Here it is! The moment you’ve been waiting for; you get to walk down the aisle and say “I do” to your best friend. Let’s dive in to this week’s post about planning your wedding ceremony! But first, here’s a little reminder before we begin…. While details do matter and planning is necessary, it’s important to never lose sight of the real purpose of this amazing day- getting married to the love of your life!
The Unplugged Ceremony
Imagine this with me…. you’re in my shoes…. the most important moment of the day is about to happen. You’re ready to capture the bride coming down the aisle to her groom. You want to capture reactions, variety of angles and every moment of joy and emotion in those few seconds. However, just as everyone stands and the music plays, different family members and friends get so excited that they take just one step out into the aisle with their iPhones in hand trying to capture the moment. I’m scrambling.
My couple is trusting me not to miss this!!! But now, I’m dodging guests who are trying desperately to have a good Insta-story to share and they have no idea they’re blocking me from capturing the bride and her dad walking down the aisle. It’s honestly one of the most terrifying things that can happen to a photographer during a ceremony. The hard part is, it can always be avoided. This issue is a growing one. However, there is a solution! We highly recommend having an “Unplugged Ceremony”. Here are a few options to notify your guests to kindly put away their phones and enjoy the moment with you!
- Have a simple sign that guests see as they are entering the ceremony
- Have your officiant politely mention that you prefer no cell phones
- Include your Unplugged Ceremony request in your program design
Ceremony lighting is really important. If you get married outside at 12pm, the light will be extremely harsh. Not only will there be harsh lines of light on your faces, you will also be squinting. If it’s in the summer, possibly sweating. I suggest planning an outdoor ceremony 2 hours before sunset if you are having a first look. If you are not interested in sharing a first look, then I would suggest having your ceremony 3 hours before sunset to ensure that you will have plenty of time for all of your portraits afterwards. The lower the sun, the more romantic the lighting. If you are having an indoor ceremony, it is better to have soft, even light across the whole altar.
Order of Service
I have seen so many couples do so many AMAZING things during their ceremony. I’ve photographed couples braiding a cord of three strands, symbolizing that they want to rely on God for their entire marriage. Some couples share in communion while some light a unity candle. I’ve seen sand ceremonies and even have seen couples plant a tree together. The options are limitless!! As you plan your ceremony, make sure you design it to be exactly what the two of you envision it to be. This is your day!! If you have the freedom to be creative, then by all means, be creative!! No matter what you choose, it will be beautiful because it symbolizes your love for one another.
Perhaps this is the most important piece of planning your wedding ceremony! Hiring either a full event planner or just a day-of coordinator is SO important! Brides realize very quickly that if they do not have someone in charge of the coordination of the day, that responsibility will automatically fall on the mother of the bride, the photographer, or the BRIDE herself! When a photographer is in charge of executing the timeline and the coordination of the day, the images will suffer. Most of the stressful wedding situations I’ve experienced were caused by a lack of organization and coordination. It’s so important to make this a priority. If you need any recommendations on wedding coordination services I would love to share some of my favorite vendors with you!
In the end, ceremonies are more about the commitment you’re about to make to one another. Vows will be shared and promises will be made… this is what it’s all about!! In a world full of wedding blogs, Pinterest boards and perfect Instagram posts, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and consumed by the “prettiness” of the event. While it is important to nail down the details of planning your wedding ceremony, let me remind you again to never lose sight of the real purpose of this amazing day- spending forever together.
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See you next week! If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love this one.
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