The Ceremony & Cocktail hour
When guests start arriving I bring one of the assistants to start answering their questions and I have the bridal attendant round up the family and bridal party for lineup. Ceremonies usually start 15 minutes after the invitation time (30 minutes in the Jewish culture and up to 1 or 2 hours in some of the middle eastern cultures!) unless we are waylaid by guests lost in traffic.
If all photos are done the bride & groom can either join their guests for cocktail hour or just spend some alone time together. During cocktail hour I speak to the MC and Banquet Captain to go over the flow of the reception and the timing of the food. My assistants are finishing up details of the reception such as the candy bar, favors, or candle lighting. The photographer uses these last few minutes before guests come in to take detail shots of the reception. Once we announce that we are seating for dinner a bridesmaid or assistant and I usually bustle the bride’s dress in preparation for the reception.