There are plenty of questions you’ve probably never considered before you got engaged. I mean, thanks, Aunt Viv, for letting me borrow your decades-old garter, but are they even still a thing?
One item that may, just now, be crossing your radar is rehearsal dinner photos. Do you need them? Do you want them?
Is Rehearsal Dinner Photography a Thing?
Short answer – yes, it absolutely is.
Recently, brides and grooms have been seeking out a little more cohesion in their wedding weekend. For those closest to the duo, a wedding is not just one day, right? There’s almost always a rehearsal dinner, and there’s often a family-oriented day after the wedding.
For some, booking their photographer for more time surrounding the big day is worth the extra cost.
And yes, it does cost extra.
Why You Should Consider Rehearsal Dinner Photos
Before you jump on board this trend or decide it’s not for you, let’s figure out why you’d even want them in the first place.
Your Photographer Meets Your Crew
Usually, your wedding photographer will be coming in cold on the day of your wedding. They’ll have to meet your family and friends and assess who are your closest friends as they go.
And that’s fine because wedding photographers are professionals. This is what they do.
If you go for rehearsal dinner photography, though, they’ll get time to warm up to your key people, and (here’s what I find significant) your people will get time to warm up to them.
Listen, most of us are not around cameras often. When they’re in our space, we can get awkward real quick. But, if you give people time to get used to your photographer, they’ll start to relax, unwind, and get back to being themselves. The rehearsal dinner is the perfect opportunity for this!
You Get More Time with Your Besties
The rehearsal dinner is often reserved for the wedding party and family only. These are your people.
Your wedding day is going to be a beautiful, magical blur. You’ll get to have about a half-second conversation with 100 wedding guests that you won’t talk to again for another couple of years.
But not the rehearsal dinner. It’s an opportunity for genuine connection time with your great grandma and best friend, and aren’t those the photos you really want?
The Rehearsal Dinner Hits Different
To continue that point, the rehearsal dinner is simply a different vibe.
Everyone is more relaxed. There’s not as much prep and pressure as there is for the wedding reception, and it’s also likely the first time everyone is getting together for the weekend.
You get to just take in this moment without having to worry about schedules, dances, or any of the high-intensity moments that come with a wedding.
Plus, don’t you want a photo of that rehearsal dinner outfit you’re going to be rocking? Yes, please.
Don’t Miss the Special Moments
Although it’s not the big day, the rehearsal dinner is still part of your wedding story, and it can have just as many unforgettable moments and photo ops.
Like I said, these are your people. And they’re gathering here to celebrate you.
There will be speeches. Inevitably there will be tears. And I just don’t think you want to miss the laugh-cries that your maid-of-honor will definitely be snorting out.
You get to cut up with your friends just like you usually would. Although, maybe tone it down a bit because you don’t want to catch Grandma’s side-eye.
Get In a Last Minute Photo Sesh
This is really enticing.
Ditch the party for a bit to take in the fact that (screams) you’re getting married tomorrow!
It’s your last night before you become eternally hitched, and wouldn’t it be nice to document a handful of intentional moments during that time?
You could just breathe, escape some of the noise, and re-center yourselves with each other. Getting married is a big deal, and it’s freaking cool that you’re here.
Take a moment to let it sink in.
Why Might You want to Skip Rehearsal Dinner Coverage?
Does getting together with your closest friends and family make you itch? Are you cringing at all of the laughter and joy that will inevitably be captured? Ready to just skip all the nonsense and then hit the road?
Maybe this one ain’t for you, sis.
In all seriousness, though, the cost is probably the prohibiting factor here. And I get that.
If you just can’t swing it, you may want to ask someone close to you to snap a few moments. Just remember, you probably want that person to be present, and giving them a job will disrupt that.
Before you totally count yourself out, though, talk with your photographer. See what it might cost for them to be present during your rehearsal dinner.
If they had to travel to your event, they might include that night for a nominal fee. Or perhaps they’d be willing to cut things from the wedding package that aren’t high on your priority list.
Your wedding photographer cares about your happiness. They want to capture all of the major, minor, and in-between moments that mark this weekend.
It can’t hurt to ask, am I right?
Because here’s the thing, this night won’t ever come again. This moment in your story is fleeting. Photos will help you grab it and hold onto it forever.