For actual day weddings that have the wedding ceremony held in a Church, I would try to make it for the wedding rehearsal. The rehearsal is normally held a couple of days before the wedding. Attending the rehearsals allow me to recce the Church in advance and get a good idea of what will be happening on the actual day as well as to figure out possible angles to cover the ceremony. It also allows me to check with the Pastor of the church if there are any restrictions in the way the photographer can cover the wedding (e.g. out of bounds areas, no flash during the ceremony – so far never a problem as I never use a flash during the wedding ceremony deeming it very distractive and intrusive, etc). Most times, I will also use the wedding rehearsal to clarify last minute changes in the wedding schedule. Rehearsals are normally quite a relaxed occasion and give me a chance to get to know the couple, their families and friends a little better.
I continue to try and train my eye to capture images that I hope will be extraordinary, even if it is a simple wedding rehearsal.
I like the following quote from photographer Bill Brandt:-
A photographer must be prepared to catch and hold on to those elements which give distinction to the subject or lend it atmosphere. They are often momentary, chance-sent things: a gleam of light on water, a trail of smoke from a passing train, a cat crossing a threshold, the shadows cast by a setting sun. Sometimes they are a matter of luck; the photographer could not expect or hope for them. Sometimes they are a matter of patience, waiting for an effect to be repeated that he has seen and lost or for one that he anticipates. Leaving out of question the deliberately posed or arranged photograph, it is usually some incidental detail that heightens the effect of a picture – stressing a pattern, deepening the sense of atmosphere. But the photographer must be able to recognize instantly such effects. – Bill Brandt – “Camera in London”, The Focal Press, London 1948, p. 16