Wedding Mass Turned Photo-Op Session

Times must have really changed for wedding masses. I'm particularly referring to wedding photography inside the church while the wedding is ongoing.

In the past, at least in my time, choreographed poses were executed by the wedding couple as directed by the wedding photographer. This was done inside the church typically after the wedding mass. The whole entourage would have their turns after the couple's photos, and then, time permitting, even the attendees, composed mostly of friends, officemates and relatives would have their turn too.

It has become well-organized and systematic in fact that after the wedding mass, the wedding coordinator or a member of the photography team takes over the lectern after I, the wedding commentator, leaves.

What do they do at the commentator's lectern? Well, they would call out the groups for pictorial. First it's the couple with the priest, then the couple with parents, and so on. The sequence of picture taking is sometimes printed at the back of a customized wedding mass program. This is to guide the wedding as to who will be called next in the the picture-taking.

Photographer Sneaky Moves

In this wedding, the wedding photographer also took choreographed poses of the wedding couple during the wedding mass. The photographer exploited the points in the mass when the officiating priest went down from the altar and stood behind the wedding couple.

At these times, it was his back facing the couple behind him while he was facing the wedding attendees. These times included the offertory when he was receiving gifts from the offertory procession, as well as when giving communion.

With the priest's attention away from the wedding couple, the photographer grabbed the opportunities to direct the couple. He did this directly in front of the kneeling couple with subdued verbal cues and hand signals. Ordinarily, this would have been a no-no as the photographer was already snaking near the altar. In our parish church, persons not commissioned by the diocese are not allowed to step on the altar floor.

Choreographed Secret Wedding Poses

The first pose I noticed was the "Look Up" pose. I don't know what occurred in the groom's head because he clasped his both his hands high on his chest in a prayerful pose. He looked up at the giant crucifix on the wall behind the altar with a big smile on his face, looking "enlightened". The groom was a big burly guy and I suppose he was mimicking a saintly pose.

It was the first pose I noticed because it looked so ridiculous on him.

The bride wasn't too game with this pose and smiled at the groom because he looked so silly, to say the least. Hey, who knows, maybe it was the groom who invested on the photography package.

Other poses signaled by the photographer were the "Look Down" pose with both heads of the couple solemnly bowed down. There's the "Look Each Other" pose with a hand holding together and eyes of the couple sweetly glancing at each other. And then there's the showing-the-wedding-rings "Hey look!, We're married" shot.

Cheesy? Yes, but it's too maximize the time. I was just waiting for the photographer to signal the infamous "Wacky!" shot. That'll be a hoot, especially if the officiating priest catches them doing it while inside the mass!

Of course no flash was used throughout these 'secret poses'. No sense distracting the assembly and then getting the ire of the officiating priest.