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Pictures before ceremony??

Hi everyone,

This is my first post here as my FH and I are just getting started with wedding planning! 

My FH is Armenian, so we will be having our wedding in an Armenian Church. It has been such a frustration as we are very limited with reception options within a reasonable distance to an Armenian Church. However, we toured a country club on Sat and both fell in love, and it's 20 mins from a church! We put a tentative hold on Sept 15, 2018 and have a week to officially decide. 

Now my question is about pictures. We had originally decided to be very traditional and not sleep together the night before (we live together) and not see each other until the ceremony. Now, however, we are considering if that might not work due to wedding pictures. We plan to spend the night before and night of the wedding at the country club hotel with our immediate families. Our reception (beginning with cocktail hour) won't start until 6 or 6:30 PM, and sunset is at about 6:50. We have use of beautiful gardens and the golf course for pictures, so we can get some pretty amazing pictures. We are concerned we will only have about 30 minutes to get pictures in before it gets dark. My FH suggested we can have an hour or 2 between ceremony and reception for pictures, but I think that's incredibly rude. Our wedding is only about 60-70 people and mostly his big Armenian family (lol), but I still think it's rude to just let guests fend for themselves for that long. 

So now we are stuck with the option of breaking tradition and doing pictures earlier in the day before the ceremony, having a 1- 2 hour break between ceremony and reception, or risking having only 30-45 mins for pictures, and I'm not sure what the best option is. My mom and sister did point out that doing pictures before the ceremony means my hair and makeup will be at its best, which is a good point, but there's still that part of me that wants the traditional walking down the aisle first look. 

Thoughts? 
knottie25094c24f885ab68

Re: Pictures before ceremony??

  • Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

    It has really become quite common for couples to take pictures prior to the ceremony; sometimes the pictures with the wedding party and the families are done beforehand as well. I didn't do this at my own wedding; I didn't think it was necessary or practical in terms of logistics, and I will admit that I wanted my walk down the aisle to be the first time my husband and I saw each other that day - a little old fashioned, sure, but I am glad we did it that way. That being said, I think a lot of couples will tell you that the walk down the aisle moment is still really special, even if it's not the first time the bride and groom see each other that day. I wouldn't let that one thing stop you from doing pictures ahead of the ceremony. 

    What's probably more to the point is your concern about a gap between the ceremony and reception; you are 100% correct that it is rude. It would be much better to have your ceremony as close to the reception time as possible, and do at least some pictures beforehand. Maybe you could do just a "first look" with the two of you prior to the ceremony, then do family and wedding party photos after the ceremony. I think you would still have enough time before it got dark; I can tell you that at my wedding, the pictures did not take nearly as much time as I expected. Doing something that feels a little unconventional is definitely better than creating an awkward time gap for your guests.
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    charlotte989875
  • Hi everyone,

    This is my first post here as my FH and I are just getting started with wedding planning! 

    My FH is Armenian, so we will be having our wedding in an Armenian Church. It has been such a frustration as we are very limited with reception options within a reasonable distance to an Armenian Church. However, we toured a country club on Sat and both fell in love, and it's 20 mins from a church! We put a tentative hold on Sept 15, 2018 and have a week to officially decide. 

    Now my question is about pictures. We had originally decided to be very traditional and not sleep together the night before (we live together) and not see each other until the ceremony. Now, however, we are considering if that might not work due to wedding pictures. We plan to spend the night before and night of the wedding at the country club hotel with our immediate families. Our reception (beginning with cocktail hour) won't start until 6 or 6:30 PM, and sunset is at about 6:50. We have use of beautiful gardens and the golf course for pictures, so we can get some pretty amazing pictures. We are concerned we will only have about 30 minutes to get pictures in before it gets dark. My FH suggested we can have an hour or 2 between ceremony and reception for pictures, but I think that's incredibly rude. Our wedding is only about 60-70 people and mostly his big Armenian family (lol), but I still think it's rude to just let guests fend for themselves for that long. 

    So now we are stuck with the option of breaking tradition and doing pictures earlier in the day before the ceremony, having a 1- 2 hour break between ceremony and reception, or risking having only 30-45 mins for pictures, and I'm not sure what the best option is. My mom and sister did point out that doing pictures before the ceremony means my hair and makeup will be at its best, which is a good point, but there's still that part of me that wants the traditional walking down the aisle first look. 

