Italy Wedding Ceremony Photos – Photographing the Wedding Ceremony

wedding ceremony photos in an outdoor grotto

After finishing the photography of the bride getting ready with her bridesmaids my attention turns to photographing the wedding ceremony. We may be walking to the wedding ceremony or perhaps we will be driving. Once we get there my photography becomes completely candid. Basically whatever you do during the wedding is what I will photograph. The wedding ceremony is for you to enjoy and for me to document with photos.

I will not be able to help you or guide you. In our pre-wedding discussions, I will give you some advice and tips. They are to make the photography of your ceremony go even better. On the day I will simply concentrate on taking amazing photos of the wedding ceremony. There are various key moments and parts that I will photograph.

Photos of the wedding ceremony location

Before the wedding ceremony, I will often take some photos of the location of your ceremony. So if you are getting married in a church this can be some photos of the church. If your ceremony is outdoors it can be photos of that area and the views.

The wedding ceremony decorations

Either before the ceremony or during I will take some photos of your wedding ceremony decor. If you are spending a lot of money on your flower arrangements, candles, lighting and other design elements it will be nice for you to have some images to remember these things. Especially as on the day, you may be too caught up in the moment to fully appreciate them.

processional photo at La Foce

The Processional

This is the entrance of the key players. So as the groom, groomsmen, parents, bridesmaids and finally the bride enter I will be taking lots of photos. You will have pre-decided who is coming in with whom and in what order.

You should rehearse this. If you are entering with music you can practice the timings and make sure you leave enough space between people. If you are too close together and you enter the ceremony all at once, then the people walking in front of you will block my photos of you. Bride and bridesmaids, please agree how to hold the flowers and all do the same thing. I will remind you about this on the day and show you how to hold your bouquets.

Photographing your wedding ceremony

During the ceremony, you may have readings, music, singing, the participation of flower girls, ring bearers and others. There will be many emotions and feelings, both yours and those of your family and guests. I am there to document as much as possible. At a certain point, we will also have the vows and finally the ring exchange and first kiss! These are all things that I will photograph for you. Once the ceremony is complete and you have signed any register or documents it’s time to leave. (Sometimes if it is your preference, we can take some family photos in the church.)

bride and groom saying their vows

Wedding Ceremony Photos Tips

  1. If you are exchanging vows try to learn them or write them out on a small attractive piece of card. Nothing looks worse than you standing in front of the entire congregation with a crumpled piece of A4 paper that you printed out at home!
  2. Exchanging the rings. When you are exchanging the rings try and be aware of how you appear to the photographer who is photographing this crucial moment. If you turn away or block their view with an arm, shoulder or your back, the chances of getting a good shot are greatly reduced.
  3. If you are getting married in a church and have the chance to speak to the priest try and check a couple of things. Is the priest planning on having you speak into a microphone for the vows? Sometimes in the church, they use a wireless microphone so that the congregation can hear you loud and clear. The problem is that while you are looking at each other and saying your vows, the priest has a tendency to stick an arm out and put the microphone in front of your mouth, this clearly is not going to help the photos. Tell the priest that you don’t need one. Speak up and you will be heard just fine.

    Some priests have a tendency to stand very near to you, this greatly reduces the angles for the photos. Having some pictures with the priest is fine but it’s nice to have some without! So, if you know your priest or have one that seems very friendly and approachable you can try and tactfully address these points.

Please consider asking your guests not to take any photos during the ceremony. Ask the celebrant to ask everyone to respect this before the ceremony starts. It looks terrible when you are walking down the aisle and everyone points their mobile phones at you.

The Recessional and exit

The recessional is the exit of your bridal party from the ceremony area. You don’t have to have them exit before you. In outdoor ceremonies, it can be common for the bride and groom to exit first. The photos of your exiting to a shower of petals or rice are great fun!

Throwing paper confetti is often waste of time as it is so light you can’t throw it. If there is any wind at all that will take it away. Better yet, ask your florist for a basket of colored petals. You can throw them and they won’t blow away. If they are colored they can even match your color scheme.

In Italy it is traditional to throw rice over the newlyweds after their wedding this looks great in the photos and apparently brings good luck and fertility! Buy the pre-washed kind it doesn’t have any dust with it.

Here are some examples of my wedding ceremony photography. I am showing the locations and atmosphere more than the people to give you some ceremony ideas. At this point, you can view some examples of complete weddings.