Wedding photos - how long do they take????

One of our most frequently asked questions is: How long should I book my wedding photographer for? This is a great question, and we’re here to help you find the answer. If you’re trying to plan out your timeline for your big day, we have compiled some helpful timing tips to help you figure out your schedule.

Don’t forget, we will chat at your consultation about helping you to get the most out of your photography hours, which means the best value for money as well.


Here are some basic time frames of the main events:

The brides tribe photos need to be carefully timed to allow for everyone to be ready before leaving for the ceremony.

The brides tribe photos need to be carefully timed to allow for everyone to be ready before leaving for the ceremony.


First Look/Reveal: 30-40 mins, don’t forget to have tissues handy afterwards!

Ceremony: This varies depending on type of ceremony.

Traditional Ceremony: 30 minutes

Full Catholic Mass: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Non-Full Mass Catholic Wedding: 45 minutes

Your celebrant can advise you best if you are having a custom ceremony, make sure you let your photographer know what they say!


Everybody loves the soft romantic look of sunset photos, but don’t forget to make the time for them in your schedule, you may have to re arrange some of your reception so that you don’t miss the beautiful golden light.

Everybody loves the soft romantic look of sunset photos, but don’t forget to make the time for them in your schedule, you may have to re arrange some of your reception so that you don’t miss the beautiful golden light.



  • Getting Ready: 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes (It’s going to more than likely take longer to get ready, but this is the amount of time your photographer will need to cover the getting ready process.)

  • Bride and Bridesmaids Photos: 30 to 45 minutes (depending on size of bridal party)

  • Groom and Groomsmen Photos: 20-30 minutes (depending on size of bridal party)

  • Full Bridal Party Photos: 15 to 30 minutes (depending on size of bridal party)

  • Bride and Groom Portraits: 35 minutes to one hour, depending on the style that you choose.

  • Family Formals: 30 to 45 minutes (depending on size of family)

  • Friends Formals: 30 to 45 minutes (depending on number of photos required).

  • PLEASE NOTE, that this list applies to EACH location, if you choose to have three locations, you are in for a LONG time between your ceremony and your reception. Talk to your photographer about doing a “love the gown” or “day after” session if you want pictures of the bride and groom alone in more than one location


Sometimes the very best ‘time alone’ photos can be taken the day after the wedding. These can be a lot more relaxed, and you can get ALL of the photo locations that you want.

Sometimes the very best ‘time alone’ photos can be taken the day after the wedding. These can be a lot more relaxed, and you can get ALL of the photo locations that you want.

Other things to note:

  • I will need 30 minutes prior to the ceremony to do a light check and take detail and guest shots. If you choose to have two photographers, this time is cut down, as the second goes straight from the Groom to the ceremony.

  • Typically, two hours is enough time to shoot all of the main events at a reception. If time is tight, we can recommend ways to change the order of your reception to save time and money

  • If you’re having a traditional wedding and the ceremony and reception are at the same venue, six hours will cover absolutely everything

  • If you are having a cocktail hour and dancing (still at the same venue), this will normally be an eight-hour day, talk to us about using your guest photos from the reception instead of paying for us to attend the whole night.

  • If you’re having a Catholic ceremony, you typically will need full day coverage (up to ten hours)

  • If your ceremony and reception are not at the same venue, don’t forget to add travel time into your schedule, add an extra 15 minutes minimum for getting everyone in and out of cars and organised.

  • If you’re doing a special exit from the reception, like a sparkler exit, you’ll need to have full day coverage.

  • Many weddings can be covered in just four hours. If you’re having an intimate wedding with less than 40 guests, a small bridal party, or a wedding where your reception is short (for example, afternoon tea or lunch, etc.) and then this could all be covered in four hours.


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If you have any questions, feel free to contact us right here. Happy Planning!