There are a ton of really beautiful places to hold a wedding ceremony. And even more reasons why couples choose the ones they do. Some couples choose their venue for sentimental reasons. Perhaps it’s the camp they went to as children, or maybe it’s the church where they met. Other couples are looking for something unique, or beautiful, or uniquely beautiful–and the most beautiful locations obviously charge a handsome premium. And still for other couples it’s simply a practical consideration.
Ideally, you’ll make your choice on the ceremony venue with some mix of sentiment, beauty and practicality. And I would add one more to the list, photogenic appeal.
Some couples make the mistake of thinking that because the location is beautiful, it will look beautiful in images. The mistake is in not considering the creation of the photographs; the “photogenic appeal”. How good will the images look and how plausible are they to take? When you walk into a big, beautiful cathedral style church, it’s breathtaking. You might imagine the photos captured there would be breathtaking as well, but if it turns out that the photographer is confined to a balcony at the back of the church, the images he can create are seriously limited.
Many ceremony venues, especially religious ones, have a list of rules for vendors. Most of the time these rules take into account the kinds of images photographers hope to create. Rules typically focus on movement, intended to set limits that prevent photographers and videographers from being a distraction. They also usually prohibit things like using a flash, though except for the most extreme circumstances, this is almost never necessary.
Some ceremony venues, however, have unreasonably extensive or even conflicting rules which seriously jeopardize the basic qualities of the images.
Unfortunately, it seems, that many couples don’t discover the venue’s rules until shortly before the wedding date. I have sensed disappointment when they foreword me the list of rules that the venue sent them. Though, I’m also not sure it’d be safe to say they regret their venue choice for this reason. But, regardless, why suffer disappointment if it can be avoided?
When you look at a ceremony venue, make a point to ask about the venue’s rules. If the venue limits where the photographer can go, try and get a sense of what the photographer can see from that spot. Better yet, check out some of the places the photographer can’t go. Are you going to mind missing photos from that angle? If you’ve already hired your wedding photographer, ask for your photographer’s input about the venue’s rules. Sometimes specialized gear can mitigate the limitations.
My hope is that you’ll make your choice based mostly on sentiment. That is, I hope you get married in a place that matters to you. But while you’re looking, and weighing your options, consider, in some degree, the the creation of images there, as well as what it’s like to actually be there.