I love the light at dawn and dusk. I guess getting you up at dawn is out of the question, so it is worth thinking about how to make your timings work for the beautiful evening light in Cyprus.
Before you book your wedding, speak to our Elizabeth, in the UK she was a wedding planner, and understands how to really make timings work.
What time of day to get married
You need to decide what you want? If you are set on having a sunset shoot, work your timings backward and forwards from the shoot timing. The time of sunset is the one timing in the day that is totally fixed and out of everyone’s hands.
If you are not fussed about a sunset shoot, then you will be working backward from the fixed part of your evening plans–The wedding breakfast.
For most weddings, getting married in Cyprus between say 2.30 and 3.30 pm is the best of both worlds. You avoid the midday sun, yet still have lots of time to enjoy with your guests afterward.
Small and intimate
For smaller intimate weddings, a 3-4.00 pm ceremony works well. Formal photography will be finished within the hour, that leaves a short gap for guests to chill and the Bride and Groom to have a couple shoot, Some squeeze a bus in, or use a bus to take them to the evening reception, with a really quick shoot in a lovely location on the way.
For larger, busy weddings a 1.30 pm to 2.30 pm ceremony work a lot easier. You need to consider that the time to get lots of guests from location to location takes a lot longer.
If you want couple shoots and location shoots, marrying earlier is a great idea.
Remember, weddings with lots of Bridesmaids take a lot of preparation time. If your Bridal preparation team wants all morning with you, you will need to push the wedding back slightly later.
Weddings between 11-1.00 pm during June, July and August are boiling and are usually avoided unless everyone can get indoors quickly.
If you plan to be in different locations all day long, go with an earlier wedding. It is easy to underestimate how much time all the location changes take.
Things to consider
There are a couple of things in the timeline of a wedding day to consider when you choose what time of day you want to marry, the main ones include getting ready, the heat, gaps in the day, the timing of sunset, meal timings, plans for the evening, guest activities such as wedding busses, the ceremony itself and number of guests.
If you have twelve bridesmaids, you are in for more than a good morning’s worth of getting hair, makeup and dresses ready! How much time you need depends a lot on the hair and makeup artists you are working with how they work.
Another thing to consider is if the beauty team comes to you, or if you travel to them. The more Bridesmaids you have, the longer it takes.
The men, however, are more predictable, they always seem to get ready in 20-30 minutes.
If it is hot, see the best time of year to get married, then you really need to think through who is out in the sun, and for how long.
It’s usually best to avoid mid-day in July and August. If your guests are waiting for you on the beach, arriving 20 mins early, then assuming the timings go as per usual, then potentially they are out in the sun for about one hour and twenty minutes, which is a very long time in the full sun.
Most venues take the guests out at the very last moment, and get them back in an airconditioned room as fast as they can.
If you have very young children, or elderly relatives, you need totally avoid the mid-day, unless you marry indoors.
Gaps in the day
Some couples love gaps during the wedding day. Guests can chill, mingle and chat while the bride and groom can freshen up, have a location couple shoot etc. Other couples like a faced paced day full of activity and no gaps.
Chat to us about couple shoots, and how we can weave these into your day.
Timing of sunset
The time the sun sets is the one thing we cannot change; it is when it is, it changes from day to day and location to location – Message us, and we will work out the exact time for you.
Generally, if you want us to whisk you off to a sunset shoot, we need a good chunk of time, with just you two alone. We need to take you on location, and be ready to shoot about thirty minutes before the sunset time, we would then finish shooting twenty minutes afterward, after which we transport you back to the wedding reception. The investment in time is worth it.
The issue we usually are working around is that the time of sunset usually bumps with the wedding breakfast timing. Everything is possible, if right from the beginning of planning you work with us and your caterers/planners in tandem.
Evening reception / party
A late wedding and an early reception really squashes things together, making it hard for us to get those magical photographs of just you two alone. Remember to build in some space, even if it gives you some time to freshen up and your guests to mingle
The evening reception often clashes with sunset. However, usually, we can figure this out with a smart look at the order of the evening i.e. canapes, wedding breakfast, speeches, first dance, party.
Estimating the time speeches take is hard. We have seen one-minute speeches, and one-hour speeches, when we were told they would be five minutes a speech. For this reason, its best to have your speeches after the meal, as they are not running into anything that is timed.
Cypriot civil wedding ceremonies are quite quick. Expect the whole thing to be over in about fifteen minutes, and the family photography over in under forty-five minutes. Some couples elect to personalise the ceremony, using a celebrant, this usually doubles the length of the ceremony.
Many couples fill in a gap with a wedding bus or boat trip. Others have entertainment, music, and nibbles. Wedding buses can take you to some picturesque locations that are great for shooting at, but you must ensure they allow enough time, stopped at the location for this to happen.
Number of guests
The more guests you have, the slower each transition takes. Everyone is always surprised how long it takes guests to find the right table, or just get them to their seats at the ceremony or on a bus. If you have a big wedding, you need to be adding in extra time to allow for this.
Speak to an un-biased professional
Elizabeth has decades of wedding planning experience and understands all the nuance of wedding timelines. If you need some help or advice, drop her a line. We are not your venue or wedding planner, we simply want you to have the magical day of your dreams.