Ceremonies are one of our favorite times of the wedding day! There is so much love shared in those moments… marriages start, beautiful vows exchanged, and first kisses as husband and wife shared! And you will want to choose somewhere special to share all those big moments together. We got married outside on some grass, facing a barn, which was a little unexpected for Laura’s mother. She was quite surprised that we didn’t get married in a church, but instead tied the knot outside. We knew it didn’t matter whether we got married in a field or in a church… Our ceremony would be surrounded by God regardless. And that was what and where we wanted to commit our lives to each other, in front of all of our friends and family (and how much closer can you get to the Lord’s presence than being surrounded by all that nature (and some chickens) He created!).
So, choose where you think is special, and where YOU want to get married. We absolutely LOVE outdoor weddings because we got married outside, and we go crazy for ceremonies surrounded by all natural light (especially that golden hour light a few hours before sunset)! But we know how special the church is that you grew up in, and first met your spouse, or how gorgeous an old rustic barn would be, full of candles and twinkle lights… So if you don’t quite know what you are looking for, here are a few things to help you make the decision.
Natural light – There is nothing quite like getting married close to sunset. On both a sunny or cloudy day, you will get amazing imagery of those first precious moments. The downside is that it’s not guaranteed to stay sunny. So if this is what you are leaning towards, make sure you have a rain plan. (We didn’t and we got married the weekend of Hurricane Sandy, but we were very blessed for it to hold off just long enough.)
You decide the rules – When getting married outside, you can make almost all the decisions about exactly how your ceremony will happen, and more importantly, where your photographer can and cannot go. We love the flexibility of being able to catch all the angles of your ceremony, catching your niece or nephew needing some help walk down the aisle, or watching your family tear up as you share your vows.
Being creative with seating (and just about everything else) – Our parents were both in shock when we told them that we were going to have everyone sit on the ground on blankets, instead of chairs, but it turned out to be perfect! Our guests all mixed and mingled, and everyone we spoke to enjoyed it! But keep in mind, if you do go for an outdoor ceremony, you could be spending a little more because chairs (or pews) are not provided! And if chairs are something extra, you’ll probably need to think about an altar, and any other personal touches you want to dress up your ceremony space. However, this is where you can get creative! We had a crazy DIY wedding, and we love seeing how people make their outdoor ceremonies unique to them!
You can predict the weather – No need to worry about what the weather is doing outside, you are pretty much covered, literally! The weather outside is one less concern to think of, but keep in mind that photographing inside will change your ceremony lighting, and depending on what your venue is, there may be rules about your photographer using flash.
It’s easier – The great thing about indoor venues is they probably come with their own seating, decoration, and altar! Outside ceremonies are more DIY, meaning you’ll probably have to figure out most of the details yourself. But indoor ceremony locations just need some flowers (and any other fun details you want), and your pretty much set!
Tradition – We believe that the church is made up of God’s people more than the building, but we definitely understand wanting to get married in a Church. Especially when that church is part of who you are. Not to mention, there are a lot of beautiful churches out there… But keep in mind that some of these churches will have rules about what you can do, and where your photographers can go or what your photographers can use. We photographed one of our favorite weddings to date a few years ago, and the couple got married in a GORGEOUS church in Richmond, VA. But, the church required us not to move during the entire ceremony (that’s where having TWO photographers can really help!). They also would not let us use flash, meaning our ceremony imagery would not be as high quality, simply because the lighting is not optimal. But our couple understood this, and though we love when our couples do something because it is something we recommended to make their imagery better, we love EVEN MORE when couples do something because it means everything to them to get married where they want, regardless if their imagery turns out a little grainier than usual.
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Michael and Laura Photography
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