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A wedding photographer typically leaves the bride's house once her preparations have been photographed, and travels directly to the church or location of the ceremony. The groom may already be present and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the bride. His best man, groomsmen and ushers are likely to be waiting with him. This is consequently an excellent opportunity to photograph all the principal men because they have time on their hands and their expressions may say much about the tensions within. Remember that this is also a situation that the bride will never see, so she may well appreciate such images.

A number of approaches are possible and, as always, a photographer must assess and, if necessary, adopt the prevailing mood. Formal shots can be taken outside the church or venue, perhaps showing something of the doorway or the general environment, but wide-angle and close-up shots of the key people may also be appropriate. This may also be a good time to capture the best man with the rings, and perhaps find a novel way of photographing them. Once the principal shots are done, look for some candid images of the ushers teasing the groom, or the best man looking at his watch as the time ticks away.

As all this is going on, a steady stream of guests will probably be arriving. Be sure to get shots of the main players as the bride will not witness this stage of the preparations. Once word of the bride's imminent arrival has reached the groom, he generally heads for the altar or the area in which the ceremony is to take place. It is often worth going with him to get some shots of his anxious moments just before the bride arrives. The guests will also be in the final stages of assembly within the church or venue, so try to find a few wide-angle shots incorporating the groom, the venue's interior, and at least some of the waiting family and friends.


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