Not every couple exchanges gifts or notes before the ceremony but I have to say… I sure love when they do!
Carving out these little moments on a wedding day creates memories and yes, great photo opportunities too.
To have a moment, a note, a little gift (or a big one) is something you will cherish forever.
From a photographers perspective, we love the range of emotions that the gift exchange evokes.
We do not stage this, but it needs to be planned out to an extent. Here are some ideas on how to add this into your wedding day.
So when is the best time to do this?
A popular time is the wedding morning in getting ready rooms. This way the gifts stay safe and sound in the hotel/house with no worry of them getting lost or left behind on the busy wedding day.
I suggest brides open their gifts once they are about to walk out the door so they look fabulous in the photos. Hair, makeup done and dress on. I like to shoot this right after the bridal portraits in a quiet moment.
The other option is to do it at the First Look. You can each bring your gift or notes and give them to each other in person. This is nice since you have a moment alone together before joining the wedding party. It also gives us photographers a wonderful photo opp to shoot the reactions of both of you.
But… then the gifts are with you and have to be taken care of all day. Just something to consider if you are exchanging something of high value and will worry about it throughout the day.