Welcome to the second installment of my ‘How to Have the Best Wedding Day Ever’ series. If you missed part one, check it out here – it’s all about getting the most perfect ‘getting ready’ photos on your big day! This post is all about the ceremony. Let’s face it – your ceremony is ultimately the most important part of your wedding day – and it’s important that it runs smoothly! All ceremonies are different. Perhaps you are tying the knot on a farm, or in the woods, or on the beach, or in the church you grew up going to. No doubt, wherever you have selected to have your ceremony is likely important to you. Here are my top tips for ensuring that you get the ceremony photos of your dreams!
It is a rare wedding that is running perfectly on time! The best way to ensure that your arrival is timely, is to factor in all potential travel time and pitfalls that could ensue from your getting ready location to the church. Ideally, you are around 10-15 minutes away from your ceremony location while you are getting ready. Bonus if you are getting ready and having your ceremony all at the same place! Shoot to arrive to your ceremony around 15 minutes before it begins for the bride, and around 25 minutes before for the groom to ensure a timely start. Also – consider putting a slightly earlier ceremony time on invitations to ensure that stragglers aren’t walking in as you’re saying your vows!
Ceremony location is individual for every couple. Some couples dream of a rustic outdoor location, while others have visions of getting married in a church that is near and dear to their heart. There is no right or wrong answer. If you are considering an outdoor ceremony, keep in mind the time of day and light concerns. Ceremonies that are outdoors at high noon may make you squint (you likely won’t be wearing sunglasses while looking your one true love in the eye) and create harsh shadows. A ceremony that is at night may have a darker look. Having a ceremony a couple of hours before sunset ensures good light for your ceremony and any portraits you may take after (if you haven’t done a first look). If you are getting married in a church, consider that there may be restrictions on where your photographer can move and take photos from. Though it’s becoming rarer, some churches have preferences regarding photography – so be sure to ask!
Leave this one to your photographer! This is one of my signature shots and I know just how to get it – don’t you worry!
4. How long should my ceremony be?
This, too, is very individual! I have seen some ceremonies run very short, while others run very long. It truly depends on what you have planned. Generally – a 10-15 minute ceremony will ensure you get a variety of photos and perspectives – but do not feel obligated to make your ceremony run longer than it naturally would simply for the sake of photos! If you are trying to plan for a slightly longer ceremony – incorporating a reading, ring warming, or knot tying can be a special way to involve your guests and give you more ceremony time to soak in.
Kiss long, and kiss twice! The pressure can be on so you might just give a light peck and move on. But if you want a big kiss photo then count to 5 while you soak in the first one of the rest of your lives – and then go in for just one more. Remember – it’s your moment! Savor it!
I hope that these tips have been helpful! Be sure to check out Part One of this series, all about ‘getting ready’ photos – and don’t forget to check back next week for Part Three – portraits!
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