Parking concerns for St Patricks Estate Manly – the Cardinal Cerretti Chapel


I regularly meet with a number of wedding photographers in Sydney. For many years we have looked at each other not as competitors but colleagues and support. By sharing knowledge, ideas and sometimes techniques we believe we all benefit.

One such meeting, we were talking about the Cerretti Chapel in Manly. If you have ever been to Manly you would have seen this church; sitting high above Manly on the hill in all it’s grandeur.

Two of the photographers mentioned that they had just recently (in the last two weeks) photographed a wedding at this church and parking had been a huge issue.

Parking has always been supplied to wedding guests & suppliers across the road in the school yard. Both photographers shared that now parking wasn’t supplied and said that wedding couples were asked to pay extra for this service.

The photographers thought that as this has just been introduced (free parking had always been supplied) that perhaps the couples didn’t know or it was too late to budget for it.

For whatever reason parking wasn’t supplied and guests had no where to park. If you have ever tried parking up that end of Darley Road in Manly you will know how hard parking can be, especially with Manly hospital being right across the road.

Both photographers mentioned that out of concern that they were going to miss the ceremony, they drove into the grounds of the church but were sent away. They were told “no parking is allowed on the grounds for any quest or wedding supplier”.

I have decided not to place my own opinion on this new policy especially as I do not know if it is the school or church that has brought it in.

However I do feel it is important to let wedding couples know about the new parking policy, as like me I would have assumed free parking was provided just like all the years before.


St Patricks Estate in Manly



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Wedding Day Timing

My post entitled ‘A Wedding To Do List’ is helpful in working out what needs to be done leading up to the wedding day.  What about the actual wedding day timing? 


Around a month before the wedding day, I chat with all my wedding couples in regards to finalising their wedding photography.  Here are some of my tips, thoughts and suggestions that I go through with all my couples.


Start your timing plan with the wedding ceremony.  Even if you are unsure of the exact time you wish the ceremony to commence, write down an ideal time and then later everything can be adjusted accordingly if needed.


Let’s say the ceremony ideal start time is 3pm.  Now the ceremony duration will depend if you are having a church wedding or civil ceremony.  As a guide a traditional Catholic mass can be around one hour, while a normal church wedding is around 45 minutes including two readings, minister’s sermon, signing the register and walking out.


However a civil ceremony ranges from 15 to 30 minutes.  Speak to your minister or celebrant who will help you finalise a more accurate duration time.


After the ceremony, there are three possible areas you need to be aware of in regards to time.  Firstly do you wish to have a large group shot of all your guests (approx 10-15 minutes)?  Secondly think about how much mingling time you would like to share with your guests.  Thirdly are the family photographs. 


Working out the time to allocate for family photographs will be hard but as a rough guide allocate 5 mins for the first family photograph and then two minutes for each family photograph after that.  I strongly recommend you speak with your photographer in detail about your family photographs and in particular the timing.


From this point, now jump ahead in the timing planning to the reception arrival time for the bridal party.  Let’s say you want to arrive at 6pm to your wedding reception.  Now you can work out the time you will have remaining for travelling and ‘location’ bridal party photographs.


Recapping: wedding starts at 3pm and the duration is 30 minutes (civil ceremony).  Afterwards let’s say you want a group shot (10 min), mingling time (30min) and then ten family photographs (20min).  This will mean you will have one & half hours for travelling and ‘location’ bridal party photographs.


If an hour and a half is not enough time (or too much time), then you can decide to change the ceremony starting time, have longer mingling time or perhaps even arrive earlier to the reception to share pre dinner drinks with your guests.


I will share more information in future posts about timing before the ceremony and at the reception.

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A Church Wedding Ceremony and Photographers

If a church ceremony is what you have your heart set on, then you will want to read on.

What I recommend couples do, is to discuss with the church minister about his or her views on  photographers taking photographs during the ceremony.

Will the minister allow flash in the church? If the church was built in the last thirty years there is a good chance it has fluorescent lighting (which is not a great light source for photography). If the church is illuminated by fluorescent lighting and the minister doesn’t allow flash inside the church, then you need to check if this will be a problem for your photographer.

I suggest you confirm these questions with your minister too:

1) Are there areas inside the church the photographer is not allowed to take photographs?

2) Are there any times during the ceremony that the photographer is not allowed to take photographs?

Confirming these questions with your minister will give you information to share with your photographer. Chat with your photographer about the church’s policies to see if they will affect what you had visualised your wedding photography inside the church to look like.

Do this before you walk down the aisle and you won’t have to worry about the minister getting annoyed at the photographer during the ceremony.

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