Ok it’s the main event and now we really have to move up a gear – no opportunities for a second chance everything now has to be right first time and performed quickly. The service, in my mind, is without doubt the most important part of the day. It is the session that is charged with high emotion – many couples have by now invested an enormous amount of their time and money to allow this moment to take place – it is my prime concern to record it properly and by creating images that everyone concerned will enjoy visiting and revisiting for years to come.
The Service, along with the speeches, is one of the occasions during the day when all of those suppressed emotions finally reveal themselves - sometime with tears of joy and sometimes in unexplainable fits of laughter. Whichever it is you must be ever vigilant – potential images will come thick and fast during the Service and you must make sure that you are in position and ready to capture those moments.
During the service I will take most of my images with my 70mm to 200mm lens. This will enable me to get some nice tight close up images that will capture every facial expression and reveal the emotions of both bride and groom.
It is worth mentioning at this stage that it is an unspoken rule in wedding photography that you do not use your flash during the service – it therefore helps, in what is often low light conditions, if you have a fast lens where you can open up the aperture.
Towards the end of the Service and after your couple have been officially married they will be invited to ‘Sign the Register’. Again, this is a traditional shot that you will more often than not be expected to take. Take some time before the wedding working out how you would like to set up the couple for this shot. You may want to include the witnesses as part of your composition or even the parents.
Directly after the Signing of the Register I like to position myself at the church doors ready to capture the Recession – the couple leaving the church after they are married is a much more relaxed affair and again makes for some great pictures.
All weddings are different but very often the bride and groom, along with the bridal party, will wait at the church entrance allowing family and guest the opportunity to pass on their congratulations as they file out.
If it is possible (and allowed of course) this is a good opportunity to organise the Confetti Throw. You will have to work quickly but it is possible to organise the guests into a corridor just outside of the church - with those guests that have confetti on the side of the corridor that has the breeze in their backs. As the bride and groom exit the church you can orchestrate the throw. Again you have to get this first time as a confetti throw can only be done once.