The wedding ceremony is arguably the most important part of the wedding day. After all, it is when you actually GET married! While it may seem straightforward, planning the ceremony at the right time will make or break the timeline for the rest of the event. Here are some of the best planning tips when it comes to your wedding ceremony:

Pay Attention to the Sunset Time

Nothing is worse than having it get dark during your outdoor November wedding ceremony. That is why it is SO important to look at when the sun will set on your wedding day. This is why you may have attended later start times in the summer than in the middle of winter! Aim to start your ceremony 1.5 hours before the sunset time for optimal golden hour photos afterward.

Have a First Look

As wedding trends come and go, some traditions also evolve over time. Not seeing the bride until she walks down the aisle is a long-lasting tradition. Leaving out a first look often does not allow enough time for all couples portraits + family photos before cocktail hour ends. This can compromise the amount of locations and poses you are able to get together.

Having a first look prior to the ceremony enables completing all couples and bridal party photos before the ceremony starts. The first look also allows for more time spent with your guests at cocktail hour and less stress trying to fit all your photos into one hour!

Invite Time vs. Start Time

Whether you think your guests won’t show up late or not, chances are that some of them will show up while you’re walking down the aisle. This is why it is so important to state a clear ‘invite time’ on the invitations. This is when you tell your guests to arrive at the venue, aim for around 30 minutes prior to the actual start time of the ceremony. This gives a cushion for your guests to grab a drink, shuttle to the venue if necessary, and find their seats.

Pre-Ceremony Drinks

Speaking of drinks, some guests want to be the first in line for the bar as soon as the ceremony is over. Providing the usual water and lemonade are great options. However, you can elevate the guest experience by providing champagne or a refreshing spritz to kick off an amazing evening.

Get Ready EARLY

Starting your day at 7am to begin hair and makeup is not ideal. However, these services can take hours if you have a large bridal party. Ensure yourself a cushion of time planned once all of you are ready to relax before an event-packed day. This is one of the few times you’ll be able check your phone or grab a bite to eat!

These ceremony tips are great parameters to help guide you when planning out your timeline for your wedding day. Timeline creation + management takes a lot of skill to master, which is why it is included in all of our wedding services. Our goal is to create the most stress-free event for you. Your wedding day is about you and your partner, so soak up every moment and enjoy a hassle-free ceremony!



  1. […] always recommend my couples to opt for a first look. This creates more time to spend at their cocktail hour and complete all family photos quickly. […]

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