There was a moment the other week, when I was downloading and looking through cards from an outdoor wedding I helped shoot*, when I thought: gosh, this venue has amazing natural light, but the timeline did not work it to its advantage.
* we wedding photographers often help out our colleagues by acting as second shooters or assistants (it’s a small world and pretty tight-knit)
Because, as “regular” wedding timelines go, it’s typically in this fashion:
– ceremony (in the daylight)
– formals during cocktail hour
– sunset portraits with the couple
– reception (as the sun sets and the rest is in darkness)
Sometimes, that amazing natural light that looks fantastic for sunset portraits means a face-full of bright sunshine as the wedding processional walks down the aisle. The guests are holding their hands up to block their eyes as they are seated full west, the couple squints as they walk down the aisle, and it’s just a little too harsh. It’d be nice, I mused, if we did the ceremony in the soft rosy light of dusk.
And I started to think: what if we did it all in reverse?
I think it’d take a certain type of couple to do a wedding timeline in reverse, but think of how awesome it would be! Consider this possible outdoor wedding (preferably done in the spring or fall):
– guests would arrive and receive beverages
– food (possibly lunch) would be served
– toasts would be given (in the sun)
– dancing in the daytime!
– cake cut and served before sunset
– family photos are done in the shifting light
– golden-hour portraits with the couple (an hour before sunset)
– in that beautiful time between golden hour and actual sunset, the ceremony is performed in that rosy dusk glow
– and in the darkness, people either continue to dance or everyone is already spent, so they go home :)
For some reason, it just sounds like a cool idea. I’d probably recommend that it be done after Daylight Savings time, so the sunset would be around 8 rather than 6.
I really want an offbeat couple to try this out sometime.
Edit: I was just alerted to the idea that some people have guests who might eat and leave before the actual ceremony. In that case, I’d say… hold out on cutting the cake until after the ceremony! I bet people will always stay later for cake, especially if they know there is cake :)