Selecting your ceremony time seems like such a simple task, right? Considering ALL the things that need to be planned out for a wedding day, it seems like such a small detail in the grand scheme of things. BUT, there are a few things you should take into consideration before deciding when the main event should take place:
Simply put, the BEST time to take portraits is the hour or so before sunset. During this time of day, the sun’s light is softer and more even. This allows us to get the perfect glow without having to fight harsh shadows and highlights. (They don’t call it “golden hour” for nothing!)
Planning your ceremony time to allow us to catch this time of day for your formal portraits will yield the best results.
This point goes hand-in-hand with the one above, however, it’s important to note how your wedding date can impact your ceremony start time.
During the months of October through March, the sun sets earlier in the day. This leaves us with less daylight hours for portrait time.
April through September’s late sunset time offers us more time and flexibility when it comes to your wedding day schedule. During these months, we are often able to pull you out of the reception for more portraits due to the later sunset time, thus giving us a little more wiggle room for when your ceremony can begin.
Most wedding ceremonies are approximately 30 minutes long. However, there are always exceptions such as couples who are planning a shorter, more simple ceremony or those who are planning a full mass service for their wedding day. Deciding what type of ceremony you desire for your wedding day can help you decide what time of day to schedule it.
If you’re planning a First Look, you don’t want your ceremony to be too early in the day. Doing so, can have us scheduling your First Look and the majority of your portraits during the harshest light of the day which usually falls between 10 am and 2 pm.
If tradition rules and you want to wait until the ceremony to see one another for the first time, be careful not to schedule your ceremony too late; this can have us scrambling to make sure we have enough natural light to get all of your portraits done.
Planning your wedding day is a big task! I hope these few tips and considerations help you select the best ceremony time for your big day! If you’re planning your Lehigh Valley wedding and are searching for your wedding photographer, feel free to send me a note here!
Alyssa is a Lehigh Valley wedding photographer serving the Lehigh Valley, Bucks County, Philadelphia & beyond. For more wedding planning tips, check out my journal!