It is 'photographers' who have no respect for the sanctity of the ceremony that have caused the problems for the rest of us. Before the 'digital age' opened photography up this did not happen.
Yes thats about right. I photographed weddings for almost 20years on arriving 30 minutes beforehand I always sought out the vicar/priest introduced myself ,outlined what I would like to do and asked what he/she was happy with, only once in 20years had a problem aand that was with a vicar who ageed everything then responded differently, plus he had a very red face had been at the wine earlier me thinks.
Everytime I return to clergy that I had worked with before was usually met with warm handshake and friendly greeting.
And yes back then an average wedding with a couple of bridesmaids would be adequently cover by three rolls of 36 film.
Maybe, when a couple meet a vicar (or any other clergy) before a wedding, he himself actually has a responsibility to inform the couple on any restrictions related to photographing the service. They carry out enough services to know if they have any issues.
Saying that, it is good practice for a photographer to meet with the clergy before a wedding anyway!
It's clear the cameras are intrusive, its the nature of the response that is way over the top, its way too authoritarian and disproportionate, "please guys can you hold off until the end" I'd have been tempted to stand in between the bride and groom and film from there "you said anywhere but here"
I am a bit bemused at the total lack of communication here. No professional photographer can just turn up at a wedding and expect to take pictures inside/outside the church without knowing the regulations. I also find it hard to understand how the couple had not established the rules?
There were many churches I worked in over 25+ years that would only allow one picture from the back of the church and usually without flash. Frankly with modern DSLR's working in virtually no light this is a lot less of a problem than it used to be, but you do need a tripod.
If things haven't changed, for C of E the standard was a "no flash" picture from the back and with flash, 3 or 4 pictures of the signing and that's your lot until they come back down the aisle when you can use flash and grab one as they go out the door as well.
Certainly none of the congregation were allowed to take pictures on anything which I know is hard for the mobile generation to understand who seem to have no issue recording live concerts, children's plays or anything they can stick it up in the air to!
Absolutely basic but as we know there are not so many "professional" wedding photographers out there as there used to be and the market gets now what it deserves!