New Jersey Wedding & Portrait Photography

Here it is! The moment everyone has been waiting for! You’re getting married!

The music is playing. The guests are seated. Ushers make their way to the back of the church. The coordinator is lining up the wedding party while giving the musicians a 5-minute warning. 

You are about to walk down the aisle to the love of your life. 

Vows will be shared, and promises will be made. This is what it’s all about! 

In a world full of wedding blogs, Pinterest, and bridal magazines, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and consumed by the “prettiness” of the event. 

While details do matter, and planning is necessary, it’s important never to lose sight of this amazing day’s real purpose! 

Read on for some tips to make the most important part of your day personal to you and your love!

Lighting at Your Wedding Ceremony

Ceremony lighting is so, so important! This is why we suggest doing it at specific times of the day.

If you get married outdoors at 12 pm, the lighting will be extremely harsh. Not only will there be harsh lines of light on your faces, but you will also be squinting. 

If you have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony, we suggest planning it for two hours before sunset if you are having a first look (which we highly recommend, see why here). 

If you are not interested in sharing a first look, we would suggest having your ceremony three hours before sunset to ensure that you will have plenty of time for all your portraits afterward. 

The lower the sun, the more romantic the lighting! Who doesn’t want that for their wedding ceremony? 

If you are having an indoor ceremony, it is always best to have even lighting at the altar. If there are two spotlights on the altar, we will not be able to see the rest of the wedding party. 

It is better to have soft, even light across the whole altar. This is something you should discuss with your venue coordinator to make sure we capture that first kiss in all its glory!

The Order of Your Wedding Ceremony Service

We have seen so many couples do so many AMAZING things during their ceremony. 

We’ve photographed couples share in communion. Others light a unity candle. We’ve seen sand ceremonies, rope ceremonies, and the signing of the family Bible. 

The options are limitless!! 

As you plan your ceremony, make sure you design it to be exactly what the two of you envision it to be. You can be as creative as you want, keep or throw out and traditions, and make it your own personal time during your big day.

Remember, this is your day! If you have the freedom to be creative, then, by all means, do it! It’ll make a great photo-op!

Programs & Other Details at Your Wedding Ceremony 

The best advice we have for the program-making process is to remember that not EVERY guest needs a program! 

Speaking from experience, we printed a program for everyone attending our wedding but quickly realized that most families only took one. 

We ended up with over 100 extra programs! 

Also, before ordering your programs, have several people check them for spelling and grammar. 

This is another opportunity to be creative. Have your programs do double duty! Are you having an outdoor ceremony in the middle of the summer? Turn them into fans! Having a dead of winter wedding? Have your wedding programs be chap-stick holders and double as your favor! The guest will love your creativity, and they will be more likely to take one. Less wasting of money and paper? Sign us up!

Programs and the ceremony decor are things that you can plan in advance but then delegate the actual job of setting it up to a friend or coordinator. 

The last thing you need to be doing the morning of your wedding is running around setting up floral arrangements! 

This leads us into our next order of business…

Coordination of Your Wedding Ceremony

Hiring either a full event planner or just a day-of coordinator is SO important! This is something you will 100% want to do. 

You will realize very quickly that if you do not have someone in charge of the day’s coordination, that responsibility will automatically fall on your parents, the photographer, or YOU! All these people have enough to worry about on the day of the event without organizing the ceremony! 

When a photographer is in charge of the timeline and the day’s coordination, the images will suffer- this is not something you want to happen! 

All of our most stressful wedding situations as photographers were caused by a lack of organization and coordination. Don’t let this happen to you! 

It’s so important to make this a priority. A little organization can go a long way, and you will be thanking yourself later.

If you need any recommendations on wedding coordination services, we would love to share some of our favorite vendors with you! 

Final Thoughts

The most important thing to keep in mind when planning your wedding ceremony is that while this is the shortest part of your day, it’s the most important!

It is what the day is truly about. You will walk out of your wedding ceremony as Mr. and Mrs. (or Mr. & Mr. or Mrs. & Mrs.), and that is what it’s all about! Everyone is there to celebrate your love and being married at the end of it is the main goal of your event!

Keep ceremony lighting, coordination, programs, and other small details, and the order of your service in mind when planning your wedding ceremony.

If all these items are taken care of, your ceremony will go smoothly! You’ll walk out of there a married couple, and the images from that meaningful moment will be stunning!

For more wedding planning tips and tricks, follow us over @jnrphotony on Instagram. Can’t wait to see you there!