When it comes to planning your wedding day, one thing I always encourage my couples to do is schedule 5-10 minutes during their reception for a quick break for some end-of-the-day portraits! Scheduling in these portraits will increase the number of portraits you get on your wedding day, while only taking up a minimal amount of time! Sometimes, these are sunset portraits, and other times (for my winter wedding couples) these are nighttime portraits — but whether we’re running outside to catch that golden hour glow, or whether we’re doing a specialty nighttime portrait, what I can guarantee you is that you won’t regret taking those few minutes to capture just a few more beautiful portraits! Here’s all you need to know about these specialty portraits, and how to make them happen on your own wedding day:
1. Mentally prepare for it!
First, decide when you’d like to take these photos. If you’re getting married in the summer, sunset (or “golden hour”) photos are a must! Depending on your reception venue, I recommend planning to head outside 20-30 minutes before sunset (this is because the sun dips behind the trees before it dips behind the horizon!). For winter weddings, I often sneak my couples away as dinner is finishing up, but before all of the fun party dancing starts! Or, sometimes my couples plan to sneak out right as I’m scheduled to leave for the night, while the party dancing is happening — this gives them a chance to catch their breath and take a few final portraits before heading back to the party! Whatever you decide, make sure you’re both on the same page!
2. Add it to the timeline, and prep your other vendors!
Even though it will only take a few minutes, make sure to add this portrait time to your timeline! This will ensure that everyone on your vendor team knows you want this, and we can all work together to make it happen! Most wedding planners I work with actually encourage couples to grab these photos, either at sunset or at the end of the night, just because they know how meaningful they are! And keeping your DJ or band in the loop is key, since they’re usually the ones who keeps things rolling at your reception!
3. Know that it won’t take long!
The last thing we want to do is pull you outside, and then wander around, looking for a great spot for portraits, wasting time that you could be spending at your reception! Instead, if at all possible, we’ll scout locations in advance, and we’ll know exactly where to take you. I suggest planning on 10-15 minutes of portrait time, but we can do these in as little as 4-5 minutes if necessary!
Finally, here are a few examples of just a few of my sweet couples and the results they got when they took a couple of minutes for portraits during their receptions!