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Christ Church Reading is within a very short distance of the town centre. This 150 year old church is a well known landmark by virtue of the impressive spire reaching into the sky. Travel is pretty easy as Reading itself is well-connected and Christ Church is only a few minutes from junctions 10, 11, and 12 of the M4 motorway. Parking is tricky in the immediate area - the church has no public parking of its own - so guests should allow plenty of time.
Peter has included in this feature gallery several weddings he has photographed and video'd at this venue. All the participants are local - one bride's parents were married in the very same church; isn't that lovely!
Christ Church Reading has quite large grounds to the front and to one side which are well-maintained and very suitable as locations for the important group photos of family and friends.
All the officiants have been very relaxed and easy to work with; this soon became apparent when Peter attended the rehearsals. No silly rules with regard to professional photography and video during marriage ceremonies and so Peter has been able to shoot a good variety of both. Afterwards one of the priests commented how unintrusive the video coverage had been (even with Peter running three video cameras!) and said that he had not even been aware of it.
As might be expected in such a beautiful Victorian church the ambient light levels are very low and so the shooting conditions are quite demanding. There is a balcony at the rear of the interior which is a great location from which to shoot some of the photos and video.
The distinctive Spire of Christ Church Reading Berkshire is visible for miles around:
The getting ready coverage usually includes some detail photos of the flowers, dress, shoes, jewellery etc and a little of what the girls are up to (and the fellas if available). The flowers always make for a nice photo and a great reminder of the day and the colours in years to come:
It was a tight fit as it nearly always is what with everyone getting ready at the same time and in the same place. An extreme wide angle lens can be invaluable to professional wedding photographers to help capture the atmosphere and detail such as in the next photo where mother and bride complete the finishing touches to the bride's dress:
Peter always aims to shoot a few pics of the groom and groomsmen shortly before the start of the wedding ceremony. A last photo of the groom as a single man!
The next image gives you some idea of the large scale of the interior of Christ Church Reading. This is always welcomed by professional wedding photographers as it makes moving to alternative viewpoints so much smoother. At the rear of the church you can see the balcony. Access is unlocked during wedding ceremonies and the balcony makes a good extra vantage point:
Our vicar in full flow during his sermon:
Some venues do not permit the shooting of the signing of the civil register but some priests are not too concerned so long as personal data is not readable. Makes for a lovely poignant moment:
Shortly after the start of Charmaine and Jasons' wedding ceremony Peter went up to the church balcony to shoot some scene setting photos from this unusual vantage point.
The low ambient light in venues such as Christ Church Reading always makes great demands on the photographers equipment but with the right techniques lots of shots can be obtained which simply were not possible even a few years ago. Here we can see the groom's dad, attention riveted.
The church has good access to both sides and so it is possible to switch between a variety of positions without causing any undue distraction.
The couple listen attentively from their seats:
The blessing takes place at the high altar towards the end of the wedding ceremony:
The bride and groom make their way to the vestry to sign the legal documents, clearly relieved that it is nearly complete!
The recessional - where the bride and groom make their exit from the church - is a hard shoot what with low light and fast subject movement, but makes for some great images:
The weather was cold windy and wet by this stage so this couple made a rapid departure from Christ Church.
The photography and video coverage usually continues with the wedding reception. This bride chose the nearby Sonning Golf Club:
And this bride chose Warbrook House:
The essential group photos and portraits can be shot at the church or at the reception venue or at a mixture of both venues:
The photos can include some not so formal groups!
The wedding ceremony usually continues with a reception, wedding breakfast, and evening party at a local hotel. You can browse lots of these in Peter's other Galleries including Warbrook House which one Christ Church bride chose.
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