Time needed for Wedding Photographs

I am often asked how much time is needed to be set aside for wedding photographs to be taken on the big day. I like to work in a very discrete, natural photography style, so for most of the day you won’t be particularly aware of my presence. However, I usually like to have one or two short sessions with the newlyweds alone, which will last approximately 10-15 minutes or so. During this time, I will find the best light and the very best backdrops available to create some beautiful, relaxed wedding photos… one of which you will probably have in your living room for the rest of your lives! I am very experienced, so I won’t need you to hold a pose or do anything uncomfortable, I can just give you a little gentle guidance and place you in the perfect spot, take the photo, and move on quickly.

Then there are the family group photos, which will take as much time as the list is long! In general, 10 group photographs would take me approximately 20-30 minutes to organise, and the list might look something like:

  1. B & G with Bride’s Immediate Family (usually parents & siblings but this is up to you)
  2. B & G with Bride’s Parents
  3. B & G with Groom’s Immediate Family
  4. B & G with Groom’s Parents
  5. B & G with Bridal Party
  6. Bride with Bridesmaids
  7. Bride with Maid of Honour
  8. Groom with Groomsmen
  9. Groom with Best Man
  10. B & G together

I’ve based this list on a Bride/ Groom wedding but if you are 2 lovely Brides or 2 lovely Grooms the combinations could be similar…. we just might have some Bridesmen or Best Women in there too!

Of course, every wedding and every family situation is different, so it is helpful for me to have a list, from you, before the big day. You are welcome, of course, to request more group photos, but please be aware that they do take time to arrange, and you need to factor this into your plan. Also, it may be difficult to capture large numbers of people (10+) if the space is limited or the weather is bad, so we may need to break any huge groups into smaller ones on the day.

I try to capture the family/ wedding party groups quite soon after the ceremony ends, as everybody is looking fresh, with make-up still perfect, accessories are still in place, jackets are still on and any children are still clean! There is always time for congratulations and celebrations though, possibly with a glass of something too, before we jump straight into the photos.

Another good reason for taking the group photos sooner rather than later, is that these days, everybody has a phone in their pocket, which means that you will be asked to “stand still” and “smile” by most of your guests at some point, which is perfectly understandable as they only want a lovely photo of you both. However, I find that if I take the group photos quite early, then your guests can relax, safe in the knowledge that your photographer has the photos covered and is in control!

For the rest of my time with you, I would be using a very natural, candid, photojournalistic style, to capture all the emotions of your beautiful day, so you can just breathe it all in at the time… and re-live it all again later when you see your photos!