THE AISLE ~ With more & more guests taking pictures during the ceremony, it’s best to have a nice wide aisle. At least 8′ wide is ideal so we have a clear shot of you down your aisle rather than the backs of your guests’ heads.
UNPLUGGED CEREMONY ~ As much as you love Uncle Bob, we doubt that you want his head or cell phone to block our shot of your first kiss. Consider posting a polite sign letting your guests know that you’ve hired pros to take care of photos & video and/or ask your officiant to announce that your wedding is unplugged & to please just enjoy the ceremony. We’ve also seen couples tie ribbons from chair to chair down the aisle (from front to back), with guests entering from the sides. That way well- intentioned guests with cameras won’t step into the aisle during your ceremony & block our view of you (your photographer also appreciates this!)
ALTAR / ARBOR SET-UP ~ Please leave at least 8 feet of space between where the two of you will stand and the front row of chairs. Also, please have your wedding party stand at least 3 feet from you so we can get a shot of you during your vows without them blocking you. If there will be an arbor at your altar, it’s best for your officiant to stand between the front two posts and the two of you to stand in front of the arbor (if you’re inside it, the posts will block our view of you during your vows).
SEATING ~ You might consider having your front-row guests sit opposite from each of you, rather than on the same side of you. That way they can see your face instead of the back of your head.
THE PROCESSIONAL ~ Be sure to leave a lot of space in between couples when your wedding party walks down the aisle (a good rule of thumb is for the next couple to start walking when the couple in front of them is midway down the aisle). And remind them to walk slowly. The same applies to you, of course. If you notice your photo/video team, don’t feel the need to look at the camera. Just do what you would do if we weren’t there.
THE VOWS ~ This is the key moment of your ceremony. Take a moment to really look at each other and think about what you’re saying. If you’re reading your own vows to each other, write them on thicker paper (like a notecard) since notebook/printer paper is thin and makes a lot of noise on windy days. If you are repeating vows that your officiant says, try to think about their meaning as your repeat them… that way you won’t sound robotic. We will place a small lapel mic on one of you (or both of you if you prefer) and your officiant. If you stand facing your officiant, your guests & video will see the backs of your heads, so stand with your bodies facing each other. It’s okay to turn your heads toward your officiant while they are speaking, but don’t forget to hold hands and really look at each other during your vows.
YOUR VEIL ~ If you wear a veil, try to remember to have it rest behind your shoulders instead of in front of them. That way your guests can see your face instead of your veil.
SHADOWS/SUN ~ If you have an outdoor wedding, visit your ceremony site a day or so before your wedding at the same time of day your ceremony will take place. Will the sun be in your eyes, causing you to squint? Will your arbor cast odd shadows on your faces?
UNITY CANDLES ~ As you can imagine, we’ve seen many unity candle malfunctions over the years. An easy fix is to burn each wick for a minute or so at some point before your ceremony. They’ll light much easier. A wind-safe alternative is unity sand or a wine ceremony.
SOAK IT IN ~ Chances are your ceremony will be a blur. There are a few moments that you might consider just taking a moment to let take it all in:
* During your processional, consider pausing for about 5 seconds just before you reach the aisle (literally stop walking, and take a moment to look at your guests and each other)
* After you’ve had your first kiss and are announced, rather than bolting down the aisle, just take a moment to look at your guests (they’ll be cheering for you!).
* As you exit, maybe give each other another kiss part way down your aisle… this makes for a great photo for your photographer since you’ll be surrounded by your guests
* Rather than getting bombarded by well-intentioned friends and family immediately after your ceremony, consider taking 5 minutes, just the two of you (not even photo/video), to let it soak in that you just got married.
PRETEND WE’RE INVISIBLE ~ We’ll try our best not to be noticed on your wedding day, but if you do notice us, just do your best to pretend that we’re not there. You don’t need to look at the camera (in fact, it’s better if you don’t). We’re just there to capture the moments as they happen, so the general rule of the day is if you see a camera, just ignore it.