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Did this pastor go too far? Wedding curmudgeon or a wise clergy? You make the call.  

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Robert Sands

commented on Oct 7, 2013

Apparently, this is very common. At almost every wedding at which I officiate the photographer approaches me and says, ?Okay Pastor, tell us what your restrictions are.? The first time it happened I told the photographer, ?Just get good pictures. I don?t care if you have to stand on my shoulders. In fact, if I?m in the way while the bride is coming down the aisle, ask me to move. This is about them, not me.? He looked stunned. Now, before every wedding that?s what I say to each of them. I have also seen clergy be jerks at funerals too. This guy in this video has ?Jerk? written all over him. He wrecked the wedding day and did it in the name of God. Rather disgusting if you ask me.

James Dennis

commented on Oct 7, 2013

Totally unprofessional and inappropriate. Every minister should establish before the ceremony, what the guidelines should be according to the bride and grooms wishes.

Jeff Glenn

commented on Oct 7, 2013

I have to wonder was he the couple's pastor or someone they "hired" to perform the ceremony? Anyway, I normally have couples inform me that a photographer will be present (as they normally are at weddings!) and ask if I mind. I normally say, "No." Quite frankly, I'm so focused on the couple and leading them through the ceremony I rarely pay attention to any photography taking place. To each his own I guess. (I do believe he left a bad impression of himself and God.)

Joe Mckeever

commented on Oct 7, 2013

I sympathize with the minister, but as some have said, he handled it poorly. The wisest thing to do is to write it in the wedding policies which are given to the bride and groom at the moment they schedule the wedding. Spell it out: "From the moment, the minister begins speaking, the photographer must remain still in back of the audience, taking photos with only available lights. As soon as the minister pronounces the couple husband and wife, the photographer may once again go wherever he pleases." Then, you will have to call the attention of the couple to this requirement. -- At one wedding, when I arrived, the photographer was so angry. He'd just found out about the policy. "I'm not being allowed to do what I do," he said. I said basically the same thing the minister in this video did, reminding him this is a worship service and not a photographic opportunity. Five minutes later, I found the bride was angry with me too because of the restriction. I said to her, "I pointed this out to you in my office. Evidently, you didn't read it or do not care." Then, I softened and assured her that after the wedding ended, we could come back inside and pose for anything she wants for as long as she wants it. (So glad to be retired and out of this foolishness.)

Kehchiang Wang

commented on Oct 7, 2013

God is everywhere, not just behind the minister...

Kehchiang Wang

commented on Oct 7, 2013

But we also need to give room to each minister, they have different training, from different denomination and background, we all have some (a) 'space' that we feel God is 'there'.... And it's important to 'help' the minister to feel God's presecnce while he is hosting/leading ceremony, it makes a lot difference. And yes, he should handle it softer.

Ed Wandling

commented on Oct 7, 2013

So this showed up on one of the national TV news outlets where they interviewed the photographer. He was not overly defensive or angry, but in response to questions asked by the interviewer he did say he conversed with the pastor prior to the ceremony about where he could and could not be and was within those boundaries when this event occurred. I don't remember if the pastor's response was sought out or not. It seems to me there was obviously a miscommunication somewhere.

Paul Wallace

commented on Oct 7, 2013

I'm a pastor and my daughter is a wedding photographer. I agree with most of the comments above. The professional thing to do is to meet with them before hand and give them guidelines. The bride and groom invest a lot in a good photographer capturing the moment for their memories and future generations. The pastor must understand that while at the same time the photographers have to attempt to be as invisible as possible . It's a difficult balance.

David Beirne

commented on Oct 7, 2013

The couple didn't look happy at all with what he was doing. The sacredness of the moment was affected more by pastor's tirade than anything the photographer was doing. And if it was so sacred, don't you think the couple would like to preserve the memory?

Nancy Carmichael-Stoner

commented on Oct 7, 2013

I would love to know what the photographer was doing that so upset the moment. I talk to the photographers ahead of time. I find that those attending the wedding are often more in the way. I really love the IPAD camera! Nice and big.

