Best Time for Wedding Photos: Before, During, or After the Wedding?

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Beautiful photographs are one of the most important parts of the wedding memories.
After all, they are one of the few visual keepsakes you will have of your special day to enjoy throughout the years.
It is customary to take most of the photos immediately following the marriage ceremony, during the cocktail hour.
However, these days a lot of couples are opting to take their pictures before the start of the ceremony, or in some cases well afterward.
These are the pros and cons to deciding to do your wedding pictures before, during, or after the wedding.
There are a couple of excellent reasons to take most of the formal wedding photographs before the start of the ceremony.
Couples like that they are at their freshest: unwrinkled, perfect makeup, bridal jewelry and hair perfectly in place.
A lot can go on during the ceremony, after all.
If it was very emotional, the bride's makeup mascara might be runny or the groom's face blotchy.
If the ceremony was long and the bride and groom were seated, their attire might become creased.
Taking pre-ceremony pictures will certainly ensure perfection.
The other main reason to do the bulk of the photos before the service is so that the newlyweds can enjoy attend their cocktail hour and spend more time with their guests.
This is certainly a good thing.
The main drawback to taking wedding pictures before the ceremony is that it detracts from that once-in-a-lifetime moment when the groom first glimpses his bride walking down the aisle towards him.
That can be reason enough not to take pre-wedding pictures.
A compromise to save time during the cocktail hour would be for the photographer to take pictures of the bride with her bridesmaids and the groom with his groomsmen, but to save the pictures of the newlyweds until after the ceremony.
The most traditional time to take the wedding photographs is during the cocktail hour.
Couples who feel superstitious about seeing one another before the ceremony will certainly prefer this to pre-ceremony photo sessions.
Also, you may find that you feel more relaxed once the marriage service is behind you, and if you feel relaxed that will come through in the pictures.
Certainly those first moments as newlyweds are unique and precious, definitely worthy of capturing for all time.
The major drawback to having photos taken during the cocktail hour is that the bride, groom, and their attendants will miss much of the fun while in the photo session.
Even worse is when the picture taking runs so long that it delays the start of the reception (that drives guests crazy!).
Be sure to discuss the timeline with your photographer in advance so you don't hold up the reception start time.
There is a new trend of having a lot of wedding pictures taken on a later day than the actual wedding.
Not the candids of the celebration, of course, but the artistic shots of the newlyweds.
It can be fun to get a second chance to put on your wedding gown and bridal jewelry, and get all done up again.
The main reason that couples have pictures taken the day after their wedding is to allow them to have photo shoots at unique or special locations which are not close to their wedding site, such as a beach or an amusement park.
Another big reason for this trend is to allow for the "trashing the dress" pictures, which often feature the bride wearing her gown in water or laying on sand.
The photos are dramatic, and doing them after the wedding makes sense, since they render the bridal gown unwearable.
On the other hand, a day that is not your wedding day simply isn't your wedding day, and some of the natural excitement of that moment will have passed.
By then, all you may want is to head off on your honeymoon and leave the whole question of wedding photography behind.
The perfect time to take wedding pictures ultimately depends on the specifics of your celebration and what you hope to get from the photographs.
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