Welcome in. This is the place where I share wedding recaps and inspiration, engagement session ideas, and a little glimpse into the life of a wedding photographer and mom. I hope you enjoy reading and seeing ALL the pretty!
Earlier this year, I photographed Beissy and Lewis’s beautiful Spring Catholic wedding! The ceremony took place at their church, and the reception was at Garey House in Georgetown. I really really enjoyed getting to spend time with these two! Beissy and Lewis seemed like such a thoughtful and loving couple towards each other. I love seeing couples that you can tell just truly respect and appreciate each other.
The Garey House reception was beautiful and understated, and hosted a SUPER FUN party. The weather was perfect, everyone was relaxed, everything went smoothly… it was just the perfect Spring wedding. I love when weddings look easy and effortless for couples. I know this happens because of the time spent intricately planning, but it’s so great when everything just comes together!
I don’t want to spend too much time talking about their reception in this post, because I want to talk about Catholic weddings! I shoot a lot of Catholic weddings, and I love being part of them! While I am not Catholic myself, I really enjoy the romanticism and rituals, and seeing couples that are passionate about their shared religious beliefs.
Most weddings I do fit very neatly into eight hours of photography coverage. I start two to three hours before the ceremony, and can usually stay through the sendoff without adding any additional time. Catholic weddings tend to be a little different! The ceremony itself is a quite a bit longer, and there’s usually a large gap between the wedding and the reception. To cover all of the same steps that I cover standard, we might need more than eight hours. If you decide to stick with eight hours (due to budget, needs, preferences, etc), we can totally do it! We just need to modify a few things. I’ll explain some tips to maximize photography coverage throughout this post!
I normally start out a wedding day shooting your detail items and flay lays. One thing I do differently for my Catholic weddings, is shooting these images during dinner! Detail flat lays take between thirty and forty-five minutes. They are not a quick process. If I’m trying to fully maximize my time for a Catholic wedding, I usually don’t have an extra 45 minutes before the ceremony to do these. With travel time between locations to snack in my car, and an extended cocktail hour for me to sneak away and take a few minutes to break, I’m able to work through dinner on your details :).
Normally, I arrive two to three hours before the ceremony. Catholic weddings tend to start earlier in the day and run longer. So, if I arrive two to three hours before the ceremony, my eight hours of coverage would be finished before you even do toasts! Instead of starting early, I arrive about thirty minutes prior to the ceremony. This gives me time to set up and snag a few quick getting ready photos before you walk down the aisle. We’ll do portraits during the extended cocktail hour.
No matter the size of your Catholic wedding, I HIGHLY recommend having a second photographer. Sometimes, you can get away with just one photographer for a smaller wedding. Not the case with Catholic weddings. We are usually discouraged from moving around much throughout the ceremony. Our goal is to produce absolutely no distractions from the ceremony. Moving around a lot is super distracting. If there are two photographers, we can have our positions set with very minimal movement.
I LOVE daytime sendoffs! Traditionally, the church sendoff was so much more popular than the night sparkler/glow stick sendoff. I love a bright and fun sendoff, with all of your guests still in attendance and um, fully sober haha. And there’s no risk of a sparkler malfunction! The church sendoff is a great option if you’re trying to maximize your photography without having your photographer stay until the end of the night. The faux sendoff is also an option (where you pose a sendoff with just your wedding party or a small group), but I love that the Catholic church sendoff is an authentic alternative!
Catholic weddings tend to happen earlier in the day, and leave a larger cocktail hour gap between the ceremony and dinner. I recommend setting aside some time to do something special with your partner, and to relax a bit! With Beissy and Lewis, we went into the bridal suite at Garey House to do gift exchanges, some posed photos, and just let the two of them relax for a bit. There is probably plenty of time to add this in! It’s also nice if you’re doing a printed wedding album, because these photos can be used to introduce the wedding and create a flow.
If you want clean shots of your reception details, make sure guests don’t enter the reception space until your photographer has a chance to take photos of it! Garey House is a great venue because there are so many different spaces for cocktail hour. If your reception venue doesn’t have separate spaces for cocktail hour and reception, plan accordingly with your photographer! I can send my second photographer to the reception venue to shoot details while I photograph your family. Just something to be mindful of :).
Beissy and Lewis had a full reception of fun events planned. We worked together and we able to capture all of those specialty events before I headed out for the evening. With a Catholic wedding, if I’m shooting my standard eight hour package, there is an almost 100% chance I will be leaving before the dancing finishes. And that’s okay!! Modern weddings seem to suggest the photographer needs to stay all night. And while it’s nice, it isn’t a necessity. You and your spouse can pick the priorities of your wedding! And not having your photographer stay until the end of the night is a perfectly okay option, especially if you’re having a Catholic wedding!