Feb 9

Tips for Traditional Church Weddings

White Chapel Wedding | The Day's Design | Cory Weber Photography

Photography: Weber Photography

There’s time honored tradition that goes along with getting married in a church. It’s a humble beginning and a way to start your lives together with a God centered marriage.

However, more and more couple are choosing to get married in wide open spaces with nature as their backdrop. That doesn’t mean the ceremonies have to be any less religious or meaningful, but there is a certain charm that’s lacking. It’s just not how Grandma would have done it.

I understand. I’m a visual person and love planning ceremonies in pretty places. I too opted for beautiful surroundings rather than honoring tradition. So how can you find the best of both worlds?

Every now and then I pass a darling little white chapel and dream of what it looks like on the inside. It’s so picturesque. Occasionally I’m even able to peak in the windows or find images online. Usually I’m disappointed. So many times they’ve been updated with blue industrial grade carpeting or the old wooden pews have been replaced by something a little plusher. And on top of that, sometimes these little churches are small and seat under 100 guests, without bridal suites or even a classroom to take over for primping. In compromise, perhaps plan you ceremony on the steps of a chapel with the building as your backdrop. Set chairs on the lawn and you can have the best of both worlds.

Other churches are much more modern to start with. They don’t have windows, pews or any qualities really that brides today seek in their wedding photos. It’s not the church’s fault. They’re meant to be places of worship, not photo backdrops.

So if you are planning church nuptials, or saying I do in any indoor setting, here are a few ideas to keep in mind:

Lighting – make sure your photographer is properly equipped to work in a potentially dark space. Also understand that if you hire a natural light photographer, the ceremony pictures might not be as airy and luminescent as other images in their portfolio.

Décor limitations – many churches and indoor spaces tend to have many décor restrictions. Flowers can’t always be placed highly visual areas. Candle use might be restricted. And often aisle runners aren’t allowed.

Other Restrictions – other churches, especially Catholic and various formal settings, have policies in place limiting photography. Photographers and videographers occasionally are restrained to certain areas and banned from places like balconies and the front pews. They also may require you to use their minister and have set ceremony and rehearsal times.

As with planning any wedding ceremony, the focus should be on representing your relationship. Décor should aim to accent the beauty that naturally exists in the space and remember that no matter where you host your celebration, at the end of the day, the important thing is that you’re married.

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