Q: I’m working on my photography shotlist and one thing I know most people do is take photos with each table. Is this a must have?
This is such a great question and one I get a lot, so I’m glad you asked. First off, it is not a must have. You’ve probably been to weddings where the couple goes around and takes wedding table photos during dinner. So, it seems like it’s a must have, but it really isn’t. So, the answer to your question is no.
But, I think there is a bigger question here and that is whether you should take them or not.
So, different people will tell you different things, but here’s why most people take wedding table photos: So, that they have a photo of everyone at their wedding.
When you have 100, 200, 300 people or more at your wedding, you won’t be able to see or talk to everyone. It’s just not possible. So, taking wedding table photos is a chance to “see” everyone and get a photo with them. Makes sense, right?
But, here’s what most couples don’t think about, the actual use of those photos and how it affects the experience. Let’s start with the first point.
So, great, you’ve taken these photos. Now what? What do you do with it? Here’s the reality: No one ever looks at them. You won’t frame them, you won’t put them into an album, and you won’t send them to anyone. You won’t do anything with them. So, if a photo is taken and you never look at it, what’s the point?
The other thing to think about is how taking these photos affects the experience. Each photo will take anywhere from 3-10 minutes per table because you’re talking to people and saying hi. Which is great, but that means it’s going to take 30 plus minutes to get all these photos in.
So, for your guests that you aren’t talking to, that means they aren’t doing anything during this time period. So, they’re sitting there bored waiting for you to be done. And that isn’t much fun.
And then for you and your new husband or wife, while you get to see your guests, you’ll be rushing between tables trying to get them all done. So, you don’t get a lot of time to talk to people. And it usually also results in you not eating much dinner, which isn’t great.
And lastly, the more time your photographer spends taking these wedding table photos, the less time they have to take anything else.
All in all, taking wedding table photos doesn’t usually result in a super happy or relaxed experience for anyone. So, if you don’t need them, I’d advise against it.
Now with all that being said, some couples feel very strongly about these photos. So, if you are one of those, then do it. Do what is right for you. Just be aware of what that means both for yourselves and your guests. If having those photos outweighs everything else, then do it.
But, if not, then don’t. You’ll enjoy yourselves more. Your guests will enjoy themselves more. And it will make for just a much more fun, relaxed and happy experience.
(Photo credit: Bethany Carlson Photography)
So, tell me are you going to take wedding table photos? Please leave a comment and let me know. I’d love to hear what you’re planning on doing.
And as always, if you have a question you’d like answered in an upcoming Q&A, please ask away!