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First Look and Bridal Party photos before ceremony time saver??

I've always wanted to do First Look photos, I love all the emotion that is captured in the pictures, the opportunity to ease nerves, ability to go to different locations, fresh hair and makeup, and no big gap between ceremony and reception. But I've been having a hard time convincing FH that doing all of the photos early will help with the overall flow and timeliness of the day. Has anyone done First Look and Bridal Party photos before the ceremony? Did it save time?

Here is the breakdown of how I envision this timeline:
FL & BP before ceremony (at various locations)
Family Photos after ceremony (at ceremony site)
Mingle with guests for some of cocktail hr.
Receiving Line into reception for anyone we missed @ cocktail hr.


Re: First Look and Bridal Party photos before ceremony time saver??

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I don't really think that doing all photos before hand is necessarily a time saver (you have to start getting ready earlier and it may cause you to have to book your photographer for a longer time if you want him/her to stay throughout the entire reception), rather it allows you and your FI and wedding party to attend cocktail hour, which you would have missed if you didn't do pictures before.

    Does your FI not want to do the pictures because he doesn't want to see you prior to the ceremony?  If so, you should really take his feelings on this into consideration and don't push him into something that he really doesn't want.

    But if you do decide to do all pictures before hand then make sure you bring along food and drinks so that your wedding party and you can eat so you aren't starving by the time cocktail hour rolls around.

  • our wedding photographer has a great blog post on this topic, with pros and cons for both!

  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Also, keep in mind what time your ceremony is.  Ours isn't until 6pm so we're doing first look photos and our BP and most of the family photos before, probably starting around 3.  However, if your ceremony is at 3, that bumps everything up earlier for you.  Is getting ready at 8am worth it?  Only you can decide that.
  • I did groomsmen, first look, whole wedding party, just bridesmaids, then both families all before the ceremony and I am SO happy that I did. We had food and drinks for everyone but there was no rushing to get to the cocktail hour. I highly recommend it.

  • FI and I are doing something similar to @kimmiandkoley. Our ceremony is a sunset ceremony so we will be having first look and then pics with our bridal party and parents. Our wedding is a semi-destination type at approx 1 1/2 hrs away, so I will be heading down to the venue the night before after our rehearsal dinner with my FMIL and bridesmaids. The guys want to come down the morning of since we will need longer to get hair/makeup etc and the guys really only need to shower and throw on their suits.
    Another reason that swayed FI in favor of first look was that our venue has a pretty tight timeline once the ceremony ends, and we want to spend as much time partying with our loved ones as we can. Our photographer came recommended by the venue and has done plenty of weddings there, which gives us piece of mind that things will run smoothly (fingers crossed). Hope this helps :)
  • We did a FL and it was great for us; time saver and we got to go to most of cocktail hour (which was really important to us) and the pictures are beautiful. We had a late afternoon ceremony (4:30) our photographers met us around 2 (we had two, one met the guys one with us ladies) to do pictures of my dress, me getting into it, the guys hanging out, then H and I did a first look with just the two of us. All the bridal party did pictures at another location then went to the church (only 10 minutes from hotel).

    After the ceremony we did really quick family pictures in the church while everyone was heading back to the hotel for the reception. Worked out really great for us. Neither of us cared that he not see me before hand and we were able to see each other and hang out with just our closest friends during pictures.
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