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Did you spend a long time researching the perfect wedding photographer and have wondered how to get the most out of your investment? When selecting wedding times, brides don’t allow enough time for photography and the creative shots they fell in love with. While I always plan out wedding day timelines for brides, here are a few options to help you select the best time for your ceremony and reception.

The First Look

Seeing each other before the ceremony is no longer considered taboo. In fact, many couples are opting for this intimate time together to have a bit more one-on-one time, ease nerves, and have extra time for photos. The groom waits in a designated area, anticipating seeing his bride for the first time.  She quietly walks up behind him, surprising him with a shoulder tap (or a quick butt squeeze), which his is signal to turn around. Emotions are high, as the couple is able to share this moment alone, rather than in front of nearly 100 friends and family members.

After these moments are captured, formal photos of the couple are taken. Without the time restraints that cocktail hour formals often require,  there is more flexibility for not only traditional photos, but creative as well, when photographing prior to the ceremony.

(Remaining formals of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, bridal party, and family follow)

"I loved doing a first look! I got to see my almost husband before the craziness started and tell him I loved him. I was really nervous walking to him, but as soon as he saw me and smiled everything was fine. I didn't even notice Kerri shooting away. I totally recommend a first look, not just for pictures, but also for a moment alone together before the ceremony. I suggest taking 15-20 minutes away from each prior to the ceremony to work up the jitters again and get excited to see each other!" - Heather 7-19-14

“I loved doing a first look! I got to see my almost husband before the craziness started and tell him I loved him. I was really nervous walking to him, but as soon as he saw me and smiled everything was fine. I didn’t even notice Kerri shooting away. I totally recommend a first look, not just for pictures, but also for a moment alone together before the ceremony.
I suggest taking 15-20 minutes away from each prior to the ceremony to work up the jitters again and get excited to see each other!” – Heather 7-19-14

 

"It was amazing to have that moment with each other, before we had to share it with everyone else." Allie, 4/26/14

“It was amazing to have that moment with each other, before we had to share it with everyone else.” Allie, 4/26/14

 

Staying Traditional

Some couples prefer to stay on the side of tradition, not seeing each other until after the ceremony, and that’s okay…you can still receive a variety of gorgeous photos without compromising tradition!

Prior to the ceremony:

Bride alone
Bride with bridesmaids (group and with each individually)
Groom alone
Groom with groomsmen (group and with each individually)

After the ceremony (cocktail hour):

Bride and Groom with entire bridal party
Bride and groom with parents
Bride and groom with  immediate family
Bride and groom with  parents and grandparents
Bride and groom with grandparents
Bride with her grandparents / Groom with his grandparents
Bride and groom alone (after inviting family and bridal party to enjoy cocktail hour)

During reception:

Extended family, college friends, etc.

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Capriotti's McAdoo Wedding Photographer

 

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Sample timeline to make the most of your wedding photography:

 

Bride and groom – 45 minutes

Bridal party – 35 minutes

Bride with bridesmaids (group and with each individually)
Groom with bridesmaids (group and with each individually)
Bride and Groom with entire bridal party

Family – 25 minutes

Bride and groom with parents
Bride and groom with  immediate family
Bride and groom with  parents and grandparents
Bride and groom with grandparents
Bride with her grandparents / Groom with his grandparents (extra emphasis is always put on grandparent photos since couples are so lucky to have them present)

Extended – 20 minutes

Extended family, cousins, aunts, college friends

 

TIP: Consider a 90 minute cocktail hour or have a 30 lapse between the ceremony and beginning of cocktail hour. When considering a receiving line, please remember that this will heavily cut into your photography time.

 

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