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What time should a backyard wedding start?

Planning a wedding can be exciting and stressful all at the same time, especially when it comes to deciding what time to start the ceremony. If you’re planning a backyard wedding, you may be wondering what time would be suitable for your guests and the overall flow of the event. In this article, we’ll discuss the best time to start a backyard wedding and why you should consider starting at a certain time.

Factors to consider

The time of day you choose to start your backyard wedding can have a significant impact on the overall vibe of your outdoor event. Here are some factors to consider when deciding on the best start time:


One crucial factor to consider when deciding on the start time of your backyard wedding is the weather. You want to ensure that the weather is pleasant and comfortable enough for your guests to enjoy the event fully. If you’re planning a summer wedding, the ideal time to start the ceremony would be in the late afternoon or early evening when the heat of the day starts to dissipate, or even sunset, depending on the location.

If you’re planning a spring or fall wedding, you’ll want to start the ceremony a few hours earlier, keeping in mind that the sun sets earlier during these seasons. If there is a chance of rain or thunderstorms, you can choose to start the ceremony earlier in the day or push it back a couple of hours to try and avoid any inclement weather.


Another factor to consider is lighting. Depending on the time of day you choose to start your backyard wedding, the lighting can have a significant impact on the overall ambiance of your event. If you’re planning an evening wedding, make sure you have ample lighting to keep the outdoor venue well-lit and safe for your guests. You can use string lights, lanterns, or even candles to create a romantic and intimate atmosphere.


It’s essential to consider the logistical aspect of your wedding when deciding on the start time. Things like catering, photography, and music should be factored into the timeline of your big day. For instance, if you’re planning on serving dinner, it would be best to start the ceremony earlier in the evening, so your guests have enough time to enjoy the food, drinks, and dance afterward.

The best start time for a backyard wedding

Now that we’ve discussed the factors to consider when deciding on the start time of your backyard wedding let’s narrow down to the best start time based on the season:

Spring weddings

For spring weddings, the optimal start time would be around 2 pm, given that the sun sets earlier during spring than other seasons. The ambient temperature is also perfect for mid-day ceremonies and outdoor receptions. This timing gives your guests plenty of time to enjoy the festivities and soak in the beautiful scenery, especially if you’ve got a stunning floral arrangement.

Summer weddings

Summer weddings, particularly outdoor ones, should begin in the late afternoon or early evening, depending on the location and how hot it is outside. A ceremony that starts around 5 or 6 pm would be ideal so that the sun isn’t too intense, and the temperature is comfortable for your guests. By this time, the light is perfect for outdoor photography, and it gives your guests enough time to socialize and dance after dinner.

Fall weddings

Fall weddings provide the perfect backdrop for your wedding day, with its cooler temperature and breathtaking foliage. To ensure that your guests can enjoy the season, consider starting your ceremony at around 3 pm, so they have enough time to enjoy the beautiful outdoor scenery before the sun sets. With this timing, you can plan for a perfect afternoon or evening reception.

Winter weddings

Winter weddings, especially those held outdoors, can be challenging due to cold weather. Starting the ceremony early in the day around midday or early afternoon would be ideal, depending on the weather and location. This timing ensures your guests have plenty of daylight to enjoy the outdoor event and festivities before it gets too chilly.


Choosing the best time to start your backyard wedding is essential as it sets the tone for the entire day’s event. When deciding on when to start, consider the weather, lighting, logistical aspect, and your preferred time of day. Remember that planning a backyard wedding can be a bit of work, but it’s a unique and intimate way to celebrate your special day.


Should a wedding start on the half hour?

When planning a wedding ceremony, it’s common to consider what time to start the event. One old superstition suggests that the wedding should start on the half-hour and on the upward swing of the hour for good luck. Although it may be considered as an old wives’ tale, many brides opt for a half-hour start time to follow this belief.

However, it’s essential to note that the most significant factor in deciding the wedding time is the season. During the planning process, it is crucial to consider the timing of the sunset and adjust the start time accordingly.

For example, if your wedding is scheduled to occur during summertime, the sun may not set until 8 pm. Thus, a half-hour start time may be too late, requiring guests to wait too long before the reception begins. On the other hand, if the wedding ceremony occurs in winter, the sun may set as early as 4 pm, which means a half-hour start time can feel like it’s in the middle of the day.

Additionally, another essential factor to consider when deciding a wedding ceremony start time is the availability of guests and the wedding party. It’s important to schedule the event far enough in advance to give everyone enough time to plan their travel and prepare for the wedding day.

Although there may be some merit to the idea of a wedding ceremony starting on the half-hour for good luck, the most significant factors to consider when deciding on a start time are the season and the availability of the guests and wedding party. the couple should choose the time that works best for all involved and will guarantee the perfect wedding day.

Can a wedding start at 5pm?

Yes, a wedding can start at 5pm. In fact, 5pm is a popular time for wedding ceremonies to begin. It’s late enough in the day that the sun is starting to set, providing a beautiful backdrop for your ceremony and photos. Plus, it gives your guests time to get ready and arrive at the ceremony venue without feeling rushed.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the timing of your wedding ceremony can impact other parts of the day, such as the reception and transportation. For example, if you’re planning to have a cocktail hour after the ceremony, starting at 5pm may mean that you push back dinner until later in the evening. This can be a good thing if you’re hoping to have a late-night dance party, but it can also mean that your guests will be hungry or tired by the time dinner is served.

Another thing to consider is transportation. If you’re hosting your ceremony and reception at different venues, starting at 5pm may mean that some of your guests need to rush to get from one place to another. This can be especially tricky if you are getting married in a big city with heavy traffic. On the other hand, starting the ceremony later in the evening may mean that some guests need to leave early to catch transportation home, which can be a bummer if you’re hoping for a late-night party.

Starting your wedding ceremony at 5pm is a great option for many couples. It provides an elegant and romantic setting, and gives your guests plenty of time to get ready and arrive at the ceremony venue. Just be sure to consider the timing of other parts of the day, and make sure that your guests have a seamless and enjoyable experience.

How long before sunset should I start my wedding?

The timing for a wedding ceremony is crucial when it comes to capturing great photos and ensuring that your guests are comfortable. The ideal time for starting a wedding ceremony will often depend on the time of day as well as the season. But, when it comes to outdoor weddings in general, it is highly recommended that you plan the ceremony to avoid the hottest part of the day.

As a general guideline, it is recommended to start the wedding ceremony no later than two hours before sunset. This will allow you and your guests to enjoy the natural light of the day and capture stunning photos. However, if you prefer to hold your ceremony just before sunset, this timing can definitely create a beautiful and romantic atmosphere. Timing is often critical in capturing stunning photos with natural light especially if you book a great wedding photographer or planner, and this is something worth considering when planning your wedding.

When planning an outdoor wedding ceremony, it’s also important to keep in mind not only the sunset time but also the weather. Weather patterns can often be unpredictable, so it’s important to have a backup plan in place. Be sure to have comfortable seating arrangements with umbrellas or tents in case of rain or intense heat. Furthermore, if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, it’s imperative to consider having a shaded area for guests to retreat to from the sun’s rays, especially during summer months.

Starting a wedding ceremony two hours before sunset is usually recommended to ensure that your ceremony is conducted with excellent natural lighting. However, the timing for starting a wedding ceremony can also be influenced by the weather, season, and other aspects. As such, it’s important to consider different factors in your timing decisions to guarantee a perfect wedding ceremony.