If you’ve ever been in a wedding party, been married yourself or been in the family of a bride or groom, you know what I’m talking about when I say that the formal/posed post-ceremony photos are often PAINFUL. They take forever. People aren’t all there who need to be. People have to get up and in the shot, sit down, get back up, and on and on until what feels like FORever, seriously FORever.
Also – you’re missing cocktail hour! For real, who wants to miss drinks and those mini caprese salads on a skewer. Not ME! Personally, I need more caprese in my life. So how can you streamline the process of post-ceremony photos as much as possible, while still getting what you want out of those shots, pleasing the parents and getting some frame-worthy stuff? Start with our 5 ways to Painless Post-Ceremony Photos!
Photo by Dana Ann Photography
- Give everyone you want in these photos a heads up in advance that you’ll want post-ceremony photos with them. One huge time sucker is the “lost sheep” issue where you have everyone you need but one person! Try to avoid this by (firmly) warning everyone you want in these photos not to wander off after the ceremony. Not for a bathroom break, not to find a friend, not for a super-quick-I-swear smoke, not for ANYTHING.
- Cut your list as much as possible by doing as many combinations as possible earlier in the day or working them in during the reception. This can be tough because the formal post ceremony photos do have a different feel. However, think about the backdrop and formality of these photos. Do you really need a formal posed shot with each and every bridesmaid and groomsman? Or would you rather frame a more candid shot from earlier or later in the day?
- Try to prioritize – leaving the photos you’d be ok doing elsewhere or doing without at the bottom of your list. Set a time frame for yourselves (after consulting with your photographer and ceremony venue to make sure you are within their guidelines as well) and try to stick to it. When you get to your time limit, check where you’re at on your list and be willing to let go of what’s left if they are not urgent.
- Try to strategize the order of your photo list, working from the biggest groups down to the smallest in order to let folks go (to the cocktail hour! for those caprese skewers!) as soon as possible. The couple should be set from the beginning, and then you should build on that in a pyramid-style, adding folks for each photo as needed, and then paring back down for the other side of the family. Need specifics on how to do this? Meet with us and we’ll show you how!
- Just keep smiling! If all else fails, try to remind yourselves that this is likely the one day of your lives when you’ll be in so, so many photos. You’re going to want them to be a beautiful reflection of the day, so keep your chin up (literally!) and smile big for your photographer. Your attitude will rub off on those around you and your photos will turn out better because of it!
Happy wedding (photos)!
Photo by Timothy Whaley Photography
LeanneValdes is owner and president of You Name It Events, a professional Chicago wedding planning and Chicago event planning company.