Wedding Photo Delivery Times

How long should it take?

Wedding photography isn't instant

Well... at least it shouldn't be. It is very different than taking a picture with your phone or a point-and-shoot camera. A lot of work should be put into getting the most of your wedding day photos. If a potential wedding photographer tells you that you can have your pictures the same day or next day after the wedding, don't walk... RUN!

Some wedding photographers take days to edit photos

Days seems like a long time to wait. I get it. I'm totally one of those people that is looking out the window waiting for UPS as soon as I click the order button on Amazon. And while days seems like a long time, it really isn't. Most of the work hours in wedding photography actually come after the wedding. The editing process can be long.

So, how about turnaround times measured in days? I have mixed thoughts about it. I will shoot thousands of photographs at a wedding. While not all of them will get the full editing treatment, that is a lot of photos to work on. If your photographer is promising to deliver them in days, the editing process of them likely involves loading the images into Adobe Lightroom, clicking on an off-the-shelf preset, and then sending you the pictures. For the money that you are spending, you deserve more attention than that.

So... weeks?

Now we are talking about realistic timeframes. Personally, I tell all of my wedding couples to expect the editing process to take 6 to 8 weeks. Some wedding photographers will say 6 to 12 weeks (especially during the busier wedding months).

Will it really take 6 or more weeks to edit your wedding photos? Perhaps. I can often have them done in less time. It really depends on the specifics of that day's wedding photos. Some just require a lot more attention than others. I really want to make sure that when I deliver your wedding photos, they are as good as they can possibly be. If that means I'm done in 2 weeks, great. If it takes 8 weeks, it will be time well-spent.

Things to ask your wedding photographer

  • How long will it take to get back my wedding photos?
  • What kind of editing do you do?
  • What kind of communication should I expect while waiting?

That last point is important. Your photographer should be giving you updates. This is especially true if you are hiring a wedding photographer who is just starting out or if they in some way give you a bad vibe. If the time has passed and you still don't have your photos, make sure to stay on top of them.