Setting time for getting ready, dancing photos, cocktail hour with guests and talking to them, first look Formal exit. A lot of times couples don’t get to spend time with their guests because they are either taking photos or eating or doing something else. If you value that and want that. There is a couple things you can do to make that happen and you have to decide.
The first is have a first look and have your cocktail hour before the wedding. Say what? YEP! Cocktail hour before the wedding. Now don’t get drunk and tipsy this is not the time for that. Chances are you’ve had something prior to the wedding while getting ready with your bridesmaids. This is actually my favorite way to do a timeline because it is very relaxed and calm it works the best if you are at the same venue for the whole wedding. Typically all outdoor venues are this style which is my favorite! If you have a first look you can now spend time with your guests. At the end of this blog post I am attaching a timeline using this tip. If you value portraits and photos like I do my suggestion is a first look and have cocktail hour before the ceremony or perhaps even take your portraits before the ceremony as well and have your cocktail hour right after the ceremony but I think having your first dance right after the ceremony is pretty amazing and continues in the moment. You can read more about first looks here.
First looks Explained…
One of the most misconceptions about first looks is that you ruin the aisle moment. I’ve never been married before. But I know photographers and I have chatted with a few even past brides where they loved it and in fact a lot got emotional during both the first look and walking down the aisle. I believe it enhances the experience. Here’s why. For starters you don’t get to see each other until late in the day. You have such a long day planned and most of it is apart. The second is the only time you will be alone will be later in the evening when you don’t have a hundred eyes looking at you. You get to have the moment. The moment where I am about 50 feet away no pressure to react or to smile and you can take your time on hugging and being together. Personally, if I were getting married I would love a section of the day where I can be alone with no one looking at me. From a professional standpoint, yes you do get more photos, you also get to knock out family portraits earlier in the day so that after the ceremony you can do the last few members who couldn’t make it early. You also get to take some sunset photos and also enjoy cocktail hour with your guests. Many couples don’t get to attend their cocktail hour which doesn’t seem like fun.
The only other way of doing it is to delay your cocktail hour which is going to have a couple of hangry guests or some how extend it so that you are part of it for 30min with your friends and family. It’s almost impossible to attend cocktail hour and then go for portraits because everyone will want to say hi to you and no one wants to be rude to their guests. If you value portraits another thing you can do is to schedule a session the day after your wedding or even when you come back from your honeymoon. After the ceremony you take family photos and a couple of portraits together then you attend the cocktail hour with your friends and family.
The best time for photos is starting about an hour before sunset. This is when light is even and glowy and makes everything look amazing. You can set a timeline to fall at the perfect time for light starting an hour and a half before sunset that way after the ceremony and during you have the best light. Bonus if you have some shade under trees.
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