As you start considering different wedding photographers, make sure to ask those on your shortlist what they think of evening portraits. While doing so will require you and your new husband or wife to sneak away from the reception for at least a few minutes, it's something couples rarely regret, especially when their photographer has experience capturing beautiful snapshots under the moonlight. Whether you choose to take nighttime photos in front of your venue, at your ceremony site, or with a natural backdrop like cliffs or a lake, moonlit photos will add variety to your album and give you and your new spouse an opportunity to connect during such a busy day.
Timing is everything when it comes to nighttime photos, so Gretchen Culver, owner and creative director of Rocket Science Events. recommends paying close attention to your big-day timeline. "If you want to take nighttime photos, make sure you plan the day's events accordingly," she says, "Your guests don't want to be waiting to eat their entrée because you are out taking photos and the caterer won't serve until you sit down," she says. Make sure that your vendor team knows ahead of time when you'll be swept away for a mini portrait session.
Taking nighttime photos isn't always easy, especially if you'll be taking them with just the moon and stars for lighting. Make sure to consult with your photographer in advance rather than springing it on him or her last minute. Leave it to your pro to get the lighting right and set up the shot before they pull you away from guests. You should only need 15 to 30 minutes to capture great evening photos. You can set aside time for this photo session after you've eaten dinner, while guests are busy dancing, or even at the very end of the night after guests have left.
And if there's a shot you really don't want to miss taking at night, consult your photographer early. If you're planning on having a bonfire, fireworks, or a sparkler send-off, for example, you may want to plan for a portrait session then. At the very least, planning for nighttime photos will give you a much-needed break from the crowd during your wedding night to take it all in, and the photos will always bring you back to that memory.