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How to Plan for Magical Reception Photos

Key tips to make sure your wedding reception is magically captured in light that does justice to every detail

There’s nothing more disappointing than pouring months into dreaming up and creating a breathtaking wedding reception set up, only to be left with photographs that don’t do justice to the details – images that resemble after thoughts shot in poor lighting, or styling mixed with empty drinks and wine splashed over tablecloths.

As stylists, what we look for in an exceptional wedding photographer is someone who can emotively capture a celebration from both the stolen glances between a couple, to the artful layering of decor – details that beautifully tell the story of your day.  What separates the artists from those who systematically document a reception set up, are photographs that capture exactly how that space felt. Images shot in dreamy natural light that illuminate the faceted edges of crystal cut glassware, the imperfect glazing of handmade ceramics, frayed textures of linen napkins draped over raw wooden surfaces, the poetry of dripping candles, and the drama of a clear marquee dotted with fairy lights.

Cinzia Bruschini

The dilemma often faced, is that the magic hour where these styling details are brought to life is the same perfect light for post ceremony bridal party images, so naturally the reception is left until after dusk where so many details are lost without natural light. So if the tablescape you’ve poured time and energy into is something you definitely want photographed, be sure to enquire about whether your photographer uses an assistant and that there’s time allocated to capturing these details while you’re having wedding pictures taken.

Or if you’re happy to have your photographer shoot solo only, make sure there’s ample time between set up and ceremony for your photographer, that you’ve chosen a space with beautiful lighting… or if you’re relying on images shot at night, help enhance the setting with ambient candlelight and lanterns to add atmosphere.

Joel and Justyna

Cassandra Ladru

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