Happy Wednesday! Today, I’m sharing a little post about ceremonies that will hopefully help you, our lovely couples, as you are choosing your location, timing and placement of your ceremony! We’ve photographed hundreds of weddings and seen some amazing ceremony locations and some with some pretty rough lighting, where either the bride’s side or groom’s side or the guests were covered in spotted light! So today, we’re going to talk a little bit about what makes a ceremony location really incredible for both your comfort, your guests’ comfort and of course, what gives it amazing lighting for photos! The three things to consider: Lighting, Time of Day and Your Guests!
1: Lighting! Is your ceremony location BACKLIT for you and the bridal party, or is it DIRECTLY lit? In other words, is the sun behind the guests (directly shining on you), or behind you two? The most beautiful ceremonies have backlit lighting, where the couple and bridal party and entire front of the ceremony are lit softly and evenly from behind. Backlit or shade are the two best options! It always makes us sad when we see a groom squinting to see his bride over the direct glare of the sun in his eyes! In order to be able to comfortably soak in those moments, choose a ceremony direction that is backlit, and you’ll be illuminated in a beautiful way – and be able to see each other! Below are some perfect examples of backlit ceremonies. An easy way to figure this out is to check with your venue and ask about the ceremony lighting when you’re doing your venue walkthrough!
2. Consider the timing of your ceremony! Try to schedule your ceremony about one-two hours before sunset. The light has a soft quality, your guests and you will be comfortable and everyone will be squint-free! An earlier outdoor ceremony can completely work! Just choose a shady area that is evenly lit, so that there are no harsh sun spots or hot spots on you or your guests. In addition, choosing a location with tree coverage, structural elements that provide shade or canopies to stand beneath can all greatly enhance an earlier, outdoor ceremony if a sunset time frame isn’t possible.
3. Consider your guests! We absolutely love capturing guests’ reactions during the ceremony, which can be a little harder if they’re being blinded or sweating in the hot sun early in the day in the summer 🙂 A great way to work around this while keeping your ceremony backlit is to ensure that there is either a natural element like a large tree or a structural element that can provide some shade over the guests. Cute options like sunglasses, throw blankets or a pre-ceremony drink station can help keep your guests comfortable, too! I hope these three tips help you as you’re planning your ceremony, and our hope is that they will allow you to have a beautiful, emotion-filled ceremony without any distractions! 🙂