Hooray! Now that you've made it to the reception, the rest is cake--literally. Ensuring great photographs at your reception is all about planning and creating a timeline that flows easily from one event to the next. For example, if you are having a sit-down dinner, schedule the speeches while everyone is eating so I can capture your guests laughing and enjoying the speeches.
Dance the Night Away (With Your Partner)
It might sound like a ridiculous thing to say, but for the sake of your photos, please PLEASE dance with your new spouse. My job is to get beautiful shots of the two of you together, and the ones of you dancing are always some of the best.
Dealing With Darkness
The sun is setting on your wedding day, the DJ is starting his show, and the drinks are flowing. This is the most fun part of the evening for you and your guests and the most challenging for your photographer, especially if you have an outdoor wedding. Your reception site will be unforgettable, but it will probably also be quite dark.
So what can you do to get great reception photos when the lighting is challenging? Work with your wedding coordinator and location manager to brainstorm lighting solutions based on your budget. You'll need enough light for the photographer to focus the camera on fast-moving targets, like dancers and revelers, so the more ambient light, the better. Speak to your DJ in advance to see what kind of lights he or she is bringing and if you have options. Multi-colored DJ lights are one of the reasons photographers favor black and white and sepia tones in reception photos. (It just looks better than seeing friends and family bathed in lime green light.)
Creating Ambient Light Creatively
Sparklers make a fun addition to the evening. I suggest having your guests light their sparklers during the introduction of the couple to the reception, first dance or cake cutting.
Fireworks can be spendy, but really get the party started. It is a good idea to have the fireworks launch at the end of the bride and groom's first dance.
Love Lanterns are lovely and make for stunning photos. [Practice lighting them in advance and be sure to have an excess of lighting tools and a few people on hand to help get them lit.