Consider asking your guests to refrain from taking photos during the ceremony with their cameras or phones. If Aunt Barb steps into the aisle to take a photo of you walking down the aisle and gets in the way of my shot, there’s nothing I can really do about it. I recommend an “unplugged ceremony” for more than just the photography benefits. Having gotten married myself, it was so beautiful to walk up and down the aisle seeing nothing by the faces of family and friends instead of devices.
Based on my experience photographing a bazillion weddings, guests either don’t read (or they simply ignore) “Unplugged Ceremony” signage. If you’re serious about people keeping their phones and cameras away, have your officiant make an announcement before starting the cermeony for guests to not take photos.
Make it your own – Unless you’re a lover of tradition, don’t feel like you have to adhere to tradition. Make your reception a reflection of who you are. I’ve seen it all; no wedding party introductions, choreographed dances, food trucks, coffee trucks, party masks, cultural traditions, second outfits, shot skis, pumping into a pool, cigar roller, cotton candy stand, tattoo artists…
Once the reception begins, our photo-specific timeline isn’t as strict. We simply photograph the important moments as they happen. We don’t photograph chewing, so we’ll eat dinner while the guests are eating so we can be ready to get right back to work photographing toasts, dances, and other reception events.
If you’re having a sparkler exit, you can still get those fun sparkler photos without adding extra hours of photo coverage. More often than not, we do a faux sparkler exit where we take the couple and just the wedding party outside for 10ish minutes and do a sparkler photo before the photography coverage ends. This allows us to have more control over these photos and the party doesn’t have to stop. Plus, I love getting fire photos completed before people are totally inebriated 😉