When trying to decide how much photography coverage you’ll need for your marriage celebration, it’s important to take the wedding day timeline into account. Weddings come in all different shapes and sizes and the same is true for your timeline. Your timeline will be unique to your personal celebration depending on when and where the main events are taking place. The last thing you want to be is stressed about having enough time for taking photos on your wedding day so I make it a priority to be instrumental in the creation of the timeline for your celebration.
It’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and allow for extra time when constructing your wedding day timeline. Something always happens if you’re not prepared, but if you are, it will be smooth sailing! The following are guidelines for amount of time needed to photograph each portion of your day successfully. As I said, every wedding is different but these guidelines will at least give you a starting point for constructing your wedding day timeline.
- Getting Ready: 60+ Minutes
- First Look and Couple’s Portraits: 60-90 Minutes. I personally like to have at least an hour so if we finish early, you can throw back some bubbly!
- Bridal Party: 30-45 Minutes. This will be largely dependent on how many people are in your bridal party, and if you want individual photos with each attendant.
- Family Formals: 30-45 Minutes. I recommend between 7-12 groupings but the time spent will be determined by the list you provide on your wedding day questionnaire.
- Ceremony: 15-75 Minutes depending on the type of ceremony you choose. Cocktail Hour/Detail Shots Captured after the Ceremony: 60-90 Minutes. I enter the dining room before the guests arrive to photograph the cake and floral decor. I also take this time to set up room lights and spotlights if we find they are needed. Right before the guests arrive we touch base with the catering manager or wedding coordinator to see if there were any last minute changes to the reception schedule.
- Reception/Dance Coverage: 45-120 Minutes. The grand entrance, first dances, speeches, and cake cutting typically take 45 minutes so it really just depends on how you space these things out at the reception and how much coverage you want of dancing. After about 4-5 songs, the pictures can become quite redundant because the same people usually dance all night.