Ceremony Lighting Considerations

January 20, 2023


When choosing your ceremony location, people typically only think about the backdrop and forget to think about the light at the time of day that your ceremony will take place. But light is very important for you and your guests’ comfort as well as for the quality of the photos. Your particular venue may have a ceremony space already allocated so you will just have to go with the flow however to help you understand and be aware of the light, below I have broken down what to know about each lighting situation.


Great for photos because it creates a very dreamy beautiful look, typically in the evening or early morning as the sun is low in the sky. But they can sometimes be distracting for guests if they are facing directly into it. If you’re having your ceremony in the evening when the sun will still be shining on your ceremony location, I would highly recommend angling the set up a little bit to the side of where the sun will set so that it is still dreamy and comfortable for guest’s eyes.
If the sun will be low in the sky but light won’t be hitting your ceremony, I would recommend facing your ceremony so that the sun is at your guest’s backs! This creates a gorgeous gradient in the sky
with lots of pastel colors and is beautiful. Remember that if you are checking out a ceremony site in the winter, the sun will set in a different location on the horizon in the summer, so plan accordingly. You can check exactly where the sun will be in the sky and where it will be shining with the app Sun Seeker on any day of any year, so you can plan around it.


Probably the best case scenario for photos and comfort! Shaded means there will be even light from start to finish and preserves all details in photos like colours, your dress, and it makes your skin look great.


Natural light coming from a window is ideal for indoor ceremonies, avoid mixed lighting by turning off indoor lights if possible so that the ceremony doest look like a mix of lots of blue and yellow. If you cannot use natural light only, make sure the indoor lights are bright so that the photos can have the best quality possible.


This is the most unideal lighting for photos, always resulting in really bright blown out patches of the photo and super dark faces which causes the photos to lose a lot of details such as people’s faces, decor, colours, etc. It also is uncomfortable for guests at times if it is during a hot part of the day, because everyone will be trying to sit in the shade and everyone else will be sweating. If you cannot avoid the uneven light no matter what, angle your ceremony so that it will at least be backlit if possible to help with the quality of photos.


Unless you get some cloud coverage, it will be really bright out and can result in lots of squinty eyes and funny shadows, but not the worst thing for photos! One good thing about it is that the lighting will stay consistent longer than it would during sunset. I LOVE shooting with a mixture of shade and that bright white midday sun, ceremonies are beautiful midday in the shade speckled with some light leaking through!