Why You Should Consider Rehearsal Dinner Photos
I recently shot a rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in the city.
The family rented out the top floor. Delicious hors d’oeuvres and raw oysters were served. Elegant and chic vibes all around. The first hour felt like a cocktail hour, so I was able to get photos of people mingling, and different group shots of the guests. But as everybody sat down for dinner, something happened...
The groom's brother gets up and gives an epic, impromptu speech. Everyone is laughing, parents are wiping tears from their eyes and the whole crowd reacts to his touching words. Shortly after, another brother gets up and decides to give a speech that has the place rolling again. It gets even better. After the second speech, the bride's sister gets up and gives a speech that moves everyone with its honesty and love. As all this was taking place, I was fully aware that what was happening was special, and I was happy for the families that the couple asked me to photograph the rehearsal dinner.
The next day they had their wedding in NYC. The parents and bridesmaids were already familiar with me from the rehearsal dinner the night before, so I was able to jump right in. Everyone was already comfortable with being photographed and was adjusted to my style and pace of photography. They were all able to relax and be themselves in the morning with no need for me to break the ice or spend time with introductions, which was convenient for everyone.
The wedding, a black tie event, was simply beautiful. There were over 250 guests and everyone looked amazing in their tuxedos and gowns. There were some great speeches from the bride and groom’s parents but, once they were done, it occurred to me that the siblings who had spoken the night before did not speak at the wedding. It was then that I realized how important it was for me to be there the previous night to photograph those intimate, once-in-a-lifetime speeches. My shots would keep the memories of that rehearsal dinner alive forever.
If you are planning on having a rehearsal dinner, remember this is the more intimate party before the actual party. Often times there will be speeches and toasts from your family that won’t happen again on your wedding day. Often times, those speeches and toasts will be looser, possibly funnier, and more spontaneous than the ones you will hear on your wedding day. And the other advantage is that on your wedding day, your friends and family have already met me, so they are used to being photographed, and there's no adjustment that needs to take place on the wedding day.
Your rehearsal dinner photos are an important piece of the puzzle that is your wedding experience.