I imagine that right now you are either sitting on your couch cozied up with a blanket and your laptop calmly working out details of your dream day, or you’re at your office desk having random stress thoughts about your wedding day and frantically making to-do lists of things that need to be done when you get home. I can tell you right now, I was both of those people. There were times that I was calm, collected, and knew exactly what I wanted and there were other times when I would be asked a question that I hadn’t even given one thought to! You’re stressed, you’re confused, this (in most cases) is the first wedding you’ve ever planned and you have no idea what you’re doing – you just know that people are asking you questions that you need to find the answers to! I get it – I’ve been there.

So what time should your ceremony be? At this point you’re engaged, you’ve booked or have started to book your dream vendors, you’re filling up your Pinterest board with all the dreamy candle-lit receptions and big billowing florals, and now you need to figure out a good time for your ceremony so you can start preparing your family and send out invitations!

The best way to figure out a ceremony time is to work backwards! Here are some questions you’ll need the answers to before you can narrow down on a time.

What time is the sunset that day?

How long will the ceremony be?

Will you be doing a first look?

Will you be doing family photos before or after the ceremony?

Do you plan on having a cocktail hour?

Here’s why all these things are important: as a wedding photographer, we need to know how and when we will be able to fit in all the necessary photos that you want! First looks, bridesmaid/groomsmen portraits, full wedding party portraits, family formal photos, bride and groom portraits, etc. If you don’t plan on having a cocktail hour – then we’d have less time after the ceremony to take photos while your guests are waiting for your grand entrance, or if you don’t plan on doing the first look then we have to do all wedding party portraits and bride & groom portraits after ceremony which will take a little longer.

I suggest going over these things with your fiancé and photographer first and having a talk with them about what’s most important to you!

I know that’s a lot to think about but don’t stress! It’s safe to say that in most cases you’ll want your ceremony time to be 2 hours before the sunset. So hop on google – type in sunset, your wedding date, and the town your venue is in! Let’s say it says sunset is at 7:30 then you’d want your ceremony to be 5:30 – which would give you and your photographer plenty of time to get everything done!

Here’s a easy site that can help you figure out the sunrise or sunset times as well: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/

If you need any help planning your day please don’t hesitate to ask me all the questions! I will also be creating a photography timeline to help keep your day running smoothly and to make sure we get all the shots you want – so leave that part up to me! You just enjoy this special time in your life and continue on planning your big day!! Can’t wait to see what you dream up.

How To Pick Your Ceremony Time