How far could you position your camera from the tree? I suggest mounting the camera on a tripod, use a cable to trip the shutter. The reason: maybe they will love this photograph and order a large print from you. I have several 30" x 40" prints on display in my studio and they can provide income to get extra film toys!
The reason I ask is perhaps you could get away far enough where the tree would be in the background and the folks in the wedding party would be in the foreground (have them stand away from the tree and fairly close to your camera - perspective!). If you could get far enough away then maybe you could capture the entire tree. A wide angle lens could help but I recommend checking things out as you don't want to distort the bodies of people in your photograph.
What time of day will this take place?
At any rate, I think this is a good idea, a great idea if your clients wants this as part of their wedding day photographs.
Hmm that one gives me an idea immediately. I am thinking: groom standing behind the bench; bride seated. Fairly wide lens, lowish perspective (eye level to the bride). Narrow depth of field.
If there are other people in there, then a choice relative of the bride beside her on the bench, and everyone else arranged as you please. You can permute youngest and oldest relatives etc. and knock the whole thing out methodically.
Generally I think a standing posture for the groom will help reconcile the scale of the tree with whomever is on the bench. If you do have b&g seated then I think you will need to take a lowish perspective to frame them better aainst the tree (assuming the bench isn't movable).
How much room do you have on the other side of the tree - or to one side of the tree? My thought is to put the wedding party on the other side so that you are standing between tombstones to take the picture but there's no tombstones in the picture/s. If I understand your description correctly, if you place the wedding party to one side of the tree you may be able to include the church door in the picture.
I'd get some husky relatives to remove the bench as it constrains your options too much.
How about making up a little poster faking a love heart carved in the tree and a real close shot of the pair?
In the end I didn't really use the bench and instead generally masked it using the people. I was able to get the tree in some shots, but due to the cloudy day, it was VERY dark beneath it's canopy. So I just used it as background interest. I was lucky - the rain eased off for an hours just as the ceremony ended so I was able to get the formals shot in the church grounds.
I am quite happy with the results. Full write up and critique request here: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum292/...ml#post1018083
Thanks to all of you for your help with this one - I learned a lot from the discussion.