Survey says, REMINGTON and MOSSBERG  are the preferred choice of the celebrants in a Shotgun Wedding.  Etiquette requires the shotgun with full stock to be draped in a white organza sheath and tied with red bows. 

The survey also tells us Buck shot or number three shot is the preferred round.  Tho'  the pump shotgun is preferred, several traditionalists still go with the double barrel even though the Remington above holds nine rounds.

A shotgun wedding is a form of forced marriage occasioned sometimes by an unplanned pregnancy or violation of the Laws Of Virginity. Some religions and cultures consider it a moral imperative to marry in such a situation, based on reasoning that premarital sex or out-of-wedlock births are sinful, not sanctioned by law, or otherwise stigmatized. The phrase is an American colloquialism, though it is also used in other parts of the world.

Shotgun weddings have become less common as the stigma associated with out-of-wedlock births has gradually faded and the number of such births has increased; the increasing availability of birth control and abortion, as well as material support to unwed mothers such as welfare has reduced the perceived need for such measures.  Also the availability of cheap overseas ammo has increased the amount of nine-milllimeter weddings with the Kalashnikov 7.62 AK series in third place.  

But, people never cease to amaze me. There is nothing prettier than a six month pregnant bride and the two families looking at each other with blood in their eyes.  A very colorful combination!  I had the pleasure of shooting one of these when I was working for a Wedding Mill in NYC. And the proper dress for the Sullivan Law Violations was .45 and in shoulder holsters under the suit jacket.

It was the Northern version of the Southern style shotgun wedding. The difference? The guns, Colt 1911’s or S&W revolvers were worn under the tuxedos whereas in the South they used garish hip holsters decorated with pearls and sequins for the ladies.   Or just slung them over the horses in leather cases.

Modern Shotgun Wedding - From the minute I walked in the hall, I knew I could be dead.  I had been booked into an Italian (Roman Catholic)  Polish-Russian (Eastern Orthodox) wedding.  Fact: one half of the room told me that if I spent too much time on the other side of the hall I would be dead.  I felt I was living West Side Story while traversing the North-South Korean DMZ. 

Then the brain kicked in, why not shoot two weddings here?  I just shot twenty four rolls of 120 films, carefully marked them, family A and family B.  I was exhausted. These were 120 square format shot on Rollie, Mamiya, Yashica Twin Lens cameras and  #5 bulbs. I had scorched fingers for a week.  The boss made separate albums for both sides and I got paid double commissions from the shooting and the additional prints. I was really proud of myself.

And the “sellers” really worked them, each side wanted to know what the other ordered and then they increased their order week after week. In the end run it was double the work and triple the commissions. 


You will need a license. no fishing or hunting licenses accepted, Most states won’t honor anything on the back of a paper bag.  Make sure the judge knows you are coming and there are no open warrants on you or your bride.  Make an appointment at the courthouse.  Borrow two people, or rent hourly labor if you have to as your witnesses.  Purchase large 7/8 inch nuts from Home Depot, polish them and use as rings. Make sure your jeans are pressed and your denim jacket is clean of those barf stains from the bachelors party. 

Her sneakers should be recently  bleached white in the washing machine and the hand me down Goodwill dress should be long enough to cover her buttocks at least till she dives into the mud pond.   Go to the courthouse, do the paperwork and vows, hop into your Orange Dodge Charger with the knowledge shotgun wedding was complete and you stood up like a man.


Thus if we start with the older liturgical church, the  Catholic Church, (which has it’s own section here) the variants are as follows: Since religion ( Christianity is a man-made and fluid religion thus any one who invents some weird practice can open a church and create a religion) 

The thought occurred to me with all theses religions, if one is the true path to Godliness, all the others are fakes...

The Latin Church  -  Eastern Catholic Churches  -  Independent (self-identified as Catholic)  - Eastern Orthodoxy  -  Oriental Orthodoxy  -  Church of the East  - Proto-Protestant Groups  -  Anglicanism  -  Anglican Communion  - Calvinism  -  Presbyterianism, Congregationalist Churches  -  Anabaptists and Schwarzenau Brethren  -  Plymouth Brethren and Free Evangelical Churches  -  Methodists, Pietists and Holiness Churches  -    -  Baptists   -  Spiritual Baptists  -  Apostolic Churches – Irvingites  -  Pentecostalism  -  Charismatics  -  Neo-Charismatic Churches  -  African Initiated Churches -  Messianic Judaism / Jewish Christians  -  United and uniting churches, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)  - Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement  -  Southcottites, Millerites and comparable groups  -  Adventist (Sunday observing)  -  Adventist (Seventh Day Sabbath/Saturday observing)  -  Church of God movements (Sunday observing)  -  Church of God movements (Seventh Day Sabbath/Saturday observing)  -  Sabbath-Keeping Movements Separated from Adventists  - Sacred Name groups  -  Nontrinitarian groups  -  Latter Day Saints, Oneness Pentecostalism  -  Unitarianism and Universalism  -  Bible Student groups  -  Swedenborgianism  -  Christian Science  -  Non-Trinitarians, Esoteric Christianity  -  Racialist groups  -  Syncretistic Christianity  -  Christian Internet Churches  -  LGBT-affirming Christian denominations


This is the most divergent and competitive group in the Wedding Planning business and interpretation of Religion for that matter proving once again Religious diversity is man-made.  For some reason none of them seem to agree with each other all claiming their's is the real path.  I suggested at one time that G-d subscribe to Garmin so all of them could find the right path.  

