Fairhope Wedding Photographer & Educator | Ellison Smith Creative- Formerly Goodie & Smith Weddings

How to Choose Your Ceremony Time | Alabama Wedding Photographers

One of the hardest parts of wedding planning revolves around choosing your ceremony time. Are you going to have a morning ceremony or afternoon? If you’re planning an evening ceremony, will it be close to dinner or will you have a cocktail hour in between? From our perspective, as your Alabama wedding photographers, there’s a few things that you should consider to determine how to choose your ceremony time.

intimate Springhill wedding ceremony for bride and groom in backyard

Your venue’s policies

Depending on the venue you choose, there may be policies and procedures in place for the ceremony time. This can vary from whether or not they have more than one event for each day or if the space is open to the public leading up to your ceremony. Check with your venue coordinator to determine if they have any specific times they have ceremonies start. Additionally, it’s important to think about HOW the space you’re getting married in will look at certain times of day. A garden might look gorgeous at sunset but washed out in the middle of the day. Try to visit your venue at various times and see which time you like the most (and then make sure you’re able to host your ceremony then!).

Alabama couple kisses during church wedding ceremony

Sunset portraits

If you’re dreaming of sunset portraits, then you can’t exactly plan to have your ceremony at sunset! Adjusting your ceremony time a little bit earlier will help make sure your portraits happen the way you want. Talk with me, your photographer, to make sure that you know approximately when sunset will be and I can help you build your timeline accordingly. This is another reason first looks and completing family portraits ahead of the ceremony can be helpful too. And don’t forget – if you’re indoors, things like sunset won’t necessarily impact your ceremony but they will impact the portraits you can take outdoors later on!

bride gives groom ring during Fairhope Bluff ceremony groom hugs bride and sways with her

Portrait locations

For many Ellison Smith Creative couples, the idea of taking portraits at a second location is really appealing. In order to fit a second location in your wedding day, the ceremony needs to be early enough that we can either accommodate portraits afterwards. Or, you need to plan a first look ahead of the ceremony to travel to the second location. And, if a second location isn’t important – but a specific location at your venue IS, the same idea applies. Check out what it looks like at different points in the day to make sure we can plan for the portraits you want!

bride and groom exchange vows with daughters as a family

Your wedding photographer, planner, and venue coordinator will help you make sure that your wedding ceremony is at the perfect time! The ceremony is definitely the most important part of any wedding day, and I’m here to help you make sure it’s everything you want!

If you’re looking for more tips to plan your wedding day, check out some of our recent posts:

Wedding Day Timeline

Deciding the Number of Hours for Your Photography Package

 Groom and Groomsmen Attire

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Fairhope Alabama Wedding Photographer formerly Goodie and Smith weddings

meet Jessica


Hi! I’m Jessica, owner and lead photographer at Ellison Smith Creative- the Gulf Coast’s only full service wedding photography studio. I am so glad you’re here! Please show yourself around and you’ll soon see that I believe that my clients DESERVE IT ALL! 

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