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table photo

How to ensure all your wedding guests are photographed

December 22, 2022

If you want to ensure that all of your guests are captured at your wedding, the best way to do this is by taking table photos.  Wedding guest photos can be a nice addition to your wedding album. See our tips below on how to help us capture them efficiently.

What are table photos?

“Table photos” in the context of a wedding is when the bride and groom goes to every table with the photographer to take a photo with the guests.

How can we do table photos quickly?

sweetheart table

In order to capture table photos as quickly as possible, the best way is to get the MC involved. If the MC can announce “we will be coming around to take table photos, please stay in your seats until we are finished with your table” that would be ideal. Also, please keep in mind that if you stop to chat with the guests this will take a lot longer and we may not be able to get them all done. Another thing we could suggest is to invite the guests to take a photo at the sweetheart table, that way you don’t have to budge, having your wedding planner or MC help wrangle people will be ideal in this situation.

Can you take the table photos without the bride and groom?

Parents table photo

We can try! Capturing all of the wedding guests requires organization. We are often met with opposition. The guests will tell us “come back later we are eating” or “don’t take our photo yet my husband is missing.”  Guests tend to behave a lot better when the bride and groom are present! One thing you might consider is providing the guests with a photo booth or backdrop so those who want a fun shot can do so in their own time.

Can you take candids while the bride and groom visit the tables?

candid wedding guest photo

Yes! However keep in mind that these are not always the best shots, if the space and setting allows for it we can do this. An organized approach will yield the best results. Please notify the photographer if you want them to follow you around.

How long does it take to do table photos?

You may think it would be a quick moment at each table, but it does take quite a bit of time. I would budget at least 5 minutes per table. We will need to ask half of the guests to stand up and stand behind the other half, with the bride and groom in the middle. We may need to move tall centerpieces. On average, it takes around 30-45 minutes to capture all the tables at a 150-200 person wedding.

What is a table dash?

table run

In a perfect world we could do a table dash, which means that we quickly run to each table and take a quick snap with them standing.  This would result in less formal photos. If the layout of the room is tight, it may require that we position the guests around the table they are seated at. If we can call each table up to the dance floor for their photo that might also help with timing and improve the consistency of the shots. You can make the table dash fun by choosing a song and trying to get them all done during the duration of the song.

What should we do if there is no space around the tables. Or if the table shape is not ideal for taking photos.

wedding guests at long table

The photographer will use his or her best judgement to suggest what would work best. If you strongly disagree then by all means please speak up, but I would recommend trusting your photographer. We have your best interests in mind!

Do I have to do table photos, I don’t really want to.

You definitely do not have to. We just want to give you the ins and outs so that you don’t feel as though you missed out on something after the wedding. Table photos are often important to the parents of the bride and/or groom. If you have older people that won’t be on the dance floor and want them in the photos, please consider table photos for at least those folks.

Are table photos a good idea?

Greek wedding

We think so, if capturing a photo with every guest is important to you. Sure, we can capture candids, dancing and some posed shots around the tables in lieu of table photos. But we generally we find that there are certain people who don’t want their photos taken and will avoid the camera at all costs. Those are usually the same people who are sitting down while everyone else is dancing. Another thing to consider is that if your wedding reception is jam packed with activities, there may not be time for table photos. Greek and Jewish weddings tend to have more traditions that take up time during the reception.

Can my wedding photographer take a photo of everyone at the same time?

all wedding guests photo


Your wedding photographer may be able to capture everyone in one shot. This would require some coordination and assistance from your wedding planner and MC. It might require stopping the party for a few minutes. If that is important to you, your MC should be able to make it happen with prior warning.

In conclusion, your wedding photographer will capture the main events of your reception plus dancing. Table photos are a good way of ensuring that we capture a variety of guests. We hope you found this advice helpful, please read our resources page for more wedding photography tips and advice!

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