Wedding photography timeline for your special day – Eleni Dona

Wedding photography timeline for your special day


Wedding photography timeline is significant on your wedding day and making sure that you have allocated enough time for your wedding photographer can make a huge difference to the quality and beauty of your wedding pictures; impressive candid shots need time and cannot be rushed.

Of course, the logistics of each wedding can vary a lot. Nevertheless, there are some ideal timeframes and general guidelines you should consider before tying the knot.


* 2 to 3 hours for the bride: bridal hair & makeup, wedding items, details & portraits


You should take into account that hair and makeup preparations can sometimes run over schedule. Make sure that your Greek wedding photographer, hairstylist/make-up artist and wedding planner are aware of your wedding day timeline; your wedding preparations only happen once and you should ensure that there will be enough time for everything, especially photography.

Having a lot of time means that we can capture these precious moments of anticipation in a natural, photojournalistic way. Trust me; these pictures of “finishing touches” - like the one of a bride having a flower pinned to her hair while she is smiling at her mother - are heartwarming shots that every couple cherishes. Plus, it’s a great time for perfect early portraits as your makeup and hair are completely fresh.

During preparations, an expert photographer also has the chance to capture all the important details of your wedding dress, shoes, and jewelry. Bear in mind that this process may require enough time too; for example, you may want a stunning picture of your gown on its hanger, but there are times when a hotel room is too crowded or simply not photogenic, so the wedding dress has to be taken all the way down to the lobby.


* 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes for the groom: wedding items, details & portraits

The groom and his male friends are the pivotal characters of this photoshoot. While it doesn’t take guys an hour to get dressed, there are still tons of great (both fun and moving) moments during this time, that has to be captured.

Wedding Ceremony

* 1 to 2 hours: site, bride’s arrival, ceremony & family portraits (post-ceremony posed shots)

First of all, that’s the time to get some pictures of the venue prior to the actual wedding ceremony. With all the hustle and bustle of your wedding day, you may not have the necessary time to take in all the little but memorable and important details of the decoration and natural beauty of the place.

A professional wedding photographer in Greece knows how essential is to capture the magnificence of the spot and the surrounding, especially if you have booked a venue with a stunning view in Santorini or Athenian Riviera.

Customs and traditions certainly vary from one wedding to another, but on average, a photographer needs 1 hour for the ceremony and 30 minutes for the family portraits.

Allow approximately 3 to 5 minutes per family group (i.e. bride and groom with their parents, siblings, etc.) and 3 extra minutes for each variation (i.e. the bride with her mother only, then with her father only, etc.).

You should also politely ask your relatives and friends to resist the urge to take pictures during the ceremony and the family portraits session. Guests holding up mobile phones as you walk down the aisle and flashes going on and off during the ceremony can be really distracting and/or ruin some professional shots.

Likewise, if I’m getting a portrait of you and your parents but your mum is looking at your sister’s camera and your father is posing for your brother’s sake, the result will not be the ideal one…

Couple’s session

* 2 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes: shoot in a location (or more) of your choice

Bear in mind that any professional wedding photographer would like to know in advance the exact time, duration, and location(s) of this session. The reason is pretty simple;

Certain times of day are just more photogenic than others, e.g. during summertime, the midday sun can be dazzling, while during wintertime we’ll need time to get some great shots before the afternoon light starts fading.

The most important pictures of the day are your photos as a couple; that is what the entire wedding day is about, just the two of you and the life you are beginning together. Of course, we can minimize or skip this session if we have arranged a next day photo shoot.


Wedding Reception

* 3-4 hours: site, couple’s arrival, first dances & fun moments

Now, during your reception, you can expect to get really impressive pictures of your grand entrance and your first dance, when all eyes are on you. After that, feel free to ask for a group photo with your friends on the dance floor and let them get into the groove!

When the alcohol is flowing, outlandish dance moves and excited faces lead to fun photos that convey the jovial atmosphere of your special day. However, bear in mind that one hour of photos is more than enough;

Let’s be realistic, you certainly don’t want photos of sweaty and slightly drunk faces in your wedding album! Among bursts of laughter and dance, you can also do your bouquet or garter toss.

The most important thing for great reception photos is to inform your wedding photographer about the site and the planned time of your wedding party in advance.

This is essential as there are factors that you may not think about but can make a photographer’s job really hard: a nighttime open-air reception is really challenging since there is minimal lighting, midday parties in summertime come with harsh sunlight, wintertime weddings are usually drained of natural sunbeams…

Of course, when planning your wedding day timeline there are a lot of factors to consider, but these are some basic guidelines that work for most couples and professionals.

Take a proactive approach to make sure that things will run smoothly, work closely with your wedding planner (as always, communication is the key to a great wedding day), and ensure that your schedule guarantees that there will be enough time for all the photographs you want.

Looking for a wedding photographer in Greece? Get in touch with me now!

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