There really isn’t one perfect time of day to host a wedding. Determining what will work best for you depends upon many different things, such as your personal taste and style and the type of wedding you’d like to host.
Time of day often is associated with a particular kind of ceremony. A formal wedding is generally held at night, while a more casual affair may be expected during the midday afternoon hours.
You should also check with the officiant if you are planning a religious ceremony as there may be some restrictions on when you can have the service.
Below is a list of considerations when considering different times of day for your wedding. This will give you some hints on what might work best for you.
Rise and shine! A morning wedding means an early wakeup call so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare for your walk down the aisle. Brides will have to arrange for their hair stylist and makeup artist to arrive early and there may be an extra charge for that service.
Group photographs are sometimes taken before the event, so you’ll have to have everyone in your wedding party ready, along with your selected photographer. Be sure to ask about any additional charges for an early shoot time.
Speaking of photos, morning daylight offers an excellent time to photograph. Your pictures will have soft-focus appeal without having to pay extra for digital touch-ups.
Since morning weddings are not the norm, wedding vendors are more likely to be available and may even cut you a discount off of their more popular, late afternoon and evening rates.
The best part is that the two of you will have most of the day to yourselves. Whether you are on your way to an exotic honeymoon or a local hotel suite, you will have time to enjoy most of your wedding day awake and together.
This time may be a bit inconvenient for some guests, since it splits up their day. Families with small children may find this time conflicts with their kids’ eating and naptime schedules. That being said, many of your guests won’t mind devoting a day to your special affair, and you can always look into making arrangements for a nap/snack room for any little ones attending the reception.
Midday is another time not frequently scheduled for weddings, so it may be easier to secure the location you want and get your top choices in wedding vendors. You may also be able to negotiate lower rates.
With a midday wedding, you can serve a light lunch or early dinner fare, which is normally less expensive than most evening dinner menus.
Late Afternoon Wedding
Depending on the season, and where you live in the country, this time of day could be on the warm side. The afternoon is the hottest time of the day, so keep that in mind, especially if you are planning an outdoor ceremony.
Late afternoon may make it hard to book some of your favorite vendors since this time frame may restrict them from scheduling another event before or after yours. Because of this, you may have to pay a higher fee for their services.
Your food and alcohol budget may benefit from an afternoon wedding especially if you aren’t planning to serve a full meal. Additionally, your guests may drink less in the afternoon than during an evening event.
Timing the sunset just right can pose somewhat of a challenge. You’ll want to keep all of your wedding activities on task so that the lighting you are expecting is available. Luckily, technology can help you pinpoint the near-exact moment of sunset so you can avoid exchanging vows after the sun has dipped below the horizon. Pay strict attention to your budget–costs may be at their premium since this is a favorite time to host.
Like morning weddings, the lighting of a sunset offers beautifully vibrant colors, making it ideal for dramatic and romantic shots. This time of day will also let you experience the more traditional cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing into the night.
This fun, outside-the-box idea is best for couples who don’t have a lot of older guests or families with little ones on the list. You’ll want to start early in your hunt for the perfect venue that will be open to this time slot, as well as caterers and other wedding providers who are usually only available late in the day.
If you’re envisioning an adults-only wedding, this may be one way of having it without actually saying it. A night under the stars with all of your guests can be absolutely beautiful. The moonlight glistening on the affair as everyone dances by soft candlelight, sets a truly romantic scene.
Pick Your Time
What do you picture when you dream of this day? As the couple, you two are free to choose whatever time you would like. Taking into consideration your personal styles, as well as your attendees will help you two narrow down the best time to celebrate the beginning of your new life together.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.