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Want Great Wedding Photos? Get Centered… For the KISS, That Is!

Published Tuesday, Nov. 24th, 2020

Illustrations by Jessica Levey

Professional wedding photographers might not come right out and say it on the wedding day, but they want your help. As the wedding officiant, you have the understated superpower of making a photographer’s job much easier.


One of the simplest things you can do? 



Ask the couple to stand centered with the aisle for that first kiss.


Having the couple centered with the aisle helps a wedding photographer get a balanced, well-composed shot, without chairs or heads in the way. This ensures a couple gets a first kiss photo they’ll love, and a happy couple is what the wedding day is all about. Include this in the stage directions in your ceremony script and point it out during the rehearsal, so that everyone is on the same page before the ceremony.


No aisle? The principle still works. Consider the space you’re working with and plan ahead. Make sure there’s room for a clear shot of the couple, with a little symmetry and style thrown in, when deciding where to stand during the ceremony. If you need help figuring out what will work best, talk with the photographer ahead of time. 




Plan where the couple will stand for the first kiss and include it in the ceremony script's stage directions.




Then, take a moment during the ceremony to notice where everyone is standing.


If the couple has shifted apart or moved off center during their vows or other personal readings, take an opportunity to have them step back into place. A subtle, discreet mention should do the trick, and is well worth it for a fantastic photo. 


While we all continue to work on practicing social distancing and creating a healthy amount of space between guests during in-person weddings, this attention to detail by the wedding officiant also makes it easier for photographers to give guests (and themselves) some space. Instead of weaving through a small crowd or clamoring around furniture to get a great shot, the perfect, centered shot will already be waiting for them. 




Wedding officiants can help make a photographer's work easier by discreetly asking couples to step back into place during the ceremony.



(This is the second in a small collection of articles written following an insightful conversation with Seattle-based wedding and portrait photographer and local legend, Jenny GG. We are so grateful for having had the opportunity to chat with her about all things wedding! Find her on Instagram for endless visual inspiration.)


To learn more about working with photographers, read Making it Click: 4 Ways An Officiant Can Make the Wedding Photographer’s Life Easier.


And to learn about working as a team with other vendors and wedding professionals read Being a Team Player: 4 Things Any Officiant Can Do to Help the Other Professionals Shine.



Remember, being a great officiant takes practice and patience. To make learning how to perform marriage and conduct ceremonies easier, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to officiating, Asked to Officiate, uniquely tailored to first time officiants or new professionals. Or read the AMM Minister’s Manual (available exclusively to AMM ministers) to improve your skills and take your work to the next level. 


Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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