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AWKWARD: Minister halts wedding ceremony and angrily asks photographers to leave

There’s no doubt that wedding photographers have to deal with a lot of annoying personality types. But the last person you’d think they’d catch ‘hell’ from is the minister officiating the wedding — right in the middle of the couple reciting their vows.

There’s no doubt that wedding photographers have to deal with a lot of annoying personality types. But the last person you’d think they’d catch ‘hell’ from is the minister officiating the wedding — right in the middle of the couple reciting their vows.

Some painfully awkward video has surfaced which shows just that. In the video, everything seems to be going fine. But seemingly out of nowhere, the minister turns around and angrily commands the photographers capturing the moment to move elsewhere.

“This is a solemn assembly, not a photography session,” the minister firmly chastises the photographers. “Please move, or I will stop.”

Clearly puzzled and shocked, the photographers can be heard asking the minister to clarify himself. “This is not about the photography,” the minister snaps back as the couple looks on in horror. “This is about God.”


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  1. Jim S

    September 19, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    What an idiot! I hope he loses a large number of his flock. If I were the groom I’d have decked the sonofabitch for screwing up my wedding.

  2. Mary W. Lukens Goodson

    September 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    OH. MY. GOD. I hope that asshat never – EVER gets to perform another wedding!!!

  3. Rian

    September 19, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    No. This is about the two people getting married. The ones paying the photographer–and you.

  4. lordbrucegiles

    September 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Wow… I’d stiff the minister.

  5. Pamela Sue LaVersa

    September 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    So…what happened?

  6. Karla

    September 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm


  7. Progressive Texas Democrat

    September 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    The last time I photographed a wedding at a church (1976) it was made clear to us that there would be ample opportunity to photograph the bride and groom before and after the actual ceremony, which is after all a religious rite when performed in a church by ordained clergy. All of this was agreed to by the bride and groom and the photographers in advance. After all, the “sanctity of marriage” is not served by the sound of shutters and the distraction of jostling photographers as if to say paparazzi rule.

  8. thearmourofgod

    September 19, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Actually, this is not unusual. The people taking pictures should not be behind the pastor. As a pastor and as a once photographer, this should all be arranged prior to the service.

  9. Otto Katz

    September 19, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Jesus, what did she have, the entire lineup of Rockettes there as her bridesmaids? Thought it was bad taste to have more than 6.

  10. Amber

    September 19, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    When that minister asked for payment for performing the ceremony, I would have said it’s about God not money. Then just walk away.

  11. Don

    September 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Pompous ass…..

  12. Jane Galt

    September 19, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    SOMEBODY is too big for his britches! What an idiot.

  13. ottawaedge

    September 19, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Wouldn’t it be a shame if the bride and groom wanted to catch that specific moment on film and had asked the photographers, who they’re paying, to do so, only to have the priest interrupt the whole thin and make it about him. And the year you referenced was over three decades ago. Things change.

  14. ottawaedge

    September 19, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    He just tarnished the biggest moment of their lives to that point because he thought the photographers were breaking the rules? That’s pretty petty.

  15. ottawaedge

    September 19, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Jesus was apparently a pretty cool guy. I bet he wouldn’t have done this.

  16. nancysnead25

    September 20, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I would tell the uppidity man its my wedding this is for us not u

  17. Richard

    September 20, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Looks like God woke up on the wrong side of His bed that morning.

  18. fang

    September 20, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Bad minister. It’s the 21st century. A wedding is about a self-aggrandizing, bank-breaking party. The minister is present for the same reason brides wear white dresses and veils – for a cutesy old-tyme touch that makes the event look more classy – and he’s a hired hand just like the waitstaff. How dare he bring religion into it? The man should know his place in the new psuedo-micro-celebrity order.

  19. Jeri

    September 20, 2013 at 12:55 am

    I’m glad the photog dragged his camera along this line of bridesmaid so we could see how many there were. Another example of a bride who doesn’t know how to say no.

