Posted 06 May 2010 - 10:02 AM
Our ceremony was set to start at 5pm, I think it actually started around 5:15. It depends on what it most important to you - the pics during the ceremony or the organized pics after. The pics during the ceremony were great for us because the sun was starting to go down, but it was definitely rushed afterward and we did not have time for as many pictures as I thought we would. To avoid this, you could start at 430 or so? But then the sun would be pretty bright during the ceremony...
Also, you can plan to do many of the pics before hand that don't require both of you - like bridesmaid and groomsmen pics, and I also had Chris do his own family pics before the wedding and this saved a lot of time and allowed the photographer to take her time on those.
We did use the minister they recommended. I would definitely meet with him in advance. He gave us a sheet of what he usually says during the ceremony and there were a few things that we really didn't like and I am very happy we were able to tell him not to say some of those things - such as "if anyone in the audience disagrees with this union please say so now" - I mean who wants that said at their wedding, I think I have only seen that in the movies! He did a great job in the end. Oh and we really liked the sand ceremony and he did a nice job of explaining its significance during the ceremony. And we did do our own vows that we read to each other ourselves which was really special and made it a more intimate ceremony. We also had two readers of poems that we chose.
Hope this helps, let me know if I can answer anything else. I know lots of questions come up in the final planning!