When you set about arranging your wedding, one of the first things you will think of booking is your photographer.  You will find there are lots of photographers out there, competing for your business.  They will show you beautiful photos of weddings they have done … amazing shots, natural poses, artful poses, clever effects with light, unusual angles… But don’t forget that to get the photos they show you, they have taken thousands of shots, many of them dud or just mediocre, and to do that they will have taken up a lot of your time and attention.

I have seen brides exhausted by the stress of an extended photo session before they even arrive for the ceremony, looking tired and drained, even through the joy and elation, from being relentlessly snapped by enthusiastic photographers.  Yet the best photo I had of my own wedding was not posed, it was taken by a friend just waiting patiently for that relaxed moment of intimacy shared between us.

As a celebrant, part of my job is to create a space where the magic can take place.  The magic is about you stepping over the threshold of a new life, into a new way of being, a transformed you, entering a new adventure.  It is an inner thing, a hidden heartfelt thing, and the space for your awareness of this is enhanced by the atmosphere of the venue, the fragrance of the flowers, the sweetness of the music, the ability of words to capture the imagination, and the presence of the celebrant and his or her intention to mediate a sense of the indwelling transformative otherness of the occasion.

This feeling and this sense cannot be captured by a photograph. Indeed the presence of photographers and equipment during the ceremony can spoil your inner process.  My advice to you would be to be very clear with your photographer about the number and style of photos you want, and how much time within the proceedings you wish to allow for this. Don’t allow your photographer to dominate your attention, issue instructions at unwelcome moments, or be an intrusive presence. Remember they are just doing their job, giving themselves the best chance they can to get some fabulous photos of you. That is their only concern.  But it is you who is in charge of your overall experience for this your special day.