Springfield, MO
Best Wedding Ceremony Start Times by Season

Best Wedding Ceremony Start Times by Season


The moment you say “I do” is one of the most significant in your life. Choosing the perfect start time for your wedding ceremony can set the stage for a memorable day. The time of day, lighting, and weather can all influence the atmosphere of your nuptials. To help you plan your dream wedding, we’ve put together a guide to the best wedding ceremony start times for each season. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, your wedding season can help determine the best start time. Whether you’re envisioning a springtime garden wedding or a cozy winter celebration, we’ve got you covered.


Spring is a season of renewal and fresh beginnings, making it a popular time for weddings. The weather can be unpredictable, but with the right timing, you can have a gorgeous outdoor ceremony. The best start time for a spring wedding is typically mid-morning or mid/late afternoon. This allows for comfortable temperatures, plenty of natural light, and the chance to showcase the season’s blooming flowers.  Keep in mind that spring evenings can still be chilly, so plan for an indoor reception or have heaters on hand if you opt for an evening ceremony.


Summer weddings are all about warm sunshine and longer days. For a summer wedding, the best time to start your ceremony is late afternoon or early evening. Aim for a start time between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM. This allows you to take advantage of the golden hour, where the sun casts a soft, warm glow, perfect for stunning photographs. The later start also means your guests won’t be sweltering in the midday heat. Be sure to provide shade, plenty of water, and perhaps even some refreshing cocktails for your guests during the outdoor ceremony.


Autumn weddings are known for their rich, warm colors and crisp air. The best wedding ceremony start time for the fall season is in the late afternoon, typically between 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM. The setting sun creates a magical ambiance and allows for beautiful photos with the changing leaves. Be mindful of the earlier sunset in the fall, so consider having an earlier ceremony if you want to make the most of natural light. Also, be prepared for cooler temperatures and have cozy blankets or heaters available for your guests.


Winter weddings are often associated with coziness and a touch of magic. For a winter wedding, an early evening ceremony starting between 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM is ideal. This allows you to take advantage of natural light and possibly even some snowfall, creating a fairytale atmosphere. Since winter days are shorter, you’ll want to maximize your daylight for any pre-ceremony photos. Plan for an indoor reception with warm, inviting decor, and consider providing hot drinks like mulled wine or hot chocolate for your guests to stay cozy.

Additional Important Tips

  • If you do not plan to do all your pictures before the ceremony, the rule of thumb is that you will need an hour and a half before sunset to ensure you have enough light for your photographer to capture the bridal party, family photos, and pictures of the bride and groom.
  • Keep in mind when daylight savings time happens to ensure you have enough light for pictures afterward unless you plan to do all the pictures prior to the ceremony.

Choosing the Perfect Ceremony Start Time

The season you choose for your wedding sets the stage for your celebration, and selecting the right ceremony start time is a crucial part of that decision. Each season offers unique advantages, from the blooming beauty of spring to the cozy magic of winter nights. Consider the ambiance, lighting, and weather to select the perfect start time for your special day. Regardless of the season, remember that the most important element of your wedding ceremony is the love and commitment you share with your partner.

Complete Weddings + Events Springfield, MO

Complete Weddings + Events has been a key contributor to the special event industry across Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas for 24 years. We provide couples and families with PhotographyVideographyDJPhoto BoothEvent Management, and Lighting services. Our team of event professionals provides exceptional special event services and delivers memories for you to enjoy for generations.

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