Wedding Photography Planning Tips: The Ceremony

March 11, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

"What can I do to get the best photography on my wedding day?"

This is a question I often get asked by clients, and with good reason. People spend hours preparing -- from getting ready to the first look, from the ceremony to the cake cutting, from the first dance to the grand exit (and all the little things in between). It only makes sense that every detail, large and small, is properly documented.

Over the years, I've given loads of advice to couples to help them get the most out of their wedding photos. Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting those tips (with photo examples) to help you work with your photographer to get the most out of your photos. Of course, you're free to customize your wedding photography to best fit your wedding -- the following tips are meant to be adaptable to almost any wedding circumstance.

The Ceremony

The big moment has finally arrived! For many couples, this is the most important part of their wedding day. Don't worry about creating moments for your photographer to capture -- she (or he) is the pro, and will know what to do to capture every wonderful moment of your ceremony. That said, here are some tips for things that you and your wedding party can do to make things that much better:

1. When you (or your wedding party) walk down the aisle, remember to smile. Even if you're a little bit nervous. You don't need to look at the camera (in fact, it looks a little forced if you do). Remember, when you look back at your photos in twenty years, a smiling bride and groom will make all the difference.

2. Make that "first kiss" moment last. Photographers sometimes only have a second or two to capture this moment, and although it's likely she (or he) wouldn't miss that kiss for the world, it's been known to happen. Holding the kiss for an extra moment (or even going in for a second kiss) will help your photographer get the photo she (or he) knows you'll love.

3. If you're getting married in a church, it's a good idea to ask the wedding coordinator about the church's photography policy. Some churches have rules about flash photography, and some even have rules about where photographers can stand during the ceremony. Knowing this policy and sharing it with your photographer beforehand can help her (or him) prepare accordingly.

4. If it's within your church or venue policy, reserve an aisle seat for your photographer near the middle or front third of the seating arrangements. This provides your photographer the opportunity to shoot up and down the aisle, and also allows for fantastic close-up opportunities.

5. If you're planning a ceremony surprise (like a flash mob, song-and-dance number, etc.), be sure to share that special information with your photographer. While your photographer would likely be able to accommodate for planned surprises as they happen, it's best to let him or her know ahead of time.

6. If you're getting married outside, check to see if your venue has a pavilion or gazebo you can stand beneath. One of the most challenging things a photographer faces with outdoor wedding ceremonies is sunlight, or to be more specific, harsh shadows caused by the sun. Also, if you end up with a 90-degree day (it happens, even in Minnesota), you now have a shady spot to stand beneath. (A pavilion also makes for a great back-up rain site, especially if your venue isn't able to move you indoors in case of adverse weather conditions.)



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