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The Friday Fight-Out: Winter Weddings – Morning Vs Afternoon

After a beautiful summer season of weddings it’s time for the magical winter period to begin, without doubt one of our favourite times of year for weddings. But with the changing of the seasons comes a change in light and weather, and so today we’re asking the big question: for a winter wedding is it better to get married earlier or later in the day? Time to introduce our expert debaters!


In the Red Corner, arguing for the morning winter wedding, although getting married earlier in the day does give us less time to convince her that a reindeer jumper is not really suitable wedding wear, it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”

In the Blue Corner, arguing for the afternoon winter wedding (well he’s in no rush to get out of bed on a chilly winter’s morning!) It’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”

Winter Weddings – Morning Vs Afternoon


Dom: The light in winter disappears fast and you can expect it to be getting dark by 4pm so the earlier you have your ceremony the more light you’re going to be able to enjoy, giving you and your guests more chances to get outside and fully experience the day.

Matt: But the chances are that in winter the weather is not going to be attractive for going outside in the cold and if that’s not an option then depending on your venue your guests can end up feeling cooped up inside. Unless you’re able to provide alternative entertainment it might be better to minimise the time spent indoors rather than maximise it.

Dom: If you’d like to have group shots or portraits outside then having your ceremony at 3pm is going to make that impossible as there simply won’t be enough light.

Matt: The real romance of winter weddings is the candlelight, the roaring fires, mulled wine and the low light of the afternoon and evening.

Dom: The light in winter can actually be really magical. Those brisk, frosty days with golden sunlight beaming down, the cold blues and gorgeous winter sunsets, if you don’t get married until late on in the day then you simply don’t have the chance to enjoy any of that.

Matt: At any time of year having your wedding ceremony in the morning can make it much more difficult for guests to get there in time, particularly when travelling longer distances. But in winter it can be particularly difficult as they may be fighting icy conditions as well. Having your wedding later in the day allows plenty of time for the dreaded winter traffic!

Dom: But if the conditions are indeed icy or even snowy then many of those guests travelling longer distances will most likely want to leave earlier to avoid travelling late at night when the weather is at its coldest and where they’re more likely to face being stranded should conditions deteriorate. By having the ceremony earlier in the day you can maximise the time spent with those guests rather than have them leave without seeing much of them.

Matt: But the earlier the day starts the more tired the guests are going to be come the evening and consequently the earlier they’re likely to leave. If most of your wedding is going to be spent with the skies dark then surely it’s better to make the most of the dark and party long into the night! If the wedding is later on then guests are more likely to decide to stay somewhere local overnight allowing you to have a good long evening reception!

Dom: A gentle frost or even snow is so beautiful in the morning light and by the afternoon the frost is often starting to melt or the light is disappearing and changing the effect.

Matt: Winter weddings allow you the opportunity for an incredibly romantic candlelit ceremony which is one of the main advantages over summer weddings due to it getting dark so much earlier. A mid-afternoon wedding allows you to make the most of that and play with creative lighting to make something truly magical.

So those are our thoughts but where do you stand? As always you can place your vote below or leave a comment to join the debate!

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  • Rob Dodsworth - November 15, 2014 - 11:49 pm

    From a photographic point of view, I’d be minded to side with Dom for the most part but Matt has some valid points. In either case, if a couple are keen on having some portraits together they would be well advised to consider either an earlier ceremony, or, alternatively, consider having their photographer capture a ‘first look’ ahead of the ceremony! Pushed to vote, I’d vote Labour…I mean Dom!ReplyCancel

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