(Closed) How long for pictures?

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
838 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

after the ceremony? Im going to try for an hour or less I dont want my guest waiting for us to arrive for a long time.

Post # 4
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Our photographers shot for an hour and a half prior to the ceremony and a little less than an hour between the ceremony and the reception. During the hour and a half prior to the ceremony, we did: detail shots (flowers, dress, shoes, venue, accessories, etc), me getting into my gown (makeup and hair already done), Darling Husband and the boys getting into their tuxes, some portraits (me and the BMs, Darling Husband and the GMs, me and some of my family, Darling Husband and some of this family), and anticipation/lining up shots before the ceremony.

Immediately following the ceremony at the ceremony location, we spent about 20-30 minutes taking group portraits: us with DH’s family, us with my family, us with the whole bridal party, us with our parents 

When we arrived at the reception location, our families and bridal party joined the cocktail hour. One of the photographers (second shooter) shot detail shots of the reception (flowers, venue, place settings, cake, favors, etc) and shots of the cocktail hour. Our primary photographer took shots of just me and Darling Husband around our reception venue. This took about 20-30 minutes.

Post # 5
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Owlbride, that is exactly what we have planned. It makes me breathe easier knowing that worked out well for you 🙂

Post # 6
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

@libra – It actually went really smoothly! Definitely make sure your photographer has a list of portrait groupings, and make sure that everyone you want in group shots knows where to be and when to be there. For example, we did extended family group shots, so I made sure aunts, uncles and cousins knew ahead of time to stay at the church after the ceremony to be in the picture – it made it much easier to not have to spend time running around looking for everybody 🙂

Post # 7
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

We did 2 1/2 hours of Pre-ceremony photos and then about an hour of ceremony and cocktail photos.

(our wedding started at 6 pm and was only around 20 mins long – reception was right after at the same location) (4 hours of photo time total)

3:00 – 4:30 – photos of my hubby and I alone

4:30-5:30 – Photos of wedding party and family

5:30 -6:00 – he took photos of wedding decor and venue (while the wedding party got ready for the ceremony)

6:00-6:20 – ceremony photos

6:20-7 ish – cocktail hour photos

I just had friends take lots of reception photos and had little cards on the tables of a website to upload and share the photos… work out great!

Post # 9
6 posts

As a photographer in myself I’ll chime in with my own two cents because this question seems to come up over and over again for brides.

I think there are a few things you can consider that will allow you both to have lots of time taking pictures and also enjoy your reception and cocktail party.

Most photographers love to shoot a day or two before the wedding with the bride and groom. While this does require that you get all dolled up with your make-up and dress before your wedding day it also let’s you have several hours to take pictures stress-free. You can also do a “day-after” session which serves the same purpose. I think on your wedding day time is the least available resource. Why not extend the day?

Another great option is to shoot all your pictures before the ceremony. The downsides are that you see each other before the wedding, and that you have to be done a little early. I have never had a bride and groom regret doing this though. Seeing each other without all the guests around in a romantic setting can actually be a totally beautiful and intimate moment that builds the excitement for the ceremony rather than detracting from it.

The upside is that you can shoot for several hours in different locations, and not miss a moment of your party after the ceremony. 

Another thing to consider is the lighting on the day of your wedding. Are you aiming to shoot your pictures in the middle of the day (ie. 12-2pm?). If so, make sure to let your photographer pick locations that are going to have some open shade and flattering light.

To finish answering the initial question, I think how many hours you devote to photography and how you structure your time really speaks to your priorities. If having lots of amazing couples portraits is important to you, schedule 30 minutes for family pictures, 30 minutes for your bridal party shots, and 1-2 hours for just the two of you.

That’s my $0.02, hope its helpful!



Post # 10
2111 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I dont know about in the States but I know in Canada we usually have a 2-3 hour break between ceremony and reception.

My ceremony is at 1:00. Reception is at 5:00.

The ceremony will take 30 minutes then the receiving line will take 30 minutes. We’ll do pictures with family and friends until 2:30/3:00.

After that, the wedding party will leave for formal pictures until 5:15 when we make our entrance at the reception.

Post # 11
877 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I would say a minimum of 2-3 hours if you want photos with family, the bridal party, and just the bride and groom.  If there’s going to be travel to different locations, then I would allow for even more time.  My Fiance and I photographed a wedding this weekend and the couple had scheduled 2 hours at 3 different locations.  Fortunately, we got to leave the church half an hour early because they had budgeted for extra time for the receving line. With 2.5 hours, the timing was tight and we got to the reception about 10 mins late.  A couple of points to help keep things organized is to find out whether your photographer has shot at the location(s) before – we scoped out the sites the night before to plan our shots.  Second, if there are large groups to photograph (the couple had huge families), give someone assertive a list of all the group shots that you want with everyone’s name in the group.  Then they can call out the names of everyone needed in the next photos so everyone can get ready as the photographers are taking the pictures of each group.

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