Professional photography at a church wedding

Everyone will be taking photos at your wedding, but you may also want to have beautiful photographs you can look back on for many years to come. These might be taken by a friend or you may want to use a professional photographer.
A wedding photographer setting up a group shot

It is essential to talk with the vicar before the service about photos, especially if you’d like to have some taken during the service. It can also be helpful if your photographer can come to the rehearsal so he or she knows where to be effective, safe and unobtrusive. Talk to your vicar about where your pictures might be taken, and particularly whether photographs may be safely taken inside the church during the service.

Your photographer must be included in the maximum number of wedding guests (30) advised by the Government.

If the vicar is happy in principle with a photographer being present inside the church, a little forward planning will help ensure things run smoothly on the day.  Wedding photographer Richard Shepherd outlines some helpful tips:

  1. Choose carefully. Choose a photographer with a good reputation – try to see examples of their work and meet them before you book them. Your vicar may even have a list of good photographers they have worked with at other weddings.
  2. Put everyone in touch. Give the details of your photographer to your vicar, and vice versa. They will want to contact each other to discuss the wedding.
  3. Visit the venue together. Most photographers will want to see your wedding venue before the day, so try to arrange a visit to the church together. Often the wedding rehearsal can be the best place for talking things through.
  4. Walk around the grounds and show them the lighting indoors if possible. Ask to take some practise shots, or even try out specific poses or photographs you’d like on the day. This will help you to relax in front of the camera and help you get to know your photographer better.
  5. Keeping the ceremony special. Good photographers will understand that your vicar is skilled in ensuring you and your guests experience a beautiful, meaningful and spiritual service. Because your vicar knows the church layout so well, they can help negotiate the movement of photographers during the service. For example, if there is no way for the photographer to walk from the back to the front of the church without disturbing everybody, you may be restricted to photographs from the back of the aisle until the photographer is able to come to the front during the signing of the marriage paperwork.

After the honeymoon

When you return home and receive your wedding photos, why not drop a picture in to the vicar? A photo is a lovely visual aid for prayer, which will help the church continue to pray for your marriage.

Guest photos

Many of your guests will have cameras and/or phone cameras of their own. With advances in phone technology, a photo or film can be recorded and shared via social networking sites within a few minutes.

For some couples it’s natural to assume photos and films will be going online from the beginning of the day until it ends, but others might like to see their wedding photos and be the first to share them, perhaps even after the big day.

If you’d like more control over how much of your wedding is photographed and shared, there are ways to let your guests know how you feel about it, such as a notice on the Order of Service or a brief notice read by the vicar at the start of the service. You might even put a note in the wedding invitations.