|[For those who wish help with this aspect of the wedding plans, the
following is my suggested procedure regarding pictures. Tell
me any changes you might prefer. The point is to help your wedding
be the way you want it and to be the nicest it can for you, your family,
and your guests. Then there will be more of the kinds of pictures you will
like as well -- whether formally posed, informally posed, or candids.]
If, after considering this, you wish to take all the formal pictures before the wedding, I will be happy to do that.
Bride and Bridesmaids
About 10 minutes before the ceremony the bride and her parents may spend a few quiet moments together IF they wish to do that; and then likewise with the bride and her father after her mother leaves to be seated. If the bride would rather have her bridesmaids remain at that time, that is fine; some like it one way, some the other -- whatever is most helpful for the bride in collecting her thoughts before the ceremony.
1) After the ceremony, as you all march out and back around to where we will be taking pictures, NO ONE should stray away or stop for any reason to talk to guests or members of the congregation -- since if you stop to talk to one person, everybody else will gather around you to talk and you will never get back to the altar for pictures.
Of course you may congratulate and enjoy each other after the ceremony; that is a really exciting, emotional, and wonderful time together -- one of the best of the wedding. I just do not want anyone listed below to get caught up with "outside" guests or to go wandering off.
2) ALL the wedding party members and ALL the family members should be ready for these group picture, and not be missing. The people in the wedding party will simply follow the bride and groom out from the ceremony and around the route to where the formal pictures will be taken -- usually back to the altar. Parents of the bride also usually follow that route. Grandparents and great-grand parents MAY also follow, but IF it is at all difficult for them to get around, it would be better for them to remain seated after the ceremony so they will be ready for family pictures when we all return to the altar, if that is acceptable to everyone.
3) The first pictures will be the bride's family so that the bride's parents can get to the reception right away if they wish. These pictures will be the bride and groom, the bride's parents, brothers and sisters AND THEIR SPOUSES AND CHILDREN, if any, and the bride's grandparents. (If the parents of either the bride or the groom are divorced and want the family pictures to be separate, I normally do the mother's family picture first and then the father's family picture.)
The pictures I typically take after the ceremony are the following. There can be other photos also if you wish:
If the above people are ready, the formal pictures will only take 10 to 15 minutes. If they are not, it will take longer. So please be sure that everyone KNOWS ahead of time that they are supposed to be available for the family and group pictures after the ceremony.
All this should only take about 10-15 minutes and then you can be on to the reception. This time frame normally is comfortable for your guests as long as they have access to the reception room and as long as there is something for them to eat or drink and they can visit with each other, look at the wedding cake, etc. If the caterer does not allow them into the reception room or allow them to have anything to taste or drink before the bride and groom arrive, it will seem much longer to the guests and they will become uncomfortable.
Some caterers or churches recommend that the bride and groom cut the cake immediately upon leaving the ceremony, with no one watching except the photographer. I think this is unfair to the parents and to the guests, and robs them all of a chance to see, and comment (or heckle), a fun part of the reception. Moreover, it takes the bride and groom away from family and attendants right at the time that is often the most enjoyable part of the wedding --the greetings and joy and relief right after the ceremony is all over. That is a very emotional and wonderful time usually; and it is taken away if you are off cutting the cake just so it could be served a few minutes sooner than it would be anyway.
If the reception is a dinner, the cake cutting is usually better to do when people are about ready for their dessert.
1. While I understand that some photographers take too long to do the pictures after the wedding, I am not one of them. Those pictures should go very quickly, and you will be at your reception before any of the guests really are looking for you. Trying to do pictures before the wedding, however, while it is easier for me in certain ways, is often much more difficult for you and that is why I tend to recommend against it -- especially if the bride and groom do not want to see each other before the ceremony.
The main problems trying to do pictures before the wedding are that with all the usual commotion and final attention to coordination and communication of details, the pictures take much longer, there is much more stress on you, it starts your day too early, and it leaves the bride dressed and ready with almost nothing to do for 45 minutes before the ceremony -- often unable to sit for fear of wrinkling her dress; it is an extremely nervous time that way for most brides. I would prefer to work my pictures around your wedding rather than for you to worry about working your wedding around the pictures.
Also, since almost all the pictures after the ceremony have the bride and groom in them together, if the couple is not going to see each other before the ceremony, not much time is saved at all by doing some pictures before anyway.
If, after considering this, you wish to take all the formal pictures
before the wedding, I will be happy to do that. (Return
Reset June 22, 2000