One of the most common questions I am asked as a wedding photographer is what time is best to have my ceremony and do you have any advice for the location. So today I thought I would share some of my tips on how to choose your ceremony time and things to think about when choosing your ceremony location.
In terms of choosing a ceremony time, a couple of factors contribute to what time this should be:
- The location of the ceremony and if you want to have your bridal party portraits at the same location or somewhere else
- The time it takes to travel between ceremony – photos – reception
- The time of day the sun sets (this varies slightly throughout the year)
- What time your reception starts
- How long you would like your bridal party portraits to last for
So depending on all these factors and how long you would like your bridal party portraits to take (min 30 mins, max 90mins, good amount is 60mins) and the time of year a good time to have your wedding ceremony can be from 2:30/3/3:30pm.
Your ceremony location can literally be anywhere – a church, a garden, a backyard or on the beach. It really doesn’t matter. A good photographer can capture some beautiful photographs of the moment you say I do.
A couple of things to keep in mind is to look at the location (especially if outdoors) at the time of day you are planning on having the wedding. This will give you a great idea whether or not you will be in full sun and squinting or if you guests will be facing the direct sun. The best option for outdoors is choosing an area that is in the shade.
Another thing to consider is the background of the ceremony. When you are choosing which way to face the ceremony at the location, take a step back and look at the background behind where you are standing.
And one final piece of advice about your ceremony location is to find a location that you can have the ceremony, photos and reception all in one place. It isn’t an issue if you can’t, but it saves a lot of time driving between locations if you want to keep the gap between the ceremony and reception minimal.
What ever time or location you choose for your wedding ceremony, an experienced wedding photographer can work within the situation and still create beautiful photographs. These are just little tips of things I have noticed over the past 10 years of capturing weddings that most people might not know or consider when choosing their ceremony location.