Choosing the start time for your wedding ceremony might not seem like a big deal, but there are a lot of things to consider first. Today I’ll share some tips to help you choose your wedding ceremony start time and things that can affect your ceremony time that you may not have thought of.
Your ceremony time will mostly be affected by the location of your ceremony: indoors or outdoors. If your ceremony is outdoors than you need to consider the sun’s position and sunset time before you choose your ceremony time. You likely don’t want your ceremony happening when it’s becoming dark outside. So ideally you’ll want your ceremony time to be at least 3 hours before sunset. This allows enough time with good ‘glowy’ light that is ideal for portraits after the ceremony. If your ceremony is indoors the sunset time isn’t as important to consider, but don’t forget about time for your portraits if you’re doing them after the ceremony.
Hair & Makeup Time
If you have a large bridal party that requires more time for hair and makeup, this will also affect your ceremony start time as you’ll need to allow for more time beforehand in the morning. Typically hair will take around 45 minutes per person and makeup will take around 30 minutes per person. Figure out how much time you’ll need for your whole bridal party and be sure to give yourself enough time before the ceremony for this.
A key thing to remember is that you want great light when you’re having portraits taken. If you’re doing a first look and having your bridal party and/or family portraits done before the ceremony, then you can have a later ceremony start time. If you’re planning on doing all portraits after the ceremony than you may want an earlier ceremony start time.
As always consult with your vendors for their professional advice as well. Talk to the coordinators at your ceremony and reception locations for their advice as most vendors have typical times they start at.