Welcome to the first blog in my series Real Experiences Over Staged Photos! This series will grow, but here’s the full collection so far:
Imagine that your ceremony is ending. You just had your first kiss, your guests are standing and cheering, and you’re walking back down the aisle.
This moment is wild and surreal and like nothing you’ve ever experienced. But then…. what’s next?
Instead of jumping immediately into taking family photos (arguably the least fun part of the day), I suggest going with the flow and taking your time.
In this blog, I’ll give my advice on how to turn one of the most under-appreciated moments of the day into something you’ll never forget. It only takes a little planning and 5 minutes of your wedding day.👇👇
So, what should you do at the end of your ceremony?
Your recessional down the aisle will probably take about 10 seconds if you walk at full speed. Why not take your time with it? Soak in the moment, look at your guests’ faces as you walk, and most importantly, pause and kiss again in the middle of the aisle.
These photo also tend to be even more fun than the first kiss photos. Get creative with it too! Do a drip, a twirl, or whatever you want!
PRO TIP: If you’re ever a wedding GUEST, only sit in an aisle seat if you’re prepared to be photographed a lot. The bride will walk past you on her way down the aisle. You’ll also be in the first kiss photos. Be prepared to pay attention, be engaged in watching the ceremony, and look really excited during the recessional! (And please, don’t stick your phone into the aisle to take pictures.)
After my own wedding ceremony, my husband and I went into the bridal suite and just jumped around and got weird for a few minutes. I guess we released all of that surreal, built up energy from the ceremony 🤪. Those 1-2 private minutes were some of the most memorable from our wedding.
As a photographer, I like to give the couple at least a couple minutes to themselves right after the ceremony. Sometimes, I’ll take photos from a distance, if the location allows for this.
After a couple minutes, your wedding party and family will have exited the ceremony too. I suggest asking them to join you. These are always some of my favorite photos! Imagine lots of tight hugs and tears.
I also suggest doing a small activity together. For example, if you’d like to toast champagne, your coordinator can have this prepared and waiting for you.
Don’t do something just “for the photos”. Do it because it will be a fun and memorable experience. If you do a toast, just do it naturally. Don’t pause and make everyone stand in a line to smile at the camera first. Stay in the moment and ignore the cameras.
Talk to your photographer and your coordinator ahead of time. Choose a spot for this little celebration that…
Bonus points if it’s shady. During outdoor weddings in Texas, take advantage of any moment you can stand in the shade! Plus, the lighting will be nice in the shade.
It makes me sad when people halt an already amazing moment and try to force a “photo op”. Instead, plan ahead to create intentional experiences. See the difference?
Don’t worry about the timeline. Just enjoy your day. Your photographer will let you know when it’s time to move on.
I hope this helps you prioritize slowing down to enjoy the day you’ve worked so hard to plan. 😊