NonReligious WeddingsNonReligious Weddings

Get the picture?...

One of my past careers was as an advertising agency studio photographer. Though I've never shot weddings professionally, I can offer a few tips about picking the right pro photographer to shoot yours.

For all the work and expense that goes into creating "memorable weddings," for most couples the big day is just a blur of excitement in their recall, it passes so quickly. The ceremony itself is over in a matter of minutes. The joyous revelry of the reception, shared with all the dearest people in your lives, draws to a close all too soon.

What keeps your wedding vibrant in your memory year after year is your pictures and video of that day. More than simple keepsakes, wedding photographs are heirlooms that may pass down through generations and mean just as much to them as they do to you. It isn't necessary to spend lavishly to get exceptional wedding photography, but for something this important, you may end up disappointed if you budget too little.

When considering prospective wedding photographers, make them show you portfolio albums of at least three weddings they've shot that you think look absolutely superb. Any semi-pro photographer can get lucky and shoot one good wedding. If they stick with it long enough, they may shoot two. But if they can produce three stand-out portfolios, they've got it down well enough you can rest assured your wedding photos will be of the same quality.

Encourage all the good amateur photographers among your wedding guests to get as many shots as they can too. The pros may produce photos that are technically and creatively stunning, but people close to you often do a better job of capturing candid moments, just because they understand your relationship to others attending your wedding.

While pros are off shooting formal bridesmaids portraits, your 15-year-old nephew may snap "the shot" of you that captures your wedding day in a moment and ends up framed on your fireplace mantle for decades. Photographers in your close circle would also know, for example, to click a shot of you hugging your aunt who you haven't seen since you were seven. I hear stories like these often from my past couples.

You can't have enough photos of the first day of your married life together. Take all of them you can get.

Deciding on a nonreligious wedding
Transportation and timing
Weather and physical comfort
Taking care of business
Logistics and planning
Staging your ceremony
Some sound advice
Get the picture?
Let go, and delegate
Enjoying your wedding day

E-Mail: • (949) 793-1900
Certified Humanist Officiant, H.S., American Humanist Association