I'm Candace and I'm a destination wedding & portrait photographer based out of the Washington, D.C. area. Chances are you won't find me in the DMV for too long. Come and explore my corner of the world with me!
There are many important factors to take into consideration when planning a wedding but there is one that no one really remembers to think about and thats LIGHT! Light is the most important aspect of photography, with bad light, you have bad images and in light *ha* of todays total solar eclipse, what better way to spend the day? If you want beautiful images of your wedding day, you need to take light into consideration when you are planning.
I send all of my couples my wedding planning guide when they book with me and it is JAM PACKED with all of the information your brain can handle. Everything from what to wear for engagements, sample timelines for the wedding day and even information on LIGHT! While I won’t be sharing all of the super useful information my couples get from within my guide, there are some key factors that should be on the table for everyone to know for a beautiful day.
Know the Sunset time.
Always look up the sunset time for your wedding day. You can do this by easily googling sunset time and your wedding date or by going to timeanddate.com. Once you know your sunset time, you know how much light you will have throughout the day. Though, you do have to keep in mind if it is a cloudy or overcast day, the sunset time will be slightly earlier than expected. You can plan your ceremony time accordingly.
When setting your ceremony time, keep in mind if you will choose to have a first look or not, and I’m a big advocate for first looks! Lets face it, they are awesome and always full of so many emotions! If you choose to NOT have a first look, you should expect to have at LEAST one hour and 15 minutes between the end of your ceremony and the moment you enter into your reception. Sunset time can play a big role with how these times differ pending on what time of year your wedding is
Another important aspect of the sunset time, is knowing when we should step outside for a few intimate sunset portraits! If the timeline allows, I always have my couples opt for intimate sunset portraits. We usually set aside 10-15 minutes before the sunset so that we have the that glorious, soft, golden glow! Not all timelines allow for this to occur. Late fall and winter weddings usually do not permit enough time for additional sunset portraits as portrait hour is usually the hour leading to sunset. Be sure to keep this in mind when planning your ceremony time.
When planning your ceremony location, try to visit your venue around the time of day you hope to have your ceremony. See where the sun falls on the ceremony site. Will both the bride and groom be in bright, open sun? Will the bride be in open sun while the groom is completely shaded? You can easily adjust this by setting your ceremony location in even lighting by moving a few feet over so the alter is fully shaded.
Trees are your best friend! They are the perfect diffusers of the sun and we photographers utilize them to their fullest! I always recommend trying to be in the same light as your boo! Whether you are both in shade, both in open sun, etc. That way, you are both evenly lit together!
Another important aspect of light, the getting ready area! All you need is one window! I love natural light! Its far more flattering and adds the touch of softness that I love in my images. It can give me the drama I love as well! I always try to keep the area with the most natural window light as clear as possible as I may use this light for detail shots and for when the time comes to step into your dress and get buttoned up! I always make sure to snag a few shots of my brides right after they have been pampered by their girls and we utilize all the natural window light I am given!
Some grooms really get the short end of the stick with getting put in the basement or the shed out back with no natural light at all. Sometimes, I’ll simply open the door or we step outside. There is always a way to work around things if need be! While I fully suggest choosing a location that offers natural light, no worries If we are left with no natural light! Your girl is stocked with plenty of artificial lighting options too!
There are many things that go into a wedding day. I love educating my couples so that they can get the most out of their entire wedding day and photography experience! Always consider the light!