Wedding Etiquette Forum

Is it okay to leave reception for 25 minutes to take sunset photos?

We will only be gone for cocktail hour for a half an hour while taking family photos at 5:00, at 6:30 the sun starts to set and we are going out to the beach to take sunset photos. Is this okay?

I figured we would be away from our guests for an hour either way, it's just split up.

Our venue is on the beach so we will just leave and walk over to the beach for 25 minutes.

Just an idea of what I am thinking...
Ceremony would start at 4:30 and end at 5
Cocktail hour and family pictures 5-5:30
Reception starts at 5:30-10
Around 6:30 we would go to beach to take more photos.

Small wedding with around 50 guests.

Re: Is it okay to leave reception for 25 minutes to take sunset photos?

  • I already gave you my thoughts on this in your other thread, but here they are again, a bit reworded to fit your wording in this thread...

    Small wedding with around 50 guests.
    You can't say for sure that your guests, regardless of the head count, would care or not, so why risk it? I think it's super rude to leave a party you are throwing or where people want to spend time with you, since you're the reason they are there in the first place.

    It's like at any other party... birthday party or even a family bbq. You might take pictures beforehand, but to leave during the party isn't really nice to your guests.

    The cocktail hour is before the reception, during a time JUST after you got married. Guests expect you to take a moment and deal with other issues, like paying the officiant, spending time with your new husband, and taking pictures. This is why you have a cocktail hour, so guests are properly hosted while you deal with these things so that they can be done before the reception.

    How about getting back into your clothes for pictures the next day, instead?
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    If your reception starts with a cocktail hour while you go take pictures somewhere, (not for longer than an hour), that would pass etiquette muster, but to abandon your guests is not okay-regardless of how many guests there are.
  • Why not ask your photographer about pricing for a bride and groom portrait session after your honeymoon? You can do sunset photos in your dress and his suit/tux then. Plus you get to wearbyour dress again! Trust me, you won't WANT to leave your reception. It's such a whirlwind already without missing part of it.
  • I'd say it depends on the format of your meal. My husband got sick during the cocktail hour (from the heat, not drinking, lol) so we weren't able to get any pictures of the two of us. Our reception was a buffet for about 100, so by the time we finished eating, most people were just starting. We ducked out for a few minutes, took the pictures, and came back in. Most people didn't notice, and those who did didn't seem bothered. We were back inside by the time everyone finished eating.

    That said, I don't know if I'd plan on that format in the first place since it seemed a little rushed. Also, if you had asked me to leave for pictures once I had actually started dancing, I probably would have said to just skip them - you're going to be having too much fun to want to go pose for (even more) pictures!

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  • It will be really noticeable if you disappear for that long with that few guests. I would expect most of them to figure the wedding is over and go home.
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  • Can you just push back the ceremony by an hour? Start at 5:30, it's over by 6, family pictures 6 - 6:30 and then take a few sunset photos. Your cocktail hour would go from 6 - 7 and then there's no problems with having to leave your reception. If you don't want an hour long cocktail hour, do the family pictures before the ceremony.

    IMO, if you were slipping out for 10 - 15 minutes, I'd probably just think you were going to the restroom or something. 25 minutes is a bit on the long side.




  • cnf2013cnf2013 member
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    My FI and I are planning to do this, as our photographer suggested it due to our limited time for photography. However, we're only going to be about 10 minutes at the most and we're stepping two feet outside our reception hall since we're getting married on the water. I wouldn't do it if it required leaving the venue or being gone more than 10, maybe 15, minutes at the most. And I agree with above, the smaller the guest list the more noticeable your disappearance will be. 
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  • Can you just push back the ceremony by an hour? Start at 5:30, it's over by 6, family pictures 6 - 6:30 and then take a few sunset photos. Your cocktail hour would go from 6 - 7 and then there's no problems with having to leave your reception. If you don't want an hour long cocktail hour, do the family pictures before the ceremony.