  20. Dennis G

    September 20, 2013 at 1:00 am

    I ran a photography business years ago and this happened to me once. As always, I had gone over all the details with the minister before the wedding, and he had agreed to everything. Just as the bride was coming down the aisle, the minister leans over to me (I was positioned in front of him-it was a very small chapel) and said “I want you to leave now”. I did not leave. I was paid to be there, and to get that shot, the most important shot of the wedding. I just said, “Get real” and finished the shot, then returned to the rear of the church, just as we had agreed before the ceremony. Later at the brides parent’s house, I watched as the bride’s mother torn the minister to pieces over the incident. If the minister does not want a photographer in the church, he should make this apparent to the bride and groom well in advance, as well as communicate it to the photographer. Over the years, I saw many a minister act like an ass. Some think the marriage ceremony is about them, they want to be the center of attention, not the bride or the groom.

  21. Will Brady

    September 20, 2013 at 1:19 am

    I agree with the preacher. If they wanted to photo shoot they could have discussed this with the preacher in advance. It;s a papparazi thing

  22. bethanymcg

    September 20, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Obviously the photographers / Videographers had not spoken either with the couple or the pastor about where they could and could not go during the ceremony.

    I always ask my brides if there are any restrictions on where I can go. I also usually introduce myself to the pastor before hand and ask if they have any specific requests as to my movements during the ceremony. Most tell me that as long as I don’t go between then and the couple then I’m more than welcome to go wherever I need to.

    Ultimately however, unless the venue has rules, (I.e. some churches do not allow photographers past a certain point etc) if the couple has no issue with it, and it IS after all THEIR day, I don’t see why a pastor should. After all, the photographers have been hired to take pictures of every moment…that includes from the best angle…and sometimes that angle is from behind the bridal party.

    This was an outdoor wedding, so no venue snafu that I can see, and the couple clearly were shocked at the pastor’s reaction…It’s something to remember to ask when planning a wedding to avoid a scene like this.

  23. Susan

    September 20, 2013 at 2:03 am

    I wonder if the policies for pictures and weddings had been discussed prior to the service. I am a minister and our policies are very clear that no pictures are taken during the actual service as it is a ceremony of sacred promised between two individuals and God. In the Episcopal tradition, the wedding ceremony is not a media event. I meet with wedding photographers and the expectations are clear about pictures; needless to say, it is very upsetting when some wedding photographers do not respect the policies. Before one casts judgement on the minister at this ceremony, it might be enlightening to have a 360 understanding of the circumstances.

  24. Matthew

    September 20, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Oh, so it’s so sacred that the bride and groom should not be allowed to have video/photos of the ceremony so that friends/family that couldn’t attend (sick, broke, introduced to the family years after the wedding) are just SOL. Get over yourself. This is about *witnessing the dedication of love between two people before God, *FRIENDS * AND *FAMILY!! Otherwise, they would have eloped!

  25. mac

    September 20, 2013 at 6:28 am

    Before he ‘stiffed’ you.

  26. Siobhan Rae Bohannon

    September 20, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Damn right.

  27. The F Word

    September 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I sincerely hope they didn’t pay him after that behavior. No offense, Reverend Asshole, but I am pretty sure God had no problem with the couple capturing the moment on film. Just the asshat who was probably upset that they were showing his bald spot.

  28. Angela

    September 20, 2013 at 9:22 am

    That’s absurd! Not all Episcopal churches have that rule. My sister was married in an Episcopal church and there were most certainly photos of the wedding. This isn’t about “media.” These are private pictures of the most important event of their lives!

  29. The F Word

    September 20, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Regardless of whether or not is is against the minister’s beliefs, he had no right disrupting the service he was being paid to officiate in order to demand the photographers leave. His behavior was absolutely inappropriate and unprofessional and I hope it impacts the number of ceremonies he is asked to lead in the future.

  30. Kevin

    September 20, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    You got it right…..I agree!

  31. Em

    September 20, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    If someone said “This is about God” at my wedding, I’d throw them out right then, I don’t care if it IS the minister.

  32. Sylvia

    September 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    For all of you sticking up for the minister and saying that photography shouldn’t happen during the ceremony, consider this. The people getting married obviously wanted to capture this moment. If the minister had a problem with it, he should have stated so BEFORE the ceremony. But no, he made it all about him. What a capital D-bag.

  33. Lauren (@LaurenMDoucette)

    September 21, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Identify him so that he never gets a wedding gig ever again!