Joel Rutherford

commented on Oct 7, 2013

Why are we as churches and pastors involved in weddings? I don't see a scriptural example. This story, and most of the comments, show how very much weddings are about the 'event' regardless of where it is held.

Julian Richards

commented on Oct 7, 2013

How our culture changes eh? When I got married myself there was no question at all in anyone's mind that photographs were to be reserved for immediately after the ceremony (and it wasn't that long ago!). When I officiate at a wedding now, I tend to make light of it by asking people to respect the solemnity of the occasion and not use flash photography or otherwise intrude on the ceremony during the vows themselves, but they are free to do so elsewhere within the ceremony. I sometimes joke that I might accidentally marry the best man to the bride instead of the groom if I'm distracted - this usually makes the point, but keeps the lightheartedness in the ceremony. I also say it is ok to use confetti in the church and also that if people have forgotten confetti, they are free to tear up the service sheets and use those - though it is ME who cleans the mess up afterwards.

Lawrence Rae

commented on Oct 7, 2013

By his outlandish comments and arrogance this minister (servant?) just made the wedding all about himself, not about God. He obviously needs an attitude adjustment.

Larry Hanley

commented on Oct 7, 2013

Most often, I inform the couple in the counseling session that I prefer that no flash photography occur during the ceremony. If they question this (and they NEVER have) I will then I will explain myself. I also tell them that I intend to make that announcement right at the beginning. The official photographer will already know, but I want to be sure that the casual photographer also knows. I have never had any problems.

David Hodgin

commented on Oct 7, 2013

During my first year as a pastor a wedding photographer was all over the platform and it was distracting for me, the couple and the audience. Since then I tell the photographer to stay off the platform and in the aisles along the wall. Most photographers tell me that was their plan. I tell them when the "kiss" and the ending is and allow them free reign during that portion. Once, a photographer violated the rules, I stopped looked at him kindly, then pleasantly told the couple that we would continue when the photographer had cleared the area. He took a couple more pictures and returned to the side isle embarrassed, I sure. In watching the video, I wonder, with the benefit of hindsight, if the minister wishes he had done things differently and if so what.

John S. Marquis

commented on Oct 7, 2013

Pompus ass! This is why people dont go to church! THe minister is there to serve!

Gary Gustman

commented on Oct 7, 2013

Two things... the "pastor" should have been more concerned about the brides cleavage if his concern was respect for God. He was correct in chastising the photographer. They often feel they can be any place at any time. They try to capture the moment, but in the process destroy the moment.

Charles Wallis

commented on Oct 8, 2013

I have noticed this more and more - when it comes to weddings, modesty seems to be a non-issue today which is pretty ironic since it is a marriage and they are giving themselves to each other only - so why would you show the more intimate parts of yourself to the public?

Kevin Kleinhenz

commented on Oct 7, 2013

Wow if I can do a grave side funeral with people talking in the background (So irreverent) I think I could handle someone behind me taking pictures. You guys must do some awful big weddings to have these kinds of troubles. I have only conducted maybe 50 weddings and I have never had a problem with a photographer. I think this mean spirited man ruined this ceremony many times over what the poor soul behind him was doing.

Peter Dunn

commented on Oct 7, 2013

What a jerk! I have only one requirement for photographers - get my best side.

Harold Swinson

commented on Oct 7, 2013

Apparently, this is very common but I always advise the photographer and the couple before the ceremony that all pictures should be taken before or after. During the ceremony, I don't like pictures being taken because it distracts from the ceremony but it also distracts the couple. I will come back following the service and allow any pictures they choose to take but when the vows are being exchanged, scripture or prayer I rather no one being taking pictures or moving around.

Anonymous

commented on Oct 7, 2013

I believe that we should as Christians submit to the governing authorities. So if this is his rules than it is. Maybe he could have said it with a little more love attached.