    IMO, if you were slipping out for 10 - 15 minutes, I'd probably just think you were going to the restroom or something. 25 minutes is a bit on the long side.
    Ditto all the PPs that think it would be too noticeable with that small of a guest list. And ditto this idea to just push your wedding back so your sunset pictures coincide with your cocktail hour.  Our timeline is almost identical to this, both because we didn't want to disappear on our guests, and we don't want to miss a second more of our cocktail hour/reception than is absolutely necessary!
  • No, it isn't okay. It tells your guests that a photo shoot is more important than spending time at the reception with them.
  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
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    If the venue is right on the beach and it's only a matter of stepping outside (in view of the reception), then it wouldn't be such a huge issue. There will probably be other people out there smoking and mingling. It would be kind of weird if it's during dinner, though, and you'll probably be "ignoring" your guests if it's after dinner. That's when everyone wants to talk to you and congratulate you.

    I would say to go ahead, as long as it's right outside, and take no more than a few photos. 25-30 minutes is too long, but you can get several good photos in 5-10 minutes with the right photographer.

    If you'll be out of sight of the reception, or so far away that people would have to walk for a bit to get to you (like, down the beach), then forget it.

  • I personally hate it when the bride & groom [or, worse, the entire wedding party] leaves the guests for any period of time.  I went to several weddings last summer where the guests waited 2 hours for the wedding party to show up at the reception.  Meanwhile, they were on a party bus hitting the bars and posting pictures of their adventure to Facebook.

    I understand cocktail hours were designed to give guests something to do while pictures are being taken.  But as a guest, there's a big difference between an hour and any more than that.

    As I understand the OP, you're thinking of leaving the reception itself for pictures.  I like that even less.  The reception is your thank you to your guests for their attendance.  Would you throw a dinner part, then leave during the meal to do something else?

    We had our reception at the Yacht Club on the lake where we live in the summer, so the beach was right there. We did take some pictures at sunset on the beach, but just a few quick ones as a couple and everyone was right there with us.  We invited our guests to do the same and had several big group and fun pictures done, too.  Then I sent the pictures to the guests who were in them.
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  • It's fine, in the Jewish faith it's traditional for the b&g to leave the guests and be alone for about 30 minutes after the ceremony (originally to consumate the marriage? who knows, definitely for a drink and a snack and to put your feel up together as husband and wife).

     

     

  • It's fine, in the Jewish faith it's traditional for the b&g to leave the guests and be alone for about 30 minutes after the ceremony (originally to consumate the marriage? who knows, definitely for a drink and a snack and to put your feel up together as husband and wife).

     

     

    Nono. This is what the cocktail hour is for. It's not tradition in ANY religion to leave in the middle of the reception to take pictures.

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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    Actually, it is traditional in the Jewish religion for the couple to go off by themselves for a little while right after the ceremony.  In fact, in really Orthodox Jewish communities, the marriage may have been arranged and the couple are still strangers to each other, so this is their first chance to really get acquainted.

    Now if one doesn't come from that background, and it sounds like the OP does not, it would really be rude, but in the context of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish wedding it's standard procedure.
  • bakeriebakerie member
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    Yeah, but there's a difference between "right after the ceremony" and in the middle of the reception.




  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
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    She's talking about during the reception, not right after the ceremony. A lot of couples take time after the ceremony to do formal pictures and whatnot; that's why guests are treated (hopefully) to a cocktail hour. Everyone understands the bride and groom are taking pictures and look forward to their arrival so the dinner and dancing can start. Leaving during the reception itself is inappropriate.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    I don't disagree that it's rude to leave during the reception itself for a prolonged photo shoot (or really, any photo shoot).  That has to happen before the reception starts.
  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
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    Okay, but you were saying it's typical in Judaism to leave for 30 minutes after the ceremony, and we were just trying to make it clear they weren't talking about after the ceremony. It's this part I was addressing:

    "Now if one doesn't come from that background, and it sounds like the OP does not, it would really be rude, but in the context of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish wedding it's standard procedure."

    I was explaining that they meant during the reception itself, which didn't seem clear to you.

  • KDM323KDM323 member
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    I'd shift your ceremony by 30 minutes to one hour and then your cocktail hour will be during sunset and you don't even have to face this issue.


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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    Yes, wrigleyville, actually it was very clear to me.  I did not need to have it pointed out.
  • Jen4948 said:

    Actually, it is traditional in the Jewish religion for the couple to go off by themselves for a little while right after the ceremony.  In fact, in really Orthodox Jewish communities, the marriage may have been arranged and the couple are still strangers to each other, so this is their first chance to really get acquainted.

