Using a Drone as a Wedding Photographer

Go big or go home is the attitude of many people these days, especially engaged couples. That is why some of them are choosing to forgo the traditional wedding photographer and instead rent a drone to fly over their outdoor wedding and take shots from an angle a human wedding photographer could never achieve.


While some couples might be worried that a drone flying over their wedding would be so loud the wedding would be impossible to hear, technology allows them to hover silently over your ceremony. Professional wedding photographers have stated that roughly half the couples coming to them are interested in having a drone photograph their wedding.

A drone must be obtained through a professional wedding photographer for it to be able to be legally used. This is considered commercial use of a drone, which is not a violation of the law. Personal use is not allowed, as a drone must have an exemption from the FAA to be used legally.

While the laws governing the use of drones to photograph weddings have not yet caught up with technology, the use of drones within the wedding industry is rapidly increasing.

One of the benefits of having a drone photograph your wedding is that the drone can be used before the ceremony even begins, in order to capture unique shots of the venue. Once the guests have arrived and the bride is walking down the aisle the drone can fly overhead and capture her walk down the aisle. This way your wedding guests are not distracted by the presence of the drone and it doesn’t take anything away from your ceremony. To capture photos of the ceremony, a drone can be positioned towards the back of the ceremony location and a zoom lens can be used to achieve close shots. This can also be useful if you’re planning a grand exit after the ceremony with confetti or wedding sparklers because you can get great overhead shots of the whole thing. Even during your cocktail hour, the drone can still capture overhead shots while allowing your guests to hear the music being played.

As popular as using a drone to photograph weddings has become, the idea is not without controversy. Many wedding photographers refuse to commit to using a drone to photograph a couple’s big day due to liability reasons. Many wedding photographers also feel like having a drone taking pictures of a wedding is simply too distracting to couples and their guests. Others refuse to do it simply for fear of ruining a couple’s wedding and having to deal with the resulting fallout between bride and photographer.

Another reason that not every photographer agrees that drones should be used for a wedding is that it simply isn’t personal enough. Traditionally, wedding photos have been shot within close range of the bride, groom and wedding party and that is what most people think of when they think of wedding photography. Therefore, drone photography is seen by some as detrimental to a couple’s memories of one of the happiest days of their life.

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