3 Tips for Planning an Outdoor Ceremony

November 21, 2019

As a natural light photographer, there’s nothing I love more than a gorgeous outdoor ceremony site filled with florals, with a beautiful background and pretty light! Ahh, just thinking about it makes me smile!!

I was a bride that planned an outdoor ceremony, so I know what it’s like to NOT know what to even think about when planning for this part of the day.

I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t ask questions because I didn’t know I needed to, or which questions to ask.

I don’t want that to be you!!

So, if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, here are a few really important things to think about!!


Ceremony lighting is important.  REALLY important.  If you get married outdoors at 12pm, the light is going to be incredibly harsh.  There will be harsh lines on your face, and that’s not something I can change or avoid! Also, you’ll likely be squinting because the light will be so bright.

If you want to have dreamy photos during this part of the day, I suggest planning your outdoor ceremony 2 hours before sunset if you’re planning to do a First Look, and 3 hours before sunset if you are not planning a First Look so we can make sure you have plenty of time afterwards for portraits before the sun sets.


Outdoors OR inside, if there is one thing I know to be true about your ceremony, it’s that there is no right or wrong for what you want to do. I have seen couples do some pretty amazing things during their ceremony. Religious traditions, unity candles, a special box, rope tying ceremonies… just to name a few. The best advice I have is to make this about YOU. You should design your ceremony to be exactly what you envision it to be, and don’t worry about sticking to traditions. Adam and I had a less-than-traditional ceremony and we are so glad we did!


Most venues are already on top of this, but the last thing you want to worry about the morning of your wedding is what you’re going to do if it rains! Ideally, the venue will be able to do a quick flip of a room inside if by chance they need to move chairs. Knowing that they have this covered will be such a relief to you, so I recommend asking the question when you book your venue so you know you’re covered (literally!)


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