Why rehearsal shoots are worth it

January 5 | Guest post by Jessica Charlton

In which our DIY Editor, Jessica, puts down the crafting goods and gives us her perspective on why asking your photographer to shoot your wedding rehearsal can be a really good idea.

I loved reading this photographer's sponsored post wherein she explained she likes to shoot rehearsals to get an edge on lighting and shots, as well as get comfortable with the couple and their closest friends and family ahead of time. Then it caused me to remember: I'd hired ONE photographer to shoot my ceremony, that would involve TWO parallel aisles, which I and my loved ones were to walk down in alternating pairs. I imagined my poor photographer Anthony Carbajal panting as he constantly ran back and forth from one side of the 20-foot wide guest seating area to the other to get each couple as they approached the altar, trying his best to roll with the punches without any preparation. I decided paying him extra to shoot the rehearsal was a small price to pay for my peace of mind.

All photos by Southern California photographer Anthony Carbajal.

What I didn't anticipate was how he'd catch the true joy and love my family and friends feel for us and each other. Coming from all parts of the US, they all arrived at the ceremony site; some of them were seeing each other for the first time in years.

He also caught us and our loved ones just being ourselves:

I love this sweet candid of my brother in-law, Tom, and his partner, Analisa.
And this one of my bridesmaids Lydia and Adrienne doing what looks like the beginning of some ballet drills…
How gorgeous do fellow Tribe member @NatNNate and Heather of Pixie Crust look in this photo?!
And, vain though I may be, I love this one of me cracking up, probably at something my friend and officiant, Will, is saying.

Needless to say, I can't recommend rehearsal photo shoots enough. If it's in your budget — go for it. And if it's not in your budget but you want it, maybe register for the amount at an online cash registry, or at the very least ask a friend who knows how to use a camera to capture it? Seriously… the natural, emotional, candid photos I have of my loved ones from this shoot are just as special to me (maybe even more) than a lot of the gorgeous photos from the actual wedding. And that's pretty special!

  1. Great idea! I ended up with some candids of our rehearsal BBQ because our friend Nathan (husband of one of my bridesmaids) was there with his nice camera but had no in-ceremony responsibilities. So he just kinda hung around taking pictures of stuff and things, and they came out great! If I had thought of it and if it had been in our budget, having our pro photog there would have been nice. He was great on the day of the wedding, but we'd never met him in person before that and obviously didn't have much time for chit chat on our wedding day. Oh well, maybe when we do a vow renewal a few years down the line…

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  2. I wish I would've thought of this for my wedding! I totally agree that photos of me and family & my husband's family just being ourselves would have been an awesome addition to our wedding album.

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  3. THIS! Yes. I totally agree. I'm shooting a wedding this weekend for an OBB couple, and apparently there's a giant Nativity scene on the altar and the surrounding steps. There are spotlights on it and everything. I am so glad they opted to have me at the rehearsal; you have no idea.

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  4. We invited our photog to the rehearsal so that she would have an idea of the lighting and the staging. She said she might take a few test shots but we weren't expecting anything special. Then she gifted them to us as a bonus! We don't have printing rights to them, digital only, but they're nice to have to look at. I may buy a couple of prints from her to add to the album.

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  5. What a great idea, and you look adorable in the last picture! I like the idea of the SO's who are just along for the dinner/ride being able to take pics as a form of inclusion in the wedding process!

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  6. This is a wonderful idea! I love how genuinely happy & excited everyone is to see each other. It's all very sweet :)

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  7. Oh wow this is too funny, Anthony is my photographer too! I might have to look into this… Thanks for the post!

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