We will provide useful information in this new series for the newly engaged couple to consider while reviewing all of the vendor opportunities. This week, we will start off with the "Ceremony Location."
Once you have made the commitment to get married, a lot of choices and decisions need to be made. One of those, of course, is the location of your ceremony. But first, you must decide if it will be a traditional church wedding, or a simple ceremony at a park or wedding venue.
If you choose a church, there are a few things you might want to ask the wedding coordinator at the church. Among these is:
- Availability of your chosen wedding date. How will their time slots fit your plans?
- Is the church more interested in preserving their reverence traditions or your experience of a beautiful wedding. We have experienced both. There are churches, which we have shot weddings, that have very strict rules as to where the photographer or photographers are allowed to position themselves. One church in recent memory, required us to stay behind the seated guests and shoot from the back of the church. If there is no balcony, this is limiting the available perspectives. We compensated for this by setting up remotely controlled cameras positioned to ensure we could get those "important shots." Ask them if they limit where the photographer can shoot from, and if it's very limited, is it because they have had bad experiences with obnoxious photographers. Our photographers have a reputation of being non-disruptive, and moving very slowly and smoothly to capture the wedding ceremony moments without even being noticed. The bottom line: Ask the questions, because you are paying for the use of the church and you should have a voice in getting what you want!
- How much time will the church allow after the ceremony to permit the photographers to shoot your group formals at the front of the church. Is there another service or Mass scheduled 30 minutes after your ceremony? This could pose a problem. You want at least a full hour afterwards to allow you to get those important pics of you and all of your family members as desired. Will the priest or minister be available for the first group shot?
- If you will be using a wedding venue for your ceremony, you have no worries. The coordinators at these locations know the importance of the ceremony photography and very rarely ever pose restrictions on vendor's participation.
Try to keep in mind for your planning purposes, the length of time between your ceremony and the reception. The photographers are going to charge you from the very start, like pre-ceremony detail shots of the bride's preparation, to the wedding couple exit after the reception party. If your ceremony is at 1:00PM, and your reception begins at 6 or 7PM, you have a few hours that the photographers will not really be doing anything, but you will still be charged. We try to compensate for this time lag by capturing the limo ride, or going to the reception venue early to capture detail shots of the table decorations, cake, and your arrival.
We hope this small article has provided you with useful information to consider when choosing your ceremony locations.
As us for our detailed timeline list of the things you need to consider when planning your wedding day!
From the desk of Michael Holeda, Executive Director and Photographer for Matrix Digital Arts