If you are planning your destination wedding in Riviera Maya, Mexico, and are feeling overwhelmed by your hunt for the best wedding photography package, take some comfort in knowing that you not alone.
As professional destination wedding photographers, we get an email asking us for advice about wedding timelines every single day.
Which is why we figured it was time for an article packed full of beach wedding timeline advice to help you get everything you want in your photography package, without paying for anything you don’t need.
How many hours are enough to tell the story of your wedding day, without going overboard and wasting your precious wedding budget?
Every couple is unique, and every wedding budget is different. Come along and let’s find you the Riviera Maya wedding photography package that is right for YOU.
How much time do we need for our ‘Getting Ready’ wedding photos?
Getting Ready photos of the bride capture those final exciting moments with her bridesmaids and loved ones, getting zipped up in her dress, and transforming into a queen. Expect your photographer to use this time to capture little wedding details, get candid moments, and take beauty shots.
And for the boys….well, it’s usually a fair bit of relaxing and making toasts.
The minimum amount of time needed for getting ready photos is 45 minutes. If you are working on a tight budget, then have your photographer start an hour before your ceremony. We only recommend this if you have a small number of people helping you get ready, otherwise – CHAOS!
The ideal amount of time needed for getting ready photos is 90 minutes. This lets everyone relax a bit, and gives more wiggle room for wedding day hiccups.
Most of our wedding photography packages include two professional photographers, so one stays with the bride, and the other goes with the groom. However, if your package includes only one photographer, then plan for an additional 20 minutes in your timeline for photos of the boys getting ready too.
How long does a First Look photo session take?
A First Look photo session is a tight timeline’s best friend. If you have less than 2 hours between the start of your ceremony and your reception, or you will be racing against the sunset, then this is a perfect solution to make sure you get all the photos you want.
And if you choose to do a First Look, you can shave this time from your Newlywed session later on.
The minimum amount of time for a First Look is 15 minutes. Remember to leave yourself a few minutes to get touched up and collect yourself before walking down the aisle.
The ideal amount of time for a First Look is 30 minutes. Shake off the pre-wedding jitters, and take the time to connect with your partner. This is the perfect opportunity!
How long should we expect our wedding ceremony will last?
The easy answer: 30 minutes.
Even if you think yours is going to be a quick and casual 10 minute “I Do!” you should still plan for 30. Time always gets chewed up right after the ceremony with guests wanting to give hugs and congratulations, and the process of getting people organized who are in vacation mode can take a little patience!
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How much time will our family and group photos take?
Normally, after your ceremony, we do a big group photo of everyone in attendance at your destination wedding and then move right into your family photos. We strongly advise you to prepare a shot list of the photos that are most important to you and share it with a guest who is assertive and knows everybody. This will help things run smoothly.
The minimum amount of time needed for family photos is 15 minutes. This applies to you only if your wedding is a small, intimate one. (Less than 25 people)
The ideal amount of time needed for family photos is 20-30 minutes. If everybody you know and love made the trip to celebrate with you, then that becomes more unruly family members to corral away from the cocktail bar for photos, so keep your ‘group type’ in mind when planning this part of your day.
How long do bridal party photos take?
The bridal party pictures are dependant on two ingredients:
- How many bridesmaids and groomsmen do you have in your group?
- Are they more focused on the task at hand (ie. photos) or getting the party started (ie. hitting the bar)
The minimum amount of time needed for bridal party photos is 10 minutes. This is only if you have a small, reasonably well-behaved group.
The ideal amount of time needed for bridal party photos is 20 minutes. If you know that we are going be herding cats to get your group together and focused, plan for that!
How long should we plan on our Newlywed session lasting?
The big catch-22 of your wedding day: Your bride and groom photos are incredibly important, meanwhile you are missing the cocktail reception and celebrating with your loved ones.
So how long do you actually need to traipse through the sand to get the money shots?
The minimum amount of time needed for Newlywed photos is 30 minutes. And we suggest this cautiously because in large resorts this can present a real time crunch. This only applies to you if you are getting married at a beach club, villa or boutique hotel.
The ideal amount of time needed for Newlywed photos is one hour. This is where your photographer gets their best opportunity to shine and create magical images, so give them the time and space to do that…if you can.
*Important note: Make sure you know what time the sun is setting on your wedding day, and plan to wrap up your Newlywed session no more than 10 minutes after sunset.
How much reception coverage should we have?
There is no ‘normal’ amount of time here. It’s an individual choice that depends on whether or not you want craziness and debauchery caught on camera….and of course, on your budget.
The minimum amount of time needed for your reception photos is 30 minutes. If funds are limited, then this is one of the easiest places to trim the fat. As soon as you walk into your wedding reception, go straight into your first dance. Then cut the cake or toss the bouquet, or whatever event you must have captured. This way you get the important moments, without paying your photographer big bucks to stay on longer than necessary.
The ideal amount of time needed for your reception is unlimited. It’s YOUR day. If you want every single moment captured until the lights come on, then that’s what you should plan for!
So where does that leave us?
If you have done the math here, you can see that it is possible to tell the story of your beach wedding day in 4 hours. Our couples who are on a tight budget appreciate this package option.
However, a 6-hour wedding photography package is the most popular choice for couples getting married in Riviera Maya, because it allows for more of their story to be told, and it takes the stress out of the time crunch.
And 8 hours is perfect if you don’t want to miss a thing!
We hope this helps and gives you some clarity in planning your destination wedding in the Mayan Riviera. How many hours do you think you will need for your wedding? We want to hear about it in the comments below!
And if you are hunting for the perfect wedding photography package with the best wedding photographers in Playa del Carmen, then get in contact with us today! We are Fun In The Sun Weddings, the best photographers in Riviera Maya, Mexico.