with you to sort through all of the logistics and figure out the best time for everybody to have your ceremony. Everything else will fall into place.
Well, I hope we answered your question of what time you should have your wedding ceremony!
Happy to Be Events is an Event Planning, Wedding Design, and Event Management company that serves couples all over Virginia, especially in Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia, DC, Richmond, & Charlottesville.
Founder Meg Flores created Happy to Be Events in 2017 with the passion for designing beautiful events and crafting authentic moments that are turned into treasured memories. Her passion, experience, and knowledge is key to telling amazing stories through cohesive planning, tasteful design, and event management.
Special thanks for Rebecca Dotson Photography for these photos!
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Photography by Amanda Beside Eric, KSant Photography, Fowler Studios, Summertime Photography, Studio N Photography, Mermaid Lake Photography, Tessa Anne Photography, Kassandra Renee Photography, Samantha Parkes Photography, Kerry Renee Photography, and KJ Shepard Photography.