Wedding Day Photography Schedule Tips

You may notice that many photographers base their packages on amount of time coverage. So here is a little info to help you figure out how many hours of photography you may need.

The most important sections of the wedding day are; the Ceremony, Group Photos & Romantic Photos. Therefore, you can start there and build onto that what you like.

4 hours: This is perfect for Intimate Weddings & Elopements. This is typically enough time to cover the most important sections of the day including; the Ceremony, Group photos & Romantic photos.

8 hours: This is good for a smaller wedding. It can be enough photography coverage with the right amount of planning. If you get ready in separate rooms at the same hotel and have the Ceremony & Reception at the same hotel, you will save a considerable amount of time in travel. You will have to cut the Getting Ready coverage down to an hour by being mostly dressed when the photographer arrives and having only the Bridal Party and Parents in the room. As well, during the reception you will have to get straight to the Traditions of first dances, bouquet toss, garter toss, cake cutting & speeches. In this situation you will have to let the photographer(s) go before the partying starts.

14 hours: If you would like full wedding day photo coverage, it can take 12 to 14 hours if you consider that you will start to get ready shortly after you wake up in the morning and the party doesn't end until shortly before everyone goes home and goes to sleep. This allows for a more relaxed timeline during the Getting Ready photos and during the Reception. If you are getting ready in separate locations, have a large number of guests and want photos of all the dancing at the end of the night you will need this amount of wedding photography coverage.

Below we have outlined the standard break down of a wedding day. Each section below typically takes around 2 hours, especially if you include travel and other normal delays that occur when you are trying to organize a large group of people.

Guys Getting Ready (2 hours)
Girls Getting Ready (2 hours)
First Look (2 hours)
Ceremony & Group Photos (2 hours)
Romantic Photos (2 hours)
Dinner & Speeches (2 hours)
Traditions (2 hours)
Guests, Party & Exit (2 hours)

Getting Ready (2 hours each)
Depending on how many people are at the location and how far along you are when we arrive; we find 2 hours gives us time to cover everything, as well as allows us to keep our distance. There are many details to photograph during this time and often many photos with the parents, family and the wedding party. This gives us the ability to photograph everyone looking their best and gives you time to hangout with the friends and family.

To save time, the Bride & Groom can get ready in separate rooms at the same location; such as a hotel, be half way dressed when we arrive and have a small well organized group of people.

First Look (2 hours)
A first look is when the Bride & Groom decide to do a surprise visit with each other before the ceremony. You may find this to be an exciting idea or you may want to stick to tradition. The advantages of a first look is that you can get the romantic photos done early in the day when you are fresh, as well as save time between the ceremony and reception and join your guests sooner. If you do choose to go with a first look, we recommend using the full 1-2hours here, so that you can go straight from your ceremony to your reception later.

If you are planning 8 hours of coverage, you might skip the First Look or use this time in lieu of the Romantic photos later on.

Ceremony & Group Photos (2 hours)
Many wedding ceremonies are about 30mins to 1 hour service. The receiving line can take up to 30mins. And group photos take up to 30mins.

Romantic Photos (2 hours)
This will be your first chance to relax and gather yourself and enjoy a little time with your partner. Also, the wedding party will surely want to crack open some refreshments. Depending on the locations you have chosen, there may be some travel time and everyone has to get in the limo and out of the limo at each location.

To save time , you can have photos with the wedding party right after the ceremony and send them off to entertain the guests. Then you can have your romantic photos in private at a nearby location.

Dinner & Speeches (2 hours)
This section always takes longer than expected. It really does take a long time for guests to settle down and find their seats, the wedding party entrance, dinner to be served and speeches throughout.

To save time, you can do the wedding party entrance, first 3 dances, bouquet toss, garter toss and cake cutting immediately (which will take about 1 hour) and let your photographer go before dinner.

Traditions (2 hours)
If you save the traditions for after dinner, they typically take a little longer. Likely you will be going by a more relaxed timeline, which may mean there will be a few more speeches, you will be socializing with guests and so on. This will typically mean about a 2 hour time frame to get all of you traditions done.

To save time, you can remain diligent and get the traditions done before dinner is served.

Guests, Party and Exit (2 hours)
At this point it is up to you how much longer you would like the photographers to stick around. You may not want the photographers to miss a moment or you may need just a few extra photos to capture the excitement.