When you think about your wedding day, chances are you visualise you and your love saying ‘I do’. Your wedding ceremony is the big moment that you get to profess your love in front of all of your nearest and dearest. But it can be hard to decide what time works best for your day. So we are here to chat about how the timing of your wedding ceremony can effect the flow of your day, and things you need to consider!
What do I need to know about having an early ceremony?
So you are thinking of having an early ceremony? Great! What does that mean exactly? An early ceremony means more time to enjoy your day, that’s for sure! You can enjoy a longer period of photos with your bridal party post ceremony. While still making it back to enjoy your extended cocktail hour with all of your loved ones. A longer cocktail time also means you can have a super fun time post ceremony before the reception starts- think games, speeches, delicious food and lots of drinks!
A longer day however means more cost involved. You need to feed those hungry guests and keep a drink in everyone’s hands from the time the ceremony is over. This can add up quite quickly! If you have a food and beverage package with your chosen caterer, it usually means you have around five hours of service time. With an early ceremony you will need to extend that package and pay for the additional hours and fill in that time.
An early ceremony also means you will need to be ready, well, earlier! You and your beautiful bridal party will need to be up early and ready for hair and makeup. Followed by photos if you want to capture your morning getting ready! Which means you will need to have a longer photography package, as well as videography if you have that element locked in for your day.
Ultimately an early ceremony can be such a great idea. Just be realistic about the additional costs that will be involved. As well as the additional planning that needs to be organised to keep your guests entertained. Think gin carts and an oyster bar!
An awesome bonus is that you don’t need to worry about that sun going down for your photos. You will have the day light pre and post ceremony to capture your day. Then you can sneak out later in the day to capture that dreamy sunset light, just the two of you.
Does it make a difference if my ceremony and reception are at the same venue?
It sure does! Having your ceremony and reception at the same venue allows you to be a bit more flexible when it comes to ceremony times. When hiring a combined venue it can mean you have the hire for the whole day! So you could have a later ceremony if you preferred. You don’t need to worry about working around your ceremony venue and what timing they have available. For example the ceremony venue may only be available on your date at 1:00pm. So then you would have to consider what your guests might do in the time between your ceremony and reception. Another luxury of having your ceremony and reception at the same venue is that it makes it easier for your guests! They don’t need to stress about transport between the two or timings for the day. As soon as your ceremony is over they can grab a drink and get the party started! If you are on the hunt for the perfect combined venue in Melbourne, we absolutely love Gather & Tailor and The Wool Mill!
Does the time of year effect what time I should have my ceremony?
It sure does! You might want to make the most of a winter wedding. At this time all of the suppliers you have been swooning over will most likely be available. Plus you can make the most of that super cute faux fur jacket you were wanting to wear! A winter wedding may mean you need to have an earlier ceremony. This is to make sure you have enough sunlight post ceremony to capture you and your partner in your love bubble. Oh and that ever so important sunset I was talking about!
This means the cost you were planning on saving by having a winter wedding, will be partially spent on having a longer cocktail hour and/or reception.
A summer wedding, whilst daylight savings is in full swing means you can have your ceremony late in the afternoon. With plenty of time post ceremony for photos in the summer sun. Oh and don’t forget a later sunset that you can sneak out for during your reception.
Does the ceremony time affect photos on my wedding day?
It absolutely does. Have you locked in your favourite photographer to capture your day? Why not ask them what they suggest for your ceremony time and timeline for your day. They are wedding professionals and you have instant access for some insider information!
An earlier ceremony is great if you don’t want to see your partner prior to the ceremony. You can take all of those dreamy bridal portraits post ceremony and take your time doing so.
If you are wanting to do a first look, capturing those photos with you and your partner in the perfect location, a later ceremony will work best for your day. Giving you plenty of time to enjoy those moments, just the two of you, prior to walking down the aisle. Want to read more about first looks and bridal portraits? We have written a great blog that goes into all the little details about bridal portraits linked here!
Is it better to have an earlier ceremony on a week day?
A weekday wedding can be so much fun! But it can have different rules such as ceremony times than weekends. You can run your day as you would on a weekend, just keep in mind most venues have an earlier closing on their off peak days. If your venue has a 10pm closing time on a Thursday, you might need an earlier ceremony to make the most of your day.
The great thing about this is it can mean little to no additional costs compared to an earlier ceremony time on a weekend! Bonus! Or you might be planning a Sunday wedding and your venue closes at 10pm. But you know your guests having to work the next day. What is the best approach? Why not have a mid day ceremony, followed by a long lunch and lots of champagne!
Ultimately it is up to you what time your ceremony is on your wedding day. Just make sure you take into consideration the additional costs and factors that may change the flow of your day. If you need a little more advice or aren’t sure where to start with planning, reach out! We would love to help you through the process when planning your dream day!
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If you’re looking for a wedding planner or stylist in Melbourne and would love a team of dreamers and doers on your side to guide you through the journey step by step. Drinking glasses of bubbles, and making wedding planning fun, then head to our contact page to chat to one of our friendly team.