Outdoor weddings are beautiful, and having an al fresco ceremony is certainly refreshing, but there are a few thoughts I'd love to share with you as a wedding photographer that will make planning for your ceremony a little easier for everyone. It's no secret that wedding photographers are picky when it comes to lighting, and for good reason; we want your wedding photos to be the best that they can be, so lighting at your outdoor wedding is the first thing I want to talk about, which brings me to point 1.
1. Choosing the direction of your ceremony light. What's to talk about, you might wonder, since mother nature is going to do whatever she is going to do on the day of, right? Sort of! One thing you can control is the direction of the light. Are you dreaming of a sunny golden ceremony? Well, you may have to find a west-facing spot for a late afternoon ceremony. Sun rises in the East, travels all the way overhead by sometime in the late morning or early afternoon (depending on the time of year), and sets in the west, so depending on which spot your venue has available, you may need to think about adjusting your ceremony time or setup for the best possible lighting angle. This is definitely something you can chat with your wedding planner and wedding photographer about for some helpful tips on designing your ceremony plan and timeline.
2. Preparing for unexpected weather/having a weather backup plan. Even the best laid plans, can, well...not go to plan. Heat, rain, wind, and bugs are just a few things to account for when you plan your dream wedding outdoors. Can you get a tent on short notice? Is there an alternate site for bad weather? Do your research on your options and always have a plan B just in case conditions aren't ideal.
3. Embrace what comes. Some of my, and my couples' favorite photos are ones when the weather didn't cooperate. Your dress and suit may have been expensive, but when it comes down to it, you only get one wedding day! If it's pouring, or the sky is all kinds of black and gray and the sun has hidden away never to be seen...go out and take some dramatic portraits! Also, wind, bugs etc can make for some awesome candid shots. Just make sure to pack your afterbite in the emergency kit!