Country Club of Detroit ~ Kiera & Alan

Okay, so I promised to keep my blogs about relevant things so you can use them for tips at your own wedding. Here’s today’s tip; find out what your church’s rules are for your photographer. Some of the pickier ones are sending them out to the photographers ahead of time to give us a head’s up… we’re the picky people. Christ Church in Grosse Pointe is such a church. Beautiful, old, full of traditional Episcopalian rules. Their services photo rules have been in place for at least 40 years! They e-mailed me their rules which were all written in churchese; all narthex, liturgy, sacristy, etc, etc. I wrote back explaining that I would love a translation into English so I’d understand the rules. They thought I was joking (I wasn’t!) and would fill me in once I arrived at the church. Four church ladies later, it became clear I wasn’t allowed to set foot past the doors of the church. The choir loft via the lobby… yes. The actual church… no! I asked their priest, Lisa and she said she was fine if I popped in the side door for a different angle (so long as I didn’t go in the sanctuary). The old biddies were having none of that despite Lisa’s helpfulness. So I watched helplessly as the ceremony proceeded without me. Sure, I got the entrance from above and the kiss, but not a lot of variety or interesting shots. What bothered me most, though, was that Alan and Kiera had been led to believe I would be allowed in the church. Everyone (but the old church biddies) seemed surprised by the news that I couldn’t be in the church. Even throughout their rehearsal the night before they were led to believe I could and would be there. So to avoid disappointment, try to find out what exactly the church’s rules are and don’t assume just because you’re a fourth generation parishioner that you’ll get special treatment! The Country Club of Detroit is a grand old building that’s tough to shoot in to do it justice, but it’s elegance and the outside of the building more than make up for any difficulties it has inside… word to the wise… don’t rent their “guest suite” for your wedding night… it features rock hard twin beds… not the height of romance! And that’s straight from the groom’s advice list! For more photos from Kiera and Alan’s Country Club of Detroit wedding, please check my other blog at!

Note to self, two years later… same church ladies, and even nastier and more restrictive. If you have a choice where to have your wedding and you want glorious wedding photographs from your wedding ceremony, steer clear of this church. It’s deceptively beautiful and ridiculously impossible to shoot in. Not only won’t they let you get even the basics (processional) and now they’re adding insult to injury by having the priest make an announcement to the congregation saying in effect, “Please put your cameras away as the couple have hired a professional photographer to shoot the event” which makes it sound like it’s MY idea to not to let anyone else take photos! Are you kidding?!  I’d be happy to have all the non pros get ANYTHING from this since I’m a good 120 yards away. Afterwards, they now let you shoot in the church for a total of 15 minutes. Unless you have a wonderful family history and love for this church and the people who come with it and have no interest in photos of the ceremony, DO NOT BOOK THIS CHURCH!

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