It is hard to know before your wedding which photos you are going to value most in the end. As Northern Virginia wedding photographers, we are frequently surprised to learn which of our images our clients like best. A lot of it is obviously going to depend on your own personal tastes. Are you looking for gorgeous portraits of you and your future spouse at your Northern Virginia wedding venues that can grace your mantel? Then shots of the two of you gently holding one another are probably the ones you are going to jump to first when you get your gallery.
On the other hand, you might prefer images that beautifully capture the moments that mattered most on your wedding day. (Given that you are perusing this website, we certainly hope that is the case! Each of us is a photojournalistic Northern Virginia wedding photographer, meaning we specialize in giving you pictures that preserve those moments so that you can relive the emotions you felt every time you see them.)
But even if you have pretty strong feelings about which style of photography you prefer, you might find that changes when you actually see the images. You might think that you will like couples portraits the most. But the photo that ends up greetings guests in your home might depict something else. It could be one of the two of you smiling at each other during your first dance. You could find that that picture better captures what makes you a couple built to last.
Another reason it is hard to know ahead of time which photos you will value most is that they will not exist in a bubble. They will capture a moment in time, but the context around that instant can and will change. New people will come into your life; others will drift away. The relative importance of friends and acquaintances will shift as your new life transforms and evolves. Family members will grow older, and sadly, not all of them will be with you forever. But throughout your own life, you will always have those moments you spent with them at your wedding to remember them by. Many of our clients have thanked us in the months after their marriage celebrations for giving them treasured reminders of loved ones who later passed away. They could not have imagined beforehand how much those photos would mean to them. But they were beyond grateful to have them in the end.
One type of photo that you might never expect to treasure is dance floor pictures from your reception. Sure, they are lots of fun. And with any luck, we will be able to get some shots of your wedding guests doing some pretty silly stuff. There will certainly be some images that make you smile. Undoubtedly, a few will make you laugh. But will they rank among your favorites? Not likely, right?
We think that you would be surprised. Images from your reception dance floor might be more valuable than you would think. And no, we are not talking about pictures of your first dance, if that is what you were thinking. Obviously, shots of the two of you experiencing one of your first moments as married couple are going to be significant. Instead, we mean photographs of you and your new spouse getting busy on the dance floor.
Why on earth would these kinds of shots have any special importance to you? Because of something that you will only learn on your wedding day itself. Namely, because those pictures will capture the first moments during your marriage celebration when you are having pure, unadulterated fun. Those photos will show you just straight-up enjoying yourself. They will preserve forever a smile on your face that is untouched by any emotion but love and happiness.
Though your wedding day is certain to be one of the happiest of your life, the reality is that it can be stressful. There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of things to worry about. Even the best planning and assistance will not alleviate all of your stress. As you are getting ready, you are sure to still have to attend to some last-minute details. That will all melt away when you get to your wedding ceremony, of course. When you are walking down the aisle, the last thing you will be thinking about is whether the decor at the reception venue is set up properly. You might, however, find that you are a little nervous. Not so much about the step you are taking, but perhaps about being up in front of so many people. Wanting to make sure that you get everything right can mean that you are not fully at ease during the ceremony. Standing next to the love of your life will obviously help calm your nerves a bit. But the pictures of you are unlikely to show pure, unrestrained joy.
As your wedding day transitions to the family formals and couples portraits, you are probably going to feel relief and impatience. The hard part is over! Now you can just relax and enjoy everything. Or you can once you are done posing for photos with your family, that is! One of the hardest parts of a marriage celebration for the couple is getting through this as the lure of the reception tugs at them.
Once you make your grand entrance into your reception venue, though, you can finally fully relax and have fun. When you get out on the floor, you and your future spouse can dance and sing with abandon. You will no longer have any cares, worries or concerns. And the photos of you will show that!
They certainly did for this bride as she got low during the ubiquitous playing of that wedding reception standard, “Shout.” As she slowly sinks down to the floor of the Carlyle Club’s event space, you can see the unbridled happiness in her eyes. Her smile is genuine and unrestrained. She is just lost in that moment, enjoying every bit of it. And that is the kind of photo that she loved. Just like it is the sort that you will love receiving after your wedding.Northern Virginia Wedding Photographer (15), Virginia wedding (39).
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