Right after the ceremony is usually when everyone walks up to congratulate you and give you a hug. Many beautiful moments will happen between you and your guests and I will be there to capture them. But that is also why it is important to put a little bit of thought into where you want the congratulations to take place - neither a dark corner of the chapel nor outside in bright sunlight is ideal for photographs. Instead, look for a quiet shaded area with a lot of space for people to line up. This can be great time to poor a champagne tower and get the bubbles flowing.
Allow 15-20min for hugs and mingling
I suggest keeping the list short and sweet. No more than 10-15 groups ideally, Although with large family’s I know this is not always possible. When you start to reach the 20+ your smiles will start to fade.
Start off with the whole wedding and work your way down to smaller groups. Keep in mind older guests who cannot stand for long or children who have short attention spans.
I like to have an MC or two loud and bossy helpers. Believe me, things will take longer than anticipated. Give the list to someone who might know the wedding guests well so he/she can line up the next group while I start taking photos. This is also a good time to do your close friend groups too.
Please make sure there is a ladder handy and allow 20-30min for family photos.
If you decided not to have a first look this will be the time we nip away to do some bridal party and couple shots.
Its a good idea to set up some games or entertainment for your guests during this time.
It's also nice to hang out with your guests for 30 min, chat have a drink and take it all in.
If you have done a first look I like to have 30min before you head into reception and take a few snaps when the light is a little softer. This can include your bridal party if you wish.
Allow 30min to hang out with your guests and 1 hour for your wedding party shoot. Not including driving time to any locations.
This is a good time to think of a few things to keep your guests entertained. Live music can really set the tone of the day.
A few ideas such as setting up lawn games like cornhole, giant Jenga, or bocce ball for guests to enjoy some friendly competition.Provide a photo booth or wall with fun props where guests can take pictures and create memories.
Set up interactive stations like a DIY cocktail bar, a cigar rolling station, or a craft table where guests can make keepsakes, ice creams, candy floss the lists go on. Lastly, make sure there are comfortable seating areas where guests can relax, chat, and socialize.