What Time Should You Have Your Wedding Ceremony?

02

May

What time should I have my wedding ceremony? Is one of the questions I get asked the most by brides and grooms.  I’ve decided to go ahead and share a bit of insight into how I guide my couples on choosing the right ceremony start time, and the two most important factors I need to know beforehand.

Sunset  – Before I determine anything, I first figure out what time sunset will be on your wedding day. Why? Because light is imperative for good photographs. In order to give you the highest quality of images possible, I need to know what time sunset is, in order to determine how I build the timeline and determine your ceremony start time. By being aware of the sun, I can then make a more relaxed timeline for my couples so they aren’t anxiously rushing to get photographs in before the sun goes down. Please Note: You DON’T WANT YOUR FORMAL PHOTOS TAKEN AFTER SUNSET – because NO ONE wants to use flash for these photographs.

First Look – Whenever I build a timeline for my clients, my first question to them is are they doing a first look?  One of the main reasons people opt in for first looks is because it’s a way to get the majority of your formal photographs done ahead of time so you can quickly get into the reception.   If you are not planning on doing a first look you’ll have to allot for formal picture time post ceremony. ( I always BUDGET 1.5-2 HRS for all formal photos [bridal party, family, couples]). So whatever your ceremony start time is, add two hours to that for your reception start time. If you are planning on doing a first look, you must still allot for some time post ceremony for any remaining photos not captured before and a few post ceremony couple photos (I always BUDGET 30 minutes for the license signing, remaining photos + post couple shots)

To make this easy, I’ve gone ahead and listed times I recommend for Eastern Washington for couples with ceremonies 30 minutes or less. Please note that these times are merely a recommendation of the latest possible start times to have your ceremony on the given month. If you wish to have your ceremony earlier that is entirely up to you!

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK 
January 1st-15th: 2:00pm
January 16th-31st: 2:30pm

WITH A FIRST LOOK 
January 1st-15th: 3:00pm
January 16th-31st: 3:30pm

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK
February 1st-15th: 2:30pm
February: 16th-28th: 3:00pm

WITH A FIRST LOOK 
February 1st-15th: 3:00pm
February: 16th-28th: 3:30pm

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK
March 1-15th: 3:30pm
March 15th-31st: 4:30pm 

WITH A FIRST LOOK
March 1-15th: 4:00pm
March 15th-31st: 5:00pm

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK
April 1st-15th: 5:00pm
April 15th-30th: 5:00pm 

WITH A FIRST LOOK
April 1st-15th: Between 5:00pm to 6:00pm
April 15th-30th: Between 5:00pm to 6:00pm

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK
May 1st-15th: Between 4:30pm – 5:00pm
May 15th-30th: Between 4:30pm – 5:00pm

WITH A FIRST LOOK
May 1st-15th: Between 5:30pm to 6:00pm
May 15th-30th: Between 5:30pm to 6:00pm

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK
June 1st-15th: Between 4:30pm – 5:30pm
June 15th-30th: Between 4:30pm – 6:00pm

WITH A FIRST LOOK 
June 1st-15th: Between 5:00pm to 6:30pm
June 15th-30th: Between 5:00pm to 7:00pm

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK 
July 1st-15th: Between 5:00pm to 6:00pm
July 16th-31st: Between 5:00pm to 6:00pm

WITH A FIRST LOOK 
July 1st-15th: Between 5:00pm-6:30pm
July 16th-31st: Between 5:00pm-6:30pm

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK
August 1st-15th: Between 4:00pm- 5:00pm
August 15th-31st: Between 4:00pm – 5:00pm

WITH A FIRST LOOK
August 1st-15th: Between 5:30pm – 6:00pm
August 15th-31st: Between 5:00pm -6:00pm

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK
September 1st-15th: Between 4:00pm – 4:30pm
September 15th-31st: Between 3:30pm – 4:00pm

WITH A FIRST LOOK
September 1st-15th: Between 5:00pm-6:00pm
September 15th-31st: Between 5:00pm-5:30pm

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK
October 1st-15th: Between 3:30pm 4:00pm
October 15th-31st: Between 3:00pm – 3:30pm

WITH A FIRST LOOK
October 1st-15th: 5:00pm
October 15th-31st: 4:30pm

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK
November 1st-15th: 2:00pm
November 15th-31st: 2:00pm

WITH A FIRST LOOK
November 1st-15th: 3:30pm
November 15th-31st: 3:00pm

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK
December 1st-15th: 2:00pm
December 15th-31st: 2:00pm

WITH A FIRST LOOK
December 1st-15th: 3:00pm
December 15th-31st: 3:00pm

FOR CEREMONIES 30 MINUTES OR LESS

WITHOUT A FIRST LOOK = ADD 2-2.5 HOURS TO YOUR CEREMONY START TIME TO DETERMINE YOUR RECEPTION START TIME.

WITH A FIRST LOOK = ADD 1 HOUR TO YOUR CEREMONY START TIME TO DETERMINE YOUR RECEPTION START TIME.

As you’ll notice I usually don’t recommend having your ceremony start time past 6:30pm (regardless if you have a first look or not). I say this because pushing dinner anywhere past 8pm can often lead to grumpy and hungry guests. So while the day light may be later in the summer months, make sure your guests are well taken care of. Your photos will still look amazing regardless!

ALL ALEX LASOTA BRIDES + GROOMS, need not even worry about figuring out your ceremony start time, as I provide a complimentary customized timeline to each and every one of my beautiful couples!

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