WEDDING PLANNING: Top tips for Planning Your Ceremony
This is the key point of your day, once I arrive at your ceremony location I’ll chat to the person carrying out your ceremony. From here I’ll check if there are any restrictions on photography and find the best angles for photographing.
1.Where To Have Your Ceremony
Outdoor Ceremonies – if you are planning for an outdoor ceremony it’s always good to have a back up plan just incase the weather isn’t how you had hoped. I have photographed weddings in the pouring rain, just make sure you have plenty of brollies for your guests and somewhere inside to sign your paperwork so it doesn’t get soggy!
Midday is when the sun is highest and can leave for unflattering shadows on your face on a cloud free day, so it may be worth looking at a shaded area. Clouds make for the most flattering light for your ceremony as they help to filter the harsh sunlight.
Indoor ceremonies – the best space for your ceremony is a light and bright room, opt for the brightest room if you have a choice. Otherwise set up the room so you are next to a massive window. Dark rooms can create a lot of atmosphere and ambience, but make sure they are well lit and avoid red lighting and up-lighters.
TOP TIP: If you are planning your ceremony and reception at different locations, have your ceremony at an earlier time and allow twice the time you think it will take for travel between the locations. This will help to make the day as stress free as possible as you won’t be worrying about time and can relax.
2. Types of Wedding Ceremony
There are two main types of wedding ceremony in Scotland; the first type is a civil ceremony which can take place in a registry office or anywhere approved by a registrar. You can also have a religious or belief ceremony, this can take place anywhere by someone approved to conduct a ceremony. Humanist belief weddings are becoming increasingly popular for couples in Scotland and gives you the most freedom in picking your place to get married. You can also add in traditions such as a hand-fasting, quaich ceremony or even a pagan broom jump and they give you a lot more flexibility to make your ceremony how you want it to be and express you both as a couple.
Depending where you’re getting married and who is marrying you, will depend on what the rules for photography are. Often with religious ceremonies photography is restricted and I will need to stand at the back of the room or on a balcony. Check what the rules are before your wedding if possible, I will always do my best to get you incredible pictures but I do need to follow the rules.
3. Walking down the aisle
This is often the most emotional and nervous part of the day for most couples, unless you have done a first look this is the first time you will see each other on you wedding day. Prior to the wedding; decide on your music, who is escorting you (if anyone!) and what order you will be walking down if you are walking with your wedding party. Check with your officiant if you need some advice on this part of the day; typically the groom or first partner will wait at the right side of the room (if you are looking towards the front) and the bride or second partner is on the left. Usually the bridesmaids / wedding party will walk before the bride or second partner but I’ve had church ceremonies where the bride has walked first. You also have the option to walk each other down the aisle! Make sure you know in advance what is happening and practice walking in your outfits to help ease the nerves on the day.
To help you make the most of the experience:
1. Have your escort lock arms with you to help ease your nerves walking
2. Hold your flowers lower than you think (I normally say “hold them between your tits and your bits” as it sticks in the mind haha!)
3. Keep your shoulders back, loosen up, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths before you walk
4. Walk slowly, and naturally – I know it can be easy to rush but make the most of the moment
5. Kick your dress with your shoe and let it fall (or have it altered / made to sit just above the bottom of your shoes) so you don’t trip over it
6. SMILE & look at your husband / wife to be and your guests
4. Should I have an unplugged ceremony?
Another thing to think about is having an unplugged ceremony, this is where you ask your guests to turn off their devices and be present for your ceremony. You can write it on invites but I would advise giving everyone a gentle reminder on the day. You can do this by having a sign or asking your officiant to mention it before your ceremony starts. With the rise of smartphone technology, everyone will turn up to your wedding with a camera. It’s much better to be able to see the faces and emotion of your friends and family, have them present in the moment rather than a sea of cameras and phones.
Having an unplugged wedding also means I won’t have guests getting in my way and blocking key shots with their phones and selfie sticks (or even their cameras!). You will also get better shots of your guests faces and reactions during your ceremony rather than their faces buried in their phones.
If you have any questions about planning your day, or are looking for a photographer get in touch and we can have a chat.