How to Get the Best Ceremony Photos on Your Wedding Day

March 27, 2018

How to Get the Best Ceremony Photos on Your Wedding Day || The Ganeys

Today I’m continuing my blog series on how to work with your photographer to get the best wedding photos you can! The ceremony is a big part of the day – arguably the biggest, wouldn’t you say? This is the moment when everything becomes real! Here are a few tips to ensure that your photographer can capture the best ceremony photos on your wedding day.

Eight Tips To Help You Have the Best Ceremony Photos on Your Wedding Day

  1. Lighting! This is the main one if you’re having an outdoor ceremony. Visit your ceremony site a year in advance if you can (so the lighting will be similar) and pick a location then. Ideally, the sun will be behind the ceremony site (from a guest’s perspective) but diffused through trees. This will create a soft glow around the couple in their images, but neither of them will be too squinty for the photos. The sun may be a bit in the guests eyes… but the photos of you two will be better.
  2. On a similar note, try to avoid a ceremony so close to sunset that the sun is in anyone’s eyes – the guests, yours, or your fiance’s!
  3. Another option is to have the sun blocked by a building. This won’t give you a glow in your photos – but no one will be squinting!
  4. If you’re getting married inside, natural light is wonderful, but try not to get married directly in front of floor-to-ceiling windows. This may cause a silhouette effect or the windows will be completely blown out (you won’t be able to see any sky). If you can, stand farther away from them, or make sure that there are plenty of windows all around acting as other sources of light.
  5. Leave enough room between you two and the first row of seats. I generally squat towards the front of the aisle as everyone is making their entrance, and sometimes there’s not enough room for me, the mothers, and the bridesmaids and I end up in the aisle (ruining Thomas’s shot of the bride from the back walking down the aisle).
  6. If you’re getting married in a church, talk to them about photography restrictions and communicate those to us ahead of time. Some churches don’t allow any photography. Some require the photographer to stand behind the last guest. We want to manage those expectations ahead of time.
  7. Hold your kiss! This is it you guys! You’re finally married! Don’t be afraid to hold your kiss for longer than a fraction of a second – or go in for a second one!
  8. A fun alternative to an “exit” is to have a celebration as you walk up the aisle as husband and wife – bubbles, streamers, rice or lavender – those images are so fun – and I love them even more because they’re in the day time!

Don’t be afraid to ask us where you should have your ceremony if the venue has numerous options. We love being included in the process so that we can ensure your photos can be as beautiful as possible!

Wedding Ceremony at the Museum of Fine Arts

For this ceremony at the Museum of Fine Arts, the building blocked the sun – which created beautiful, even light.

Ruby Hill Wedding Ceremony || The Ganeys

Marisa and Sean had a beautiful Ruby Hill wedding ceremony. The light was behind them, and to the left, diffused through some trees – creating a subtle soft glow.

Wedding Ceremony at Stonebridge Weddings

Danielle and Derek had their ceremony at Stonebridge Weddings. Notice how in the ceremony photo the light is consistent on them, but in the photo of Danielle walking down the aisle, the light is speckled on the dress and her face. If their ceremony had been on the opposite side of the tree, they would have had that speckled lighting on them throughout the whole ceremony.

Ceremony at Carlouel Yacht Club

The light at Courtney and Kyle’s wedding was beautiful! The sun was coming from behind them and to the right. I love the glow in this image!

Postcard Inn Wedding

Lighting can be even more important for beach ceremonies! Unfortunately there’s not much diffusing the sun here, so the guests will need some sunglasses, but the light was even on Emily and Tanner for their ceremony at Postcard Inn on St. Pete Beach.

Coconut Point Hyatt Regency Wedding Ceremony || The Ganeys

This greenery hedge at Coconut Point Hyatt Regency blocked the sun at Ali and Brock’s wedding ceremony – creating soft, even light.

Frontlighting versus backlighting

Here’s a “bad example” (I didn’t want to use anyone’s real ceremony). In the image on the left, the light is splotchy on the couple and on the tree – which is distracting. In the image on the right, the light is even on the couple, and the background “glows” with beautiful light. These were taken at the same tree, within 5 minutes of each other – just on opposite sides of the tree. In my opinion, the right photo is much better, and I would set up a ceremony there, with the sun behind the tree.

Rainy wedding ceremony at Bok Tower

Here’s another “bad example” – from our own wedding! Yes, it poured, so plan C was put into action. This is the equivalent of getting married inside, right next to a giant window. We were shaded, due to the tent, but outside the tent, there was much more light. For Thomas and I to have a proper exposure in the image (skin tones, etc), the background had to be completely blown out – losing a lot of detail! Photo by High Five for Love.

Bubble exits

Bubbles make for a fun day time exit as you walk up the aisle as husband and wife!

See more from this “get the best photos” series here: