What Time To Have A Wedding: Know The Best Time For You

If you’re unsure what time to have a wedding, why not compare different weddings? In this guide, we’ll compare how the wedding time can affect the experience of the event. 

You’ll also know the expected hour or the number of hours it will take for the ceremony and reception. And as for the day itself, read our separate discussion on how to pick a wedding date

what time to have a wedding


What Time To Have A Wedding: Morning vs Afternoon vs Evening Weddings


9 am to 12 pm

One of the most common schedules to get your wedding started is during the morning. Typically, you’ll have your wedding ceremony at 9 am, or 10 am, lasting around 3 hours. 

Then, you can have the reception much later or in the evening as it usually has the cocktail hour and other parties where guests drink and party with the newlyweds. A morning wedding can refer to a ceremony-only wedding, but it can also continue to a brunch or lunch reception. 

The advantage of having a morning wedding is the more relaxed and quiet atmosphere. It is also chosen by couples who want to maximize the rest of the day for other activities, especially at destination weddings. 


Between 2pm to 6pm

If you find the morning as the time to get ready for the wedding is too hectic for your schedule, try an afternoon wedding instead. The wedding ceremony can start after lunch or around 2 pm, which can continue into the wedding reception at 6 pm. 

Couples who are limited in the budget can also choose not to have drinks after and have a tea party reception in the afternoon instead. This time to have your wedding is also suitable if you don’t want to take it up too early to prepare for the ceremony. 

Intimate weddings are usually held in the afternoon because they will be shorter than morning and evening weddings. This time can also give an elegant vibe, especially if the wedding venue is somewhere elegant like a hotel or country club.


6 pm onwards

If you are looking forward to drinking with your wedding guests and having a good time, then the ideal time to have your wedding is in the evening. You can start at 6 pm so the reception will be deep into the night. 

An evening wedding is perfect for a Friday or Saturday wedding where the guests can rest on the weekend. However, not all guests might enjoy it, especially children and seniors, who can feel tired if the wedding happens too late in the day. 

This time might also be pricier because of the longer serving of drinks and alcohol. And of course, you must provide a DJ or live band for a more extended period to keep the energy up.  

Please read what is a cocktail reception wedding if you’re interested in having an evening wedding. This type of reception suits nighttime weddings. 


What Time Do Most Weddings Start And End?

The best time to have your wedding depends on your preferred atmosphere style, how long you want the wedding to last, and your budget. But to give you an idea, couples tend to start their wedding ceremony between 3:30 to 4 pm, which can last for three to four hours. 

You can have the wedding reception between 5 pm to 6 pm and make it as long as you want. Consider your budget and venue regulations since some locations might only allow celebrations for a particular time. 

What time do wedding receptions usually end? Most weddings end at 10 pm, but the choice is up to you and your guests. 


What Time Is Too Early For A Wedding?

Anything earlier than 9 to 10 am is too early for a wedding. Consider the time you have to get started in preparing as well as the travel time you require the guests. 

If you have a 7 or 8 am wedding, for example, you might need to wake up at 5 am, depending on the travel time and hour it takes to get ready. You should also confirm with the wedding venue when their place is available. 

Furthermore, note the distance it takes for the guests to travel from their accommodation to your ceremony venue. Regardless, the choice is up to you, but be reasonable and realistic with managing your wedding day schedule. 


What Time Should A Saturday Wedding Start?

Saturday weddings can start during the early evening hours from 5 to 6 pm. This will be comfortable for everyone after coming from a hectic weekday. 

Then, you can continue into the cocktail hour or wedding reception. The advantage of weekend weddings is you can finish late because there will be no workday the next day. 


Is It Better To Get Married In The Morning Or Afternoon?

There is no correct answer when choosing between a morning and afternoon wedding. However, you may feel less stressed with the preparations if the ceremony starts in the afternoon. 

Guests such as children and seniors might also be more comfortable with an afternoon wedding than needing to wake up too early. 



And that’s it! To recap what time to have a wedding, it’s up to you, but an afternoon wedding offers more advantages. 

You don’t need to wake up too early to manage preparations and travel time; it won’t need to last too long, which can affect your budget. Let us know below which wedding time you want. 

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