The hour before a big event can be a pretty darn cool experience- maybe even equally as hands-down amazing as the big event itself.
How did Brian and I spend the hour just before our wedding ceremony? We accidentally spent it with our guests. And it. Was. Awesome.
You see, it was 9 am and we were screwed. We were supposed to be at our reception venue (a farm) to take the professional candid family photos I had long been fantasizing about. But after the last bit of hair spray was applied, and all of our family members' cars were packed with supermarket flowers, 250 cans of soda, our honeymoon bags, and all of the STUFF that must be hauled to a DIY wedding reception venue, we were running super late. (Runnin' on Filipino time, as we say.)
...And it was off we raced to the ceremony venue (the historic Quaker meeting house pictured below), figuring that we could just take our photos there instead of at the farm.
Now this was not an ideal situation. It would mean: (1) that we would be photographed in front of guests as they arrived for the ceremony; (2) I'd be losing the incredible farm backdrop for our photos; and (3) I would not have the traditional "grand entrance" in my dress during my procession down the aisle.
But screw all of that. Those minor issues paled in comparison to what our plan B offered us. Here's I loved doing a photo shoot at the entrance of our venue (as guests arrived!) just moments before the ceremony:
- In between portrait shots I was able to greet guests as they trickled in. What's cool is that it wasn't one long receiving line of hand shakes, hugs, and kisses, since there were several minutes in between the arrival of each group. Instead it was more like little pockets of time for small talk, hugs, jump-up-and-down-with-your-college-buddies kinda joy, with posed portrait shots in between. It was a receiving line, photo shoot, and party, baby, all rolled into one-- it multitasking at it's finest.
- We got some sweet candid photos that captured all of the pre-game excitement, the greeting of those who traveled across states to celebrate with us, and the look of delight on people's faces as they first stepped foot onto the beautiful historic grounds. These were all special moments that we otherwise would not have captured on camera.
- It made me feel relaaaaaaxed before the ceremony. I was focused on simply being with the people I love -- not nerves, or coordinating, or hiding out in a bridal suite making sure everything looked perfect every time I'd pass a mirror. It kind of felt like your family's annual holiday party when you excitedly await for guests to arrive, and how every 5 minutes the door bell rings and you find another awesome group of people at the doorstep to hug and kiss and high-five and chat up a storm with.
Engaged people: What pre-ceremony activity could you do to help you feel joyful, relaxed, and "yourself"?
Newlyweds: How did you spend your pre-ceremony moments?