Throughout the day we'll constantly be finding great light to put you in. But when it comes to your ceremony spot (when we can’t move you), you'll want to be placed in even, ideal light.

Below are some examples of lousy light that can compromise your ceremony photos (click any photo to view it fullscreen):

Uneven/Speckled Light

Although we are great at photoshop, we are not magicians and some things can’t be fixed in post processing. In uneven, speckled lighting, we’d have to either blow out the highlights or keep the dark shadows (think: spots on your face). There is nothing we can do to fix that.

Harsh Light

Another type of light to avoid is harsh light. This would occur if you were planning on getting married at noon or mid-day. When the light is directly above you, it is very harsh and creates dark eyes and neck shadows. Also, you’ll be squinting the entire time. Not flattering.


Another example of not-so-great ceremony light is backlight. Avoid getting married in front of windows or directly in front of the sun. Your background will be blown out and your faces will be hazy. Also, please don’t get married in front of a mirror. That would just be impossible.

Low Light

We always prefer sunlight (natural light) over artificial light (flash). If you’re having an indoor ceremony, please avoid spotlights, colored lights or gels. If you’re getting married indoors, expect darker photos. And if we can't use flash, then expect very dark and grainy photos that we’ll have to make black and white.


The best scenario is for your ceremony to be (about) 2 hours before sunset and somewhere with soft, even lighting. Scope out your spot and situate yourselves so that there's beautiful light on both of your faces.

Also, sometimes less is more. Busy backgrounds/backdrops make for more distracting photos. To see an example of a couple who did all of these things for their ceremony (& received amazing photos in return!), click here.

Other variables to Keep in mind...

First looks

This is equally if not more special than seeing each other at the altar because it's truly a moment for the two of you (you're not distracted by the eyes of all your guests). It's also a great way to get any nerves and ugly cries out as well as feel more present during your ceremony. 

We've photographed close to 100 weddings and every time a couple does a first look the day runs more smoothly, we have plenty of time to get the photos they want & overall everyone is much more relaxed. (The other option is cramming an entire day's worth of photos - family, wedding party, etc - in after the ceremony, which results in stress & photo-exhaustion. We don't want that for you on your wedding day!)

Overall, this day belongs to both of you - share as much of it as possible.

The dress

Brides, we can't wait to see your dress! We know it’s going to be stunning and make your groom cry his eyes out. But please let your dress down & be able to easily walk in it. We can't tell you how many times wedding photos have been compromised because the bride is totally consumed by, restricted, uncomfortable and worried about her dress touching the floor or getting a speck of dirt on it. Don't let the entire day be about your dress. Wear it, own it. You bought it for this occasion!

Getting ready

We love capturing the finishing touches of you getting ready and slipping on your dress. It’s helpful (and you’ll love your photos more) if you get ready in a place with lots of natural light. So the basement of a church or dark hotel room is not ideal - homes, however, are amazing.

Family Photos

We take formal family photos immediately before or after your ceremony. We don't put them on our website, but know your mom & grandmas love them! We keep these as simple as possible. 


Nowadays a lot of people have phones or cameras out at ceremonies - we know how fun it is to take photos, but we also feel sad that your guests aren’t present or soaking in the goodness of the day! We recommend putting a sign up somewhere near the ceremony that says, "We really want to see your sweet faces, not your devices...please put away phones and cameras during the ceremony - the rest is fair game!" or something along those lines.


If your ceremony and reception site are far away from each other, bad idea. The time you’re spending in the car means less photos and probably means you’re losing valuable light.

Rain plan

Rain stinks, but sometimes it happens. Please have a rain plan for your ceremony/reception sites as well as spots for portraits/photos. If it rains, we’ll need to find an overpass, porch or some place dry with natural light. We’ll make it work!


Example wedding day timeline (with sunset hypothetically at 7pm):

12pm - We arrive, check out venue, take scenic/wide shots, then hang out & get to know everyone
2:30 - Bride finishes up hair/makeup, puts on dress

2:30 - Groom puts on suit/tie/boutonniere
3pm - First look with Bride and Groom only. A few portraits to follow. 
3:30-4 -
Wedding party meets in designated location, dressed with bouquets in hand and boutonnieres pinned for shots separately and together.
4pm - Bride and bridesmaids hideout, freshen up and relax.
4:30 - Guests arrive.
4-5 - We photograph details. All details must be photo ready one hour before ceremony (this includes tablescapes and all decor - candles lit, water glasses full (at least for a photo). This is the only time we'll have to shoot all of the awesome DIY decor and personal touches you spent months creating!
5pm - Ceremony
5:30 - Ceremony concludes & officiant announces, "All guests are invited to head to cocktail hour - immediate family please stick around for a few photos."
5:30 - 5:45 - Family formal photos
5:45 - 6:30 - Portraits of you two only... No one else should be around but
us & you - this is what you hired us for! This is your time to be crazy for each other & super in love on your wedding day, which is why we want to give you some privacy. There are no re-dos, these are the photos you'll frame on your walls forever. It's going to be amazing!
6:30 - Bride and groom join cocktail hour or just relax and regroup. Reception, dinner, dancing, speeches, cake cutting, etc.
10pm - Photographers leave (if you’re having an exit with sparklers or something, please plan accordingly if you want photos of it!) 

the bottom line

We're here to help and answer any questions you have. It's your wedding day and you can plan it however you want, but from experience with photographing a lot of amazing weddings and a lot of “challenging” ones, we know what works. We want you to be happy and love your photos forever -  as long as you give us uninterrupted time and great light, we know you will!

Please send your wedding day timeline and addresses of where you’re getting ready, your ceremony and reception sites to at least four weeks before your wedding.