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Hey! I'm Amy, a Warwickshire wedding photographer, photographing love stories in The Midlands and across the UK. I'm an autumn lover, tea drinker, crafter, floral dress wearer and hopeless romantic!

I describe my photography style as storytelling. I unobtrusively document your day for you as it happens and I'm all about capturing real smiles, happy tears, big hugs, little details, fun, laughter and love!

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  • Writer's pictureAmy Bennett

Photo restrictions in churches (and other venues!)

Wedding ceremony in a church

Over the years, I've had the privilege of photographing wedding ceremonies in some truly stunning churches \(and other venues). However, churches' and officiants' rules and opinions on photography during the ceremony can vary. These sacred spaces often hold deep significance for couples, sometimes chosen due to family connections or sentimental reasons. So it's understandably disheartening when couples are informed that photography isn't permitted during this important part of the wedding day or there are certain restrictions on what can be photographed. In my experience of photographing weddings, most officiants are accommodating, but it's always good to clarify any restrictions. To avoid disappointment on your wedding day, I recommend contacting your officiant/venue in advance to understand their policy on photography.

Bride walks down the aisle at church wedding

Wedding blessing at church wedding

Bride and groom exit wedding ceremony at church

During the ceremony, my approach is to capture key moments discreetly and respectfully. I'm always fully mindful of the sacred nature of the space. I work quietly and unobtrusively to ensure that your ceremony is beautifully preserved in photographs, reflecting the emotion and significance of the occasion. Sadly, not all photographers have the same level of respect or an unobtrusive approach. I've heard horror stories of some photographers going to extreme lengths to capture shots, like lying down the aisle, standing on the pews or disrupting the ceremony for photo opportunities. (All things I never have and never would do!) Whilst it's only a small minority of photographers, these actions can understandably lead to stricter rules and restrictions from officiants, ultimately affecting the experience for everyone involved. It's disappointing when strict rules limit photography during the ceremony, but it's also important to respect the church/venue's rules.

Groom waits for his bride at church ceremony

Child reading the order of service at church wedding

Wedding at Rugby school chapel

Usually, your photographer would prefer to be positioned at the front to capture the aisle entrance and exchange vows and rings. However, one common restriction I've encountered at churches/other venues is being limited to photographing from the back. While this may initially seem restrictive, your photographer should be able to find creative ways to capture beautiful moments from this vantage point. With the right equipment and lenses, I can create images that convey the intimacy and emotion of the ceremony, even from a distance.

In fact, some of my favourite photos from church weddings have been taken from the back, showcasing the grandeur of the space and capturing candid moments between the couple and their loved ones.

Wedding service at church

Blessing at church wedding

Wedding ceremony at church

It's worth noting that photography rules may apply to ceremonies beyond church weddings. Civil ceremonies and registrars typically have fewer restrictions, but there are standard practices that apply universally. For example, during civil ceremonies, photographers are not permitted to capture the signing of the register - this rule extends to all guests, not just photographers. They should, however, have a blank dummy copy that can be used to recreate this shot if you want to. (Although I tend to say put the pen down at this point - it can look a bit weird and awkward! Let's get some relaxed and natural shots instead.)

Relaxed couple portrait during wedding ceremony

Whether your wedding is in a church or another venue, understanding any photography guidelines beforehand ensures that you can plan with your photographer accordingly so that they can document the ceremony beautifully and respectfully.

While on the subject of the ceremony, have you considered having an unplugged ceremony?


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