What’s important to the couples who book me to photograph their wedding? People. The people in their lives and at their wedding are important. This is why, I think it’s so vital to maximize time with these people on your wedding day. But how do you do that? I’m here to help! I’ve compiled a helpful list of tips on how to maximize time and photos with your guests at your wedding day. Keep reading!
The majority of the couples I photograph, when asked, say they just want to have an amazing day with the people they love. They don’t want to worry about the poses or the details or the perfection. These couples just want to hug their closest friends and family. They just want to celebrate the good and hard work it takes to get married. What’s important to them is celebrating with the people who helped them get here.
This is why I find the following tips so vital. I know the importance of spending time with the people you love on your wedding day so I want to help you do it!
I have heard too many horror stories from people regarding their wedding. They never got to hug their grandma. They didn’t get a family photo with all those important cousins who were together for the first time in 10 years. I hear stories of couples who get swept up or don’t receive helpful advice from their vendors and are not able to enjoy time with the people they invited. I want to keep that from happening to you! Here’s my list of tips on how to maximize time with your guests at your wedding.
This is the biggest tip I give to couples who want to maximize time and photos with their guests at their wedding. Attend your cocktail hour. Why? This is a great time when guests with be mingling and excited to see you! After the ceremony, they will want to come up and give you hugs and words of congratulations. Their smiles and excitement will be so genuine and make for perfect photos of connection and warmth. If your timeline does not allow you to attend all of your cocktail hour, I recommend to my couples to at least attend half. If you’re attending cocktail hour, it’s likely that your photographer will attend cocktail hour (we go where you go) 😉 This then allows both photos of you and your guests and nice candid photos of your guests interacting with each other, too.
If you are choosing to have a wedding party on your big day, chances are you are gonna want photos with them. Unless you’re eloping with just your fiancé, you’re most likely going to want formal family photos, too. In order to maximize time with guests on your wedding day, I recommend to my couples to take the formal, posed photos before the ceremony. This frees up that whole hour plus after the ceremony to spend with all the people you invited. Plus, it allows you and your honey to relax and have a cocktail, too.
Choosing to do a first look before the ceremony allows for the previous two tips to happen! When you choose to do a first look, there are so many benefits (I could create a whole blog post on that)! One of them being, it allows you and your boo to take all the formal photos before the ceremony because you’ve already seen each other! Not only can you take the wedding party and family photos pre ceremony, but you can take couples photos then, too!
Choosing to do a first look is what allows all these other events to happen, thus freeing up more time after the ceremony for you to spend with your guests. This way, your photographer is not pulling you from the celebration in the middle of dinner or dancing.
None of these tips can be implemented if you don’t create a helpful wedding timeline for your day. How do you do this? Your wedding planner (Which you should hire! Again, another blog post I could create!) will help you allocate the amount of time necessary for each aspect of your day. You can communicate with both your wedding planner and your wedding photographer and let them know what is most important to you. It’s our job to prioritize that and make it happen!
I always ask my clients how they want to feel on their wedding day. What is most important to you? From there, I give them my professional opinion on what, and how much time, I need to accomplish those things for them. Without a timeline, special things that you want to prioritize on your wedding day may get missed. Without structure, vendors’ contracts might expire before these events happen. Prioritize having a plan so that, come wedding day, you can relax and spend time with your people and leave the details to the pros!
I get it. Each wedding day timeline is different! It can be really hard to fit in time with each and every person you invited on your wedding day. Most people, I am seeing, are maximizing time with their wedding guests at their rehearsal dinner. One simple way I’ve found that you can get more photos with your guests is to hire your photographer to photograph the rehearsal dinner, too! This also allows your photographer to get to know you and your guests and little more. Then, come wedding day, we are already comfortable around each other. This allows for more natural, candid moments to be captured. I personally love being able to attend as many events during a wedding weekend as I can. It makes me feel like I’m apart of the party and it helps me to tell you story better!
The last and most important tip! If you want photos of you and your guests celebrating and connecting you have to hire a photographer who prioritizes looking for and photographing these moments.
I am always on the lookout for hugs, moments of connection and visual serendipity. If you want to attend your cocktail hour over doing sunset portraits, I’m totally okay with it! Natural moments of connection with you and your people are what fire me up! If that’s what’s most important to you on your wedding day, I’m game. As a wedding photographer, I know how to help couples craft a timeline that allows for these moments to occur and happen naturally. I work with couples and their wedding planner to create a timeline you can feel relaxed in and one where you feel relaxed and present.
I am the professional wedding photographer you want to hire if you want to be so fully present in the moments around you. I’ll be there, camera in hand, ready to photograph it!
Does this photography philosophy line up with how you want to celebrate your wedding? Reach out to me about photographing your big day and let me help you celebrate with all the people you love! Reach out here!