February 25, 2022

How much time do we need for wedding photos?

FILED IN: Wedding Tips

A wedding day timeline is something a lot of couples have questions about. How long do we need for photos? What time do hair and makeup have to be finished? Will we get to have canapes with our guests after the wedding or do we need all that time for photos?

Canapes with your guests is pretty much the best part of a wedding, you don’t want to miss out on all of it.
A refreshing ale is just what the doctor ordered right after the ceremony’s over and before we head off for photos.

Coming up with a workable timeline for your wedding is the first step to making sure it’s a fun, relaxed day. My philosophy is to make things as stress-free as possible, I want to make it feel like we’re all just hanging out and having fun. One of the ways I do this is by spending quite a bit of time with you before the ceremony; I typically spend about 90 minutes with the guys and 2 hours with the girls.

This sounds like a super long time, but for much of this time you won’t even notice I’m there as I get details shots, scout for photo ideas and capture candid shots of you and your wedding party.

Another reason I allocate a lot of time pre-wedding is to reduce the time we need for photos between the ceremony and reception and to lock in some beautiful portraits while your hair and make-up is perfect and no one’s trodden on your dress yet!

Preparations are the perfect time for some sneaky photos of your pets.
I love getting individual portraits earlier in the day when we don’t have the time pressure of getting back in time for the reception.
I love it when a bride or groom gets ready in their family home, I’m always on the lookout for some childhood photos, or paintings in this case!

A typical wedding timeline from my point of view would run something like this:

11:30am – Arrive at Groom’s place for photos of the guys getting ready

1:00pm – Leave guys and travel to girls

1:30pm – Arrive at Bride’s place for photos of the girls getting ready

3:30pm – Leave girls

4:00pm – Ceremony

4:30pm – Ceremony end, hug time starts (you’ll need some time to accept hugs and kisses from everyone!)

4:40pm – Group photo

4:50pm – Family photos

5:15pm – I’ll get some photos of the reception set up while you enjoy a champagne and canapes with guests. 

5:45pm – Photos with wedding party

6:00pm – Photos with just the two of you

6:30pm – Reception starts and guests seated

6:45pm – Wedding party introduced

This timeline is a guide only and we may need to mix things up a bit if the ceremony and reception are in different places to factor in travel time. We might also look to duck out for 10-15 minutes for some last light/sunset photos with just the two of you, depending on the venue and the time of year.  

It’s often worth ducking out for some sunset photos, the light’s always so soft and dreamy.
Whether it’s the person holding the mic, or the reaction shots of guests, speeches are always great for photos.

We’ll get together for a chat one to two weeks before the wedding, this is when we’ll finalise the timeline. If you have any questions before the pre-wedding chat then by all means let me know. 

This post is the first in a series that answers questions Adelaide wedding couples may have about their wedding. Weddings can be a bit confusing if you’ve never been in one before (or even if you have), so I’m using my 14+ years of experience as an Adelaide wedding photographer to demystify the whole process. The other posts in the series can be seen here, topics include:

How to get natural-looking wedding photos – I hate having my photo taken!

How do we organise family photos at my wedding?

Why weddings run late (and how to avoid it)

Do people still get wedding albums these days?

(I haven’t actually finished writing all these posts as of now, but over the coming weeks I hope to have them up and running)

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