Outdoor ceremonies in nature are our all time favorite. They give us an instantly beautiful setting to work with, more light, and more space to move around and find unique angles. Having a wedding outside just has an overall sense of calm to it. If you do choose an indoor ceremony venue, it should be something unique to your style & naturally well-lit.
I cannot encourage an unplugged ceremony enough. An unplugged ceremony is when you ask your guests to refrain from taking any photos at the ceremony. In your ceremony photos, you want to see faces, not devices. . (This suggestion applies only to the ceremony time, not the reception. Guests can still go crazy with their IG boomerangs during the party.) Asking your family and friends to leave their phones and cameras behind will let them fully take in all of the moments at your ceremony without messing with flashes or sticking their devices out into the aisle. Including a request to keep the ceremony unplugged on your invitation is a good initial reminder to guests, as well as a small sign at the entrance of the ceremony stating to leave devices behind. You can even have your officiant kindly make an extra announcement before the procession begins to keep phones and cameras tucked away. I guarantee you will have better photos if you choose to have an unplugged ceremony.
Even though guests *think* they're being inconspicuous, they undoubtedly ALWAYS step in the aisle. Sometimes their flash will go off at the exact time I take the photo of your first kiss and then you end up with a weirdly lit photo. I've had guests and "friends who are also photographers/videographers" step directly in front me during crucial moments and I was the one who had to tell them to kindly move out of my way. You're paying thousands of bucks for professional, high quality images. You don't need a million zoomed in and crooked iPhone shots. I gotchu.
Make it Meaningful
Have a close friend marry you. This seems like a given, but hiring a professional officiant that can barely pronounce your name right is not the way to go. The person that marries you will be in your photos forever, so make sure they're someone that's gonna be in your life forever too. Keep the wedding ceremony/talk short and sweet if you can, so you have more time for personal vows to be exchanged. Don't hold back from customizing your vows and adding some personal notes or memories in them. Doing this will make your ceremony much more intimate and emotional.
PDA is cuuuuuuute.
During the ceremony, stand close. Hold hands. Hug often. Take time to look at each other during your vows. If you're sitting next to each other, kiss your boo on the cheek. Don't feel like everything is SO SERIOUS and that you can't show a little love. It makes for cute photos and also shows your personality if you're lovey-dovey-people. If that's not your thing though, then just do you.
Lighting & Timing
Lighting and placement of the sun can make a huge difference on the aesthetic of your ceremony. Spotty sunlight and harsh light are not ideal. Harsh sunlight generally is strongest between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. It isn't impossible to work with, but it definitely is the least flattering form of lighting. So if you're ceremony is going to land right around midday sunshine, try to set up the ceremony so that the sun is behind your officiant so you two can be evenly backlit. OR just plan for the ceremony to be a little later than 3 or 4 p.m.
- If you want your ceremony to be at sunset, plan for a first look so you can have all of your family photos and bridal party photos finished. Then we can sneak off and take 15-20 minutes of sunset portraits with you directly after the ceremony.
If you don't really know what to do when setting up your ceremony, feel free to ask us and we'll be super happy to help!