(Closed) Question for those who did NOT do a first look

posted 9 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
2512 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I don’t think that would be weird at all. In fact, if I had it to do over again, I would probably consider something like that.

We only had about 30 minutes in between the ceremony & reception (at the same church), so we had to CRAM TONS of pics into that time frame. PLUS, we did formals of me & my BM’s & my hubby & his Groomsmen also (we did not see each other – it was coordinated so the photog was coming to US, so we didn’t bump into each other) BEFORE the ceremony.

I was so exhausted. After the ceremony all I wanted to do was go to the reception but there were tons of pics to be taken.

I know if I hadn’t been so tired they might have turned out better but eh well..

(we had a 7:45 PM ceremony)

Post # 4
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I would NOT plan to leave the reception.  You won’t want to miss any of it!  I got so caught up in partying that gave up on getting shots with lots of extended family so I could just enjoy the party.

You said it’s 1.5 hours between the end of the ceremony and the start of the reception.  Does that mean the cocktail hour starts 30min after the ceremony?

30min might be really cutting it if you want formals with your families and bridal parties.

But 1.5h would be plenty of time.

Talk to your photog about the shots you want and how long he/she thinks it will take. 

Also, check out some other brides’ timelines and see where they put their formals:


Post # 5
6572 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

i would talk to your photographer to get some of his ideas. a few weddings that i’ve been in have done pictures before, but seperately. the bride would get pics with her girls and her family, and the groom got pics with his groomsmen and his family. i personally wouldn’t want to leave my reception. there’s so much going on there. i would try to get as many pictures done ahead of time so you’re not rushed after.

Post # 6
167 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

Speaking from experience, it’s really difficult to do two different sessions of formal photos. Most people don’t understand what’s happening when they take pictures before the ceremony, then have to take them again after.

We recommend either doing them all before (and accepting that there will not be formals with the two of you together) or doing all of them after the ceremony. I do not recommend planning to take photos during the reception because once you leave the ceremony venue, it’s VERY difficult to gather people back up again for photos (although portraits of the two of you are fine).

Post # 7
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

When the bride and groom do not wish a first look and time is crunched this is how it usually plays out:

Before Ceremony:

  • Detail shots
  • getting dressed shots
  • bride
  • bride / bridesmaids
  • Groom in his room putting on jacket, cuff links, etc
  • groom
  • groom / groomsment


After Ceremony:



  • Family Formals (always best done right after, and tell who you want to stay before the wedding day they need to stay)
  • entire wedding party
  • just the bride / groom

Now, 1.5 hours would be plenty for me to do all “formal” shots after the ceremony… Doing two sessions they way I do it isn’t difficult at all. It’s actually a bit more relaxing and keeps my bride occupied before the wedding instead of sitting around staring at the clock 🙂 The only people you need to worry about are your wedding party / family / and yourselves.  Your friends will have no prob realizing that we’re doing two sessions.  Now, I don’t rec. breaking up family shots. Do them all at once, and preferably not during the reception. Someone will find a way to already be drunk, missing, a PITA, or something else… It never has gone smoothly for me doing a family shot during the reception. It gets turned into some huge ordeal because then more than just you is “missing the party.”

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