Now We Play!

The posed pictures are in the bag and we've got Granny her Gin Fizz. Now it's time to mix and enjoy all your guests! Add champagne. And cocktails. And canapés!

The wedding reception used to be filler time before the meal but it's become a time where everyone can get a piece of you before they take their seats. It's often intense but summer newlyweds are frequently opting to expand their cocktail 'hour' into a more relaxed couple of hours. Lawn games and live music adds colour and fun. It's the best time of day for natural reportage photography!

newlyweds embark on the journey to their wedding reception at the Savile club in a bright red car
wedding guests enjoy a stately home spring reception surrounded by daffodils
ushers try to start the engine of a broken down vintage red rolls Royce outside Wimborne minster
poodle in a pink ballet dress jumps on a wedding guest at lady Margaret hall Oxford
chef put the finishing touches to the wedding starters at the Waterhouse project in Bethnal Green
wedding guests invade the pop up woodland bar at a garden reception in dorset
helpful usher holds a string of festoon lights as another climbs stepladder at st Stephens trust wedding reception
wedding guests chat in a marquee bathed in golden light
vintage rolls royce parked outside a beautiful English farmhouse during the wedding reception
little kids scrap in the foyer at a Turkish wedding reception in the decorium Wood Green
Wedding Reception PHotography Tips

Time for Reportage

Allow enough time for the groups you've requested so you don't turn up just as the meal is about to be served. I'll give you my best estimate for group timings in advance but it's always good to give yourself at least an hour after the groups and portraits are completed. The reception is the first time you'll be able to mix in with your guests and enjoy them. While everyone is on their feet, often outdoors, this makes for dynamic and spontaneous photography. Caterers are juggling in the kitchen to make sure your plates hit the tables in delicious condition so it's important to keep them in the loop about any possible overruns.

Spoiling Your Guests

Chocolate fountains and ice cream vans! Cocktail mixologists and charcuterie stations! There are so many ways to spoil your wedding guests if you're having a relaxed al fresco reception or cosy winter lock in. If you're in the garden, consider lawn games. The kids won't get a look in as the grown ups monopolise the giant Jenga tower and croquet lawn. For your introvert friends, this is also a nice time out for them to wander and explore your venue's gardens. If you're struggling to account for everyone, look up - there are usually kids climbing trees. Wedding favours snuggled amongst the flower centrepieces are a lovely idea. I've noticed these are often homemade jams, sweets and infused spirits - all cute touches.

Bacon Sandwich

There are often tears during the speeches and maybe even some squirming faces all screwed up. While I love photographing big emotions, I'll avoid big mouthfuls. Nobody wants to be photographed eating a bacon sandwich or anything else for that matter! Once the wedding breakfast is in full flow and all the tables are served, I take the chance to have a plate of something before the speeches or the evening gets going. I'll check with you in advance about the best time and place for this short break so I can take care of myself on the day.