Today we’d like to discuss one of the issues that often comes up whilst discussing logistics with your photographer: when and where to take the group shots. Should you try to get them all done straight after the ceremony or wait until the drinks reception or even after dinner to take them? Time to fight it out!
In the Red Corner, fighting for group shots to be taken later on at the reception, she likes her groups to be fun so allowing the guests a little tipple first can only be an advantage, it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”
In the Blue Corner, arguing to get the group shots completed early on, well let’s face it lots of people standing still doesn’t always make great video! It’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”
Group Shots – After the Ceremony Vs At the Reception
Dom: After the ceremony everyone’s eager to get to the reception where there are drinks and canapés and the last thing they want to do is wait around for the groups. It’s usually better to do them later on when everyone’s a little more relaxed and have nowhere else to be and they can be taken at a more leisurely pace
Matt: Sometimes though once guests reach the reception where there are more distractions and places to spread out it can be harder to get everyone to stop and come over for a group shot. At the church or ceremony venue they are generally all gathered in one place and are just waiting to be told they can head off for the reception which makes it easier to get them all together.
Dom: If the ceremony is at a separate location to the reception there may be transport waiting to take the guests on to the next location which can restrict the time available after the ceremony, particularly if it has run on longer than you anticipated.
Matt: The group shots can be quite time consuming depending on how many there are and often once you reach the reception and everyone does get to relax it can take a lot longer as guests have had a few drinks and are no longer in the mood to participate.
Dom: Depending on the timing of the ceremony (and particularly in the summer months) the light is more likely to be harsh earlier in the day after the ceremony whereas later on the light so often becomes softer and more beautiful which can really help the group shots to come alive.
Matt: It’s nice to have a photograph of everyone at the actual place where you got married rather than where the reception was held and means you get more nice photographs with the venue as background. This is particularly important if it’s a venue with special family significance, for example if it’s the church where your parents were married and they have that same photo of all of their guests outside of the same church.
Dom: Space! If you’re getting married at a church or registry office there’s often not much space to get the group shots whereas reception venues tend to have bigger areas you can take the guests to for the photos
Matt: White dresses and particularly children’s clothes can get a little mucky quite quickly so it’s best to get the group shots early on at a time when everyone is still looking absolutely pristine!
Dom: Straight after the wedding everyone wants to just congratulate the bride and groom and throw the confetti and this provides so many other natural photographic opportunities that sometimes stopping that happening to get the groups done can actually impede rather than help from a photographic point of view.
Matt: Sometimes guests (particularly elderly guests) may need to leave early on and if the group shots are not taken until much later then they may already have left and not be included in this important record of your day.
So those are our thoughts but where do you stand? Place your votes below or leave a comment to join in the debate!
Images by York Place Studios