Wedding Photography: When Should Formal Pictures Be Taken?

Q.  When should formal pictures be taken?

A.  This is something that you need to discuss with your church or ceremony location coordinator and your photographer.  In the past, pictures were taken after the ceremony, before the reception.  However, in recent years couples are increasingly choosing to take all of the pictures before the ceremony, assuming that the church will allow you to do so.  

Taking the pictures early has several advantages:  if anyone in the wedding party is late, they will be late for pictures, not the ceremony; you will be fresher and your dress and flowers will look nicer; it helps you to relax before the ceremony.

Another option is to take the separate photos of the bride and groom before the ceremony, then take the pictures of the couple together, the entire wedding party and families after the ceremony.  

If you choose to do pictures after the ceremony, be sure that your guests have food and beverage at the reception location while they wait for you to arrive.  If they don't, you run the risk of guests leaving early.

Glenna Tooman Wedding expert


Links and Resources


Capture the moments on disposable cameras 
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I Don't Want Picture-Taking to Take Over the Wedding...
New Wedding Photography
Photography Checklist 
Photography Information
Photo Tips for Guests
Questions to ask your photographer
Reality Checking the Wedding Day
The ABCs of DVD
he worth of your photographer 
Should I be a paying for my albums months before the wedding?
Wedding Photographs What to do with the guests during picture taking When should formal pictures be taken?
Why choose a photographer..
re having our photographs done between the ceremony and the reception. What do we have our guests do in the meantime?

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What is the first question I should ask the photographer?
Shouldn't I be asking "What do I get and how much does it cost?"
how much does wedding photography cost?
How much time will the photographer spend at my wedding?

What are proofs?
Do I get to keep the proofs?
Who chooses the pictures that go in the album?
Do color photographs last as long as black and white?
What technical details in sample photographs should I watch out for?
What else should I look out for when I am looking at a photographer's samples?
Should we do the formals before or after the ceremony?
What can I do to keep the photographer from running my wedding day?
Suppose I want more copies in two years?
Shouldn't my photographer have a back-up in case he/she is sick on my wedding day?
What about having two photographers?
Some photographers ask that no one else take pictures during the formal photography. Is that reasonable?
I want to make copies of my photos. Does my photographer really own the copyright of his/her pictures? Do I still have to pay the photographer if I make the copies myself at a copy shop?

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