"How long do I need a wedding photographer?"
Here is a list of everything that happens and how long it takes to photograph each part of the day. Don’t forget to add travel time between the various places when you’re doing your calculations.
Groom getting ready (1-2 hours)
Photos at the groom’s place are always fun - the groom is excited, he's with his guys, there's usually some whiskey drinking going on - it’s a just great time to get fun photos with the groom and his groomsmen getting ready.
If there's time, we also do family photos with mum and dad, siblings, grandparents, and close friends and relatives.
Bride getting ready (1-2 hours)
Photos at the bride’s house are some of the most beautiful photos of the day.
I get photos of the wedding dress, the shoes, the veil, the jewelry, the flowers, the vows, etc.
Then, photos of the bride putting her dress on, photos with mom, bridesmaid photos, family photos - and finally - photos of the bride leaving the home, getting into the limo and heading for the church.
Wedding Ceremony (1½ hours)
I like to get to the church a few minutes before the bride so I can get some nice pictures of people arriving, of the church, then photos of the bride arriving walking up the steps to the church.
The wedding ceremony itself is usually 30-45 minutes. After that, there’s a group photo of everyone on the church steps, then candid photos of family and friends congratulating the newlyweds.
Family Photos: 30 minutes
Family photos usually happen right after the ceremony, and take anywhere from 30-45 minutes, depending on how many people there are.
It also depends how many kids and grandparents there are, as very young and very old people usually take a little longer to photograph.
Bridal Party Photos: 20-30 minutes
Bridal photos take anywhere from 20-30 minutes, depending on how many people are in the bridal party, and how many different poses we do.
Photos of the Bride and Groom: 30-45 minutes
These are the most important photos of the day. I'd love to have all the time in the world for these - but there's IS a wedding going on, so we do as many photos as we can in a variety of locations, in the shortest possible time.
Cocktail Hour: 15-30 minutes
Family, bridal party and newlywed photos usually take place during the cocktail hour, so there's not much time left once we get there - but we do our best to get some fun shots of the guests and a few photos of the reception hall before everyone goes in.
Reception: 2-5 hours
Party time!!! We get photo of the bride and groom making their big entrance, the speeches, the toasts, the first dance, the parent dances, table shots, cutting the cake and fun shots of the guests.
We also set up a photo booth for those that have chosen that option in their package.
During the evening, we also do photos of extended family and any groups we didn't have time for during the day, such as friends, cousins, work colleagues, etc.