Hear me out: Your reception space was MADE for your guests. The floral arrangements, table placement, rentals and everything else. You designed this space with them in mind. It's only finished when your guests enter. But after all that time + effort put into the space, wouldn't it be nice to have a photo before drinks are placed on the tables and purses + coats are scattered about? I think so! So how can you help make that happen?
1. Have cocktail hour in a completely separate location
The untouched shot only happens if your space is.. well, untouched. And having your guests in another location is KEY. Your guests are NOT to be trusted! (Just kidding, but only kinda). If your cocktail hour is in/near your reception space, I can pretty much guarantee guests will sneak in to find their seats! Obviously you don't always have a choice about the location, but just keep this in mind! Make sure the spaces are CLEARLY separated so your guests don't go wandering!
2. Do a first look
So last week we talked about the "first look" - I've shared the PROS and CONS. But here's a PRO I didn't share... They help tremendously with this reception photo dilemma! As the photographer, I need about 15 minutes in the space to set up my flashes and get the shots you need. With a first look, I can photograph cocktail hour for a bit and then head over to your reception space with plenty of time to spare and be ready for your big entrance!
3. Make sure your reception space will actually be ready when it needs to be
When you're chatting with vendors, be sure to let them know you'd like the space to be FULLY set up at least 25 minutes before guests enter. (Don't forget to light the candles!) If they are scrambling to set things up when I arrive to photograph it, we have a little issue.
At the end of the day if guests enter early, you don't do a first look and your space isn't fully set up when I arrive - friend, we're going to make it work! Don't stress! I think Dean + Rita's wedding might have been the only one that followed all these tips. And that was HUGELY due to Adriana Marie Events. If these shots are super important to you, now you know! :)
I hope this TIP! was helpful!