How much time do I need for wedding photos?

Your wedding day is happening soon and you are not sure how much time you need to capture your day. It is an exciting and crazy time and you want to make sure nothing is missed. Your wedding photographer is with you all day capturing everything you have bought, made, chosen, and planned for your day.

Getting ready shots varies. For a groom or grooms, it usually takes 45 minutes to 1 hour each. This all depends on how big the wedding party is and if they are giving gifts. As a wedding photographer, I like to capture detailed shots ( tie, shoes, rings, etc.). Then I proceed to take candid shots of getting ready with the wedding party in the same room. Once everyone is ready I take formal pictures of the groom by himself, then with each groomsman and some group shots. This will save time for after the ceremony.

(Note From Neil – always make sure to allow time for the Reservoir Dog Walk! 🙂 )

For a bride or brides, it usually takes 1 hour to 2 hours each. While the bride is getting her makeup applied I like to capture the details (dress, flower, shoes, etc.). As a Durham region wedding photographer, I like to capture the bride’s makeup pictures when she is having her touch-ups. I will then take pictures of her admiring her dress. Her mother and bridal party will then help her put on her dress and jewelry. Is she having a first look with her father? If time allows it we will capture the bride by herself, with each bridesmaid, and group shots. The more time I have to take the bridal party pictures saves time after the ceremony. 

Ceremonies take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. This all depends if it is a religious ceremony or a non-religious ceremony. Church weddings could run long and usually have more rules. Once your ceremony is over, have an escape plan. All your guests and family will want to congratulate you and your family. You could always politely let them know you will see them at the reception. Always allow for travel time if the ceremony is a different location than where you are having your formal pictures.

As a Durham wedding photographer, I like having 1-½ hours to 2 hours for formal pictures. This includes family, wedding party and yourselves. For family pictures make sure to advise the family needed for them. Family pictures could take two minutes each or longer if you need to locate family members or how large the family picture is. I usually like 30 minutes for family pictures.

I also like to have 30 minutes for wedding party photos. 30 minutes is usually more than enough time. Ultimately this is decided on whether I was able to capture pictures beforehand or how large the wedding party is. My advice to you is to tell your wedding party what is expected of them beforehand. The quicker we can get those photos done, the quicker they could join the rest of the guests.

For the couple, I also like having 30 minutes to capture just the two of them. This time allows for multiple locations and poses. You will also have to allow for travel time if the formal pictures are not at the reception venue. 

Photo taken at Trillium Trails

For the rest of your day, I will capture candid photos of you and your guests. It is always worthwhile to sneak away for 10 minutes for sunset photos. 

Sunset photo taken at Deer Creek

As a wedding photographer, I am usually capturing your day for 10 to 12 hours. I want to make sure nothing is missed and you are not stressed about time.

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