There is no simple answer, and you need to make the choice that feels right to you. In general, if you are comfortable seeing each other before the ceremony, then that makes a lot of your timing much easier. But, if it is important to you see each other for the first time when you walk down the aisle, that is exactly how you should plan your wedding! Here are a few tips for planning around your decision:
• Consider planning a “first viewing” where you and your fiance can see each other for the first time before the ceremony. By setting up a special time to see your fiance, your photographer can take photos and then you can have some time alone before starting family photos.
• If you choose to do all your formal photos after the wedding, you should know that timing is crucial: make sure family members know that they have to stay around after the ceremony.
• Consider having a receiving line at the reception instead of at the ceremony. When you take photos right after the ceremony your family won’t have to stick around so long, and your hair and clothing will be in better condition without being hugged for an hour!
• Even if you don’t have a formal receiving line, people will often want to congratulate you and it is hard to make a clean escape. If you plan on taking photos after the ceremony, the first thing you need is a “get away plan.” Many ceremony locations have a room you can hide in for several minutes as people are ushered out.
• No matter when you take your photos, make sure that you and your fiance take a few minutes of alone time together! Consider taking a moment before starting photos or right after the ceremony to connect with the most important person at your wedding.