  34. Lauren (@LaurenMDoucette)

    September 21, 2013 at 3:18 am

    I attended a wedding about 20 years ago here in the USA and we, the entire guest list was verbally smacked on out knuckles with a ruler and were told NOT to take photographs and to cease recording the entire ceremony until after he would announce the couple as Mister and Missus Whomever they were. Finger wagging at us and everything.

  35. 47of74

    September 21, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Yep. I checked several parish websites. I saw one that discourages photography during the service to one that is OK with photography as long as it doesn’t interfere with the service. Most discourage flash photography during the service, but there are ways to take pictures with just the house lights that will turn out OK and most professionals will know how to do that. I guess the big rule for photographers is to check with all parties beforehand.

  36. 47of74

    September 21, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Yeah, that’s what bothers me about modern weddings.

  37. Sharon

    September 21, 2013 at 3:45 am

    Most friends of the brides are not clamoring to spend hundreds of dollars on a dress and shoes they won’t wear again. She must have twisted a lot of arms to get that big a lineup.

  38. Jean (@manchacaweigh)

    September 21, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Clearly, you’ve never been to a Southern wedding.

  39. Kristin Carnes

    September 21, 2013 at 5:11 am

    But shouldn’t he have said something prior to the start, when it was OBVIOUS that they were setting up back there? To interrupt DURING the ceremony is not only ridiculous, but rude and an obvious attempt to make the day all about him and NOT the bride and groom!

  40. Gabrielle Benschop

    September 21, 2013 at 5:11 am

    This is a wedding, not a sunday service. If the photographers are against YOUR religious beliefs, good thing you’re not the one getting married.

  41. djdiva

    September 21, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Oh SOMEBODY forgot who’s getting married. Priestzilla? LOL

  42. Adam

    September 21, 2013 at 5:16 am

    Usually the money is paid upfront, along with the marriage license filled out ahead of time. The ceremony itself is largely for show, as technically they are legally married when they sign the paperwork, usually the day before at the rehearsal. If you wanted to get really technical, say the groom ducks out after a wild bachelor party/last night of freedom. He doesn’t show up at the alter. He’s still married to the bride because he signed the paperwork before hand. If the official wanted to, all they’d have to do is simply file the paperwork.

  43. John Lane

    September 21, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Where’s Church Lady when you need her.

  44. spottybum

    September 21, 2013 at 5:23 am

    second that

  45. spottybum

    September 21, 2013 at 5:26 am

    way to ruin the couple’s memory of the wedding! Is his idea of “about god” more important than giving them a happy start to their life together? I hope they badmouth him all around their town and he doesn’t get to represent his imaginary friend and have the chance to ruin any more weddings.

  46. spottybum

    September 21, 2013 at 5:27 am


    this wasn’t about god. This was about his god-sized ego

  47. Catherine Maxwell

    September 21, 2013 at 5:35 am

    He may be a man of the cloth, but he clearly has anger issues and needs some serious counseling. Yikes! Look at the embarrassed looks on the faces of the bride and groom. How dreadful!

  48. gigi

    September 21, 2013 at 5:44 am

    I think the minister was an ass. HE was the one who disrupted the “solemn” ceremony. The photographers didn’t appear to be interrupting. They weren’t bumping him or making any noise. The minister is the one who made a horrible memory of this couple’s wedding and HE should be ashamed of himself. That poor couple!

  49. Dianna Hughey

    September 21, 2013 at 5:54 am

    I’ve performed weddings before and with everyone of them the photographer consulted with me before the ceremony as to where they could be and when. My guidelines, no flash and stay a distance away during the ceremony, video is fine, it is silent. What has been upsetting to the couples before are their videos picking up the camera clicks to the point where you could not hear them saying their vows. Any wedding photographer worth his camera just uses zoom to get the shots. I didn’t hear him tell the video guy to back off, but those camera clicks get annoying.

  50. Zoe Ellen Brain

    September 21, 2013 at 6:08 am

    It’s not about gods – it’s about the couple.

  51. elfangel

    September 21, 2013 at 6:11 am

    You summed it up beautifully. It is the COUPLE’S day, not the minister or in-laws etc. Preacher has his Sunday job to pontificate he is at the wedding to officiate. Either these people didn’t go over things very well or were shocked out of their skins because had it been my wedding I’d have stepped forward and told the minister that OUR photographers are doing OUR bidding, capturing images for OUR old age and to share with OUR children.

