Post # 1
FI and I really don’t want to do a first look. I understand that many people love it and/or wish they had done it, but it just isn’t for us. It’s one of the only things he’s actually really cared about thus far in the wedding planning, and it’s important to me too.
Anyway, as I’ve been trying to figure out what our wedding day will look like (it’s all very vague at this point), I’ve seen a lot of photographers who outline certain typical time frames for photos and it just seems like there’s no way to get it all done between the ceremony and reception.
I already plan on doing my photos with my bridesmaids and family before the ceremony, and FI will do photos with his groomsmen and family as well. So after the ceremony (during cocktail hour – and it’ll actually only be an hour), we need to get some photos of the entire bridal party, our families together (and with us) and portraits of FI and I together.
So Bees, for those of you who didn’t do a first look, how did you schedule your pictures? Did you have enough time? Did it all feel crazy rushed? Do you feel like anything was missed? If you had to do it again, what would you do differently (aside from a first look)?
I’m stressing out and could really use some advice and/or assurance that it IS doable.
Post # 2
is your reception and ceremony at the same venue?
Post # 3
Bexx: It’s about a 2 minute walk away.
Post # 4
We did exactly what you wrote. I took pictures with my bridesmaids and family prior to the ceremony, he did the same with his people, immediately after the ceremony we took our couple’s portraits, then pictures with our parents/family. It didn’t feel rushed or anything. I didn’t come up with a schedule prior to our wedding day, because I knew our photographer was capable of keeping the flow going smoothly so I sat back and let him do his magic.
Post # 5
I plan to do what your doing as well. Neither one of us wants to do a first look. Him because of tradition, and me because I think the whole tapping the shoulder thing just looks too cheesy. I think as long as your ceremony and reception are close by and you are organized it will be doable. Or at least that is what my photographers have been telling me.
Post # 6
Based on my experience as a bridesmaid in weddings where there is no first look, it all works out fine. We did all the bridesmaid pictures beforehand (same on the groom’s side) plus pictures of the bride and groom separately with their parents, and the photographer just took all the family, group, bride and groom pictures after the wedding. Most photographers are very efficient and can get through a ton of pictures quickly – make sure yours is on board with that! You just need to make sure your family members and bridal party are all aware of this so you don’t waste time finding people who wandered off. You’ll miss most of the cocktail hour most likely, but should even get to enjoy the last bit of it if the venue is only 2 minutes away.
Post # 7
We did exactly what you are planning. Was perfectly fine. Did whole group shots first after the ceremony and then released those people to cocktail hour. Then we did couple shots for like 30 minutes – we were done with 15-20 minutes to enjoy cocktail hour ourselves!
Post # 8
We had a gap between the ceremony and reception. 3.5 hours or so. We didn’t feel rushed but the photographers definitely used up all the time! DH and I had to tell them that we had to leave or we’d be late.
Post # 9
It was fine. Ceremony ended at like 12:15, reception about 3 miles away started around 1, cocktail lasted until about 2 and then we arrived. That left plenty of time for family, bridal party, and portraits AND for us to get from one venue to the other. We also bustled my dress in the middle of photos and it took less than 5 minutes (I’d been to weddings where there’s a bustling problem and it seems to take forever – i was so worried – but this wasn’t an issue at all!) We made sure there was plenty of food, booze, and music during cocktail hour in case it went long, but we were right on time and didn’t feel rushed at all. And we had amazing photos. Our vendors were professionals so they knew how to make it all flow together.
Post # 10
We did the separate photos you are talking about, which really cuts down on what you need to do later (I did me and my mom/dad, DH did them w/his parents, etc.) During cocktail hour, we did family photos, and then DH and I did our couple photos a bit later (we were waiting for sunset). It was hard to sneak away, but we were only gone for about 20 minutes. Our photographer was really fast, though.
Post # 11
annb9: We did it exactly the way you plan to – separate before, together after ceremony – with a cocktail hour (that was actually only 1 hour, not a longer one) and we had plenty of time for all our group photos and a ton of b&g photos – I didn’t feel rushed at all.
Something that helped was having one or two family members who helped corral people – for instance, we did pictures with our grandmothers first, so they wouldn’t have to stay out in the heat for too long. After that, my mom and MIL would help round up people for family photos, since the photographer wouldn’t necessarily know everyone. As long as they weren’t in the picture, they could be collecting the people for the next set.
Post # 12
My husband was adamant about not doing a first look. I felt the same also and we swore we would get pics done. He took some with his family and groomsmen before the ceremony. However, one hour just wasn’t enough to get good pictures. We don’t have really good pictures from that hour.
It’s our only regret….
Post # 13
annb9: We didn’t do a first look (although we did get a picture taken of us holding hands around a corner). Our reception hall was just a block away from the church. We had lawn games and food out for the guests while the bridal party went and took pictures nearby. It went just fine.
Post # 14
annb9: we didnt do a first look. there just wasnt enough time. not that i was worried about getting one. photos were took of my getting ready. an Aunt took photos of DH and his guys before hand getting ready. after the ceremony we took some pics outside the church, with the wedding party and family. grandma left really early and i really wish we took pictures with her!!! my sister and her son were in the photos but we forgot one with her husband! afterwards it was just DH and I taking photos. i had a limo scheduled for pick up which gave us about an hour and half of photos. wished i made it longer. prob 2 hours at the least! we got great photos but i felt rushed. the church scene was woodsy and hard to get around in my heels when moving from background to background. my photographer was trying to get people to listen but it was pretty chaotic. everyone was soppose to leave and meet us all later but they wanted to hang out and watch. which made things loud and hard for her to give direction. i wish i would have seen that coming and sent my BMs after them. but afterwards i was busy with hugs and tyring to do what the photographer wanted me to do.
Post # 15
thats my plan as well!
Have your planner, bossy aunty, or mom rally all the neccessary people. Start with the biggest group then release them into happy hour!