Planning Your Ceremony Time | Maine Wedding Photographer 

Tips & Advice, Weddings

One of the biggest mistakes that I see from weddings…is planning your ceremony time.

There are lots of factors that come into play when determining the ceremony will begin on your wedding day.

As a wedding photographer, I encourage you to consider the sunset time when choosing your ceremony time. This is especially important for outdoor ceremonies. It is even more important to think about in the fall, with the days getting shorter and shorter. The sun can go down pretty early (especially after daylight savings!).

Keep Sunset Time in Mind

Scheduling your ceremony towards the end of the day allows you to have soft, beautiful lighting in your photos. You often don’t have to worry about squinting or harsh, unflattering shadows on your face. For most wedding days, I typically recommend scheduling your ceremony 2-3 hours before sunset. This way you will get the best natural light for your ceremony and all of the portraits to follow afterwards!

If you schedule your ceremony too close to sunset, you may not have enough daylight for portraits. You want to be sure to capture those just married portraits with your spouse, family, or wedding party. If you want to have your ceremony close to sunset, you may need to consider doing a first look. This way you can do all (or the majority) of your portraits prior to the ceremony. But keep in mind, this would mean that you need to be ready sooner. Your family would also need to arrive sooner to be in those portraits.

If a first look doesn’t seem like a fit, move the ceremony up to ensure sunlight for those portraits!

Every wedding day and every photographer is different. You should definitely check with your photographer about this. They can help you decide the best time of day and amount of time needed for your portraits. Planning your ceremony time and overall timeline planning is something that is offered for all of my wedding couples!

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Emily Brianne • September 24, 2022