i’ve been doing this wedding photographer thing for a few years…it’s interesting to me to see how my opinions have changed on certain traditions over the course of this career. (and sometimes changed back again!)
in the beginning, i loved everything that pushed the boundary on “traditional”. anything that created extra interest in the end-product photos. now…now i’m happy to photograph anything that happens. i know that couples make the choices they make thoughtfully…and as such, it’s a priority for them. which means it’s a priority to me.
a few years ago, if anyone had asked me what i thought of receiving lines, i probably would have said that they took time and didn’t provide great photo ops. NOW…i will amend that to say that they take time, but can provide an amazing opportunity to get candids of most of the wedding guests looking happy fairly quickly. they may not look as delighted the whole rest of the day as they will when they are congratulating the newly married couple. if the receiving line takes place in pleasing conditions (good light, colorful backdrop), in the span of 15 minutes, not only will the bride and groom get to thank each and every person who went out of his or her way to attend the celebration…the photographer can capture all those beloved faces with consistent exposures…which is GREAT for wedding albums!
i’ve been thinking about this a lot the last few days while designing an album layout for a wedding i photographed in october. the receiving line took place outdoors in a garden, so the light was gorgeous and there were still flowers blooming all around. having these images as part of the record of the day enabled me to design this…which is one of my favorite album layouts ever! i love the colors, and i love being able to include so many of the couple’s favorite people in their album…the book they’re going to treasure and look at every time they want to relive the day they promised each other forever!
tips if you’re considering having a receiving line:
*if possible–do it outside! pick a location that has lots of pretty colors and good light. (i also loved the images from a receiving line that took place inside in a greenhouse. that soft filtered light was GORGEOUS.)
*make sure your photographer knows you’d love to have lots of images of your guests as you greet them. to create layouts like this, your photographer(s) will also need to take a few moments to capture the scene-setting details.
*have a plan: ensure that everyone in the receiving line knows he/she is supposed to be in the line, where it will be happening, the order to line up in, and how soon after the ceremony it will be (will everyone exit and immediately line up, or will the bride and groom take a breather prior to greeting their guests?)