How Long Should You Allocate For Wedding Photos

When trying to organise a group of people it is important to have a clear order of events and timeline for everyone to follow. Of course, this timeline can and most likely will change as some things will take a shorter or longer time to complete than expected.

One of the things that tends to throw out the timing at weddings is photos. This usually happens because a new photo opportunity will present itself or someone who didn’t originally want photos will end up wanting some. For this reason it’s always better to create a wedding photography timeline and try to follow it strictly. 

Wedding photos can also take longer if you have young children, elderly or pets as it can be hard to wrangle them all into the photos.



The first thing you need to know when creating your timeline is when to start taking photos. This will depend on your wedding. Many couples like to capture the whole process, by having the photographer arrive at the same time as the beauticians. 

However, if you’re under tight time restraints it can work just as well to have the photographer arrive as late as 15 minutes before you plan to put your dress on. This will give them time to capture a few pre-dress shots as well as the whole dressing process while your hair and makeup is extremely fresh. Then you will likely want to allow around 15 to 30 minutes for some bridal party shots before you make your way to the ceremony venue. 

How Long Should You Allocate For Wedding Photos

As for the groomsmen, again this depends on the kind of photos you want, but generally speaking the men take less time to get ready than women so you would likely need less time allocated. However, you know your groomsmen best, so if they’re likely to take longer then plan for that. 

Ideally, to ensure you get a wide range of shots, you will want to allow around an hour for pre-ceremony and getting ready photos for each side of the wedding party. 



You will have noticed that we’ve skipped over the photo time during your wedding ceremony, this is because you will likely want your photographer to continually take shots throughout the whole ceremony, and as such will not need to allocate any extra time. They will act as a fly on the wall of sorts and capture everything as it happens without disrupting the process.

The time allocated after the ceremony is important because this will affect when you and your guests arrive at the reception venue to start the after party. 

During this time between the ceremony and reception you will likely have a lot of shots to get through, from newly wed shots, to the wedding party to family photos. It’s essential you allocate your time wisely and generously.


Newly Wed Shots

How Long Should You Allocate For Wedding Photos

The most important people on any wedding day are the bride and groom, so you’re guaranteed to want an array of fun and formal portraits of just the two of you to share and display. Depending on the amount of poses and locations around your venue that you want to capture you will want to allow between 45 minutes to an hour. 

And don’t worry if you don’t have a ton of pose ideas on hand, your wedding photographer will have experience and be able to guide you and your partner to picturesque locations and into beautiful poses. 


Wedding Party Shots

How Long Should You Allocate For Wedding Photos

You will have chosen your wedding party carefully, so they’re all people who are extremely close to you and your partner, and as such it’s important to get a good range of pictures of and with them. Though, these photos should not take as long as the bride and groom’s solo portraits. Wedding photographers generally agree that these shots take approximately half an hour. 


Family Photos

How Long Should You Allocate For Wedding Photos

The hardest part of getting family portraits is getting everyone in position. Once you and your photographer wrangle your family members together and into a pose these photos breeze by. These shots shouldn’t take longer than half an hour, even if certain people keep adding specific photos to the list. 


Wedding Reception

How Long Should You Allocate For Wedding Photos

Photos during your reception will flow much like during the ceremony, with your photographer buzzing around getting pics of all the action as it happens. 

However, there are certain moments that you will likely want to slow down for, to allow your photographer time to frame the perfect shot. These moments include when having your first dance on the dance floor, cutting the cake, and before digging into your meals. 

During quiet moments during the reception between or after the formalities are done, can also be a perfect time for the bride and groom to sneak off for some intimate shots. The amount of time you are able to allocate for this will depend on your venue and the formalities you want to get through. Generally speaking, you don’t want to be away from the party for more than half an hour though. 


Let Your Photographer Guide You

Having a photography timeline plan to follow always helps, so starting one yourself can be a great help. However, if you’re struggling your wedding photographer will always be able to help you stay on track on the day. 

Our professional photographers are passionate about helping you capture and preserve all the enjoyment of your big day so you can reminisce for years to come. Check our availability for your wedding date here

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