Monday, June 8, 2009

Wedding day timeline, or, how to keep the number of photos reasonable?

My favorite wedding vendor so far is probably our photographer David, a charming British man who's been in the business 20 years, shoots gorgeous photojournalistic photos, and never fails to respond to my calls or e-mails within 24 hours. And yet, the photos are something I'm kind of dreading on the wedding day. Why? Keep reading.

I have no doubt that our photographer will be able to capture the wonderful spontaneous moments of our wedding. But I'm nervous about the formal posed photos. I've definitely been to weddings where the wedding party and families had to stick around for every. conceivable. combination of family photographs. "OK, let's have all the cousins! Now just the cousins on the mom's side! Now just the cousins on the dad's side! Now, only the cousins above the age of 18 with names that start with Q!" You get the picture (pun intended).

Not our style. I hate standing still and smiling in portraits, and if it were 100% up to me we might not do any. But I know that shots like the one below mean a lot to our families (especially to my grandparents, who won't be able to make it to the wedding for health reasons).

OK, I admit it -- this is a great photo, and everyone looks so happy! Image from

So I do want to make time for some formal photos, while still being ruthlessly efficient about limiting the number of shots. Bride's immediate family, bride's extended family, groom's immediate family, groom's extended family, done. Right?

Wrong. I can already feel some issues coming up. For starters, while I'd love to have a photo with both of my parents, they kind of hate each other and would probably prefer to frame photos of just themselves with me, Econo Boy, and my brother. So suddenly one "bride's family" photo becomes three -- one for me, one for dad, one for mom. And Econo Boy's extended family is *enormous,* especially on his mom's side, and I suspect it might mean a lot to Econo Boy's mom to get all of those various combination photos of her family (everyone, just the siblings, just the cousins, etc.) with the new bride and groom.

So how do we avoid spending our cocktail hour posing for 4,000 family portraits, while still acknowledging that those photos mean a lot to our families and giving them the chance to get the pictures they want? We're going to do as many as possible before the ceremony, but we're on a somewhat tight schedule due to venue rules and I'm a bit worried that we'll still have a bunch left over to do after the ceremony and we'll miss a chance to hang out with our guests. (And to be honest, I'm also a bit worried that we won't have any corn empanadas with chimichurri sauce left if I'm stuck posing for a zillion post-ceremony photos! You get between me and food at your peril.) Any ideas on how to make this as painless as possible?


Color Me Green said...

can you have a friend or caterer save you a plate so you don't miss out on the food?

Bride in Exile said...

Color Me Green, that's exactly what we're planning to do -- ask our wedding party (or maybe our DOC) to score us a plate of yummy hors d'ouevres! David, being the total pro that he is, will probably be able to stall between photos long enough to let us finish chewing and swallowing. :-)

Abbie said...

I know how you feel about your family turning into three different pics. I'm dreading that too!!