Post # 1
I really don’t want to see each other before the ceremony (FI doesn’t care, he wanted to go dress shopping with me!)…but I’d like to have a private couples’ shoot afterward. Our ceremony is at the same place as our reception. We’re having a cocktail hour, and the plan is to first do some family/group shots, and then just the two of us (we’ll skip the cocktails and do a receiving line into the ballroom). But the cocktails are also outside, kind of separated by a hedge but not too far off from anywhere we’d want to take photos. So my biggest anxiety about the wedding day is that people will not respect our desire for privacy and follow us around snapping their own photos (I’ve heard this happens).
The officiant will direct everyone for cocktails, but I’m still really worried. Anyone else do this? Did you have stragglers trying to hone in on your photo shoot? How did you handle this?
Post # 3
I think that in addition to having your officiant help, why don’t you enlist and wedding party members/ushers to also help wrangle people. We’re hoping for a few minutes alone too, but I’m pretty sure our guests will be more than willing to help us out with that one. Plus, we have 160 acres to work with!
Post # 4
I’ve thought about this too. We’ll be doing a few private pictures right after the ceremony inside, before our family and bridal party pictures. That way, everyone will be making their way to the reception and we’ll be hidden away.
For you, you could either simply have your best man or maid of honor act as a "guard", if any guests try to interrupt or take a bunch of photos. That way they can be the bad guy, not you! All they will have to say is, "Hey, Bride and Groom are having a private photo shoot right now, but they’ll make sure to talk and get some photos with you at the reception. The sooner they’re done here, the sooner the party can start!" People will respect that and enjoy watching from a reasonable distance.
If you aren’t okay with people watching whatsoever, you could go to another picturesque location for your couple photo shoot. However, this could take a lot of time, so if your reception is early in the day, consider doing it after. Or, you could do it the next day – I know Avocado did this. It’s like a trash the dress session without trashing your dress!
Post # 5
Yeah, we had followers. 🙁 My Father-In-Law and Mother-In-Law followed us around for the first 15-20 minutes of private picture time; then my dad and my nephew came over for the last 5 minutes or so. It was kinda distracting, honestly. And not as romantic/private as I would have liked.
Are you more concerned about immediate family members (like what happened to us)? Or random guests like extended family and friends? If the latter, I would just make sure you have some kind of entertainment for the cocktail hour. Keep the guests entertained (booze and food are always great, but maybe also live music or some kind of informal activity) and they won’t have time to "crash" your photo session.
If it’s family you’re worried about, I really don’t have any advice, seeing as we had family follow us around during the shoot. Is there any way you can have your photographer stick up for you guys here? Like have him/her tell family members that he/she doesn’t want anyone but the newlyweds around so you aren’t distracted? I’m not sure if this would work, but it would be easier for me to listen to family complain afterward about a rude photographer than to have my shoot crashed. This would have been an option for us, but my Father-In-Law is VERY confrontational…
Post # 6
Thanks…I think the Bridal Party will have to help us out here. My Maid/Matron of Honor is being so weird, I guess we’ll have to rely mainly on the Best Man and other party members. I hope that is not too awkward for them (well, really I hope they won’t be put into the situation of having to approach anyone in the first place).
Would it be strange to have the officiant say something like, "The couple invites you to enjoy cocktails while they take some formal portraits. The couple requests some privacy during this time." Or something similar…I don’t know if it would sound rude. Right now she is saying the first part…but more hinting at the second by saying that we will receive guests as they enter the reception hall.
Mrs. Spring — I’m worried about both. But I think we can handle the family…not sure b/c it can get tricky in the moment, but hopefully. The random guests can be v. distracting though. Our photographer is a super nice guy, so I have a hard time seeing him be really firm esp with family members. But hopefully he (or his assistant) will be able to shoo people away.
Post # 7
I like the dj’s announcement hinting around idea. And having your bridal party run interference. Maybe you can have a backup plan if things aren’t working out? Like if guests don’t take the hints and are making things hard on your bridal party, then you could have the dj announce something less subtle?
We also had some small entertainment things that distracted our "random" guests from following us around. We made photo scavenger cards with a request or two on each card for shots taken "before" (before the cake is cut, photo of the centerpieces before the food is served, etc…). We also put up some pictures in frames of our family members’ wedding pictures, which a lot of people commented on. Would something like this work for you? Maybe a crossword puzzle or a "get to know the couple" trivia card to do during the cocktail hour? I think if you distract them with something fun, they’ll be less likely to crash your private time. Personally, I’d rather be drinking than following around the bride and groom… maybe that’s just me. 😉
Post # 8
Mrs. Spring…I hear ya. And we’re doing some yummy appetizers. But it’s a big wedding (I’m hoping my parents friends taht don’t really know us won’t show up until the reception, though, pretty common for Indian weddings). I like the idea of some kind of cocktail hour distraction. Maybe putting the guest book cards out during the cocktail hour would be a good idea. And trivia could definitely be fun 🙂 B/c the reception is more formal, the cocktail hour would be a great place to put stuff like that out!
Any other suggestions are welcome too…keep ’em coming 🙂
Post # 9
I lived in Australia for a little while and in there is a given that the bride and groom will have some time away from the guests for pictures between the ceremony… ok, we are not in Australia :-), but I think your plan can work out well. As well as the suggestions from the other brides a couple of things you could do would be to add a small note about that on the program if you are having one. If that is possible you could also place the main sources of food drinks and/or band, if you have one on the opposite direction and place some watchful friends to catch any stray guests 🙂 Best of luck. I am sure it is going to be great (let us know how it goes!).
Post # 10
i’m in the same situation. i know my Mother-In-Law is gonna try to pry in on the photo action. but we are getting married at a golf club so my Fiance said we can rent a golf cart and drive to different parts of the course. which i’m thankful for that. i would try to talk to the guys in your Bridal Party and have them redirect people to the cocktails.
Post # 11
Yup, you’ll definetely have followers. The biggest help is to have physical seperation between you & your guests. Using Wedding Party members probably won’t help much. They’ll be socializing too and will likey attract more attention. That job should be left to your wedding coordinators. Ideally there should only be you, your husband and your photographer. Here’s what I tell my couples.
As soon as you exit the ceremony leave the area immediately, along with the Wedding Party and all family you want in portraits. I start with the largest family groupings, including grandparents & small children. That way they can quickly go to the cocktail how.
Next I work my way down to smaller family units. Once I’m finished, I let them know I’m done and they can go & enjoy the cocktail hour. In other words, I state my desire as a suggestion but now everyone will take it. They’ll sit in the area, talking.
Next, I move on to the Wedding Party shots. Once I’m done, I’ll let them know that they can go to the coktail hour. Then the couple & I will go to another location. Once the 3 of us walk away, I don’t usually get any followers. But if one person is allowed to stay, everyone thinks they’re welcome as well.
I also give my couples some privacy from me. Often, I’ll direct them to walk to another area & I’ll hang back (or run ahead) and pull out a long lens to shoot them from a distance.
If your venue isn’t big enough for you to get far away from your guests, then you really won’t have the privacy you want unless you go to another location. IMO, having the minister announce you desire for privacy is not rude. Your photographer can also help in this regard. Some will forbid watchers during their portrait shoots, but most will not. But don’t let them take the "blame" for your desire of privacy. We rely on referrals and a bad review will spread a lot faster than a good one.