The amount of time you leave for your photography may not be something that you consider high on your agenda but this really is an important factor if you’re going to get the photos you want. If you want some lovely wedding day pictures then read on!!
Timings will vary hugely depending on where you get married and where you want your photos taking. It also depends on how many guests you have invited and if you are having a receiving line before your meal, and of course, what style of photos you want.
It goes without saying that if you want lots of different family groups, lots of bride and grooms photos and then lots of reportage photos too (as most people do) you’re going to need more time that if you just wanted a few quick snaps of your day.
The two types of wedding we’ll look at in detail here are church weddings and civil (non-church) ceremonies.
A church wedding
Say your service starts at 2pm, the ceremony will probably last 45 minutes to an hour, making it 3pm, then say 30 minutes at the church for all your family group images. After a 20 minute drive to the venue and another 30/45 minutes for romantic images and some more relaxed reportage images, you’re then looking at 5pm for the meal (allowing time for your receiving line which will probably start at 4:40). Of course that’s providing nothing runs late and all your guests don’t disappear to the bar!
A venue wedding
For simplicity, lets say again that the wedding starts at 2pm, a civil service only lasts on average 20 minutes so you’ll be ready for some photos by say 2:30pm. Again 30 minutes to run through the groups and then another 30/45 minutes for the two of you and the reportage shots. You could be ready for your receiving line at 4pm.
Of course, we haven’t left any time for mingling with your guests and that’s what we want you to have a think about! Quite often at weddings we’re left with an hour do all the photos and we often feel guilty that you don’t have any time to socialise whatsoever, so its worth factoring in a little time for all your guests to say hello and tell you both how amazing you look!
You also need to take into account the amount of guests you have invited when considering the amount of time to allow. For example a wedding with 35 guests should only take about 20 minutes for the group shots, whereas one with 130 guests could take 45 minutes, providing we can get everyone out of the bar!
Below is an ideal scenario for timings on your day:
2pm – Wedding Service
3pm – Leave the church and greet your guests
3:20pm – begin your family group photos at the church (space permitting)
3:50pm – Do some nice informal, but romantic photos of you both in the church grounds
4:15pm – Leave for the wedding venue
4:30pm – Arrive at the reception venue for a drinks reception
4:45pm – Maybe have a few additional photos in and around your reception venue if you fancy it
5:15pm Begin a receiving line
5:30pm Sit down for dinner
Non-Church Wedding (all in 1 venue)
2pm Wedding Ceremony
2:30pm Drinks reception & greet your guests
2:45pm Begin your group photos
3:30pm Romantic photos of you both together in and around your venue
4pm Receiving line begins
4:30pm Sit down for dinner
Don’t forget about travel time and accounting for people getting lost on the way if you’re getting married at a different venue to your evening reception.
All of these timings are just a guide, but from hundreds of weddings worth of experience, the ones where you have left lots of time in between events tends to be the weddings with the least stress. After all, if you find yourself done with your photos sooner than you expected you have more time to have a drink with friends and family!
Ultimately guys… The more time you leave us for photos, the better your photos will be as you’ll feel more relaxed and we don’t have to rush through things!