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I’m Stephanie, a wedding and portrait photographer and educator based in Macon, Georgia. Here on the blog, you'll find recent sessions, wedding planning advice, tips for photographers, and some personal posts! Feel free to take a look around. Thanks for stopping by!

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September 17, 2019

TUESDAY TIPS | What Time Should I Have My Wedding Ceremony?

Hi brides-to-be! Today’s Tuesday Tip is for you, especially if you are in the beginning stages of planning your wedding. Choosing a wedding ceremony time is crucial to the flow of your day, especially if you are not considering doing a first look. (By the way, I love first looks and totally think you should consider one. Click HERE to read why!)

My goal as your wedding photographer is to give you beautiful, sun-lit portraits of you and your spouse, you and your family, and you and your bridal party. In order for me to do this, we need to make sure your ceremony provides us with enough sunlight for photos before or afterward. I need anywhere from 60-90 minutes to capture family formals, bridal party photos, and bride + groom portraits if we are not doing a first look before the ceremony. If you are doing a first look, we will finish any remaining extended family photos and a couple of sunset portraits of the bride + groom, which would last anywhere from 20-45 minutes.

Below are time suggestions for ceremonies happening in Georgia – some other locations might have earlier or later sunset times… and keep in mind, cities with tall buildings lose the sun a lot faster than wide-open venues!

If your wedding is in the SPRING or FALL (late March-May and September-October), your ceremony time should be begin around 5-6 pm. The sun sets around 7:30 pm late spring and early fall and around 6:30pm in early spring and late fall. I always advise brides and grooms to schedule their ceremony 1.5-2 hours before the sun sets, especially if there is no first look!

If your wedding is in the SUMMER (June-August), your ceremony time can go as late as 7 pm! The sun typically sets around 8:30 in the summertime in Georgia, which would give us plenty of time for glowy sunset photos after the ceremony.

If your wedding is in the WINTER (November-Early March), your ceremony time should be around 3 or 4 pm. The sun sets way earlier in the winter due to daylight savings time ending in November and beginning the following March. I HIGHLY encourage my couples who are getting married in the wintertime to consider doing a first look because the sun ends up setting close to 5:30pm, leaving the majority of your wedding in the dark. If you are not keen on having a 3 o’clock wedding in the wintertime, definitely talk with your spouse-to-be about breaking “tradition” and doing a first look.

All of these suggestions come from the idea that your typical ceremony length is 30 minutes. If you are planning to have a longer ceremony or a more religious-based ceremony (ie, Catholic ceremony with Mass), we might have to shake some things up! I am ALWAYS here to discuss timelines and the best strategy to ensure gorgeous photos AND a rockin’ good time on your wedding day.

Thanks for reading, friends!
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You might also like:
Engagement Session Tips
Wedding Day Detail Tips

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