Who’s in charge of setting the Ceremony Time? {Wedding Photography}

When you started planning your wedding did you know who was supposed to pick the ceremony time? Should it be the venue? Wedding Planner? Or just throw darts and pick something random?

When you have a good photographer – she will help you figure out the best time of day for your wedding ceremony. This will be based on two very important factors:

1st – Sunset time for your wedding day.
2nd – do you plan on doing formal portraits before or after the ceremony.

Sunset times are available online for your area and the day you are getting married. It’s easy to it up and figure it out. The sunset time should only be a concern if you are having an late afternoon/evening wedding. HOWEVER – Late Afternoon/Evening light is the BEST lighting for photographs (2 hours before sunset)! (Either that or first thing when the sun comes up…but I’m not really all that busy with weddings first thing in the morning…I’m not sure why??) A Majority of weddings take place during this “golden hour” (yeah, it’s actually two hours)…But many venues, wedding planners and brides aren’t taking advantage of this amazing lighting. If you’re getting married early in the day at a church and then heading to a reception – that usually leaves plenty of time for photos…just make sure to leave time in between point A and point B.

If you don’t plan on seeing each other before the ceremony (I’ll explain my feelings about this tradition later) – then you need to plan a ceremony early enough to allow for formal portraits after the ceremony while the sun is still up (before sunset). Plean on a good hour with your photographer. This may also mean that the ceremony photos may be a bit bright (depending on your venue/location) and could have significant shadows.

If you decide to do formal portraits prior to the ceremony (my favorite) – then you get the best of both worlds. Your portraits can be taken within the golden (2)  hour window…your ceremony can be closer to sunset…softer lighting and not as many harsh shadows….And you will love your photographer because she can get the most amazing photos of you with that kind of light.

Do you want to spend some quality time together on the wedding day? If so, then you’ll want to do a First Look…When the bride and groom get to see each other for the first time – I love capturing this moment! It is special, intimate, and never to be repeated. Then we wonder off and take some amazing couple & individual portraits. “What about seeing each other before the ceremony…it’s tradition?” I know you may be asking that question. The tradition of not seeing the bride before the ceremony started with arranged marriages (you can look it up if you don’t trust me). Parents didn’t want anyone backing out of the marriage before the ceremony and hence a tradition was born. (wonder why brides cover their faces with veils??  Keep wondering, I don’t know that one). If seeing the bride before the ceremony is bad luck for the marriage…then I wonder at what point that luck will strike for my marriage…We did a photo shoot before the ceremony and I am SO grateful that we did – the rest of the day was crazy, hectic and busy! (I should scan in some wedding pics…you’d get a kick out of them!)

Anyway – choosing the Ceremony Time is up to you. Please don’t let your venue push a pre-arranged time on you & your photographer. The time should be worked out with the advice and feedback of your photographer. Ask her to put together a timeline (I offer a  timeline for all my weddings). Decide if you want Traditional or First Glance portraits.

PS – if you already scheduled your ceremony time – Who came up with the time-frame?
PPS – I’d love to hear any personal stories where the timeline could have been improved??

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