Laura Barnes is a Georgia based wedding photographer, joyfully serving lighthearted couples in love.

Tips for Planning an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

September 15, 2020

outdoor wedding ceremony with bride and groom kissing at flint hill

Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Tips

I know amid the coronavirus pandemic more couple are deciding to have outdoor ceremonies. I personally prefer to photograph any part of the wedding day outdoors that I can, and I thought it may be helpful to share tips for planning an outdoor wedding ceremony.

*The image above is from Sarah and David’s Flint Hill wedding.

1 – Plan around lighting

The most important tip I can share for planning an outdoor wedding ceremony is to be familiar with the light at your venue. It’s best to photograph in open shade, which means consistent and level lighting. This provides ideal lighting for your photographer, and better images for you. It also prevents harsh (often hot) sunlight from directly shining on you, the wedding party, and your guests.

2 – Schedule a venue meeting

When possible, schedule a venue meeting with your vendors. At minimum your planner, photographer, and videographer should attend this meeting. Schedule this as close to your ceremony time as possible and during the same season as your wedding. This will allow everyone to see the ceremony location during comparable lighting.

dad walking bride down the aisle at an outdoor ceremony

The image above is from Jill and Steve’s Red Mountain Park wedding.

3 – Consider a first look

First looks have so many benefits! If you elect to include a first look, you will also have the option to photograph wedding party and family portraits before the ceremony. This allows for a later ceremony time since we are able to photograph the majority (if not all) of your portraits earlier in the day.

4 – Be sure to have a back-up plan

Rain on wedding days happens. If you’re planning to have an outdoor ceremony, please make sure to create a back-up plan that you still love! There are lots of options: renting a tent, moving the ceremony to another location at your venue that is covered or still provides natural light, or having a large stash of clear umbrellas.

bride and groom kissing at their outdoor wedding ceremony at muse farms

The image above is from Jordan and Jake’s wedding at Muse Farm.

5 – Plan ahead for guests needs

Planning a spring or summer ceremony? Guests usually love having a drink stand with cold water and lemonade nearby. Cute paper fans are another great idea to help guests stay cool. Planning a late fall or winter ceremony? Weather in Georgia can be very unpredictable this time of year. Guests love having blankets waiting for them on chairs for chilly ceremonies!

6 – Consider an ‘unplugged’ ceremony

I make this recommendation for all ceremonies, inside or outside! An unplugged ceremony simply means asking your family and guests to keep their phones (cameras, tablets, etc.) tucked away and off during your ceremony. This keeps the focus on your nuptials, which are the most important moments during your day. This also helps your photographer capture the event without a sea of cameras mixed in. Trust me, this request is absolutely worth it!

outdoor wedding ceremony at cherry hollow farm

The image above is from Amanda and Mathew’s Cherry Hollow Farm wedding.

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Are you engaged and searching for a wedding photographer? I’d love to chat with you! Learn more about my LBP wedding experience and contact me here!

Ready to read more wedding planning tips? Check out additional posts here.

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