couple listens to officiant during ceremony
May 8, 2013

5 Factors to Consider for Ceremony Time


There are many things to consider when planning your wedding ceremony, two of the big ones is what time to have it and which direction to face. These of course effect where the sun will be, the temperature as well as mountains and other landmarks will be in the photos. While Chris and I don’t like to be involved in such decisions (it is your wedding we just document it), here are some factors to consider that way effect photography and your guests:

Wedding ceremony in Rocky Mountain National Park

1. Weather: The weather in Colorado is predictably unpredictable. In a normal year (non drought) we may have afternoon thunderstorms that can be quick and pretty or long gully washers. If the site is in the mountains or in Denver or Boulder along the front range the time that those storms roll in will be different.

2. Location: Does the spot you’ve picked face the to the east or west? Is there a mountain behind you that the sun will drop behind? Is there a tree that will cast a shadow on you at just the wrong time?

3. Color of Light: Not every sunset is full of warm summer light. Many factors can contribute to a red or pink sunset, everything from forest fires to rain storms can effect the color of the light. The timing on this in the summer can also be quite late in the evening.

4. Direction of Light: As the sun tracks across the sky shadows shift and lengthen, will you be standing in the shadows with a bright sun directly behind you? Will it shine in your eyes or your guests? Will your photographer be pulling his hair out trying to get the shot with out a flare in his lens? If you have a formal venue then it may already be set up and facing a specific direction and you can just roll with it. There is also an app called Sun Seeker that will tell you the track of the sun as you move your phone across the scene.

5. Backup Location: I hate to say it, but it is Colorado in the summer time, the weather can be fickle. Be prepared if you are having an outdoor wedding I would highly recommend having a fall back location.

It is your wedding and you should plan it as you wish. Any photographer worth his/her salt can work with what ever is thrown at them. What is important is that it is perfect for the bride and groom, then everybody else. If you’d like to talk to us about it give a shout. We try to visit the location with all of our clients so we can be on the same page and so you get the photos you want!

Eric Bellamy
Wedding Photojournalist at Stark Bellamy Photography
Eric Bellamy is an award-winning photojournalist whose work has appeared on the likes of ESPNHS, the New York Times, Denver Post and more. He now focuses on editorial-style wedding photography and portraiture. He lives with his wife and children, and enjoys climbing rock and ice as well as sampling good wine and food in Northern Colorado.