Skip to Content

What time of day should a wedding start?

When planning a wedding, many couples may wonder what time of day is the best to start their big day. The timing of your wedding can have a huge impact on the overall flow of the event, and it can influence everything from the lighting to the vibe of the party. So, what time of day should a wedding start? Let’s explore some options and factors to consider.

Early Afternoon Start

For couples who are early birds or who have family members who may need to travel, an early afternoon ceremony can be a perfect fit. Starting around 11:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. and continuing with a lunch reception can provide a relaxed and festive atmosphere. Plus, you can take advantage of natural light for your photos, which can be especially stunning outdoors.

One downside to an early afternoon start is that guests may not be accustomed to celebrating during the day, which could impact the energy of the party. Additionally, if you choose to have a cash bar or if guests are not used to day drinking, it could lead to some discomfort or unhappy guests.

Mid-Afternoon Start

A mid-afternoon ceremony around 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. can be an ideal compromise between the early start and evening celebration. This time provides ample time for guests to get ready and travel, while still leaving plenty of time for a fun reception.

One perk of a mid-afternoon start is that couples can choose to have a cocktail-style reception with plenty of appetizers and drinks, rather than a formal seated dinner. Plus, guests will have the option to continue celebrating afterward, either with an after party or some free time to explore the city.

The drawback to a mid-afternoon wedding is that it may not have the same level of glamour or sophistication as an evening event. For couples who want to go all-out with a formal black-tie event, this kind of timing may not fit the bill.

Evening Start

For many couples, an evening wedding is the epitome of romance and glamour. With a ceremony starting around 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., there’s plenty of time for guests to get ready and arrive, and the party can continue into the wee hours of the morning.

One benefit of an evening start is the level of formality it can bring to your event. With the right décor, lighting, and music, your reception can feel like a once-in-a-lifetime affair. Additionally, having an evening start can give guests plenty of time to enjoy the day, with outdoor activities or relaxation time in the morning.

On the downside, an evening wedding can also be quite expensive, as you may need to provide a full bar, sit-down dinner, and additional lighting. Additionally, guests who may have early morning commitments may not be able to stay for the full reception.


In conclusion, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what time of day a wedding should start. Couples should consider their preferences, venue options, budget, and the needs of their guests when making this decision. Ultimately, as long as you have a plan for a fun and meaningful celebration, the time of day shouldn’t make too much of a difference in the overall success of your wedding day.


Should weddings start on the hour or half hour?

When planning a wedding, there are many details to consider, including the time of day the ceremony will take place. One question that often arises is whether the wedding should start on the hour or half hour.

While there is no hard and fast rule about this, many brides opt for a half hour start time, typically on the upswing of the clock. This tradition has its roots in superstition, as it is believed that the couple will have good luck if they are married on the upswing of the hour.

However, there are also practical reasons to consider a half hour start time. For one, it allows guests a little extra time to arrive and get seated before the ceremony begins. It also gives the bridal party a little buffer time in case of any unexpected delays or last-minute snafus.

That said, there are also some arguments in favor of starting on the hour. For instance, it can be easier to remember the start time if it is a nice, even number. Additionally, some venues may have policies dictating when events can start, which could impact whether you choose to start on the hour or half hour.

The choice of when to start the wedding ceremony is a personal one, and there is no right or wrong answer. As you plan your big day, consider your own priorities, the needs and preferences of your guests, and any venue policies or restrictions that may be in place. With a little thought and careful planning, you can choose the start time that feels right for you and your partner.

What is the timeline for a 2pm wedding?

When planning a wedding, it’s important to have a timeline for the day. If you’re planning a 2pm wedding, there are a few key moments to consider as you plan your day.

First of all, it’s important to consider when vendors will arrive. Typically, vendors such as the florist, photographer, and wedding planner will arrive a few hours before the ceremony to set up and ensure everything is in order. The wedding planner will also be on site to ensure that everything runs smoothly throughout the day.

Next, it’s important to consider when the ushers and groom will arrive. Usually, they will arrive 45 minutes before the ceremony starts to welcome guests and ensure that everything is ready for the arrival of the bridal party.

Approximately half an hour before the ceremony, guests will begin to arrive. It’s important to have someone on hand to welcome guests and show them to their seats. If you’re having a large wedding, you may want to consider having ushers on hand to guide guests to their seats.

Before the ceremony begins, the mother of the bride and bridesmaids will arrive. The bridesmaids will help the bride get dressed and ensure that she looks her best for the big day.

Finally, the bride and her father will arrive for the ceremony. They will be escorted down the aisle by the bridesmaids, and the ceremony will begin. Typically, a 2pm wedding ceremony will last around 30 minutes, depending on the type of ceremony you are having.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds and their wedding party will take photos while guests enjoy cocktail hour. This is a great opportunity for the couple to mingle with their friends and family and enjoy some time together before the reception begins.

A 2pm wedding is a great time to get married. It allows for a full day of celebrations, while still leaving plenty of time for everyone to get home at a reasonable hour. With careful planning and attention to detail, your 2pm wedding is sure to be a day to remember.

How late is too late to start a wedding?

Starting a wedding ceremony on time is important not only for the couple but also for the guests who have taken time out of their schedule to celebrate the special occasion. Etiquette states that a wedding ceremony shouldn’t start more than 15 minutes after the time stated on the invitation. This is considered the acceptable grace period which means that the wedding party will have to wait for all the guests to arrive before the ceremony proceeds.

If the wedding ceremony starts too late, it can be inconvenient for the guests as they may have other commitments or have made prior arrangements that they can’t miss. Late starts may also cause problems with the reception timing, since most venues require the event to end at a specific time. When the ceremony starts late, it can end up creating stress for the couple, family, and friends:

– For the couple: Starting the wedding ceremony late can make the couple anxious and frustrated. They might be worried about the guests waiting around or missing other important commitments. They may also be concerned that the wedding reception will be cut short due to the late start.

– For family and friends: Late starts can also cause stress and inconvenience for the family and friends of the couple, particularly if they have young children. They might have made special arrangements to attend the wedding on time, like arranging for a babysitter or taking time off work.

Therefore, it’s important to encourage guests to arrive early to avoid delaying the wedding ceremony. This can be done by stating the arrival time as at least 30 minutes before the actual ceremony start time on the wedding invitation. The couple can also consider sending reminders to their guests as the wedding day approaches.

Starting a wedding ceremony on time is essential for the happiness of the couple, family, and friends alike. The 15-minute grace period is considered appropriate, but any later than that can cause significant stress and inconvenience. By setting the arrival time earlier and sending reminders to guests, couples can help to ensure their wedding day runs smoothly and is enjoyed by all.