Getting engaged is one of the most exciting parts of your life. It’s an incredible journey of two souls who promise each other forever in the most emotional moment – the wedding ceremony.

Your wedding ceremony is the culmination of your love story, a chapter that deserves to be told and remembered for eternity. Therefore, I wrote some recommendations and insights + a bonus tip to help you capture your perfect wedding ceremony photos. In this blog post, we will dive into the art of creating flawless wedding ceremony shots, tailored especially for you and your unique love story.

First of all,

Trust your wedding planner

Planning a wedding timeline can get overwhelming and keeping to your timeline is a key factor for a relaxing and photographically productive day. In my opinion, a wedding planner is the BEST vendor you can spend money on if the budget allows! I’m not saying you need a full-service planner by any means – even a partial or month-of planner would be great! For weddings larger than 50 people, a day-of coordinator is a must-have. A good coordinator will be able to take care of any questions or issues that arise throughout the day. Trust me, the last thing you want on your wedding day is a million logistical questions about why 4 chairs are missing or what time salads are served.

Explore and Plan ahead

My big recommendation is always to select a venue with a natural light. Outdoor settings, gardens, or venues with large windows can provide beautiful, diffused light that enhances your photos. Try to visit your chosen wedding venue together and look around. Try to feel the atmosphere and imagine what it will all look like. This mission will help you find some ideal locations, lighting conditions, and discover unique angles to transform the wedding into a visual legacy.

About the light

Lighting is a photographer’s best friend. Whenever possible, we’ll leverage the beauty of natural light. For indoor venues, rest assured that I’ll come equipped with the right gear to handle various lighting conditions. But I’ll always prefer soft daylight, golden hour, and diffused light for captivating results.

Outside: Try to find a shade spot

Placing your wedding ceremony into a shadow spot between trees can lead to avoiding extremely hot summer day. Just imagine all the guests in beautiful outfits and suits, especially men, sitting for 40 minutes in the direct sun at 38 degrees – crazy feeling right? The same horrible feeling applies to the ceremony photos:

  • When you place your ceremony into the harsh light, your ceremony photos will feel kind of dramatic, with deep blacks, shadows, and strong highlights. Your guests will squit your eyes and sweat.

what you need for your wedding ceremony is:

  • Find a spot in the shade – whether it is in wood, between trees, in the park or whether you decided to create a floral arch that will help the situation. The important is to find a soft light that will create beautiful timeless photos and make your guests feel good.

Outside: Or schedule your ceremony in the afternoon

Have you ever considered planning your wedding day differently from all the traditions? Planning your wedding ceremony in the afternoon hours and your portrait in the morning is an amazing idea I have recently seen at many weddings. Instead of planning your ceremony at 1:00 pm and your portraits at 5:00 pm, try to plan your first look at 1:00 pm in the shaded area, then plan a short portrait session of you two and continue with shooting portraits of your family and friends, then start a cocktail hour and then plan a ceremony at 5 pm and straight to the cake cutting and wedding party of the year. There are no longer rules in the wedding world and your day is exactly what it is – yours.

Indoor: Look for a lightful space

There are still beautiful churches, galleries and chateaus with beautiful light space that can create an absolutely stunning atmosphere for the grand wedding ceremony photos. Not to mention that you should always have a rainy variety.

Something to consider:

First look

Should you do one?

Having time just you two together is important and you want to savour the moment of seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day. The first look is a great choice! Take your time before the ceremony just for yourself and enjoy it alone. A first look allows you to spend more time with your partner on the morning of your wedding day, instead of waiting until the ceremony to see them. You can take this time to read letters to each other, or simply just breathe, embrace, and take a quiet moment to yourselves. From a photography perspective, doing a first look allows us to take photos before the ceremony, leaving you to enjoy most of your cocktail hour instead of having to cram ALL of our photos (wedding party, family, & you two) into a single hour. I never want you to feel pressured into making a decision for your wedding day that doesn’t feel right to you. I’ve photographed weddings with and without first looks, and at the end of the day, all that really matters is that you’re happy with whatever you decide!

my biggest tips

Face each other during the ceremony

I recommend that you and your partner stand facing each other during the ceremony, rather than facing the officiant. This arrangement allows your photographer to capture your reactions and emotions as you exchange vows. This also enables you to feel close to your families and guests sharing these special moments with them.

Ask your officiant to step away for the first kiss

Consider requesting your officiant to step aside just before your first kiss as a married couple. This moment allows your photographer to capture that special kiss without any interference. It creates a more intimate and romantic shot, making your first kiss even more memorable in your wedding ceremony photos. Discuss this with your officiant during the rehearsal to ensure a smooth execution on the big day.

Minimize distractions

Consider unplugged wedding ceremony

An unplugged ceremony encourages your guests to put away their cell phones, Ipads, and cameras and be present with you during your ceremony. I’ve taken so many photos, only to notice a bunch of iPhones or big cameras being held up in the aisle, effectively ruining a beautiful moment. Phones can be a big distraction that takes away from the experience of your guests being present with you. The rest of the day, they can take as many photos as they want (and I’d encourage it!), but the ceremony is the one time of the day that I think is the best cell-phone free. You’ll be able to share the full gallery with them after your wedding, so you can assure them that they can download any photos that they want later on!

Incorporate Meaningful Rituals

Read the vows

Consider adding meaningful rituals or personal touches to your wedding ceremony, like writing and reading personalized vows to each other. This intimate moment not only deepens your connection but also provides a unique opportunity for your photographer to capture genuine emotions and expressions.

Add other traditions you love

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when planning your ceremony. Often, couples will ask someone close to them to officiate which can make the ceremony feel even more special. You can keep classic traditions, and add your own. There are no rules!

During their ceremony, I’ve seen couples plant trees, perform songs, invite a friend to share stories, honor family members by gifting flowers, and the list goes on. You can write your own personalized vows, or stick to the traditional ones. Whatever feels true to you!

And most importantly…

Slow down + enjoy

remember to slow down and truly savor each moment. Take a breath and be fully present in the ceremony. Allow yourselves to soak in the love, joy, and emotions that surround you. When you take your time, you not only create space for authentic moments but also give your photographer the opportunity to capture those precious instances of connection and genuine smiles.

Leaving like a heroes

Feel free to laugh, scream, dance, and bask in the happiness of the moment. This is your time to shine, and your happiness will radiate through your wedding ceremony photos. Embrace the celebration, and don’t hold back on expressing your love. Allow yourselves to be unapologetically happy, and let your photographer capture the pure elation of the end of the wedding ceremony.

Bonus tip:

Lighting for wedding party

The lighting for receptions can often be overlooked, but plays a big role in how your evening looks and feels! There are tons of options, from hanging lights to lanterns to candles. These can really impact the mood & vibe of the environment as well as the photos because they change the white balance of photos.

As you dive into your wedding planner, on your own or with your skilled wedding planner, I bet these tips will be a little helpful to you. Always remember: Your wedding day is exactly what it is – YOURS. Make memories that you’ll remember forever.

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Hey, I'm

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At my core, I'm deeply inspired by Kinfolk slow life living, Austrian nature, and the art of 35mm film. I find joy in capturing unique celebrations of love and life, while crafting a simpler, more minimalist existence.

For over decade, I'm walking alongside couples

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