I just got back from one of my most stress free weddings ever. Everything was on time, the couple took so many portraits together & they attended their cocktail hour with time to hang out with almost every single guest.
I’ve always been nonchalant about suggesting a first look, but after all these years of experience, I’m asking…no, I’m BEGGING all clients to do a first look on your wedding day. I understand the superstition behind seeing the bride before the wedding ceremony. Did you know that this emerged from a time when arranged marriages were commonplace, and was practiced to ensure the groom would go through with the marriage regardless of the bride-to-be’s identity or appearance? Weddings across all cultures have several traditions and rituals that mean a lot to us all. I can’t impress my beliefs on you but consider letting this one go.
- Expecting to capture romantic portraits + family portraits within one hour is an unrealistic goal.
- Important family members (and some of the bridal party) tend to drift off during cocktail hour. Understandably, they are excited to see friends and family that they may not have seen in years. Even though they know the task at hand, it takes time to collect everyone you need and get their attention for the formal portraits.
- Once the family & bridal party is done, you and your spouse risk only having 10 – 15 minutes (or less) to create romantic portraits together. All while your guests are crowding you for selfies.
- The first look is one of the few intimate moments you and your spouse will have during the day.
- We typically make sure that the photographer and your fiance are the only ones in attendance during this session.
- It gives you space in private to shed a few happy tears, exchange gifts, and tell each-other how you’re feeling about the future ahead.
- Once the ceremony comes, people will be coming at you from all angles. Time alone will be scarce.
- Your hair and makeup will be the most fresh and perfect before ceremony. Take advantage and capture your portraits when you’re looking your absolute best. The light might be best during this time too.
- Getting those portraits out the way early almost guarantees an on-time ceremony and a smooth wedding day timeline.
- Things go wrong on every single wedding day. Give yourself a buffer knowing that your portraits are out of the way. If the timeline gets delayed, portraits are usually the main thing to be cut short.
- When you’re on time, you’ll get the most out of your vendors. The food’s fresh, the party’s long and you have more fun!
- BONUS : Imagine being able to attend your Cocktail Hour and catch up with your guests before the party!!!
If you’re still not convinced, there are a few things you can do to maximize your wedding day portraits while minimizing stress.
- Schedule your wedding day itinerary so that you have 1.5 hours for formal portraits (again doing it all during cocktail hour is risky)
- Get ready early (at least 1.5 hours before ceremony)and have key family members on site to take pictures with you before the ceremony
- Get ready at hotel/airbnb that has a scenic area that could be a great backdrop for these photos.
- During cocktail hour, take your couple’s formal portraits before incorporating the groups.
- Limit your list of formal portraits during cocktail hour. Save the extra friends/family for a quick snap during the reception.