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Taking photos before wedding ceremony: Pros & Cons

This is a very talked about topic when it comes to making wedding decisions, whether to take the wedding photos before or after the Ceremony. Many couples believe important to have the surprise to meet walking down the hall, But that can sometimes mean having to sacrifice other aspects, like the cocktail hour!. So below we mention some pros and cons about this topic (based on our experience) so you can make the best decision!
  • You will have more time to enjoy with your family and friends during the cocktail hour.
  • You can make your ceremony later that if you had to take the photos after the ceremony, meaning: Better Weather and more time to get ready!
  • If your family is large, you will not have to go looking for people everywhere and you can prevent someone important missing on the photos (Can you think of someone that will run directly to the open bar, right after the ceremony ends? It happens a lot!)
  • You avoid nervousness since you've had a kind of "rehearsal" to see the groom ... (Good Photographers will make sure this moment is also very special!) - Your makeup / hair / dress will be fresher.
  • Children are often restless, even more after having been quiet 20 minutes in a ceremony, so it will be easier to get a good smile from them if the photos are taken before.
  • The moment when the bride and groom see each other for the first time is magical—and it’s awesome to share that with your guests!
  • Everybody has to be ready from VERY long time before.
  • The photos will not have "Ocean in the background" like when your ceremony is on the beach and you take the photos right after.
  • Lighting: Usually all the ceremonies are made around sunset, so the light is much, MUCH better (trust me!)
  • The expression on the face is often very different, you can notice the stress of having to run to get married and the common “pre-wedding Jitters”.

Our recommendation is that you take the photos after the ceremony; everyone is already there, stress will have passed, you'll be more relaxed, everyone will be extremely happy and smiling (except maybe the kids) and ... LIGHT! Your photos will really benefit from this lighting. ... And of course, If you are coming to Cabo to get married, wouldn't it be ideal to have beach background wedding photos?

You could also combine and take a few pictures before and some after ... How about taking all the photos before the ceremony and a session on the beach alone with the couple after ceremony?


Oct 26 2013 10:45 AM
I am also trying to decide on this. I want to do it the old fashioned way where my fiance wont see me until I come down the isle. But at the same time I don't want to hold up my reception, but them again it is my day, so I will have to think on this one a little longer
Nov 04 2013 10:02 AM
Thanks so much! I was also contemplating this.
My FI and i have been debating this as well- but this really helped!
Nov 07 2013 01:52 PM
I will be doing this! We are getting married on the beach, but it's only 40 minutes from home. Some of our family and friends will be staying at a hotel 10 minutes away from the ceremony site (including us). It's pretty much inevitable that we will "bump" into each other before the ceremony so I thought it would be best to have a private session at the hotel with the photographer before we left for the ceremony. Originally we planned on eloping, but after my grandparents passed away earlier this year it turned into a full on wedding. The first look session gives us that intimacy we wanted in the first place. The ceremony is going to be emotional enough not having my grandparents there, I want to be able to focus on my soon to be husband without those first sight jitters.
I'm still up in the air on this, but this article is great at actually breaking out the pros and cons. Thanks for posting!
I really want to wait to do photos after our ceremony.. but what do we do with guests to fill the void of time if we are not planning a cocktail hour?

This is really helpful

I am so torn on this, but I think I may stick with the traditional option of seeing each other at the alter.  I do love first look photos, though

Super helpful!

Thanks for sharing!!

Very helpful...we are debating this as well!

Great article! This helped a lot! I do want to capture that beautiful moment when we first see each other on our wedding day(:

Great tips thank you!

Ive been trying to decide this too! Thanks for the pros and cons!

definitely no...want to save the first look, even though i know he wont see me, till the ceremony... cuz other family and friends will probably get a look so no... 

Great tips, thank you!  We are still on the fence on this as well.

My fiancee and I were also contemplating this issue but since reading this post, and especially the last paragraph, I've decided the best part to capture in the photos is that relaxed/happy feeling (still gotta run this by the hubby to be but I'm pretty sure he'll agree) so after the ceremony is the way to go for me. Thanks for writing this post :)

I will have family take photos before and after

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