As you plan your wedding, one element that is often overlooked and really shouldn’t be, is rehearsal dinner photography. Your wedding day is the main focus while planning, but your wedding weekend starts the day before as loved ones stream into town. Whether you hold an intimate rehearsal dinner for immediate family and your wedding squad, you kick off the weekend with a welcome party for all, or you do both in order to really soak up every minute of celebration – having your photographer there to document the festivities is a great idea. Here’s why:

Cultivate Comfort With Your Photographer

You get more time with your photographer to build a deeper level of comfort for your wedding day. Even if you do an engagement session, having your photographer at the rehearsal adds a level of intimacy. They’ll have the opportunity to chat more casually now that the weekend has arrived and the planning is done. And they’ll be able to share in your joy and excitement and show you just how invested they are in your love story and your celebration. They’ll feel like a talented friend documenting your day when the wedding begins. And bonus: You two can slip away for five minutes to create some beautiful portraits together. Chances are you put time and thought into your outfits and looks for the evening – so take advantage of having your photographer present and document how fabulous you look in a few professional portraits!

Break The Ice With Your Family & Wedding Party

Your family and wedding party will also have the chance to meet your photographer before the wedding day itself. This will help all of your loved ones feel more comfortable and build a friendly relationship with your photographer. The better developed that relationship is, the more relaxed and natural everyone will be in front of the camera, and the better the photos will be. And having your photographer there to capture your rehearsal dinner will allow your photographer a chance to learn names and get a better sense for family dynamics. The amount of rapport and trust we’re able to establish with your parents and your wedding party, just by being at the rehearsal dinner, is huge. That brief time allows us to feel like friends when we arrive to photograph the wedding the next day.

why rehearsal dinner photography is a great idea

Capture More Traditions & Special Moments with Rehearsal Dinner Photography

Special wedding traditions happen all weekend long. Not only will having your photographer present at your rehearsal dinner result in great photos of the speeches, toasts, hugs, and laughter that make the evening so special, it also allows guests to put their phones and cameras away and be fully present with you. No one will need to document the moments because you have a pro on site to do it for you. With trends shifting to have some of the speeches and thank you toasts happen at the rehearsal, rather than on the wedding day itself, there are more and more special traditions and emotional moments to capture that won’t be replicated at the wedding the next day.

Get More Photos Of and With Your Guests

Everyone says your wedding day will fly by and it’s true! Chances are, even if you do a first look, you’ll still end up spending time organizing photos during cocktail hour. You’ll gather your college roommates, work friends, or extended family for portraits. While it’s wonderful to see them, that time could be better spent hugging and enjoying their company, instead of rounding up the stragglers at the bar and perfectly arranging everyone for a photo. Having rehearsal dinner photography means that you can take those larger group photos the day before your wedding. Then you free yourself up to enjoy and be fully present throughout your reception.

You’ll also end up with lots of candids of your guests connecting and laughing together throughout the evening. You’ll get these on your wedding day, too, of course. But the truth is that your welcome party is a whole evening dedicated to relaxing with your guests. This means lots more beautiful moments and interactions captured than on your wedding day alone.

Looking for more tips on hosting a fantastic rehearsal dinner or welcome party? Check out these ideas from Martha Stewart.


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