How long do we need for our wedding photography?

“How much time do we need for photography?” It’s a common question, and trying to plan a wedding day schedule that balances time for preparation, socialising with guests, having photos taken, and yes, relaxing and enjoying yourself can seem like an overwhelming task. Louis Armstrong might have sung “We have all the time in the world…” but on your wedding day it doesn’t always feel that way!

Bride getting ready with family and bridesmaids

At various points the hands on the clock speed up, and everything else slows down. Simple things that would normally need a few moments take twenty minutes as you try and gather together family members who have gravitated towards the bar, only to find that gran has wandered off to check-in!  So, its your wedding, and your day – what are your priorities, and what kind of photos do you want to see in your album? Are your photos just for you, or are there shots that you want for your parents and grandparents?

Groom with his family before his Manchester wedding

We specialise in artistic documentary photography, and couples hire us because they want beautiful, creative photographs that tell the story of their day as it unfolds. But we understand that your wedding day may be one of the few times in your life when this particular group of family will be all in the same place, at the same time. Family group pictures are important, (and they can be fun!) but you need to allow appropriate time. Each picture may only take a few seconds to capture, but for each group you need to allow at least 5 minutes to gather them together (see above!) and take multiple shots to be sure of great expressions and no blinks. Trust us – a 10-minute schedule for 10 groups just isn’t realistic!

bride and groom share a joke with the bride

And then there are shots of the two of you – your wedding day is about celebrating you as a couple, so you want to allow time to get some really beautiful pictures. We often use 20-30 minutes after the wedding breakfast for this and find couples are more relaxed, not to mention ready for a bit of “us time” by then! But it’s good to capture the giddy excitement and overwhelming emotion straight after the ceremony, so we often have 10 or so minutes with our couples here too.

bride and groom embrace

Communication and working closely with your wedding co-ordinator and photographer is the key to reducing any misunderstandings. We send our couples a questionnaire 2 months before their wedding date, ask for information about timings and talk through the balance of reportage/group/couple photos with them. Wedding photography is an investment, and your schedule should allow for the different kinds of photos you want during the day. But do remember the photos that made you hire your photographer in the first place, and allow them the time and opportunity to use their creative vision.

If you have any questions about wedding photography you can find out more about how we work, or just send us an email – –  we would be only to happy to help.

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