Angelica
Savvy July 2021

Wedding Ceremony followed by pictures or pictures before ceremony?

Angelica, on December 1, 2019 at 10:02 PM Posted in Wedding Ceremony 0 8
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Hi all!


I chose to have my wedding ceremony an hour and half before cocktail hour. During the hour and half break I am going to do all my pictures so that my FH and bridal party can enjoy cocktail hour. Our wedding venue is in a lake town with a lot of things for our guests to do during that hour and a half and within walking distance to our venue. I recently received a suggestion to have pictures before the ceremony so that cocktail hour can follow right after the ceremony. My FH and I wanted to first see each other as I walk down the aisle which is why we chose pictures after but I’m open to the other option if it is better for our guests. Is anyone or did anyone you know done an hr and half break after the ceremony? How did it go?

8 Comments

Latest activity by MrsHamm, on December 3, 2019 at 12:38 PM
  • Sophie
    Devoted June 2021
    Sophie ·
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    My FH and I are also seeing each other for the first time as I walk down the aisle, but we are getting all the pictures where we don't have to be together out of the way before the ceremony. I would definitely not recommend doing a break between ceremony and cocktail hour if at all possible. Instead, I think it's best to do photos with wedding party, family, etc. before the ceremony, and then use cocktail hour to do the remaining pictures. Your wedding party would only miss out on a part of cocktail hour that way, and then your guests won't have to find something to do to entertain themselves.

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  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah Online ·
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    The purpose of cocktail hour is for guests to have something to do while the bride and groom take photos. As the previous poster suggested, you can get a lot of photos of you with your individual bridal parties and families out of the way prior to the ceremony if you don't want to see each other beforehand. That will at least cut down on the amount of pictures you need to take after the ceremony. As a wedding guest, I personally would not want to have to kill an hour and a half between parts of the wedding.l and wander around town in my wedding clothes.
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  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
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    You should go with any option that doesn’t force your guests to fend for themselves for an hour and a half in the middle of your event. You can still get a good chunk of photos taken before the ceremony without seeing each other, like photos with your individual wedding parties and families. I understand wanting to enjoy cocktail hour, however, the whole purpose of cocktail hour is to take photos. If you don’t want to do a first look, you’re going to have to use it to take pictures. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
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  • earias
    Champion December 2017
    earias ·
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    Exactly this.

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  • Catherine
    VIP November 2019
    Catherine ·
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    Do you have 2 photographers? I would maybe try to get your bridal party photos done and his with his groomsmen before the ceremony. that way you guys could do you solo couple shots during cocktail hour. I feel that 1.5 hour break might be a bit much for your guests. maybe 30 minutes break would be better if that works.

    If that isn't an option then i would say you'll probably have to miss some of the cocktail hour. We did all ours before so we didn't miss out on cocktail hour

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  • Angelica
    Savvy July 2021
    Angelica ·
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    Thank you all! Glad I asked!
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  • Kaysey
    Super February 2020
    Kaysey ·
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    My FH and I have decided to do a majority of our photos with our bridal party prior to the ceremony b/c we opted to not have a cocktail hour. We also wanted to have a first look, so we are going to. We are planning on taking pictures after the ceremony as well with family members as our guests find their seats in the reception (b/c we are having assigned seating).


    My suggestion is; if you want to see your FH for the first time as you are walking down the aisle, I'd say you could take photos with your bridesmaids and him with his groomsmen before the ceremony so after the ceremony you don't have to do all of your photos at once because a portion of them will already be done. This way, your guests can go right into the cocktail hour. I personally do not like the idea of having a break between the ceremony and cocktail hour. I think it would flow better for your guests to go right into the cocktail hour while you finish your photos. If guests are able to leave the venue and walk around, my fear would be some might be late returning for the reception and could miss the bridal party and you and your FH's entrance into the reception.


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  • MrsHamm
    Dedicated September 2019
    MrsHamm ·
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    We had to avoid seeing each other once I was in my dress. So, the guys went and did their photos outside ahead of the ceremony. Me and the bridesmaids did getting ready photos and fun group photos in bridal suite at the venue. We did 90% of the wedding photos after the ceremony during cocktail hour


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