Best Wedding Schedule for Photography

Having the time for the photos you want is easy if your photographer works with you to provide a custom wedding schedule that allows for those images. Without a good schedule, you’ll easily become overstressed and miss those important pictures.

Photographer-client disconnect

Not every studio helps create an effective wedding schedule for photography, and sometimes the result is sacrificing amazing pictures to stay on time, or it could mean getting the pictures you want at the cost of setting back other events significantly or even skipping them.

Specifically, scheduling and most wedding photography problems are the result of Photographer-Client Disconnect, a syndrome typical of studios that put someone like a consultant between you and your artist, or when a photographer simply doesn’t have the expertise or inclination to help. If you don’t work directly with your photographer, things like being an hour late for dinner are common.

Wedding schedule solutions

Work directly with your photographer

Only your specific photographer knows the time he needs to make the pictures you want. Only your photographer knows how much time to schedule for pictures.

Many brides turn to the Internet or Facebook groups for solutions. While this is tempting, it’s random and mostly useless. Your locations, travel times, party size and photographer will probably all be different. Other people’s schedules won’t necessarily apply at all.

For example, you might set aside 30 minutes for pictures of the groom getting ready because that’s what “everybody does” and it “worked” for them. But what if the groom is 30 minutes late? It happened with one of my clients. Had we not scheduled at least an hour, they would have lost all of their groom prep portraits. I had actually asked for 1.5 hours, partly because that’s the ideal amount of time for me specifically, partly to provide a window of breathing room for delays and relaxation, which we needed.

Even wedding planners don’t know exactly how much time you need to schedule for photography. They can provide educated guesses based on experiences, but they’re not the photographer. Allotting a certain time for pictures and forcing photography to fit in that time doesn’t work. It may keep you on schedule, but it may also be unrealistic for the photographer you hired. Don’t invest in a professional and then cut his legs off. Give your photographer the time he needs.

Hire experience

A photographer worth your investment will go beyond the basic requirements of the contract in planning and support in designing the portraits of your dreams. He’ll also be able to take charge when necessary to create images on schedule while respecting you and guests.

An experienced photographer will help you avoid hidden delays you wouldn’t think of. Unloading and loading transportation. Maid of honor can’t find her bouquet. Grandma wandered off before family portraits. You need to build in time for all of that.

A professional will also let you know when your wedding schedule conflicts with the photography you want. For example, one of my couples had booked 2 hours with their limo. They asked me if they should add another hour for bridal party pictures. It’s uncomfortable having to weigh in on whether a couple should spend more money on their wedding, but I gave them an honest answer. I said they would have enough time for one preferred location but probably not two or three. Having arrived a day early, I was able to spend it working out the finer details of the locations and travel times. I also said no couple ever said they had too much time for pictures.

The couple booked another hour with the limo. Even though family pictures were delayed, they got fantastic portraits at two locations without having to feel rushed.

sturgeon bay wedding


Photographers aren’t superhuman. They can only work with what they have, and if there’s not enough time, it’ll affect photography. By working with your photographer in advance, you can avoid problems and make sure you get the photos and service you’re expecting.

For an even more memorable experience, hire a wedding planner/producer to coordinate your entire wedding day. Not only can your producer help you choose vendors and coordinate your schedule but he can find ways to save money you may not have thought of. Experienced producers like Brian Kelm Productions, master of ceremonies, can bring a lot of value to anyone looking for a memorable, standout wedding.

The important thing is it’s the photographer’s job, in coordination with other vendors, to make sure the wedding schedule allows for the photography you want. When you invest in a trained professional, expect a higher level of service and better results. It’s worth your investment!

Connect with me now to get started!

Download my Wedding Photography Guide.

Download my Scheduling Tips.

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