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How to get the best photos of Your Wedding, Part 3

Part 3: 5 tips for the Wedding Ceremony

Welcome to the third part about how to get the best photos of Your Wedding. If You haven't read yet previous articles, You can find their links at the bottom of this page.

This article debates about the most important, exciting and moving moment of Your Wedding Day: the Ceremony.
Whether is a Religious Ceremony or a laical one, or a symbolic one, it's the moment You were waiting a lifetime: that long wait will concentrate during all Your getting ready and will result in the Ceremony of Your union. A union that will change Your lives forever.

So, how can You get the best memories of Your Wedding, without sacrificing candid moments and naturalness in Your being? Follow my 5 tips!

A Civil Ceremony under a big old oak

A Civil Ceremony under a big old oak at Tenuta di Ripolo Wedding venue: Flavia and Valerio Wedding

1. Religious or
Civil Ceremony?

I always give an advice to You, regarding everything about Your Wedding: be Yourselves! Wedding, in every aspect, has to represent You: in Wedding dresses, hairstyles, Bride's make-up, the party, decorations, flowers and in the Ceremony.

So, if You aren't a believer, don't celebrate Your Wedding in a holy place! Today You can have a lot of choices, if You are not a believer: a Wedding into the Woods, a Wedding on the Beach, an Outdoor Wedding, a Wedding in a Villa and so on and so forth.
You can really plan a Ceremony in Your own image and likeness, so Your guests will be amazed by it! Then You'll save a lot of time because You'll never be busy in marriage classes: if You aren't a believer, for You it will be only a boring waste of time.

Instead, if You are very religious, feel free to choose the place where hold the celebration and prefer the one — and the celebrant too — that moves You the most. That little church of Your teens, where maybe You two met for the first time, means and is important more than St. Peter Cathedral!

Whether is a Religious or Civil Ceremony, its location is special because of You: when You'll see each other, Your face and Your eyes will sparkle, mirroring all the emotions You'll feel inside.

An enraptured bride looking his husband

An enraptured bride looking his husband, a moment later the fateful "YES"!

2. Design the

After the choice of the Ceremony place, spark Your imagination and think about it as it was already set up with flowers and other scenic elements. Ask professionals for suggestions and original decorations that really never occurred to You before.

From my heart I tell You: if They don't let You free to choose the decorations or to have the Ceremony of Your dreams, change location before it's too late! Feeling uncomfortable in such an important moment of Your life, could be very, very sad.
It's more common than you'd think that a priest, or a venue employee — even the venue director — stands in Your way, just because He's used to make things in one manner. Maybe He's a close minded or He has personal interests. Impose Your ideas! Wedding is Yours and You're paying a lot of money for it: let it be just as You dreamed it!

A Civil Ceremony with very peculiar decorations

A Civil Ceremony with very peculiar decorations

3. Let be Your

Every religious or laical Ceremony includes formulas and rituals that cannot miss and recur always the same since time immemorial. It's about tradition handed down from generation to generation: it will be pleasant and touching for You to finally live it firsthand. But what about some brand new rituals that can make the Ceremony Yours and different from the others'?

A symbolic or civil Ceremony provides greater freedom than the religious one, but You can distinguish every kind of Ceremony: You have just to try! For example, if You have a Christian Ritual, the one I know the best, You can:

  • choose the Scripture readings and songs during the Mass
  • sing the songs, or play an instrument
  • use Wedding Wovs different from classical ones
  • be an active part during the celebration, helping the officiant
  • involve some guests in reading Scriptures and prayers of the faithful
  • ask the officiant to add personal Wedding Wovs, maybe at the end of the ceremony

If You'll have a Laical Ceremony and if You can lengthen the ritual more than the 10 minutes for the redtape, You can go further then the Religious Ceremony:

