Choosing the length of time that your photographer will be present on your wedding day is extremely important. The longer your photographer is with you, the more moments they are able to capture and the more variety you will have in your imagery. Time is not something you want to skimp on on your wedding day. It is always better to have too much time than not enough time. Trust me when I say that this is not a sales tactic! I repeat: much time you choose has a large impact on how many images you receive, how many events are covered, and how much variety you have. Make sure you choose wisely and reach out for help if you need it!

Make a list.

What do you want photographed at your wedding? Do you just want the ceremony, formals, and family photos? Then you may not need someone shooting for the entire day and can select a smaller package. But, do you want coverage from breakfast with your bridesmaids and getting ready all the way until your send off that evening? You're probably going to need the longest package offered!

Start writing down what is important to you and what you definitely want photographed. You can share this information with a photographer you are interested in.


Below is a list of common wedding day events and an average of how long they could take. Keep in mind, this can vary based on the size of your wedding party, guest list size, and the amount of interruptions. This could move much quicker or take a lot longer. This is why it is important to reach out to your photographer.

  • Bride Getting Ready (30 minutes+)
  • Groom Getting Ready (30 minutes+)
  • Bridesmaids (30 minutes+)
  • Groomsmen (30 minutes+)
  • First Look (15 minutes)
  • Ceremony (Varies; 15-45 minutes)
  • Family Photos (30 minutes+)
  • Formals (25-45 minutes)
  • Reception (Varies; 1-4 hours+)

Keep in mind, these are just averages, and none of these time frames are including trips or walks to different locations, breaks, or interruptions, so time needs to be added to account for all of those things as well!

Still not sure what to choose?

If you still have not done so, reach out to your wedding photographer and ask. They will have insight into how much time it takes to shoot different wedding events in comparison to the size of your wedding party and guest count. Remember: It is always better to have too much time than not enough time. Your photographer will likely not steer you wrong and is not going to recommend a package to you that they don't think would fit well.