Post # 1
I’m coming to you for some much needed advice. My question is: should we take some of our photos with our bridal party before the ceremony?
Here’s the background…
We have a Friday night ceremony in upper Manhattan in October: starts at 5pm and will be complete around 6:10ish (full Catholic mass).
The church is near a semi-decent park, and I would love to have some of those beautiful, artsy shots with my man and the bridal party in the lovely October sun. But, by the time the ceremony is complete, the sun will be almost gone/gone (sun sets completely at 6:31 – that’s what the photographer told me).
So the thought is that we do outdoor photos with the bridal party for an hour before it’s time to go to the church. Daylight photos! Yay! Also… we get a lot of the shots we want with the bridal party (done arnd over with and out of the way). Yay!
My man is not too keen on the idea – he wants the first time he sees me to be when I’m walking down the aisle, and I think he’s right that having pictures done beforehand sortof messes up that one moment, but I also want to have a beautiful book of photos to look back on. Plus, in my mind, you still have that one moment, you just have it at the park!
As I’m typing this, the solution seems pretty clear… if he really is uncomfortable doing the beforehand shots, then we won’t do them. He suggested booking the photographer another day (after the wedding) to shoot us in the park (me and the husband) in our wedding attire. The other good thing is there is that we can pick a super pretty location, like Central Park or the botanical gardens.
I guess I’m just looking for other brides’ experiences. If you did photos beforehand, how did you feel about it? Was it the right decision? Any regrets or lessons learned?
Much, much appreciated bees!
Post # 3
We are doing pictures beforehand and have arranged to have a private moment for us (the photographers will be somewhere to capture the pictures) for that first look. All of our vendors are very excited that we’re doing the pictures beforehand.
Post # 4
My sister did a lot of pictures before hand and was super glad she did. She got to the site a couple hours early and did her solo pics and the bridesmaid pics and then my BIL showed up and they did a first look and their pics and his solos and GM pics. She said that is saves so much time doing it that way and she was able to get to the reception quickly so people werent waiting on them. After the ceremony our families were able to do pics without taking too much time from the day. The family pics took about another hour and then we all went to the reception. If she would have waited they would have been at the ceremony site for about 3 hours after the wedding to get everything that they did before…eww…
Post # 5
Its actually pretty standard in Jewish weddings to do the pics beforehand. The photographers do a reveal, so they can still capture the groom seeing the bride for the first time on film, and its special. It definately makes life easier in terms of getting all the bridal party pics before, and you dont have to feel rushed for time or daylight afterwards. Good luck.
Post # 6
We did some pictures beforehand, and my husband didn’t see me. We just chose two different locations close to one another but outside of sight (for us, it was on either side of the church). We had two photographers so one was one one side of the church with me and my family, the other was on my husband’s side of the church with him and his family. After a little while, the families switched, so we could take more pictures without seeing each other. We also would have taken bridal party pictures this way… if we had a bridal party. 🙂
Would a compromise like this work for you? Take all of the photos individually with bridal party members and family members before the ceremony. Then you just have you and your husband’s pics to take after the ceremony. If you wanted a bunch of outside pictures in the park with you and your husband, you still incorporate the "day after" shoot.
Post # 7
We did all of ours before hand and I’m really glad we did! If you don’t do them before, you may want to bump your ceremony up, so that you have enought time in between to take the pictures. The day goes really fast, so I highly suggest doing them before. We ended up having extra time…weird…I know. We still did the first look pictures at the church and then headed out for pictures. So, your FI could still see you walking down the aisle, it would just be before the ceremony.
Post # 8
I have almost the exact same situation! I’m dealing with the same issues: the October wedding, the early sunset, the traditional groom 🙂 My photographer agrees with me and wants to do photos early, just because of the sunset. Her idea is to set up a situation where she could "capture the first look" when he will see me for the first time in my dress. It would just be the two of us, and she would set it up, so I would enter from a distance, and she could shoot the two of us together quietly. I love the idea, but have to run it by him. I agree, it should be an obvious answer. If he is so romantic that he wants to see you for the first time walking down the aisle, go with it! But oh what a decision! Good luck!
Post # 9
We are for sure having our pictures taken before hand. We have heard from so many of our couple friends that they missed out on part of the wedding because they were wisked off to take photos. On top of that, my FI is more withdrawn than most, so getting to see me before the wedding is going to take a ton of the pressure off of him. Plus the lighting will be better. Plus your hair, make up, dress, flowers, etc. are all fresh. It’s a good thing. 🙂
Post # 10
We are seeing each other before the ceremony for pictures and our photographer is capturing the special first glance moment. Our wedding is also in October, in the evening, and out photographer will be shooting film black and white along with digital color shots–the natural light is very important for the b&w photos. At first he didn’t want to do it, but once we talked about it and realized how long it would take after the ceremony…we decided to go for it. We hope that it will allow us to spend more time with friends and family as well.
Post # 11
I have never heard of a married couple regret doing pics b4 the ceremony. I do hear many regrets of NOT doing pics b4 the ceremony though. I’m a practical person & I don’t feel that the first look at the church altar is more or less of a "moment" than first look anywhere else. And if pics r the only things I can look back to since wedding goes by in a whirlwind, I would want the pics to be as perfect as possible. As a matter of fact, based on the consultation of the photographer, I plan to arrange all my personal timeline & my reception timeline in order to get the best pics possible.
What if the church is empty b4 hand, then ur FI can stand at the altar & then u can walk down the aisle if the church setting is very important to ur FI for the first sight. If the wedding party does not protest, u should also haggle them to come early b4 the ceremony to take pics. I would think picture taking would be more relaxing and you’ll also feel more relaxed after the ceremony. The photographer would also feel less rushed.
The downside of hiring the photographer in another day is the extra $ and also the absence of ur wedding party. Also u’ll need to redo the hair & makeup….
Post # 12
I love being able to take the couple’s portraits before the ceremony. Did you talk to him about setting up a reveal? If he’s still not thrilled about the idea then it sounds like you’ll need to do a day after shoot.
But taking the portraits before the ceremony does not have to take away from the moment. This couple was certainly excited to see each other for the first time.
Post # 13
I (also) have a traditional groom, but have (hopefully) convinced him to do pictures before the ceremony. For the lighting, for the time convienence, and because my BIGGEST pet peve is making people sit around between the ceremony and reception (which is what many of the weddings I’ve attended have done)!! Go with what feels right, either a compromise to do some of the pictures beforehand, or some of them on a different day – either way, you are going to have a wonderful time and a fabulous wedding!! Best of luck!! 🙂
Post # 14
- Wedding: May 2010 - The Pierre Hotel
We were originally planning on not seeing each other until the ceremony, but due to time constraints, we are having the first look and photos before the ceremony. I was a little disappointed at first, but I think it will be really nice to have a private moment together before the whirlwind event starts, and I don’t want to miss my cocktail hour (which is when we’d have to take pictures if we didn’t see each other before)!
Post # 15
Thanks Beeautiful Bees for your fabulous comments!
I sat down with my groom last night, armed with anecdotal evidence that favored a pre-ceremony photo session, and after I gave my spiel, he said "The reception will be so much fun, and I’m looking forward to celebrating with family and friends, but for me, the best moment of that day will be watching you come down the aisle, seeing you for the first time in your dress. I’ve been thinking about that moment since I fell in love with you."
Practicality be damned!
Post # 16
I’m doing pictures with my fiance before the ceremony, our ceremony begins at 6 pm also.