Seattle, WA
What Time Do Weddings Usually Start?

What Time Do Weddings Usually Start?


Is there a right time to start your wedding?

One of the first decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding is deciding the ceremony start time. This choice sets the tone for the entire day and affects everything from guest experience to photography. At Complete Weddings + Events in Seattle, we’ve seen a range of wedding ceremony start times and understand how this decision is influenced by various factors.

Traditional Timing

Traditionally, weddings often begin in the late afternoon, around 3 PM or 4 PM. This timing allows for a ceremony followed by a cocktail hour and an evening reception. It’s a popular choice as it fits well with the flow of the day, giving guests time to prepare in the morning and enjoy the celebration into the night.

Considering the Reception

The start time is closely tied to the reception plans. For a dinner reception, a later ceremony start, such as 5 PM or 6 PM, is suitable. For a brunch or lunch reception, a morning ceremony, around 10 AM or 11 AM, might be ideal.

Seasonal Considerations

As with our previous discussion on ceremony times by season, consider the sunset time, especially for outdoor weddings. In the summer, a later start takes advantage of longer days, whereas in winter, an earlier start is advisable due to shorter daylight hours.

Guest Convenience

Consider your guests’ convenience. If many are traveling from out of town, a later start might be more accommodating. For local guests, any time of day can work, depending on the overall style and theme of your wedding.

Venue Availability

Venue availability can also influence your start time. Popular venues might have multiple bookings in a day, especially during peak wedding season, which could dictate your ceremony time.

What is the Best Start Time for a Wedding?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the best start time for a wedding. It depends on personal preferences, the nature of the event, and practical considerations. What’s important is choosing a time that reflects the style of your wedding and ensures you and your guests have a wonderful experience.

Complete Weddings + Events Seattle

And for all aspects of your wedding planning, from the perfect start time to the last dance, Complete Weddings + Events in Seattle is here to assist you every step of the way. For wedding ideas and inspiration, visit our blog. Or learn more about our wedding photography, videography, photo booth rental, coordination, and DJ services in Seattle, WA.

Complete Weddings + Events, Seattle’s leading provider of event and wedding photography, videography, lighting, coordination, DJ services & photo booth rental.

Request Pricing & Availability