As I've continued to shoot weddings over the years, I've found that more often than not, brides struggle with where to hold their wedding ceremony. At first, I never expected this. But as more people are going the non-traditional route and choosing locations other than churches, I've seen a spike in brides questioning if they're choosing the right location.
Well, since I've seen a lot through the years, I'm here to give a few tips on picking the perfect place to share your vows.
- Consider the vibe. If you're holding your ceremony in a super old church and your reception is in an ultra modern location, that might look a bit strange transitioning from one to the other as you flip through your wedding album.
- Consider the light. If this were point number one, I wouldn't be upset about it. Brides often want beautifully lit ceremony photos, but schedule their ceremony after dark in a large, dimly lit church with awkwardly colored walls. In this instance, there is only so much that can be done, even with off camera flash set ups.
- Consider the restrictions. Depending on where you hold you ceremony, there could be restrictions about what your photographer can and cannot do, as well as where they can and cannot go. Some churches limit movement (example: not letting us move past the halfway spot down the aisle), while others may limit the use of flash.
So what can you do to make sure you have a memorable ceremony captured in beautiful photographs?
- Choose locations that naturally mesh well and complement one another. An even better alternative is finding a location where you can do both the ceremony and reception. Not only does it flow incredibly well in your photos, it makes your day more relaxed and less traveling around the city means more photos.
- If you're looking for bright, clean photos, choose a location with light colored walls, lots of window light and schedule the ceremony during daytime hours. If it happens to be an evening ceremony, have the venue coordinator leave the lights up. If you're worried about how the venue may look during evening hours, visit it during the time you would be having your ceremony.
- Make sure you ask the coordinator these questions about restrictions when you meet so that you are aware of how this may change your images. Most coordinators are reasonable and can be lenient if you assure them your photographer will be mindful of the guests and will make sure not to disrupt the ceremony.
There you have it. My top tips on how to find a ceremony location that is special and also conducive to making great memories that you can look back on for years to come.