One of my most frequently asked questions is: How long should I book my wedding photographer for? This is a great question, and I’m here to help you find the answer. If you’re trying to plan out your wedding timeline for your big day, I have compiled some helpful timing tips to help you figure out your schedule.

Here are some basic time frames of the main events:

  • First Look/Reveal: 15-45 min
  • Ceremony: This varies depending on type of ceremony.

Traditional Ceremony: 30 minutes

Full Catholic Mass: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Non-Full Mass Catholic Wedding: 45 minutes

  • Getting Ready: 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes (It’s going to more than likely take longer to get ready, but this is the amount of time we need to cover the getting ready process.)
  • Bride and Bridesmaids Photos: 20 to 30 minutes (depending on size of bridal party)
  • Groom and Groomsmen Photos: 20 to 30 minutes (depending on size of bridal party)
    • Depending on the rest of your wedding timeline, both of these can happen at the same time if my second shooter doesn’t have to be documenting something else.
  • Full Bridal Party Photos: 15 to 30 minutes (depending on size of bridal party)
  • Bride and Groom Romantic Portraits: 35 minutes to one hour
  • Family Formals: 30 to 45 minutes (depending on size of family, on average, it is good to allot 2-3 minutes per group)

Other things to note:

  • If you will be having a receiving line, this usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes.
  • I will need 30 minutes prior to the ceremony to do a light check and take detail and guest shots.
  • Typically, two hours is enough time to shoot all of the main events at a reception.
  • If you’re having a traditional wedding and the ceremony and reception are at the same venue, eight hours will generally cover this.
  • If you are having a cocktail hour and dancing (still at the same venue), this will normally be a ten-hour day.
  • If you’re having a Catholic ceremony, you typically will need full day coverage (up to 12 hours)
  • If your ceremony and reception are not at the same venue, don’t forget to add travel time into your schedule (I suggest doubling the travel time just to be safe).
  • If you’re doing a special exit from the reception, like a sparkler exit, you’ll need to have full day coverage.
  • Some weddings can be covered in just four to six hours. If you’re having a backyard wedding or a courthouse wedding where your reception is short (for example, no dancing, etc.) and then this could all be covered in four hours.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Happy Planning!