The biggest question that you will face will be, “Do I take formal portraits before or after our ceremony?” This one decision will determine how your entire wedding day FLOWS. The primary reason that we hear for taking photographs after the ceremony is the long standing tradition of the groom not seeing the bride before the wedding. This tradition came from the era of mail-order brides: they were afraid that if the groom saw her before the wedding, he would not marry her. We hear that it’s often the dream of the bride or groom to experience that special moment walking down the aisle. However, many couples may not remember the experience in detail. There are so many emotions that overcome you in that moment. While distracted, you may easily forget to look up to make eye contact with your groom. The groom also may have a difficult time expressing emotions as his nerves may be getting the best of him.
This tradition is often strong for many families. If this is the desired approach, make sure to allow enough time after the ceremony for your formal portraits. This will determine when you will arrive at the reception. Planning for at least two hours between the end of your ceremony and the start of your reception helps to ensure the wedding photographer does not need to rush; possibly forgetting some important poses in the process. More time also means that everyone is more relaxed. The photographer will have more time to be creative to produce higher quality photos.