Your wedding photos are some of the most important photos of your life! Even after you’ve selected your wedding photographer, there are a few decisions you’ll have to make regarding the photos. Here are some things to think about before the big day.
Travel Time Between Locations
Travel time can significantly cut into the time you have with your photographer. Some couples choose to get ready at one location and get candid shots there. The ceremony and reception are typically at two different locations, and sometimes, there’s another location just for photos!
The more moving your photographer has to do, the more time you’ll need to plan for. While your photographer will try to be as quick as possible, you want to leave enough time for quality photos. The last thing you want is to run out of time and not have all the pictures you want.
The First Look
Some couples plan for a private first look before the ceremony, while other couples opt to see each for the first time during the ceremony. It’s a personal choice, and you shouldn’t let anyone sway you into doing the opposite of what you envision.
If you do choose to save the first look for the ceremony, you’ll want to spend more time on photos after the ceremony. Normally, if you do the first look before the ceremony, the photographer will take most or all of the family photos before the ceremony. That way, the parents of the bride and groom are free to greet guests during the cocktail hour. However, it’s easy to sneak in a few shots right after the ceremony if you’d like.
Family photos will take up a huge portion of the time with your photographer. Here’s how family photos are usually ordered:
- Bride and her mom
- Bride and her dad
- Bride and both her parents
- Bride and groom with both bride’s parents
- Bride and groom with bride’s parents and siblings
- Bride and groom with the bride’s parents, siblings, siblings’ spouses, and their kids
- Bride and groom with the bride’s grandparents (both sets)
- Bride and her godparents
- Groom and his mom
- Groom and his dad
- Groom and both his parents
- Groom and bride with both groom’s parents
- Groom and bride with groom’s parents and siblings
- Groom and bride with the groom’s parents, siblings, siblings’ spouses, and their kids
- Groom and bride with the groom grandparents (both sets)
- Groom and his godparents
Of course, if there are any divorces and remarriages in your family, the order may not end up looking quite like this. You should always let your photographer know if this is the case. You don’t want there to be any awkward interactions like the photographer asking your parents to stand next to each other when they aren’t on speaking terms. Giving your photographer this information before the wedding will help the process go as smoothly as possible.
You can expect each combination to take one or two minutes for organizing the people involved as well as adjusting dresses and hair.
Have Plenty of Coverage
The type of wedding you have will determine how much coverage you need. If you’re having a church wedding, that typically takes one hour of time, including 20 to 30 minutes before the ceremony when the bridal party hides as the guests arrive. If your ceremony is over 30 minutes, it’s best to get nine hours of coverage.
Think About How You’ll Order the Reception
After the grand entrance, most receptions include the following:
- Cutting the cake
- Bridal party speeches
- The first dance
- Dances with parents
Some couples don’t care about having the speeches and dinner photographed. If that’s what you want, it’s best to get the cake cutting and first dances out of the way at the beginning so you don’t need coverage for the entire evening. There’s really no right or wrong way to order things. Choose whatever feels right to you!