One thing I knew I wanted of our wedding reception was photos of everything set up and ready to go… before anyone got there. We had all worked so hard with planning and then setting everything up and have things “just so”, that I wanted it documented before people arrived and began sitting down and getting food. Of course I wanted people to arrive and to sit and enjoy themselves, but when they do, the pristine-ness of everything starts to go away. It’s called entropy. And I’m such a nerd for knowing that!
And photos of the reception before your guests arrive really help display all of the hard work that was put into the party that’s about to take place!
What I’ve realized over the last year however, is that southern weddings (at least the ones I’ve shot or helped shoot!), do not have a cocktail hour before the reception, which is when photos of the reception venue can most easily be taken. It’s wonderful for many other reasons too! It gives guests a chance to see each other and possibly meet some new friends before being seated for dinner or welcomed into the reception area. You can also be particular about the food you choose for this time so that guests’ pallats are warmed up for the meal during the reception – whether it’s a 3 course meal, heavy hor d’oeuvres, or stations.
As guests are mingling, post ceremony photos can be taken without worry of being late to the reception. And if the bride and groom opted to have a First Look, then we’ll probably finish up photos early which would give you time to join your guests at the cocktail hour for a bit. Or maybe practice your first dance in the reception room without anyone watching…
Untouched reception photos are perfect for your wedding album and they’re a perfect thing to share with your vendors so they can see their hard work documented as well.
We actually didn’t have a cocktail hour at our own wedding, but we had worked it out with our two photographers
(who were in 2 separate cars) that one was able to go to the reception site before the guests left the church.
Or, if your reception is taking place in the same venue or very close to it,
one photographer can go that direction on foot while the other stays at the ceremony venue to get those “just married” shots.
It does take a little extra planning and another conversation or two with your photographer and wedding coordinator to ensure there is time for these untouched reception photos. But hopefully you will love having your hard work and months of planning documented!
Happy Tuesday, everyone!