Taking the time for bridal portraits

Here is my suggestion as 2016 begins and so many brides are planning their weddings.

Take your time.

Take your time for your wedding photography.  Sit down with your fiance, and then your photographer, and plan what is really important with regard to the images you hope to see from your wedding.

Here is what happens on many occasions:  a bride gets nervous that her guests cannot entertain themselves between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception.  She hopes to minimize their wait time for her and her new husband to arrive, figuring she is being a good hostess.

What happens then is that she allots "about an hour" between the ceremony and the reception - and if she has chosen not to see her groom before the ceremony, in that time she hopes to have the photographer take pictures of:

  • Her and his family, in various configurations.
  • The bridal party.
  • The bride and groom's bridal portraits

Can it be done?  Yes, of course - with some compromises, one of which is that the photographer gets limited to where he or she can bring the couple and take the time to produce some really outstanding bridal portraits.

Of the three groupings above, which is most important to you?

That is why I like to advise a bride to carve out some time away from that stressful moment.  I usually advise her that during the reception, I might ask her and the groom to step away from the festivities for some quick pictures.  Or, as with the lovely Katie and Nathan above, the reception finished up in time to head over to the Walnut Street bridge in Chattanooga and catch the sunset.

Right after the ceremony, a bride gets overwhelmed.  Nearly every guest wants to come up to her and the groom to give their congratulations and tell her how beeautiful she looks.  In the meantime, someone has to be wrangling the family members and bridal party together for pictures.  The clock is ticking and the pressure is on.

Why do that to yourself?

When planning your wedding photography, really think about what YOU want.  For example, if you think all you want to see from the day is one big group picture of your combined families, that is perfectly fine - if Aunt Lulu wants a picture of just her and the couple, she can get that taken by another relative at the reception.  Likewise, you may not want every combination of pictures with your bridal party.

Then plan with your photographer when the bridal portraits can be done.  Maybe it is right after the reception.  Maybe you tell your guests to go home, relax, change into dancing clothes, and come back for the reception in several hours.  Maybe you even have your bridal portraits done two weeks after your wedding.

It is your day, for just the two of you.  Take the time to make sure the best pictures focus on you..