When should you take your wedding photos? Because the photographs will be one of the most long-lasting and visual records of your big day, choosing the right time to take them is vital. And while some couples assume there are only one or two choices when it comes to photo shoot timing, you actually have a variety of options to tailor into your ideal schedule. Here's what you need to know about five timing choices for your nuptials.
Taking the photos before the ceremony generally means the wedding couple and their attendants are at their freshest and most glamorous. You've just finished getting ready, your hair is still pristine, and you're not yet tired from the festivities. Hopefully, too, no relatives have gotten into disagreements and no one has overindulged in alcohol.
However, this time frame requires that everyone in the party is done preparing and be where they need to be on time. In addition, a couple who wants their 'first look' to be walking down the aisle may not be able to choose this option at all.
A good compromise between getting a fresh start for photos and waiting too long is to do them immediately after the ceremony. This could be done during cocktail hour by directing your guests to a reception area to have a drink and your helpers to set up the reception while you take some family photos.
Taking pictures during cocktail hour may be somewhat stressful if you feel rushed. Knowing that your guests are waiting on you and that you have to stay on schedule could make this time difficult for some to relax. You're also limited to two locations: the ceremony space and reception space.
Why not get the reception festivities going and then slip away to do photos during the party? A mid-reception photo shoot allows you to take pictures in peace as most guests will be otherwise engaged with dinner, drinks, or dancing. And since pretty much anything that could cause stress is already out of the way, some couples are more relaxed at this point.
Gathering everyone together will be one of the biggest challenges. Once the party gets started, some older relatives might go home early and some others might party a little too hard. You may also need to take some time to get everyone's hair, makeup, and outfits back to good condition.
Why limit yourself to one big photo shoot? Instead, consider scheduling two or three smaller ones targeted to certain needs. For instance, each partner might take portraits with their attendants and family before the ceremony and then take shared photos later. Or you might schedule one side of the family for cocktail hour and the other side during the reception.
This allows you to tailor the timing to whenever people are at their best. However, it does mean you probably can't travel anywhere else to take photos. And you may not get exactly the same quality of pictures due to changes in light, people's appearances, and temperaments.
Want to look and feel your best? Then consider a surprising trend: holding a separate photo shoot. Moving the photography to a separate day entirely does mean extra expense, but it also means you can focus on looking great without all the stress caused by the big day. You can also hold the shoot at any location you like — regardless of where your ceremony or reception is held.
You can choose any style of photo shoot that works for your situation. Want to know more about the pros and cons of each setting? Start by consulting with LV Photography today. We will work with you to tailor your photo plans so they are the best they can be in your specific circumstances.