There’s one question that has been coming up again and again lately - and I reckon it’s a really good one.

How do we maximise time spent with our guests on our wedding day and still get photos?

It’s a story so well worn in time that everyone has experienced it at some point. You’re a member of a bridal party or you’re at a wedding where the couple has their ceremony, the vibes are super high, and then they disappear for multiple hours to take photos.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the portraits part of the day (it’s one of my favourite parts). If done right, its a super fun, easy, and intimate part of your day that leaves you with beautiful images of the two of you and your bridal party. It can also be some of the only time you get without the pull of guests one way or the other between you.

But, multiple hours and missing a large portion of good time at your own party? In my eyes - not the way!

In my experience, portraits can take anywhere from twenty minutes through to an hour and a bit. In that amount of time, you’ll absolutely get all the shots you could ever hope for.

So, what are a few things to keep in mind when planning your day to avoid losing time with your guests?

1. Talk to your photographer

This sounds like a no brainer, but is actually super important.

Let me know what your priorities are! Everyone is different, and I fully respect that and am here to help. Letting me know what is super important to you helps me organise myself to accomodate that. If you’re after a quick photo shoot - its just as easy as asking. If you're after a specific photo or location, we can definitely work it in. If you don't really know what you want - that's also completely normal and I'm happy to help with some guidance.

2. Venue choice

Want to spend the most time with your guests that you can on your wedding day - you’d be amazed at how important venue choice is as a factor that plays into this. If you choose a venue where you can get married and have the reception all in the one spot, or a short distance away from each other - you’re at a huge advantage time wise. The less time you spend travelling on your wedding day - the more time you spend with guests.

3. Consider a photo shoot before your ceremony.

Want a way to kill the ceremony nerves and spend a beautiful hour or so together before getting married?

This is one way to do it - change your timeline around so your location shoot/portraits are before the ceremony. This takes all the time pressure off for the shoot, and means after your ceremony you can spend 100% of the time with your guests. If you’re worried about missing that moment of the first look down the aisle, you can re create that with a ‘first look’ at the shoot. I can also guarantee you that the aisle moment is just as special, every single time I’ve done a photo shoot before the ceremony.

4. Consider a sunset shoot.

If you’re wanting to max time spent at cocktail hour/canapes - a great way to do this is to split the photo shoot up into two parts. A quick twenty mins or so after the ceremony, and then a quick pop out at sunset while dinner is being served at the reception. There’s so many benefits to doing this - different light on the shoot, a different vibe and energy, and it gives you both a little quiet time and breather from the party (which is often a really beautiful time).