Wedding Photography Etiquette from any Angle

Wedding photography and videography is more of an art form than meets the eye! And we should know! We hear from brides and grooms across the nation who wonder about "the rules" and wedding photography protocol.

The issues can be dicey. When tradition competes with the need to be flexible, it’s good to hear advice from couples who have successfully navigated their wedding day photographic journey! Addressing the sensitivities of divorced parents, arranging photo shoots around church restrictions... well, you get the "picture"— and our etiquette tips can help.

Get hitched without a hitch with these five wedding photography insights.

Photography Wediquette

Rules of wedding etiquette —fondly called "wediquette"— exist to make everyone's part in your big day extra special. Following guidelines and making organizational efforts pays off in the form of exquisite wedding photography. It's worth the effort and yields memorable results for brides and grooms. Planning, preparation and communication help you work well with your photographer, venue and wedding officiant. Not only will it spare anxiety and unnecessary last-minute panic, but can help make the most important day of your life even more meaningful.

Wedding Photography and Venue Guidelines

Many churches, chapels, temples, mosques, hotels and other venues have guidelines for wedding photography before, during and after the ceremony. Ditto for officiants of various denominations. Photographers may be required to shoot away from the altar and avoid movement that can intrude on the service. Flash photography and noise may be prohibited once the wedding ceremony begins. The solution? Ask questions beforehand and include your wedding photography professionals (and family or friends in charge of capturing memories) in your consultations. It is imperative that your photographer and videographer understand the rules and adjust accordingly. This allows your team to plan ahead. Knowing what to recreate after the ceremony can ensure your highlights are captured forever.

Photographic Sneak Peek

Some couples opt to take pictures just before the wedding ceremony. Why? Pre-ceremony photography makes a lot of sense. Every head is coiffed to perfection, makeup is fresh and clothes are starched. According to tradition, grooms aren’t supposed to see brides before the wedding... but many couples ignore that rule for the sake of crisp, unwrinkled memories and quicker getaways to the reception. Timing is important and couples must budget in enough hours prior to the ceremony (and guest arrival) to have a spectacular and thorough photo shoot. Seven minutes for each formal portrait is a good estimate but remember that larger group shots require more time. Remember, when photo shoots run long the bride risks being spotted before she debuts at the isle... another incentive to keep your wedding photography session on time!

Taking Direction from Your Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer you trust is the key. Word of mouth is important, as are testimonials and reputation. Knowing your formal and candid moments will be captured beautifully means you can focus on the task at hand: The ceremony. It also allows you to spend special moments with loved ones. The highest caliber photographers approach weddings from a photojournalistic perspective. This means you hardly notice them as they photograph and/or video the celebration. Their knowledge of angle, lighting and timing, may, however, require you to move, pose, step here, step there... taking direction is an important part of wedding photography etiquette. Be flexible and trust your photographer's instincts and techinical skills for results you will cherish forever.

All in the Family Portrait

Grouping family for formal portraits can be tricky. Divorced parents may present challenges, as does your desire to make everyone comfortable. Good etiquette entails list-making, organization, and creative combinations of shots. Short lists can ensure every dynamic is covered. Give you family members a schedule —it’s a great way to keep everyone on track. Put a trusted relative in charge of gathering family for various poses and shots. When everyone knows where they are supposed to be and when, large group shots can move quickly to those last individual frames. Your photographer will appreciate the help.

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