Post # 1
So our ceremony is from 6pm-7pm (planning for a few minutes late start and receiving line) and the reception is from 7pm-11pm. They are in adjacent rooms. Our photography package includes our photographer for 12 hours. I know people often take lots of pictures between the ceremony and reception, but we just don’t have time for that. I’m willing to sacrifice 30 minutes at most, like from 7-7:30, taking pictures. I hate when everybody is kept waiting forever while the wedding party is taking all those pictures.
So I want to take as many pictures before the wedding as possible. Maybe even go to another location like downtown, or my favorite conservatory in the city. Is it normal to do this? If not, is there a good reason for not doing it? And if I take pictures before the ceremony, should those just be me and FI, or also the wedding party? Is it an unreasonable request to ask the wedding party to join us for pictures downtown or somewhere else before the wedding?
Post # 3
I am in the same situation…a 6pm ceremony, with the reception ~6:30-11pm. Since we’re having a late ish ceremony, I dont want to spend an hour taking photos without seeing all our guests that travelled to our wedding! During the day you will be with your BMs, maybe after getting ready you and the girls can go take some photos together downtown or at a cool location, then you and your FI can go to the ceremony location an hour or 45 minutes before and take your pics? That way the 30 mins between ceremony and reception can just be bridal party pics together…seems the best way to maximize on a 12 hour photographer too.
Post # 4
If you are doing a first look (and I’m assuming you are), then it is completely normal to do your photos before the ceremony. The biggest downside to this is depending on the time of day you decide to do it the lighting may not be ideal. If you can stay away from high solar noon as much as possible.
I’m not sure the size of the wedding party, but typically they are included. They may not be in all of the photos, but they can always be left on the bus or limo or however you are transporting people. Typically most weddings we shoot have at least an hour dedicated to photos like these, not including the travel time involved. You should be mindful of your bridal party’s comfort and willingness to participate in these photos. If you suspect that they are going to think it’s dumb or want nothing to do with it they can really sour the mood of a shoot you may want to relay how important to you it is to them beforehand. Another suggestion I have is to either not have alcohol available at all, or at least prevent them from drinking hard alcohol before the ceremony. If you do have alcohol with your transportation I’d suggest also having something to snack on. A drunk bridal party is NOT fun to photograph.
Post # 5
This is what I was hoping to hear! That it at least was not an abnormal thing to do. I think I told them I wasn’t planning to do a “first look” because I didn’t know what all it could include. I thought it was just one of those photos where he looks all smitten as you emerge at the top of a staircase or something, lol. But if “first look” means “a bunch of pictures before the wedding,” then yes, I definitely want that!
@Runnat First, I like your username. Second, yes, we have the same timeframe. I’m getting married in Chicago, and it would be such a waste to have a photographer with us and not take pictures in such a scenic city! Your suggestions make total sense.
@Continuumphotography thanks for the suggestions and for clarifying “first look.” Definitely will be no alcohol before the wedding! I’ve already sent an email to all my bridesmaids (scattered across the world, and me in South Africa at the moment) broaching the subject to get their thoughts on whether it would be weird or cool to have them join us for photos before the wedding. The wedding party is me, the groom, 3 bridesmaids and 3 groomsmen, so 8 all together. Since our ceremony and reception is 6pm-11pm, the pictures would probably take place between 3-4. Hopefully that would be a good time, lighting-wise.
Post # 6
I’m in Australia & the standard over here (at least in my area) is for there to be a few hours between end of ceremony & reception start for the couple & bridal party to go off & take photos. Eg my ceremony is probably 3.00-3.30pm, family & whole guests photos & mingling til 4.00pm. Bridal party photos til about 6.00pm. Cocktail hour about from about 5.30 so all the guests are there for 6.00pm when the couple arrive.
Post # 7
This is what we did:
We also had a 6:00 ceremony and didn’t want to leave guests for hours to wait for dinner. So we went to a different place other than our ceremony area and had all of our professional pictures done from 3:00 – 5:00.
We did all of our wedding party photos, my bridal portraits, pics with me and DH and a few with our daughter.
After the ceremony we spent about a half hour (although I alloted an hour to be safe) taking family photos at our reception venue.
Our photographer was awesome and took tons of photos at the reception as well of our guests, us, our daughter, families, etc
So long as you’re not too stuck on having your FI see you for the first time when you walk down the isle, I think doing pictures before hand is a great option. I was SO happy to have them done before the ceremony (although I was REALLY tired right after the photos and was joking that I was exhausted already and hadn’t even gotten married yet. lol).
Post # 8
Our ceremony is at 7pm (cocktail hour stars at 5h30) and we will be doing all of our pictures before that time (2h30-5h30 for the first look, bridal party, and family. Like PP said, if your not caught up on the idea of your groom seeing you before the ceremony, this is a great option. Plus, your hair and makeup is really fresh at this point in the day. you just need to ask your bridal party and family to come about an hour before the ceremony (In your case 5pm)