Tony Bland

commented on Oct 7, 2013

I would like to understand how the Pastor must have felt. I am trying again,?.ok one more time?.nope can?t get anything. He was a jerk. They will have this opportunity once in a life time (hopefully) and he ruin it for them?

Tony Bland

commented on Oct 7, 2013

I would like to understand how the Pastor must have felt. I am trying again,?.ok one more time?.nope can?t get anything. He was a jerk. They will have this opportunity once in a life time (hopefully) and he ruin it for them?

Tom Shepard

commented on Oct 8, 2013

The wedding ceremony is a religious ceremony - it should honor God. Let the couple know before time what the restrictions are. It is a good idea to have the video person there at the rehearsal to avoid any problems. I premarital counseling have the restrictions listed.

Byron Sherman

commented on Oct 8, 2013

Judging from the location, is it not possible that the 'photographer' addressed was not even part of the ceremony but a passerby or rubbernecker? The pastor, after all, seems to be addressing his concern to the side of the main camera.

Charles Wallis

commented on Oct 8, 2013

I think he is maybe taking it too far - he could have shown more grace - I feel bad for the couple. However, I was doing a recent wedding and a photographer in a tight red revealing dress was all over the place and distracting people - I think it should be addressed prior to the ceremony - who will be taking pictures, where will they be, and how will they insure they are not in the way (professional). If they were not part of the wedding plan, someone else should have intervened so the pastor did not have to.

James Kirkland

commented on Oct 8, 2013

The wedding ceremony is about the bride and groom and their union. The servants of them, minister or photographer, should respect their wishes with common sense and respect for each other. Each one has certain requirements to perform their required duties correctly and efficiently. Communication and a little discreet behavior go a long way to keep a special occasion special.

Jordon Leblanc

commented on Oct 9, 2013

this pretty well makes me sick... you know what, even if you think the photographer is distracting from the ceremony, you stopping the ceremony to lecture him is even more distracting. there's a very good chance the couple asked the photographer to do exactly what he is doing. grow up and get over it!

Mike Fogerson

commented on Oct 9, 2013

What a way to make the bride's special day so memorable, reverend. Gesh!!! If he wanted to lighten his wedding commitments I'm sure he did it. I wonder if the couple (and parents of the couple) were (are) parishioners of the pastor? That's the real world fall out for the guy.

Mike Fogerson

commented on Oct 9, 2013

Just another thought . . .this wedding wasn't "in" a church. It looks like it was done at a golf course or some other type of outdoor wedding venue. All rules (well, most) for "church" decorum would be out the window, would they not?

John Shaw

commented on Oct 14, 2013

In my opinion the pastor was completely out of line. Look at the shocked expression of the couple! I have a degree in Ministry but I also own a professional photography studio where we are blessed to be able to photograph numerous weddings throughout the year. I read several responses above that indicated photographers think they can just do what they want. Listen there are exceptions - especially now that anyone who buys a camera and throws the word "photography" after their name thinks they are professional photographers - but real professionals know the "rules" and honor the ceremony and couple. In fact we are typically with the bride from early morning through the end of the reception. (The officiating pastor spends an hour with the couple at most?) Wedding photography prices vary but ours range from $1200.00 to $2500.00 and believe me the couple and their family expect their money's worth in photos and that includes getting "the shot" during the ceremony. This pastor was arrogant and to suggest he would stop the ceremony is both unprofessional and idiotic. He made a spectacle of himself and embarrassed the couple as well as the photographers to prove a point. Wwjd? Be serious. I hope the couple laid into him after the service. If the photos were negatively affected I hope the studio sent the bill to the pastor. I hope I'm not being too harsh but I have officiated weddings as well as been the Official Photographer weddings and I have never seen anyone like this guy. Honestly I would leave the church if it were my pastor who did this.

Michael Parnell

commented on Oct 16, 2013

Not very professional, just going by this short clip. As I counsel with couples during several sessions prior to the ceremony, we discuss these things. It should have been discussed before hand what the format and decorum would be regarding photography during the wedding. This embarrassment and and awkwardness could have, and should have been avoided.

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