  52. elfangel

    September 21, 2013 at 6:16 am

    I agree. It’s obviously NOT in a church so the rules fall on the couple. I’m afraid that Susan makes marriage ceremonies sound like secret Masonic Rites, kinda creepy, which they should be anything but.

  53. elfangel

    September 21, 2013 at 6:22 am

    WHEW!! Thank you Angela! My experiences have been with primarily Southern Baptist and Fundamental Methodist as my Grandfather was a Minister. He wasn’t a very human, warm person but, except for a few instances, I can’t imagine him doing what this minister did. Grandpa would be more likely, if he were perturbed as this one was, to gather the photogs later and give them a few chapters of Fire and Brimstone.

  54. jc

    September 21, 2013 at 9:58 am

    and they wonder why religion is loosing more and more followers by the minute…they are their own worst pr managers….stick to you archiac mind set you asses

  55. Sheri Cross- Smith

    September 21, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Reverend asshole….lolll I love it

  56. Dano

    September 21, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Excellent point!

  57. Rick Barnett

    September 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm


  58. balletgrandma

    September 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Surely the jerk would have told them before the wedding that photos not allowed. Weird.

  59. Bill Price

    September 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    F*ck him and his pompous attitude.Those kid’s paid those photogs to capture the wedding so where does he get off telling them to move.

  60. Bill Price

    September 21, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    The bride and groom are paying for the ceremony it’s their call not the preacher or yours.

  61. Bill Price

    September 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Boy you are as narrow minded as the ass hat minister. This is the young ladies most important day and if she want’s to have 100 bride maids it’s her business. If you don’t like it then when you get married have what you want.

  62. Nick

    September 21, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Things have changed alot since then. I got married in a Catholic church and my photographer had free reign. Which is what people want. Its great to have pictures before and after but its nice to have pictures of the actual ceremony as well. Of course my priest wasnt an asshole either.

  63. balletgrandma

    September 21, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I assume you, too, are amazed that so many people are so quickly willing to help others to decide what they want – photos, # of bridesmaids, food at reception, kind of location, and how they live and reproduce (should they choose to do so) after they are married, etc. I am weary of those who know so much tell us and we see how little they actually know. Sigh.

  64. Kristina

    September 21, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I totally agree with you. I, too, am a professional photographer. I HATE shotting weddings, but I have still done quite a few…and I ALWAYS get the rules in advance. If they have ridiculously strict rules, then I take it up with the bride & groom so they can deal with it. I absolutely think it should be up to them what they want and what they feel is disturbing. This is THEIR wedding and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. And I don’t think God minds a bit for them to get images of their special moments. I would have reacted the exact same way you did! I am hired to get the shots for my clients and NOT the church.

  65. Lisa Mae

    September 21, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    HAAAAAA!!!!! Reverend Asshole!!!!!! That was a hoot!

  66. Glen Miller

    September 23, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Churches perform marriage ceremonies for the state. Religion is involved but it is really a civil function:re: the marriage license. Can understand that the dignity of the ceremony can easily be upset by insensitive photogs.

  67. Fr Tony

    September 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    As a pastor when I do a wedding I meet with the photographers for a few minutes before the ceramony and set the ground rules. I have never had a problem with a professional photographer

  68. Liz

    September 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Fr Tony is right to set ground rules ahead of time – This wedding service was ruined because no one thought ahead to discuss expected behaviour. But I have to say – I’m surprised by the level of outrage in the comments against the Minister(?) Priest(?) – I do not belong to an organised religion but was married by a Catholic Priest to address my husband’s family wishes. It IS a religious service – a Priest or a Minister IS there foremost as a representative of God’s blessing – if you want it – then you have to follow church rules for the service. Also – why in the world did the videoer and photographer argue back? They carried on just as much as the Priest/Minister, what about their behaviour?

  69. qazwiz

    September 30, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    they had the video running with zero distraction… poparasie
    (lol spellchecker wants to correct to spell parasite) need to be removed, from distracted subjects… if the photographers agree fine… but if they don’t agree, then
    removing them from a bigger picture should be an option

  70. qazwiz

    September 30, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    just the kind of disrespectful response one should expect from someone using such a slutty nom-de-plume

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