Q: Our photographer wants us to take pictures during the cocktail hour, but I feel like we'd be missing out on a lot of mingling. What's the rule?

A: There is no steadfast rule, but you should try to maximize prewedding-photo opportunities. "We try to get as many shots of the family and bridal party as we can before the ceremony," says Sarah Merians, a New York photographer. "But we can't always get everything—especially pictures of the bride and groom together with their families." If post ceremony group shots are important to you, realize that you'll have to corral the participants for a certain amount of time during the cocktail hour—your photographer can't just "grab" the pictures during the reception. So expect to spend half of your cocktail hour doing photos.

See all questions about wedding photography and videography etiquette

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