when you decide the layout of your ceremony.
Make sure the whole bridal party is standing in either FULL shade or FULL sun.
The camera simply can not handle both.
Either those in the shade will be completely black
or those in the sun will be completely burned out,
and you will have no pleasing shots of your whole bridal party.
Likewise, be very careful if you are planning to stand under trees or an archway
Speckled light will leave very unflattering highlights or black spots all over you!
And an archway may put a shadow right though you.
Watch for background 'clutter'.
Similarly, while there are traditions as to which side the guys and girls stand,
if you are unable to vary the ceremony spot,
ensure the tall guys aren’t blocking the sun and thus casting shadows
across the girls.
And be very careful with red carpets
While these are a lovely idea, be aware that they will reflect a red glow up under your chin
and onto your faces, making colour balancing a nightmare for your photographer.
It might also turn your lovely white gown into a delightful shade of pink! :)
Think about where you want your Celebrant to stand.
Traditionally, they stand behind you, facing your guests.
What tends to naturally happen, is you and your partner turn yourselves inwards to,
at least partially, face your celebrant.
Thus you begin to turn your backs to your guests, and to your photographer.
It also means your Celebrant is in EVERY shot.
Some of my favourite Celebrants stand to the side, leaving you the center of attention,
and making for much more pleasing photography.
At the very least, please ask your Celebrant to step aside for your kiss.
I can't tell you how many photos have been spoilt with a Celebrant looking seriously at their notes,
or rubbing their nose in the background of a precious moment!
Have you thought about the role of social media and informal wedding photos
How do you feel about your guests sharing your special moments before you even get back from honeymoon?
I have heard of guests uploading photos to Facebook DURING the wedding ceremony!
Most weddings, these days, are 'Unplugged Weddings'
- where guests are asked not to take photos during the ceremony,
and not to upload any other images to social media before the official photos are share.
One of my most favourite Celebrants, Diane Strong, has kindly allowed me to share a statement
she often uses at the start of her ceremonies. You might like to consider something similar.
Today we celebrate the best of what it means to be human.
Today we celebrate love.
I invite you to be truly present at this special time.
Please turn off your phones and put down your cameras.
The photographer will capture how this moment looks.
I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology.
Afterwards feel free to capture the afterglow
and maybe wait until tomorrow before you share them with the fabulous world of Facebook.
Or this, from Celebrant Angel Pearson, could be added to your Order of Service sheet
or read by your MC prior to the brides arrival:
Please don't watch this ceremony through the back of your camera.
There's a professional photographer on site and all images from today
will be provided to the bride and groom to share with you.
They invited the photographer here to take photos,
but they invited you here to be part of these special moments.
So relax, enjoy, celebrate and leave the photography to the professionals.
Here’s a tip that experienced Celebrants know about, but less experienced ones may need reminding of:
Have your witnesses address (but not sign) both copies of the license during the ceremony rehearsal,
to avoid a long awkward pause during your ceremony.
Then, on the day, all they need to do is add their signature.
And did you know that almost anyone can be your witnesses
So long as they understand what they are doing, they can witness and sign your license.
I’ve seen a 7-year old child of the couple, and elderly grandmothers fill this role.
It doesn’t have to be your best man and maid of honour.
It’s a lovely way to acknowledge someone special in your life.
Make sure you let your photographer know if something active is likely to happen during the ceremony
to allow them to position themselves so as not to miss the moment.
If you’re doing a butterfly release, collecting your rings from grandmothers sitting in the front row,
or you’re doing a dramatic dip-kiss, make sure I know about it!
Speaking of dip-kisses
– practice these!
Be aware that men naturally turn their women away from other people when they kiss them.
This means that all your guests – and your photographer – sees, is your rear end!
Practice so that you dip parallel to your guests.
Finally, make sure you have your Celebrant’s cell number
in the contact list of your best man's phone.
While it’s very rare, I have experienced a few weddings where the Celebrant has failed to show!
for a link for all you need to know about applying for a marriage licence in NZ
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