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Reception Ideas

Taking too long for pictures after ceremony??

My FI and I plan on taking our bridal party and family photos right after the ceremony as the reception is starting. The ceremony and reception are at the same place, a church. We were thinking an hour (max) for photos before entering the ceremony. I am thinking we will have maybe fifty at the reception. The reception will be a simple cake and punch kind of thing. Finger foods and drinks will be available, and the cake will be cut upon our arrival.

Would an hour be too long for guests to walk across to the building and mingle before we arrive? We want to make sure to have plenty of time for photos (we will be doing a first look, so couple-only shots will not be needed at that time), but we don't want to leave the guests waiting too long. I understand that adults are very capable of entertaining themselves when food and drink is provided. But eventually people will begin to wonder how long until we make our entrance.

Re: Taking too long for pictures after ceremony??

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    My FI and I plan on taking our bridal party and family photos right after the ceremony as the reception is starting. The ceremony and reception are at the same place, a church. We were thinking an hour (max) for photos before entering the ceremony. I am thinking we will have maybe fifty at the reception. The reception will be a simple cake and punch kind of thing. Finger foods and drinks will be available, and the cake will be cut upon our arrival. Would an hour be too long for guests to walk across to the building and mingle before we arrive? We want to make sure to have plenty of time for photos (we will be doing a first look, so couple-only shots will not be needed at that time), but we don't want to leave the guests waiting too long. I understand that adults are very capable of entertaining themselves when food and drink is provided. But eventually people will begin to wonder how long until we make our entrance.
    An hour for photos is typical.  Most people have a cocktail hour during this time.  As long as you provide your guests with refreshments, a place to sit, and maybe some background music, they'll be fine for an hour.  You just don't want to leave them longer for an hour.

    My only exception would be if this is a shorter reception (e.g. cake & punch), I would leave the photos to after the reception.  You don't want to have people wait for an hour when they'll only be at the reception for another hour or so.  
  • That is where my dilemma lands. We would like to be able to do our "exit" from the reception, and actually leave, not go back out wherever for photos. We want everyone's hair and makeup to be as fresh as possible., as well. We live in a small town, so travel time to location shooting is quite slim. I figure that just having the wedding party shots in that time slot will cut it down a little. That would leave family shots to during the reception. So whomever wants to take a photo with us will have the time during the reception to request so. I would think that that would cut the in-between time by about fifteen minutes. A max of forty-five minutes for the photo session. Still too long for an hour and a half or so reception?
  • That is where my dilemma lands. We would like to be able to do our "exit" from the reception, and actually leave, not go back out wherever for photos. We want everyone's hair and makeup to be as fresh as possible., as well. We live in a small town, so travel time to location shooting is quite slim. I figure that just having the wedding party shots in that time slot will cut it down a little. That would leave family shots to during the reception. So whomever wants to take a photo with us will have the time during the reception to request so. I would think that that would cut the in-between time by about fifteen minutes. A max of forty-five minutes for the photo session. Still too long for an hour and a half or so reception?
    Hint: "exit" reception - circle around in car for 15ish minutes so everyone leaves, then go do photos. OR - do a first look and get all your photos done before the ceremony. 

    Hair and makeup can easily be refreshed - honestly, if you've done it right, the most touching up needed will be a little powder on your nose and some lip gloss. 

    Am I reading that right, that you'll leave during the reception to take pictures with someone who requests it? You can't do that - you're supposed to be receiving your guests during the reception. Hard to do if you aren't even there. 
     
    Honestly, I'd be really annoyed that you made me wait 45 minutes to an hour for a cake and punch reception - those are usually really short. You are at least going to have additional refreshments during this hour, yes?
    image
  • edited June 2013
    No, we will not be leaving the reception to take photos. My intended meaning behind that statement was more of a casual, "Oh, hey, Aunt Jane! A picture? Of course!" *snap*
    Our decision about the "exit" is something we won't be changing. Once we leave, we want to leave. Not go through multiple stages of goodbyes.
    Yes, we are doing a first look, as I previously stated. However, that will be a "just us" moment. Not a photo op with the entire party. We planned on taking the bride and bridesmaids photos and the groom and groomsmen photos separately before the ceremony and first look. So that would only leave the all-together wedding party shots to take during that in-between time of the ceremony and reception.
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    My FI and I plan on taking our bridal party and family photos right after the ceremony as the reception is starting. The ceremony and reception are at the same place, a church. We were thinking an hour (max) for photos before entering the ceremony. I am thinking we will have maybe fifty at the reception. The reception will be a simple cake and punch kind of thing. Finger foods and drinks will be available, and the cake will be cut upon our arrival. Would an hour be too long for guests to walk across to the building and mingle before we arrive? We want to make sure to have plenty of time for photos (we will be doing a first look, so couple-only shots will not be needed at that time), but we don't want to leave the guests waiting too long. I understand that adults are very capable of entertaining themselves when food and drink is provided. But eventually people will begin to wonder how long until we make our entrance.
    With a traditional reception, an hour between ceremony and reception is perfectly fine....it's called the cocktail hour.  But if you are only hosting cake and punch for about an hour reception, I would find it awfully strange to hang around for an equal amount of time for you to show up.   I don't want to wait an hour just for a slice of cake.  I'd probably say my goodbye after the ceremony and leave.

    Therefore, I think it would be best to go from ceremony to reception and take your photos after the reception.  But you seem to stubbornly refuse to consider that option.  So to answer your question.....in your situation, yes, I feel an hour is too long after the ceremony to take photos.
  • If I feel that we have absolutely no other option, then yes, I would take those pictures after the reception. I will not be rude and have my guests wait for too long of a time. I have never been involved in a wedding, so this is ALL a new experience for me.
  • Thanks! You give me hope!
  • We did a first look AND the family photos before the ceremony. No one minded being there earlier. Our venue was an historic village, we did our first look a bit of a ways off in the distance from where the family members parked, after the first look, they joined us for family photos, went to the chapel, then we took about an hour of posed pictures throughout the village of just us 2. I think it was 30 - 40 minutes tops.

    When the ceremony was over and we were the first ones out of the chapel, we and the wedding party waited outside the chapel, greeted the guests as they walked out and then we all went to the reception. We had a longer reception but still wanted to share every minute with the guests.

    Talk to the family and see if this meets with their approval.

  • Why don't you just do all the photos before the ceremony, since you're doing a first look anyway?  Have your wedding party and immediate family come early (talk to your photographer about when this should be in relation to your first look), and then you can take any extended family photos quickly during the reception.  

  • You can't keep guests waiting for you for an hour at a simple cake and punch reception. Those typically only last 2 hours max. Since you insist on a dramatic departure, I'd take all the family photos and bridal party photos before the wedding, and then spend 15 minutes after the ceremony getting a couple more shots.
  • if you're doing first look then do all of the BP/Family pics before the ceremony.

     

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