Ask the Expert: We’re Not Doing a First Look. What’s the Best Way to Fit Our Photos In?

PW-wedding photog


Question: Because my fiancé and I aren’t doing a first look, we won’t be shooting any of our portraits before the ceremony. We’d still like to make it to some of our cocktail hour, though, so what’s the best plan for finishing up the photos we don’t get to between the ceremony and cocktail hour at some point later in the night?

Answer: There are a ton of photos that will need to be taken on your wedding day, and if you’re not doing a first look—and therefore don’t have that chunk of time before the ceremony to take posed photos—it can be a challenge to fit them all in without missing your entire party. The key: making the most of the free time that you do have.

“I take all of the images of the bride, bridesmaids and bride’s family prior to the ceremony—the ones I know I don’t need the groom to be in—which then frees up time during cocktail hour (my second shooter will do the same with the groom),” says local photographer Maria Mack. “Then, during cocktails, my top priority is to get to the couple first, and briefly include bridal party and family shots if time allows.”

Later on in the night, once the formalities are over, Mack will usually take the bride and groom outside and either use existing outdoor light or have her assistant point a light at the couple so she can capture a few extra shots.

(As a side note: If photography is really important to you and you are looking to take a good amount of portraits, Mack suggests you consider doing a first look so as to take advantage of as much natural sunlight as possible.)

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