A post on Reddit by a couple who said they were getting complaints from guests after asking them to attend a 5.30am wedding ceremony provoked enough of a furore about the etiquette of timing your nuptials that the story was picked up by a national newspaper.

It’s probably not something that even occurs to most couples, until it becomes apparent that some guests are disgruntled about the time they have chosen. So what should you consider when picking the time for your ceremony?

It should be pointed out that the 5.30am suggestion was in the name of a very romantic cause – the couple in question spent every anniversary of the day they met watching the sun rise on a favourite beach, and they wanted to share that moment as part of their wedding ceremony. Who wouldn’t want to attend a sunrise beach wedding, especially after that story?

The key point there is, ultimately it’s the couple’s big day and they shouldn’t have to feel too caught up in trying to keep other people happy. If there is a genuine reason why a certain time matters to the happy pair, then their friends and family should honour their wishes with good grace. Even if it does mean an early start.

Of course, the flipside is that having all their loved ones present is integral to making the day so special for most couples, and so they want to accommodate their guests the best they can. If, for example, you know that a lot of people have a distance to travel to get to your wedding, it might be sensible to aim for a time later in the day rather than earlier. This is especially the case if you have picked a remote or rural venue for your ceremony and there isn’t much in the way of accommodation nearby.

Making it all fit

Couples also have to acknowledge that they might not get as much choice about the time of their ceremony as they would like or expect. It can often be taken out of your hands depending on the schedule and availability of the minister or registrar, or indeed the venue. If you have a genuine reason why you want a particular time, the best advice is to plan well in advance.

Another factor to consider is how your ceremony fits in with the schedule for the rest of the day. Booking a morning ceremony and an evening reception might fit with the availability of both venues, but what are you and all of your guests going to do in the meantime? And then you might also want to weigh in time of year and climate. If you are getting married abroad in summer somewhere hot and exotic, bear in mind that it might get stiflingly uncomfortable in the heat of the day, especially dressed in all your wedding finery. With a winter wedding, on the other hand, the light fades early – even a 2pm ceremony in December risks facing poor natural light for your wedding photos.

Whatever time or indeed time of year you would like, the Colony HQ in Wilmslow offers a stylish and flexible choice of venues for wedding breakfasts, receptions and parties. Get in touch to find out more about what we have to offer.