Alison Mae

Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati







Trying to determine when to pick a ceremony start time can be a tricky task! It might seem simple, but there are a few major things to consider before printing those invitations! I’ll walk you through a few of the most important things to consider when deciding when your wedding ceremony should begin.

What Time Does the Sun Set on Your Wedding Day?

The time the sun will set plays a HUGE part in the timing of your day. Especially if you like the type of photos you see in my portfolio. If you like wedding photos with lots of natural light, you’ll need to save time following your ceremony for portraits. However, if you are getting married outdoors, you don’t want to have your ceremony too early in the day. This is because the sun will be too harsh and at times, too hot for guests. This can be especially challenging for our beloved elderly family members. My best recommendation is to plan to have your ceremony two hours before sunset if you are sharing a first look before the ceremony and three hours before sunset if you are not sharing a first look before the ceremony. Click here to find out when the sun will set on your wedding day!

Will You Be Sharing a First Look Before Your Ceremony?

Deciding on if you will be seeing one another before the ceremony is a big decision for most couples. But did you know that it plays a big part in deciding on your ceremony start time? If you see one another prior to your ceremony, the bulk of your portraits can be done beforehand. This allows you to have a later ceremony start time. If you don’t want to see one another before the ceremony, all of your photos together will need to be done after the ceremony. This leaves a small window before the sun goes down to finish all family, wedding party and couple portraits. If you aren’t sure if you should have a first look or not, click here to read more about them.

When Do You Need to Vacate the Venue?

This is a simple one, but important no less! Knowing what time you need to be out of your venue for the evening will help in deciding if should have a later or earlier ceremony. Some venues allow you to stay until almost midnight, but some require you to vacate by nine. Be sure to ask this when booking your venue, or email your coordinator to find out!

Couple laughs during ceremony at Mustard Seed Gardens wedding

When Should Your Wedding Ceremony Begin?

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