How Long Does it Take to Get Wedding Photos Back?

How Long Does it Take to Get Wedding Photos Back?

It’s no secret that one of the most eagerly anticipated aspects of any wedding are the photos. After all, these are going to be cherished memories that will last a lifetime! So when planning your big day, it’s important to factor in enough time for your photographer to do their job properly. In this article, we’ll answer some common questions about how long it takes to get wedding photos back, as well as provide some tips on how to plan ahead.

Why Does It Take so Long to Get Wedding Photos Back

So, you’ve finally tied the knot! Congratulations! Now it’s time to start thinking about your wedding photos. But how long does it take to get wedding photos back? And what are some tips to help you plan ahead?

Why Does It Take so Long to Get Wedding Photos Back

Wedding photoshoots can take a few hours or even a full day, depending on the size of the wedding and the number of people in the bridal party. The photographer will need to set up shots, take pictures of the bride and groom getting ready, capture candid moments during the ceremony, and get portraits of the newlyweds and their guests.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wedding photography. Once the big day is over, the photographer will need to handle the photos and choose the best ones for the album. This process can take weeks or even months, depending on the photographer’s workload.

Still, why does it take so long to get wedding photos back? Let’s find out!

Planning a storyboard

One of the best ways to make sure you love your wedding photos is to plan a storyboard with your photographer. This way, you can discuss the type of shots you want and what moments you want captured.

Your storyboard should include a mix of posed and candid shots, as well as close-ups and wide angles. It’s also important to think about the location of your photoshoot. Indoor or outdoor? City or country? Once you’ve decided on a theme, you can start planning your outfits and hair/makeup looks.

After the photoshoot is over, the photographer will need to create a storyboard for the album. The plot should showcase the key moments of your wedding day and be visually pleasing. It also needs to be easy to follow, from getting ready to the first dance. In addition, the pictures should be compiled in a way to show the characteristics of the bride and groom, as well as the emotions of the day. A storyboard generally takes a few weeks to complete, but it’s worth the wait! [1], [3]

Curation of raw pictures

After your wedding day is over, your photographer will go through all of the pictures, delete the blurry ones, or the ones where people have their eyes closed and look through the rest. This process is called “curation”. The photographer will look for photos that are well-composed, have good lighting, and capture special moments to choose the best ones for the album. This can be a time-consuming task, especially if there are hundreds or even thousands of photos to sort through. [1]


Another reason it takes a while to get your wedding photos back is because of the editing process. Once the photographer has curated the best pictures, they will need to edit them to make sure they look perfect. This can involve cropping, color correction, exposure adjustment, and other minor tweaks. The editing process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the number of photos and the level of detail required. [1], [2], [3]

Curating edited pictures

After the photos have been edited, the photographer will need to go through the curation process again to choose the photos that fit in the planned storyboard the best. Here, they need to follow the sequence of the storyboard and make sure that the photos complement each other. [1]



Once the photographer filters out all of the pictures, it’s time to print them! Depending on the package you’ve chosen, your photographer may print all of the photos or only a select few. They will then put them in an album or frame them for you.

Printing is by far the most time consuming part of the process, as it can take a few weeks to a few months to get your photos back, depending on the amount of photos and photographer’s workload.

But it’s worth the wait! Your wedding photos will be cherished memories for years to come. So, take your time and enjoy the process! [1], [3]

Preparing an album

The last step in the process is to prepare an album. This isn’t a must, but it’s a great way to preserve your wedding photos. This involves selecting the cover, choosing the layout, and adding any captions or text. The album should be a reflection of your wedding day and tell the story of your special day. Depending on the complexity of the album, this process can add a few days to the timeline. [1], [3]

How Long on Average Will You Need to Wait

Whew! Now that we know all the steps involved in getting your wedding photos back, you might be wondering how long you’ll need to wait exactly.

How Long on Average Will You Need to Wait

On average, it takes about four to six weeks to get your wedding photos back. However, this can vary depending on the season, the photographer’s schedule, the number of pictures taken and other factors. For example, if you’re getting married during a busy time of year for photographers (like June) and need dozens of fully-edited photos, you might have to wait a little longer.

Keep in mind that turnaround time is often stated in business days, so weekends and holidays are not typically included. So if your wedding was on a Saturday and your photographer has a two-week turnaround time, you can expect to have your photos by the following Friday at the latest. [1], [2]

How Will You Typically Receive Your Photos

The majority of photographers will deliver your photos digitally, via an online gallery or a cloud-based storage system. Some may also provide you with a physical USB drive. In any case, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how you will receive your wedding photos before the big day.

However, certain photographers follow the old-school film method and you will have to pick up the photos from their studio. If that’s the case, it’s best to have a discussion with them about how long this process might take so you can be prepared.

