No matter your religious background, there are many ways that you can incorporate your faith into your special day. We’ve curated a list of some of the pinnacle points of faith-based weddings that we think you should plan to capture!
If any of these religious elements are important to you, make sure to discuss this in advance with your wedding photographer or videographer. Ask them if you can add these religious wedding photo and video activities to your shot list.
You will see that some ideas that we share below will end up being visually appealing, but others have a special audible memory (which could be attached to them if the wedding is being filmed!)
If you need help selecting a professional wedding photographer or videographer who can help support you, we have a team who specializes in engagements and weddings in Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin and Houston.
For a Christian wedding ceremony, customary traditions could vary depending on the faith denomination (Protestant, Evangelical etc.) This is the type of wedding that our team captures most frequently here in Texas and these traditions can be very meaningful.
Here are ideas for activities to highlight this important aspect of your upcoming marriage.
Standing in front of the church sanctuary, altar, a cross, piece of Christian art or ringing the church bell (if there is one)
Getting close ups of a key scripture verse, special family heirloom Bible, or Christian wedding details that you may have in place (from your programs to your guest book)
Getting your bridal party or wedding guests to pray over you (with hands on the bride and groom, or arms outstretched)
Capturing the pastor praying over the couple or blessing the wedding rings
Taking communion or kneeling in prayer together as a praise and worship song plays in the background
Washing each other’s feet as a sign of respect and humility
Lighting a unity candle to represent the combining of families
Weaving together a cord of three strands, to symbolize the Bible verse Ecclesiastes 4:9 emphasizing the connection between the bride, the groom, and God
Want to hear more about Christian weddings? The Knot shares a variety of topics related to Christian rituals (and other similar faiths.)
Catholic weddings are rich in symbolism which make for unique religious wedding photo and video options. Build some of these ideas into your wedding shot list to capture at Mass. (There may be some similarities or cross-over with Christian wedding rituals, depending on your faith practices.)
Standing in front of the church, the altar, a cross, a statue of Jesus or Mother Mary, or stained-glass window
Getting close ups of a key scripture verse, special family heirloom Bible, or rosery
Wrapping yourselves with a large rosary, lasso, or rope in the shape of a figure eight meant to represent unity of the bride and groom and their new beginnings (also known as the Unity Ceremony)
Capturing close ups with the priest making a sign of a cross, praying over the couple or blessing the wedding rings.
Reciting the Lord’s prayer with your congregation
Singing a hymn together
Reading, or Liturgy of the Word, performed by family members of selected Biblical passages
Taking holy communion together
Want more inspiration for Catholic weddings? The Knot shares details on 16 wedding rituals.
Jewish weddings come on a strong foundation of history and elevate the importance of the role which family members play in the joining of a bride and groom. Keep in mind that Orthodox Jewish ceremonies can come with more strict requirements, like separating men and women during certain parts of the wedding festivities. These can all still lead to beautiful photos or video reels.
Throwing candies from the congregation before the wedding ceremony immediately following the rabbi’s blessing, known as Misheberach
Signing the Jewish marriage contract, or ketubah, before the ceremony
Getting close ups with the rabbi blessing the couple
Standing under the alter, or chuppah, with both sets of parents
Readings of the seven blessing, or Sheva B’rachot, recited by family and friends
Breaking of the glass and shouting “Mazol tov” with your guests
Spending time as just the two of you (for at least eight minutes, to be exact) to reflect privately after the wedding ceremony
Getting lifted up on chairs during a traditional celebratory dance in the middle of the dance floor during the reception
Want more inspiration on Jewish wedding traditions? Check out this article from Brides.
Hindu weddings are some of our favorite religious wedding photo and video events because there are so many vibrant and meaningful activities! There are often multiple wedding-related ceremonies spanning over three days. The third and final day is typically when the traditional
Hindu ceremony and reception take place and here are some of the priceless moments to capture. Depending on where the families are originally from in India, these traditions can vary.
Capturing the Haldi (or pithi) ceremony when loved ones paint the bride and groom in their individual houses with the spice, Turmeric, on the morning of the wedding
Praying to a statue of the Lord Ganesh (or Ganesha)
Arriving outside of the ceremony site where the groom is greeted with singing and dancing
Focusing on the hands with the bridal mehndi or tying the hands together with a cotton thread (per the tradition of Hastamilap)
Exchanging garlands of flowers to signify a welcoming to one another’s family
Sitting in front of the holy fire while the priest recites holy readings and loved ones bring offerings
Reciting the seven sacred marriage vows in Sanskrit
Applying the powder to the bride’s hair, showing that she’s now married and the ceremony is complete
Want more inspiration for Hindu weddings? Visit this comprehensive guide from The Big Fat Indian Wedding.
For a Muslim wedding, the wedding details may vary depending on whether you are married in a mosque. There will also be more traditional Islamic formalities, depending on your faith practices.
For example, some Muslim weddings will separate men and women during key parts (similar to Orthodox Jewish weddings!) In these instances, a bride’s male family member would step in on her behalf.
Documenting the mosque (if held in one) and related practices, including removal of shoes before entering
Signing of the marriage contract in a Nikah ceremony
Sharing a piece of fruit after the marriage contract is signed
Hearing the officiant recite the first chapter of the Quran, or Fatihah, and other blessings
Offering the mandatory gift (which may or may not include an engagement ring) from the groom to the bride, also known as Mahr
Tossing coins to shower the couple as they exist the Mosque
Changing of the bridal outfit after the wedding ceremony, typically a more formal or decadent outfit
Enjoying the wedding feast, or Walima, with your guests, one of the most sacred parts of a Muslim wedding (this can continue for up to two days!)
Interested in learning more about elements of a classic Muslim ceremony? Read this article from Weddingwire.
Don’t connect with one specific religion and consider yourself to be more universally-spiritual? You can still incorporate faith-based elements that may be meaningful to you. Select the activities from this list that best represent your faith journey.
Keep in mind that if one or both of you have committed to a specific religion, the wedding traditions that you choose may also be influenced by your culture or your location.
The best part is? It’s YOUR wedding day, so make it your own!
[Photoshoot in the spotlight: A+J Wedding Photos in Dallas, Texas captured by Jillian and an Indian Wedding in Dallas, Texas by Moe. To see wedding videos by Joy Photo and Video professionals, visit our YouTube channel.]
The Joy Team