As one who took several Psychology courses in college (thought they would help in Business Admin) studying the effects of religion on individuals several things became apparently clear.  One in kind particular to diversity and proves that most religions are man made, there is only one G-d and thats why people kill each other for the front row seats unfortunately not believing enough to do the right thing so they do the wrong thing.   

So I have been gathering wood to build a large boat if the boss decides they have gone too far.   To quote: "In the beginning there was the heaven and earth and God created man”.   Man took off and ran with it and today every conceivable variation and nut case revisionist have brought strange stuff to the table from the devout to the brain-dead devoted.  Like ice-cream, there are flavors for everyone and the real truth gets lost in the conversation about as quick as ice cream melts.

There is no way I could list all the possible variations to Baptist Wedding Planing - Traditions & Rituals of Baptist Weddings.   Should you and your fiancé belong to a Baptist church, you already know the ceremony has a highly religious element. The Baptist wedding is defined as an act of worship in which you seek God’s blessing in front of a community of the faithful. Other than that, the restrictions are not as demanding as some people are led to believe.

Your Baptist ceremony requires that the two of you be baptized Christians, and this is not an area where you can expect a lot of wiggle room. If you already belong to a Baptist church, talk to your minister about finding an appropriate house of worship to suit your needs. If you don’t belong, call several pastors to find the right church. 

Baptist ministers are always in demand, and you need to search for them immediately. If you don’t have a minister, start investigating as soon as you’ve set the date.  They for some reason all have different agendas.

Before you start planning on where to put the new china, it’s likely that you will have to schedule pre-marital counseling, as well as marriage workshops.  You might be asked to abstain from sex until after you are married.  Also, some Baptist ministers will not marry you if you are living together.   Show different drivers licenses.   These rules vary from minister to minister, so when you talk to pastors, be upfront and honest to avoid unnecessary problems later on.  If he or she is not working with you pass, theres another just down the block.

Pentecostal wedding traditions are similar to those found in other Protestant faiths, including the white bridal gown and veil; the bridal bouquet; the exchange of vows; a brief sermon by the officiating Pastor; and the partaking of the sacrament, or communion.   The reception is held at the church hall, a private home or hotel, and commonly includes punch and wedding cake, among other refreshments. There is usually no dancing or alcohol -- not even champagne toasts -- at a true Pentecostal wedding reception. Guests throw rice or birdseed at the departing newlyweds for good luck.  There is no fornication standing up, folks would think they were dancing.

But, if you haven't witnessed a full blown Pentecostal revival that happens to be in progress with a marriage ceremony, look out, the spirit is strong and you will witness a few caught up in it, auditioning for "Dancing with the Stars” or auditioning for the Dallas Cheerleaders. 

And there are a few hundred of them… I apologize if I missed yours, especially if it involves snakes, other strange customs, a tambourine extravaganza, animal rites, other heathen customs.  Actually they are the norm.  Most customs in the Church today came from directly I might add pagan rituals.  The snake handlers have had a bad year.  Four of their ministers promoting this abomination of the Bible have died in the course of showing they were believers.  G-d may not of been buying it.

Look in the phone book, note there are hundreds of Churches all with diverse themes and the game is wide open as to rules and regulations.  It’s not unusual for churches of the same denomination differ.  Each is an independent business.

There is no guide just as there appears to be a problem in finding the one true religion.  Find the church your affair will be taking place in.  If in the weeks before there is a wedding in that church, just pickup the monthly directory at their front door one day to find out. 

Walk in like you own the place. Dress nice, you are a friend of the groom, and observe. Just sit in a back pew and follow everybody around casually using your light meter or even better a small digital, no flash to get EXIF information.  You watch the operation take place. This will give you the clues you need for the job.  Not all you need to know,  the rehearsal will tell you the rest but you are one leg up on anyone else.

There is a wealth of knowledge to gather here. Some are casual, some are very strict with ground rules. For example, Pentecostal weddings can be very straight laced too and then go all out nuts. But you never know when you'll get a winner. I covered one that was so open and nuts, I actually got some great shots out of it.  

Scout out the church beforehand. I can’t emphasize this enough. Trying to fix things during a Wedding doesn’t work. They won’t wait while you adjust or learn to use your light meter or strobe. And remember to write it down, take notes, about time of day and any ambient light coming through the windows, plus additional light settings of the back area. so you know before hand what you are up against.  Light changes during the seasons, remember that.

