When most people think about the ceremony portion of the wedding day, how it looks in photos isn’t the first thing that comes to people’s minds. Understandable! I mean – you’re literally GETTING MARRIED. There are so many other parts of the wedding day that are set aside for photos, so the ceremony is an easy one to overlook. In my experience shooting weddings, I’ve identified three pitfalls that wedding ceremonies can be prone to, from a photographic standpoint. If you want your ceremony images to be flawless, keep on reading!
Pitfall #1: Not being centered.
This absolutely kills me. So many gorgeous ceremonies…yet the photos are tainted because everybody is off center. Make sure there’s a clear center line for your officiant to stand on (since they’ll be the first ones at the front), whether it be a crack in the ground, a piece of tape, or a beam in the ceiling. Then, place yourselves on either side of them, at a fairly close distance to each other. Make sure to rehearse where your bridal party is supposed to stand as well! If you really want to nail it, you can have your wedding planner arrange everyone symmetrically during the rehearsal and put small markers down (pieces of tape, a small colored rock, etc) so that everyone is evenly spaced. My OCD thanks you.
Pitfall #2: Facing the officiant for the majority of the ceremony.
Even if the majority of the officiant’s message is spoken directly to you two, have your bodies facing towards each other with joined hands for the majority of the ceremony so that we can photograph your expressions! Your guests probably don’t want to be staring at your
booties backs for 20 minutes either 😉
Pitfall #3: Placing yourself in harsh lighting.
Be cognizant of the time of day of your ceremony as well as your location. Avoid placing your ceremony spot in a place with harsh or dappled lighting. The best time of day for a ceremony in terms of lighting is 1-2 hours before sunset. The best ceremony locations have the sun set behind them at an angle. This creates what we call in the photography world backlighting. The angle helps make sure your guests don’t have to stare directly into the sun while watching you say your I Do’s!
Avoid these three errors, and I promise you’ll end up with ceremony photos that you’ll want to print and hang on your walls! Looking for a photographer with more insider tips like this? Get in touch with me here to start your custom quote!