Ideal Wedding Photography Timeline
With all of the details to plan for your wedding, you can easily get swallowed up in things like dresses, centrepieces, and flowers, but most brides don’t think about the actual “flow” of their day until just before the wedding.
Having an idea or rough outline of how much time each portion of the day will take allows you to plan farther in advance and allows you to prepare for your vendors, most notably, your photographer. Having a wedding photography timeline is integral to a wedding that flows seamlessly. Your photography timeline also helps you to budget appropriately for your photographer – which could save you hundreds of dollars and when we are talking weddings, a penny saved is a penny saved!
Getting Ready: The Bride + Groom
1 to 2 hours total: Depending on travel between locations and size of the bridal party. Plan for 15 extra minutes of you are planning a first look with each other! Typically, the Bride’s side takes about 1 hour for getting ready photos (or more) and the Groom’s side is about 30 minutes maximum.
The Wedding Ceremony
15 Minutes to 1.5 hours: The length of your ceremony may vary widely. If your wedding is a traditional religious ceremony, it could take 30 minutes. For Orthodox weddings, 1 hour or longer, and for civil ceremonies, 15-30 minutes including processional and recessional. Consider travel time between locations for your portraits. Photography time usually starts when you ask the photographer to arrive, and is consecutive including travel.
Formal Group + Family Portraits:
30 minutes – 1 Hour: Formal portrait timing can vary widely depending on group size and family / group combinations. If you need less time, or would like to allocate more time elsewhere, communicate with your family that you would prefer to have immediate family members in portraits only, and save photos of extended family members for candids during the reception. If you have large families (more than 10 on each side for immediate family) consider group photos to include everyone.
Wedding Party + The Newlyweds:
1.5 – 3 Hours: Timing can depend largely on the locations, travel and size of bridal party. Without travel and a small to average bridal party (3-4 on each side) plan for 1.5 hours of photography time. Add more time for each location (30 minutes or more for each location).
2 – 6 Hours: Your reception includes your cocktail hour (mingling), dinner, first dance, cutting of the cake, games, speeches, and dancing.