  • dedicate each other a Wedding Wov — do it, trust me!
  • encourage Your guests dedicating a speech — but tell them two months before the Wedding Day!
  • add some symbolic rituals:
    • the Ritual of Sand: pour two different colored sand from two little container into a bigger container
    • the Celtic or Irish Ritual: braid more ropes together or tie your hands together with a rope or a ribbon
    • the Ritual of the Candles: light a big candle with two lit little candles, one for each of You
    • the Ritual of the Red Rose: at the end of the Ceremony swap a red rose or any object that both of You had from the beginning of the Ceremony. It means that nothing changed and yet everything is different
    • plant a plant or bury a seed that has a special significance for You; You'll take care of it as a memory of Your Wedding Day
    • the Rings Warming Ritual: give Your Wedding Rings to the guests and let them touch and bless the Wedding bands. They will warm them metaphorically before You wear them, protecting You and Your union

Every couple is unique, every Wedding is different: make it different, make it Yours also in the Ceremony, that is the cornerstone of one of the few days You'll never forget in Your lives.

A guest warming Wedding rings

A guest warming Wedding rings of Jessica and Thor

4. Setting up
the scene

If You'll have a Religious Ceremony inside a place of worship, usually You'll have few chances to change the scenic design: usually religious officers are strict about it, so the best You can get is being an active part during the celebration — changing Your position during the Ceremony — or speak carefully with him about the scenic design of Your dreams explaining him the importance of Your choices.

In case of a Laical or Civil Ceremony, You can choose among different scenic designs, breaking the rules! The traditional spouse position provides both of You sitting and turning Your back to the guests. But You could stand, one in front of the other or both of You in front of the guests, with the officer between You or at Your side. In this way You can see the feelings of all Your guests and They are more involved in the Ceremony.
Then, if the Ceremony will be eventful, with guests' speeches and involvement, You'll feel like sitting around a round table, sharing emotions between You and Your guests.

More emotional will be the Ceremony, better will be Your photos, depicting the feelings and the emotions You and Your guests will live during that unforgettable Wedding Day.

Spouses exchanging rings

Ylenia and Andrea sitting in front of the guests, that can see every detail of their emotions

5. The grand finale

Every Ceremony has a grand finale. In Italy We celebrate it throwing rice to the newly-weds, because it means prosperity and good omen. We photographers love this tradition: if it's plentiful of rice, the visual power of a picture freezing every single grain of rice is astounding.

In order to achieve an highly successful rice throwing, You have just to coordinate guests.

For Your Religious Ceremony is simple, because people spontaneously will come out from the holy place and will wait for You outside it.
For Your Laical Ceremony You can have different kind of Ceremony: outdoor or indoor, with seated or stand guests, in a large or a small place. If You don't coordinate guests, they could throw rice separately: impatient ones will throw rice as soon as they can, distant ones maybe will wait for You to move close.
Let the Wedding Planner — or a trusted friend — handle this just at the end of the Ceremony: let she spread out guests in a semicircle or arrange them like the walls of a corridor. In the first case You'll have a simultaneous throwing, otherwise a contiuous one, while You'll move forward through the hallway.

You have other options than rice throwing.
If You don't want to waste food, You could substitute birdseed for rice: after You'll move away, birds will surely clean everything!
Or You can mix lavender and chamomile flowers and rice — or no rice — for an intense spring scent!
Another option is a lot of colored confetti: not only You can match their colors with Wedding ones but also they will fall down slower than rice, with an astonishing scenic effect!

But You can completely change the kind of celebration: if You have enough space, You can arrange a hallway made of people holding colored paper ribbons. You'll move through the hallway breaking all the ribbons and You'll emerge from a whirlwind of colors.

You can also use the highly effective soap bubbles, but there's a side effect: wind can break the bubbles or send them away from You. Since You cannot know how strong will be the wind just at the end of the Ceremony, I suggest not to use only soap bubbles or use them in other moments indoor.

Rice throwing

Rice throwing after a Religious Ceremony in a Catholic Church

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