Letter to Photographers and Videographers

Dear Photographers and Videographers of Liturgical Events

We welcome you to our worshipping community. As we are sure you realize, Blessed Sacrament Church and St. Mary's Parish are sacred worshipping spaces for our faith community. Therefore, as such there are certain boundaries that are set up to insure that due respect is paid to the sacrament and the environment in which these events are celebrated. Your cooperation in making these celebrations holy, respectful and enjoyable for the community is greatly appreciated.

Our experience has reinforced the value of establishing these guidelines by our pastoral staff. We sincerely hope that these will help elevate the celebration. Transgressions of this policy will result in our request that the violators not be invited back for our events. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the celebrant of the liturgy at which you will be working. We request that you speak with the celebrant before the beginning of the celebration.

These are the guidelines we ask you to follow:

  1. Given that the Sanctuary of the Church is the central, sacred space, no photographer or videographer is allowed into that space. This area is defined as the entire carpeted section containing the altar, tabernacle, lectern, cantor’s stand, and seating for the celebrant, ministers and the bride, groom, best man and maid of honor.
  2. You are however, permitted to film/photograph from the doorway of the sacristy that leads into the Sanctuary, as well as from the window in the upper sacristy, and the choir loft in the rear of the Church.
  3. When filming/photographing the procession and recession, we ask that you do so from the center of the Church where there is a break in the pews. This makes the front of the Church less congested and allows for a free-flowing opening to our celebration. You may also video the procession from the rear door of the sanctuary. Simply ask the celebrant and he will open it for you to film/photograph not only the procession but the “giving away of the bride” by whomever does so.
  4. During the exchange of vows you are permitted to photograph from a reasonable distance in the middle aisle of the Church. Most celebrants ask the couples to turn toward each other during this point in the ritual.
  5. We also ask your assistance in beginning the celebration on time. Blessed Sacrament & St. Mary's are busy churches, often with a full schedule. Promptness is necessary in order for the happy couple to experience a full and enjoyable celebration of the ritual. You can be of tremendous help in this matter by watching the clock and moving things along. We understand that it is not always the photographer’s/videographer’s responsibility when weddings begin late. However, we do ask that you aid us in moving the bride quickly from the limousine to the church. We have found that, at times, the bride remains in the limo for a significant amount of time as well as posing for several photographs with various persons, thus delaying the celebration further. Thank you for whatever you can do to move things along in a professional, yet respectful manner.
  6. If you plan to take pictures in the church after the celebration the priest must be informed of this ahead of time. The reason is security. Someone must remain behind to lock up the church after you are finished, see that the lights are off, etc.

We hope that these guidelines are agreeable to all who work at both Blessed Sacrament & St. Mary's. We must never forget our purpose in celebrating events at the Church. It is a celebration of our human family and the goodness of God, therefore, we put forth every effort to make these celebrations respectful and fruitful for all who are involved. Thank you for your efforts.

With great thanks for your cooperation.