Wedding Photography Advice

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I have found through the years that the same questions seem to come up for each wedding that I shoot, so I realize that it would probably be helpful to answer some of these on a monthly basis.

Q: Should I have the group portraits photographed before of after the ceremony?
A: I always tend to prefer to take the group portraits BEFORE the ceremony (at least one hour before hand). Here are a few reasons for this choice.

1. The entire production of the photographs tends to be more organized since everyone arrives to one location at once and on time, rather than after the ceremony when you have to scramble to get everyone together.

2. The photographs end up being more organized and stress free.

3. YOU get to enjoy your cocktail hour instead of spending the entire time taking pictures. You can also use your cocktail hour as a time to great people rather than having to do this during the reception.

4. Bouquets and Makeup are fresh and clean BEFORE the ceremony.

5. If this is an outdoor wedding, usually the light is better before the ceremony, especially when the ceremony is in the evening.

The only main reason that you may insist on having the portraits taken AFTER the ceremony is because you do not want to see each other until the moment that the bride is walking down the aisle. I can understand this predicament; however, in my experience, the moment that the bride and groom see each other, even if it is in a more casual environment, is still magical, and since they end up seeing each other for the first time in much closer range, I tend to be able to capture their expressions very strongly. And, I do find that taking the formal portraits before hand releases a bit of the built up tension. When all is said and done, even though the bride and groom have seen each other minutes before, it is still a very powerful moment when the guests and the groom see the beautiful bride walking down the path to unity for the first time.

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