Taking pictures at wedding receptions is one of our favorite parts of our jobs as wedding photographers. Even though the couple and their guests are constantly moving around, lights are flashing and people are nearly constantly accidentally photobombing us, we’ve really come to enjoy the organized chaos of most wedding receptions because that is when the bride and groom can finally let their hair down!
The process of getting ready can often be tense, as the brides- and grooms-to-be try to get everything perfect before the deadline, and as lovely as most ceremonies are, they can sometimes be a bit rigid. But the reception, on the other hand, is when the newlyweds can finally enjoy being married and that is also when the full range of human emotions come out for us to photograph. The couple can laugh at the funny stories in the best man/maid of honor speeches, cry during the father-daughter/son-mother dances and burn off any residual stress by getting crazy with their friends and family on the dance floor.
Our favorite part of every wedding reception we’ve photographed in the Washington, DC area, though, is the first time the newlyweds dance together. It’s often the first moment on the wedding day when the happy couple gets to fully enjoy being in each other’s presence. Most of the day up to that point is either spent apart or in a highly structured environment. The first dance is an opportunity to be themselves, and that tends to look great on film. Some newlyweds plan elaborate mashup dance routines that showcase their fun sides and are a big hit with their guests. Others, like this lovely bride and groom, choose to use their first dance to bask in their love for one another.