(Photo: Screenshot via YouTube/Michael Borriello)
In a video that has gone viral on the Internet, a priest at an outdoor New York wedding scolds the event's photographers from distracting from the ceremony's holiness, saying "this is not about photography, this is about God."
The video, uploaded to YouTube by Michael Borriello earlier this week, shows an awkward interaction between an unnamed Episcopalian priest and photographers at the wedding of Rob and Noelle Ruehle last weekend in New York. In the middle of the ceremony, the priest turns away from the couple, directing his attention to the photographers clicking away on their cameras behind the clergyman at the altar. "Please, sirs, leave," the priest says sternly to the photographers.
When the cameramen ask the priest where he expects them to go, the priest responds: "Anywhere other than here. This is a solemn assembly not a photography session. Please move or I will stop."
"I will stop the ceremony if you do not get out of the way," the priest continued. "This is not about photography, this is about God."
The couple told CNN after the video went viral that they weren't upset by the priest's reaction to the photographers; rather, they were concerned they would have to step in and say something to keep the ceremony going. In fact, the couple was not even aware their awkward wedding event had gained so much media attention until after they arrived at their honeymoon destination to find out their video had received over 300,000 hits on YouTube in two days.
"The first thing everyone said, 'hey how about that priest, he was great huh,' it just turned out to make a really funny video which we hope everyone enjoys just as much as we do," the groom told CNN.
The video has also garnered a lot of viewer comments on the video-sharing website, with some describing the priest as "uptight" and others defending his actions. One viewer described the clergyman as an "angry little man who thought he owned the whole expanse of a lawn provided to everyone."
Another viewer argued: "The photographer is out of line. If you want a photo session, do it after the ceremony. The wedding is more than a union of two people. I can't stand it when people turn sacraments into photo sessions. There is no call for it."
The couple has kept an upbeat attitude toward the whole incident, telling CNN that if anything, the event was one to remember. "If nothing else we can look back and say, 'hey we had a one of a kind wedding', even though it may not be the way we thought it would go," Rob said.