Let’s get you ready to walk down the aisle in style.
So many brides tell me they are nervous, maybe even some fearful, of walking down the aisle with all the guest’s eyes on them.
Here are some tips from a wedding photographer who has photographed hundreds of weddings to help make that walk a little easier. And I promise you the fear is in the thought of walking down the aisle is worse than actually doing it!
Remember you aren’t alone in this. You will have your Dad (or mum, brother or sister) holding your arm as you walk down the aisle.
Most brides still have their Dad walk them down the aisle. It’s Dad’s chance to hand his girl over to the care of another man. While tradition has its place for some families, it doesn’t have to be that way either. But in this modern day where couples live together before marriage, both parents have equally raised their daughter, or maybe the bride’s father has passed away, comes from a broken home or dysfunction family (no judgement here because no family is perfect), there are no rules that both parents, mum or a sibling can’t walk a bride down the aisle.
Once you have decided who will walk the bride down the aisle, remember not to rush it. Just walk as you normally would and remember to take in the faces of your guests and especially your partners at the end of the aisle.
Enjoy the moment because it literally lasts a couple of minutes. Plus it will give the photographer plenty of time to capture you and your partners expressions as you see each other for the first time.
Flower Girls & Page Boys
If you’re planning on having kids in the bridal party, don’t set too many expectations for them or yourself.
Flower girls and pageboys are always a cute touch at a wedding and a great way to get your extended family involved. They are cute, crowd-pleasers but unpredictable so make sure you’re expectations are to just let the kids be themselves and go with it.
And if they throw a tantrum as they walk down the aisle, remember it will make a great photo to embarrass them when they are older.
If there are two, you can always have them walk down together so they have a playmate alongside which is a great confidence booster. Alternatively, you can have one of the bridesmaids walk them down the aisle. Otherwise, you can have one of their parents, grandparents or the groom crouching down near the front so they have someone to walk towards.
Whatever your little flower girls and pageboys do, whether they cry, run away or walk down normally, it will make the day special!
Bridesmaids, and not forgetting the Man-Of-Honours and Bridesmen, are your besties and want to celebrate with you, but be mindful that they too will be nervous walking down the aisle.
Tell them to take their time also as its not a race to get to the finish line. They should leave a decent gap between each other. If they close up the gap and walk too close to each other it can be really difficult to get a clear photo of each of them.
Remember to hold your flowers up around waist height and smile.
The Walk Down The Aisle Is About Real Moments
This applies to everyone walking down the aisle. Enjoy the moment and look around at everyone. Weddings are not about being formal anymore! Walk relaxed, give a big smile to everyone and it will be over in a couple of minutes.
My approach to photographing a ceremony is very natural because its all about the two of you getting married and not posing for the photos. There is no need to look at the camera while walking down the aisle, in fact you shouldn’t look at the camera because you should be looking at your partner at the end of the aisle.
I recommend having an unplugged ceremony, but its not about me! It’s your decision to have an unplugged ceremony but I can tell you a few reasons why unplugged is the best option.
Firstly and foremost, its about making sure your guests are present and listening to you and your partner take your vows of marriage. They have been invited as a guest and not to do a job.
There is no need for your family and friends to photograph your ceremony. You have invested in a professional photographer to capture the moments so trust them to do their job.
There is also high chances that your friend’s photo is going to be taken from their seat, way back in the crowd, the photos are too dark or too bright because they used their flash, were too far away so you are so tiny in the photo … really what is the point of them taking a bad photo that they will then post to social media – do you really want people seeing those images as the first look into your wedding day?
Check out my article on having an unplugged ceremony here as well as other tips for working with your wedding photographer on the wedding day.
Video Killed The Radio Star – And Possibly Your Photographer
Yes a bit of a click-bait-y heading, but more often these days couples are hiring professional videographers as well as having their friend film the ceremony so I thought it was an important topic to raise here.
Most professional videographers know the drill and have the appropriate equipment and lenses where they can setup their cameras to the side of the aisle or long enough lenses to be roaming the room so they are out of the way and not standing in the photographer’s shots.
But there seems to be a select number of professional wedding videographers that come into the day with particular lenses that mean they have to be up close and personal during the ceremony and therefore blocking the photographer’s view and as a result of being so close end up in the photographer’s ceremony images.
They could be following the bride down the aisle or during the ceremony standing in the background or to the side or especially a common issue is them standing over the couple as the rings are placed on the finger – not a good look in your photos!
Then we have the friend who loves shooting film and either gets dragged into or offers to video your wedding. Usually, it comes from naivety because they don’t have the experience to know how weddings work and lack of gear means they set the tripod up right at the front in the middle of the aisle obstructing the view of the couple.
You and your partner deserve to enjoy the ceremony without having the videographer in your face, you are already nervous, so you don’t want them adding extra pressure having a video camera in your face.
As a photographer with years of experience and hundreds of wedding up my sleeve, I have longer lenses that I can zoom in so I don’t need to be standing in your face, as well as knowing the best positions to place myself throughout the ceremony while also being aware of not being in the videographers shots, so I just expect the same in return that the videographer is mindful of what I need to do. Because at the end of the day, both the photography and videography is about doing the best job for you the couple.
So you have a videographer, professional or friend, please request that they don’t stand to close to you during any part of the ceremony and be mindful that you do also have a photographer and the photos are equally as important to you.
I am always more than happy to speak with the videographers before the wedding day, and always have a little pow-wow chat with them on the day just to make sure we are on the same page.
Your Wedding Your Way
Remember at the end of the day it is your wedding day! There are no rules – only the ones you make! Stay true to your ideas of your perfect wedding day, whatever that is.
I hope these tips have eleviated some stress of walking down the aisle. My mantra is to always be your authentic self and enjoy the moments :)