Considerations for filming in a church

The most important thing for you to do as a couple is to tell the vicar or priest that you intend to have a videographer, as well as a photographer at your ceremony and see what they say. They are highly unlikely to say no but they may talk about a couple of things:

a) They may have some concerns about either myself as a videographer or both myself and the photographer moving around during the service which is fair enough. If I come to a rehearsal and meet the vicar or priest I will reassure them that I will keep my movements to a minimum. In fact, the only time that I might need to move from my position is if one or more of your guests comes up to the front to do a reading. They will always be facing your guests and potentially away from me. I wouldn't want to be filming them from the back so I might come out to one side and film them in profile. I can explain all that to the celebrant and it has never been an issue.

b) They may talk about copyright for the music being played in church. They may already have a licence to cover the copyright issue or they may say that I as a videographer would need to get a licence which I'm happy to do if required.

c) It is extremely unlikely that there will be a charge for allowing filming in a church. The only time I have ever heard of such a thing was for a family friend getting married in York Minster where a fee was charged.

Church rehearsals

One bonus of a church wedding for me is that there is nearly always a rehearsal, usually one evening, a few days before the wedding itself. This gives the couple and their immediate family a chance to walk through the important parts of the ceremony with the vicar or priest. It also gives me the chance to meet the vicar or priest and reassure him or her that I'm not going to get in the way or disrupt their way of conducting the service. These days most reverends take the very practical view that you are paying for the service to be conducted in the church, therefore the couple's wishes for filming the day should be honoured. 

As I say, please tell the vicar or priest what you are planning. There is nearly always a rehearsal for a church wedding and I have been to lots and lots of rehearsals to check out the entrances and exits to the church, to get a view of the angles and the lighting but most of all to shake hands with the vicar or priest so that they can feel comfortable that we are able to work together to make your day special. So please remember to tell me when the rehearsal is  scheduled for and if I can make it I will.

At the rehearsal, I will be working out the best place for me to stand with my camera and monopod based on where you will be at different times during the ceremony. I will be looking for the optimal position that means I can be facing the bride as the couple stand for the vows. I may have to squeeze into some choir stalls or small spaces - alternatively, I may be much further away and need to place a radio mike on the groom in order to get a decent audio recording. I will look at the lighting as well and try and work out whether the lighting situation will be similar on your wedding day.

The vicar or priest will almost certainly be keen that I don't move around too much. I will reassure him or her on that point but I will also gently point out that if there are some readings that your guests are doing, they will almost certainly come and stand at the front, facing the audience and the back of the church. That is really the only time that I may need to move down to the side so that I am not filming the back of their head. 


Church services can be quite long compared to civic weddings. One way I have been taught to shorten the video is to remove all but the first and last verse of the hymns. If this is something that you would rather I didn't do then please let me know.