Your wedding day goes by incredibly fast, and photos are the only thing you leave with. The truth is beautiful wedding photos require planning. In this in-depth guide, I’m going to show you step-by-step how much time photographers need to beautifully capture different parts of your wedding day so you don’t have to worry about photography, and enjoy one of the best days of your life.
Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours
Getting ready preparation is one of the most intimate parts of the day. Remembering your closest friends and family who supported you on the big day is priceless.
I like to spend as much time as possible with the bride (and my second photographer with the groom) and capturing memories with her loved ones. One thing that helps is to set aside the dress, jewelry, rings, invitations, and flowers ahead of time so they can be photographed quickly and effectively upon my arrival.
While hair and makeup for the bridal party can start as early as 6am, photography commences during the last hour of getting-ready. I recommend makeup touch ups for the bride until the end. In addition, the getting-ready portion documents the bride getting into her dress, bridal portraits, and candid moments.
Duration: 10 minutes + ceremony length
The ceremony is completely personal, and the amount of time needed for images is the length of your ceremony. However, if there is special ceremony decor, like a stunning arbour, special chairs, or flower petals, and other ceremonial details, I’d like to capture these details 10 minutes before guests arrive. Then, we’ll focus on your walk down the aisle, your partner seeing you for the first time, vows, the first kiss, and all the magic.
Duration: 15 minutes + reception length
Similar to the ceremony, the reception photos are completely candid, and I request 15 minutes to capture the reception site before guests arrive. Your personal decisions for the tablescapes, head table decor, and gift favors should be remembered Then, the photography is focused on your candid reception moments, like speeches, first dance, grand entrance, and conversations with your guests.
Duration: 30-45 minutes
When the DJ opens up the dance floor, the lights go down low and we capture everyone cutting loose. There are two options for photography at the end of the night:
- Option 1 – we can capture the entire night including the last dance, or
- Option 2 – we can capture the first 30-45 minutes as the night starts.
My recommendation is to capture the first 30-45 minutes as the night starts, but I’m also available to capture the very last epic dance of the night.
Duration: 30 minutes
Family photos can involve large groups of people. To make sure we don’t miss a single and person and to stay organized, I’ll have you fill out a shot list that names people and different groupings. Please let your family know in advance that their presence is requested.
Wedding Party Photos
Duration: 30 minutes
For photos of your best friends who are supporting on you the wedding day, I request 30 minutes to capture group images, one-on-ones, all the guys, and all girls.
Bride and Groom Portraits
Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Portraits with your life partner to commemorate the big day are so important. I recommend setting aside a minimum of 30 minutes, to 1 hour for gorgeous portraits. It will also give us time to walk around the photo site for a variety of images.
Duration: 15 minutes
Sunset has the most beautiful and romantic light for portraits. I highly recommend stepping out during dinner for 15 minutes of golden, pastel sunset images.
The best way to ensure a stress-free wedding day is to plan ahead, and add buffer time for traffic between locations if that’s applicable. Then, that’s it. Let the photographers to their jobs, and enjoy one of the biggest nights of your life.
To discuss wedding photography for your special day, you can get in touch here.