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Thread: 1st time doing Church Wedding...

  1. #1

    Default 1st time doing Church Wedding...

    Hi guys,

    I need some guidance in an area that I'm not too familiar with.
    Hope the many experienced ppl here can assist wherever they can.
    All your help is greatly appreciated. Thanx in advance!

    I'm a malay guy & I'm just a hobbyist/enthusiast in this photography world. When it comes to weddings, I've only taken malay wedding only(bout 4-6 only) and never was I the main guy. Just someone kepo-ing in the background & trying to get a feel of wedding photography.

    My colleague had asked me to be the photographer for his church wedding. I'll also have another friend helping me out.

    Here is where I need help:
    - I've never been to a church wedding before so I don't quite know what are the sequence of events during the whole ceremony. Can someone care to give me a quick run down of what usually happens in the church?
    - Is there any do's & don'ts that I have to be aware of when in the church?
    - What are the shots that is considered a MUST take? Miss these shots & I will be the most hated person in their family...
    - Any more advice is appreciated

    The plan for that day will be, go to groom house -> pick up bride @ hotel-> go to church -> maybe there's reception -> may go of 1hr or so of outdoor shoot -> back to groom house

    I will be going down to the church with him one of these days to take a look around & familiarize myself with the location.

    If you guys must know, I did advice my colleague to hire an actual wedding photographer. But he's a bit tight on budget and also he would like to give me an opportunity to shoot a church wedding.

    My friend & I won't be asking for any payment. Even if he do give some sort of token of appreciation, it'll all go into prints and such stuffs.

    I certainly don't want to disappoint my colleague on his big day by being unprepared. I've looked thru a few wedding sites just to have a feel of the events, process & all.

    I'll appreciate very much any words of advice & notes that can be useful to me. Do ask should you need any clarification.

    If there is already similar thread, do inform & I'll just read up from there.
    If this is the wrong place to post, can any kind administrator put this thread where it belongs. Any inconvenienced caused is greatly regretted.

    Thanx & Regs,
    Khai
    Last edited by Khair76; 28th August 2008 at 12:10 AM. Reason: Change title

  2. #2

    Default Re: 1st time doing Church Wedding...

    http://christianity.about.com/od/chr...ingoutline.htm

    http://www.taphilo.com/Photo/weddings/sequence.shtml

    The best suggestion I can think of, after you've read those, is to ask your friend to take you to an actual church wedding at his or her church, sit quietly at the back and give you a step-by-step guide and on your part, you get to actually see what all those descriptions look like in reality so you'll know what's happening and when. Different churches/denominations may do things slightly differently.

    If your friend is a lecturer, you're lucky as he would probably guide you in a precise, concise and effective manner that's also thorough.

    Typically, that alter area is out-of-bounds, and some priests/pastors do not allow flash during the ceremony. Some do. Check ahead in advance.

    Another thing that might make you really nervous the first time ... echos. Most older churches, not all, are reverberation chambers (for lack of a better description) that echoes music and singing beautifully, but if the entire congregation (everyone attending) is dead quiet as the priest/pastor conducts the ceremony, you'll find that walking around in anything other a pair of sneakers ... a terribly embarrassing experience!

    All the best in your research because thorough research and planning will be crucial elements to your success, or failure.
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 28th August 2008 at 07:10 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 1st time doing Church Wedding...

    Quite similiar to ROM actually if you have taken one before. Just that there is an additional march in, got more time for you to feel the atmosphere and can take your time to compose and shoot at your pace. As mention some alter out of bound some do not allow flash at all. But most church are bright enough for using ISO 800.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1st time doing Church Wedding...

    During the speech (i.e. the serious, religious parts), no flash photography. It is vitally important to be as invisible as possible.

    Check with your friend beforehand where you can and cannot go. Different priests/pastors have different personalities, so it's best to find out what they are like. For example, one shoot I did, I was told beforehand that the priest doesn't like people "getting too close to him". Most Church weddings have a rehearsal beforehand. Try to see if you can tag along. This will be of great help.
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

  5. #5

    Default Re: 1st time doing Church Wedding...

    Thank you all for your help.

    The links provided really helps me visualise the event flow.

    I didn't manage to tag along for the rehearsal as I was in malaysia.
    But I did go to the church with my friend yesterday to have a look around.
    The pastor told my friend that flash photography is allowed but I'll check again during actual day. I'll try not to use flash and work with the available light as much as possible.

    Thanx again for all the assistance.

    May everything go well...

    Thanx & Regs,
    Khai

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 1st time doing Church Wedding...

    Quote Originally Posted by Khair76 View Post
    Thank you all for your help.

    The links provided really helps me visualise the event flow.

    I didn't manage to tag along for the rehearsal as I was in malaysia.
    But I did go to the church with my friend yesterday to have a look around.
    The pastor told my friend that flash photography is allowed but I'll check again during actual day. I'll try not to use flash and work with the available light as much as possible.

    Thanx again for all the assistance.

    May everything go well...

    Thanx & Regs,
    Khai
    Hi I don't think that flash is BANNED, but it may be distracting for not only the couple but the rest of the people there. So yea if you want to use the flash maybe not in the main hall itself. May i know which church is it? Is it a big one? that you have to use flash, because lighting wise is quite good already for my church at least. So yea. all the best maybe get a prime it should help. DONT FORGET THE ISLE SHOT. when they are on the isle it's kinda the MOMENT.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 1st time doing Church Wedding...

    Honestly, you should ask the couple to ask the priest/ pastor for his guidelines for photographer. If the couple is not free, they could delegate this task to one of the groomsmen or bridesmaids. If not, then at most, you call the priest/ pastor so you get to ask the questions u need/ want to ask.

    There was a photog at my church who got scolded by the priest for going into "restricted" zone in the middle of the wedding. Best to be sure, lah, hor? Coz like the other guys here say, each one has their own temperament and rules.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 1st time doing Church Wedding...

    Go to the rehearsal. There, you can talk to the pastor too.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 1st time doing Church Wedding...

    a few points to NOT miss, the arrival, open car door, father march in with bride, father hand over to groom, Holy matrimony, signing of certs, swearing of vows, exchanging of rings, unveil`ing and The Kiss, thank you speech (at this point the bride usually would be crying already, i always have one shot of the bride and mothers dabbing their tears), march out and alot of group shots later on....
    flash usually isnt banned and if ure the main guy, i think u shldt risk stopping down and getting blurs...
    i would advise againt using primes, a regular wide to standard zoom would be great
    doest really have to be F2.8, i usually walk up and down all over, so the dof kinda varies alot, if possible more wld be better, since my composition usually has the main subjects(couple) near each other. the next nearest objects around the couple would be far enough to appear bokeh`ish, with the main subject in good focus.

    Have fun shooting, and try not to mess up, the guilt is unbearable...
    Last edited by deklan; 3rd September 2008 at 08:00 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 1st time doing Church Wedding...

    Thank you all for the useful tips...
    I appreciate it very much...!

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