Most people imagine their wedding day as this amazing experience you get to have together as a couple. In reality, you won’t spend much of the day side by side unless you make intentional time and space for it. Between getting ready separately, being in the spotlight for your ceremony, trying to talk to all your special guests, and other formalities… your focus is elsewhere for most of the day! To really enjoy the day together, you have to plan ways to get quality, alone time with your spouse on your wedding day. Here are some of my favorite ways to get alone time on your wedding day.
1. Have a first look before your ceremony
A first look is really popular option! Not for all the reasons you think though. Yes, you might get a big reaction from each other and sweet, emotional first look photographs. And of course, it helps us schedule portraits in a way that allow you to go straight to your cocktail hour after the ceremony. But beyond that, it gives you space to feel the joy of the day.
Here’s the difference between a first look before the ceremony, and seeing each other for the first time during the ceremony.
As you walk down the aisle towards your fiancé, they might react with emotion, tears, etc. Or, they might also be so aware that they’re in front of people that they don’t let it fully sink it. Whether or not they react, in that moment, they can’t tell you how they feel. They can’t spin you around and soak in all of the details of your carefully picked out attire, hair and makeup, and shoes you spent weeks looking for.
Most importantly, you can take a moment to debrief together. Express your nerves, your joy, what part of the day you can’t wait for. Hold onto each other for a little while if you want. Cry a bit if you need, or laugh a lot! You can hide away in private too. It doesn’t have to be photographed or about the portraits! As much as I’d love to photograph
2. A private champagne toast after your wedding ceremony
If you have a wedding planner or coordinator, ask them to have some champagne and hors d’oeuvres ready in a private room as you walk down the aisle. It’s going to take some time for the rest of the wedding party and family to process down the aisle anyway. Go ahead and take an extra few minutes to breath with your BRAND NEW spouse! Plus, let’s be honest, you’re probably starving by this point.
3. End the night with a private last dance
This is one of my absolutely favorite ways to end a wedding! Once you’ve danced the night away with your friends and family, clear the room and share a last dance for just the two of you. You can be yourselves, you can soak it all in together. Celebrate the conclusion of your wedding together, dancing alone in the room where your friends just celebrated you!
4. Schedule time for a sunset walk/portrait walk, just the two of you
The absolute best time for your newlywed portraits is the last ~30-40 minutes before sunset. But, that doesn’t mean it’s ONLY for photos! After your portraits, walk away from your reception for a few more minutes to talk to each other. All the rest of the evening, your friends and family will be SO excited to see you, dance with you, laugh with you. You want to say hi to all of them, but with 130 guests, that takes so long! Carve out some time for a conversation with your spouse. Better yet, a romantic walk at sunset.
5. Sit a little away from your guests at dinner
Setting yourself a table away from the masses ensures you space for quality time together on your wedding day. It also ensures you can eat! Most couples don’t eat their fill between all the different conversations, congratulations, and questions from excited guests. It’s not their fault. Your guests are just excited, and they’re probably been there an hour or so already and can hardly wait to share their love with you. Make it a little harder to interrupt your first dinner as newlyweds by putting space between you and your guests. You’re going to spend the whole evening with them. I promise you won’t miss out on anything by sitting down to eat on your own.
Alone time with your spouse on your wedding will help you soak in the day, and actually spend it together!
I hope this helps make your wedding special and stress free.
All of my wedding advice boils down to reducing your stress, increasing your enjoyment, and amplifying your joy. If you liked this article and want more wedding planning tips, photography content, stories from wedding days, and the occasional deal or announcement, join my email list.
I want your day to be as perfect as possible.
Over six years of wedding photography, I’ve picked up on dozens of little ways to help my couples enjoy their wedding more. It’s mostly behind the scenes things, communicating with vendors, and small tweaks to the schedule to make sure they stay IN the moment, giving us more candid, authentic, and joyful photographs. If you’re reading this as a bride or groom to be and this sounds like what you want in a wedding photographer, please reach out! [email protected] is my email. I’d love to talk to you now, whether your wedding is in three months or three years. Let’s get a drink, hop on zoom, and figure out what you’re looking for in a wedding photographer. I betcha I either know someone, or am someone! ?
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Jo Mahaney is a professional photographer of PhotographyByJo.net based in Staunton, Virginia, specializing in wedding photography. With over eight years of experience, Jo is dedicated to creating effortless, joyful imagery that authentically captures the essence of each couple’s unique love story. She is known for her ability to create meaningful galleries filled with emotion and personal narratives. Jo is not just a photographer; she is an active supporter of her clients, providing resources and guidance to ensure a stress-free experience. From the initial inquiry call to the wedding day, Jo is transparent, open, and ready to get to know her clients to provide the best service possible. Her commitment to her craft and her clients is evident in the glowing testimonials she has received. Jo’s work extends beyond Staunton, covering areas such as Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Lexington, Roanoke, and Richmond. She has also had the privilege of photographing weddings in various locations, including the Outerbanks, DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina, and even Spain.