Wedding Photography Planning Timeline

Planning a Wedding Photography TimelineWhen should you have your wedding photographer booked? What is the best time for an engagement session? How soon before the event is the balance due?

Every wedding and person is different, but here is a helpful timeline for planning your wedding photography.

Book Your Photographer: 1 year (or more) before

Wedding photographers book up quickly. As soon as you have your venue decided, you should start looking for photographers.

We, like most photographers, only photograph one wedding on a given day, so that limits the amount of couples we can take on. If you are in love with a certain person, you should reserve your date as soon as possible, sometimes even more than a year before your big day.

Bosworth-Daly Wedding CLR-275

Deposit Due: At Signing of Contract

As soon as you sign an agreement with a photographer, you will be asked to give a deposit as a sign of good faith for the reservation of your date. Your photographer is now going to turn down other wedding inquiries for that day, and thus needs the reassurance that you are seriously committed. Plus, your deposit goes towards engagement sessions and any other goodies that you may be getting before the wedding day.

Engagement Session: 6 – 8 months before

Engagement photos that are being used for Save-the-Dates and other fun wedding products need to be done within this time frame so that your photographer has time to edit the images and get them to you before the invites need to be sent out.

There is a bit of wiggle room, though. If you always wanted a summer engagement session on the beach, then schedule the engagement session for the nearest summer month. But remember, every season has unique photo opportunities, so there is really no wrong choice.

As for time of day, the best photos are at golden hour, which is either around sunrise or sunset. Your photographer will be able to better help you determine when that is, as it changes with the seasons.

Considering skipping this step of the timeline? Please don’t! Here is a post as to why you need an engagement session.

Phillips-Carey Engagement CLR-16


Pre-Wedding Meeting: 1 – 3 weeks before

It’s been over a year since you last discussed wedding details with your photographer at this point! No later than one week before your wedding, sit down to a meeting with your photographer to finalize a day-of timeline and let her know of any special day-of events or changes you may have made.

Final Balance Due: 1 week before

You don’t want to worry about writing and handing out checks on the biggest day of your life! Pay your vendors before your wedding so there is no stress (well, at least not about money).

Lenane-Burrows Wedding CLR-361

Photos Arrive: 4 – 6 weeks after

You should have your photos about a month after your wedding, and all your products in hand a few months after that. Again, every photographer is different and depending on the season it may be quicker or slower than this.

Mazzara-Vettori Wedding CLR-212

Are you ready to book your wedding photographer? Read about working with us and then use the Contact Form above to connect with us!

More Wedding Planning Tips can be Found Here:

7 Questions to Ask Your Photographer

How to Be Prepared for a Photography Consult

Make Your Wedding Rave-Worthy