Your reception is such an important part of your day. When you arrive, after cocktail hour, purses and coats are placed about and kids are running around. It can spoil that first moment of taking everything in. I wanted to guide you through how to get those magazine-worthy reception photos.

Build reception detail photos into your timeline

I’ll need around 20-30 minutes to grab photos of your centerpieces, cake, and decor before guests arrive. Before the ceremony is always best if we can sneak there or if you’re with your guests during cocktail hour in a separate space, that time is great too because candles are lit and the cake is out. When your ceremony and reception are at 2 different locations (as in addresses and venues, not parts of a building), there is no easy way to grab photos unless it is close to the getting ready area or we schedule a time for detail photos and drive time.

Have wedding decor that photographs well

In order to have killer photos, we need stunning decor! I always recommend uplighting, ceiling lighting and fabric (looks amazing in your first dance shots!) and centerpieces. Candles and light everywhere adds romance and elegance. You don’t have to drop a ton of money to create a beautiful space. If it’s in the budget, uplighting can truly transform a room.

Let your venue coordinator know when your photographer is coming

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!

Blogs want detail photos, and lots of them!

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 on those blogs want details, not people. So we will need time to grab these photos!

Want to learn how to hold your bouquet on your wedding day? I’ve got you!

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