How Long Do I Really Need A Photographer At My Wedding

This is the most common question I get asked. Most of the time the bride and groom think it should only take 2-3 hours to photograph the wedding with a few pictures after the ceremony and just be at the reception for an hour or so and they choose a package that is pretty low and when it comes time for the wedding, there are 4 or more bridesmaids and groomsmen and tons of family on each side. I then go into panic because I have so much to get in such a small amount of time.

Most weddings I am there for 7-9 hours. It is non stop. There isn’t any down time.  There is always something to take a picture of.

 

Here are 2 timeline examples you can go by. This wedding starts at 5:00 so you will need to change the time to fit your wedding.

TIMELINE WITH FIRST LOOK!
First look on wedding day
 
1:00-2:00 GETTING READY PICTURES-
I will just be there for getting the dress, veil, shoes, garter, jewelry on and touch ups on hair and makeup
2:00-2:30 FIRST LOOK – NEWLYWED SHOTS
I like to spend as much time with you two as possible, because this is the most important of pictures. I try to make it very special and keep it secluded for the two of you.
2:30-3:00 FAMILY PICTURES
This will be the time set aside of both sides of your family together, you can get pictures with his side of the family and same for him. We can get everything done, if some grandparents or aunts and uncles want a picture with you two, we can get it afterwards. This would be mostly for immediate family
3:00-3:30 BRIDESMAIDS
Pictures with all the girls and you with each girl, I will also get pictures of you alone during this time.
3:30-4:00 BRIDAL PARTY–AFTER THIS TIME YOU GO INTO HIDING SO NO ONE SEES YOU! ( YOU CAN TOUCH UP MAKEUP AND HAIR)
All the Bridal party together, we will do traditional pictures and some fun ones!
4:00-4:30 GROOMSMEN
Pictures of the groom with his groomsmen and him with each guy, I will also grab some shots of him alone then too!
4:30-5:00 CATCH UP TIME- PEOPLE ARRIVING
People always arrive early… I go and get all the detail shots in the ceremony site and reception
5:00-5:30 CEREMONY
5:30-6:00 PICTURES MISSED
any pictures of family members we didn’t get before the wedding and you two with the pastor.
6:00-9:00– 3 HOUR RECEPTION!!
 
ok, so this is with 8 hours. You will get a full reception and not miss anything!
TIMELINE TRADITIONAL WAY 
Walking down the aisle
 
11:30-12:30 GETTING READY PICTURES
I will just be there for getting the dress, veil, shoes, garter, jewelry on and touch ups on hair and makeup
12:30-1:00 BRIDE’S FAMILY
Pictures with you and your immediate family and any brothers/ sisters and grandparents if they want to come early
1:00-2:30 BRIDESMAIDS– YOU GO IN HIDING AFTER THIS TIME )RETOUCH MAKEUP AND HAIR)
Pictures with all the girls and you with each girl also I will get single shots of you at this time.
2:30-3:00 GROOM’S FAMILY
Pictures with his side of the family
3:00-4:30 GROOMSMEN
Pictures of the groom with his groomsmen and him with each guy
4:30-5:00 CATCH UP TIME- PEOPLE ARRIVING
detail shots in the ceremony site and reception
5:00-5:30 CEREMONY
5:30-6:15 FAMILY PICTURES ON BOTH SIDES
We will take a group shot of both families together and then break it down with the bride’s side and get what is needed then get the groom’s side of the family
6:15-6:30 BRIDAL PARTY
6:30-7:00 NEWLYWED PICTURES!!
7:00-9:00— 2 HOUR RECEPTION
When you go it the traditional way, you will be at your reception for 2 hours.  I do sometimes take the newlywed pictures right after the ceremony and then go into the family pictures. Just depending on the location and how things flow.
Remember no two weddings are ever the same. I do factor in people running late, crying children, and silly groomsmen who don’t listen very well 🙂
This is just an idea to help you! I would be more than happy to discuss your wedding needs and situation. Feel free to contact me!
Sarah