Yes, definitely. This can be a great idea, and when we meet with you we’ll help you decide whether it fits well with your wedding.
Whether you have photos before or after the ceremony, we don’t want you to miss out on that moment when you first see each other. We call it a “first look”, and without choreographing the moment, we’ll make sure that it happens somewhere private and that we’re ready to capture it for you.
We’ve spoken to all of the couples we’ve photographed before their ceremony to get their perspective and put together a list of pros and cons for you.
Pros (Reasons you should be photographed together before the ceremony):
- You’ll be able to eat canapes and have a drink with your guests after the ceremony
- Your guests won’t be complaining that you deserted them for four hours of photos in between the ceremony and reception!
- Either way, there’ll be a moment when you turn a corner and see somebody standing there ready to commit the rest of their life to you. I’ll never forget that moment from our own wedding. The only main difference is that your moment will be private, to be shared only between two people (and us, but trust me, you’ll forget the camera pretty quickly). Some couples even prepare private vows to share in that moment, where their words don’t need to be written for a public audience. Some of the most beautiful things we’ve ever photographed have happened in moments exactly like this.
- Lots of couples tell us that they don’t even remember their ceremony because it was such an emotional time. If you’ve seen each other earlier in the day, you’ll have experienced those emotions during the photos and will be able to look up and soak everything in during the ceremony.
Cons (Reasons why you should stick with tradition and not see each other until the start of your ceremony):
- If you or your family are quite traditional, you may decide that you’d like to schedule the day the same way your parents did, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing that.
- If you’re uncomfortable in front of cameras normally, the high that comes with your wedding ceremony and being “just married” might mean that your pictures have more personality and emotion in them than they would earlier in the day when you’re feeling nervous and distracted. A good way to test this out is to have an engagement portrait session before you finalise the wedding-day schedule.
- There’s a chance that you’ll get some dirt on the dress, wind in your hair or tears and kisses on your perfect makeup. We can guide you towards photo locations where this is less of a problem, but you should only have photos before the ceremony if you’re either a) happy to accept some risk to your dress and makeup and able to put it out of your mind and focus on the person you’re marrying, or b) able to have somebody touch up your hair and makeup before the ceremony.
When we meet to discuss your wedding plans, we can put together two versions of the schedule and have a chat about the options to see if we can help.