Weddings involve so much planning and so many moving parts, and the day goes by so quickly, sometimes we forget the actual reason we’re all there: the ceremony! Couples worry so much about the reception chair covers, the guest book being in the right spot, and making sure their shoes all match. But remember, your ceremony is the bread-and-butter of your day, and is the most meaningful part. It’s the part that makes you married! So for today’s post, here are 5 tips for a picture perfect ceremony!
Hire a Wedding Planner or Day-Of Coordinator
There are a million little things to think of on a wedding day, but there is nothing I hate more than seeing the couple or their parents take care of those things the morning of. (I have been to far too many weddings where the groomsmen set up the chairs before they get dressed – don’t do this!) Hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator will make sure there is someone there to put the unity candle in the right place, center the ceremony arch, and cue your wedding party to walk down the aisle! (If you’re in Michigan, I highly recommend 1945 Event Co.! She really knows how to put a gorgeous event together!)
Practice Makes Perfect
There is a reason you have a rehearsal dinner. Believe it or not, it’s actually to rehearse the ceremony! This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve been to a few rehearsals where no one really knew what was supposed to be happening. And I mean rehearse the ENTIRE thing. Where will the couple be hiding beforehand, and how will they get to the aisle? Who is there to cue the wedding party that it’s time to go (hint: see previous tip)? If possible, take this time to use a small mark where the wedding party AND the couple will stand. Again, it may seem like a no-brainer, but things shift so easily the following day.
Assign a Detail-Oriented Captain
It should come as no surprise that things can go wrong even during the ceremony. The bride’s veil falls out, the train is crumpled, or the aisle runner gets flipped up. As a photographer, I want nothing more than to hop in and make sure everything is back where it belongs. Simply put: it’s not our place. Our goal during the ceremony is to capture everything as inconspicuously as possible. Some churches are very strict and we can’t go farther up the aisle than halfway. We don’t want to disrupt and call attention to ourselves by fixing something. That’s why it’s a good idea to tell your Maid of Honor or mom to be in charge of those things. They are already up at the front and part of the day. No one thinks twice when a bridesmaid fluffs the train out during the vows. Tell them: “if you see something out of place, I give you permission to fix it.”
Instruct and Allow your Officiant to Adjust Things
When you meet with your officiant during wedding planning, it’s a good idea to give them permission to make adjustments as well. Your ceremony is one place where social-distancing is discouraged – get close! If your officiant sees this, he can gently guide you in towards each other. Also remember the earlier tip about marking where you all stand? Tell him to also guide you to the center! Bonus tip to tell your officiant: have them write into their sermon for you to take a moment to pause and look at your crowd! It’s a great way to take it all in and breath before you say “I do”.
Enjoy your First Kiss!
Ok, the moment you’ve been waiting for – your first kiss as a married couple! *blink* Wait, what happened? Did I miss it? All that planning for a peck? Make sure you take it slow! You don’t need to get all hot and heavy in front of your grandma, but just…hold it for a few seconds! Then you can celebrate with a hug, and maybe go back in for another kiss. I promise no one will mind, and it gives you lots of opportunities for some very swoon-worthy photos! (Also if we can go back to tips for the officiant: tell him when he announces you, to do it from the side!)