Happy New Year everyone! It’s been over a year since we made a blog post and quite frankly that wasn’t our intention. Blogging seems to have taken a backseat to the popularity of TikTok, Instagram, and others but we believe there is still a place for it in the wedding universe. We figured the best place to start would be with some of the questions we get asked by almost every single couple and today that’s ‘What time should I get married?”
Guess what, we have an answer but it’s going to be different for each of you! The situations surrounding every couple is different making the correct answer different. Keep in mind that the advice we’re giving in this post is specifically geared towards Sonnet House couples, but you can adjust and apply for wherever you’re saying I Do.
About ten percent of our weddings each year are planned indoor ceremonies here but we do a majority of weddings outside and of course daylight is the main concern. When our couples sign a contract with us, we include the sunset and sundown times for their wedding day so that they can take this into consideration when working through the details. The next thing to consider is whether you plan to see each other prior to the ceremony for a first look or if you intend to see each other for the first time at the ceremony and take your formal photos afterward. While that’s a personal decision for our couples to make and we support their choice no matter what, it is definitely step one of deciding what time your ceremony will be.
If you are not taking couples and family photos together before your ceremony then you will need to allow at least one hour for photos following your ceremony. This is usually broken down to approximately 10-15 minutes with your bridal party, 20 minutes for family, and 20-30 minutes for the newlyweds. Something you also want to keep in mind so that you don’t run out of daylight is prepare for an overcast day. Cloudy or even partly rainy days often have a darker vibe to them closer to sunset and you don’t want to cheat yourself of any light.
Another reason you may want to consider an earlier wedding time is whether or not you’d like a cocktail hour and/or a plated, seated dinner for your reception. Each of these take anywhere from 30-45 minutes each and depending on the lighting and overall aesthetic you have planned for the evening — lighting definitely matters. To switch gears 180 degrees, you also don’t want a ceremony that is so early your guests are going to become hot and uncomfortable in direct sunlight. Months like March mid to late October don’t have to consider this as much as weddings from April to September. Timing is definitely a delicate balance and we promise we can find the perfect time for your wedding day.
Are you getting married during the Winter but would like to keep your option open for an outdoor wedding? We can help there too. The Sonnet House chapel seats 230 guests and is a great plan a or plan b for your wedding and reception. Most of the time our chapel serves as a back up plan for the ceremony in case of bad weather and holds additional (air conditioned or heated) seating for the reception. For our winter weddings, most couples opt to plan for an indoor ceremony but want the option to move outside if the weather is great. This happens more times than not! In this case, you do want to time your ceremony so that you still have daylight if the weather is great and you want to say your vows outside.
Now it’s time for the answers you came here for, what time should you get married at The Sonnet House? It’s hard to answer that in a generalized manner but we’re including what we see most often for outdoor ceremony times at our venue and of course you can use the variables we mentioned above to adjust for your day. We’re including our 2022 outdoor ceremony photos for lighting reference with the ceremony time listed for you to compare!
January – 3:30pm or 4:00pm
February – 3:30pm – 4:30pm
March (pre time change) – 4:00pm or 4:30pm March (post time change) – 5:00pm – 6:00pm
April & May – 5:00pm – 6:00pm
June, July, & August – not recommended earlier than 6:00pm
September – 5:00pm – 5:30pm
October – 5:00pm – 6:00pm* we recommend a later time if you’re getting married in early October, and then an earlier time depending on how late in October your wedding is
November – (pre time change) – 4:00pm November (post time change) – 3:00pm or 3:30pm
December – 2:30 – 3:30pm
A few last things to remember: This is one of the many things we’re here to help with. We know all of the questions to ask so that all considerations can be made before you print your ceremony time on your wedding invitations. We like to think we have a pretty good grasp on sunsets and schedules as we head into our 15th wedding season at The Sonnet House! Ultimately it is your choice to make, but we’re here to help! We’ve obviously been very busy so far planning for our amazing 2023 couples and as planning meeting appointments are hitting full swing we are more excited than ever for another year of weddings.
Happy planning everyone!
May 21, 5:00pm | Lauren Elliott Photography
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