When it comes to booking your wedding venue most couples make their decision based on its sentimental value or on its appeal - it could really just be the perfect wedding venue and they don't want to get married anywhere else! But it's not that simple.
There are many things to consider when choosing your wedding venue and i hope the following doesn't scare you too much!
Accessibility, backdrop, space, permission.
With photographer's (and me especially) I need to know everything about the venue. It's crucial to know which areas of the venue is accessible to photograph and not just to enter, but to be able to physically move in that space! In the past i've attended weddings, events, shoots where it wasn't made quite clear on the space of the venue i was shooting in. Even if i have scouted the venue, things can always change!
The main spots to look out for at your venue is the ceremony room, where the speeches are held and the location for the formal photos.
This is where the marriage actually happens! So you want to make sure those beautiful memories are captured! Most registrars are extremely kind and generous to photographers. They allow the photographer their time to capture what they need and a discussion of where everyone will be placed happens before the ceremony. This way everyone knows who is where and images can be captured without interruption & failure!
I was able to shoot so many angles from this ceremony location! Perfect.
This is an example of a smaller ceremony room. The registrar was happy with me being down the front - then i was able to move to the back of the room for another angle at the end of the ceremony.
So both work - but you have to bare in mind where it's possible for the photographer to stand during these times.
Most of the time i will have run through where these images will be taken with the couple. They will have chosen their perfect backdrop for these crucial photos. BUT i always have a plan A and B. If outside then this is totally weather dependant. You may want your photographs taken infront of the most beautiful backdrop but if the sun is out (yay for everyone, not the photographer) then the light will be too strong UNLESS there is shade. If it rains, then Plan B is go and we move inside to where we decided would be best (with space) to take these photos.
Below you can see Plan A, the couple really wanted some family photos there so we shot those and because of the rain we had to shoot the rest of the guests inside which luckily had a pretty backdrop!
This is usually before or after the sit down meal. Normally the bridal party are on a long table with dozens of tables surrounding them. This is great in a large venue, i can stand at the back out the way and move around freely and shoot from various angles.
Sometimes there is a projector for the best man's speech, a videographer with a 3 camera set up and to make things worse large & low centre pieces...this is a nightmare especially in a smaller room. I'll be forever dodging these elements in a very small space. I'll manage it! But it could also limit your images.
These are just a couple things to think about from a photographer's point of view. Be it a teeny tiny room or one you can get lost in. You make both work if you think about these elements.
After all your wedding photos will forever be a reminder of your wonderful wedding day, so take a few steps back and see what your venue can give to you.