How Much Time Will I Need For Photography?

How much time do I need for photographs? This is probably the question I am asked the most. While it may seem daunting to a couple when planning out their day, this simple photography timeline will provide you with a foundation to tweak for your unique day.

1 Hour – Groom and Groomsmen Preparation
The biggest tip I can provide here is for the boys to be showered, shaved and dressed in their attire (minus their suit jackets) ready for when I arrive. It’s a great idea the Groom doesn’t have his tie or jacket on as well, however having the tie already tied is a great idea and can save a lot of potential stress on the day.

Time permitting, after some detail and casual preparation photos, we would then capture some more creative photographs.

+ Time Required to Travel to Brides Place of Preparation

1.5 hours – Bride and Bridesmaid Preparation
30 minutes – For the first half an hour I would be taking detail photographs and asking the Bridesmaids to be dressed. It would be ideal if the makeup and hair artist, if you are using one, is applying the finishing touches on the Bride when I arrive.

60 minutes – It may seem a bit early however, asking the Bride to start getting into her dress 1 hour before we are scheduled to leave is ideal. This will provide roughly 45 minutes with the Bride and Bridesmaids for photographs. This is where we can capture some more artist and creative photographs to complement the casual preparation photographs. Less stress and rush is best at this time.

I would normally leave 5-10 minutes before the Bride does to make sure everything is organised for photographs and ready for her arrival at the ceremony.

1 Hour – Ceremony & Traditional Family Photographs
A traditional ceremony takes approximately 20-30 minutes however, this may differ according to the denomination and cultural traditions.

After the ceremony has concluded I may take a large group photograph and then start to take the formal traditional family photographs. This is where we can really chew through the time if we aren’t organized. I would suggest clients allocate someone who knows the family to help organise the guests ready for their photographs. First we focus on the immediate family and then any extended family. Don’t forget to grab some cherished photos of your grandparents.

2-3 Hours – Bridal Party and Bride & Groom Photographs?
We have taken off to a nearby location for photographs. This is where we capture a mixture of formal, romantic and artistic photographs. I have certainly photographed this period with less time however, we can also take time to relax, maybe have a drink and catch our breath before for go to the reception.

If you would like multiple locations, don’t forget to add travel time and reallocate some time to the second location for photographs. The pre wedding day planning meeting will go through this period in more detail.

+ Time Required to Travel to Brides Place of Preparation

1-1.5 Hours – Reception, Formal Introduction and Cake Cutting
I quickly go into the reception venue and take some detail photographs of the room while the bridal party freshens themselves up. These photographs capture the decor, flowers, gifts and general ambiance of the room.

After the wedding party and newly weds are introduced, many couples are choosing to cut the cake straight away. I’m not sure how this tradition started however it does cut the cake at a time when the guests are fresh, all the guests are in the room and eager to photograph the bride and groom together. Cutting the cake at this time can also save some time you have to allocate to photography.

Once the room has settled and all the guests are seated, I check with the couple if there are any other photographs they need and if not, thank all concerned for a great day, wish them a wonderful night and head off.

While the vast majority of weddings follow this timeline, Lumo Photography can stay at the reception until the end of the night as additional time can be added at time of booking.

One Last Tip!
Remember the day will go by in a flash so try to take your time and enjoy it. Planning is important however, don’t let it ruin your day. A simple somewhat flexible timeline, like the one detailed above, will maximize photography opportunities and minimize booking me for additional time you may not need.