Wedding Questions

This is a discussion on Wedding Questions within the Do's and Dont's forums, part of the Photography Tips category; So, I shot my first wedding a couple of weeks ago, and it went fairly well. There were, however, a few things that came up ...


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  1. #1
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    So, I shot my first wedding a couple of weeks ago, and it went fairly well. There were, however, a few things that came up as an issue. The mother of the bride was in charge of food, so I suggested we do family shots first, then the bridal party, groom and groomsmen, group shot and then the bride a groom together before we ran out of natural light. I figured this would make sure that everyone would be taken care of in order of commitment to the wedding photos. What ended up happening is the mother of the bride ended up getting frustrated because the guests had finished or had no interest in their horderves and wanted to get their main meals. So, we ended up with very few shots of the bride and groom together. Is there a better way to do this so that it's broken up a little bit more? They were very adamant about not seeing each other before the ceremony and I have another wedding coming up in a week. I just want to see what great tips I can get from you guys. So many issues have been resolved because of the advice and help from PF members. I really appreciate it all!

    -Lindsey


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    Usually there's enough of a gap from wedding to dinner so that guests can go to the reception, mingle, have drinks, etc. and the bridal party shows up when they're finished with photos. Post wedding photos take a while... depending on the level of cooperation, I'd say the photos usually take me about 45 minutes to get everything. It could go much faster but people get distracted, wander off, get into conversations, and when you're calling for a group to get their photo taken some key people will be missing, etc. and that just slows everything down.

    But the photos are what the bride & groom will have "forever" to remember that day... not the food. Usually they're pretty keen on getting good quality photos and I'd hate to skimp on photos because the mother wants to serve the food.

    BTW, your order for doing the shots is pretty much what I did... photos which include parents and grandparents, etc. are shot first so that they can get to the reception. The parents of the bride are technically the hosts of the reception and should be there quickly. Bride & Groom photos are usually last on the list because this allows everyone else to be excused to take care of whatever it is they need to take care of.

    It's normal to have shots with parents, grandparents, family members, followed by photos with the wedding party, followed by photos of just the bride & groom (although if you need to re-enact any shots from the ceremony then you usually have to shoot those first because the priest/minister/rabbi, etc. doesn't want to hang around until the end of the photos.)

    I would make sure the bride & groom have reasonable expectations set for how long it will take to do the shots after the wedding so they don't think it's taking too long. It's normal for it to take that long. Photos that look like they belong in a magazine don't come from candids... they're dedicated shooting sessions.

    As an alternative and IF the reception is at a beautiful location (e.g. a golf club with beautiful grounds) then we sometimes just take the minimal formals at the alter, then go to reception but then steal the bride & groom for about 15-20 mins to shoot some beautiful private shots at the reception. This allows them to get to their guests sooner AND takes advantage of the better shooting location.

    Tim Campbell

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    What I do is pre-scout an area to take(or kidnap as I call it), the bride and groom, between the ceremony and the reception. Just so I can take photos of the them together with no outside interference from friends or family. The kidnapping is done AFTER the wedding party, and family shots. The lsat wedding I did about 2 weeks ago is ending up in a wedding dress trashing shoot, that the mother of the bride is yet to know about...lol. She's really not gonna like that, but, she'll love the shots...lol
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  • #4
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    The way you structured your photography time was absolutely standard and should not have been cut short by anyone!

    When you have your pre-wedding consultation with the bride and groom, always be sure to go over a breakdown of the allotted time for posed photography. It's a always a very good idea to have a clearly defined schedule for the posed photos. When the bride and groom are both very clear on what they can expect (and for how long) regarding their photography, they're better able to communicate that information to anyone else involved in the planning.

    Had the bride's mother been clearly informed in advance about the allotted photography time, she may have been less intrusive about the situation.

    For your future weddings, bear in mind that generally speaking, most wedding guests already know to expect at least 2 hours between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of dinner or reception. This time is almost always used for the formal wedding photography and it should not come as a surprise to anyone (including wedding party or family members).

    During your wedding photography consultation, it may also help to suggest to the bride and groom that they have some sort of entertainment or activity available to their guests who are waiting during the formal photography.

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    First order of business is not to let anybody other than the couple boss you around. It takes a while to become assertive while still being polite. The way you did the formals is pretty standard, I almost always do them during the cocktail hour, and I start with the largest shot first and work my way down. Any photographs with kids are also done first. That way I can get most of the people in the photographs (parents, grandparents, etc.) back to the party, then I work my way down until it's just me and the couple.

    I also usually talk to the couple ahead of time about doing a sunset shoot with just the two of them. They usually really love this idea, and it gives them a chance to spend some time alone, and I get great sunset shots. Of course, photographing a couple against a sunset requires either off camera flash, or that you really love silhouettes.

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    Yes, I believe you did the right thing. It is frustrating and infuriating to see grooms that choose the best and most expensive photographer because they really like his work... and not listening to him when its theyr wedding. I had grooms that paid a lot and allowed me to only have 5 pictures with them both.
    I even had some bad arguing with some couples that where only interested in guests and other activities.

    But in the end I get my money as we agreed so... I don't insist a lot anymore. It's theys lousy wedding. Less to post process

  • #8
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    What do you mean "Lindachrist" If they hired a proffesionall photographer this wouldn't have been an issue? Really. If thats what you meant, than may be you should think back when you shot your first gig. Everybody starts somewhere.

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    As everyone who knows me will allready know (that doesn't sound right but ah well) I tend not to do weddings, there is so much that can go wrong on the day like you mentioned, I did one on Saturday but informed the bride and groom to remember how I shoot and they were fine, yeah I got the formal shots but there was nothing too posed, they were more into what was happening around them and wanted those kind of images. But Tim has some great suggestions, good luck for the next one

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    Wedding is the lifetime lovable memory and the big roll is that the photography. Wedding photography is the best to secure the wedding moment so you have to hire the best and professional photographer for capturing your loving memories. Wish you all the best.


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