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How much time should we expect our wedding photographer to need for formal photographs?

Depending on your needs and the style of your wedding photographer, formals may take from minutes to a couple of hours to shoot.  In general, each photograph requires an average of 3 to 5 minutes of time to set up and shoot.  This takes into account such factors as locating someone who left to get a drink, gathering large groups together for a photograph, and getting elderly guests or children into position.  You’ll also want to allow additional time for photos of you and the groom alone, perhaps at an alternate location.  Talk to your wedding photographer about the photos you would like, and he or she will likely be happy to help you create your photography schedule.  Be warned, the more groupings of people you want photographed, the more time it will take. Your photographer will work efficiently, but when a guest is in the bathroom, there's not much that can be done to hurry the photo shoot.  This is the reason for the 3-to-5 minute per photo average.


Contributed by Melisa McKolay

  1. Before the Wedding
  2. Looking Your Best
  3. At The Wedding
  4. After The Wedding