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Hello and welcome to the KLP blog! My name is Kelsie and I'm a wedding & portrait photographer based in Columbus, Ohio. Grab a cup of coffee (or in my case - a chai latte), a glass of wine or a bottle of coke and enjoy viewing my latest work, browsing resources for brides and photographers, and getting a little peek into my life.




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For Brides, For Photographers

What Time Should you Start Your Ceremony?

As I’m sure you know, the ceremony start time dictates the entire timeline for the day. So I’d say it’s pretty important to consider when planning out your wedding day!

There are so many factors to think about when choosing your ceremony time:

  1. is your ceremony indoors or outdoors?
  2. Is your wedding a morning wedding or an evening wedding?
  3. Is your wedding on a Friday, Saturday or a Sunday?
  4. Is your ceremony in a church or at the reception venue?
  5. What style of photography are you interested in? Natural light, or more studio photography using flash and night portraits?

All of these things come into play for different reasons. If you are getting married outside, it’s best for the light to be lower in the sky so it is not as harsh. This means the later the better! If your wedding is outdoors in the morning, usually an earlier start time is preferred. However, that gets to be difficult when everyone needs sufficient time to get ready!

If you are having a Friday wedding, later is best to allow for guests to not have to take the day off of work. Sunday weddings usually have an earlier start time so that they don’t go too late into the evening.

If the ceremony is indoors at a church, sometimes there are set start times to choose from. If this is the case for your wedding, then it’s time to decide whether or not you’d like to do a first look!

Finally, if you prefer a light and airy style, then you need to ensure that all of your portraits are complete prior to sunset. This gets a little more challenging for winter weddings, and is almost impossible to do with a later ceremony without a first look!

If you haven’t already set your ceremony start time in stone, I highly recommend talking with your photographer to ensure it’s a photo-friendly start time 🙂 to help give you an idea of a photo-friendly timeline, I’ve created a downloadable PDF that has multiple timeline options that I share with my brides: one with a first look, one without a first look, and several other options. Something to keep in mind is that the amount of time that I recommend for each part of the day should be relatively consistent. However, if your ceremony is at 3:00 instead of 5:00, all you need to do is shift the whole timeline ahead by 2 hours and you’ll be set!

I sincerely hope this is helpful for you! If you have any questions about why something is the way it is, feel free to reach out via my contact form! I’m happy to help and serve as a valuable resource for you.

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