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Wedding Day Photography Timeline: Reception Details & Reception, Part 6

August 5, 2015

We’re continuing our series on photography timelines for a wedding day by talking about the reception timeline.    If you haven’t had a chance to read the other posts in the series, feel free to check them out:

Part 1. Overview and Sample Timelines
Part 2 – Setting the Scene: Photographing Details
Part 3 – Before the Ceremony
Part 4 – The Ceremony

Part 5 – Wedding Day Photography Timeline: Bride & Groom

Reception Details
Total time: 20 minutes
Again, one of our goals while preparing this schedule is to make sure we have time to tell the entire story of the day – and reception details are definitely a part of that story!  There is so much thought, time and effort that goes into all the details in the reception, we definitely want to be able to take photos of all the details that go into a reception as well!  A lot of the time, one of us will be doing family portraits and the other will go to the reception hall and take photos.  If that doesn’t workout in the timeline, after the bride & groom portraits, we’ll go into the reception and both take photos and make sure we get them done before the guests are ushered in.

Washington DC Weddin Photos St Francis Hall

Total time: Time varies

With a reception, we don’t have a set time that we stay to photography.  It depends on what time we’ve started earlier in the day and also what all is planned for the reception.  We start by photographing the introductions, and then go on to make sure we cover all the important events of the reception: toasts, dancing, cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss, and more dancing!   The only time during the reception that we don’t take photos is during dinner.  No one likes photos of them eating, and this also gives us a chance to steal away for a few minutes to eat our own dinner.  Once we’ve gotten the main events covered and have plenty of great dancing photos, we make sure there aren’t any other specific photos our couple’s want, and then we head out.  Sometimes the bride and groom will choose to do a formal exit, and if so, one of us will often stay to photograph that event.

Washington DC Weddin Photos St Francis Hall

Reception, Formal Exit
Total Time: varies

A lot of our couples decide not to do a formal exit from the reception, but for those who do, they want photos of it, and we want to take photos of it!   The only thing is that it can extend a photography timeline for us by several hours, depending on the end of the reception, so sometimes they’ll add on extra hours to their photography time to make sure we’re able to cover everything that happens during their reception – including the exit!

Alternatives to an exit, if our couples don’t want to add on hours, can be that we plan a “fake” exit and do it earlier in the reception, and then they go back in and party the night away. 🙂  Another option we’ve had some of our couples do is to give each guest some rose petals or bubbles and the guests shower them when the couple is leaving the ceremony.  This can give some really great images.

Washington DC Weddin Photos St Francis Hall

Regardless what our couples decide to do, we want to be there for them and make sure we’re able to tell their story.  We love shooting lots of different things, and exits are all fun and exciting – whenever they happen during a wedding day!


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