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Catholic wedding photography and videography guidelines

The policies, rules, and guidelines for wedding photographers and videographers vary from place to place, but the basic principle that should be kept in mind is that a Catholic wedding is first and foremost a liturgy—that is, the public prayer of the whole Church, not just a private ceremony for those present. (Learn more about this.) People videotaping or photographing the wedding should strive to respect the sacred nature of the liturgy.

Basically, this means not positioning cameras where they might interfere with or distract from the liturgy.  Your parish will be able to tell you where photographers and videographers are permitted; however, generally, the area immediately around the altar (the sanctuary) is off-limits. The center aisle or other locations that might block the view of the assembly are also likely to be discouraged.

Other restrictions on photographers and videographers might include:

  • wiring the bride and groom for sound
  • using flash photography or artificial lighting during the ceremony
  • moving around during key moments of the liturgy
  • moving furnishings or decorations.

Again, the policy at your parish may be more lenient or restrictive; it's always a good idea to check with your parish before the wedding. See the sample policies at the end of this article for other considerations.

Many couples choose not to photograph the ceremony at all. If this is your style, you may want to make a gentle request that your guests refrain from taking pictures during the ceremony.

Other websites

Wedding photography rules at Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace (Honolulu)

A one-page photography and videography policy at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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