From the time that the procession begins until the recession is over and the couple have exited the building, you are the boss. Embracing this role will make or break the ceremony, which is why we put so much emphasis on planning EVERY SINGLE DETAIL!
As the wedding officiant, you are directing more than just the words and the emotions. You’re guiding the movement and flow of everything that is going on.
During the ceremony you are scripting and directing “special moments” between the bride and groom, like the exchange of personalized vows, the ring exchange etc. It goes without saying that these moments make for some of the best wedding day pictures.
That’s why it’s so important to have a plan.
Here, we cover five ways that you can pretty much guarentee awesome wedding ceremony pictures.
Smile... you're definitely on camera!
1. Talk with the photographer before the ceremony and fill them in on the “logistics” of the ceremony. For example, if the couple is going to do a sand ceremony or a breaking of the glass, let the photographer know the what, and approximate when within the ceremony. This helps the photographer plan where they should be to potentially capture a certain set of pictures.
2. As the ceremony is being prepared, ask the couple if they want an unplugged ceremony (no pictures). If you have been to any weddings recently, you have probably seen the abundance of people who are taking cell phone pictures and/or video during the ceremony. Although some of these people are respectful, some are not. It’s these folks that could ruin the photos by standing in the aisle or holding their mobile device up above everybody’s head.
We’ve all seen these amateur photographers blocking the perfect pictures that the professional photographer was trying to capture. So even if you aren’t officiating an unplugged wedding, consider asking the audience to keep their phones out of sight.
...you're directing more than just the words and the emotions.
3. Step out of the way of the kiss. As the Officiant is telling the couple to kiss, they can just take some steps to the left or right of the couple (if possible). Although the Officiant may be a family member or close friend of the couple, trust me when I say the kiss picture is better without them in it.
4. Explain to the couple how ring exchange should be done. Photographers love to capture the rings as they are being slid onto the finger and they expect that to happen at a certain time (the end of the repeat after me portion). So, as the officiant Officiant, you should tell the couple, either during the rehearsal, or before the ceremony, or even as they get to that point in the ceremony… “take (insert partners name here) left hand and just put the ring over the end of the finger and repeat after me.” After they have repeated all the ring exchange words, they can slide the ring up the finger.
5. Dress appropriately. Wear something that is relatively the same level of dress (e.g. a suit if couple is in dress and suit or dress and tux), and something that is neutral in style and color (e.g. a dark grey or black suit and white shirt). By doing this, you don’t stand out in all the ceremony pictures. The focus should be on the couple.
By following these 5 pieces of advice, you are helping to make sure the couple’s wedding ceremony pictures are better, a small thing that makes a big difference. With so many of us experiencing the weddings of friends and family members through social media, getting that perfect shot is more important than ever. And since you’re the boss, that responsibility falls to you.
Of course, before you get around to officiating weddings, you need to get ordained. If you haven't got ordained, here's a link to the form. Online ordination only takes a minute, and as a minister of AMM, you can perform weddings anywhere in the USA.