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3 tips for Ceremony Set-ups

I want to preface this post in saying that a wedding ceremony isn’t less beautiful photographically because of any of the information below! We take pride in creating beautiful photos regardless of what the ceremony set-up is. I will stand in an aisle, step in front of people or do whatever else it takes to capture your wedding perfectly! This is simply a list of things that can help us get MORE angles and even lighting on your photos!

This is something that I assume most people know but after chatting with a bride I realized that I need to share it! I want to give you as much information as possible to help you plan your wedding so that you can maximize your photos! So, when planning your wedding ceremony, here are a few tips to consider!

1. The view-
I know a lot of thought is typically placed into what your ceremony “alter” will look like. You may dream of arches wrapped in florals or an arrangement of old doors. Or perhaps you want to be married in front of a big barn or beautiful tree. Chances are, you have thought about that spot where you will be standing. But what you may not know is “where” you stand can change how your photos will look as well! If your ceremony is up next to a dock or building, we can only shoot from the “guest” angle. If you have your ceremony with room behind the bridal party, we can get a completely different angle as well! And it is my favorite angle for the most part!

This wedding was at this gorgeous gazebo with landscaping on each side.  We couldn’t get behind the wedding party, but still had some beautiful shots.

This wedding had a gazebo with fabric and florals. We could easily move behind the wedding party as well for 3 different views!

This wedding was indoors with a backdrop of stars behind them. Because of the stars, I couldn’t shoot too much from behind them without a star in the photo, so it had to shoot mostly in the aisle. Which still yielded Beautiful photos!

Candi Leonard Photography wedding photographer Asheboro NC Piedmont Triad NC wedding photo_4286.jpg

One of the things I love most about the view from BEHIND the ceremony is that you get a bit of the guests reactions in them too. This photo below from an outdoor ceremony back in 2011 is still a favorite because of the groom’s mom in the background. So sweet!

2. The light-
One of the HARDEST things in ceremonies is the light. In churches, overhead lights often create weird shadows on faces. Outdoors, if your light isn’t even for the entire wedding party it can create weird shadows too.

This ceremony was placed with the bride and bridesmaids facing the sun. This made shooting it tricky!  But shooting from the side aisle and backlighting the couple (and showing off the beautiful back of her dress!) made for beautiful photos too.


3. The Aisle space-
Going along with the first one. If you don’t have clear aisles on the sides and the middle, It limits how much I can move around as well. I like to use breaks such as prayers and songs to make big moves around the ceremony giving you as many good angles as possible!

This wedding was outside in an open field so we could shoot from all angles. Down the aisle, from behind and from the side aisle.

This is another favorite example of a side aisle shot. I just love seeing the couple’s expressions and you miss that from the center isle only!

When you are planning your ceremony, visit the venue, look at these three things. It is good to visit the venue around the same TIME as the ceremony too so you can see what the lighting is doing. If you notice that one of you is staring into the sun during the ceremony and the other is shaded, it is going to effect your photos (and likely be awkward for you if you are the one staring into the sun!). You may want to move into more even light!

And just another note…every wedding has challenges that we work around. We can take anything that comes up and still deliver you beautiful wedding images!



comments +

  1. Alicia Wiley says:

    This is such a great post! Totally off topic but I LOVE that star backdrop and the last corset dress 🙂

  2. Jamie Gay says:

    Great post! The ceremony is the time where you have to make the best of what you’ve been given, so we’ve got to be prepared! Great tips 🙂

  3. Cinnamon Ruvolo Wolfe says:

    looove this post! Great tips. Thank you for taking the time to put it together!!

  4. Manda Renee Heberer says:

    GREAT tips! Thank you!

  5. Lauren Love says:

    Such helpful information!!

  6. Meredith Ryncarz says:

    Great tips

  7. Bethanne Arthur says:

    Great post! I always love when brides and grooms do a big archway covered in florals! Makes me squeal with delight! 🙂

  8. Jill Marie says:

    Such great tips! Love it!

  9. Stefani Ciotti says:

    Great tips! Very helpful!!

  10. […] We hope you found this helpful!  Be sure to check out some other wedding planning tips such as the first look or 3 tips for ceremony set-ups! […]

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