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A nervous groom waits as his excited wife to be smiles excitedly at the prospect of him seeing her in her wedding dress for the first time. Today we look at something that you might not want to hear on your wedding day, the word “NO!”

When it comes to your wedding, you want everything to go perfectly, but you need to be aware of restrictions, especially where photography is concerned. There are some things that you may not be able to do with regards to photography. We would advise that you need to ask about these as you begin planning, rather than get a nasty shock weeks, days or even hours before your wedding ceremony.

The first and most important thing to enquire about is photography restrictions during the wedding ceremony. This is unfortunately something that is more common than you would expect. There are several reasons cited for this with the most common being “It’s a distraction” and “It’s about marriage and/or a higher power, not photographs”. It is hard when faced with this information minutes before the ceremony for your photographer to do anything about this. There have been cases where the wedding photographer was made to wait outside the church with someone watching them, just in case they tried to creep in and take some photos. If you hadn’t planned for this, it could simply ruin your day.

It is at this point I have to apologise for the work of some “bargain wedding photographers” out there. Unfortunately, as with many things, the actions of a few ruin things for the many. When we speak to celebrants the first thing they tell us is one or two horror stories about photographers they have encountered. This includes such classics as “he used a flash all the way through the ceremony” and “he took so many photos it sounded like a machine gun all the way through the ceremony”.

If photography of your day is important (and you’re reading this, so we presume it is) then check with your celebrant as soon as you start planning. If they say “no photographs at all” then you have the chance to work with this restriction and/or make alternative plans. There is little a photographer can do if they find out about this minutes before the ceremony. Also, if you haven’t planned for possible restrictions, you may be spending one of the most magical parts of your day wondering “Where is my photographer? Why is he not capturing this?”

If you decide that you want to capture those irreplaceable moments, talk to your celebrant and see if there is any flexibility. As photographers, we always like to speak personally with the celebrant. This way, we can ask them about any restrictions on photographing the wedding, but also re-assure them that we will be discreet. The bottom line is we (and you) have to respect their wishes. There may be no movement from the celebrant and you have a hard decision to make.

Other restrictions you will possibly encounter are luckily, much easier to work with. We have generally found these when doing National Trust weddings or weddings in stately homes.

The main restrictions here will generally be regarding footwear. It is simply to protect floors, etc. This is not a problem, but again knowing that you are not permitted heals, means that you can leave a pair of flats with someone and simply slip into them as you have photos taken. It might even give you an excuse to buy that perfect pair.

It is also worth noting that you may need to get your photographer to check that their insurance has coverage that venues such as National Trust requires. Again, this is something to check with your venue and photographer as soon as possible. That way, any issues can be solved, rather than trying to resolve things on your wedding day.

If you are planning to have photos taken around the grounds of a National Trust venue or stately home, again ask if there are any restrictions on photography. Your wedding photographer can also liaise with the venue and make sure the understand any restrictions. We feel that it is best that you check with your venue as you are planning your wedding. This way you know any restriction and can talk to your wedding photographer about this at your initial meetings.

We hope this helps with your wedding planning and, as always, if you have any questions about your wedding photography, please get in touch and we will be only to happy to help.

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