Family & Wedding Party Photos

Part 1 of 2: The pros of taking group photos BEFORE your ceremony

 
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A common question I’m asked by my wedding clients is whether to take the family and wedding party photos before or after their ceremony. This is an important part of planning and although there is no "right" or "wrong" answer, there is a right approach for you. Here are some pros I have found to taking family photos before the ceremony. My next post will highlight the pros of taking family pictures afterwards. Big thanks to my clients who have graciously shared their own thoughts on this subject.

  1. Enjoy your wedding day: there are few times in our lives when our closest friends and family are together under one roof. Ask anyone who’s had a wedding and they will confirm that their wedding day FLEW BY QUICK. By taking your family and wedding party photos prior to your ceremony, it allows that extra 30-60 minutes during your cocktails to be with the your guests.
     
  2. Quality time with your family and wedding party: From my vantage point, your family photos are not just about getting in front of the camera as a group; but rather about sharing time with your family and friends and having the opportunity to document this time of you together as a unit.
     
  3. RELAX, it’s your wedding day: Taking the photos prior to your ceremony gives you a chance to breath and provides a relaxed, enjoyable setting, which allows you to more deeply enjoy this special time dedicated to your loved ones.
     
  4. Time together before your ceremony: Often referred to as a “first look,” doing the photos prior to the ceremony allows you and your soon-to-be to connect and look forward to your wedding day TOGETHER – an experience truly special in itself.
     
  "Having family photos taken before the ceremony, really helped ease my mind and allow me to spend more time with family and friends come the reception. As the bride, it was easy to feel needed everywhere at once. Dana was amazing helping not just me, but everyone navigate the process smoothly."   - Laurie & Christopher, Queens, NY  

"Having family photos taken before the ceremony, really helped ease my mind and allow me to spend more time with family and friends come the reception.
As the bride, it was easy to feel needed everywhere at once. Dana was amazing helping not just me, but everyone navigate the process smoothly." 

- Laurie & Christopher, Queens, NY
 

  “It didn't occur to me to not take the bulk of our pictures before the ceremony. The one thing everyone tells you is how fast your wedding goes by. I didn't want to miss special moments during the cocktail hour. I've been to (and in) several weddings where we're taken out of the mix, spirited away from the other guests and music. It's a bit disruptive, in my opinion… One of my favorite parts of my own wedding was after the ceremony greeting the guests and relaxing out on the deck before dinner, with them telling me how much they loved the ceremony and our vows. It was like a mini-reflection time. Also, I love food, and I needed food, and I didn't want to have lukewarm appetizers brought out to me or be rushed to eat. (On a practical level, we're paying for that food, and we picked it out especially, we wanted to enjoy it!). So, I was able to squeeze the most out of my time with my beloved guests by having pictures done beforehand and I'm so glad for that. Bonus: as a bride - your makeup and hair are most fresh and intact before the ceremony, which is a huge plus!”  - Nicole & Michael, Duxbury, MA  

“It didn't occur to me to not take the bulk of our pictures before the ceremony.
The one thing everyone tells you is how fast your wedding goes by. I didn't want to miss special moments during the cocktail hour. I've been to (and in) several weddings where we're taken out of the mix, spirited away from the other guests and music. It's a bit disruptive, in my opinion…
One of my favorite parts of my own wedding was after the ceremony greeting the guests and relaxing out on the deck before dinner, with them telling me how much they loved the ceremony and our vows. It was like a mini-reflection time. Also, I love food, and I needed food, and I didn't want to have lukewarm appetizers brought out to me or be rushed to eat. (On a practical level, we're paying for that food, and we picked it out especially, we wanted to enjoy it!).
So, I was able to squeeze the most out of my time with my beloved guests by having pictures done beforehand and I'm so glad for that. Bonus: as a bride - your makeup and hair are most fresh and intact before the ceremony, which is a huge plus!”

- Nicole & Michael, Duxbury, MA
 

Consider all of the factors in both this post and my next post in order to decide what is right for you and your wedding day. I suggest discussing the options with your family, your planner and your photographer in order to ensure the best possible outcome. Regarding my previous post on the subject, you may decide to base the time of your photos on the position of the sun in relevance to where you plan to take your family photos; or even the time of day which offers the smoothest Plan B that you can easily rely on without compromising the flow of the day.

Email me anytime for topic suggestions and feel free to comment, ask questions and share. Thanks for reading!

Peace, Love & Happy Planning,
Dana Siles

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