Directly after the service is a fabulous time for both bride and groom – all those nerves have disappeared – finally they are both married and everyone wants to congratulate them. Ok you have a lot of images still to capture during this session but I like to give my couple some space during these special moments. Anyway, it’s a good time to capture those natural shots involving lots of hugs and kisses.
When appropriate, you may want to start organising a few pictures of the bride and groom. You may want to go back inside the church and take some images there or remain outside, especially if the exterior of the church provides a pretty backdrop for your images.
How many images you take at the church really depends on your research earlier in the week when you took a look at both the reception venue and the church. Whichever provides the best backdrop will ultimately determine where the majority of ‘formal’ photographs are taken.
In my experience in the majority of cases the reception venue provides the best location for taking the formal photographs (if they are required). However, I always like to take any opportunity to get the formals in the camera – so I will often take the bride, bride and groom, bride and groom with bridesmaids and groomsmen and if you have the time and they are up for it I will also try and squeeze in the parents. However, it is important to judge the mood and not to push your luck, it is easy to get carried away with the moment and become over enthusiastic – I need to keep reminding myself that this is a wedding and not a photoshoot.
I like to leave the church whilst the bride and groom are still there so that I can get to the reception venue before them in order take them arriving in or on their transport.
On occasion I am lucky enough to agree with the bride and groom a ‘stop off’ somewhere en route between the church and the reception. If your couple are prepared to make a stop this can provide you with some of your best shots of the day – so it is important to be prepared. Travel the route to the reception before the wedding and identify any locations that would provide you with those wow images. All you have to do then is try and persuade your couple that it would be a good idea to make this small diversion on the day – don’t be disappointed if you get knocked back on this idea – some brides and grooms are also of the opinion that this is their wedding day and not photoshoot. No harm in trying!