One of the many, many decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding is selecting the time of your ceremony. There are many factors to consider, including the season, your venue, timing for photography and your personal preferences. We’ll walk you through the steps to choosing the perfect wedding ceremony time for your big day.
If you’re a native of Georgia, you don’t need an explanation about high temps, humidity, and bugs in the Summer. But nonetheless, these are definitely considerable factors when thinking about your ceremony (especially if you’re having your events outdoors). If you’re getting married in the Summer, consider having your ceremony later in the day to avoid the heat. On the other hand, if you’re electing for a Winter wedding, we recommend having your ceremony at 4 or 4:30PM to take advantage of the daylight.
The location of your wedding can also play a role in choosing your ceremony time. If you’re getting married outdoors, consider what time the sun sets and the comfort level of your guests at certain times of the day. If you’re getting married in a church or indoor venue, you have more flexibility with your ceremony time.
Also, if your venue has a strict time limit or final hour that all vendors and guests must exit the property, then you should set your ceremony time early enough to allow ample time for the reception and vendor breakdown. This may take some thought and discussion with your planner or coordinator on the timeline of the day.
We typically start this conversation with our brides by asking the “big” question: “Do you want a first look or no first look?” The inclusion or lack of a first look highly affects the photography timeline of your day. For example, if you have a first look, most of your photos will be done prior to your ceremony, and thus you can choose a later ceremony time and not worry about the light afterwards. If you don’t have a first look, you’ll need plenty of daylight after your ceremony to capture great photos, and thus you may need to consider an earlier ceremony time to accommodate those post-ceremony photos. Pro-tip: ask your photographer or wedding planner for advice on this. We can quickly rattle off ideal ceremony times to accommodate the perfect photography timeline.
Finally, you’ll want to think about your guests when choosing your ceremony time. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests, you may want to consider having your ceremony later in the day so they have time to travel. If you have a lot of elderly guests, you may want to consider having your ceremony earlier in the day so they can rest in the evening.
Choosing your wedding ceremony time is an important decision, but with these tips, you’ll be able to find the perfect time for your big day. Remember, there’s no right or wrong decision. It’s just a decision in the planning process. If you consider the season, location, timeline of the day, and your guests when making your decision, you’ll decide with the right considerations in mind. We’re confident you’ll be able to create a memorable wedding day that you and your guests will cherish forever.