(Closed) Photography Timing

posted 13 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

How many formals are you planning?

Post # 4
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

Are you doing the pictures before or after the ceremony?

Is the cocktail hour at 8 or the actual dinner starting at 8? 

Post # 5
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

we have about the same amount of time before the ceremony on-site. so I’m planning to have our pictures with the wedding party then. we’ll also do formals with guests during the cocktail hour right after the ceremony. I’m hoping that there’ll be enough time for everything 🙂 I would also make clear to the photographer what photos you want and when.

Post # 7
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Another thing to consider is that you should schedule in some time for you right before the ceremony – take a few deep breaths, go to the bathroom, touch up your makeup, hang with your girls, have a touching moment with your mom – whatever it is so you won’t feel rushed to get down the aisle.  The photographer may also need some time to set up for the ceremony, though probably not a ton.

You may also want to factor in some guest time – at least some of your guests going to want to say hi and congrats and all that prior to dinner.  Make sure you have enough time to greet everyone at some point and also get a little bite to eat (someone can make you a plate or set aside something for you to take home, if that is allowed in your area). 

Another thing to consider for timing – weddings notoriously start late.  Mrs. Corn did a series of looking back posts and one of them specifically mentioned her determination not to start late, which she wishes she would have been a bit more flexible about.  So you may want to build in some extra time into the schedule for possible delays or at least come up with a plan B.  

Not sure what kind of ceremony you’re planning, but be sure to allow enough time for all parts of the ceremony as you’d like it (processional, recessional, opening greating, any rituals or readings, plus vows).  Depending on the size of the wedding party, length of vows, additional readings or songs, the ceremony part could take longer than you think.

Whew!  Sorry that was so long – can you tell I’ve been thinking a lot about scheduling lately?

So far, we’re having our photographer come at 1pm for getting ready pics and some couple shots, then we head to the venue at 2:30pm for the remaining formals (very small number) and start the ceremony at 5pm.  Cocktails to follow, dinner around 6:45pm.  Since we’ll be there for most of it, we’re having a shorter cocktail hour.  We decided to frontload a lot of the pics earlier in the day so we could maximize guest time.

Post # 8
36 posts
  • Wedding: September 2007

I tell my brides to estimate about 3-5 minutes per formal shot.  I also tell them that if they want really good pictures of both them and their new hubby, also also some with the wedding party, to take at least 30 minutes for that.

So with that said, this is a good breakdown:

1) Prior to ceremony, do photos with all the girls, then clear the space for all the guys.  (Or vice versa).

2) Do the bride and parents, and groom and parents (maybe grandparents, too) prior to ceremony.


Then after the ceremony, keep formal pics to a minimum:

B,G, and her family

B,G, and his family

B,G, both families

B,G, siblings

One formal shot of entire wedding party

 Then break for 20-30 minutes to get the good ones of the wedding party and couple photos… those are the pictures that will mean the most after your wedding day, so try to make sure to schedule at least a little time for that.


As a side note, when I got married (prior to doing much wedding photography), we took too many formal pictures.  It wasn’t a HUGE list, but it was a little on teh long side.  And I can honestly say that I hardly look at those pictures now.  Instead, I look at the creative ones of my husband and I. And I look at my favorites of the wedding party, detail shots, ect.  We should have done less formal shots and focused on more candids at the reception.  🙂


Another neat idea: Have a photo booth at the reception so you can still get photos with all the guests you want.  It’s a fun, neat, unique idea!

Post # 9
5 posts
  • Wedding: August 2008

I think it depends on how many formal shots you want.  We are doing the ladies and men separate before the ceremony at 2pm.  Then we’re allowing an hour to an hour and a half for ceremony and receiving line.  We’re doing a couple formal shots at the church before we hop on the trolley and take off for drinks and a breather and maybe some location pics.  Our appetizers and drinks start at the reception place at 5 but we won’t be showing up until 5:30 (we were determined to get the full 2 hrs we paid for the trolley).  I was a little conerned at first about the length of time for the guests between the ceremony and reception, but my coordinator and others have stressed that it’s more important to not feel rushed and not to push the photographer…

So to make a long story short, you may want to figure out what kind of formal shots you want, like who you want in what shots, and how many and then multiply that by a few minutes per pic to get a good timeframe idea.

Good luck!

Post # 10
9 posts
  • Wedding: October 2006

I say that it can be done, but it depends on a few things as other have mentioned: how many.  How large is your bridal party?  I usually try to get the boring family pictures out of the way first – bride w/parents, groom w/parents, b/g w/parents, etc… then get the bridal party.  I like to have more time for the bride and groom alone – after all it is their day, right?

It also depends on other things – you say you can get into the facility at 5, but will you have you hair and makeup done already?  Will you already be dressed?  If so, I think that’s more than enough time for the formals.

Good luck!

The topic ‘Photography Timing’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors