Monday, August 17, 2009

Wedding Photography Schedules - No. 7 Jennifer Stone Photography

Jennifer from Jennifer Stone Photography shares some helpful insight on wedding day formals. Check out some of her work below or visit her website: Jennifer Stone Photography

While most people do not really like doing the wedding day group pictures and formals they are an important part of the wedding day; I mean how often does everyone get all dressed up and are all together in one place...

Wedding day formals are typically photographed during the cocktail hour immediately after the ceremony which is just enough time to get the standard immediate family groups, wedding party groups and a few portraits of the bride and groom. Since time is so limited, it is difficult to get those additional group shots, such as college or high school friends, so I recommend doing those sometime during the reception. A popular picture request is a huge group picture of everyone attending the wedding and the best time to do this is immediately after the ceremony. It is the perfect time to have everyone gather around the bride and groom and document everyone that is there.

Because time is so limited and it's important to get all the groups, I try to make the process quick, easy, and fun so I like to call my formals "relaxed" portraits; I'm really not into stiff formal poses. There is a certain flow to organizing the group pictures and I always go over the list with the bride and groom several weeks before the wedding day to make sure I get all the groups the couples want. I typically start with the grandparents, then immediate family members and then move on to the wedding party groups ending with the bride and groom. Sometimes I will start with the bride and groom if they decide to sneak off right after the ceremony for a few minutes of alone time to enjoy the moment. This is one of my favorite moments to document, standing unobtrusively in the background catching those first moments as husband and wife.

There are lots of variations to scheduling the group portraits and some couples who feel that photography is really important to them and want more time to do these pictures and be able to go to several locations will either schedule a longer cocktail hour, will do some of the groups before the ceremony or will opt to see each other before the ceremony allowing a lot of time to do all the groups as well as fun portraits of the bride and groom. By far the bride and groom seeing each other before the ceremony is the most flexible and enjoyable for everyone. It allows me to get much more creative wedding party and couple portraits without disrupting the flow of the wedding day and allows everyone including the bride and groom to enjoy more time with their guests.

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