Oh man, do I wish I had read a blog about wedding ceremony tips before I planned my wedding. All of these tips are things we see as wedding photographers. We try to remind brides ahead of time, because we don’t love when done wrong, and LOVE it when done right! Here’s all the things we love to have go RIGHT and make your wedding ceremony even better.
This is a big one! Remember to smile during the ceremony. I know it seems like this wouldn’t be a problem, but sometimes stress takes over. I once photographed a wedding where the bride expressed zero emotion the entire ceremony and it was just a little awkward. So, take a few moments before the ceremony to breathe deeply and calmly and relieve some of the jitters and stress. Then put that smile on because this is about to be one of the best days of your life!
This wedding ceremony tips goes for brides and all of the bridesmaids out there. Keep your bouquet low and tilt it slightly out. We want to see your beautiful faces and that dress you fell in love with! My general rule of thumb is to rest your forearms gently on your hip bones. And hold the bouquet at the base of where the flowers begin (not super low on the stems). This will keep your bouquet in the perfect place to look great in ceremony and bridal party photos!
Check with your officiant about how far into the ceremony they will have you hold hands. Some officiants have it happen at the very end, and that leaves a lot of room for improvement. Especially if you are not planning to have a bouquet, there is nothing to do with your hands. I recommend asking if you can hold hands nearer the beginning of the ceremony if it’s very last. Holding hands with each other allows for extra body connection and makes the photos all the more magical!
Of course you’ll face each other when you are saying your “I Do’s”. Right? Well, some officiants will have you stand side by side for part of the ceremony. Boo. Or, ask you to face away from your guests, but then they don’t get to see your beautiful faces as you pledge your lives to each other. Sometimes you just naturally turn towards the officiant as they are speaking. Remember, you’re not marrying them. You want to make eye contact with the person you are marrying, and with the loved ones who came to support you!
I recommend facing each other and turning your shoulders out towards your guests slightly. This allows you to face your fiancé/fiancée, but not have your backs completely to the guests. Check with your officiant on what their process is so that you can ask for it to be different if desired.
If you’re planning to share vows during your wedding ceremony, you probably need to go get started on them… Ok, we know there is an ease to typing our your vows on your computer or phone. Or writing them on simple notebook paper. There is nothing wrong with any of those things, but if you want to take your ceremony photos up a notch, invest in vow books. They are pretty inexpensive and make your photos look more put together!
This one is HUGE and an absolute must when it comes to wedding ceremony tips. While most of the wedding professionals I work with have this down pat, this is definitely something to remind them of. If you’re bringing your own officiant, or having a family member marry you, you’ll want to make sure they know. Trust me, you do not want a random head and body in your first kiss photos. It’s not very romantic.
You definitely want your officiant to move out of the way for your first kiss. In fact, it’s even better if they move before they pronounce you married. This makes sure they are fully out of the way for that first kiss as a married couple!
Alright, one of my favorite wedding ceremony tips is for the exit. When leaving down the wedding aisle, pause a few times and give each other a big kiss. Maybe even a romantic dip or a big “Wohoo!” This gives your photographer a few more opportunities to get great kissing shots in case your officiant *cough* didn’t move. These are also just a really fun to include in your wedding gallery.
Contact us to see if we have your wedding date available for your Jackson Hole wedding or destination wedding!