I’ve photographed over 100 weddings and these are the top tips I have for you to ensure both a wonderful experience and incredible ceremony photos.
1) unplugged ceremony – have your officiant request guests’ silence and put away their phones so they can be fully present during the ceremony with you.
You can also have the officiant announce that everyone has one minute to get a photo of the couple (have the couple turn and face the audience) and then request they put their phones away for the rest of the ceremony.
2) personal vows will make you and your guests laugh and cry, or sometimes a really talented officiant can do this if you’re too nervous to do personal vows in front of a crowd
3) frequently the couple may be wondering just what to do with their hands. I’ve seen grooms nervously cross their arms or stuff their hands in their pockets, but the simplest (and most aesthetic) solution is to hold hands with your partner while you’re standing up there in front of everyone and the officiant is speaking their piece
4) seat your parents/family on opposite sides of where you’re standing so that they can see your face and reactions
5) time for the big moment – have your officiant step off to the side so they don’t photo-bomb your first kiss and go for a real sincere kiss, not just a tiny quick little peck which can be so fast you might end up with an awkward in-between moment of leaning in or coming out of the kiss
6) stop at the end of the aisle for a kiss with all of your guests behind you in the shot – this is usually a candid moment so you definitely don’t have to overthink it but if you can try not to block your face with your bouquet or twist your bodies away from the photographer (maybe do a practice run during rehearsal) this shot is one of my personal favorites😆
7) either hold hands as you exit 🏼 or (this is for the groom) help your bride out with her long train/veil
Bonus tip – outdoor ceremonies can be bright and sunny, but I promise you do NOT want your wedding party or immediate family members to wear sunglasses in the ceremony photos. You would much rather receive squinty-eyed photos over photos where we can’t see your parents or close friends and family’s reactions to your tear-jerking vows.
This only pertains to your wedding party and parents so ask the party to put away their sunglasses before walking down the aisle. Trust me when I say that you don’t want it to look like your ceremony has been infiltrated by CIA agents.
Overall, these tips can help you get some showstopping ceremony photos but as a professional observer and wedding documentarian, I’m constantly searching for and finding those little candid moments that unfold throughout the day so don’t sweat it and allow yourself to get caught up in the moment. I’ll capture it how it happened and that’s beautiful! Reach out to inquire about wedding photography today!