The most common questions that I am asked in regards to a wedding day photography timeline is when should we take the formal portraits and how long will the photos take to capture?
Here is my answer. I can photograph your formal (posed) pictures before your ceremony or afterward and this usually takes about 45 minutes. In a nutshell, the key of making the most of your formal portrait time go smoothly and quickly just requires you and your fiancé letting your family members and wedding party know that they are expected to stand in photos at a certain time.
A bit of advice, if you’d like to take your family photos before your ceremony starts, it helps to leave an extra 10 minutes in your pre-ceremony photography schedule to account for your family members who may arrive late to your wedding location. The pre-ceremony family portrait session is only recommended if you plan on seeing your fiancé before the wedding. If you’d rather stick with tradition then just schedule your family portraits after the wedding so that your entire family doesn't have to stand in for twice the amount of family photos.
In my experience, usually the least stressful option is to schedule your family formal portraits to take place immediately AFTER your wedding ceremony has concluded since your families still be in one physical place (more or less) thus we won’t have to concern ourselves with tracking down family members who have gone missing or are running late.
These are examples of a typical Formal Portrait photo timeline below....
ENTIRE FAMILY GROUP FORMAL PORTRAIT
1. One big group family picture with you and your husband featuring both sides of the entire families (extended family members included). About 10 mins
BOTH SIDES FAMILY FORMAL PORTRAIT
2. The second big family picture with you and your husband featuring both sides of your immediate families. About 3-5 mins.
BRIDE SIDE FAMILY PORTRAIT
3. You and your husband with your side of your immediate family. Takes about 2 mins.
GROOM SIDE FAMILY PORTRAIT
4. You and your spouse with his side of his immediate family. Takes about 2 mins.
ENTIRE WEDDING PARTY GROUP FORMAL PORTRAIT WEDDING PARTY FUN PORTRAIT
5. Wedding party group photo: you and your husband with your entire wedding party. This usually takes about 10 mins. Make sure you add an extra 5 mins or so to capture some fun and creative photos too if you're into that kind of thing!
BRIDAL PARTY FORMAL PORTRAIT BRIDAL PARTY FUN PORTRAIT
6. Bridal party group photo: you and your girls. Takes about 5 mins.
GROOMSMEN FORMAL PORTRAIT GROOMSMEN FUN FORMAL PORTRAIT
6. Groomsmen group photo: your husband and his crew. Takes about 5 mins.
* By now we should be about 25-35 minutes after the start of your scheduled formal portrait session. Remember that this time assessment greatly depends on how quickly your family members and wedding party are able to respond to the call to have their pictures taken. The faster we get those pics done, the more time we have to focus on you and your husband’s portraits.
COUPLES PORTRAIT 1 COUPLES PORTRAIT 2 COUPLES PORTRAIT 3 COUPLES PORTRAIT 4
7. Finally, portrait time for you and your husband: We can take as much time as you want for these photos, pending of course on what time you are supposed to arrive at your reception but typically this takes about 15 mins or so.
I hope this information was useful to you! If you have any questions about planning your formal portrait wedding photo time please don't hesitate to contact me at any time. I am always happy to discuss your wedding day photo strategy.