At most weddings there is often a substantial period of time between the wedding ceremony and the reception which can be a bit awkward for guests. It can occur for a number of reasons- no access to the reception venue till a specific time, limited availability of officiants etc but often it is so photographers can get a swag of shots of you on your big day.
I think everyone would agree that wedding photos are important. They make lasting memories that can be looked back on for years to come- therefore it is worth taking the time to ensure you get the photos you will cherish.
Good photography does take time and you don’t want to be worrying about the time it is taking and what your guests are doing. The photographer will want you completely relaxed to be able to produce some truly memorable romantic shots that you will treasure forever.
Whatever the reason for the time gap between ceremony and reception the reality is that guests are often at a bit of a loose end. With a little planning you can organise some entertainment for your guests to make sure they are enjoying themselves and not taking any notice of the time, it takes to complete your photo shoot.
Make sure your guests know that there is a gap and what will be happening during this time, so they can plan accordingly. If they are going to be wandering around a garden and playing lawn games, they may want to change out of their heels.
A note on the invitation is always a good way of communicating arrangements.
Finding a venue that can host a ceremony, organise after ceremony entertainment, offer great photo opportunities and do a reception can be hard and often expensive.
Having seen many weddings, I think the best solution is to have the ceremony and photography at the same venue and to provide some form of entertainment for guests on site. This allows people to have that opportunity to congratulate the bride and groom and then mingle with other guests. Then those required for the photos can easily slip away from the group when needed and return when not. There is a relaxed natural flow from ceremony to photographic shoot without people having to get into a car and drive to different locations.
It is always good to keep the group together and close to where most of the photography is happening. A group shot is always lovely and a really nice thing to look back on.
Keeping the group together also creates a situation where family and friends can mingle, meet, have a chat and catch up before the reception. This is especially important if you have a formal seating arrangement at the reception that may limit mingling.
So, here are some ideas of how you can keep your guest together and entertained.
Providing Food and Drink is always a winner especially if people have travelled any distance to the ceremony venue. It could be as simple as getting a friend or family member to organise a few plates of cheese, fruit and biscuits and some beverages or afternoon tea, to a full on professionally catered champagne and canapes.
Perhaps it would be easier to hire a mobile vendor, they are available to serve drinks, coffee or ice cream and often come in funky little caravans- such fun.
Giant games are also good fun. Find a lawn, set them out and let your guest enjoy themselves.
Music or other entertainment can make the time go really quickly especially if accompanied by drinks and nibbles.
A Photo booth or giant photo frame can also be lots of fun, so guest can have their own photo shoot. Be sure to organise all the photos to be sent to you for inclusion in your albums.
The Secret Garden is a venue that has a variety of spaces for ceremonies and has many areas where refreshments can be served, giants games set up and mobile vendors can park. Some guests may just wish to wander the 2 hectares of beautiful gardens which provides stunning backdrops for all your photos.
If this sounds like the type of place you can see yourself holding your wedding ceremony, then why not contact us and organise an obligation free tour of the garden.