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Formals Before Ceremony?

Will doing the wedding party photos before the ceremony work for you?

Most of the time, weddings follow a fairly rigid pattern.  Regardless of the kind of ceremony, the size of the wedding or the families involved, the order tends to remain the same:

Preparation -> Ceremony -> Family Photos -> Formals -> Reception

This arrangement typically works great, but is it right for you and your guests?

The first factor is time.  For instance, if you have an hour between the ceremony and the start of the reception, that can leave you under pressure, especially if there is travel involved.  The last thing anyone should feel on their wedding day is rushed.  With such a small gap between ceremony and reception, doing the formal photos first will ease the time crunch.

Keep in mind that doing the formals elsewhere means that you can choose a location that might not otherwise fit into your schedule.  The last thing you want is to have your guests milling about while you’re on the road, or worse yet, stuck in traffic.  With the formals out of the way, that won’t be a concern.  In the case of a backyard wedding, the variety of backdrops could be hindered by the size of the grounds, the guests or reception set-up.  In that situation, going to a park for your wedding party pictures offers up a nice variety of locations.

An experienced photographer will usually know the different areas that can be used for formals that won’t eat up too much time.

So is doing the formal pictures first right for your wedding?  It depends on timing and travel needs.

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