Racially mixed weddings sometimes have a major problem with skin tones. If you don’t know what a Grey Card is, learn quickly. It will really save your butt, and prevent screwing up your lighting and making a nightmare out of the prints. It’s a top conversation in many pro Wedding Sites. Relying on your cameras “P” mode doesn’t work. 

We call it the “perhaps mode”. Perhaps the shots will come out. You must rely on the grey card as using the light skin tones will underexpose and give you the “AL Jolson Look” and shooting for the dark skin tone will blow the highlights. 

It’s really bad enough with a black tuxedo and white shiny dress. There are a couple techniques even including double negatives but good Photoshop techniques can save the day. It seems this is a problem to some but really it’s nothing more than the fact you are exceeding the dynamic range and you have to expose somewhere in the middle. 

That’s what the grey card will do for you. In addition another important point is get that camera off average mode for the sensor, you want spot metering and make sure you have the white balance keyed in ahead of time. 

Here are some of the problems that may arise. Who is the alpha? Really there shouldn’t be. It’s a union of two people. But be prepared and body language will be the clues as to how you handle the situation. One of the two will show their dominance.  The problem arose in some states because they couldn't decide on their printed forms who is the she or the he.  

Since it's really a they, they settled for Celebrant one and Celebrant two.  Not joking here, this became an issue involving changing a court document and we all know how fast government whether it be state or federal moves.  It replicated itself in NY's recent same sex paperwork.  So include the two in discussion and make sure they agree.

This is a very tough subject here for some.  First realize everyone invited there knows the situation and if they were not comfortable they would of not shown up.  The toughest times for the shooter involve intimate moments. Just do what you have to do, and it's your job, so do it to the best of your ability.  If it becomes a show, or beyond what you feel are your standards, back off.

But regardless of your beliefs, let the other half live and if you are not comfortable, don’t accept the work. Someone else will and some photographers specialize in it. Several of the confirmations I have done went absolutely great and the players went out of their way to make everybody comfortable. 

I actually had a good time at a few and got referrals. Again, you are there to record, not judge. I will tell you though, if there is a lot of booze, just keep a camera ready for a cat fight or two, but that’s true in most weddings. 

If your community has a strong market in same sex Weddings and you have no problem with it, there are guides such as Gay & Lesbian Wedding Resources from the "Complete Guide to Gay & Lesbian Weddings" and the "Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Weddings" to general resources regarding same sex marriage. Find a great guide to help you plan your same sex wedding, commitment ceremony or holy union ceremony.



Nudist Camps, It's a Cultural Thing. In this case blocked out so I don't get shellacked by GOOGLE…

From a Yahoo site, the question was asked "What do you wear at a Nudist wedding"?  First of all the invitation should let you know if it is clothing optional, which it really should be for purists. If you are not really sure what to wear talk to your friends that are getting married. 

Granted they will probably try to get you to go all natural, but if you don't want to go that way just wear something casual and comfortable.  For the men, a bow tie around your private and for the ladies a transparent scarf or two bandaids and a G string.

Planning Instructions for a Nudist Wedding.

Find a location that will be temperate. Since most nudist tend to prefer outdoor settings, getting married in the nude will require a spot not given to extremes in climate.  Contact your friends and family well ahead of the actual day you plan to get married so they can be prepared for the nude wedding. It may sound ridiculous, but springing your lifestyle choices on dear old dad in front of a group of people is likely to strain familial relationships.

Consider letting the clothing requirements be optional. You may have several dear friends that want to share in your nude wedding without having to divest themselves of their own attire.   Ask the priest or official in charge of the ceremony if they have any experience presiding over a nude wedding. People often forget that such a perspective can radically alter the marriage experience for everyone involved.

Make sure that the grounds you plan to use for the nude wedding allow clothing optional activities. No one wants to have the "I do" interrupted by a squad car.  Remember it is their day even if they are nude, I would bet she will still wear something like a Vail, It probably wont be a full veil, but something simple, he will probably wear a bow tie. So just make the phone call and ask.  

Want to feel at home…
Your nudist honeymoon should be at Mountain Creek (Pleasure) Grove in Georgia. Here are some of their rules and the current trend for morning after wedding pictures might be approved here.

The Mountain Creek Grove is a private membership resort. No person under the age of 21 will be allowed on Grove property, common areas or roads.  The Grove is a clothing-optional resort. Lifestyle friendly. Partial or full nudity is encouraged. No clothing or sexual activity is allowed in the pool or hot tub.  No glass is permitted in the public areas of the resort, especially around the pool and the hot tub. 

Guests and members interested in photography or videotaping while at the resort are required to contact the resort’s management. Unauthorized photography or videotaping may result in film/or media being confiscated and destroyed and/or erased.

For hygiene sake, please bring a large towel to sit on at all times when nude. Always shower before entering the hot tub and pool. 11. Members and guests may wear whatever clothing makes them comfortable at any time, except that everyone must be nude in order to get into the pool or hot tub. At times, nature can work on male visitors. Visitors may cover up with a towel but are not required to do so, some may be rather proud.