Wedding Photography and Videography Forum

How many hours before the ceremony should the photographer be there?

The photography package we purchased includes 7 hours of photography and 2 photographers on site. I want to include the pre-wedding activities like the bridesmaids getting their hair done, etc,etc. How many hours should I dedicate to the pre-wedding photography?

Re: How many hours before the ceremony should the photographer be there?

  • Our wedding doesn't start until 6 pm on a Saturday evening and we have 1 photographer for the entire wedding with all day coverage. He plans on starting photos at 10 am with us and all of our pre-wedding photos.
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  • Have you figured out a rough timeline for the day?  There's a lot of factors that go into figuring this out, including:

    - Will you be doing a first look?
    - Will the family formals be before or after the ceremony?
    - How much coverage do you want of the reception?
    - What time are you planning on having hair and makeup done?

    I did a first look, formals before the ceremony and wanted the photographers to capture our grand exit.  We started with photos around 2 for a 5:30 ceremony and had the photographers until 10.  Getting ready photos weren't important to me, so the only photos I have of that are me getting into my dress and putting my earrings on. 
  • One more thought... if you haven't figured out a rough timeline yet, start by working backwards from the ceremony time.  If you're doing any photos beforehand and don't want the guests to see you, you want to be done probably an hour ahead of time.  My DOC reccomended half an hour, but a few guests showed up a full hour early.  I'd also leave a 30 minute buffer between any activity, especially if travel is involved.  That way you've built in time for traffic or anything else that might cause a delay.  And don't forget lunch/snacks!  If your bridal party is in for a long day of getting ready pre-wedding, they're going to be hungry at some point.  A hungry bridesmaid is not a happy bridesmaid!
  • 7 hours does not leave you much time to do lots before the wedding

    how long is your ceremony is it a church ceremony those last 45-an hour 
    how long is reception is it 5 hours 6 hours? less time that than that

    are you doing photos in between after ceremony and before reception?

    we had ours for 8 hours one photographer 

    our ceremony was at 5 he came at 330 to the house got shots of my dress my accessories me and my maids getting ready then he did outside shots of all of us in my parents backyard 
    he left around 430 went to the church to snap photos of the groomsmen and some photos of the church. we did photos after at the park for an hour and then was reception time 
    our reception was 5 hours we had him till 1130 

    we did hair and makeup in mid morning till early afternoon 2:00 ish 

    how early are you doing hair and make up you might want to have the photographer come later like an hour and a half before your ceremony so you will have him or her longer for the reception 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Are your bridesmaids okay with being photographed getting their hair done or otherwise not completely ready?

    If they aren't, just know that they, not you, get to decide if they are photographed in any state other than "completely ready."  If I don't feel completely ready to be photographed, bridesmaid or no, I won't appreciate a photographer pushing me to smile for them, regardless of how much I love the bride and/or groom.
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