Rehearsal Dinner Photography Tips To Plan and Prepare Better
Intimate toasts, laughter, and gorgeous dinner table setting – a rehearsal dinner has it all. For the bride and groom-to-be, it is the day to rehearse the timeline once again and make sure everything goes as planned on the wedding day. For a wedding photographer, aka you, however, it is an opportunity to photograph the couple and their family and friends up close and personal. Often, rehearsal dinners give way to some unfiltered moments that deserve to be captured authentically. But if this is your first time or you just need a quick recap on photographing these dinners, this blog offers some rehearsal dinner photography tips that could help you out!

Tips To Remember While Photographing The Rehearsal Dinner

1. Dress Sharp

Infographic stating dressing sharp could help make a good first impression on the guests

This goes without saying, but dress sharp! The rehearsal dinner is where you will be meeting most of the wedding party for the first time. And a good first impression can go a long way, i.e., it could help you build connections and establish yourself as a professional. When in doubt – go for black.

2. Scout the Ceremony Area

The rehearsal dinner often marks the start of your couple’s wedding weekend, starting with rehearsals of the wedding ceremony. Closely observe the ceremony area as the couple, the bridesmaid, the groomsmen, the flower girls, and the ring bearer walk down the aisle. Be on the lookout for a spot that will allow you to perfectly compose your photographs. This is the time when you can experiment and practice to get it right on the wedding day. Also, closely observe the sequence of the ceremony. This way, you will be better prepared for when the action really happens.

Scouting the venue in advance is also an excellent way to learn more about the venue. You could even speak to the officiant, familiarize yourself with the venue’s rules, find out if you are allowed to use flash, etc. It will also give you the chance to understand what extra lighting gear you may need on the wedding day. 

3. Meet the Folks

Infographic stating get a better understanding of the family dynamics

At the rehearsal dinner, you will most likely also get time to photograph your bride and groom’s family without rushing the process. It is a perfect time to meet them, introduce yourself, and get to know them by their names and faces. Grandparents, parents, siblings, young cousins – there will be many important people around. Try to catch the moments they share together – a burst of laughter, a group hug, an impromptu dance session. This dinner could also help you better understand the family dynamics and steer clear of awkward posing situations during the family portrait session.

4. Guide Your Couple

Remember, for you, this might be just another rehearsal dinner. You are familiar with the timeline of the wedding, the preparation, and the posing cues. However, for your clients, this is new. There might be those who are doing it for the first time. So it is part of your job to guide them through the process. Throughout the rehearsal process, talk to them and tell them more about posing cues, and if they seem awkward in front of the camera, help them get comfortable. This way, they also feel more confident about the whole process, and you too are better prepared to take stunning photos. Turning it into a win-win situation for both you and your couple.

5. Photograph Toasts

Infographic stating anticipate genuine laughter and tears during toasts

Rehearsal dinners are known for toasts that did not make it to the wedding reception timeline. People usually do not have a timeline to follow, there are just a few guests in attendance, so they often tend to open up more. You will often find longer, funnier, and perhaps even more emotional speeches, and in-between all that, plenty of genuine laughter and tears. So be on the lookout for those moments. 

6. Photograph Gift Exchanges

Sometimes, you will find that the grandparents and parents also give the couple gifts during the rehearsal dinner. Some couples look forward to this moment and cherish it with their close family members and friends. So remember to photograph these precious little exchanges and the reactions they bring.

7. Catch Candid Moments 

It is good to be prepared and plan things, but sometimes, the unplanned bits bring out the most honest feelings and expressions. And rehearsal dinners tend to be jam-packed with these candid moments. You cannot always predict them, but try to be observant, and you might just capture something wonderful that your couple will cherish forever. 

Further Read: How To Photograph Sparklers At A Wedding Reception

Be at Ease

Infographic stating use the rehearsal dinner as an opportunity to prepare for the wedding day photos

Try not to over-stress yourself. Be present in the moment and note down (or make a mental note) whatever information or detail you think can help plan wedding day photography. However, do not end up spending the night treading on eggshells. Be at ease as you get to know your couple’s family members and friends. The more present you are in the moment, the better equipped you could be to plan, prepare, and photograph the wedding. 

Here at ShootDotEdit, we look forward to helping you grow your wedding photography business and ease your post-production workflow with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about our pricing plans, click here.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published