Many of my wedding couples come to me with questions as they plan their wedding day time line, because they want to make sure they allot enough time for pictures during each phase of the day (smart people!) To help me organize and make a recommendation for them, I break the wedding day into five stages: 1.) Getting Ready, 2.) Ceremony, 3.) Formal Pictures, 4.) Creative Pictures, 5.) Reception. Below I break out what we photograph during these five stages of the day, and how much time we like to allot for pictures during each stage. Note: since every wedding is its own unique occurrence, these tips are just general guidelines, and will need to be tailored to every wedding (for example, if you want a first look.) These guidelines do not include driving time in between locations.
1.) Getting Ready
Coverage Time: 2.5 Hours for Ladies, 45 Minutes for Men
During this stage of the day, we begin photographing the details such as the wedding dress, invitation, shoes, jewelry, flowers, etc. We’ll snap a few of the hair/makeup application if it occurs on-site, the bride getting in her dress, intimate moments with immediate family members, and portraits of the bride alone and with her bridesmaids. This is the same idea for the groom, except there are typically fewer details, and the getting ready time is much quicker.
Coverage Time: varies for each wedding, anywhere between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours
Since ceremony times widely vary, the coverage time fluctuates for each wedding. We will photograph the venue, details (flowers/programs, etc.) and any special moments with the bride and groom prior to the ceremony.
3.) Formal Pictures
Coverage Time: varies for each wedding 30-45 minutes
The amount of time spent for these pictures is determined based on when we need to be out of the church, how many family pictures are requested, and how large the bridal party is.
4.) Creative Pictures
Coverage Time: 30-45 minutes
The coverage time does not include drive time to and from a location. The more time you can give us here, the more you will love your pictures because it gives us time to be creative! We would prefer 45 minutes of coverage time, but understand that there is a limited amount of time before you need to get your party shoes on!
Coverage Time: 2.5 Hours
Usually, 2.5 hours is enough coverage time for us to get in all of the big moments unless these are spread through the end of the reception. If you have a large wedding, we may need more time here to capture all of your guests.
Every photographer has their own photo timeline preference, so these recommendations are strictly meant for our wedding clients, and not any other photographer’s! Thanks for reading, and I hope this information helps you as you plan your day!