Last week I shared a blog about the reasons why I love doing a First Look. You can see that blog post here. I do LOVE first looks, but I also understand that they are not for everyone. I don't want my couples to do anything they aren't comfortable with. So, as promised in the other post, here are some options for the couple who wants amazing photos, but doesn't want to see each other before the ceremony.
1. The Extended Cocktail Hour
IDEAL FOR: summer, long receptions, late ceremony start time around 6 or 7
Not seeing each other before the ceremony can really strain the schedule. Trying to fit all of the family photos, bridal party photos, and couple portraits in the time between the ceremony and reception can be tough. An extended cocktail hour where guests can mingle, drink, and snack on some finger foods is a perfect solution. Rather than sitting at tables and waiting for the couple to arrive, this allows guests to do something fun to fill that time. The couple can spend more time on photos this way before people start to get antsy. Also, if the ceremony started around 6 or 7 this is the best light of the day in the summer months!
2. The Fake Leave
IDEAL FOR: summer, shorter receptions, early ceremony start time around 2 or 3
I actually used this one twice last wedding season! How do we fit family photos, bridal party photos, and couple portraits in the time between the ceremony and reception? DON'T. With this plan the couple takes quick family and bridal party photos, then heads straight to the reception. When all of the reception activities are over, the couple does their exit and leaves the wedding like normal. Instead of driving off to the honeymoon destination, the couple will give guests time to clear out (stop by Sonic and grab a drink... make out in the car... whatever you want to do to pass the time) and circle back around and meet me. We can either meet back at the wedding venue, or meet at some other decided upon photo location. There's no rush, no guests are waiting on you, no pressure. Also, if the ceremony started around 2 or 3, this should put the post reception photos right around the best light of the day in the summer months.
3. Day After Session
IDEAL FOR: anyone at any time
It might sound weird, but this is a thing that people are doing now! If a First Look or one of the options mentioned above isn't ideal for you - maybe skip the wedding day couple portraits all together. Like The Fake Leave, the couple would grab quick family and bridal party photos immediately following the ceremony. Then the couple would go enjoy the reception. Either the next day, or some day after the couple has arrived back from the honeymoon they can get all decked out in their wedding clothes again and have a special, private, stress free photo session wherever they want.
I'd love to get feedback! Are there any other wedding topics you'd like to read about? Any other questions you need answers? Let me know in a comment below!