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Photo's Before the Ceremony?

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Originally Posted by nadennec View Post
This is my problem also. My ceremony is scheduled for 4pm in November, and the sun sets at 5:07. Does that mean that the sun is completely down by 5, or it starts to set at 5? I want to have the sunset ceremony, but also want to make sure I get good pics. Not sure if I should move up the ceremony or not.
If your ceremony is at 4pm, I'd definitely do pictures before the ceremony. The sun sets pretty quickly which leaves very little time for pictures after the ceremony. You don't want to be rushed and nervous when taking pictures because it will all show on your face!

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I wanted to throw in my 2¢ on the subject of seeing each other beforehand from a photographers perspective. First, let me say that for many years I always leaned towards the more traditional approach where the bride and groom first see each other as she walks down the aisle. ( I did this at my own wedding.)


However, in recent years, I have really changed my whole philosophy on this for selfish reasons! Being selfish in this case is a good thing for my couples because it means I want more time to get the pictures I'm known for capturing on wedding day. The really cool creative pictures!


I tell my couples that the choice is entirely up to them, but if they choose to see each other beforehand, then we stage a private "reveal or first look" area to document them seeing one another for the first time. It is always a sweet experience and often times it's more emotional because there aren't 200 people staring at them! I've yet to see a groom who didn't love seeing his beautiful bride beforehand privately and vice versa. And trust me when I say that it's just as emotional when you see each other again in front of your guests. You get to feel those emotions twice in the same day. And it just add's another chapter to the wedding album that tells the story of the day.


After the Reveal, we usually go right into photographing the families and bridal party pictures. All this before the ceremony. What this does is allow us a couple extra hours on wedding day to capture beautiful photos that we otherwise would be very pressed for time to get.


After the ceremony, we take the bride and groom out alone for 20-30 minutes and finish with the "money shots". Instead of trying to rush through both sides of the family portraits, bridal party pics and pictures of bride and groom alone all during the cocktail hour, we encourage our couples to think "untraditionally" and enjoy the last half of their cocktail hour mingling with their guests.


It all comes down to deciding what your priorities are on your wedding day. And every couple is different. But if photography is a priority, then you just can't go wrong with seeing one another before the ceremony.

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I'm glad I took the time to read this thread.  It's definitely food for thought.  I don't want to see my FI before, but I see why it would be good to have the pics done earlier.  I like that the "reveal" or first look is an option.  Hmmmm....gotta talk to the FI about this one!  love.gif

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Oh sh*t I  just realized my ceromomy is at 5pm and sunset is at 5:47 on that day!  I know I want the moment that we see each other to be walking down the eisle and we can take whatever pictures we can before the sun is gone.  Maybe my WC will let us bump it up by 30 min to 4:30! 

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Ohhh that's something good to think about.  Ours was booked for 7 and we got it moved to 6 but with sunset at 6:30 that's not a lot of time....but I really wanted the first time to see each other to be the walk down the aisle.  But the private reveal and pictures first do sound nice.

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Originally Posted by jerseykitten View Post


At first I was totally against seeing my FI before walking down the aisle - but my photographer set up a private "first look" moment that they captured on film, and then we took a bunch of pictures before the ceremony, which was also nice so we had some time to ourselves before having to go into "wedding mode". After our 4pm ceremony and cocktail hour, we took some other sunset pictures, but definitely wouldn't have had time to take a lot of formals between the cocktail hour and reception if we hadn't had the earlier pictures taken first.


Feel free to look through my pictures and you can see our "first look".




Also, Carolina24 is right, the sun set very quickly - it was definitely down in less than 30 minutes.



I am having a 4PM ceremony too, I wanted 5 but apparently now that we changed it to February (from April), that is the latest they will make it. I am going to have to get over my extreme opposition to seeing him beforehand because I know there are ways to make that moment special even if it isn't walking down the aisle. I've talked to a ton of girls who said the same thing- you get the tears out and are much more relaxed coming down the aisle. I'm starting to warm to it but I have no real choice in the matter! lol

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