One of my favorite parts of the wedding day is the ceremony. From that first glance down the aisle to the cheers as you exit, the ceremony is the whole reason for the day! A wedding day is, after all, celebrating a marriage! While many couples are choosing to get married at venues that can accommodate both the ceremony and reception, a good number of SLP Brides get married in traditional churches. Today’s blog is for them. I’m putting together a bride’s guide to getting married in a church!
I will admit that not every church is dark. That is a stereotype that modern architecture has thankfully proved untrue. However, despite the lighting conditions, every church does have some sort of policy regarding photography. This policy varies from church to church, but typically states where and when photos can be taken during the ceremony. I’ve been to many churches that allow photography throughout the ceremony, even including the use of flash. I’ve also been to churches where flash is completely prohibited. The most extreme example of this was at my own wedding. Our church did not allow any photography at all throughout the entire ceremony. We wound up recreating photos like the first kiss and our walk down the aisle afterwards! While this is rare, it is important for couples to check with the church about what their photo policy is before the wedding.
It sounds redundant, but after reading through the church’s photo policy it is still important to talk to the officiant themselves. Each officiant has different preferences and it’s important that the photographer respects them! I always make a point of talking to the officiant before the ceremony begins to find out if they have any specific restrictions.
If you have a specific shot that you want taken during the ceremony, talking to the officiant is especially important. For example, one of our SLP couples requested a shot of the First Kiss from behind the altar looking out at their guests. If they had not specifically discussed this with their pastor, he wouldn’t have known to make room for Caleb to stand for the shot!
While I’ve been to a lot of traditional church weddings, no two weddings are the same. There are so many ways to make a church wedding unique, from washing each other’s feet to a Marion Ceremony to special music. In order to make sure I don’t miss anything, I always ask couples to list any special traditions that will happen during the ceremony so that I’m not caught off guard!
From a photography perspective, the biggest difference between getting married in a church versus getting married outdoors is the lack of natural light. This changes the way that I shoot my images and how I process them. For instance, I almost never use flash outdoors, but frequently do in a church.
When it comes to editing, I tend to deliver more black and white edits when there is a church ceremony. B&W images are so classic that they pair easily with this traditional setting. Editing in B&W also gets rid of the yellow tones created by church lighting and can mask distracting backgrounds.
Wherever you choose to hold your ceremony, I always do everything I can to capture all of the important moments. The ceremony is what the wedding is all about and having those images to look back on will mean so much throughout your marriage! Following these tips for getting married in a church will help ensure that you get beautiful images of this event!