It’s also important to note that photographers can include both print release and the digital files. This gives you the freedom to make as many copies of the photos as you want and use them however you please. If your photographer doesn’t offer this, be sure to ask for it! [2]

What to Do If You’re Not Receiving Your Wedding Photos

Now you know the average turnaround time for wedding photos and how you will receive them. But what do you do if the big day comes and goes and you still haven’t gotten your pictures?

First, don’t panic! It’s not unusual for a photographer to be a little behind schedule. They may have taken on more clients than they can handle or run into unexpected delays. If it’s only been a week or two, give them some time before reaching out.

If it’s been longer than that, the best thing to do is to contact your photographer directly. Send them an email or give them a call to check in on the status of your photos. They should be able to give you a better idea of when you can expect to receive them. But you can also prevent the stress of not receiving your wedding photos on time by following the tips in this guide.

Be sure to communicate with your photographer

Communication is a key component in any relationship, and that includes the one you have with your wedding photographer.

Be sure to let them know about your expectations and ask them about their schedule before booking them. That way, you can have a better idea of when you’ll receive your priceless memories.

Of course, you should also have a conversation with your photographer about their workflow and ask how long it typically takes them to edit and deliver photos. If they don’t have a set timeframe, see if they’re able to give you a rough estimate. This way, you can plan accordingly and not be left in the dark wondering when you’ll finally get your hands on those precious memories. [1]

Be sure to communicate with your photographer

Always check your email

You should always stay in communication with your photographer, but this is especially important leading up to and immediately after your wedding day. Be sure to check your email frequently so you don’t miss any important messages from them. If they’re going to be sending you a link to your online gallery, for example, you don’t want it to get lost in the shuffle of everyday life.

Additionally, make sure you provide them with an up-to-date email address that you actually check often. That way, there’s no chance of miscommunication and you can rest assured knowing that you’ll receive timely updates from your photographer.

It’s also a good idea to provide an alternate email address and phone number, in case there’s any problems with the primary ones you provided. That way, your photographer can still reach out to you even if there are some hiccups along the way. [1]

Book ahead

Photographers are busy people, so it’s important to book them well in advance of your wedding day. This will give you the best chance of getting your preferred photographer and ensure that they’re available on your big day. It’s also a good idea to have a backup photographer in mind, just in case something happens and your first choice isn’t available.

The sooner you book your photographer, the better. That way, you can avoid any potential issues that could come up and delay the delivery of your photos.

You definitely want to book a few months ahead of your wedding, if you plan on hosting it during a busy season. For example, if you’re getting married during the summer or around a major holiday, you’ll need to book your photographer as soon as possible. By doing so, you can avoid any potential scheduling conflicts that could arise.

If you wait until the last minute to book your photographer, you may end up being disappointed with the results. So it’s always best to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to find the right photographer for you. [4]

While you are still waiting, you could start sending “Thank you” cards to your guests. Thanking your guests for attending your wedding and sharing in your special day is a kind gesture that will be greatly appreciated. You can either send out traditional thank-you cards or opt for something more creative, like a postcard from your honeymoon destination. Whatever you choose, make sure to personalize each message and express your gratitude! [5]


Can I receive wedding photos in a week?

It’s technically possible to get your wedding photos back in a week, but it’s highly unlikely. The average turnaround time for wedding photos is four to six weeks. However, if you’re working with a busy photographer or you have a large wedding, it could take up to eight weeks to receive your final images.

What are good questions to ask your wedding photographer?

Asking your photographer how long it will take to get your wedding photos back is a great question! You may also want to ask them about their experience photographing weddings, and if they have a backup plan in case of an emergency.

It’s also important to inquire about what kind of editing will be done to your photos, and whether or not you’ll be able to choose which photos are edited and which aren’t. You should also ask about how long it will take to receive your wedding album, if you’re planning on having one made.

Can you ask your wedding photographer for more photos?

If you’ve changed your mind about the number of wedding photos you want, or if you simply want more photos than what was originally agreed upon, it’s best to talk to your photographer as soon as possible. They may be able to accommodate your request depending on their schedule.

It’s also important to note that most photographers deliver a certain number of edited images based on the package you’ve booked. If you’re expecting 100 fully edited photos but your package only includes 50, be sure to have this conversation with your photographer before making any assumptions.


Final words

Wedding is a once in a lifetime event. And we understand that you want to get your wedding photos as soon as possible. But it’s important to remember that quality takes time. In general, it will take you from four to six weeks to receive your wedding photos back from your photographer, but of course the actual time can be different. Editing just a handful of photos can take several hours, let alone the hundreds or even thousands that your photographer will take during your wedding day. After all, you’re not the only client they have. The best way to avoid the potential confusion, is to communicate with your photographer and ask about their turnaround time before booking them. That way, you can have a better idea of when you’ll receive your priceless memories.

By following these tips, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll receive your wedding photos back in a timely manner without any stress or drama. And most importantly, enjoy your big day! Congrats!