    Thoughts? 
    DH and I did a first look, it was wonderful to get to spend some actual time taking pictures and not feeling rushed. Plus we got through our family picture quickly enough that we were able to join in on cocktail hour. You are correct, gaps are rude.
    charlotte989875
  • kaos16kaos16
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    member

    We did a first look, and it was great. . . . we were able to do almost all of our photos before the ceremony.  I think we missed about 15 minutes of cocktail hour taking a few last minute shots. 

    If you are dead-set on not seeing your fiancé before you walk down the aisle have you thought of at least doing all the photos you can that don't include you together beforehand?  family shots?  You and your bridesmaids, him and his groomsmen, and solo shots.  That way you can at least get a bunch out of the way.

    charlotte989875
  • We also did a first look and loved it. We wanted to get everything done before hand so we could visit with people during cocktail hour. I didn't feel that it was any less special, and it was nice to have a few minutes to ourselves before everything started. I think you should decide whether not seeing each other is important to you; if it is, that's great, but if not that's fine too. 

    The gap is definitely rude and I agree with PPs maybe you can get some of the shots done before hand, and save ones where you're together for after the ceremony. One thing to keep in mind, if you are running behind at all that day it will cut in to the outdoor picture time. 
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I agree with @kaos16. You do pictures of you and your parents,siblings and your bridal party before the ceremony as can your groom. Do the pictures of the two of you together afterwards - it really shouldn't take that long if you are planning on having them all done at the reception site and/or church. 
  • We have the same wedding date! Wooo!

    There's no problem with having an hour between ceremony and reception as long as it's a hosted cocktail hour with food and drink. Like PP said you can do some family shots and things ahead and just get the two of you done in the cocktail hour. 
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    We didn't do a first look, because our ceremony was at 2, and I didn't want to have to be ready by 11. We still did the majority of our photos before the ceremony; all the ones without both of us in them. Then after the ceremony, we did another round of everything that needed us both in about 45 minutes. we missed the cocktail hour, but our guests didn't have to put up with a gap. Those are so rude!
  • We did all of our photos before the ceremony and I wouldn't have changed anything about it. We spent about 45 minutes total (we were efficient and didn't have bridal party members) and that was the perfect amount of time.

    You can do all the photos that don't require both of you to be present and then just do the rest after the ceremony during cocktail hour. As long as your hour is fully hosted, and it doesn't go beyond the hour, it isn't rude.


  • You are right - it IS rude to have an unhosted gap. However, what you could do is have a HOSTED gap - aka "cocktail hour". Cocktail hours are around an hour (hence the name), which is plenty of time to take photos. 

    But first thing's first.....call the church. Often, churches have time slots when they perform weddings - like 2pm and 7pm. If they'll let you have your wedding whenever you want, awesome! But if not, and you don't want want a rude gap, then you'll need to adjust your cocktail hour and reception time anyway....and sunset may not be an issue.
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  • We did a first look and then did all of our pictures before the ceremony and I looooved it. My H was a little unsure at first (he wanted the walking down the aisle pic too), but those are some of our favorite pictures. It was really nice to have a few minutes just to ourselves before everything got busy. Our ceremony started kind of late (6:30), and we didn't have a cocktail hour so everyone went right over to dinner, so there wasn't an option for a cocktail hour or pics after the ceremony.

    If you have a hosted gap, that's totally fine, if you're set on not doing pictures before the ceremony. The other option would be to do all the pictures except the ones with you two together before the ceremony, then just do the ones with you, the full WP, etc afterwards. I was in a wedding that did pictures like that and it worked pretty well but it was a tiny bit annoying to have two photo sessions (I just hate posing for photos). 
  • Also, if you don't want to see each other beforehand, it would be a good idea to get all your bridal portraits, detail (accessories, flowers, old/blue/borrowed/new, etc.), and bridal party pictures before the ceremony.

    Give your photographer a list so they know which photos you want "pre-ceremony" and which photos you want "post-ceremony". The more you can get out of the way before the ceremony (like your  will allow you more time to get couples and family photos after the ceremony. 
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    charlotte989875
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