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How Much Time Do I Need to Purchase For My Wedding Day For Wedding Photos?

How Much Time Do I Need to Purchase For My Wedding Day For Wedding Photos?
how much time do i need for photos

Your wedding day is a beautiful story!  Your photographer's job is to capture that story, so you can always look back on the most incredible moments and details.  Your photos are the only thing left to tell that story, so how much time do you need to purchase to get the best gallery possible? 

Below will give you an idea of what you need to capture this amazing time.

Quick Getting Ready Photos- 20 minutes


Simple getting ready photos and details will take roughly 20 minutes.  These photos take place after the bride and groom are dressed and ready to go.  The brides are inevitably going to take longer since they're not only getting dressed, but they're also getting makeup and hair done for the big day.  

Grooms, on the other hand, tend to fly pretty quickly through this part of the timeline (insert eye roll).  

Detailed Getting Ready Photos- 15 minutes more...

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If you want those toasting photos before wedding clothes are on, this will take additional time.  Odds are, these will end up being some of your favorite photos!  This is where you show off all the thoughtful elements you've been planning, including special touches and details (especially if they're part of the dress and/or suit).

First Look Photos- 30 Minutes

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A first look gives you an intimate moment to enjoy each other before the bustle of the wedding day begins.  This is also an opportunity to get some additional formal images on the big day of you looking your best for one another. 

We recommend taking full advantage of the chance to see each other for the first time in your dress or suit and be able to take some special shots (especially for the reveal) before the ceremony.

Wedding Ceremony- 30 Minutes

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Most ceremonies last 30 minutes or less.  By the time your loved ones congratulate you and you get all the hugs in, it is almost always 30 minutes. In summer months, it's not a great idea to make a ceremony much longer, as the heat will definitely beat down on your guests-- and the last thing you want is to cause a heat stroke for Grandpa Phil.

Ceremony and Reception Details- 30 Minutes

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Planning each detail of a big day takes a lot of time!  You want to make sure those details are captured in the best way possible.  This time may be broken up at different points, but this time is essential for your photographer to tell a complete story.

Bridal Party Photos- 15 Minutes

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You consider carefully who to have at your side on a wedding day.  Your wedding crew should include important people in your life (and hopefully those who will bring on the fun and loving support)!

Family Photos- 15 to 40 Minutes 


Your family is so important on this day, so this time is a must to celebrate the people that mean the most!  Your shot list for your family, as well as your photographer, however, will make a big difference in how much time is needed.  The quantity of photos (configurations, how long it takes to put the family together, etc.) and the photographer's ability to control the situation greatly impact this part of your timeline.

It's one of the big reasons we recommend hiring professionals for the big day.

Just Married Portraits- 20-40 Minutes (Plus Travel)

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Photo by ShutterFreek

There is nothing like the new glow of a married couple!  We love these moments!  If you and your photographer are staying on-site, these photos can be done in 20-30 minutes.  If you have a formal session scheduled, 20 minutes is typically what we shoot for.  If these are your only formal images in your wedding clothes, aim for closer to 40 minutes.  These are the photos you will hang on your wall when all this is over, so making sure youhave enough time is vital! 

Should you want to go somewhere nearby for these shots, add the travel time necessary.  Your photographer and/or planner will be happy to help you figure out exactly what that will be.

Reception- 120 Minutes

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A typical reception lasts about 2 hours.  There is some flexibility on this, but these are all the fun moments of your day!  You won't want to miss that cake smash, or Uncle Ed attempting break dancing for the first time.  These moments are all about you and your loved ones! 

When considering all of this, keep in mind that you may need to travel to another location for any number of these things.  Add that in accordingly.  Should you have any questions, a great planner is happy to help you design your custom wedding day timeline!

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