Your Wedding Ceremony
Yep. You've got your hair looking all nice and your face is a picture - time to get married!
Here are a few notes from me as to what photographers have to consider about photographing your ceremony:
I have to meet the Priest or Vicar before your ceremony to ask them what they are and are not happy with me to do during your ceremony. Here are the usual provisos, although this can vary enormously from church to church, vicar to vicar so it is always worth making sure that you ask beforehand what is allowed. They can very easily refuse any photography at all (although this is rare, it does happen).
1. No flash photography
This is pretty much a given for any wedding, civil or religious whilst the ceremony is taking place, so we are usually dealing with fairly low light photography.
2. Only photograph from the rear of the church
I get this a lot. For every photograph you see online of the bride and groom being photographed from the front over the vicars shoulder, it is not that often that we are able to take photographs from this position. Often, I am allowed no further than about halfway up the centre aisle. It pretty much depends on both the vicar and the layout of the church itself. Either way, I do what the vicar tells me, as is polite, and I won't do anything that would ever interfere with your guests enjoyment and experience of your wedding. Needless to say this involves a fair amount of tip-toeing and a soupcon of crouching. You can laugh at me if you spot me, but I suspect you'll be too busy getting married.
Registrars normally will allow photography from the front of the ceremony room (i.e. behind them and to the left or right) during the exchange of rings and your first kiss. They often just say not too many through the service, and others say none at all outside of rings/kiss. Again - we are entirely at the mercy of which Registrar or celebrant you have and how much they love/hate us photographers!
No flash photography - again this is usually a given during the ceremony.
What Does' 'Unplugged' Mean?
This is when guests are requested not to use cameras or mobile phones and devices to photograph the wedding - at least the ceremony part. Sounds mean I know, but that's what you've got me for! And it does ensure that the focus is on your ceremony, not the teeny digital screen your family and friends would otherwise be squinting at during the most important part of your day.
Taking it further would mean discouraging people from photographing throughout the day, although I think this is rather unfair on your guests. But asking them to not spend the whole day staring at their phones isn't a bad idea. We're all guilty of mobile phone addiction occasionally, but weddings aren't the occasion!
Also it does then discourage people from getting a bit excited and leaping out into the aisle in front of me, and obscuring vital shots (sound awful, but it does happen!)
Anyway, whether it's a few words spoken to the congregation by your priest, vicar, registrar or celebrant, or some careful words on your invitations, it is worth considering asking people to put down the tech and enjoy the day!