The excitement and joy of your wedding day lives on forever in your wedding photos. This is why planning what photos you want taken before your big day is such an important part of the wedding planning process.

Having a wedding photography timeline is a great way to ensure every special moment is captured while keeping your wedding day stress-free.

Booking a Wedding Photographer

Bridal Portrait Azul Photography

Understanding a photographer’s style is essential when choosing a wedding photographer. Photo Courtesy of Azul Photography

It is important to find a wedding photographer that matches both you personal style and budget. These are photos you will cherish forever, so finding the right person to capture your big day is essential.

So, how soon should you start looking for the right photographer? Kathleen Perez, owner of Azul Photography, says right away.

“We recommend booking as early as possible, so you’ll have the opportunity to hire the photographer you really want,” Perez says. “Established photographers book peak wedding season dates 12-18 months in advance.”

Perez highly recommends looking at two or three full wedding galleries from a photographer to get a strong understanding of their style before you choose to hire them.

“Couples should consider their photographer’s experience level, style, and personality while making their selection,” Perez says.

Newlywed Portrait by The Nixons Photography

Communicate with your photographer about any special portraits you want taken. Photo Courtesy of The Nixons Photography

Planning For Your Wedding Day

Creating a timeline and mapping out the logistics of your wedding photography ensures everything runs smoothly on your wedding day. Let your photographer know about all the portraits you want taken and any other special requests such as specific locations or first look photos.

“Couples should communicate any special requests to their photographer.  For example, if they wish to do a first look and portraits prior to the ceremony, we’ll want to plan that in the timeline,” Perez says. “Communication is the key to getting all the images on your wishlist.”

You should also consider the time it may take to travel to different venues, change clothing and organize everyone for the photos.

How Long Does Wedding Photography Take?

The amount of time it takes to capture a wedding day is specific to each couple, photographer and wedding day. But here are some general guidelines:

Getting Ready Photos

“Getting ready” pictures and other candid photos before the ceremony usually ends up taking about 60 to 90 minutes for both the bride and groom. 


Family and wedding party portraits typically take around 30 minutes each to shoot. Individual portraits usually take around 15 minutes. However, if you want a more detail-oriented session with a wide range of photos, individual portraits could take 45 minutes to an hour.

Bridal Party Portrait by Chanel Productions

Make sure to factor in time to photograph your entire wedding party. Photo Courtesy of Chanel Productions


The time it takes to capture ceremony photos depends on the length of your ceremony. However, you should always make sure to factor in time for candid photos from right before the ceremony and the celebration after.


The time it takes to photograph a reception also varies depending on the couple and the length of their reception. However, couples should consider how long it may take to photograph the venue before guests arrive and important moments such as the couple’s grand entrance and first dance.

Editing Photos

Fully edited wedding photos can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks to be delivered to the couple. However, keep in mind it may take longer to receive edited photos during the peak of wedding season.

Finding a wedding photographer that fits your personal style and budget is important, but this process does not have to be stressful or complex.  For help finding your perfect wedding photographer, check out our local vendor partners.