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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Brecheisen

What is the Worst Time of Day for an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony?

I am frequently asked what the best time of day is for an outdoor wedding ceremony, but I'm not usually consulted on the worst time of day. Ironically, most people schedule their wedding ceremony for the worst time of day in regards to lighting and comfortability. This post is designed to help you make an informed decision regarding your ceremony time.

Sooo... What IS the worst time of day?


Mid-day and the times surrounding mid-day. Period. For example, in July here in SC (my home state), anytime from 11am to about 6pm is going to produce extremely harsh shadows. Not only are the shadows harsh, but there can also be sweltering heat. This can be extremely uncomfortable for your guests, not to mention the Bride and Groom in a suit and a thick wedding dress!

I have to have my ceremony during the worst time of day. HELP!


1.) Your photographer will be able to help you. He or she can do a venue walk-through with you and determine the necessary lighting to combat the harsh shadows. If you are anticipating a natural light ceremony, this may not be a possibility.

2.) Complete shade is your best friend, so you may want to see if you can find a full shaded area at your chosen venue.

If I choose to have my ceremony at the worst time of day, does that mean I'll have bad wedding photos?


Definitely not! Hire a professional photographer, and he or she will be able to help you. Communication is key with your photographer, so make sure to include him or her throughout your planning process. Discuss all of your ideas with your photographer as you go along, so they can help you achieve what you want. For instance, let's say you're having a dark candlelit ceremony or reception, and you want to retain the candlelit atmosphere. You might assume that no additional light will help you preserve that atmosphere. Natural light could; however, it may also bring about some weird shadows, grain, and blurring. I would personally use directional light with a modifier to point the light. This would retain your atmosphere and provide beautiful light on the subject.

As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me! You can find my article about the Best Time of Day here.

Thanks for reading!

Jennifer Brecheisen

Destination Wedding Photographer

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