Your reception is such an important part of your day and you usually don’t get to see the full room before your guests arrive! When you arrive, after cocktail hour, purses and coats are placed about and kids are running around. Which is why I wrote this article on how to have killer photos of your reception decor! You’ll get all the photos you need to feel like you were right there seeing it for the first time on the wedding day.
First thing is first, build this time into your timeline. I’ll need around 20-30 minutes to grab photos of your centerpieces, cake, and decor before guests arrive. If you’re having an outdoor cocktail hour at the same location as your reception, we’ll just be able to get in before the guests and give you a little photo break. If your reception is in a different location than your ceremony location, we’ll have to figure out the best time to grab those photos. If we have a gap in between the ceremony and reception, we can race there right after family formals and meet you and your bridal party 20-30 minutes later at a location you choose for portraits.
In order to have killer photos, we need killer decor! I always recommend uplighting, ceiling decor (looks amazing in your dancing shots!) and centerpieces. You don’t have to drop a ton of money, you just want everything to look cohesive when arranged together and have your wedding color palette. Uplighting isn’t that expensive and some DJ’s provide it as an upsell, and it truly transforms a room.
Something to remember: Whenever I am going to photograph the room decor, let your venue know I don’t want anyone in the room. Whether it’s staff filling water glasses or placing salads, have them hold off a few minutes or place it before we arrive. Nothing is worse than us arriving and not being able to get the few shots we grab in that time. Also, make sure to communicate when your cake needs to be ready so we can grab a shot of that! If it’s really early and they’re worried about the cake being out long (if it’s hot, for example), we can grab it after you’re introduced as long as you do not go straight into cutting your cake after introductions.
One final word: if you want your wedding photos published on The Knot, WeddingWire, or another site or paper publication, they’ll want lots of photos of your decor without guests in them. About 80% of the shots those blogs want are details, not people. So we will need time to grab these photos!