Celebrant weddings: Why photographers love them
Celebrant weddings are loved by photographers up and down the land. It's a bold statement I know, and you probably think I'm biased (what with me being a wedding celebrant and everything). But honestly, I meet lots of photographers in my line of work and time and time again they tell me that celebrant weddings are the best.
In fact, you don't have to take my questionable wedding celebrant word for it. I've invited Hannah Brooke, Yorkshire wedding photographer (and all round great human) to tell you in her own words why photographers love celebrant weddings.
Let's hear from this wonderful human about why photographers love celebrant weddings.
Celebrant weddings: A photographer's perspective
Hi I’m Hannah and I’ve been a wedding photographer for the past five years. During that time, I’ve seen all sorts of different weddings. I’ve seen big weddings, tiny covid weddings, church weddings, registry office weddings, outdoor weddings and celebrant led weddings.
And I’m not just saying this, because I’m writing a guest blog for my wonderful wedding celebrant friend, Meg Senior. I'm saying it because my favourite type of wedding ceremony is celebrant led.
I could wax lyrical about why celebrant weddings are best for inclusivity, diversity and purely for the fact you’ll form a connection with the person who’s going to lead your ceremony all day long. But I’m here to tell you why they're amazing from a wedding photographer’s perspective.
Why photographers love celebrant weddings
1) The ceremony is the most important part of the day!
As part of my pre-wedding prep with couples I’m going to photograph, I ask them which part of the day they’re most excited about. Nine times out of 10, the answer is the ceremony! Because this is the exact moment they become a married couple. It’s loaded with emotion and the most beautiful moments. Couples want beautiful photographs of the end of aisle reaction, loving moments as vows and rings are exchanged, and of course, the first kiss.
And yet, a registrar led ceremony with no readings is over and done with in around 10-15 minutes. A celebrant led ceremony will be longer than this AND no one else in the world, will have the same ceremony as the one you had. Makes total sense really, doesn’t it?
2) Your ceremony is completely personalised to you
Honestly, I’m not bashing registrar led or religious weddings, but the beauty of a celebrant led wedding is the personalisation. Your celebrant will tell the story of your romance and relationship. They’ll include funny anecdotes and you can totally personalise your vows. And you can include any of your guests, or indeed, all of your guests as part of the ceremony.
As a wedding photographer, I’m there all day and I get to chat to the guests and hear what they thought about the ceremony. And honestly, I’ve never heard a bad word against a celebrant wedding. You might think your guests already know everything about you as a couple. I promise they don’t, and that they will LOVE hearing your story on your big day.
Which leads me nicely on to….
3) The reaction photos!
This is the thing us wedding photographers LOVE. Obviously, I mean your reactions to all the little and big moments, but your guests’ reactions too!
For me personally, I’m always looking for guests that are either crying or throwing their head back in laughter. There’s unlikely to be another day in your life when you’ll have all the people you love and that are important to you under the same roof. And those people love you and feel all the emotions too on your big day.
But because it’s your big day, you’ll be very much wrapped up in the excitement and pure giddiness of getting married, and you won’t particularly notice that your loved ones are crying tears of pure joy behind you. Until you receive your photos that is, and that’s why we love taking reaction photos.
4) Celebrant weddings are incredibly flexible
I don’t know many people who would willingly choose an 11am wedding ceremony. But I’ve photographed several weddings at this time purely due to registrar availability. Whereas if you choose a celebrant wedding, you can get married at the time that suits you.
The same flexibility applies to your location too. Celebrant weddings can take place in the most intimate, secret gem venues whether they have a license for registrar weddings or not.
Photographing a celebrant wedding
From this photographer's point of view, having a celebrant wedding, when you know the details, is an absolute no brainer. If I was to get married again, I would 100% go for a celebrant led ceremony!
If you’re on the fence, my advice would be to go for it. Yes, I know you'll be wondering what a celebrant costs and keeping an eye on the wedding budget. Definitely do your sums, but have in mind that you get what you pay for. Invest in a personalised celebrant wedding and you’ll have the memories FOREVER. And no amount of money in the world would be able to reconstruct those genuine, emotional moments.
A final note from Meg
Before you go, let me tell you a little bit about Hannah, because she's great and I think you might really like her...
Hannah works with "fun loving people doing the big life stuff" (her official strapline) and she adores dogs. So clearly we're kindred spirits because as a wedding celebrant I too work with fun loving pairs, and as you will know by now I too adore dogs.
Hannah is all about capturing personalities and authentic moments, not stuffy posed images or boring wedding clichés. Her clients feel at ease and genuinely have fun with her. I know this to be true because she's photographed me on a number of occasions, and every time she's had me laughing my head off.
If you're inspired by her thoughts on celebrant weddings then give me a shout. I'd love to chat about your wedding and how we can make it SUPER FUN and memorable!