This is the second post in my series on top tips for getting amazing wedding photography. In this post I am going to share with you exactly how I shoot a wedding ceremony and give you all my advice for ensuring that your wedding ceremony photos are exactly what you want. So without further ado, read on!

Wedding ceremonies are, of course, beautiful and poignant and emotional and euphoric, but most of all they are a legal process (unless you’re having a Humanist ceremony, but this is still the first four things). Whether you are having a religious ceremony or a civil service, I will always go and introduce myself to the person leading the ceremony. It’s usually quite obvious from the giant cameras swinging from my hips, but I find this really helps to create open communication between the two of us and allows me to negotiate any rules they may have. As the registrar or religious leader is always the person in charge of the wedding ceremony, it’s a good idea to ask them about restrictions on photography before you book. Every person and location will be different. Some are very relaxed and allow me to move around and photograph freely – which I will always do with the utmost care and respect. Others will have strict rules, like the photographer having to stand in one position and not move, or the photographer only being allowed to photograph only from the back. If you find this information out in advance of booking your service it will both help you make decisions about what you want from your photos, and help your photographer work out how to play it.

Bride and groom during their wedding ceremony. By feminist wedding photographer Parrot & PIneapple.

To alleviate any worries, my cameras work with a silent shutter function – so no awful clickclickclickclickclickclicking – and I never use flash during a ceremony because it can feel really disruptive. Basically, I try to be as ninja-like as possible! My aim is that you and your guests don’t notice me, and I can photograph your ceremony as it proceeds naturally – all the big, epic moments and all the fleeting ones in between too.

Speaking of the worry of disruptive cameras, unplugged ceremonies are a popular choice, and you may want to consider one. This is where couples ask all their guests to leave their phones, cameras and iPads in their bags and refrain from taking photos. There are some big benefits to doing this;

  • Your guests get to enjoy the moment of you getting married instead of viewing it from behind a camera.
  • Your official photos are better because you can see your guests faces and reactions, instead of them being hidden behind a screen, or distracted by a large glowing rectangle.
  • You will feel less pressure entering your ceremony without 20 cameras being pointed at you.
  • You won’t hear the constant clicking of cameras as you get married
  • You won’t have photos from your day uploaded to social media before your evening guests arrive. All of my photos will be free to share and distribute among your guests once they’re ready – I’ll deliver you a handful of highlights within the first week for the keen beans!

If you’re wondering how couples enter the ceremony room, I’ve seen loads of variations; some couples come in together, some enter separately and ask their parents to accompany them, some people walk in entirely by themselves, and some choose to be given away (by their father/mother/sibling/dog). There are no rules and you should go for whatever feels right for you. Well, when I said there were no rules, I lied: the only rule is that when entering the ceremony room, you need to leave plenty of space between you and person walking in front of you. I want to be able to get a lovely photograph of you walking in to the wedding ceremony!

Top tips for getting amazing photos of your wedding ceremony :

  • Ask your ceremony venue about their restrictions on photography.
  • Plan to walk slowly down the aisle with your head up. If you are meeting your partner at the top, keep your eyes on them. It’ll help with nerves.
  • Leave plenty of space between each person entering the ceremony. If you want photos of each person entering, I need to be able to see them. It also helps build the anticipation of your entry.
  • If you are doing a first kiss, let that linger for at least 2 seconds, then I can ensure I have captured it. Lots of couples hug immediately after the kiss which really helps to diffuse nerves!

 

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