Knowing how much time to allocate to every part of your wedding is probably one of the hardest things to do. It can be challenging to judge how long it will take, considering this is probably the first time you are doing this.
If you are in the hands of a professional wedding planner, rest assured that they have your back and they will know the best times according to your suppliers and the flow of the day. However, if you would like to still get an insider’s view or perhaps you are planning your wedding; here is everything you need to know.
There is no cookie-cutter approach when it comes to your wedding but over the years in our experience photographing weddings in Adelaide, this structure has been the most used by couples and it has worked wonders in keeping everything organized and easy to navigate.
Let’s dive in!
For each partner, we like to allow between 1 and 2 hours of photography. This depends on a few factors.
Is there hair and makeup involved? If it is, would you like photos while you have the finishing touches done?
Is there a big crew getting ready with you?
Would you like to have pre-drinks and or entertainment while you get ready and want photos of it?
Is your wedding attire intricate and requires a while to get into?
Are there family members getting ready with you and you would like portraits with them once you are dressed and ready?
The more factors you include in this portion of the day, the more time you will want to spend with your wedding photography and videography team.
This is an increasingly popular option and while we understand that you might want to hold off and wait until you see each other for the first time at your wedding ceremony; if perhaps you want to calm your nerves, spend some intimate time with your partner before the beat drops or have your portraits done earlier in the day so you can go to mingle with your guests straight after your ceremony; then a first look is a right choice for you.
If you are doing it for only the purpose of calming your nerves and sharing that special moment, then 15-20 minutes would be sufficient. However, if this is when you would like to have your wedding portraits done, you will need to look at 1 to 2 hours depending on the locations and ideas you might want to pursue.
Ceremony Area And Set-Ups
Allow 40 minutes to 1 hour before the ceremony commencing time for your photography and videography team to arrive on-site and document the set-up of your ceremony as well as your reception if both of them happen at the same venue. This time will also be used to photograph your guests as they arrive and in the case of your videographer, to set up their cameras and sound equipment. Photographers can be a little more lenient with the set-up times but video teams do require a little longer.
Standard civil ceremonies range from 30-45 minutes (including signing time). Religious ones might take longer, depending on the number of readings and specific rituals you might want to include. When you account for your ceremony duration, always include 15-20 minutes extra afterwards to allow family and friends to congratulate you and share their love.
I know you are probably trying to be time-efficient and make the most of your wedding photography and videography but this is not a moment that you can get back. Allow people to share their joy with you and express their good wishes. You will be looking back at this for a long time.
Family and Group Portraits
Our biggest recommendation in this part of the day is to keep it intimate. Try to include immediate family and close friends only. It’s very easy to get carried away and create a list of group photos that try to include every single one of your guests. Nevertheless, if this is a priority to you, that is ok and we just need to make sure that your ceremony starts early enough so this part of your wedding doesn’t take on the daylight you need for your portraits.
Remember that during the reception you can go around with your photographer doing more informal group photos as you talk to your guests.
Couple and Wedding Party Portraits
This part of the day (if you haven’t chosen to do a first look) can last from 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the size of your wedding party and also if you want to visit multiple locations or stay in the same space. I know there are beautiful places and ideas you might want to explore but at this stage of your wedding. Less is better. You probably don’t want to spend your time driving in between locations. But again, if you do, you just need to account for the extra time.
Most weddings will be beautifully documented with 2-3 hours of photography and videography of your reception. This will allow enough time for the formalities and some of the dance floor action. Unless you are having a special exit that you would like to have documented, you don’t need your photography and videography team for the entire night.
Last Light Portraits
Last light or sunset portraits are a great little break you and your partner can take to sneak out with your photography and videography team. It’s not a long session at all and it’s better done with just the two of you. This is a rare chance you will have during the day to be alone and take it all in. Depending on the time of the year and the location of your wedding. This part might fall during the reception, so make sure to allow 15-20 before sunset to step outside and have those dreamy intimate moments documented.
This sums up the overall photography timeline of the day, if you have any questions please write them in the comments section and stay tuned for Part II where we will share the hacks and important notes you need to make throughout the day to account for the unexpected.
Thank you for reading.