We often have couples ask us if they have to have their group portraits taken at the same location where the ceremony was held. Often this is because there's another wedding coming (or a church service, if it's a Catholic church), and there isn't always time; sometimes this is because they'd prefer a more natural look rather than lighting the portraits as we have to do in darkened churches. The answer is no, of course you don’t have to have your formal portraits taken in the church! You are always in charge of your day, and if your ideal timeline or perfect portraits don’t fit well with your church’s requirements, we highly recommend choosing an outdoor location instead. (We recommend an outdoor location regardless: the lighting is more natural and we’ll have fewer constraints such as pews and church ladies.)
This valet carport at Frenchman’s Reserve in Jupiter, Florida proved to be the perfect option. Since all of the guests had already arrived, there were no cars pulling in and out of the area, the arched roof provided cover from the sun and gave a beautiful bounced light for their faces, and no one had to traipse all the way across the golf course for a couple of portraits. Everyone wins! We highly recommend keeping your wedding party portraits to a minimum, especially if there are young children involved; everyone wants a few great photos, but no one wants to spend two hours wandering around in a group when they could be hitting cocktail hour. We prefer to create a few gorgeous group portraits, capture individual images of each wedding party member (either with or without their bride or groom), and then focus the majority of portrait time for creative couple portraits, celebrating the love and excitement of the union between the couple getting married.
Location: Frenchman's Reserve, Jupiter, Florida.1/250; f/5.6; ISO 1250; 200.0 mm.