As your wedding day gets closer and closer, you probably are going to start thinking about this one: how much time should I plan for wedding photos? These are arranged, non-candid photos we’re talking about – of your families, your wedding party, and you the two of you.
If you’ve been following along with my previous posts, you probably have considered this timing after reading my thoughts on a first look. However, many couples kind of forget that these photos take time – time that needs to be planned into your day far in advance – and it’s not until a month or so before their wedding that they start asking their photographer questions about setting aside time. So, in order to avoid this issue there are three main questions you need to address as early as possible:
So let’s take a look at those questions!
How important are my wedding photos?
Ok, so maybe this sounds a little dramatic. As if I’m saying “Do you even CARE about your photos at all?!” . . . but I promise that is not what I mean!
On your wedding day, you are going to have to prioritize what is most important to you. Most photographers (myself included) recommend setting aside at least 30 minutes for photos of your wedding party, 30 minutes for family photos, and 45 minutes-1 hour for photos of the bride and groom. That’s about two hours of photos, and that’s pretty much a minimum! If your priority, for instance, is to enjoy your cocktail hour that begins 30 minutes after your ceremony, then you will probably have to sacrifice the quality and quantity of your wedding photos, or choose to do these photos before the ceremony.
HOWEVER – if you address these questions months in advance, you will have more flexibility in scheduling your ceremony and reception. Maybe you’ll want to leave a little more time between the ceremony and cocktail hour. Perhaps you’ll schedule the ceremony a little later and opt for a first look. If you think about your wedding photos at the same time as you are thinking about ceremony and reception start time, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a more relaxed wedding day.
Do I want to do a first look?
I know I know you’re sick of hearing about this one. I’m not putting this in here to convince you one way or the other. However, the earlier you make this decision, the more quickly and easily the rest of your wedding timeline will fall into place. Like I mentioned about – those arranged photos usually take a minimum of 2 hours! If you know early on that you don’t want to do a first look, but photos are a priority, you’ll know to plan a significant amount of time between the end of your ceremony and the time you need to arrive at your reception.
How can my photographer help me?
This may seem a little silly, but your photographer should be a huge resource to you in this planning process! I gave you a typical time estimate, but maybe your photographer needs way more time! Or, maybe you have a really tiny family and your photographer can let you know that the family photos will only take 15 minutes. Your wedding photographer is a professional and has had a lot of experience working with weddings of all kinds and sizes. He/she is going to be a wealth of information when you have questions!
I have become very proactive in helping my couples plan their wedding timeline. As a past bride myself, I know how important it is to have a well-planned wedding day. I assist brides and grooms in creating a wedding day timeline because I have way more experience and knowledge of wedding day timing, and I want to share that! I help you map out your day in advance so that everything fits comfortably into your schedule, and you don’t have to think twice about it on your wedding day.
If there is one thing I hope that you take away from this post, it’s to PLAN IN ADVANCE! As soon as you set a date and book your venue, start thinking about these questions above. I promise it will make your wedding day much more relaxed, enjoyable and stress-free!
Romantic with moody fall vibes and jewel tones, this wedding was cozy and so beautifully designed.
La Vie En Rose photographs their 100th wedding at an all-time favorite wedding venue, Rockhouse Hotel.
Mixing sophisticated style with family traditions and meaningful moments - our kind of DC wedding!
Washington, DC | Naples, FL | Destination
La Vie En Rose is a wedding photography and videography studio for couples who want photos that live in the moment with them. They are based in Washington, DC and Naples, FL and are available for travel worldwide.