    Now if one doesn't come from that background, and it sounds like the OP does not, it would really be rude, but in the context of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish wedding it's standard procedure.

    OP is talking about leaving during the reception.

    Yes, cocktail hour, too. That's standard. But not during the reception for a half an hour... that's not standard.

    Are we all back on the same page now?.

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  • cnf2013 said:
    My FI and I are planning to do this, as our photographer suggested it due to our limited time for photography. However, we're only going to be about 10 minutes at the most and we're stepping two feet outside our reception hall since we're getting married on the water. I wouldn't do it if it required leaving the venue or being gone more than 10, maybe 15, minutes at the most. And I agree with above, the smaller the guest list the more noticeable your disappearance will be. 
    We did this as well.  After dinner, we stepped outside of our reception venue and took sunset photos, for probably 10 minutes.  I don't think any of our guests had a problem with this.  However, in your situation, you would be actually leaving the venue and would be gone for a much longer period of time, so I would skip it or rearrange your plans, as PPs have suggested.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    To offend you, Stage.

    The point of my post was that I was responding to someone else's post about Jewish wedding procedure.  But I made a point of mentioning that it wasn't applicable to the OP's situation.
  • LAM524LAM524 member
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    I am having this same dilemma...only sunset is at 8:12 pm. Ive played around with the timeline but not having much satisfaction. If I change the ceremony by 30 mins. (7:00)  this makes for a late dinner. I was told by wedding coordinator dinner would be served around 9:30. if I make this change.  Most feel that is way too late to serve dinner. So Im stuck!

    Current timeline:

    My ceremony is 6:30-7pm
    Cocktail: 7-8pm*
    Dinner served 8:30-9:00

    Sunset 8:12 pm*

    My only option seems to be to sneak out for about 15 minutes...our venue has a gorgeous pier on the property. I really dont want to leave the reception but I also want those sunset photos! (I have a feeling I may end up not doing those sunset photos)

    Good luck with your decision.

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  • LAM2228 said:
    I am having this same dilemma...only sunset is at 8:12 pm. Ive played around with the timeline but not having much satisfaction. If I change the ceremony by 30 mins. (7:00)  this makes for a late dinner. I was told by wedding coordinator dinner would be served around 9:30. if I make this change.  Most feel that is way too late to serve dinner. So Im stuck!

    Current timeline:

    My ceremony is 6:30-7pm
    Cocktail: 7-8pm*
    Dinner served 8:30-9:00

    Sunset 8:12 pm*

    My only option seems to be to sneak out for about 15 minutes...our venue has a gorgeous pier on the property. I really dont want to leave the reception but I also want those sunset photos! (I have a feeling I may end up not doing those sunset photos)

    Good luck with your decision.
    if sunset is AT 8:12, the sun will start going down around 30 minutes before then. If your last shots are around 7:45, you'll still have some sun-setting photos... they just won't be when the sun is at its lowest point.  Go outside and watch the horizon about an hour before sunset and just sit there. You'll see that 7:30 will still likely give you some amazing shots.
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  • We snuck out for maybe 10-15 min. tops to take a few sunset snapshots outside the venue on the grass. We had a fairly large wedding and it was right in the middle of the dancing. No one missed us, or at the very least, no one asked us where we went. Most weddings I have gone to, the B&G might slip out to get some fresh air or take a few pics for about 10-20 min. and I am not offended or find it weird. Now if it's longer than that, then perhaps. But I mean, often times it takes that long for the bride to make a bathroom trip what with her dress and whatever.

    I think if you're just sneaking out in front of or behind the venue and it's no more than 15 min. while the party is in full-swing, it's OK. I would not leave the venue or make it any longer than that. And like others have said, the smaller the wedding, the more noticeable an absence will be.


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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    I know that, Stage.  Give up trying to admonish me already.
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  • LAM524LAM524 member
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    Oh my goodness!!!!! I KEEP forgetting this!!!!!!! Whats wrong with me!!!!!!! I had posted this "dilemma" after my photographer suggested a change in timeline and someone pointed out that the sun is down at 8:12!!!!  Geez!!! Im in a dither for nothing!!!! *bang head on table* Thanks cmgilpin!!!!! hmmm..I wonder why the photog isnt thinking like this!

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