Four part blog post seriesPart II: Preparing for your photographs | The Ceremony

Whether you are having an outdoor ceremony on the lush lawns of your oceanfront venue, or keeping it traditional by exchanging vows in your family’s long time church, there are a few things to keep in mind before you say “I do” on the big day.

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Tip #1: Consider an unplugged ceremony. Your guests are there to celebrate your love and share this moment. If you’ve hired a professional photographer, (and I hope you have), there really is no reason for a guest to step into the aisle and snap an iPhone image of you walking down the aisle. And remember that professional photographer I just mentioned? You are paying her to get the money shots, and she may not be able to perform her job optimally if guests are stepping out in front of her. And as you walk down the aisle, do you want to see the smiling faces of your friends and family, or a sea of iPhones looking back at you?

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Tip #2: Make light a priority. This is especially noteworthy if you plan to have your ceremony outdoors. Your photographer will have to adapt to whatever light is available in your church or chapel, and should be able to do so without difficulty. However, if you choose to say your vows al fresco, it is beneficial to be mindful of the lighting situation and time of day as you prepare. A ceremony slated for noon will more than likely deliver harsh lighting and dark shadows, which is never becoming. Instead, think about setting your ceremony time for an hour or two before sunset, when the light will be soft and flattering. If you must have your ceremony during part of the day when the sun is high, try to secure a large shaded area that will provide even light and little sun glare.

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Tip #3: Add something special or unique. It’s definitely challenging to create a distinct and unexpected ceremony experience. But it’s not impossible. It could be as simple as having your cousin play the guitar as you walk down the aisle, or reciting love poems as part of your vows. Whatever you do, if it’s personal and close to your heart, your guests will be honored to be witness to something that’s memorable and representative of you.

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Tip #4: Kiss for more than two seconds. OK, I admit, this tip is here purely for my advantage. But you get the gist, right?