Provided you’ve set aside enough time for the bride & groom photo-shoot, and you know that your guests are en route to the drinks reception where they’ll be well taken care of with music, canapes and champers, you can focus on immersing yourself fully in the photography. Let your hair down, relax, have fun and just go with it! And it’ll show in the pictures. Whenever I look at past pictures, it’s very obvious to me (and probably to everyone else) how genuinely relaxed or stressed the bride & groom are are during their photo-shoot. Everything about your mood translates itself into the pictures. If you feel tense and worried, it’ll show. If you feel carefree, happy and relaxed, it’ll show. And the biggest factor which affects stress and anxiety levels on a wedding day is late running (and the weather). So why not just nip the timings issue in the bud. It really is a simple case of setting aside more time than you think you’ll need for every segment of your wedding day. And making a conscious effort to be on time.
As a general guide for photography timings post-ceremony, how about 60 minutes for the bride & groom photo-shoot (while your guests are entertaining themselves or being entertained), 60 minutes for the formal family/friendship groupshots (with the help of willing ushers to gather family members), 60 minutes for mingling & chatting with your family & friends (where informal, candid photography can happen). Provided there’s no late running, that’s a pretty solid basis for a stress free post ceremony part of your wedding day. No doubt your venue will try every trick in the book to shoehorn the drinks reception into a 90 minutes (because why not treat you like every other wedding?!) but you should demand as long as you want. So that you have the time and space to relax, chill out and not feel like you’re being rushed from pillar to post. You call all the shots on your wedding day. It’s your wedding.