When Should You Take Your Wedding Photos?

As you are planning your big day, you’re probably putting a lot of thought into your wedding photos. These keepsake photographs are a high priority for many couples as they are both a reminder of the day and a chance to get professional photos looking your very best. That said, taking your wedding photos can present some logistical challenges. Here are three popular suggestions and some things to keep in mind!

During Your First Look 

While it may not seem traditional, many couples are opting for a first look where the couple sees each other for the first time in their wedding attire, before their wedding ceremony. This gives the couple a chance to privately celebrate with each other and can help them get over jitters before walking down the aisle. 

If this sounds ideal to you, you’ll be pleased to know that this is an excellent time to take wedding photos. Hair and makeup will be freshly done at this point and everyone will be looking polished and picture perfect. If you go this route, make sure that you give yourselves plenty of time before the wedding starts. You will also want to make sure that your wedding party is away from arriving guests so they don’t see you before the ceremony! 

All of that said, for some the first look will be a no go as some couples will prefer to have the traditional “moment” where the couple sees each other for the first time during the wedding ceremony. If that is the case for you, you have other options!

During Cocktail Hour

Cocktail hour is another great time to take your wedding photos, especially if you didn’t have a first look. Your guests will be distracted while they sip on wine and cocktails and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, giving you a chance to take photos. Your extended family will enjoy the chance to chat and catch up with one another as they come together to celebrate your wedding. Meanwhile, you and the rest of your wedding party will be able to take pictures without anyone missing you for too long. 

Sneak Away During The Reception

Another great option is to step out during the reception, after everyone has enjoyed their dinner and the dance party is in full force. Your guests will be happy and having a blast at the party while you take some time away to enjoy some quiet time now that you’re married and take photographs. The downside to this choice is that you will have already gone through your reception, dinner, and some dancing — meaning your hair and makeup won’t be fresh. If you go with this option, you will want to make sure you are able to get touched up before pictures start!

Think About Lighting

The other variable to keep in mind is lighting. While your priority is probably making sure that your family and guests have a great experience, you should put some thought into how the lighting of the day will change. Most photographers prefer working during the golden hour: the time before sunset when the sun is low in the sky and creates soft, diffused lighting. 

You may also want to take photographs during sunset (or sunrise for you morning birds!) to take advantage of the sky being painted vivid colors, especially if you’re having a beach wedding. Consider when these times will correlate with your wedding plans and use them to make your choices. You may also opt to have multiple photo sessions to take advantage of different lighting situations!

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