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(708) 490-8860

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Designing Your Ceremony

Facing Your Guests (Modern Format)
Backs Turned (Traditional Format)
Examples of Wedding Vows
Effective Seating
Aisle Runner or Petals
Children in Wedding Ceremonies
The Escorting of a Bride
Taking Parental Vows
The Use of Music
Using a Pedestal
Using a Wedding Carriage
A New Role For Grandparents
Wedding Ceremony Readings
In Memoriam

Ceremonies in Special Places
Ceremonies in Theme
Taking Your Ceremony to Others
Staying in Character
What Name Should I Use?
What if it Rains?
Fibbing Your Start Time
Ceremonies in Candlelight
The Reception Line

The Order of Events

Primary Options:
Read this First
The Unity Candle
Champagne Sharing
The Sand Ceremony
The Blessing Tree
Tying the Knot
Tasting the Elements
Using a Photomontage
The Giving of Roses

Options In Finale:
Butterfly Release
Dove Release
Balloon Release
Tossing Petals
Bubbles in a Wedding Ceremony
Applause Walk

The Five Rules:
Rule One
Rule Two
Rule Three
Rule Four
Rule Five

Advice on Photography
Advice on Wedding Coordinators
Death by Venue
An Invitation To Journalists

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Advice on Photography
Wedding Ceremony Photographers
Frank poses for his photographers at Naper Settlement - Naperville, Illinois.

Helping Those Who Will Record Your Ceremony

My ceremonies are optimized for visual impact. I encourage all couples to face their guests which 99% of them do. Couples light their Unity Candles and Wine Share while facing their guests etc. This format is chosen because it makes the ceremony visually accessible to the guests, it also renders the best possible format for the photographers and videographers.

PhotographerI do not restrict your photographers in any way, they are free to go anywhere during your ceremony and shoot from any and all vantage points. I have seen photographers stand on ladders during my ceremonies and I've seen others lie on the floor. When they move into center aisle with me, which is where I officiate from for the majority of the ceremony, I will favor one side of the aisle to give them a wide open shot of you and your wonderful bridal party.

Your photographer would be wise to ask me what photo-ops to expect during my ceremony. Photographers routinely miss some of the ceremonies best vignette moments simple because they didn't know they were coming (and didn't bother to ask). Yet these special moments are made to order for photography. For instance, my brides pause at the base of the aisle while entering and then kiss their escort on the cheek. This is a terrific photo album shot but is missed if it's not expected. A groom will go down on one knee to embrace, with open arms, the flower children who have walked (or ran) down the aisle to hug him. Again, it's missed if not expected. A groom will meet his bride, and her escort, and greet that escort warmly while his bride looks on- a terrific shot. But if the photographer doesn't know to expect it, he or she will be out of place as it happens. And we don't get a second chance.

I cannot go up to a photographer or videographer, prior to the ceremony and begin telling him or her what to expect. They will understandably assume I'm trying to tell them their trade and will take offense. But if you as a paying bride and groom request they ask me what to expect in the ceremony I gladly will. And your photo album will improve accordingly.

The most important question you can ask your photographer/videographer, whom you are considering for hire, is not: "How good is your photography?" The most important question is: "What are you going to wear to my wedding?" About half of all Chicago area photographers observe no dress code. Their reasoning is... "well, I'm not going to be in any of the photos since I'm the one behind the camera, so what's the big deal?"

The big deal is that a photographer in wrinkled clothes reflects very poorly on a bride and groom in the eyes of the guests. Those guests are apt to reason... "Bill and Suzie went cheap," or worse yet,- "Bill and Suzie are cheap." Most of the people who attend your wedding ceremony will never see your photo album. This is largely because 1) they were at your wedding and aren't curious about what it looked like, and 2) they had cameras with them and took several of their own photos. However, every guest saw your photographer and how he or she was dressed (or not dressed). If they looked tacky, it reflects on you.

What is appropriate dress for the photographers at your ceremony? Appropriate attire for photographers is a suit, a tux, business dress for the ladies, or what I call "ninja." The three girls on this page are in "'ninja,"- a black outfit with accommodations for the equipment they carry.


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